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If you're looking to grow your email list and maximize your ROI, then you've come to the right place. We know a thing or two about growing email lists.
We've pinpointed the top 10 proven strategies to help you increase signups and keep your customers engaged. Whether you’re an established brand or just starting out, these email marketing techniques will guarantee results.
10 Ways To Increase Email Signups
There are plenty of easy, effective ways to increase email signups — from promoting your referral and loyalty programs to providing high-value incentives.
With these tactics in your arsenal, you'll be able to grow your subscriber list steadily.
1. Offer Quality Incentives
If it were easy to collect email addresses from existing customers and potential customers, we wouldn’t need to write this article on how to grow your email list. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, which is why sometimes users — even interested customers — need a little push to take action.
Choose an incentive that you’re certain your target audience will appreciate. Consider some of the following if you’re stuck racking your brain for ideas:
- Free ebook
- High-quality YouTube videos
- Discount codes
- Free merch
- Gift cards
Go with whatever you think will most appeal to your target audience. These incentives can appear in the form of a pop-up on your homepage, where customers can fill out an opt-in form in exchange for the promised incentive.
In the pop-up, present compelling offers to capture email addresses and phone numbers, which will likely drive customers to make a purchase faster. Think: discounts and free gifts with purchase.
Where this can get really powerful is personalizing the pop-up based on the UTM from each channel.
So, for example, customers coming from your Facebook page would get one offer, and referral customers would receive a different offer.
Salt & Straw has a 2-for-1 homepage pop-up with an email opt-in form that promises customers 15% off their first order. First, it captures their email, and it then captures their phone number. For bonus points, you can even see another spot for collecting email addresses in the footer.
If people were on the fence before, this incentive is likely to push them over. 67% of customers say they’ve made a purchase they weren’t originally planning to make just because they found a discount code.
2. Make Use Of Your Social Media Presence
Social media is a great place to target subscribers, because your followers already have a sense of trust in your brand. Once you've had a chance to get your social media followers excited about your brand, it's time to convert them into email subscribers.
But first, you’ll need to direct visitors to a specific landing page on your website. You can share the URL to this landing page in most social media platforms’ bios, in social stories, or in a linktree. Make the link accessible and the landing page attractive for optimal results.
For followers that aren’t clicking around on your bio link, a tempting call-to-action button can help get them there.
Think of a CTA button as a little nudge toward your website, where all of the action happens. So include a call-to-action button wherever possible.
Don’t stop there — make sure you’re sharing positive testimonials and reviews on your social channels too. 54% of people said they’d visit a business’ website after reading positive reviews. If you take 54 percent of your views and send them to your website, that could be a pretty substantial influx of shoppers.
So spread the positivity on your social media accounts and direct them to personalized landing pages on your website.
This is where the magic happens. By designing multiple landing pages depending on where the traffic is coming from, you can test different offer strategies.
Outdoor Voices features their products right on their Instagram profile, which are linked via their bio.
Once a user clicks on the image, they are taken directly to the product page. And what pops up within seconds of arriving?
A juicy discount in exchange for your email.
Notice how Outdoor Voices also asks who you’re shopping for, likely so they can send targeted and relevant promotions right from the start. More on that later.
3. Run A Sweepstakes Or Giveaway
If you want your email marketing strategies to deliver, you need to offer something of value to your audience. One untapped tactic that quickly grows audiences is sweepstakes and giveaways, where a brand will offer a quality prize to contestants who enter via email. This is a great option for brands with newer email lists or newsletters, as it encourages tons of signups.
Make sure you’re selecting a reward that will appeal to a large portion of your audience to guarantee the most amount of entries — AKA email signups.
For bonus points, you can incentivize customers to share the contest with friends. While at first this may seem counterproductive — consumers won’t want there to be more people in the competition, putting them at a disadvantage — they’ll be happy to share if you offer extra entries depending on how many people they refer.
You can also partner with other ecommerce brands who have products that complement your own. This allows you to reach an entirely new audience and gain more new subscribers. If you have a solid social media presence, make sure to promote your giveaway there as well.
Princess Polly recently ran a giveaway that rewarded the winner with a wardrobe worth $1,000. Not only is this a great prize, but also customers who entered the giveaway through an email subscription received 20% off a future order, regardless of the sweepstakes' outcome.
4. Referral Marketing
Customers who are referred by a friend convert 5x faster, meaning the new subscribers you receive from Advocates are likely to be more engaged and willing to purchase.
If there were ever a value placed on email subscribers, those referred by Friends are of the highest value.
There are a few different ways you can use a referral program to boost your email marketing campaigns. The first is to simply ask.
However, as we've mentioned before, not everyone on your subscriber list will take action without any extra motivation. Many users will want to know what's in it for them. So, offer rewards and incentives worthwhile — this can be a discount, free merch, a coupon code, or anything else that you know is attractive to your target audience.
