How to Grow Your Email List: 10 Best Practices to Follow

How to Grow Your Email List: 13 Best Practices to Follow

There might be a lot of talk about social media, viral marketing, growth hacking, and paid media advertising, but that doesn’t mean email marketing is becoming any less valuable. It’s still alive and kicking. Once you crack the code on how to grow your email list, you can send effective marketing messages to your target audience and engage them in no time.

For most small businesses with shoestring budgets, this old school type of marketing is a go-to strategy. So, it should come as no surprise that at least 81% of small businesses still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel and 80% as their customer retention tool.

Are you not convinced yet? Well, don’t take my words for it. These some eye-open email marketing statistics below speak for themselves:

  • There are at least 3.9 billion daily email users.
  • More than 59% of marketers say email marketing is their biggest source of ROI.
  • More than half of customers (59%) claimed that marketing emails influence their buying decisions.
  • Over 73% of Millennials prefer to communicate and interact with brands via email.

From the staggering numbers above, we know that email has power. It’s an ace in the deck.

While email marketing seems like a no-brainer yet effective marketing strategy, one challenging task for marketers is growing their email lists.

After all, collecting emails is the first thing marketers need to do before sending emails to their audiences, right?

As a savvy marketer, you need to make sure you’re constantly adding new and fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns. This way, you can reach more and more targeted audiences, which can lead to more conversion rates.

Now, the question is, how to grow your email list?

This is what the post is for. In this post, we’ll dive more in-depth into simple, proven ways to entice people to join your email list.

How to Grow Your Email List: Why Does It Matter?

An effective email marketing strategy starts with email lists. The list is a collection of email addresses (and often also data) from people who have:

  • Subscribed for the newsletter from your website
  • ‘Opted-in’ to receive an incentive you offer
  • Purchased something from you and opted-in for further updates

For whatever reason, people who submit their email addresses to you permit you to keep their email on a list for future contact, including updates and promotions from your business.

However, here’s a harsh truth: your email list degrades by about 22.5% every year. Your subscribers come and go, and they might unsubscribe your emails somewhere along the line. 

This number is enough evidence of why you need to keep collecting more and more new emails: to make up for what you lose.

If you keep adding fresh emails to your list, you’ll have a much higher likelihood of getting your message seen and read.

In other words, you have more chances to expand your reach and engage more audiences, making them stick around your brand and convert into buying customers.

Building a list is one thing—if you want more powerful, reliable, and long-term results, you need to stick to the original ways, even if it takes a longer time. You can’t rely on worn-out tactics like email list buying or social media giveaways and sweepstakes as they only give you temporary results. 

Further Reading: The Top 38 Compelling Email Marketing Statistics for 2024

13 Impactful Ways to Grow Your Email List

Growing your email list is about convincing your audiences that they’ll get advantages from joining the list. They don’t simply give their email address away and expect nothing, do they?

In this case, you might need to find as many ways as possible to create platforms for your audiences to make up their mind and sign up in no time.

Below are some handy, actionable ways on how to grow your email list for a better email marketing strategy:

#1. Provide Valuable Content

content is king

“Content is king.”

Every savvy marketer sure knows that old, quite over-used adage well. But, no matter how much you hate the phrase, it’s true. Content is indeed king.

Your audiences don’t really care about what products you sell; they care more about the value you offer to them. And with high-performing content, you won’t only be able to grab their attention faster but also engage them.

High-performing content such as educational explainer videos, infographics, or case studies with statistics gives your audiences some reliable information. And when you offer the information they need, they tend to want more.

In this situation, you can add a call-to-action button to each of your website content to encourage the audiences to submit their email address so they can never miss new content from your brand.

Further Reading: 12 “Secrets” to Writing High Quality Content for Your Blog

#2. Create Multiple Signup Forms

When we talk about growing email lists, we talk about signup forms. It’s one of the most common and effective ways to collect email addresses from your audiences.

However, you need more than one signup form to collect more addresses. By offering multiple choices to sign up, you provide more options and experiences to your audiences to submit their email addresses.

Therefore, you will need to be more creative by combining different email marketing tools and methods for encouraging audiences to sign up. So, other than the classic contact forms, you can also create surveys, quizzes, ebook downloads, and more.

