How to Get Email Subscribers: 10 Proven Strategies to Explode Your Email List

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In 2024, your email list could be your business’s biggest asset — it helps you build relationships, nurture leads, and, ultimately, increase revenue.

But getting people to sign up to your email list willingly could feel like an uphill battle. So, how do you get email subscribers and grow your list organically?

Let’s go through powerful strategies and tips to help you turn passive visitors into loyal subscribers.

The Email Marketing Foundation: Setting Up For Success

The steps you take before setting up your email list determine its success rate. If you master the fundamentals, such as creating a permission-based email list and knowing your audiences, it will be easier to expand your subscriber base from there.

Here are 3 crucial aspects to consider.

1. Understand Your Audience — Who are your customers? 

Start by identifying your ideal target audience to create the right marketing strategies. 

Implement this short, 5-step guide:

  1. Define your target audience: Consider demographics, psychographics, and user behavior to understand their specific needs and preferences.
  2. Conduct market research: Use surveys, polls, or analyze competitors’ marketing strategies to understand user intent and behavior.
  3. Create buyer personas: Develop detailed profiles of your ideal target audiences. Use goals, motivations, and challenges to understand them better.
  4. Monitor online conversations: Use social listening tools to monitor conversations related to your industry and brand.
  5. Analyze website traffic: Utilize web conversion tools to understand which pages and content resonate with your audiences.

Understanding your audience and defining your ideal buyers is the first step to creating relevant opt-in forms and high-quality email content.

2. Choose the Right Email Service Provider (ESP)

An email service provider helps you manage your email lists, design campaigns, and track results

Before choosing an ESP, consider the following factors:

  • Identify your needs and goals, such as your email list size, frequency of emails, and level of automation required.
  • Evaluate the ESP’s deliverability to know if your emails are more likely to reach recipient inboxes. Look for features such as spam protection, authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC), and compliance with email marketing regulations (CAN-SPAM & GDPR).
  • Assess scalability and choose an ESP that can grow with your needs. 
  • Check integration options and ensure the ESP connects with other marketing channels such as CRM, lead generation, or social media tools.
  • Review their support, subscription plans, and migration assistance if required.

Campaign Refinery is an all-in-one email marketing solution with the highest email deliverability rate, premium features, and transparent pricing. Check out our pricing guide!

3. Craft a Functional Opt-in Form

Opt-in forms help you capture important user information such as name, age, email address, and other relevant data. They are essential tools for building a permission-based email list.

Create a simple opt-in form with minimal fields, visual appeal, and brand elements (more on that below). You can add social proof and incentives as you see fit.

10 Proven Strategies to Get Subscribers On Your List

It’s unlikely that people would give away their email addresses for free. If you want them to sign up, provide value-driven content, updates, and interesting industry information. 

Growing your email list is about providing value and getting people to sign up. 

Before we get into details, let’s quickly review a summary of these strategies.

S.NoStrategy Benefit 
1. Website opt-in forms Easy to implement and captures website traffic
2. Content upgradesAttracts interested leads and provides value upfront
3. Pop-up formsCan be attention-grabbing, but use it sparingly without overwhelming visitors
4. Lead magnetsA powerful incentive for the targeted audience
5. Contests and giveaways Generates excitement and encourages more signups
6. Social media promotionLeverages existing audience and expands reach 
7. Email Signature Subtly promotes your email list with every email you send 
8. Guest posting Reaches new audience interested in your niche
9.Paid advertising Quicker way to reach more people
10. Cross-promotionMaintains a cordial relationship with other businesses while promoting your email list
How to get email subscribers — 10 strategies

Let’s get into the details of these strategies: how to implement them, when to use them, and how to enhance their reach.

1. Website Opt-in Forms 

People don’t usually go the extra mile to sign up for an email list. That’s why you must find ways to capture their personal information where they are the most active. If that’s your website, then it’s great news — embed a data capture form instead of sending visitors to a signup page. 

This is how you can implement these steps.

Create Compelling Opt-in Forms

Keep your opt-in forms minimalistic and highlight important information such as brand value and product benefits.

Collect opt-in emails using the following tips:

  • Provide a clear value proposition and tell users what benefits they receive (Industry updates, valuable content, or exclusive discounts).
  • Use a strong CTA with action-oriented words such as “Subscribe now,” “Download the Guide,” or “Sign up to [Your brand name].”
  • Consider creating different opt-in forms for various website visitors and buyer personas.
  • Limit the number of form fields to reduce tiring out visitors. Ideally, a name and email address field is sufficient.
  • Ensure your forms are optimized for mobile devices.

