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16 Genuine Ways to Grow Your Email List Now

Last Updated on March 13, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

Do you want to know how to grow your email list? You might think adding a simple signup form to your sidebar is the best way to build one. But, this usually results in slow growth with very little encouragement for visitors to stick around.

For more genuine growth you need to communicate the value of joining your list before people lose interest and leave your site.

In this article, we’ll share some truly genuine ways to grow your email list. And the result will be a list that grows faster with an engaged and interested audience.

Here’s a quick look at the list building solutions we’ll cover:

  1. Run a Giveaway or Contest
  2. Use Sign up Forms
  3. Create Lead Magnets
  4. Offer Content Upgrades
  5. Use Exit Intent Popups
  6. Add Gated Content to WordPress
  7. Offer Exclusive Discounts
  8. Add Signup Buttons to Facebook
  9. Grow Your List Using Your Contact Form
  10. Add Calls to Action in Your Header
  11. Try Gamified Campaigns
  12. Use Twitter’s Ad Platform
  13. Host a Webinar
  14. Ask for Feedback
  15. Use a Scroll Box
  16. Leverage Social Proof 

Shall we get started?

1. Run a Giveaway or Contest

An excellent way to grow your email list is by running a giveaway or contest. Giveaways have the power to draw hundreds, if not thousands of new visitors to your site.

Having people sign up for your email list as a way to enter a contest is a great way to keep in touch long after your giveaway ends. In the future, you can send them exclusive discounts and offers, which leads to more sales for your business.

The best way to run a giveaway on your site is to use the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market.

RafflePress lets you easily build viral contests so you can:

To learn how to grow your email list with RafflePress follow these instructions:

Add a new Giveaway

First, click here to get started with RafflePress, then follow this step-by-step guide on installing WordPress plugins to get up and running.

Once you’ve installed and activated RafflePress, hover over the RafflePress icon in your WordPress dashboard and click Add New to create a giveaway.

Add a new giveaway in RafflePress

Choose the Email List Template

Next, you’ll see a screen where you’ll name your giveaway and choose a template. To grow your list with RafflePress, click the Grow Your Email List template.

Choose the grow your email list template in RafflePress

Now enter the prize details for your giveaway as highlighted in this guide for running a RafflePress giveaway.

If you scroll down the widget preview area, you’ll see the template has automatically added an action for your giveaway. This action is called Join an Email Newsletter and gives people the option to sign up to your email list to enter your contest.

Configure the Newsletter Action

Clicking the action opens up the action settings editor on the left-hand side as shown below.

Set up your email newsletter actions in RafflePress

Here you can set how many entries users get from taking this action, make it a mandatory action and connect to your email marketing service.

Follow these steps to connect to your favorite email marketing integration:

When you’ve configured your settings, click Save and publish your giveaway.

You can check the documentation for details on publishing your RafflePress contest.

Fantastic! You now have an awesome giveaway that’s tailored to grow your email list.

2. Use Multiple Sign Up Forms

As we mentioned earlier many people believe adding a simple sign up form to their sidebar is the best way to grow their email list.

But if you want to get more subscribers you need to have more than one sign up form and add them to multiple areas of your site. Doing so gives people more opportunities to see the forms and subscribe.

A great way to put this in practice is to combine a floating bar with your sidebar form. Or, you can use a popup plugin to make your optin-forms stand out from the rest of your website.

Take advantage of the display rules in OptinMonster when building your forms so that they trigger at a certain time or action. This spaces out your forms so users don’t see them all at once.

For example, you can have your floating bar trigger when a user scrolls past your sidebar form. And, when they’re about to leave, your popup optin can kick in to draw their attention back to your site.

Cosmetic capital use a floating bar and lightbox popup

In the above example, Cosmetic Capital used multiple sign up forms to increase leads by over 300%.

3. Create Lead Magnets

A similar option to the one above for growing your email list is to create lead magnets for your site. Lead magnets are incentives that encourage people to subscribe in return for their contact information, like their name and email address.