ILIA sends out monthly email blasts that ask their customers to share their deep discounts with friends.
A reward program of this kind can motivate a brand's most devoted customers to keep promoting and backing up its projects through word of mouth. It's a win-win situation, as customers will receive discounts on the items they adore and the brand can gain a new consumer at a smaller cost than through other channels.
You don’t even have to provide discounts to make this work. High-priced products or brands that offer products that don’t need to be purchased frequently can offer straight up cash or gift cards instead.
Smile Direct Club offers a $100 Amazon gift card to drive purchases and, thanks to the way the referral program works, also email signups.
You can replace the action that needs to be completed — in this case the Friend completing a purchase — with signing up for your email list. When a Friend successfully subscribes, the Advocate will earn the promised reward.
5. Loyalty Marketing
Similar to referral marketing, you can add loyalty marketing to the strategy you’re planning to grow your email list with. Unlike referral programs that offer a reward for a single action, loyalty programs offer a tiered reward system, incentivizing them to continuously do business with the brand and encouraging users to carry out multiple actions.
To bring potential customers into this email list growing strategy, create a program where Advocates can reach milestones depending on the number of friends they successfully get to sign up for your email list. Offer Advocates loyalty points that correspond with the number of friends they refer, but make sure they receive a special reward at certain milestones.
You can also add a small reward that customers who are part of your loyalty program can receive for signing up — and staying subscribed — to your email list.
This will further incentivize customers to earn and use their loyalty points, while simultaneously helping you grow your email list.
6. Implement Exit And Cart Abandonment Pop-Ups
There’s nothing worse than just barely missing out on new customers. You’ve expertly guided them through the sales funnel and clearly captured their interest, only to have them leave at the last moment.
The average cart abandonment rate is nearly 70% for ecommerce stores. 🤯
One effective way to reduce the disconcerting rate of cart abandonment is to include cart abandonment pop-ups that provide discounts or coupons in exchange for new customers' email addresses. This strategy can help to reduce cart abandonment and entice customers who are on the fence about making a purchase.
Similarly, exit pop-ups are another way to keep potential customers browsing your website and encourage them to go through with a purchase. Exit pop-ups occur when website visitors move their mouse off the page, displaying intent to leave your store.
Pet Flow has a great exit pop-up for when users try to navigate away from the page. They know their target audience well — no one can resist a cute puppy asking them to sign up for emails. They pair a pop-up with a promise of exclusive content and local details they know their target audience will want.
They’re a great, last-ditch attempt to grab customers’ attention and grow your email list. With this in mind, make sure to keep your exit pop-up forms simple and to the point so that customers don't get confused or turned off.
7. Ensure Your Email Signup Form Is Site-Wide
“Out of sight out of mind” is a painful truth in the world of ecommerce. There are so many CTAs and offers that if you want customers to pay attention to one specifically, you need to continuously remind them of it.
Persistence pays off, so make your email sign-up form site-wide.
According to the marketing rule of 7, customers need to see a message at least 7 times before they’re prompted to take action. This means that one timid CTA to grow your email list isn’t going to cut it.
You should be trying to collect email addresses on all pages and locations of your website. Website visitors may not notice the first, second, or even third placement so continue to make your sign-up form prevalent site-wide.
Here’s a list of places you should be advertising your sign-up form:
- Floating bar at top or bottom of page
- In high-traffic blog posts
- In your footer
- Top of the sidebar
- Above the fold
- In the header
It's important to include floating bars in your list of areas to place your sign-up form if you only want to select a few. This method is more subtle than other options and will stay visible while visitors are on your site, without being intrusive.
Here’s an example of Tonal’s sign-up form, in the footer of their website, where they gather email addresses and phone numbers.
8. Send A Compelling Welcome Email
First impressions are important in a digital world where there’s new information, deals, and promotions everywhere you look. If you want to leave a lasting impression on your customers — and encourage brand loyalty — craft a superb welcome email that goes out to customers after their first purchase.
Welcome emails have some of the highest opening rates out of all marketing emails, around 50%. This is a great opportunity to convince customers to sign up for and grow your email list. Do so by including the following things in a post-purchase email:
- Show appreciation
- Include a clear and engaging subject line
- Tell customers what to do next (sign up for future emails)
- Give them a reward or offer as a form of gratitude
- Create educational copy that will leave them wanting more
As one example, ILIA includes information that a customer will find helpful after they make a purchase. This establishes a sense of trust and influences the customer to sign-up for additional educational emails about products and the industry.
Not only will a stellar first email increase your subscriber count exponentially, but it’s the optimal moment to showcase your brand’s values, establish a sense of trust, capture leads, and set the tone for a longer and more meaningful relationship. You can automate these emails with most email marketing services.
