Learning how to build an email list efficiently can help you boost conversions and revenue for your business. Just ask marketers with huge email lists. They’ll tell you it’s their most valuable asset.
However, email subscriptions go both ways. As you learn how to grow an email list and correspond with your subscribers, you’ll discover that you’re a valuable asset to them, as well.
I can’t tell you how to grow your email list from 100 subscribers to 100,000 subscribers in 24 hours. That’s unreasonable.
However, I can share with you the lessons I’ve learned through my years of working in marketing and helping build businesses. They’ll help you grow your email list, too.
Email marketing is more than subject lines and incredible offers. It’s about attracting the right people at the right time.
Plus, when your email list becomes huge, you’ll gain serious bragging rights among your entrepreneurial friends.
Let’s dig in.
Email Marketing Statistics and Curious Facts
Let’s start by dissecting the numerous reasons why you should learn how to build an email list. It’s easy to understand on the surface, but the true benefits are a bit more nuanced.
First, did you know that customers who purchase products after clicking through from a marketing email spend 138 percent more? Furthermore, 77 percent of consumers would rather get marketing messages through email than, say, direct mail or SMS.
With those facts in mind, learning how to build an email list can ultimately make your business more profitable. Every entrepreneur wants that.
Do I Need a Big Email List to Get Results?
A large email list certainly has advantages. After all, marketing is at least partly a numbers game. The more people you reach, the more likely sales become.
However, that’s not the only contributing factor.
A smaller email list might not give you as many chances to sell your products or services, but you can still make a dent. As long as you’re providing value and incentive, you should be able to produce sales.
Furthermore, you don’t want a huge list just for the sake of it. If you have tons of subscribers who never open, read, or convert on your emails, they’re not doing your business any favors.
That’s why it’s a good idea to cull your email list every once in a while. Email people who have been inactive, ask if they still want to receive messages from you, and remove those who don’t respond.
Can I Build an Email List on Facebook?
Facebook, like other social platforms, offers you access to a different audience. People who follow you on Facebook don’t necessarily read your blog posts, for instance.
For that reason alone, you should figure out how to build an email list via Facebook. Try simple posts that invite readers to join for an incentive, such as a lead magnet you’ve created.
Make your Facebook post as engaging and attractive as possible. Add an eye-grabbing image, a playful or surprising headline, and a slam-dunk CTA. You want people to feel compelled to click through.
Do the same thing on Instagram using the “link in profile) trend. Twitter can also help you build your email list.
What Is the Best Email List Building Software?
When you’re learning how to build an email list, you need software to automate the process. Otherwise, you’re bound to make plenty of mistakes — and waste a boatload of time.
Hello Bar consolidates the email marketing process under one single umbrella. Use it to incentivize your offers, provide clear CTAs, and direct users to signup pages.
That’s a top bar promoting an email list. You can replace the headline and CTA with whatever you want. To hasten the process, choose the goal “Grow My Email List” when you sign into Hello Bar.
Since Hello Bar has become GDPR compliant, you don’t have to worry about running afoul of the EU’s new rules. Plus, we allow you to demonstrate your GDPR compliance, too.
17 Supreme Tips to Build and Grow an Email List Fast
You know that it’s important to figure out how to build an email list, but where do you start? I’ve come up with 17 simple but highly effective tips to help you build a large, profitable list as quickly as possible.
1. Arm Yourself With Fantastic Email List-Building Software
If you want your list-building efforts to succeed, you need solid software in your corner. Hello Bar allows you to collect email addresses automatically, which means you can focus on other aspects of running your business.
In addition to creating a top bar, you might want to add a popup modal.
Put your offer front-and-center so visitors can’t miss it.
For even more exposure, create a page-takeover popup. It’ll cover your visitor’s entire screen.
You don’t have to stick with basic design, either. In fact, you shouldn’t. Exit popups, for instance, often don’t work because they’re not sufficiently compelling. Adding imagery and other design elements can help boost email signups.
That’s my business partner, Neil Patel. He’s great, but you don’t have to feature him on your Hello Bar. Choose a photo of yourself, your product, or something else your audience will like.
2. Create a Great Lead Magnet
A lead magnet incentivizes email signups. In other words, instead of just asking (or begging) people to join your mailing list, you give them a good reason to say “yes.”
The best lead magnet ideas, though, require some active testing.
Running A/B tests on your various lead magnet ideas will refine your pitch as well as the specific giveaway you wind up using the most. For instance, you could A/B testing the page takeover above against this one:
It’s the same except for the design choices. See which one performs best for your audience.
You can also A/B test the specific offer, as mentioned above.
