30+ Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List

30+ Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List

Maintaining a steady stream of new subscribers and leads is essential to the health of an ecommerce business. When potential customers complete a signup form and agree to receive your email marketing campaigns, you gain a lead to nurture (and, hopefully, convert into a lifelong customer).

To be successful at collecting email addresses, you need to be both creative with your lead generation offers and persistent about promoting them across your website and social media channels.

In this article, we’ll go over more than 30 great strategies that can boost your email list-building efforts.

What is an email list?

An email list is exactly what it sounds like: a list of email addresses that you’ve collected through lead generation campaigns. The people on this list have all agreed to receive marketing messages from you via email.

This gives you the opportunity to send out promotions, new content, and other important information to everyone on your email list.

There are many ways you can gather email addresses, including through social media platforms, landing pages, and using signup forms on your website. Let alone the special tools and the LinkedIn email finder.

Why should you focus on growing your email list?

A healthy email list is an incredibly important asset for any ecommerce company, offering a direct line of communication with your target audience. 

This direct communication can be used in many different ways in your marketing efforts, especially if you regularly send out valuable content that your email subscribers are excited to open and read.

When it comes to generating revenue-boosting conversions and sales, email marketing campaigns are one of the most reliable digital marketing channels. Website visitors who land on an ecommerce site from an email buy something 4.24% of the time, compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and just 0.59% of social media users.

The high conversion rates of email marketing messages mean that the channel has an excellent ROI. In fact, email marketing creates $38 in revenue for every $1 invested in it.

Finally, your list of email subscribers is yours and yours alone. It’s a type of owned media, which means that you don’t have to rely on any third parties (like social media platforms or advertising services) to use it. You’re in total control.

What are the best ways to grow your email list in 2023?

Now that you know why email marketing is so important, it’s time to talk about exactly how you can grow your list. 

Over the many years that email marketing has been around, digital marketers have come up with a huge range of tactics that could take your lead generation efforts to the next level.

As you go through this list, think about which strategies will work best for your brand and target audience.

Let’s get started with…

1. Embed newsletter subscription forms into your blog

If someone is reading a blog post on your website, you know they have some interest in your brand and products (or at the very least, in the topic of the article). If you embed a signup form in your blog posts, the website visitors who enjoyed your content will likely subscribe to your email marketing list.

How to grow email list with embedded newsletter subscription forms

2. Segment your visitors based on interest and display relevant email capture popups

It’s easier to grow your email list if you show new customers offers that they’re actually interested in. You can use personalization to show one lead generation offer to a certain group of customers (in the example below, women interested in weight loss) and different offers to other segments of your target audience.

Grow your email list with personalized popups

3. Offer a mystery discount

Customers love to receive a discount code, but they’re used to seeing these kinds of offers. Using the enticing offer of a “mystery discount” can net you more subscribers than a classic discount offer (like 15% off).

Grow your email list with a mystery discount

5. Offer content upgrades on your blog

Using a lead magnet (like a content upgrade) is a great way to direct visitors toward your contact list even if they’re not ready to make a purchase yet. Many top-of-funnel web visitors fit into this group, since they’re still learning about their problems and all the solutions that are out there.

A free ebook that’s about the same topic as the blog post you’re promoting it on will lead to a lot of new email subscribers.

6. Promote newsletter subscription on a popup

Popups are an excellent way to grab your visitors’ attention, whether on a landing page, your homepage, or a product page. When you display a signup form in a popup, people will notice it!

You can also explain all the benefits of signing up for your marketing emails in the popup, like in the example below.

Grow your email list with website pop-ups

7. Segment your visitors based on traffic source and promote personalized offers

By using website personalization, you can grow your email list by adapting your signup form depending on where each visitor is coming from. 

For example, visitors from a certain social media network could see an offer that’s specifically targeted at them, like in the example below where only visitors from Instagram would see the campaign. 

8. Offer a discount for cart abandoners

Although it’s frustrating to lose conversions to cart abandonment, you should remember that these are still interested customers. After all, they took a lot of time to go through your product pages and find an item they liked enough to add to their cart.

This means that you can still try to get some email signups from this group by offering a discount code. And even better, some of these users will even decide not to abandon their cart after all and make use of the discount that’s in their inbox.

9. Offer free gifts/samples

Offering free samples of new or exciting products is a great way to introduce your customers to what you have to offer. There’s always a chance that a free sample will lead to a lifelong customer.

You can offer a free sample in exchange for completing an email signup form, like in the example below.

Grow your email list with a pop-up offering free sample

10. Create a quiz

Using a quiz to collect email addresses is both fun for your customers and useful for your overall marketing strategy. That’s because quizzes bring in valuable information about what types of products individual users are interested in, which you can use to provide personalized experiences.

Here’s a popup sequence that starts with a simple question, asks for an email address, and then finishes with personalized product recommendations.

Grow your email list with conversational pop-ups
Grow your email list with conversational pop-ups
Grow your email list with conversational pop-ups

11. Use a Trojan Horse popup 

A Trojan Horse popup is a lead generation strategy that uses multi-step signup forms to collect email addresses and phone numbers at the same time.

The first page of the lead generation popup offers a mystery discount in exchange for signing up for an email contact list. But then, the second page asks the visitor if they’d like to “double their discount” by also signing up for SMS messages.

This is a great strategy if you’re also interested in using SMS marketing to stay in touch with your customers.

Grow your email list with a trojan horse pop-up
Grow your email list with a trojan horse pop-up

12. Put an opt-in form in the footer

This is one of the most popular ways to grow your email list. Everyone knows that newsletter subscription signup forms are usually located at the very bottom of a website, so that’s where they go to look for them.