Example of a lead magnet from inbound marketing

Lead magnets can take many different forms including:

  • Newsletters
  • Checklists
  • eBooks, and more

But the important thing to remember is that they should offer extra value to visitors. If what you’re offering isn’t worthwhile people won’t want to sign up to your list. For more lead magnet ideas take a look at this guide.

4. Offer Content Upgrades

Lead magnets work really well but they can take a long time to create, especially when you’re writing an ebook. So, you can try another way to grow your email list like content upgrades, which are much quicker to create because you’re just adding content to an existing post.

Content upgrades and usually take the form of an exclusive bonus in exchange for signing up to your list.

They’re also pretty post-specific, so it’s a smart move to create a few, maybe 3-5, and add them to your most popular posts that get the most traffic. That way you can get lots of targeted subscribers who are interested in that content.

Why not check out this guide for using gated content to skyrocket your list.

excellent content upgrade example from brendan hufford

Here’s a few examples of content upgrades you can use yourself:

  • Blog posts can be turned into cheat sheets or checklists users can download as a content upgrade.
  • You can create transcriptions of Webinars or Podcasts and offer them as a content upgrade.
  • Especially long articles can be transformed into a downloadable PDF for a content upgrade.

Take a look at these content upgrade ideas for more alternatives.

The great thing about using content upgrades to expand your list is the psychology involved. People are more likely to complete a task if they take the initiative to do it themselves.

So, when some clicks to download your content upgrade, they’re more likely to complete the signup process because they took the initiative.

For a full step-by-step guide on adding content upgrades to WordPress, check this out.

5. Use Exit Intent Popups

As we mentioned earlier, using multiple signup forms on your site exposes visitors to more opportunities to join your list. But an exit-intent popup goes a step further by capturing visitors when they’re just about to leave for another website.

Exit-intent example from Bonjour Lisbonne

Exit-Intent® is advanced technology by OptinMonster for tracking the behavior of your users’ mouse so it can show them a signup form right before they leave. Combining this with full-screen welcome gates and other optin types can help convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.

Fastrack recovered 53% of visitors using OptinMonster’s Exit-Intent® technology. And Crossrope grew their email list by 900% every month with Exit-Intent optins.

6. Add Gated Content to WordPress

Gated Content with VIP access

Gated content is content created on your site that only certain people can view. In most cases, these are people who have joined your email list in exchange for VIP access.

You can lock access to your content easily with a plugin so that it’s hidden from users without special privileges. Once they enter their email, the content is unlocked and free for them to browse.

In the past, this wasn’t as easy to achieve and used to have a negative impact on search engine rankings. But now, with the aid of JavaScript technology, modern methods of gating your content won’t have the same unfortunate impact.

You can learn how to lock content in WordPress with this step-by-step guide.

7. Offer Exclusive Discounts

Discount offering 15% off to subscribers

At times the offer of a discount or coupon can be just the thing to get people to take action. Since we’re all about growing your email list today, why not offer a discount to people who subscribe to your list?

Creating a discount isn’t difficult either. WooCommerce users can go to WooCommerce » Coupons page to create a coupon. Then you can use the success view in OptinMonster to reveal the code when people have successfully subscribed to your list.

OptinMonster reveal coupon code

8. Add a Signup Button to Your Facebook Page

Something that’s easy to overlook when growing your email list is the option for people to subscribe from your Facebook business page. These buttons are featured under your cover image and stay visible as you scroll down the page.

Call to action button on the RafflePress Facebook page

It’s pretty easy to add a subscribe call to action button to your Facebook page. Let’s show you how?

First head to your Facebook page and look for a blue button that says + Add a Button.

Add a button to Facebook

Then a popup will appear with Step 1 asking what you’d like people to see. Click the Contact You tab to expand it and see more options.

Choose the signup option

You’ll want to choose the Sign Up option, then click Next.

Step 2 opens up next, asking where you’d like people to go when they click your button. Click the Website Link option to open up a field where you can paste the URL of your signup form as shown below.

Adding a cta button to facebook

Click Finish to save your changes and you’re all set!

