14 Tips and Tactics For Growing Your Email List

For engaging and then keeping customers, there is no method more tried-and-true than email.

Emails build brand awareness, create sales, generate leads, strengthen customer relationships, and keep your business top of mind. It also has an average ROI of $44.25 per dollar spent.

Of course, to get email marketing results, you need a healthy, growing list of subscribers willing to give you their email addresses and read your content. To build and increase your list, try these 14 tips.

1. Make the sign up process as easy as possible

The design of an email sign up page is completely different than your homepage or blog post. Every part of it should funnel users to the signup process. Get rid of the sidebar and links in copy. Have a single page with headline, benefits, call to action, and an opt-in form.

Brief Email Opt In

The Perfect Pour, a Maryland liquor store, requests the least information possible to encourage email sign ups.

2. Request as little data as necessary

The less information needed to complete a sign up form, the better. Copyblogger tested asking for a name and email address against asking for only an email address. More signed up when required to enter only an email address. Use follow-ups to nab other information.

3. Test a pop-up form

Social Media Examiner grew its email list by 234 percent in a year thanks in large part to pop-up forms that request email addresses from visitors. Some users find the feature annoying, but the blog reduced this by showing it only once per user.

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4. Use QR codes

Email marketing guru DJ Waldow found an irresistible email sign up request using a QR code at a sushi restaurant. What made it so? Its location (on the bathroom door), incentive (free sake or dessert), strong call to action, and the easy to notice code.

5. Host a webinar

A well-promoted webinar can grow email lists. Take it a step further by co-hosting a webinar. This allows you to tap into another business’ fan base and does the same for your co-host.

6. Support best material with opt-in forms

Have material that continually draws visitors or shows off your business’ expertise particularly well? Sure you do. Take advantage of your best material by including an email sign up form.

7. Selectively choose guest blogging opportunities

Like co-hosting a webinar, guest blogging exposes you to another business’ fans. When weighing guest blogging opportunities, look for sites that post bios and contact and site information above the fold. More people will see it and your email list will grow.

Email Sign Up with Incentive

In addition to soliciting email addresses in person, this business offers customers an incentive.

8. Get information in person

A customer checking out is the perfect time to ask if they’re interested in receiving occasional email updates from your business. It’s as easy as leaving a sign up sheet near the register.

9. Use social media

Social media may be a different arm of your marketing campaign, but that doesn’t mean the two can’t work together. Include a sign up form on your Facebook page. Occasionally tweet a link to an email sign up page with a call to action to sign up for newsletters. (Also link to the form in your email signature and Twitter bio.)

10. Offer free gifts

Someone debating whether to subscribe to an email might be swayed by a giveaway. Offer new subscribers a giveaway that relevant to the newsletter content. Try an ebook, for example.

11. Use text messaging

Text messaging is an easy call to action for traditional media, events, and foot traffic. Direct people to text a number to get involved, respond with a request for email, and confirm receipt of the email.

12. Let your subscribers do the work

Send a compelling offer—like a discount—to your current subscribers and encourage them to share it with their friends. Between your business’ offer and the friend’s recommendation, new users will quickly sign up.

13. Create newsletter archives page

Don’t let e-newsletters evaporate after sending them. Create a newsletter archive on your site. Seeing the type of content you’ve produced in the past will entice people to sign up.

14. Have an opt-in form at checkout

You’ve made a good enough impression to turn an online shopper into a buyer, keep that momentum going. Include an opt-in form at checkout. Be sure to let the customer know how well you keep their information private.

Image: RamburgMediaImages, The Borrowed Abode (Creative Commons)

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