#3. Use Exit-Intent Pop-ups

ConvertKit Exit-Intent Pop-ups Templates

Pop-ups often get a bad rap; it’s annoying and intrusive. If you can use them well, it won’t disturb the user experience, and there will only be benefits.

Exit-intent popups are a type of pop-ups you can rely on to collect more subscribers and grow your email list. It also helps you to reduce abandonment by interacting with the audiences before they decide to close your website.

This type of pop-up helped Social Media Examiner add 250,000 new email addresses.

You can use exit-intent pop-ups to offer exclusive content, offer special discounts and events, suggest related posts, and more.

#4. Promote an Online Contest, Giveaways or Sweepstakes

Contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes are effective attention-grabbers that can help you grow your email list and reach potential customers in an exciting and organic way. Although your email list will likely consist of existing customers and those who are already aware of your brand, many people will share these types of emails with friends and family, to help them enjoy a potential win, as well–all while helping email list growth. When your opt-in form is circulated not only among your email subscribers, but their friends and family, your single email campaign reaches a much wider audience.

In addition to reaching potential new customers, giveaways can lend an air of generosity to your email content and help cement a relationship with existing customers (as well as new ones). Promoting your giveaway can mean linking to blog posts or social media posts that offer details of the giveaway or contest, or can be done entirely via email. Linking to existing posts will help bridge the gap between email subscribers and social media followers, however, as is a more effective and broad strategy. 

Further Reading: How to Do A Giveaway On Instagram in 12 Easy Steps

#5. Opt-in Gamified Campaigns


Gamification is a great way to get more eyeballs much faster as it satisfies a basic human need for rewards. It offers you an interactive and engaging email capture process for your website audiences.

Your audiences are probably clicking the close buttons on the signup forms for the 100th time that day. It can be overwhelming for them to see mediocre-looking signup forms over and over again. That’s why they are reluctant to give their email addresses to you.

That’s why email capture should be more enjoyable — beyond simply asking for audiences’ email addresses.

With gamification, they’ll get a new and fun experience while sharing their email address with you. You can use gamification to create:

  • Lucky Wheel
  • Scratch Catch
  • Pick a Gift

You can offer them free shipping, coupons, exclusive content, free email-course, and more for the rewards.

#6. Offer Special Discounts or Deals

Offer Special Discounts or Deals

Remember, your audience is only willing to share their email address with you if it benefits them. That’s why you need to offer them incentives in exchange for an email address.

Special discounts or deals might be one of the most common ways to collect email addresses, yet it remains effective to encourage people to join your email lists. You can also include a timer or a countdown to create a sense of urgency. 

What’s more, offering special discounts or deals won’t only help you grow your email lists faster but also boost your sales — one might say; a double whammy!

#7. Gate Your Exclusive Content

The next handy method on how to grow your email list is gating your content.

Instead of giving your high-performing, exclusive content away, you can always use them as a tool to collect more email addresses. Whether they’re explainer videos, articles, e-books, reports, or statistics, you can gate them so that it can only be accessed by audiences that have filled out your signup form and provided an email address.

Before you gate your content, make sure you give the audiences a sneak peek or a preview to generate interest. If they find it interesting and worth subscribing to, they’ll tend to submit their email address to see the entire version.

#8. Go Social

Social media can be potential places to perform your overall marketing strategy, including growing your email lists — of course.

You can do some tactics on social media platforms to get more audiences to join your email lists. You can start by creating effective, lead-generating Facebook Ads. By doing so, you’ll be able to target your exact demographic, making it easier to collect email addresses of the right audiences that actually care about your brand values and industry.

You can also leverage LinkedIn groups. As you might already know, LinkedIn is a potential social networking platform that provides you an excellent opportunity to speak directly to others who value your knowledge and skills.

By joining specific groups that resonate with your industry, you’ll get a higher chance to collect more emails from your niche. This way, it’d be much easier for you to build one-on-one connections so that you can send relatable email messages.

#9. Host Webinars

If growing your email lists is one of your top priorities on your overall marketing strategy, then webinars are absolutely worth the investment.