9. Grow Your List With Your Contact Form

Contact form with a newsletter optin

You might not have realized it but your contact form is a great opportunity to ask people for their email address.

They’re already entering their details to contact you about something, so adding a checkbox to subscribe to your list is an easy way to save asking for their email twice.

WPForms is the best option for adding contact forms in WordPress. You can connect your forms with some of the most popular email marketing services and build forms with an intuitive drag and drop builder.

To learn how to use a contact form to grow your email list, check out this detailed guide.

10. Add a Call To Action in Your Header

Example of a call to action in a website header

The header area of your website is the most prominent to visitors when they land on your site. This is because it’s above-the-fold, which means above the point where they need to start scrolling.

Placing important information and CTAs (Calls-To-Action) in this highly visible area can lead to higher conversion rates.

Header CTAs are best used in WordPress themes that have a large header area. Thankfully, most modern themes these days come with this feature. But if you’re really stuck, you can use a page builder to create a custom page layout with a header tailored to fit your needs.

11. Use Gamified Campaigns

Gamification isn’t just a fun way to pass the time, it’s also a great way to boost user engagement. Something else you can do with gamified campaigns is to use it to increase newsletter conversions too.

Spin the wheel gamified campaign example

MonsterInsights has a wonderful example of using a Spin the Wheel gamified campaign to grow its email list and boost eCommerce promotion conversions.

But if you want to learn how to add a coupon wheel optin to your site yourself, this guide will tell you how.

12. Use Twitter’s Ad Platform

use Twitter ads to grow your email list

Twitter Ads is another social media platform that offers ways to grow your email list.

The Website clicks or conversions option is a great way to direct people to your list, as well as get more traffic. You could even build a landing page especially for this purpose and have a signup form in a prominent position on the page.

Example of barlays using twitter ads to drive conversions

In this example, Barclays uses Twitter Ads to promote a test people can take to see if they can spot a scam.

When creating your ad, remember to use an interesting description, a powerful image, and a clear call to action to encourage people to click.

13. Host a Webinar

host a webinar to grow your list

At first glance, webinars might not seem to be a useful way to grow your email list. But they’re surprisingly effective when you look into the benefits.

To encourage people to subscribe to your list with webinars you can:

  • Promote your next free webinar in a blog post and ask people to subscribe to secure their spot.
  • Use your webinar as a lead magnet at the end of an article, as we discussed earlier.
  • Turn your webinar into a content upgrade for users who want to get more information.
  • Use a social proof plugin to highlight the number of signups and create the fear of missing out for your webinar.

Webinars convert really well because live events have a high perceived value.

14. Ask for Feedback

A simple survey form

Something that’s easy to overlook when growing your list, is the opportunity to ask your audience for feedback.

You can add a survey to your site asking people what they like and dislike about a product or service and ask for their email during the process. People like to feel valued, so asking them how they feel about something is a great way to drive engagement and encourage a sense of community.

To entice them further you can automatically enter people into a prize draw as a reward for taking the time to comment. And to increase survey responses, check out this guide.

15. Use a Scroll Box

While we’re on the subject of offering value, it’s important to note that people often ignore static signup forms because they get in the way of what they’re doing on your site.

A great way to get their attention without harming their browsing experience is to use a slide-in scroll box form.

OptinMonster uses a slide-in scroll box for optins

This type of opt-in form does a great job of keeping out of the way while people read your content. But once they scroll down the page it slides in to divert their attention and encourage them to act.

16. Use Social Proof

As we touched upon earlier social proof is an effective way to highlight what your visitors might be missing out on.

Why not use social proof to show off how many people have already subscribed to your email list?

TrustPulse offers a super-easy way to do this with their social proof popup.

social proof popup

You can check out their documentation for creating and editing a TrustPulse campaign here.

And there you have it.

We hope this article helped you find some great ways to grow your email list. And if you’re thinking about using our first suggestion of running a giveaway to skyrocket your list, this list of contest promotion ideas will help you spread the word.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for RafflePress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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