36 Ideas to Grow Your Email List

by Tim D'Avis Second Street

Optimize Your Website for Opt-ins

1. Place a opt-in widget on every page of content connected to your newsletter

2. Have a newsletter opt-in page in your website navigation bar

3. Include a link to your opt-in 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. Create a Birthday or Anniversary program to attract new opt-ins

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

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

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

15. 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).

16. Create a follow-up email program to build out your qualified lists

Employ Your Current Subscribers

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

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

19. Ask for opt-ins on customer service calls

20. Incorporate opt-ins links or URLs on your billing statements and email receipts

Make Friends In-Person

21. Create a QR code or link and display it on your counter

22. Display the QR code or link at events so users can opt-in from their device

Turn Social Followers Into Subscribers

23. Embed your opt-in form in the Facebook application

newsletter signup widget on facebook

24. Invest in Twitter lead-gen cards to drive opt-in

25. Post about your newsletter on social media

26. Create a pinned post on Facebook and Twitter

27. Employ the Facebook call-to-action buttons

28. Plant a link within your Twitter and Instagram bios

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

Utilize Your Core Products

30. Produce a video highlighting your newsletters

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

32. Write an article about your new newsletter (including a quick link to opt-in!)

33. Leverage opt-in links within articles

sign-up widget in article

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

35. Attach an opt-in to all content downloads

36. Include an opt-in 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.

Learn more about the Second Street Summit.