Webinars provide the audiences with some information and value they need. They’re also less hard-selling, so the audiences can enjoy and absorb the information without being intimidated by your product advertisements.

To host a webinar, you need to announce the webinar, send the members the reminders closer to the date, and share the link to the handouts or materials with the members. In each instance, you can collect the members’ email addresses to keep them up to date on the event’s progress.

You can also reuse or repurpose your webinars after they’ve been archived as new gated content. The members who have missed it out can still access the archived webinars after you share their email addresses with you.

#10. Utilize YouTube Call-to-Action Cards


Do you know that YouTube can also be a great platform on how to grow your email lists?

You can take advantage of the YouTube call-to-action cards and insert the links to signup forms on them. These cards are a small white box that appears on the upper right-hand corner of your video with a title. If your YouTube viewers click on it, they’ll get more information about the link you put on the card.

The key here is to include the link on a relevant video. For example, if you have a video that talks about video marketing, it’d be better if you put a link on the card that directs the viewers to other video marketing content so they can use it as additional resources.

Further Reading: YouTube Cards: What They Are and How to Best Leverage Them

#11. Create Social Proof

Your audiences’ inboxes are only getting more and more crowded each day. Therefore, they’ve become much pickier to sign up or subscribe to any newsletter. One thing is clear here: you need to convince them. In this case, creating social proof can be such a great strategy.

You can rely on customers’ testimonials or product reviews and place them on your website or sign-up form pages. It helps you to show your customers positive and fantastic experiences after using your product. That way, the new audience can understand why subscribing to your newsletter is worth it.

In other words, they will gain more confidence in joining your email lists. After all, people love to make decisions based on what others do, don’t they?

#12. Encourage Subscribers to Share and Forward Your Emails

Using tools like Sparkloop, you can incentivize your subscribers to help recruit new ones. This is an invaluable approach to email newsletters, because they encourage existing subscribers to reach out to friends, loved ones, coworkers, and more to get more email signups for your brand and improve your email marketing campaign and any email newsletters you may be sending out. Sparkloop is considered one of the best possible tools in the industry, because it is a comprehensive tool that makes it easy for people to not only provide referral links, but to also track how their referrals are doing. 

You can offer perks and rewards for referring people to your newsletter through Sparkloop, and build a once-small email list from scratch into a substantial portion of your marketing efforts. Because Sparkloop quickly and easily connects to your existing email platform, and offers tools to offer giveaways and referral rewards and incentives alike, it is often considered an invaluable member of available email marketing services. 

#13. Guest Blog for Other Websites and Share a Call-to-Action

If you are already guest blogging, instead of linking to your website in your bio, why not instead link to a call-to-action for your lead magnet? While guest blogging is a great starting point, there is more to successfully marketing your material and encouraging visitors to your blog, site, or social media accounts (and, subsequently, your email list), than simply posting your work on a blog and hoping for the best. Many people will skip the byline entirely, which means that guest writing alone is not enough; instead, create guest posts that directly link to your site in a call to action (CTA) in the conclusion of your piece. Just as email subject lines entice and encourage, a compelling CTA can encourage readers to hop over to your site and join your email list, whether they offer loyalty programs, or simply keep readers up to date on company practices, policies, and ideas. 

Creating high-quality content on other sites spreads your message far and wide, while adding a call to action and closely paying attention to the most successful posts on the site in question ensures that your guest post reaches as many people as possible and is more likely to convert visitors into subscribers.

Further Reading: [Free Ebook] The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging

Wrapping Up

That’s been some handy ways on how to grow your email lists to make your email marketing strategies work much more effectively and see that ROI takes effect an a regular basis.

As a savvy marketer, you must know that a successful email marketing strategy starts with a rock-solid list. No list, no results. With many methods (from the free and organic way to the paid ones), nothing competes with organic, homegrown ways you’ve developed from the ground up.

You don’t have to stick to only one method to grow your email lists. You can also try different methods and see what works best for your brand. The key here is to be consistent with your email building efforts. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day; neither was your email subscriber list.

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Author Bio

This guest post was written by Andre Oentoro. Andre is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). 

Hero photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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