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10 Ways to Grow your Email List
So you bought an email list and scraped emails off all your contacts on LinkedIn, and you’re wondering why no one is responding, your emails are going to SPAM and people are unsubscribing like crazy – well you are pretty much like this (PILE OF JUNK MAIL).
No one asked for it and no one wants it. So you go right in the trash can.
A Better Way to Grow your Email List
You do not have to be the junk mail of email. There is a better way so that you can harness the amazing power of email marketing and the best part…no algorithm, no confusing features and no screen trolls leaving weird comments.
I’m Torie Mathis, and I am here to show you that digital marketing doesn’t’ require crazy tech skills, buckets of cash or dedicated staff. In fact, you don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be smart.
And your email list is one of the smartest tools you can have if you build it right. Today I’ve got 10 smart ways to grow your email list.
But why grow an email list?
You know, email really is pretty amazing. Though it’s been used widely for well over 25 years, it continues to be one of the most powerful marketing tools ever.
Email may not be as “sexy” as newer digital marketing techniques, such as social media and push notifications, but it continues to be incredibly effective at converting people into paying customers. More effective than other methods by far.
How Effective is Email Marketing?
Did you know for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect to get $36 in return (a 3,600% ROI!). (Up from 3,200!)
And that 49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.
And with 4.3 Billion people using email, that is half the planet. Crazy right?
Is email more effective than social media?
With all the talk about the power of social media, it’s easy to forget just how effective email is when it comes to building your business.
But the truth is that email remains one of the most effective marketing tools out there. We may ignore all the notifications on social media, and we may screen every phone call, but we still pay quite a bit of attention to our inbox.
That means, if you can get permission to someone’s inbox, then you gain access to their attention. Can you think of something more important than that?
There are few things more valuable to your marketing efforts than your email list.
But building an email list takes a little work. After all, people aren’t just going to hand over their email address for no reason.
With billions of spam emails being sent every day, it’s important to give people a compelling reason to give you their address. You need to know the secrets to getting others to give you their contact information.
That’s where we come in.
I have 10 hacks to help you build your email list quicker.
By the end, you’ll have a solid strategy in place for adding hundreds, if not thousands, of people to your email list.
One thing to note before we get started, in order to build an email list, you’ll need a dedicated Email Marketing Software to store all your contacts, enable you to send out emails, create pop-up forms, and more.
In other words, you probably don’t want to use Gmail, Outlook, or any other standard email client. You want to use an email provider that is specifically designed for email marketing.
Some solid email marketing platform options include:
Let’s get started on the smart way to grow your email list.
Email List Building Tactic #1:
When building an email list, it’s easy to jump to tactics like pop-ups or ads. But if you start with tactics, you miss the big picture, and when you miss the big picture, you won’t be able to build your email list very effectively.
So, what is the big picture?
You need to give people a compelling reason to give you their email address.
Why should someone give you their email address? What will they get out of it? You need to convince them that you offer them something valuable in exchange for their email address.
You must create value.
What’s the best way to grow your email list?
The best, most effective way to rapidly build your email list is to constantly create outstanding, high-value content on your website.
People only give away their email address when they’re convinced that you’re going to add value to them.
They don’t want more emails in their inbox. They want more VALUE in their inbox.
They want to know that the emails they’ll receive from you will add value to their lives.
So how do you show them that you’ll add value to their inbox?
By consistently creating compelling content on your website and then promoting that content via email.
The content should solve their biggest pain points. It should dive deep into specific subjects. It should thoroughly answer their biggest questions.
Yes, there will be times when you send out promotional emails about your products or services. But people will be much more likely to sign up for and stay on your email address if they know they’ll be receiving incredibly valuable, non-promotional content from you on a consistent basis.
How do you deliver value to your email list?
You can provide things like:
● In-depth blog posts
● High-value videos
● Case studies
● How-to guides
In order to create high-value content, you must know your audience.
What are their biggest pain points?
What sorts of quick fixes and permanent solutions are they looking for?
How can you serve them most effectively?
How can you guide them and help them through their challenges?
If you don’t know what your audience’s biggest pain points are, consider surveying them. Put out a poll on social media. Ask your existing email list (if you have one) what sort of content they’d like to receive from you. Look at what your competitors are putting out.
