7 Hassle-Free Ways to Grow Your Email List

Let’s cut to the chase: email marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy. Why? Because it helps you personalize messages, stay connected with your audience, and increase sales at a very affordable cost. However, before you can start planning a fully-fledged email marketing strategy, you first need to do one thing to maximize your efforts: grow your email list.

Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been at this for a while, continuously updating and growing your email list is the best way to make sure you and your brand are reaching people who are truly interested in what you have to offer. 

Stuck looking for inspiration? That’s what we’re here for ✨ Grab pen and paper and get ready to let the ideas flow with these 7 hassle-free ways to grow your email list and start reaching the right people.

Why is it important to update and grow your email list?

According to HubSpot, your email list degrades yearly by about 23%

This happens for a variety of reasons, some of which might be…

  • Switching email servers (like going from Yahoo to Gmail)
  • Unsubscribing from your communications
  • Marking your emails as spam

Because of this, it’s important to constantly work towards trying to grow your email list and keep those subscribers up. Whereas an Instagram post or Facebook status update is there and gone with a quick scroll, email marketing is a lot more personal. It stays in your customers’ inbox, it calls for their attention, and it’s easily accessible if they want to come back to it at a later date. 

READ MORE: 8 Ways To Simplify Your Small Business Messaging

Plus, at the end of the day, the more people that are subscribed to your email list, the more likely you are to make a sale. 

Let’s take a look at 7 ways to continuously grow your email list

You might be thinking: “Great, but where do I find new email addresses of people who might be interested?”

Well, that’s why we’re sharing 7 hassle-free ways to grow your email list right now!

01. Create “gated content”

A relatively simple and non-aggressive way to grow your email list is by creating “gated content” on your website. 

But, what is gated content? The term refers to any type of content that readers need to “subscribe” to in order to see or read it in its entirety. Users fill out a form with their details and they receive instant access to full blog posts, videos, templates, etc. 

Gated content can also be any type of “upgraded content” that they wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. Some examples of this include

  • A podcast transcript 
  • A checklist to go along with a blog post
  • A downloadable version of an eBook
  • A reading of a long-form blog post

Creating gated content means that the audience is genuinely interested in what you have to offer – otherwise, they wouldn’t be spending their time signing up and waiting for access. It’s a great way to distinguish people who might be in it for the long run and people who are looking for quick access to something. 

02. Offer your audience freebies

In line with the gated content, freebie downloads are also a great way to grow your email list while still adding value to your audience. When you offer knowledge and content like this for free, readers usually feel – and rightly so – that they’re getting the better part of the deal. This means that, in most cases, they’ll be more likely to sign up, which will in turn help grow your email list. 

READ MORE: How To Create Consistent Content Quickly

A few example of freebie content you can offer your audience are:

  • Social media templates
  • Guide books & eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Email mini course
  • Live training
  • Resource library
  • Behind the scenes content

Freebies are usually there to make your audience’s life easier by offering them something they wouldn’t normally receive, and to make your life easier as a less intrusive way of asking for an email address. 

03. Host a giveaway 

People love free stuff – right? 

Whenever we see the word “giveaway” alarms usually go off inside our heads that make us feel like we need to win. Maybe it’s a human thing, maybe it’s a competitive thing, maybe it’s a little bit of both. Whatever the case, hosting a giveaway is a great way to grow your email list in a way that is both fun and engaging.

Ask people to sign up via email address and watch it grow as more and more potential clients sign up in hopes of being picked as the winner. 

That all sounds good, but how do you pick what to give away? That’s where a deep analysis of your target market comes in.

  • What are your audience’s pain points?
  • Is there anything they could benefit from the most?
  • What would get people actually excited to participate?

Sure, winning a cruise would be a dream come true…but how does that connect to you, your brand, or your messaging? We suggest you skip the “dream” prizes for now and focus on something that’s a little more down-to-earth. 

Make sure you’re aware of a couple of things:

  1. Don’t choose a prize that appeals to a “too-wide” audience. You might end up with tons of leads that will unsubscribe almost immediately when you contact them again.
  2. Don’t choose a prize that is too specific, either. This might hurt your chances of gaining traction online and attracting more people outside of your circle.
  3. Your prize doesn’t have to be expensive. Remember: value doesn’t = more money. 