However, while you should definitely include an opt-in form in your footer, that shouldn’t be the only place you have it. Use multiple signup forms across your website to make sure you collect as many new subscribers as possible.

Grow your email list with footer sign-ups

13. Include a newsletter signup option at checkout

Another natural place for an opt-in form is on the checkout page of your site. After all, you know that customers who have made it this far into your sales process are interested in your brand and products.

After they sign up, you can send them tailored email marketing campaigns that keep them thinking about your brand.

Grow your email list with checkout sign-ups

14. Ask your subscribers to forward your emails

One way to grow your email list through word of mouth is by asking your existing subscribers to forward your emails to their friends and family. 

Then, if you have a “signup” link or call-to-action button, many of these new people you’ve reached could become new subscribers.

15. Collect email addresses in your brick-and-mortar store

If you have both an ecommerce site and a brick-and-mortar store, you definitely want to be promoting your email marketing newsletter in person, too.

When you talk to your customers face to face, many of them will be happy to sign up for your marketing emails.

16. Use lucky wheels

Lucky wheel campaigns, which offer customers the chance to win a discount, have very high conversion rates compared to other types of signup forms. 

They bring a sense of fun to your website and people are excited to hit the signup button and try their luck.

17. Host webinars and other events

If you want to generate more subscribers, you need to be offering high-quality content. 

Webinars are an interactive way of connecting with your customer base and can act as a great lead magnet if you make attendance conditional on signing up for email marketing messages.

18. Host giveaways

Hosting giveaways on your social media pages can help generate a lot of hype around your brand as people post about you and tag their friends. This is doubly true if you’re running an influencer-led campaign.

19. Add a signup button to your Facebook page

Since you’ve already done the work of setting up and maintaining your social media accounts, you should be using them to help grow your email list! Facebook lets you add a signup call-to-action button to your business page.

20. Add a call-to-action to your Instagram bio

Speaking of social media, it’s a great idea to add a call-to-action to your bio on Instagram. Tons of people will see it, and at least some of them will decide to become subscribers.

21. Make some of your content gated

Users are often very motivated to gain access to exclusive content that not everyone can get a hold of. While you want to offer some of your content to everyone, It’s a good idea to  require customers to sign up for emails in order to access some of it.

Content upgrades like this make it clear that there’s a real benefit to signing up for email messages from your brand.

22. Promote your loyalty program

Another way to grow your email list is by connecting it with your loyalty program. If you can offer real benefits to your loyal customers in exchange for signing up via an opt-in campaign, they’ll be happy to give you their email addresses.

23. Use teasers with your popups

As mentioned, popup opt-in forms are very attention-grabbing, but this has the drawback of potentially interrupting a user’s browsing experience.

If you’d like to avoid this, you can use a teaser to show a smaller version of your popup (that “teases” the offer) in the bottom right or left corner of the user’s screen. Then, they can see the full popup by clicking on the teaser.

24. Use a scratch card popup

A scratch card popup is another version of the gamified spin-to-win popups featured above. These fun popups also boast high conversion rates as a result of how fun and engaging they are.

25. Use a pick-a-gift popup

Some of the best lead generation software (like OptiMonk) will also give you the option of using a pick-a-gift popup as a gamified lead magnet.

As you can see below, these popups are great for the Holiday Season!

26. Break your popup into multiple steps 

As we’ve seen in a few examples above, breaking your popup into multiple steps can help you capture email addresses and other important information.

Importantly, you shouldn’t ask for all the information you want to gather on one page of an email signup form, since very few customers will want to fill everything out. Instead, you can use a multi-step popup to ask for one piece of information at a time.

This will ensure you can get the information you need from your new subscribers without hurting your conversion rates.

27. Put some fun into your messaging

At this point, everyone has seen thousands and thousands of email signup forms. That’s why it’s a good idea to use humor to inject some fun and uniqueness into yours. Remember to think about your brand’s personality and your audience to ensure you hit the right notes! 

Grow your email list on your landing page or homepage with popups

28. Offer free shipping 

A free shipping offer is an excellent new lead generation offer because consumers never want to pay for shipping! If you can remove that pain point while using it as a lead magnet, you’ll grow both your contact list and your sales at the same time.

29. Promote seasonal offers

Promoting your seasonal sale is a great way to collect email subscribers. It’s a powerful incentive as the seasonal deadline increases the urgency and encourages visitors to buy sooner. 

Grow your email list with seasonal popups

30. Offer subscribers-only deals

Another strategy is to offer exclusive deals to your subscribers. This makes it clear that someone who shops with you will be missing out if they’re not on your email list.

It also makes everyone on your email list feel like valued customers because they get access to deals that other people don’t.

31. Use your 404/error pages to build your email list

Instead of treating every error page that a user sees as an unmitigated failure, why not try to grow your email list by including a “Join Now” call-to action-button on your error and 404 pages?

32. Tease your seasonal campaigns

Ecommerce is an industry that’s highly affected by seasonal trends. Black Friday/Cyber Monday, for example, is a busy period where you need to maximize your revenue. It’s a great idea to use your email signup campaigns to promote your seasonal sales and campaigns.

Use embedded content on your landing pages to build your email list

Now you know how to grow your email list, but if you also want to make sure that your email campaigns deliver an outstanding ROI, watch this quick video:

Wrapping up

Hopefully you’ve found some ideas to help you grow your email list that will work for your online store!

As you roll out these campaigns, make sure that you have a nice welcome email ready to send to whoever signs up! Now that you have a new lead, it’s time to take full advantage of all the potential that email marketing offers. 

If you’d like to grow your email list quickly, give OptiMonk a try. Most of the strategies mentioned in this article can be set up with OptiMonk within minutes!

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