How do you grow your email list with content?
Brian Dean is a great example of building an email list (and an entire business) by creating amazing content. He creates incredibly detailed blog posts that walk readers through challenging SEO issues. He then sends these blog posts out to his email list.
Yes, Brian also sells products and services through his email list, but he only does that occasionally. For the most part, he promotes high-value content that he has created.
The result is that his email list has ballooned into the hundreds of thousands.
Consider following Brian’s example. Work hard to consistently create compelling content that people will want to receive in their inboxes.
Give them a good reason to sign up for your email list, and once they’re on your list, give them a good reason to STAY.
Email List Building Tactic #2:
Now that we’ve talked about the big picture of email list building, let’s move on to some specific tactics.
How to use Popup Forms to Grow Your Email List
Email pop-up forms are one of the easiest ways to capture email addresses. When you’re on a website, a little box pops up asking you if you want to sign up. You can either sign up or close the box. When Sean put the pop-up on the Miles Through Time website, his sign-ups increased by over 80%.
And yes, they can be a bit intrusive at times, but the bottom line is that they work.
There are some simple ways to make pop-ups less intrusive like you can have them only pop up every so often or have them only pop up after a certain amount of time, so it doesn’t immediately interrupt the experience on your site.
You can even have the box pop up when it looks like the person is about to exit your site. This is called “Exit Intent” and is a highly effective way to capture email addresses.
What to say on your pop up form to grow your list
On your pop-up, you must tell people why they should sign up. Don’t just say, “Sign up for our newsletter.”
Tell them what they get in exchange for signing up.
Will they get weekly tips?
Will they get a free Guide?
Will they be joining 15,000 other smart people who receive weekly financial content from you?
There are numerous software platforms out there that make it really easy to create pop-up boxes, including:
And again, we like to use Kartra because it does pop-ups too.
Email List Building Tactic #3:
Create A Landing Page
When promoting your list or your lead magnets, you do not want to send people directly to your website. That thing is the land of shiny objects. You need to send them to a landing page.
Landing pages are different from pop-up boxes in that they are pages that exist solely to capture an email address.
These landing pages are not usually accessible through the main navigation of your website, and they themselves contain no navigation; it’s sign up or leave.
There are many advantages to creating specific landing pages:
● You can send people directly to the page when they want to sign up for your list. No distractions.
● You can give more information than you can on a pop-up. For example, if you’re giving away a guide, you can include more reasons why people should download it.
● You can create different pages for different purposes. For example, if you have a podcast, you could create a specific landing page where you send your podcast listeners and another landing page where you send your general visitors.
How to create a landing page to grow your email list
There are lots of ways to create landing pages.
But the easiest and most common way is to use landing page software to build a landing page. Your email software may already include a landing page builder. Using their simple drag-and-drop tools, you can build landing pages that look good and convert at a high rate.
Some landing page builders include:
We like Kartra because it does more than just Landing pages and also does all of our email marketing, help desk, pop-ups, and more.
Like with pop-up boxes, it’s important to give people a compelling reason to sign up on your landing page.
Always answer the question, “How will this help me?”
Focus on the benefits of opting into your email list. Are they getting a free eBook through your landing page? Write about all the different ways the eBook will benefit them if they download it.
Email List Building Tactic #4:
A lead magnet is essentially something that you give away to people in exchange for their email address. The people are your “leads,” and the giveaway works like a “magnet” that attracts the leads.
How to use a lead magnet to grow your list
For example, let’s if you’re a financial coach. You could give away a free eBook that gives tips on saving for retirement. Or if you’re a fitness trainer. You could give away a checklist of exercises that help with back pain.
Really, almost anything can be a lead magnet. It just needs to be valuable enough to get someone to give you their email address to get it.
Some examples of lead magnets for list building
● Product samples
● Discount coupons
● Free trials
● Case studies
● Premium content
Lead magnets are typically given away through your pop-up or landing page.
RELATED: 13 Free Canva Lead Magnet Template
There are several things to keep in mind regarding lead magnets:
● When people sign up for a lead magnet, they have a problem that they want help with immediately. Be sure to send your lead magnet as soon as a person gives you their email address. You can set your autoresponder to send right away.