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04. Offer a special discount

Yes, people love free things. But when that’s not an option, the next best thing is getting a little somethin’ somethin’ extra.

Whether via pop-up on your website or through a social media campaign, offering subscribers a discount is another great and easy way to grow your email list with qualified leads that might turn into clients if you play the game right.

In most cases, discounts are even more effective than giveaways because it shows that people are already interested in purchasing your services or products – they just need one last push. 

By giving them 10, 20 or even 50% off their purchase simply by adding their email address, you can start to gage how likely they are to go through with their intent and buy from your business.  

05. Ask your customers for feedback

Feedback forms are another great way to grow your email list that can be used over and over again by different clients in different stages of their journey. Plus, people love to give feedback – good or bad – when it’s related to something they enjoy.

A great way to collect feedback and emails is by creating a survey that users can fill out. From having them ask questions about your business to giving them the chance to write about content they’d like to see more of, feedback forms and surveys keep the conversation going and help you not just grow your email list, but also gain a better understanding of what people are looking for when they come to your website.

READ MORE: 5-Step Market Research Process (That Isn’t Boring Or Daunting)

Include the form in different pages of your website with a header or pop-up that reminds users it’s available. Even if they aren’t ready to give feedback just yet, they might come back to it once they’ve explored a little more. It’s always worth giving them a gentle reminder that it’s available.  

06. Host a webinar or online conference

Depending on the effort and time you want to dedicate to growing your email list, another (not so hassle-free) way to do so is by organizing a webinar or online conference that users can attend. 

Whether paid or free, webinars usually involve collecting attendee’s email addresses in order to contact them prior to the event with any information they might need, during the event (especially if it’s multi-day) with information from each presentation and speaker, and even after the event to ask for feedback or keep people in the loop with what comes next. Plus, people who sign up to a webinar are much more likely to accept being contacted later on after attending an event you’ve either participated in or headlined. After all, they already took hours/days out of their time to listen to you speak – an email won’t seem too intrusive in comparison.

07. Use pop-ups and a “call to action” (CTA)

A more aggressive approach to collecting email addresses, page-specific and exit intent pop-ups are another way to grow your email list. 

When it comes to this, playing the game is important. You don’t want to show the same person the same pop-up over and over again: they’ll notice quickly and find your techniques annoying. Use cookies to track who’s on your site for the first time or who’s returning, and create pop-ups geared specifically towards this. 

READ MORE: How To Incorporate More Digital Events Into Your Marketing Strategy

Do they spend a  lot of time browsing the blog? Create a pop-up that invites them to sign up for the newsletter so they never miss a thing. 

Do they look at your services page a lot? Create a pop-up with an offer that gives them 10% off their first purchase or a free discovery call. 

When it comes to exit intent pop-ups, you can mix and match some of the techniques outlined above (and throughout the blog post) to encourage people one last time. 

  • Ask them to fill out a feedback form
  • Offer them a discount
  • Let them know they’re missing out on content over on the blog
  • Offer a free eBook or guide they can download

Although intrusive, pop-up conversion rates vary between 3.09% and 10% (!!!). A few tips from the experts on how to make it to the top with high-converting pop-ups are:

  • Show your personality
  • Offer more context
  • Always offer value
  • Use a CTA that matches the offer
  • Don’t use pop-ups that appear immediately

The lowdown on how to grow your email list

All in all, working to grow your email list might seem a little daunting to start with. However, you’ll soon realize that there’s a reason bigger brands spend so much time (and money) doing so: email marketing still holds its spot as making the most sales.

When it comes to figuring out new and exciting ways to grow your email list, we suggest you run through these first and see how they perform:
01. Create “gated content”
02. Offer your audience freebies
03. Host a giveaway 
04. Offer a special discount
05. Ask your customers for feedback
06. Host a webinar or online conference
07. Use pop-ups and a “Call To Action”

Growing your email list means you want to reach as many people as possible, but don’t start throwing out things into the open with the hopes that someone will give you an email address. Focus your efforts on creating valuable content and organizing valuable offers that will resonate with a lot of people, but also make sure that it’s the right people. 

After all, you’re not looking for someone’s old AOL address that they only use for email signups. 

How have you grown your email list in the past? Have you used any of these techniques? Let us know in the comments below and share your secrets with the community!

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