9. Segment Your Email Lists
In today's demanding climate, traditional generic content marketing no longer satisfies customer expectations. If you're looking for real, long-lasting impact, you need to start tailoring your approach through segmentation and personalizing your communications.
While personalization can have a positive impact across the entire customer journey, personalized email marketing is one of the most productive places to focus your efforts, generating a median ROI of 122%.
Don’t send all of your customers the same emails — segment them into various groups according to buyer persona or demographics.
This ensures that emails will be relevant to those receiving them, and consumers won’t be tempted to unsubscribe. In fact, they’ll be more likely to open them — segmented emails average 46% higher open rates than normal email marketing messages.
Disney does an excellent job of segmenting their email lists, making sure that only annual pass holders receive information and promotions about their annual passes. This helps to ensure that their audiences receive only the most relevant information.
Casper approaches segmentation a different way — based on purchase history. By doing this, they’re able to send truly unique and personalized emails that refer to customers’ order history. Customers are more likely to stay subscribed if they find your emails valuable.
10. Offer Content Upgrades To Subscribers
Customers love feeling special, and people are always looking for exclusive content. If you’re not satisfied with the amount of subscribers on your email list, try offering special content that they can’t access anywhere else. For example, you could offer a behind-the-scenes look at your business, a sneak peek of your latest product, or a preview of your next marketing campaign.
You may already have a bucket of valuable content that you’re currently offering for free. There’s no need to hide it behind a pay-wall, but you can restrict it to users who enter their name and email address. This strategy will only work if exclusive content is indeed unique and well-written. Otherwise, you’ll see a high amount of people subscribing and unsubscribing, which doesn’t bode well for your email marketing strategy.
If you run a successful blog, you can content lock certain posts and list them as only available to email subscribers. Consumers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer will sign up, and now you have a list of customers who are engaged with your brand and your offerings. This is a great opportunity to further segment your email lists based on the blog post topics that people are showing an interest in accessing.
Sephora offers exclusive content to customers who subscribe to their emails, including limited-time promotions and event invitations. These perks aren’t available unless you’re on their mailing list, so engaged customers don’t need much further persuading to sign up for this.
Quick Tips For Growing Your Email List
No one said trying to grow your email list was easy work, but the payoff is worth it. To get started building your email list, try implementing the following tips:
- Send quarterly referral email blasts. Remind customers that referring a friend to your email list means rewards from your brand. Sometimes a gentle reminder is all anyone needs.
- Consistently A/B test. Try out different strategies to discover what works best — and what doesn’t. This could mean playing around with opt-in form placements, types of incentives, and email copy.
- Make your content good. No one wants their inbox overflowing with spammy, bad content. Put effort into your content to make it stand heads above the competition.
- Place opt-in opportunities everywhere. There’s no such thing as one and done when it comes to marketing. Attention spans are limited, so place sign-up forms everywhere.
- Encourage customers to share your emails. Your customers are your biggest fans (and biggest marketing channel when leveraged properly). Make it super simple for customers to share emails, and consider rewarding them for doing so.
- Utilize social media platforms. Social media is a great place to turn if you need more subscribers. Your followers already have an interest in your brand, so make it easy for them to find an opt-in form and subscribe.
- Use automation tools to send personalized emails. No one has the time to sit there and personalize each and every email that goes out. But, you should take the time to craft engaging copy that an automation tool can blast to relevant audiences.
- Make signing up easy. If your sign-up process is difficult or lengthy, users are going to click out of it. Only ask for the essential information to ensure you at least gain that.
- Offer loyalty points. Provide loyalty points to members who sign up for your email list. This is an easy way to pair loyalty marketing with your attempts to grow your email list.
- Create a lead generation offer. Offer a helpful resource or tool that requires an email sign up to activate. You can provide some of it for free, and then lock the rest behind an email sign-up form.
- Share newsletter snippets on social media. If you’re trying to get more newsletter signups, advertise it on your social media accounts. You can drive awareness and pique interest this way.
- Include customer reviews on email sign-up landing pages. You always want to make sure that customers have a good impression of your brand, so why not pair that with a call to join your email list?
- Utilize cross-promotion. Partner with an appropriate brand in your industry to lift up each others’ products. Consider doing guest blog posts, joint giveaways, or partnered special events.
Learn How To Grow Email List With Referral And Loyalty Marketing
Referral and loyalty marketing are some of the most effective strategies in today’s digital world. With misinformation spreading left and right, consumers are more likely to trust each other. 70% of consumers trust other consumer opinions — even strangers — over any brand-advertised content. If you want to grow your email list fast, with engaged subscribers, contact Friendbuy to start a referral or loyalty program.