Building an email list is like constructing a sturdy bridge between you and your audience—an essential connection that allows you to engage, educate, and convert.
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a budding entrepreneur, the power of an email list cannot be overstated.
It serves as a direct line of communication, enabling you to reach your target audience with precision and deliver valuable content straight to their inboxes.
In this article, we’ll dive into 19+ proven strategies that will propel your email list growth to new heights, providing you with the tools to rapidly expand your subscriber base and unlock the full potential of email marketing.
Get ready to discover actionable tactics that will help you forge lasting connections and drive meaningful results.
Note: to grow your email list, I’d recommend a few of the best email list-building tools on the market, shown here.
What are the best strategies to build your email list?
1. Create a compelling lead magnet
For people to join your email list, they’ll want to get something in return, like information.
Whatever it may be, a lead magnet is a great way to build your email list by providing value instead of just saying “Hey, join my email list!”.
Some examples of lead magnets are eBooks, cheat sheets, resource lists, free consultations, and more.
2. Optimize your website for conversions
It’s very possible that, even if you have a good amount of traffic coming to your website, you still won’t be able to build an email list from it. To improve that, you want to optimize your website for conversions.
For example, you should place prominent opt-in forms on your website’s high-traffic pages, like the homepage and blog posts.
3. Use a clear call-to-action
Be very clear and concise with your calls to action. If someone on your website doesn’t know what you want them to do, then they’re much less likely to do it.
To make your calls to action as clear and attractive as possible, use rounded edges on the call-to-action button, make sure the button’s color stands out against your website’s color theme, and don’t just say something like “JOIN NOW” or “DO IT” as your button’s text; be a little more descriptive.
4. Implement exit-intent pop-ups
To patch up any funnel leaks on your website, implement an exit-intent pop-up that will recapture reader attention when they’re about to leave the page.
Of course, the fewer people that leave your website without seeing what your email list has to offer, the better.
5. Leverage social media
If you have any social media presence outside of your website, make sure to promote your lead magnet and encourage email sign-ups through targeted social media campaigns.
To do this, you could use targeted ads on platforms like Facebook, host a live event on social media, join an online community, and more.
6. Host webinars or online events
As mentioned in the previous tip, you can use webinars or online events to increase your email list sign-ups drastically, provided you are giving your audience something valuable that they’ll want to join your email list for.
This is also a great first step in building trust with an audience. If an audience trusts you, then they’ll be more likely to sign up for your email list, interact with your emails, and eventually make a purchase.
7. Run contests or giveaways
Arguably, giveaways are cheaper to run than other marketing methods like Facebook ads, as you only have to put up the cost for whatever you’re giving away.
To do this, you could host a giveaway and have the conditions for entering be to provide an email address and share the giveaway with three friends, so your message will multiply on its own without having to put in all of the work yourself.
8. Guest blogging
If your website doesn’t have much authority in your niche, then one of the best ways to get your content seen by a wider audience is through guest blogging.
The hard part is the outreach; you’ll have to do some social outreach to find high-authority websites in your niche that will let you write content for their website. From there, all you need to do is provide valuable content in your niche and a clear, concise CTA or link to your opt-in form and start raking in new sign-ups.
9. Use content upgrades
If your content is good enough, you can tuck it away behind a wall so that users have to provide their email addresses to access it.
If you’re providing something truly valuable to your audience, you could make this wall a paywall and start profiting off of your content if it’s worth the price.
10. Optimize landing pages
As opposed to just using your homepage as your selling point, create dedicated landing pages with persuasive copy and a clear focus on encouraging email sign-ups to truly drive conversions on your website.
If you turn your homepage into an advertisement for your email list, then you’ll come off as less sincere and more as an advertiser as opposed to a blog that wants to inform its viewers.
11. Offer exclusive discounts or promotions
FOMO is a real factor in getting people to act, and time-gated events like discounts or promotions will lead people to action more frequently than without such an event.
Of course, things like discounts or promotions only really work at their best if you’re selling something, but time-gating something like an info product can still work in getting people to flock to your email list.
12. Use a two-step opt-in process
As OptinMonster says, “A 2-step opt-on form is a way of easing the visitor into the process of handing over their contact information. Rather than your pop-up immediately asking for an email address, it adds a buffer step to grease the wheels.”
By not immediately asking for customer info, you come off as less up-front, abrasive, and, most importantly, desperate.
13. Guest podcasting
Similarly to guest blogging, guest podcasting is a great way to get your content out to a much larger audience than you would be able to otherwise.
The only difficulty in this is the outreach required to land yourself a spot on a niche-related podcast with high authority in that niche.
14. Leverage influencer partnership
Again, when your blog doesn’t really have much authority in your niche, it is incredibly advantageous to collaborate with bigger names in your niche to get a boost in traffic and spread the word about your content.
In this case, “influencer” implies more of a social media presence as opposed to website authority, like a prominent figure on Instagram or Facebook.
By leveraging the authority an influencer has on their platform, you can skyrocket your traffic and get a good amount of email sign-ups from their platform.
15. Implement a content upgrade bar
When I say “content upgrades”, I don’t mean that you’ll have to charge a fee for whatever valuable information you’re hiding behind a wall.
All you really need to do is write great content and, instead of publishing the entire thing on your blog like usual, you can add an opt-in form on the post and invite readers to provide their email addresses so they can “unlock” the rest of the content.
16. Optimize your email signature
Granted, if you’re optimizing your email signature, the only people who will see it are people who are receiving emails from you already.
Under those circumstances, the people receiving your messages would either be people already on your email list or people who have agreed to receive a single email from you. If you’re already in these peoples’ inboxes, however, then the chances are pretty high that they’re close to converting into an email list subscriber.
17. Use social proof
A very simple way of getting people to trust you and your brand is to show that other people trust you and your brand.
Social proof is a powerful tool in any business’ toolbelt; if people are already trusting you with their email addresses, then others will be more willing to follow suit and sign up for your email newsletter and join your email list.
18. Optimize your opt-in forms
Most of the time, it’s not good enough to just have opt-in forms. Yes, they will increase conversion by an amount, but you can greatly improve that conversion rate by optimizing your opt-in forms.
A few ways to optimize your opt-ins are to use power words, be specific about what you’re offering, use fewer form fields, and make your exit button clearly visible. That last one may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s important to let people have a way out from your opt-in request to make it seem like you’re not forcing them to do anything.
19. Engage with your subscribers
One of the most important things you can do to increase trust in you and your brand is to be a person; interact with your audience.
Whether it be having direct conversations with your audience or hosting community polls, interaction with your audience can greatly improve the general perception of you and your brand, thus resulting in more email sign-ups as people will trust you more.
Remember, building an email list takes time and continuous effort.
Implementing these strategies consistently will help you rapidly grow your email list and drive engagement with your audience, but it isn’t an overnight thing.
Keep at it, and you will see success in growing your email list.