Grow your email marketing list progressively

1. Before you grow your list, ensure you have a welcome email or other onboarding program, so new signups will be engaged immediately.

This should go as soon as possible or immediately after someone signs up and should include a bit about your company – including reinforcing what value they get for signing up for your emails. Include, if applicable, what do you want them to do now that they’re an email subscriber. For example, make an online purchase.

2. Re-engage or trim out unengaged subscribers in your current email database.

Target those who haven’t opened or clicked in over a year with a set of 3 emails designed to re-engage them. If they don’t re-engage, remove them from your list. Automate this campaign so it runs all year, or complete a cleansing exercise once a year after your busiest seasons.

3. Include something of value to entice your website visitors or social media followers to sign up and convert them into email subscribers.

For example, you can offer 10% off their first order or a free ebook download.

4. Clearly state the value you’re promising on your opt-in form or landing page where you’re capturing email addresses.

How will you use the subscriber’s information? What can they expect from you? How will you protect their data?

5. Add a CTA to link to your email opt-in form anywhere you aren’t asking for a higher value action like buying.

For example, add an opt-in opportunity to your home page or a popover modal, but if you’re already capturing requests for information, don’t muddy the waters with a lesser ask.

6. Write down all the places where you meet new customers and prospects offline or outside your website as well.

Create a value exchange for getting an opt-in at offline interactions as well. For example, filling out a form in exchange for a copy of a presenter’s slides. If you have a mobile app that requires signup, ask for email opt-in there.

7. Ask your best customers, new customers, or even employees to refer new email signups or new customers for you.

Referral campaigns can be a great way to grow organically.

8. Reach out to brands, vendors, or industry partners that also target your prospect audience and ask if they'd be interested in a cross promotion.

For example, create a campaign where they introduce your brand to their email list in exchange for you doing the same for them.

9. If you have a media budget and growing your list of email subscribers shows a measured return on investment, use part of the budget to acquire a new audience.

You can do this also if your marketing team is asking that you grow your list quickly, as many of the organic tactics may take more time. Don’t forget to establish the value you’ll offer in exchange for an opt-in. For example, create a look alike paid media campaign on platforms like Google or Facebook, targeting online users who look like or act like your current best customers. Or create a co-branded opt in campaign with companies like AdQuire that feature your opt-in offer on the thank-you page of other popular brands’ email opt-in forms. Another paid option is to create a Register to Win campaign, promoted with paid media and social channels. Ask your current subscribers to share the promotion for their chance to win the prize, too.