Strategic Placement of Opt-in Forms

Place your opt-in forms where visitors often land.

For example, you can use the following areas to place your forms:

  • Inline opt-in form: Embed forms in webpages aligning with the content 
  • Footer opt-in: Capture visitors who scroll all the way, indicating high interest in your brand.
  • Exit intent pop-up: Use a pop-up as visitors move their cursors toward the exit button to offer a last chance to subscribe.
  • Welcome mat pop-up: On arrival, greet new visitors with a pop-up urging them to subscribe for more updates.

2. Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are a fantastic opportunity to incentivize email sign-ups by offering valuable content in exchange for people’s email addresses

Here’s how content upgrades work:

  1. Create value-driven content such as blog posts, articles, or other relevant pieces.
  2. Identify a specific section of content or include a secondary resource that offers in-depth value, such as checklists, case studies, cheat sheets, or templates.
  3. Make the bonus content accessible only through opt-in forms.

Content upgrades are helpful to attract genuinely interested leads and increase value proposition.

Content Upgrade Ideas

Based on your industry, your content upgrades can be any of the following:

  • Blog posts: Summarize key highlights from your blogs or provide a swipe file of important topics such as ”Subject line ideas for email marketing.”
  • Online tools: Develop a calculator or online tool related to your industry. For example, a financial website can offer a calculator for loan repayments.
  • Workbooks and templates: Expand on your content with a downloadable workbook that guides users through a process or solves a specific problem.
  • Chapter sneak peeks: If you’re promoting an e-book, offer exclusive access to bonus content that’s not currently available with the original version.

3. Pop-up Forms

Pop-up forms are graphical elements that appear on top of the webpage. These forms are a double-edged sword in email marketing – they can capture visitor email addresses but could annoy them if not implemented thoughtfully. 

Best Practices for Using Pop-up Forms

These best practices will help you handle pop-up forms the right way:

  • Offer a clear value proposition: Tell visitors what they get if they subscribe to your mailing list. For example, “Get 10% off on your first purchase.”
  • Use a stunning design: Use attractive visuals and compelling design to attract attention and encourage sign-ups.
  • Implement strategic timing: Avoid bombarding visitors when they land on your website. Consider using exit intent pop-ups or delayed triggers.
  • Use an easy opt out option: Provide a one-click option to close the pop-up and avoid subscribing if not interested.
  • Utilize A/B testing: Split test different pop-up form options to understand what resonates with your audience.

4. Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are incentives offered to website visitors to collect their email addresses. A well-planned lead magnet offer can help you generate high-quality leads and quickly build your email list.

Understand your target audience’s pain points to ensure your content is valuable to them. 

You can create downloadable resources based on this, such as:

  • E-books: In-depth topics relating to your niche.
  • Whitepapers: Credible reports presenting industry data and research.
  • Templates: Pre-formatted documents such as checklists, planners, etc.
  • Webinars: Live or recorded webinars on a popular industry topic.
  • Discounts/coupons: Provide exclusive offers in exchange for email addresses.

Lead magnets are particularly helpful because they offer value upfront and establish authority, building trust with potential subscribers.

5. Contests and Giveaways

Contests help you drive engagement because they bring out people’s natural desire to win prizes or receive free items. Whether it’s a product, gift card, or valuable content, they motivate people to take action, such as subscribing to your email list.

However, it’s crucial to follow the right steps to create an engaging experience for the participants, such as:

  • Select a genuinely appealing prize that aligns with your brand image.
  • Keep the entry methods simple and clear, such as social media sharing, email sign-up, or referrals.
  • Set a realistic timeframe for the contest to give enough time for more people to notice it and participate.
  • Promote your contests on multiple channels such as social media, blogs, paid advertising, and influencer marketing.
  • Ensure to announce the winners on the mentioned date and don’t forget to follow up with the participants, even those who didn’t win. 

6. Social Media Promotion

Social media can be your gateway to reaching more users worldwide. With many content creators and paid advertisers flooding the screens, your offers must be attention-grabbing to entice people to engage with your posts.

Here are key strategies to leverage for social media promotions:

  • Tailor the social media content according to each platform’s audiences.
  • Immediately highlight the benefits and show people the value of subscribing to your email list.
  • Include clear call-to-action such as “Sign up to the email list.”

Strategies For Different Social Media Platforms

Every social media channel is unique and requires a different approach. Below are the common social media channels and strategies.

