6 ways to grow your email list

grow-your-email-listSo, you’ve set up your email marketing platform, you’ve created a snazzy email template (perhaps with the help of some AI graphic design tools), and you’re ready to press ‘Send’. There’s just one problem: you only have eight subscribers.

The best email marketing content in the world is pointless if nobody reads it. So how can you encourage more people to sign up to your email list?

Here are 6 small-biz-friendly tactics:

1. Prune your sign-up forms

Let’s start with the basics. If your email sign-up forms require your user to give their life history, you’re going to get a high drop-out rate. Streamline your sign-up forms: do you really need everybody’s job title and postal address, or will a name and email suffice? The less information you ask for, the greater your conversion rate will be. Here at NSDesign, we only make the “email field” mandatory when people sign up to our newsletter.

2. Create a lead magnet

Give your users something to sign up for. Valuable content like guides, checklists and ebooks can all offer good incentives for people to hand over their information, and agree to be contacted. What you offer doesn’t need to be set in stone. You can change these incentives to tie in with your other marketing campaigns, so it could be “free chapters of a book” (yes of course we’ve used that before!), or even just offering immediate access to your latest blogs. What else would entice people to sign up?    

3. Optimise your landing pages

Do you have pages on your website dedicated to generating email sign-ups? If not, why not? Make sure you optimise your landing pages so they give clear and compelling reasons for people to join your email list. Landing pages and lead magnets often go together, of course: you create a landing page to act as a “teaser” for the lead magnet, and then ask people to give their information in order to receive it. Also make sure you’re up front and honest about how you’ll be using their data, linking to your privacy policy, and setting their expectation on how many emails they’re likely to get from you, and typical content etc.  

4. Offer subscriber-only content

Are there any helpful tips, offers or discounts that you could reserve exclusively for your email subscribers? Perhaps an email course that helps people solve a specific problem? People are more likely to sign up if they feel they’re getting something that’s unavailable elsewhere.

5. Host webinars

Running webinars comes with a host of benefits for your business, but among them is the opportunity to grow your email list. To attend a webinar, the user must sign up via email, meaning you can send them follow-up communications (assuming you’ve asked for their consent, as per the GDPR).

6. Shout on social media

Always use your platforms to cross-promote each other. If your business is active on social media, make sure you regularly invite your followers to subscribe to your email list. An effective way to do this is to put a shout-out in advance of each email, with a quick benefit-led announcement of what you’re about to send, and a link to the sign-up form.

With email marketing regularly outperforming social media, there is so much value in building your own email list of engaged and interested subscribers: you are creating a direct channel of communication with an audience that has chosen to hear from you. There are no search or social media algorithms deciding whether they see your content or somebody else’s!

As your list grows, look at how you can best segment it to send everybody the most targeted communications possible. And be consistent: send regular communications so that your business is top of mind when someone from your audience has a need for the solution you provide. Send the right emails to the right people at the right time, and you’ll soon start to reap the rewards of email marketing!


For more help with your digital marketing, get booked onto one of our free social media courses, buy the bestselling social media book, or talk to our team.

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