How To Grow Your Email Marketing List In No Time: 34 Proven Strategies

By JoAnne D. | Blogging

how to grow your email marketing list

So you’ve taken the huge leap and built your email list. Now it’s time to convince more people to sign up for it. In today’s post, I list 34 ways on how to grow your email marketing list from various sources. Plus, I included a resource list of excellent tools to help you implement these tactics.

Recap: The Basics of Building an Email List For Marketing

Before we begin growing your email list, let me just recap what you’ve learned from the previous article on how to build an email list.

By now, you should have the following email list basics:

  • A lead magnet
  • A landing page for your lead magnet
  • Various opt-in forms on your blog
  • An email list stored in your email service
  • A welcome email plus other scheduled emails

emails to various devices

Now that you have these in place, it’s time to take it up a notch and start growing your email list.

You’ll notice that some of the techniques look a lot like blog promotion tactics. And to a degree, they are, because your goal is to drive more traffic to your blog. However, instead of merely aiming to have more visitors read your content, your goal is now to have more visitors read your content and sign up to your mailing list as well.

Thus, the goal this time is to drive more traffic to a specific page, and that is your landing page to sign up for your mailing list.

How To Grow Your Email Marketing List

Through Your Blog

There’s no better way to start than from your blog itself. Your readers are on your blog because they’re interested. Since you already have the basics in place, here are some additional techniques to help you grow your email list.

1. Create mobile-specific opt-ins.

Google has started to penalize sites that use “intrusive interstitials”. If you have a popup strategy on your blog, it might be beneficial for you to create opt-in forms that are specific to mobile users so you can convince them to sign up. For your opt-in to be non-intrusive, it needs to not cover your content and has to have a way to a close button that’s easy to tap.

2. Create a custom 404 error page.

A 404 or Not Found error message is displayed when your visitor clicks on an incorrect URL or if the URL was valid but the content has been unpublished or deleted. If someone sees this, it means they tried to click a link to your page, meaning they were interested.

Clicking on it and seeing nothing but the usual 404 page can be disappointing for them, but you can turn it around by customizing the error page and offering them a lead magnet and a chance to sign up to your mailing list. It’s like saying, “Sorry I couldn’t give you what you wanted, but would you be interested in this instead?”

Stopping Scams 404 Error Page

Our 404 page, for example.

3. Add a link to your landing page on your navigation bar.

The navigation bar occupies prime real estate on your page, and it typically has few items on it. Adding a link to your landing page on there increases its visibility and the chances that it’ll be clicked by an interested visitor.

4. Place an opt-in checkbox to the comment section.

Adding a checkbox to opt in on your contact form next to the Submit comment button gives your commenters an easy option to subscribe to your email list. They’re taking the time to comment, and they’re already giving their email address to be able to see replies to their comments. Chances are they’ll want to receive updates from you, too.

5. Add an opt-in checkbox to your checkout page.

If you’re already selling your digital product on your blog, and your reader is buying it, it’s safe to say they’re interested in what you have to offer. Adding a checkbox to opt in on your checkout page is simple for you and makes it simple for them as well to sign up for your mailing list.

6. Host a contest.

I’ve previously talked about hosting a contest to promote your blog. This time, instead of merely sharing your blog post, the requirement is that to enter the contest, your readers must join your mailing list.

Because you’re promoting your mailing list, your giveaway should not be a prize that everyone wants. The prize needs to be relevant to your blog niche and what your content is all about. If you’re just giving away cash, you’ll get a ton of signups at first and then a ton of unsusbscribes. You want people who will find your blog posts and content valuable enough for them to sign up and keep you in their inbox.

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From Your Content

Your content is the main reason your readers visit your blog, but it can’t speak for itself. You have to promote it to convince your readers to sign up for your mailing list.

7. Republish old content.

If you have old content that doesn’t get traffic any more, now’s a great time to update it, include a lead magnet, and repromote it like you would do for your new posts. You can say it was “updated with 5 new steps” or “updated for this year” to make it clear that while it is an old post, you’ve worked on it so it’s relevant even today.

8. Find and promote your evergreen content.

It could be one of your pillar posts, or a post that you least expect. But every successful blog has this post that doesn’t necessarily have the highest traffic ever, but is consistently being visited; months or even years after it was posted. You’ll need to find that post and promote it. It’s so valuable that people would probably want to sign up to your mailing list to get similar content.

evergreen forest

Another way you can use it is to make it into an ebook or into another format (e.g., slideshow or video tutorial) and then make it your main lead magnet.

9. Continue creating great content.

As I’ve said time and again, and will no doubt say again, helping people and providing value through your content is the number one reason people will go to your blog, sign up for your mailing list, and buy from you. So never stop creating killer content.

By Beefing Up Your Lead Magnets

By now, you should have more ideas about what lead magnets you can offer your audience. You can always do better, though. Here are some ways to level up your lead magnets and attract more leads.

