34 Ideas to Grow Your Engaged Email Database

by Tim D'Avis Second Street

Optimize Your Website for Sign-Ups

1. Place a sign-up widget on every page of content connected to your newsletter

2. Have a sign-up page in your website navigation bar

3. Include a link to your sign-up page in your website footer

newsletter signup widget in footer

4. Create an overlay that pops-up based on exit intent

5. Include a simple email-to-a-friend form on your website

Leverage the Power of Promotions

6. Run a simple weekly sweepstakes for a general interest prize (merchandise, tickets, gift cards, etc).

7. Run photo and video contests with an opt-in

8. Add an opt-in to your sports pick’ems and brackets

9. Create quizzes with opt-ins for your newsletters

opt in on contest

10. Develop voting ballots with an opt-in

11. Leverage extra chances on contests from opting-in to your newsletter

12. Attach a poll with an opt-in to related content

13. Leverage surveys to collect opt-ins and deeper data

14. Partner with other organizations or publications on giveaways that can be cross-promoted to both your email list and theirs. (If you’re locally-focused, think about the Chamber of Commerce or local sports team. If you’re subject-focused, think about brands or trade groups).

Employ Your Current Subscribers

15. Include a subscribe link within your newsletter to add additional users

16. Plant an opt-in on all your account registration forms

17. Ask for sign-ups on customer service calls

18. Incorporate sign-up links or URLs on your billing statements and email receipts

Make Friends In-Person

19. Introduce a physical clipboard for sign-ups on your counter

20. Bring a tablet or clipboard to collect sign-ups at all events

Turn Social Followers Into Subscribers

21. Embed your sign-up form in the Facebook application

newsletter signup widget on facebook

22. Invest in Twitter lead-gen cards to drive sign-ups

23. Post about your newsletter on social media

24. Create a pinned post on Facebook and Twitter

25. Employ the Facebook call-to-action buttons

26. Plant a link within your Twitter and Instagram bios

27. Use Facebook ads to target local people (while excluding existing database members)

Utilize Your Core Products

28. Produce a video highlighting your newsletters

29. Run on-air promotions and house ads for your newsletter

30. Write an article about your new newsletter (including a quick link to sign up!)

31. Leverage sign-up links within articles

sign-up widget in article

32. Add an opt-in on your classified placement forms

33. Attach an opt-in to all content downloads

34. Include a sign-up link within your email signature


Remember – while list growth is important, the type of list growth is equally important. Engagement is what drives results with email. Supposed ‘shortcuts’ like purchasing lists can have disastrous consequences for your deliverability and reputation. By leveraging the dozens of email acquisition tactics listed here, you’ll be able to grow an engaged email list organically, expanding your database with users eager to get your content.

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