An email list is one of your most valuable marketing assets.  From my personal experience as a consumer to my work with major retailers, I can tell you that a properly executed email campaign will absolutely drive sales.  The question I often get however, is how do I create a large email list?  That is the focus of this article.

Just because you put an email sign up form on your website, don’t expect to capture a lot of email sign ups.  You probably have seen the following:

  • “Click here to receive my newsletter.”
  • “Join our list.”
  • “Enter your email and you’ll receive weekly updates.”

These calls to action just do not cut it today.

Opt-in incentives need to be more enticing and more valuable, and this value needs to be clear.  You also need to incorporate email sign ups everywhere – website, social media, video, offline.

Following are proven ways to entice and attract new subscribers in order to grow your email list.

  1. Add a pop-up opt-in form to you website.
  2. Create a value-packed opt-in incentive: A one page report won’t cut it anymore rather try a full-length eBook or white paper.
  3. Host a free webinar. Make signing up a requirement for registration.
  4. Offer the webinar recording as an opt-in incentive: Make signing up a requirement for downloading or viewing the recording.
  5. Offer different opt-in incentives for different segments of your audience. This will increase the number of people who sign up, and improve the relevance of the emails you send to your subscribers.
  6. Add a call to action at the end of your YouTube videos.
  7. Offer an exclusive subscriber-only discount and promote it on social media.
  8. Add a call to action in blog posts.
  9. Include a subscriber testimonial alongside your opt-in box.
  10. Add a sign-up form to your Facebook Facebook’s call to action button is has shown to be very effective.
  11. Make it clear what’s ‘in it for them’ if they sign up.
  12. Hold a contest, and make joining your list a contest requirement.
  13. Put your opt-in form in a prominent place so your visitors can’t miss it.
  14. Collect emails at offline events like tradeshows. Hold an on-site contest and make providing an email a contest requirement.
  15. Cross-promote with a complimentary business in your niche and promote each other’s newsletters.
  16. Include as few fields as possible on your sign-up form. This will increase the chances of someone signing up.
  17. Be consistent in how often you send out emails to your list. When people see that you regularly send out great content, they’re more likely to recommend your emails to their friends and colleagues.
  18. Offer a multi-day email course like ’10 days to rock hard abs’.
  19. Add a QR code to offline media like business cards and tradeshow posters.
  20. Make your homepage all about the opt-in. Your homepage likely gets more traffic than the rest of your site, so make sure you showcase your sign up form in a prominent place.
  21. Let your subscribers choose what types of content they want to receive from you.
  22. Include an opt-in radio button (checkbox) on your website’s contact form and About Us page.
  23. Offer customers a discount on their next purchase with email sign-up.
  24. Provide social proof alongside your opt-in box: “Join the # subscribers who already enjoy this newsletter”.
  25. Incorporate social sharing buttons alongside your newsletter content, not just at the top or side of your site.
  26. Show excerpts of featured content, and then require email sign-up in order to view the whole article.
  27. Provide your credentials when asking for opt-ins. What qualifies you as an expert in your field? Why should people trust you?
  28. Offer discounts for new subscribers. This is a common tactic used by online fashion retailers. Offer a % discount for new, first-time subscribers.
  29. Offer bonus information at the end of popular blog posts with email sign-up. For instance, if you have a blog post of the Top 10 Ways to Find New Clients, offer an additional 10 tips with email sign-up.
  30. Offer the first # of subscribers a bonus gift or discount, and promote this offer to your social media followers.
  31. Let potential subscribers know you’re a real person, not a nameless, faceless brand. This will instill trust and increase the likelihood they’ll hand over their email.
  32. Offer a sample newsletter or a screenshot of a typical email you send to subscribers.
  33. Add an opt-in radio box in your e-commerce checkout.
  34. Let potential subscribers know exactly what they’ll be getting and how often they’ll be getting it.
  35. Include an anti-spam policy: Assure potential subscribers you’ll only send relevant info, and will never sell or share their personal info.
  36. Run a survey. Pull the results together, add some graphs and charts, and then release it to your audience…with email sign up, of course!

I hope these ideas have helped to get your creative juices flowing.  Like so many things, the difficult thing is to get started.  But, once your efforts start to gain tractor, the process tends to feed on itself.

Email marketing campaigns drive sales.  With a sufficient email list, you can begin to predict incremental sales that result from an email campaign.  The larger the list, the greater the potential.

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