10. Create an email challenge.

If you already know how to set up an autoresponder (if not, we’ll be talking about this in my next article), this can be a type of email course you can use to attract subscribers to your regular mailing list. It can be a 7-day, 14-day, or even 30-day challenge, depending on how complicated the tasks are and how likely people can achieve the goal in the amount of time you provided.

These are very engaging, especially if you encourage them to email you back with their responses. Also, people will want to share this stuff with their friends and family if you remind them that goals are more easily met when doing them with someone close to them. Don’t forget to put a CTA on each and every email to sign up to your regular mailing list.

11. Create content upgrades for each and every blog post.

Yikes. This one seems very intimidating when you have plenty of blog posts. But hear me out.

A content upgrade is a lead magnet that’s specific to a single piece of content you already have. This can be a blog post, or a video tutorial, or a podcast that you published. Because it’s an add-on to the content your reader is already engaged with, it has a high chance of convincing your reader to sign up to your mailing list.

You don’t have to do it all at once. Start by going back to your most important blog posts; those that had the most traffic or the most engaging according to your audience. Create content upgrades from these.

Continue until eventually all of your past posts and content have their own upgrades. Make sure that all of these content upgrades have their own opt-in forms within and after the blog post or specific content it belongs to.

Moving forward, make it a habit to create a content upgrade every time you create a blog post or any other content.

12. Create a resource library.

Once you have accumulated blog posts and content upgrades, you can compile it into a page as a resource library grouped by category. Just like it’s free to access your blog posts and their upgrades, it’s free to access this library; only, one must be subscribed to your email list.

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Using Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms are a great place to generate leads outside of your blog. But don’t feel like you need to post in every single social media site.

social media platforms

Select the social media platforms that you’re already on and then test one or two strategies to see if they work for you. Don’t sign up for another social media platform just for the sake of getting new leads. Chances are your most engaged readers are already on the social media platforms that you’re currently a part of (if you selected wisely), so focusing on those platforms is your best bet.

13. Include a CTA in all your social media bios.

Aside from using your bio to describe you and your blog, include a compelling CTA to drive your social media followers to sign up for your email list.

14. Add a pinned tweet with a CTA on Twitter.

A pinned tweet appears on top of your profile page such that it’s the first tweet anyone sees when visiting your Twitter page. Tweet with a CTA and a link to join your email list and pin it.

15. Post a photo of your main lead magnet on Instagram.

In the comments, refer to the link on your profile to the landing page to download your lead magnet and subscribe to your email list.

16. Set up your Facebook page CTA to join your mailing list.

You can add a CTA button to your Facebook page that links to your landing page.

17. Add an email signup tab to your Facebook page.

A signup form right on your Facebook page will allow you to collect email addresses right on your Facebook page so that followers don’t have to leave that window.

18. Create a private Facebook group exclusive to members of your mailing list.

Include a CTA in the group description to your landing page so that people wanting to be part of the Facebook group know exactly how; that is, to join your mailing list. Include access to this Facebook group to the benefits of joining your mailing list so that people signing up elsewhere know about it.

19. Add a link to your landing page in LinkedIn.

In your LinkedIn profile, under the Experience section, you can include a link to your landing page. Those who look at your LinkedIn profile should be able to see it. Bonus: LinkedIn imports the image from your landing page, making it a visual CTA as well.

20. Create a YouTube CTA.

You can add a callout link to your landing page on the top of your YouTube video using YouTube’s built-in editor. You can also include links to the description of every video.

21. Pin your landing page on your Pinterest.

Create a pinnable image of your landing page and pin to a relevant board with a link to your landing page.

22. Answer questions on Quora.

Aside from establishing your authority, answering questions on Quora is a great way to provide an opportunity for people to sign up for your mailing list. Simply put a link to your landing page on your bio, and then find a question related to your niche that you can answer substantially. Plus points if you already have a blog post that addresses it, so you can link to it too.

23. Promote your lead magnet on your social media accounts.

Aside from your regular posting schedule about new blog posts and other updates, you can insert some posts about your lead magnet, encouraging your followers to sign up to your mailing list. Don’t confuse your followers with more than one CTA in a post, though. If you want to promote your blog post, promote that. If you want to promote your lead magnet, promote that.

24. Post in Facebook groups, Google+ communities, LinkedIn groups, and Pinterest group boards.

Tread very carefully here, but if you focus on the value of your offer rather than spamming the group, this can be a great way to place your landing page in front of an interested audience. Remember to give more value than you take and never be spammy.

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Through Your Emails To Your Mailing List

Your emails to your mailing list can also be used to grow your email list. Is that the blogger’s version of Inception or what?


Image Created by Tom Francis | CC BY-SA 2.0

25. Offer exclusive content and discounts.

Aside from a bonus blog post every now and then, emphasize the promise of exclusive content and discounts available only to members of your mailing list as a benefit of joining. If you can manage this weekly, then great, but it doesn’t even have to be that often.