Test this top bar:
Against this one:
They’re completely identical. I’m just offering two separate lead magnets to figure out which my audience desires more.
3. Create an Awesome Lead Capture Page
A lead capture page is also essential if you want to bring in more leads. The lead capture page is a landing page where visitors can opt in for your list, check preferences, and more.
It should be attractive, attention-grabbing, and focused entirely on the value you’re offering. If you make it seem like you’re just another marketer, people will see right through the self-serving language.
Over at Neil Patel Digital, we focus every piece of copy on how we can specifically help our prospective clients.
That’s what we do. We also add context by not only telling people that we lead by example, but by proving it with our traffic numbers.
If you click on the CTA, you’re taken to a lead capture popup. It’s pretty simple, but it focuses on the prospect.
Notice the two headers? About You and About Your Business. We keep it about the customer.
Plus, we don’t ask for any information we don’t need to help us qualify prospects.
4. Promote Your Lead Magnet on Social Media to Build Your Email List Fast
You can’t count on everyone in your target market to find your website. I don’t care how much time and money you’ve spent on SEO — social has a bigger footprint.
Let people who follow you on social know about your lead magnet. Say something like, “I’m giving away a free 30-minute video on how to build an email list. Who’s in?”
I love Twitter because of its brevity and fast-moving feed. You can tweet the same thing 40 times per day and never show the same tweet to the same people.
If you’re in the B2B space, you need to be actively participating in conversations on LinkedIn. Let people know about your lead magnet, then include a CTA with anchor text that takes visitors to your lead capture page.
“Link in profile” are the three magic words on Instagram. Use stunning visuals to capture attention, add a captivating caption that describes your lead magnet, and include a link to your lead capture page in your profile.
Think it’s all recipes and interior decor? Think again.
Use it to promote your lead magnet as well as to drive more traffic back to your site. It’s perfect for sharing your latest infographic, as well.
If you’re not making videos, I get it. Video is super intimidating, but it’s also highly effective.
Share videos on YouTube that provide brief, actionable tips to people in your target market. Use end screens to promote your lead magnet.
If you’re going to share your lead magnet on just one social channel, choose Facebook. It has more monthly users than other social channels, and you have lots of places to share your lead magnets:
- Facebook Page CTA
- Facebook Ads
- Influencer Partnerships
5. Promote Your Lead Magnet on Your Blog to Build Your Email List for Free
Your blog is your best friend when it comes to generating leads. A blog post gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise, build authority, and close the lead capture.
Use the CTA at the end of your blog posts to promote your lead magnet. Alternatively, create a bottom bar with an email capture form. Hello Bar lets you decide where you want your bar to sit.
6. Consider Doing Guest Blogging to Promote Your Website and Grow Your Email List
Blogging doesn’t stop with your own website. If you want access to new audiences, try guest blogging at publications in your industry.
In most cases, all you need is a winning pitch (or three). Let the other website’s owner know what you’d like to write about and how you’ll approach the topic.
You’ll get at least one do-follow link back to your website, which means an increase in SEO juice. More importantly, you can promote your lead magnet in the CTA.
We recently partnered with Ambassador to write an article about personalized marketing. At the end, our director of marketing included our pitch with a lead magnet for a free month of Hello Bar.
7. Find Partners for Co-marketing Offers
You can also partner with other professionals or companies in your space. They shouldn’t be direct competitors, but maybe they offer a complementary product or service.
Whatever the case, consider cross-posting on each other’s blogs, promoting one another via social media, and more.
Partnerships are perfect when you don’t have money to spend on advertising or other paid media for your lead magnets. Each of you gets something valuable out of the partnership, so no money changes hands. Try promoting each other’s lead magnets on a monthly basis.
8. Add an Email List Signup Field to Your Website’s Main Menu to Grow Your Email List
Your website’s navigation menu offers another place to promote your email list. Simpler anchor text, such as “sign up” or “newsletter” can prove more economical for this small space. Back up the offer with a description of your email list and lead magnet elsewhere.
9. Work on Your Email Copywriting and Headline Skills to Keep Your Email List Engaged
Copywriting matters when it comes to crafting a compelling pitch. If you’re boring and trite, people won’t bother reading on. Furthermore, your copywriting needs to reflect your brand.
Try using stronger words in your marketing copy. Make your headline sing with strong verbs and unusual adjectives. Give people a reason to want to know more of what you have to say.
Add those same elements to your CTA. The more interesting you are, the more people will want to learn more.