● Lead magnets need to be valuable. If they’re not, people simply won’t sign up. Be sure that what you’re giving away is valuable.
● When writing the copy on the pop-up or the landing page, focus on all the benefits that your page visitor will get if they download the lead magnet. You want to show them how valuable your lead magnet really is. You need to convince them that your lead magnet is worth giving up their email address.
Email List Building Tactic #5:
Do A Giveaway
Giveaways are a fantastic way to get hundreds, or even thousands, of email addresses. If you’re looking to supercharge your list building, it’s difficult to beat a giveaway.
How to grow your email list with a giveaway
The way it works is super simple: in order to sign up, people must give you their email address.
And you can give away just about anything, from physical products to coaching sessions to digital downloads to really anything in between. You’re only limited by your imagination.
A few things to think about when you do a giveaway; first, the better the prize, the more likely people will sign up for it. So, when creating your giveaway package, think bigger and better.
And to state the obvious, the prize should be something your audience will really love, and that makes sense, given your business.
For example, if you’re a fitness coach, it makes much more sense to give away free training sessions than gift cards to unhealthy restaurants. But don’t just give away something like an iPad that everyone will want; it needs to be specific to your audience and what you offer.
Second, you’ll probably want to use a giveaway platform to make it easy for people to enter and to choose winners; otherwise, the logistics of this will be a huge ordeal.
There are several giveaway platforms available, including:
These platforms also make it incredibly easy for people to share your giveaways on social media, which increases the likelihood of them going viral. Again, the bigger the prize, the more likely the giveaway is to go viral.
Email List Building Tactic #6:
Run Facebook Lead Ads
Facebook Lead Ads allow you to promote your lead magnets and collect email addresses right on the Facebook platform. People can sign up and download your lead magnet without ever having to leave Facebook.
This can be a very powerful way to grow your email list.
How to use Facebook Lead Ads to Grow your Email List
Facebook has over 2.5 billion (that’s BILLION with a B), active monthly users, so you can be absolutely sure that your audience is on Facebook. By using Facebook Lead Ads, you can connect with your audience outside of your website.
Their ad platform allows you to get super-specific in your ads, meaning you can target a very specific audience. For example, if you’re a success coach, you could run Lead Ads that would be shown specifically to people who have demonstrated an interest in goal setting, productivity, and financial success.
Or, if you’re an investment advisor, you can target people over a certain age with a specific income that reads articles about finance or retirement.
This ability to target specific audiences allows you to easily connect with your ideal customer.
Gordon Donnely of WordStream puts it this way:
“It takes six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead. And when you start to think about all the steps a prospect has to go through in your own organization before they become “viable” or “qualified,” that number might seem pretty conservative. It takes legitimate time and effort to get quality leads. Any time you can streamline that process, you’re giving yourself a huge advantage.”
And he’s right!
By using Facebook Lead Ads, you minimize the amount of work someone must do to get on your list.
They don’t have to leave Facebook, go to your website, see your pop-up, and then enter their email address. Rather, as they browse Facebook, they come across your ad, enter their info, and BOOM, they’re on your email list.
Email List Building Tactic #7:
Use Content Upgrades
Content upgrades work like this: first, you create a highly valuable piece of content, such as a detailed blog post or video.
Then, you can create an “upgrade” that goes with that blog post. For example, let’s say you wrote an in-depth blog post about a vegan diet. You could then create an “upgrade,” such as five downloadable vegan recipes that go along with the blog post.
But, in order to get the upgrade, people have to give their email addresses.
How to use content upgrades to grow your email list
The reason that content upgrades work so well for list building is you’re not interrupting their experience as you do with a pop-up. Instead, you’re offering something of value that supplements what they’re already reading.
By reading the blog post in the first place, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re interested in that particular subject. It makes sense for them to download your content upgrade as well. Instead of offering a generic download, you’re offering something that is specifically related to something they’re interested in.
Brian Dean (the SEO guy from earlier) saw a 65% increase in his conversion rate over his generic pop-up offer when he implemented the content upgrade strategy on his blog posts.
When creating your content upgrade, it’s important that the upgrade adds additional value to the content they’re already consuming.
So, you’ll need to:
● Approach the subject from a different angle
● Cover additional material that you didn’t cover in the original content
● Create something that supplements the original content
One of the easiest content upgrades to make is a checklist that essentially summarizes everything you said in the blog post in a concise, easy-to-digest manner.
