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email marketing list growth

7 Email Marketing Tactics To Grow Your List

Are you working to grow your email marketing list?

We will ask you again: are you growing your email marketing list?

You should be. And if you aren’t, you should start today. Better yet, you should start this very second.

Here are some fast facts:

Forget about investing all of your time into your social media channels. It’s time to prioritize your email list first.

With email marketing, you control your list. That list is yours. With your followers on social media, however, you never know when a new algorithm change could mean the end of those followers.

In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Facebook Pages had a new algorithm that required you to pay to promote your posts if you wanted your audience to actually see your new posts.

Okay, so you get it. But, how can you get people to actually sign up? Moreover, how you can get people to sign up in a cost-effective way?

Traditional email marketing tactics, like giving away a video or e-course in exchange for an email address can mean that you have to spend 50K to create an email list of 10,000 people. You’d likely be surprised at the math.

With all of this in mind, here are 7 proven, effective email marketing tactics to grow your email list (with many cost-effective tactics thrown in for good measure).

1. Ask Clients to Sign Up In Person

Here is an email marketing tactic that you don’t always see, but it’s still a powerful method for growing your list: ask your customers to sign up for your newsletter in person.

With all of the focus that digital marketing gets, a lot of businesses easily forget to also take advantage of their very real relationships with their clients and customers.

Simply put, this method is really just the power of leveraging all of in-person client relationships.

Just think about all of the instances where it would be natural to ask your customers if they wanted to sign up for your newsletter:

    • Whenever a customer signs for a rewards/point card – ensure that part of the sign up means giving you their email address
    • Whenever a client signs up for a membership, you can ask for their email as well
    • Did you deliver a great service to your clients (like a great massage or hair appointment)? Simply ask them if they’d be interested in signing up for your newsletter to get special offers, other news and so on.

With any of the above methods, the same rules still apply: you still have to make your value proposition clear to your clients if you want them to sign up. Whether that’s special offers, updates of new products/services and so on, the key is to give your clients a reason to sign up for your email list.

2. Take Online Appointments (Via Scheduling Software That’s An Official Partner of RWG)

If you are an appointment-based business, one of the simplest ways to grow your email list is to take online appointments.

Of course, taking online appointment bookings won’t just allow you to grow your email list – your online appointment bookings will increase as well (this is only the iceberg – you should read our blog post, Why Scheduling Software is More Important Than Ever in 2018).

Now back to the point of the article.

When it comes to growing your email list, accepting online appointment bookings is one of the easiest ways to get your email list. In order to sign up for the appointment, the customer has to fill out their contact information, like their email address.

But. There’s more.

Do you grow your email list exponentially?

You can’t just offer standard online appointment bookings. You should taking appointments via scheduling software that is an official partner of Reserve with Google (like Yocale).

Reserve with Google means that your business calendar will show up in Google Search and Google Maps so that potential clients will both discover your business and have the ability to book your services straight from Google.

The businesses that offer this new type of booking will have a competitive advantage. Booking becomes fast and easy. Take a look at below:

What business do you think is going to snag the booking for those who are looking to make a hair appointment?

That’s right – The Mayer Salon. Clients can see the salon’s schedule, choose the service they want and book the appointment right and there. They don’t have to pick up the phone and call.

Here’s how to get Reserve with Google for your business: sign up for Yocale. It’s free and easy. Once you sign up, a Google button will be automatically added to your Google My Business listing.

3. Launch a Competition

As you saw above, some of the traditional ways to grow your email list are not always very cost-effective. The following email marketing tactic, however, is not only effective but also cost-effective as well: launch a competition.

In fact, this is of the fastest ways to build your email list.

But, we’re not just talking about any competition. The competition, which offers a grand prize of your choice (and requires applicants to sign up with their email addresses) also gives those applicants additional entries based on the number of people they refer.

Here is an example of Web Profit’s competition, run by ConversionXL, which resulted in 2,987 emails in just a month – a cost of $2.23 per subscriber.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that your competition is a successful one:

  • The prize needs to align with your target market so that those who enter will be compelled to purchase from you again in the future. The idea here is to avoid iPads and other items that aren’t directly related to your website because this simply lead to signups from people who will not actually be interested in your specific products long-term.

Don’t want to invest in a grand prize? A free option is to reach out to brands who have products that would align with your target audience by simply exchanging exposure for the product itself. Don’t forget to ask the company to share the giveaway on their social media pages and to submit the giveaway to giveaway sites.

  • The prize itself also needs to be enticing so that those who enter feel compelled to share the competition with their own followers.

4. Republish Content + Content Upgrades

One of the relatively newer ways to grow your email list, an idea originally pioneered by Brian Dean of Backlinko is the “Content Upgrade.

The content upgrade is essentially a bonus piece of content that readers have to sign up for if they want to read further tips and tricks on that particular topic.