10. Create Very Engaging Email Campaigns to Keep Your Email List Wanting More from You
Figuring out how to build an email list isn’t the last stop on the educational train. You also have to learn how to write amazing email marketing copy. Otherwise, subscribers will…well, unsubscribe.
That’s not what you want. Create engaging email campaigns, including autoresponders and drip campaigns, so your readers stay interested. Provide something of value in every email you send.
11. Do Not Let Blog Visitors Get Away So Easily! Create Awesome Exit Intent Popups
Exit popups appear when a visitor tries to leave your website. It doesn’t stop them from clicking away, but it gives them renewed incentive to stay on the page.
You can use your exit intent popup to promote your lead magnet, provide a discount code, or give some other incentive for people to join your email list. Make sure the offer is different from what visitors have already seen on the page.
For instance, if a traditional lead magnet didn’t work, try a free shipping offer.
12. Create a Community Around Your Brand Using Social to Build Your Email List Faster
Community is important in the marketing space. You want your customers or clients to feel like they’re part of your brand.
GoPro is one of the best examples I can think of. The company has made a habit of collecting copious amounts of user-generated content (UGC). In other words, it gets its customers to send them footage while using GoPro products.
The company’s Instagram page isn’t the common, carefully curated page associated with most major companies. It’s full of real-life images.
You can create a forum, membership site, or other special community for your visitors. And don’t forget to promote your email list.
13. Make Your Email List Feel Special With “Email-Only Deals”
Exclusivity is an amazing marketing technique. It’s also a psychological principle — one you see at work in high schools everywhere.
Remember the popular kids? They were envied because of their exclusivity. Whether you were part of that crowd or not, you remember the power they wielded over others.
Even as adults, we crave exclusivity. We want to know we’re getting things other folks don’t.
Let website visitors know that you offer “email-only deals.” In other words, unless you subscribe, you won’t get the monthly coupon, the free shipping offer, or whatever other incentives you can come up with.
14. Add a CTA to Sign up for Your Email List in All Your Emails to Grow Your List
You probably send dozens of emails every day. You’re emailing prospective customers who have reached out to ask questions, for instance, or vendors who might want to work with your business.
In your email signature, include a CTA to sign up for your list. Make sure to mention an incentive and to keep the CTA short and sweet.
15. Encourage Your List to Forward Your Emails to Grow Your List for Free
Similarly, add a CTA to your marketing emails. It might look something like this:
“Do you know someone else who would love to get emails like this? Forward this email to them and invite them to sign up!”
It’s a great way to encourage word-of-mouth marketing and to see social proof at work.
15. Be Very Active and Get Involved on Other Blogs in Your Niche
Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And it shouldn’t.
If you’re not reading and commenting on other blogs in your niche, you’re wasting valuable resources. Even though most links in comment sections are no-follow (meaning they don’t pass SEO juice), you still gain brand visibility and awareness. Plus, you show your expertise.
Create a bookmark folder in your browser filled with at least 12 to 15 blogs in your niche. Visit them daily, see if they have a new post, read the article, and write a thoughtful comment. You can knock them all out in an hour.
16. Create a V.I.P Email List Member Area on Your Website
Email doesn’t have to stay in the inbox. Maybe you could create a membership area on your site that only subscribers can enter.
Use this membership space to post articles, product comparisons, videos, and other useful content. Your subscribers will feel even more appreciated because you’re working hard to make their lives easier.
Just make sure others know about the V.I.P area. They’ll want to join — it’s that exclusivity thing again — and you’ll get more email signups.
17. Promote Your Email List at Networking Events
It’s old school, I know, but it works.
Let’s say you’re attending a trade show, conference, or other industry event. Take a stack of business cards with your website’s URL and information about your email list.
It works. People at industry events are looking for new connections to make, so you’re creating an easier way to get in touch. As a bonus, ask people you meet if they have email newsletters and offer to sign up on your phone right then and there.
Learning how to build an email list isn’t difficult. It’s just time-consuming. That’s why many of your competitors aren’t bothering with the process.
Or they’re taking a lazy approach and getting few signups as a result.
Using the 17 tips I outlined above, you can get ahead of your competition and build an incredible email list people will want to join. All you need are incentive, patience, and lots of channels.
From social channels to community forums to your own blog posts, you have many ways to get the word out about your email newsletter.
Yes, you need an email list. It doesn’t have to be huge, but you want it to grow by the day. Most importantly, you want to attract qualified leads.
How do you do that? By crafting very specific headlines, calls to actions, and lead magnets.
Plus, you can use Hello Bar to create top bars, bottom bars, sliders, modals, and exit popups, all of which can promote your lead magnet and list.
How do you plan to grow your email list this year?