How to Increase Email Subscribers in 3 Different Ways

Here’s a top industry secret: email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out to your audience, establish relationships, and increase revenue. 

Not only does email marketing deliver the highest ROI – $42 for every $1 you spend – it’s also becoming extremely popular, with 79% of businesses saying they consider it highly effective.

If you’re wondering how to increase email subscribers to make the most of this channel – you’ve come to the right place! 

Truth is, there are tons of different ways to do it designed for every budget, different types of businesses, and tailored to specific goals. 

In today’s blog, we’ll be looking at our three favorite ways to grow your email subscriber list – how they work, how you can apply them to your business, and the results they might bring!

Whether you’re a small business owner, blogger, or thought leader in DEI, Leadership, or Culture, these tips are tailored to help you build a strong email list that can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Let’s get started!

The basics of email marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool that can maximize your marketing efforts – especially in today’s age when social media and paid advertising is oversaturated and, for lack of a better word… loud and overwhelming.

In short, email marketing involves reaching out to your audience via email (hence the name) to:

  • Share important information (news, resources, etc.)
  • Announce an upcoming or recent launch
  • Advertise a product or service
  • Re-ignite a conversation
  • Drive traffic to your website or social media channels
  • Provide customer support
  • And so much more!

And, despite the rise of social media as a marketing channel, email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective and reliable ways to reach your target audience. It’s hitting their specific inbox after all, whereas an ad can be easily swiped past.

When it comes to setting up your email marketing, there are a few basics to keep in mind:

1. Finding the right email marketing platform

The first step in setting up your email marketing is to find the right email platform that fits your needs and wants. There are a lot of different options available, from simple email marketing tools to all-in-one CRM platforms, so we suggest you shop around before deciding on one. A few things to consider are costs, ease of use, features, and integrations.

PRO TIP: Over at The Quirky Pineapple Studio, we’ve been using ActiveCampaign to help us automate and manage our email marketing campaigns. We love the platform because it’s seamlessly integrated, and it gives us all the data we need to optimize – more on that later! – campaigns down the line.

2. Building your email list

Once you’ve picked the platform you want to use, the next step is to… start looking for ways to increase email subscribers! Keep in mind that your email list is pretty make-or-break when it comes to email marketing: if you’re not capturing the righ leads, your emails might fall flat. However, if you are reaching the right people… it might quickly turn into your top marketing channel! If this all sounds new to you, don’t worry – we’ll be looking at this important step in just a few minutes.

3. Segmentation aka breaking up your list

Building an email subscriber list doesn’t just stop there: there’s also segmentation to consider! It’s important to segment – “break up” or “group” – your email list based on subscribers’ interests, behaviors, demographics, etc. This will help you send out more specific emails to specific people, which can improve engagement and conversions.

4. Create engaging email content

It’s important to mention that the content of your emails should try and be engaging, relevant, educational, and valuable to your audience. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to get them to keep opening your emails if they don’t find anything interesting inside. You can consider the type of content you’re sharing on other platforms that has performed well and find ways to incorporate that into your emails.

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5. Designing your emails

When it comes to designing your email marketing campaigns, remember to always stay on brand – this applies to visuals as well as to your brand message, brand voice, etc. Make it easy for subscribers to read (both on desktop and mobile), include images/visuals, and add buttons that guide your subscribers to where you want them to go: your website, a specific landing page, a purchase page, etc.

6. Test and optimize

Iteration is key when it comes to email marketing. To improve the effectiveness of your emails, make sure that you’re always testing different elements – like different subject lines, or sending times – and that you’re closely monitoring these results. By analyzing how each campaign is performing in comparison to the other, you can make smart and informed decisions that can lead to better performance.

Our 3 favorite ways to increase email subscribers

Now that you’ve gathered the basics, it’s time to dig a little deeper into one of the most important aspects of email marketing: how to increase email subscribers.

The thing with email marketing is… having thousands of subscribers doesn’t really matter if they’re not converting. Harsh, but true – and so important to know from the get-go.

If you’re looking to learn how to increase email subscribers in a way that’s both effective for you and your audience, here are our three favorite tips!

1. Create a lead magnet

 Lead magnets are one of the most effective ways to grow your email subscribers while providing value.

What’s a lead magnet? Also referred to as a “freebie”, they’re pieces of content that you offer your audiences in exchange for their email address and name. 

The great thing about lead magnets is that there are tons of different opportunities out there to create one! 

Just to name a few, a lead magnet can be:

  • An ebook that teaches people about a specific topic
  • A checklist that people prepare for something
  • A guide that provides step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish a task or solve a problem
  •  A quiz that helps your audience learn more about themselves or their business, with the option to receive personalized insights via email
  • A case study that showcases how your service (or product) helped other businesses
  • A brochure that outlines your services and prices, providing transparency and clarity so potential customers can easily reach out and know what to expect from the get-go
  • Access to a free webinar or online workshop that’ll delve deeper into a topic that interests them and you’re an expert in

And that’s just some of the options. As we said, there are tons – and pretty much any piece (or pieces) of valuable content can be turned into a lead magnet.

