8 ways to grow your email list

Editor’s note: This post comes from our Constant Contact UK office. You can view all posts from our UK team here. Or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Email marketing is a numbers game. The more people you have on your email list, the broader your reach. Whether your ultimate goal is to sell more products, win more clients or boost attendance at your events, email marketing gives you an accountable, cost-effective tool to help make it happen.

Sending unsolicited marketing emails out-of-the-blue is unlikely to bring you many rewards, but when you have an active group of subscribers who are ready to hear from you, then you’ll start seeing results. So how do you get more people to sign up to your newsletter?

1. Add prominent sign up forms to your website

Your next prospect will most likely find you through your website – don’t miss the opportunity to capture them during this initial interaction. Your content should have a prominent call to action to join your mailing list. If your content is great, your reader will want to see more of the same.

You should also make sure there’s a clear path for your visitor to subscribe to your newsletter from your home page. Got a website – such as an e-shop – where users have to register to access your services? Invite people to join your newsletter during the registration process.  It’s an easy win that could net you hundreds of new readers.

2. Boost subscribers via a data collection gateway

Want more email addresses? Then you need to attract them with your expertise. Writing a white paper or industry guide that your target audience finds irresistible remains an excellent way to attract new subscribers. Simply offer the white paper for free in exchange for an email address.

The trick is to make your guide as valuable as possible. Consider commissioning a market research group who will empower you to publish fresh industry insight. The more value someone sees in your white paper, the more willing they will be to give you their data. Yes, there are upfront costs. But if you get 1,000 new subscribers, it’s worth it, right?

3. Host an event

Sometimes, simply adding a newsletter sign-up form to your home page will be enough to keep your new subscriber rates ticking over. But for real gains, you need to give people a reason to join you. Have you thought about hosting a free or subsidised event that will wow your target audience?

Provide a valuable event, process the bookings online, gather each attendee’s email address and let them know that they will be added to your email newsletter.And the added bonus is that you get to meet a number of potential prospects face-to-face.

4. Run a competition

If your prize is good enough, running a competition can expose you to hundreds – sometimes thousands – of new prospects. Make email address submission a required field when people enter the competition and add a line in the terms and conditions that entrants will be added to your email newsletter.

But – it’s all very well having hundreds of new email addresses. However, what’s the point if they don’t care about your business? A clever trick is to segment the competition entrants in your subscriber list and send an email campaign that introduces who you are, what you do and why your new subscribers should care.

5. Attract new subscribers through Facebook

Got a Facebook page for your business? We’re willing to bet that a lot of the people who have Liked your page aren’t subscribed to your newsletter. Yet. There are plenty of plug-ins out there that will add a sign-up form to your page. And if you’re a Constant Contact user, you can use our Join My List app that automates everything for you. Collect the email addresses of people who engage with you on Facebook, without lifting a finger.

6. Run a paid campaign in social media

Facebook Ads allow you to drive traffic to a newsletter signup page. With the right campaign you could gather thousands of new email addresses in a single month. Feels like a shot in the dark? Facebook’s lookalike audiences function allows you to target Facebook users who share similar characteristics to your existing email subscribers, significantly improving your chances of conversion.

And Facebook isn’t the only social media giant making it easy to win new subscribers. With Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards you can create mini-campaigns that allow engaged people to give you their email address by replying to a special type of promoted tweet that appears in their timeline. What are you waiting for?

7. Make it easy for people to sign up via mobile

Simple, elegant and devilishly smart, you can make it a cinch for your new prospects to join your list with mobile-friendly tools. They allow your reader to subscribe to your list quickly using a mobile phone, perfect for conferences or networking events.

Text to join: Prospects can join your list by sending a text message to a custom number that’s unique to your business.

8. Physical sign up form

For simplicity, it’s hard to beat a paper signup form. And it’s not hard to think of imaginative ways to incorporate them into your business. Running a restaurant? Add a postcard to each table inviting diners to leave their thoughts – as well as their email address. The incentive for doing so? Well, that could be anything from money off vouchers to a free bottle of bubbly on their birthday.

Running a fashion shop? Ask customers if they would like a copy of their receipt emailed to them. Working in a design agency? Have a signup form at reception that invites visitors and clients to receive weekly design tips via email. You are limited by your imagination only. So what will it be?

The most important thing to remember is to make it easy for people to subscribe. Don’t expect your visitor to trawl through the darkest depths of your website to find an over-complicated signup form. It’s about ease, speed and simplicity. A bunch of happy new subscribers could be just a few clicks away. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Have any questions about growing your list? Let us know in the comments below!

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