The logic behind this approach is that more traditional ways to get subscribers (i.e. free reports and courses) aren’t just working like they used to.

Keep in mind that if your blogging audience is really small, you can also do content upgrades for your guest posts that are published on sites with a bigger audience. The key is to include your content upgrade as your only link in your author bio.

But, for this method, we have combined the already popular content upgrade with republishing your current blog posts on places like Medium in order to exponentially grow your email list. Medium, for example, receives 60 million visitors every month.

To republish a piece of content on Medium, you have to first create a profile. Once you have selected your piece of content to republish, press the “Write a Story” button. You will want to change around 20% of the content, including the headline.

Don’t forget to add your content upgrade. Lastly, publish your content and then promote it as you normally would.

5. Strategic Use of Popups

There are popups and then there are popups. Not all are created equal. Notice how we say strategic use of popups. But, what do we mean by that?

Before we get to that, we want to preface this by saying that the use of popups in exchange for an email address is certainly not anything new.

However, that said, a lot of businesses are making the mistake of adding a signup form as soon as a visitor ends up on the homepage for the first time ever. Sure, you may manage to get a few signups by the simple act of including a popup, but there more effective ways to use popups.

By this, we mean showing popups based on the specific behaviour of those visiting your site:

  • Whenever someone is about to leave your site – ConversionXL converts 2.59% of visitors into email subscribers using the Scroll Box app from Sumo (the pop up appears when a visitor scrolls down the page a certain amount).

ConversionXL also converts 2.24% visitors into email subscribers using the List Builder app (a popup can be shown after someone has been on the page a certain amount of time or when they are about to leave your site)

While the free versions of these apps will certainly lead to conversions, you can get even better results when you pay for the premium version. This allows you to send customized popups based on the particular article instead of generic popups.

When ConversionXL used the paid version of the Sumo apps, their conversions jumped all the way up to 3.58%. While you won’t need to do this for every page of your website, you can use Google Analytics to determine your top performing content and then apply the popup to those specific blog posts.

You can also use A/B testing to see what messaging converts better to optimize your results even further.

  • E.g. Someone is in your shopping cart and is about to leaveOptimonk is a great software that allows you to create popups based on very specific behaviours.

6. Leverage Instagram

Chances are high that your business already has an Instagram account. In combination with the fact that Instagram is one of the world’s fastest growing social media platforms (one that isn’t under a lot of fire, like Facebook) makes it a great tool to leverage in order to grow your email list further.

Sumo, for example, uses this method to grow their email list by hundreds of new subscribers every single month.

So, what are we talking about here?

We are talking about creating an inspiring and beautiful Instagram account and then giving your followers an occasional high-value opt-in offer.

Here is an example by Sumo:

Here is an example of the CTA post in more detail:

Now, for small businesses, you may be wondering: what does a high-value opt-in offer look like?

If you run a salon, perhaps it’s an exclusive blog post on “Professional Salon Tips to Grow Long, Shiny Hair.”

Once your followers click on the link, they are then directed to a landing page where they can sign up. Here is another example from Sumo:

The key in all of this is to continue to grow your following on Instagram. Keep in mind that you should not post a CTA post any more than a couple of times a week so that your posts have maximum effect.

Lastly, don’t forget to share your opt-ins on other social media platforms as well, including both Facebook and Twitter.

7. Leverage the Power of Client Management Systems

When you know more about your customers – who they are, what their preferences are, what their lifestyle is like and so on and so forth, you can make your pitch much more appealing.

When it comes to business, information really is power, tired cliches aside.

The same applies to email marketing. If you want to grow your email list, you have to know how your customers want from you in order to craft the most appealing pitch.

But, how can you do that? By using a client management system. A client management system, which you can get through scheduling software, allows you to build a powerful database of client information which you can use to your advantage.

Perhaps you run a medical spa and you know that certain clients suffer from joint stiffness or are pregnant.

Whatever the case may be, you can then use some remarketing to craft targeted, tailor-made messages based on those needs to entice your clients to sign up for your newsletter.

You can even include this information when you ask your clients to sign up for your newsletter in person.

Wrapping It Up

You know the importance of growing your email list, but getting people to sign up is not always so easy – or cost-effective. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of proven and cost-effective marketing tactics to grow your list.

This includes asking your clients to sign-up in person, taking online appointment bookings,  launching a competition, content upgrades+republishing content, leveraging Instagram, strategic use of popups, and lastly, leveraging client management systems.

What email marketing tactics have helped you to grow your email list?

We write a lot about email marketing on the Yocale blog. You might also want to check out these blog posts:


Do you want more appointment bookings? Yocale is home to the best scheduling software available on the market. With our beautiful and easy-to-use calendar, we give you the extra hand you need to run and grow your business at the same time. Click here to sign up for free or learn more.

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