However, when creating your lead magnet, be sure to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to offer one high-quality resource than several lower-quality ones. Also, make sure to promote your lead magnet through various channels – such as social media, blog posts, and paid advertising – to reach a wider audience.

Additionally, once you have your lead magnet ready, it’s important to have a clear, simple, and attractive opt-in form on your website or landing page. 

Make sure the form is easy to fill out, meaning it doesn’t ask for too much information or requires too much effort, and includes a strong call-to-action that encourages visitors to sign up for your email list – otherwise, people might get lost halfway through the process.

2. Run an online contest 

Similar to a lead magnet, running an online contest is another great way to increase email subscribers and also offer something valuable that’ll entice them to fill in a form with their details.

That said, running a successful online contest means:

  • Choosing an attractive prize that will encourage people to sign up
  • Creating a dedicated contest landing page with a form to collect email addresses + names
  • Writing a transparent list of rules and requirements for the winner
  • Sharing promotional content available on other marketing platforms

Keep in mind that, when promoting your contest, it’s also important that you’re highlighting the value of your prize and why it’s relevant to your audience: how can this prize help them, why did you choose this prize specifically, etc.

When it comes to running a contest to increase email subscribers, another great “extra step” is to partner up with another business or influencer in your niche – or similar – to help you reach an ever larger audience that you might not have access to on your own. 

Remember: Do your research to ensure that your contest complies with any applicable news and regulations. This may include rules around disclosures, privacy, and even anti-spam laws.

This way, you’ll be “doubling” your reach – which also means you’ll be collecting even more addresses from people that can turn into valuable leads and customers further down the line.

3. Use an exit-intent pop-up

A powerful, low-effort way to increase email subscribers is to create an exit-intent pop-up for your website.

Typically, an exit-intent pop-up is a message that appears – aka “pops up” – on your website when a visitor is about to leave and their mouse drifts toward their browser search bar. This message is usually short, snappy, and encourages people to sign up for your email newsletter before they go.

Luckily, you don’t need to be too tech-savvy to set one up. Depending on your website platform, you can use a pop-up tool or plugin that supports this feature. Once you have the tool installed, you can easily design a pop-up message that offers a valuable incentive for visitors to subscribe.

This incentive can be anything, such as:

  • A special discount
  • Access to exclusive content
  • A free trial
  • Premium pricing for upcoming events or launches
  • Etc.

Now, when it comes time to design your pop-up, one thing’s for sure: keep it simple.

Use a clear font, make sure the colors are easy to read and include a strong call-to-action (CTA) that will invite visitors in and inspire them to fill out the form. 

Additionally, setting it up so it appears at the right time is also important. Ideally, you want the pop-up to appear exactly when a user’s cursor drifts to the search bar, but before they have time to close the window/tab or hit the back button.

Email marketing NO-NO: tricking people into subscribing

Although it can feel tempting to do everything and anything to get people to subscribe, it’s important to note that there are rules and regulations in place that protect people online (hello, GDPR).

Transparency and honesty are crucial when it comes to looking for ways how to increase email subscribers, and tricking people into subscribing – or misleading them to do so – can damage your reputation and lead to anger.

Not only that, but it can also land you in a lot of legal trouble for violating consumer privacy and rights.

Always make sure that people are explicitly consenting to sign up – this can be a tick box at the bottom of a pop-up or a box that consumers need to check before pressing the “Submit” button.

At the end of the day, by being transparent and complying with data privacy laws, you can build trust with your audience and maintain a healthy and engaged email list that actually works in your favor.

TL;DR: The sustainable way to help you increase email subscribers

Building an email subscriber list is important for the success of any email marketing campaign – after all, if you don’t have email subscribers… your emails aren’t reaching anyone.

If that sounds like a lot – don’t worry. It’s actually a lot more simple than you might think, but it does require a lil’ added effort and time to get it just right.

That said, three of our favorite ways to increase email subscribers are:

  1. Create a lead magnet or freebie and offer it to your audience
  2. Put together an online contest and encourage people to sign up
  3. Design an exit-intent pop-up for your website

Again, these are just a few of the ways you can increase your email list, so don’t feel like you have to pick one and go for it if your gut is telling you that it doesn’t apply to your brand. Every brand is different, after all, and there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing.

However, one thing’s for sure: transparency, honesty, and compliance with data privacy laws are key to building a healthy and engaged email list – no matter what you do, what you offer, or where you’re located.

By putting your audience first and prioritizing sustainable growth, you can create a strong foundation for long-term success in email marketing. 

So, go ahead! Take the time to implement one – or more! – of these strategies and watch your email list grow in a sustainable and effective way.

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We’re a brand strategy & copywriting studio for mission-driven, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and Feminist-run brands and businesses who want to increase their visibility and connect with their communities through the power of story and content. We share tips & advice on how to make marketing (and business) fun!

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