Email List Growth

Before we get started, repeat after me, “I will not buy email lists.” Good, now again, “I will not buy email lists, I will not buy email lists, I will not buy email lists.” Awesome, now that we’ve got that squared away, let’s dive into ways we can grow a healthy email list.

There is no magic bullet to grow a huge, engaged email list overnight. But you can accelerate your company’s email growth with some or all of these tactics.

Enable A Lightbox

Adding a pop up to your site is one of the best things you can do to aggressively convert visitors into subscribers. For most companies, this one tactic drives more new subscribers than any other avenue.


There are a variety of tactics and strategies that can be used within the lightbox. Adding a promotion or offer will increase your conversion rate, but, of course, there are downsides to starting with a discount. It’s essential to test and optimize what will drive the most subscribers and long-term revenue for your business.

In addition, there are plenty of settings that can make the lightbox less intrusive to your visitors. For example, a more refined pop up will be able to detect repeat visitors and only display once for those users. You can also configure the lightbox to only display on certain pages, after a certain amount of time onsite, or not at all on mobile devices.

On-Site Signup Areas

It’s essential to have email signup areas on each page of your website. Unlike a lightbox that shows up a limited number of times, other on-site signup areas should always be there for your customers.

Header – Adding a simple email signup link to the universal header on your site is a great way to get new subscribers. If you have an Account Signup area already, that’s great – just make sure your Account Signup page integrates with your ESP.

Footer – Embed an email signup area on the universal footer of your website. It’s a quick, easy sign-up process for your visitors since the email address box is embedded onto your site and ESPs like MailChimp have the code ready to go, making it very simple for your IT team to enable it on your site.


Checkout – A great place to obtain new email subscribers is the checkout page. As a customer checks out on your site, make sure to ask them for email permission with a simple opt-in radio box. This will allow you to send them communication beyond the simple transactional messages like order/shipping confirmations.

Blog/Articles – Leverage the content on your site by adding calls to action about your email program in these areas.


Run A Contest Or Sweepstakes

This is where social media can really help your email list growth efforts! Construct an engaging contest or sweepstakes and promote it on your social media accounts. You can also increase the growth of this initiative by putting promoted dollars behind it.

If you’re growing your list through this means, just make sure to treat these contacts differently, as they are very likely less qualified and engaged than other new subscribers. Traditionally, more education and content-based efforts will work best here to start. See How It’s Done!

Create A Referral Campaign

Leverage your most enthusiastic customers into new email subscribers! Create a compelling referral program with email creative and send it to your most engaged subscribers.


This initiative won’t grow your list leaps and bounds all at once, but it should bring you some strong lifetime value customers.

Increase Site Traffic

This is where the integrated approach here at Wpromote does wonders for email marketing. Whether you increase your site traffic through our SEO, Content Marketing, Paid Search, or Social Media efforts, all of the additional new site visitors from these digital channels feed into your email list.

Email is a digital channel primarily focused on customer retention, and before we retain your customers they need to exist in the first place. Putting efforts behind getting new customers and new site visitors will help grow your email list incredibly, especially if you have strong, on-site signup areas.

Paid Email List Growth Campaigns

Before you think “purchased lists,” remember our first lesson of the day! Instead of buying lists, use that budget to run some of our favorite email acquisition campaigns:

Facebook Lead Gen Ads - This relatively new ad format is geared entirely toward email acquisition. Facebook users see an ad, click the sign-up button and their information is already populated in the submission form. This Facebook Lead Gen ad eliminates the extra hurdle of typing in basic information, something especially important on mobile devices. Make these campaigns even more effective by integrating them with your ESP so email communication can be automated.

Look-A-Like Audiences - Do you ever wish you could take your best customers and clone them? Then you’re going to love look-a-like audiences. Take the best customers in your current database, upload them to Facebook Ads Manager, and Facebook will find people who resemble your best customers and show ads to them. Viola! You can now have a larger email list filled with great customers!

Use these tactics to grow your email list, and let great email marketing retain your customers and drive major ROI. And of course, there are certainly other ways to increase your email list, but these are some of the basics. Start here, optimize your efforts, and expand!

written by: Jamie Arneson

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