Social Media ChannelStrategy
Facebook‣ Create attention-grabbing videos to promote your email list benefits
‣ Use Facebook groups to find like-minded individuals and encourage interaction
Instagram‣ Run eye-catching stories or short videos to highlight the benefits of subscribing to your email list
‣ Use Instagram lead-generation ads to target specific audience groups
Twitter‣ Host Twitter chats or Q&A sessions to engage your audience and promote your list
‣ Utilize relevant hashtags to increase discoverability
Linkedin‣ B2B brands can use LinkedIn to share resources and thought-leadership content to encourage users to sign up for emails
Social media strategies to gain subscribers

7. Email Sign-Offs

Although an email sign-off is a subtle approach to gaining subscribers, it’s highly effective. Experts believe that each day, 126 business emails are sent and received each day. Even if you send 50% of that, you could get more eyes on your email sign-up forms than other methods.

These tips will help you create effective email sign-offs:

  1. Use action-oriented language that entices people to sign up. For example, “Get exclusive content on [name of the product].”
  2. Start with a strong verb such as “Join us”, “Subscribe”, “sign up” to encourage action.
  3. Use a clear link text instead of a generic text such as “Join our mailing list.”
  4. Link to a dedicated landing page with your brand value proposition. 
  5. Maintain a professional and visually appealing signature that draws focus onto the signup link.

8. Guest Posting

Guest posting opens up opportunities to reach more people simultaneously. Including a signup link in your author bio can direct interested people to contact you for more information or sign up for your mailing list.

Follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Identify websites that match your target demographics and interests. 
  2. Guest post on high-authority sites to increase brand credibility and visibility.
  3. Focus on creating valuable and informative content that addresses specific problems.
  4. Integrate a clear CTA and direct readers to the landing page or opt-in form.
  5. Optimize your bio and include a link back to your email subscription page.
  6. Share your guest post across social media channels to increase its reach.

9. Paid Advertising 

Although not very cost-effective, paid advertisements can help you reach a wider audience. However, your research must be thorough so you don’t waste resources. 

These tips are a great starting point if you have the budget for ads:

  • Identify user challenges and how your email list can provide solutions.
  • Choose the right platform, for example, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Advertising, or Display Advertising.
  • Craft captivating ads with clear headlines, high-quality visuals, and a strong CTA.
  • Set a realistic budget based on your goals and campaign duration.
  • Explore different bidding options on your chosen platform, such as Cost-Per-Click, Cost-per-Acquisition, etc.
  • Consider implementing a discount code or exclusive access to encourage more sign-ups.

10. Cross-promotion

Cross-promotion refers to the process of collaborating with businesses or individuals to reach audiences with similar interests. 

Once you choose a business, you can craft mutually beneficial promotions such as:

  • Co-hosted webinars or events: Offer a joint webinar or online promotion relevant to both audiences and require email signups.
  • Provide discounts or offers: Offer exclusive access to content or discounts on products in exchange for email signups.
  • Guest posting and content collaboration: Write guest blog posts for each others’ websites and add convincing CTAs.

Ensure to track your performance and optimize content accordingly. Successful cross-promotion is built on ongoing partnerships — pick the right business and leverage effective strategies to increase the likelihood of people signing up to your email list.

With consistent efforts and the right strategies, you can build a loyal subscriber base. While getting your first 1000 subscribers sounds hard, the most challenging part is growing that list.

Let’s quickly go through the strategies to grow your email list successfully.

How to Grow Your Email List: 3 Unique Methods

After you get some traction with your efforts, you may sometimes notice stagnant email list growth. This could be because of email deliverability issues, improper strategy, or timing. We’ll discuss more about inbox placement in the next section.

For now, here are unique strategies to consistently grow your email list.

Email List Growth Strategy How to Implement It 
Engagement Gamification Use interactive content such as quizzes, polls, and surveys to increase engagement rates
Partner with micro-influencersCollaborate with influencers in your niche who have a highly engaged audience
Leverage User-generated Content Run a campaign encouraging followers to share their experiences related to your brand using a hashtag. 
Email list growth strategies

Whilst you implement these strategies, it’s equally important to ensure your emails are reaching the intended audience. Low email deliverability rates can influence your email response rates and affect the overall marketing success.

This is why it’s important to choose a reliable marketing platform with good sending habits and inbox placement rates.

More Subscribers Will See Your Emails With Campaign Refinery

Campaign Refinery offers the highest email deliverability rate on the market. This means more of your subscribers will see your emails. 

We achieve this through clean-sending practices, using authentication protocols, and complying with email marketing regulations. 

As you grow your email list, our premium features, such as an integrated email list cleaning tool, engagement rewards, and robust automation, help you craft flawless email campaigns.

Boost your email visibility and grow your business wisely. 

Apply to become a Campaign Refinery client today!

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