Email marketing continues to be one of the top marketing channels in terms of ROI, so chances are that you’ve heard a number of marketing people telling you about the importance of building up a list.Nicole Krug

Great advice, but only takes you so far if you don’t know how to do it.

To get you started, here are eight ways to kick start the growth of your email list:

#1 Email signature

Encourage email sign ups by calling attention to your list in your day-to-day email. This is especially effective if you have a lead magnet to pair it with that says something about your business.

As an example, I utilize an email signature that says:

Need marketing solutions that work, but don’t have the time for hours of training? Take 5 minutes and get 5 actionable tips with the Business Rules video series.

You may be thinking, if I’m already emailing someone, why do I need to get them on my list?
Two reasons:

  1. We’ve all been CCed on emails that have a bunch of people we don’t actually know. Using an email signature in this way is not only a good way to tell people what you’re all but, but it may tempt them to jump on your list.
  2. Adding everyone you know to your email list is just bad manners – and technically illegal.

#2 Integrate email sign ups into every form on your website

Many businesses integrate an email sign up into their checkout form, but there may be other opportunities on your website. If you have any of the following forms on your site, make sure to add an email opt-in to that form. You can even program the box to be pre-checked for extra encouragement.

  • Quote requests
  • Calendar / meeting scheduling tools
  • Events (live or virtual)
  • Contact forms

#3 Integrate your sign up form on the top 5-10 pages on your website

You may already have an email sign up form on your website, but how many pages is it on? Increase your odds to capture emails by placing your sign up form on the most popular pages of your web site.

Bonus points if you customize the message to the page content. For example, on the social media page of my website, I could either feature an ebook about social media, or simply say something like:

Want to get the latest tips on using social media for business? Make sure to jump on our email list. We send out tips and advice quarterly.

Notice I went beyond the basic “subscribe to our newsletter” text and focused on the value they’d find by signing up.

You might also notice, that I mentioned the newsletter goes out quarterly. I’m setting expectations, but it is also a subtle strategy to let people know I’m not going to jam up their inbox with tons of messages.

#4 Use text messaging to grow your email list

Take advantage of SMS tools like Textiful to help you grow your email list. This is a freemium service designed to allow people to join your list by sending a text. It easily integrates with MailChimp, HubSpot and a number of other email clients

This option is especially useful for people who speak at events, video marketers and podcasters because it’s an easy method to capture people while you have their attention.

Why is it so useful?

Let’s use a podcast as an example. People often listen to podcasts on the go, so even if they love what they’re hearing, the odds are they will not stop what they are doing to pull up a website and search for a way to sign up for your email list.

But sending a text is simple. By giving out a keyword and six-digit code to text it to, you have an easy way to capture people in the moment.

Want to see how it works? Text SOCIAL to 444999 and check it out. (No spam, I promise!)

# 5 Social media About section

Call attention to your email list in the About sections of your social media profiles, especially on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn which allow for longer descriptions and specific links.

Remember that just telling people to “sign up for your email list,” isn’t going to do much. The truth is no one wants more email, so if you want to get someone to take action, you have to clearly show the value someone might get by being on your list. This could be anything from discounts to regular video content.

Focusing on “exclusive” benefits to email subscribers helps because no one wants to miss out on something special.

This is also a good spot for you to mention a lead magnet, if you have one because saying something like:

Take advantage of my hottest tips to grow your business AND be the first to hear about special deals when you join our community.

Is much more exciting than:

Join our email list for the latest company news!

#6 Grow your email list in a dead zone

This one takes a bit of creativity, but it could reap big rewards. Think of places where people are likely to be bored – waiting rooms, car repair shops, heck even bathrooms.
When people have time on their hands, you have a captive audience and a good opportunity to capture a lead – especially if you combine it with the SMS signup from tip #1.
What’s tricky about this one is that it may require partnering with another business if you don’t have any dead zones of your own. Partnerships can lead to all kinds of opportunities, so don’t be afraid to explore new paths!

#7 Draw a winner

Anytime you have an opportunity to interact with a crowd, create a contest by drawing a winner from the business cards.

A restaurant might keep a fishbowl at the hostess desk to collect business cards with the promise to draw a winner of a free lunch every week.

Anyone attending a trade show or conference could use the same strategy. If you’re not sure what to offer, you can never go wrong with a $50 Visa gift card.

Most people understand that when they put in their business card, they will receive some marketing campaigns from you. In the spirit of transparency, it’s still a good idea to note they are signing up for the email list by dropping in their card. Yes, this can be in fine print!

If you don’t have an opportunity to see people in person, you can still take advantage this strategy by running a content and sharing it on social media.

#8 Train employees to grow your email list

Train your team to talk about the benefits of your email list anytime they interact with a customer. This could be on the phone or in person.

This is especially relevant for retail businesses, and something a cashier can mention when a customer is making a purchase. Some customers will say no, but some will say yes!

If you want a few more ways to motivate people to join your list, consider utilizing a lead magnet as an incentive.

Author Bio:

Nicole Krug is a digital brand strategist focused on making the internet a friendlier place for small business owners. Since founding Social Light in 2009, she has helped clients hone their digital marketing strategies to bring more exposure to their brands and boost their bottom lines.

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