10 proven ways to grow your email subscriber list

1. Use your existing email database

Use your existing email contacts and brand advocates to boost your subscriber numbers; people are strongly influenced by peers, and are far more likely to act on the opinion of someone they trust. 

With that in mind, consider using your existing email database to reach out to the friends, relatives and loved ones of your present subscribers, who will probably share some needs and ideas; let your subscribers help you!

Use programs and functions like recommend-a-friend, forward, share and member-get-member schemes to get your email content shared more easily, allowing your database to grow organically.

2. Take advantage of social sharing features for your email campaigns

If you’re using a popular email service app, it will have a wide range of features already built into it that will make it easy for your subscribers to share your email. One in ten clicks in an email campaign is related to social sharing.

3. Convert your social fans to email subscribers

If you have fans on social media platforms, try to convert them to email subscribers. They’re already engaged with your brand, they already want to listen to what you have to say, so they’re both more likely to become subscribers and more likely to respond positively.

Promote email sign-ups by including a link from your social channels, and make it clear to your fans that they’ll gain benefits by being hooked up to both feeds.

One option would be to place a ‘wall’ across your Facebook page, so that a user has to enter their email address before they can ‘like’ your page, though if this is perceived as coercive or interfering it will be counterproductive, turning fans off.

4. Provide an incentive

Consider running a competition through Facebook, promoted by other social channels and including a data capture phase where email is mandatory. Data capture is always more effective if there’s an incentive.

5. Make your sign-up form obvious on your website

Everything on the internet is a click away. If it isn’t easy, visitors to your website won’t do it. Include a sign-up form in a prominent page on your website, and tell potential subscribers how they stand to benefit from subscription. 

This can be a simple and truthful couple of lines, like ‘sign up for the latest news about [your brand or space].’ If your subscription sign-up form comes across as spammy people won’t sign up, so beware of inflated claims that will see any emails you do send consigned to the junk folder.

The issue of ease of use is so important that it’s a good idea to have at least this portion of your website tested for positioning, colour and other variables that could affect sign-up rate.

6. Start building your list – even if you haven’t finished building your product

It’s easier now than ever before to get a landing page in place for your site, even if the site isn’t built yet. The landing page can act as a teaser, a place to display ‘trailers’ for the upcoming feature that is your product or service – and it can also act as a place to let people sign up for updates about the project, for alerts when it’s ready to launch, and to get updates from any parent company or associated projects.

7. Collect email addresses in stores or at events

Try placing a sign-up form next to your cash register in your store, or on your display at events. This should increase in-person opt-ins significantly, since your prospects for sign-up are already sufficiently interested in your brand to be at the cash register in the first place! 

Consequently, the benefits of signing up as an email subscriber need to be emphasised here too, since these people are far more likely to want to receive news and updates.

8. Make it easy for people to subscribe

The easier it is, the more likely it is that it will get done, and that’s especially true on the web. Include a clear email sign-up call-to-action, but don’t ask for large amounts of personal data initially; if they have to wade through forms to sign up, many will simply not bother. Once you have their email addresses, you can offer an optimized subscriber experience guided by more in-depth personal information.

9. Include a sign-up form on your blog

If you put the sign-up form on the home page or the bio page, only a relatively few readers will ever see it. Put a link to it after every article; online, most people don’t finish reading articles they don’t care about. If they get to the end, they’re interested, so grab them!

10. Alert prospective subscribers with time-sensitive notifications

Notify your users by email of an event, product or anything else they might be interested in. Doing this means providing a unique and cost-effective service to the user. 

Whether you’re a fashion house alerting subscribers to catwalk shows, a clothing company with a new range of seasonal wear or a realtor with a property on the market your subscribers may be interested in, such notifications offer users a real-world opportunity to save money by spending it more wisely, or to get goods and services they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. This kind of system is suitable for almost all retail businesses, so think creatively about what time-sensitive notifications you can use.

Kunle Campbell is a digital marketing eCommerce specialist and founder of Fuzz One Media.

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