For example, let’s say you write a lengthy blog post about everything you should take to a photography shoot. You could then create a simple checklist that contains everything from the blog post.
The reader can download the checklist, print it off, and then take it with them on photo shoots.
These types of content upgrades can be a powerful list building strategy!
Email List Building Tactic #8:
Create a Quiz
People absolutely love to take quizzes. It’s why sites like Buzzfeed constantly create silly quizzes like “Which Start Wars Character Are You?” People love to answer questions about themselves and then get results.
How to use a quiz to grow your email list
Quizzes are also a fantastic way for you to build your email list. You create a quiz, and people give you their email address in order to get their results.
But here’s the thing with making a quiz and email list building: the quiz needs to be related to your business in some way.
If you create a “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?” quiz, you may be able to get a bunch of people to take it, but these people probably won’t be interested in your business. You’ll be adding people to your list who will most likely never purchase from you or work with you.
Your quiz needs to be closely tied to the goals and pain points of your ideal customer.
Take my Quiz: Is your business marketing Smart AF?
For example, let’s say that you’re an IT security consultant. You could create a “How Secure Is Your Network” quiz, in which you ask different network security-related questions (in layman’s terms, of course).
The point is that your quiz needs to attract people who are also interested in your services or products. Your goal isn’t to get as many people as possible to take your quiz. Your goal is actually to get the RIGHT people to take your quiz — people who want to work with you.
There are several platforms that make it super easy to create quizzes:
Same as with your lead magnets, you want your quiz to actually add value to the person who takes it. Your goal is not to just get their email address. Your goal is to give them value in exchange for their email. So take the time to create a quiz that a person will want to take.
Email List Building Tactic #9:
Promote Your Email List On Social Media
How many friends, followers, and connections do you have through social media? Probably quite a few. All these people are potential subscribers to your email list. You should consistently promote your email list on all your social media channels.
However, when promoting your email list, don’t just say, “Hey, join my email list!” You won’t get many sign-ups if you do it this way.
Instead, give them a compelling reason to join your list. People get so many emails as it is, and they don’t want more filling up in their inbox unless you can give them a good reason.
If you’re giving away a lead magnet, invite your friends to download it. Regularly share the link to your landing page on your social media. Tell your followers about all the benefits they’ll get if they download your eBook, guide, or case study.
If you’ve created a quiz, invite your social media followers to take the quiz. Explain how taking the quiz will benefit them.
How often should you share your email list sign-up? Enough that people hear about it, but not so much that it feels like you’re spamming them.
Be balanced in what you share on social media. Share all sorts of different updates, with the goal of each one being to add value to your followers. The more value that you create on social media, the more likely others will listen to what you have to say.
If your ideal prospect sees you always creating valuable content on social media, they are more likely to sign up for your list when you ask them.
Email List Building Tactic #10:
Add A Link In Your Email Signature
Each email you send is another opportunity to build your list. The trick is to add a link to one of your email list-building tactics right in your signature.
● Add a link in your signature that invites people to take the quiz you’ve created.
● Add the link to your landing page where people can download your free guide.
Combine Your List Building Tactics For Maximum Success
If you want to build your list quickly, implement as many of these techniques as possible. Don’t be content to settle for one or two. If you do that, your list will certainly grow, but it will grow at a much slower rate.
Instead, combine and utilize multiple list-building techniques at the same time.
You’ve learned all these email list building techniques:
● Creating valuable content
● Creating pop-ups
● Utilizing landing pages
● Giving away a lead magnet
● Running giveaways
● Using Facebook Lead Ads
● Implementing content upgrades
● Creating quizzes
● Promoting your list on social media
● Adding a link to your email signature
Yes, it’s true that email marketing and list building requires hard work. But it’s well worth it. Remember, the average ROI for email marketing is a whopping 3,200%!
For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect to get $32 in return.
So, get to work building your list. Combine as many of these techniques and tactics as you can and watch your list grow like wildfire.
Not sure what to make your lead magnet about? Watch this video next, where I go over the eight best converting lead magnets, and they work for every business.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
What do you think? Let's talk! Leave a comment.
Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
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