Make it achievable for you, and if that means being able to promise exclusive content monthly instead of weekly, so be it. The exclusivity is what you need to focus on; that only people who subscribe can get these.

26. Ask your leads to share your lead magnet.

Your leads already had the opportunity to do this on their Thank You page when they initially signed up. But you can always include a CTA at the end of your usual emails to share your landing page to their friends or colleagues who might be interested. Or you can send an email solely for sharing your landing page to others.

27. Breathe new life to an aging email list with a re-opt-in campaign.

If your email list is getting old, and you notice your open rates going down, it may be time to ask your list if they still want to receive emails from you. Send an email to your list asking them to click a link to affirm they still want to receive emails. Include all the benefits of staying in touch, as well as a promise to remove those who don’t click the link. It may seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense to only keep those leads who are interested.

Of course, reward your leads who chose to stay with a freebie or discount.

28. Instead of a welcome email, set up a welcome sequence.

That first introductory email is crucial because it’s your chance to offer up a great first impression to your leads. So instead of cramming everything in one email that they may not read, why not turn it into a sequence of emails instead? That way, aside from merely introducing yourself and your blog, you actually get to “show them around” your blog.

For example, your first email could be the obligatory intro. The second email could be your best content, and then the third could be a survey or a question meant to spark a conversation. It could be as complex as “What are your goals and what seems to be your biggest obstacle?” or something as mundane as “How did you find my free ebook/checklist/template?”

From Other Blogs/Sites

Adding to leads from your visitors is definitely a priority, but leveraging audiences of other blogs and websites can also be a strategy you can employ. Here are some ways on how to grow your email list from other blogs.

network of people

29. Actively participate in forums in your niche.

If you followed my advice and joined forums in your niche, you should already be participating in at least one of them. Place a link to your email list landing page on your forum signature (if this is allowed) and profile/bio, and continue replying to people’s posts as you normally do. As with all communities, this is a “give more than you take” situation. Only participate when you have something valuable to add to the discussion.

30. Guest post on other blogs.

By now, you should have some bloggers or influencers that you’ve been in contact with. Contribute relevant, high-value articles on other popular blogs in your niche. Create a lead magnet and landing page specifically for that guest post, and link to it on your author bio instead of the homepage of your blog.

31. Cross promote with another blogger.

Instead of asking influencers to promote your newsletter or your blog, cross promote your respective mailing lists. That is, you promote theirs while they promote yours. You both can do social media promotion or guest posting on each others’ blogs. Whatever you agree on, be sure to hold up your end of the deal.

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Other Tactics

These are tactics that don’t fit in the categories above, but are nonetheless worth trying.

32. Add a CTA to your email signature.

Aside from links to your social media, you can add a CTA on your email signature to put it in front of people who you regularly communicate with but aren’t part of your mailing list yet.

33. Add an “out of office” message with a link to sign up to your mailing list.

If you’re going on vacation or otherwise not going to be checking your email for an extended period of time, you usually set up an “on vacation” or “out of office” email to be sent to whoever emails you during that period. It can’t hurt to place a CTA in that email encouraging the recipient to join your mailing list.

34. Place an opt-in CTA to your email receipt.

If you’re already selling your product and someone buys something from your blog, they’re probably going to want to be part of your mailing list as well. Add a CTA to the email receipt you send them so that it’s easy for them to sign up for your mailing list. You can offer a freebie or better yet, a discount on their next purchase.

Resource List: Tools To Help You Grow Your Email Marketing List

There are myriad tools to help you grow your email marketing list. Here’s a compilation of the best tools to help you grow your email list.

Final Words

I hope you learned at least a couple of strategies on how to grow your email marketing list. I just have some reminders before we wrap up.

Keep A Backup Of Your Email List

As your email list grows, you’ll probably make some missteps, and technical glitches can strike at any time. You’ll want to be prepared to change email service providers in a snap while you get everything fixed with your old service. This backup can also be handy if in case your email service suddenly closes shop or terminates your account for any reason.

Write Emails Your Leads Want To Actually Read

If your emails don’t have content that people want, you won’t be able to grow your email list. You might be able to initially convince some visitors to sign up, but if your emails don’t have anything they find valuable, they won’t stay in your email list for long.

“If You Don’t Ask, The Answer Is Always No.”

That’s part of a quote by Nora Roberts. I know she isn’t exactly a marketer, but this principle applies to email marketing. If you don’t ask your visitors to sign up, they won’t. Wherever and whenever it makes sense to ask, ASK.

Believe In What You Have To Offer

Whether it’s your blog posts, your lead magnets, your content upgrades, or your emails themselves, believe that they have value. Believing in your creations and that they’ll help others will help you convince your readers that signing up for your email list is worth it.

girl helping another girl up a mountain trail

Do you have any questions? Did I miss anything? Which of these strategies will you apply today? Share in the comments below!

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About the Author

JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.

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