How to get more email subscribers

If you want to grow your business, you can spend more time posting on social media, improving your SEO, and attending networking events. These strategies can help you get more traffic, leads, and customers. But no matter how well they’re working for you, you’re leaving lots of money on the table if you’re ignoring your email list.

Why should growing your email list be one of your top priorities? Because email converts better than all other marketing channels. Period.

That’s why experts say that your sales and growth depend on the size of your email list.

Sure, you may be able to make some money by promoting your store on Instagram or getting new clients at an industry event. But if you’re not taking advantage of one of the most effective ways to get leads and customers, you’re seriously limiting how much your business can grow (and, as a result, how much $$$ you can make).

So what can you do to convince your audience to get off their proverbial Internet couch and hop on your email list?

Use these 16 easy strategies to get more email subscribers.

 

 

Having a hard time getting new subscribers for your email list?
Learn my 4-step formula for building your email list like a pro.
Download the free email list builder cheat sheet.

1. Discounts

There was a point in time when you could get someone to sign up for your email list without offering something in return. But those days are long gone.

It’s not that people aren’t interested in what you have to offer. But because people get bombarded with emails every day, you’ve gotta show them that you’re worth the trouble of getting yet another email in their inbox.

What’s a great way to do this if you sell physical or digital products? Offer new subscribers a discount on their next purchase.

Example: When people sign up for Banana Republic’s email list, they get a 15% discount on their next purchase.

 

email list incentives

 

2. Giveaways

Don’t want to discount your products? Offer services that aren’t easy to discount? Run a giveaway instead. With a giveaway, you enter people into a draw for a prize in exchange for signing up for your email list.

It’s true that some percentage of the people who sign up will do it just for the chance to win the prize. So they may not be the engaged subscribers you really want on your list.

But you can minimize this issue by choosing a prize that only your ideal customer would be interested in. For example, if you’re a Pinterest marketing specialist, you might offer a free online Pinterest course or even a year of free Pinterest account management as a prize.

Example: Buffer grew its email list by asking people to sign up in exchange for having the chance to win a free Buffer plan for life.

 

 

email list incentives

 

3. Lead magnets

All this talk about discounts and giveaways may make you think that you need to have a product or service that you can offer for free if you want to grow your email list.

But I’ve got good news for you: that’s not true! Because one of the most popular ways to get more email subscribers is to promote lead magnets on your website or blog.

A lead magnet is a free resource that your audience can download or receive by signing up for it with their email address. Lead magnets can be any free resource that your audience would find useful. But some of the most popular ones are checklists, cheat sheets, and templates. For example, if you’re a Facebook marketing expert, you might offer a cheat sheet on how to create the perfect Facebook Ad.

And if you’re short on time, you can even just take one of your best blog posts and turn it into a handy dandy, easy-to-print PDF.

Related: 11 common lead magnet mistakes you may be making + 42 free lead magnet ideas

Example: Caitlin Bacher offers a Facebook group road map as her key lead magnet.

 

email list incentives

 

 

4. Content upgrades

Another effective way to get more email subscribers on your list is to use content upgrades. Content upgrades are a special type of lead magnet because they’re specific to the topic of a given blog post. And in particular, they help people take the next step or implement the tips or strategies you share in the blog post.

For example, if you’re a social media manager and you have a blog post on using Instagram Stories to promote your business, you might offer an Instagram Stories checklist as a content upgrade.

Because content upgrades focus on the same topic as their corresponding blog post, they tend to convert better than lead magnets do. And this makes sense. After all, if I’m interested in learning about Instagram Stories and I clicked on a blog post about Instagram Stories, I’m going to be more interested in a content upgrade on Instagram Stories than in a general social media lead magnet, like a content calendar.

Related: Content upgrades: What they are and how they can boost your email subscribers + free list of 27 content upgrade ideas

Example: In my blog post on the 7 most effective types of email subject lines, I offer 63 free email subject line templates as a content upgrade.

 

 

content upgrade tip

 

5. Resource bundle

Want to boost the value of a free resource without having to spend a lot of time creating something fancy like a video training series? Create a bundle of related lead magnets or content upgrades.

For example, if you’re a social media manager, you could create a resource bundle that includes an Instagram Stories checklist, an Instagram bio cheat sheet, and a content calendar for Instagram posts.

When you offer multiple related resources, you make it harder for your audience to resist the temptation to opt in and become email subscribers.

Example: In a blog post about influencer marketing, CoSchedule offers a micro influencer outreach bundle.

 

email list incentives

 

 

6. Resource libraries

If you already have lots of lead magnets or content upgrades, you can take the resource bundle idea a step further and create a resource library. Resource libraries are a great way to convince your audience to become email subscribers. After all, just by handing over their email address once, they can get access to ALL of your free resources. Pretty sweet, right?

Example: Melyssa Griffin offers access to her resource library as an opt-in incentive.

 

email list incentives

 

 

 

Having a hard time getting new subscribers for your email list?
Learn my 4-step formula for building your email list like a pro.
Download the free email list builder cheat sheet.

Send me the cheat sheet

 

7. Gated content

Have you ever eagerly clicked on an online news article only to find that you can’t read past the first paragraph without subscribing? That’s called gated content. And although it looks fancy, you can easily set it up on your blog with a tool like OptinMonster.

Of course, unless you have a large following, you wouldn’t want to make all of your blog posts gated content. (Because then you might not get much traffic on your blog.)

But you can consider turning some of your most popular posts into gated content. Unlike with lead magnets or content upgrades, you can implement this strategy without creating anything new.

Example: The New York Times uses gated content to build its email list.

 

 

Example of gated content to get email subscribers

 

8. Online tools or resources

One particularly effective way to get more email subscribers is to create an online tool—like CoSchedule’s headline analyzer tool—and have people opt in to your list if they want access to it.

People love online tools that make their lives easier. So when CoSchedule created a tool that helps people assess and optimize their headlines, they gained 37,000+ new email subscribers!

Example: Check out CoSchedule’s headline analyzer.

 

blogging tool

 

9. Email courses

Email courses are like mini online courses. They include multiple lessons on a topic. And you send each lesson out in sequence via email. For example, if you help people improve their cooking skills, you might offer an email course on how to make better weeknight meals.

Because email courses include multiple lessons, people tend to see them as highly valuable resources. As a result, it’s easier to convince your audience to take the plunge and become email subscribers to gain access to the free course.

Related: 10 effective ways to increase your email open rate + 63 free email subject line templates

Example: Pat Flynn offers a list-building email course to grow his email list.

 

email list incentives

 

 

10. Email challenges

Like the idea of an email course but don’t have time to put one together? You can use an email challenge instead.

With an email challenge, you focus on a goal that your audience wants to achieve and you give them a series of tasks over the course of several days or weeks that are designed to help them achieve the goal.

For example, if your audience wants to grow their Instagram following, you would send a series of emails that each provide a different strategy or task that will help them get more followers on the platform.

People tend to respond well to email challenges because they seem valuable and you can make them highly engaging. As a result, a good email challenge can get you lots of new email subscribers.

Related: 7 email copy mistakes that are destroying your conversions + 63 free email subject line templates

Example: Simple Green Smoothies builds its email list by hosting a 7-day smoothie challenge.

 

email list incentives

 

 

11. Webinars

Because they involve teaching your audience about a specific topic, free webinars are a fantastic way to kill multiple birds with one stone. By offering access to the webinar in exchange for an email address, you can use webinars to get more email subscribers. But that’s not all. Webinars also give you the incredible chance to position yourself as an expert in your niche and even pitch paid products or services (if you want to).

Example: Amy Porterfield builds her email list by getting people to sign up for her free webinars, which she uses to pitch her paid online courses.

 

 

email list incentives

 

 

12. Social media posts

It’s great to have lead magnets, content upgrades, and other free resources to entice your audience and persuade them to become email subscribers. But the problem is that if they don’t know these resources exist, they won’t know to sign up for them.

How can you let your audience know that you have tons of free value with their name on it? Promote your lead magnets and content upgrades in some of your social media posts.

Related: How to write compelling social media posts + 7 free social media copy templates

Example: I share pins featuring my content upgrades on Pinterest to encourage people to sign up for them.

 

email opt-ins

 

 

 

Having a hard time getting new subscribers for your email list?
Learn my 4-step formula for building your email list like a pro.
Download the free email list builder cheat sheet.

Send me the cheat sheet

 

13. Social media bios

In addition to promoting your lead magnets and content upgrades in your social media posts, you can also promote them in your social media account bios. This way, anyone who’s reading up on who you are has a shot at becoming an email subscriber. They don’t even have to see any of your social media posts!

Example: The Crown Fox has a link to an email opt-in right in her Instagram bio.

 

 

email opt-ins

 

14. Facebook CTA button

On Facebook, you can add a “sign up” call-to-action (CTA) button to your business’s Facebook page. When people click on it, they get directed to a landing page that offers them a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.

Although the CTA button is fairly generic, you can use your page’s cover photo to promote the actual lead magnet that people will get if they sign up.

Related: How to write engaging Facebook posts that convert + 7 free social media copy templates

Example: Todd Herman uses the “sign up” button on his Facebook page to increase his email subscribers.

 

email opt-ins

 

 

15. Email signature

You probably send emails to individual people or small groups of people every day. So why not capitalize on this opportunity by adding a link to a lead magnet in your email signature?

As long as you already have a lead magnet and a landing page for it, all you have to do is insert a CTA in your email signature. Some of your email recipients will ignore it or they won’t even scroll down far enough in the email to see it. But anyone who’s wondering who you are or what your contact info is has a shot at seeing it and subscribing.

Example: My email signature includes a link to my welcome email series copy template opt-in.

 

 

email opt-ins

 

16. Guest blogging

Want to expand your reach beyond the people in your audience who you already have access to? Write guest posts for other blogs and include a link to your blog or even a specific lead magnet. Just be sure that the post topic and lead magnet topic are relevant to the blog’s audience.

Example: In this guest post, Nicholas Godwin links to his website to get more leads.

 

 

Example of guest blog bio

 

Start getting new email subscribers on your list TODAY

Growing your email list isn’t like SEO—it doesn’t take months or even years to get good results.

Instead, you can start getting more email subscribers on your list this month, this week, or even today by taking steps to offer your audience incredible value that they just can’t refuse.

So what are you waiting for?

Give your business the growing email list it deserves by taking one or more of the 16 strategies I’ve shared above for a spin.

 

 

Having a hard time getting new subscribers for your email list?
Learn my 4-step formula for building your email list like a pro.
Download the free email list builder cheat sheet.

Send me the cheat sheet

 

 

How can you get more people on your email list TODAY? Discover 16 easy ways to get more email subscribers + grab my email list builder cheat sheet.

16 easy ways to get more email subscribers + Free email list builder cheat sheet
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