ways to grow your email list

In previous posts, I've spoken at length about the importance of building your email list.  Of course, it's easier said than done. If only the only thing you had to do to grow your email list, was to add a subscription box to your website, hook it up to your email service provider and watch as the the subscribers roll in...

People don't hand over their email address for just anything.  In fact, these days we are more and more wary about parting with our digital digits and so we need a little but of persuasion...

Lead Magnets, Freebies, sign-up incentives, ethical bribes, content upgrades... they all mean the same thing.  You need to create something of value to offer prospective subscribers in order to convince them to part with their personal details.

'I know, I know - but WHAT, Colette? What can I create to offer my clients?'

Ah. I'm glad you asked! I have a few suggestions for you...

1) Checklist

Is there a task that your ideal clients are struggling with? A checklist could be just what they're looking for! They're simple to create, using a tool like Canva, but they're a quick win for your audience (and therefore, for you!).

Want to see an example?  Here's a Blog Post Checklist I created to help people to plan, create and promote their posts for maximum impact.​

2) Template

This is another great way to make your customers' lives easier - and to save them time.  Templates provide a framework for people to follow in order to complete a certain project.  My niche is online business, so I might create a Business Plan Template, for example.

3) Swipe File​

A swipe file will save your audience even more time! You basically provide them with the finished article that they can just copy and use it for their own needs.  It might be content for an email or letter, or perhaps subject lines or headlines.

4) E-book

Generally speaking, the simpler the lead magnet, the better it will convert.  An e-book can be overwhelming so if you're considering this one, make sure it is really compelling to your readers.  It should promise to teach them or tell them something that they reeeaaaally want to know!

5) Challenge

I love challenges! They're a great way to grow your list AND to build community.  Challenges are also a fantastic way to really deliver RESULTS as they push your audience into action and keep them accountable.  Generally, your challenge will be delivered by email but will also have some community element like a Facebook group.

6)Live Training

Webinars have been a real marketing trend for the last few years and are a great way to convert people to subscribers.  You offer some live training and people sign up to attend (or get access to the replay).  Webinars have an added advantage in that they also form part of your sales pitch.  Grow your list, deliver value and then make an offer.  It's a winning combo! 

Word of warning: Don't be tempted to miss out the 'value' part of this process.  People are starting to grow weary of live trainings that are all promise, but no delivery and instead, full of salesy fluff.​

7) Research

If you can save people time, then generally speaking, that is DEFINITELY worth handing over their email for.  By doing research into a certain topic and then providing it as your lead magnet, you're saving your readers a job (and a pretty laborious one at that!). 

8) Discount

If you sell a product or service (and I assume you do if you're trying to grow your email list!), then a discount or coupon can be a great incentive for people to subscribe.  

Word of warning: Discounts can be dangerous - used too much they 'teach' your audience that your offering is actually only worth the discounted amount. This in turn will mean your actual cost may now seem 'over-priced'.​

9) Video Training

How do your audience prefer to consume their content?  Some people are much more likely to watch a short video than wade through 1000's of words of copy.  Remember - your lead magnet should be a QUICK win and video is often a great way to deliver that.

Of course, video works particularly well for more practical or physical topics such as exercise, cooking or music.​

10) Audio File​

Life is hectic and we want to save people time and offer a quick win... soooo, an audio file could be perfect! Your audience can listen while they're on the go! Your audio might be training or it might be something more entertaining like music, a story or perhaps a meditation.

11) Trial or Taster

Offering a free sample of your product or service can be a great way to entice new subscribers - not to mention, promote your offering.  Perhaps the first module of your course or the first chapter of your book.

12) Competition

Everyone loves a giveaway! Asking people to sign up for the chance to win a prize is a great way to draw people in.

Word of warning: The QUALITY of your email list is far more important than the quantity.  Make sure that the people you are attracting with your giveaway are your ideal clients and not just people looking for a free gift.​

13) Quiz

If you want to get people's attention then entertain them.  People can't resist a quiz - they want to see if they match up, they want to learn about themselves - and they want to have a bit of a laugh.  

I used Thrive Themes plugin, Thrive Quiz Builder (which I love)​ to create this quiz - go on, check it out!

14) A Tool/App​

If you have the technical skills (or the money to invest in someone who does) then create a free app or tool for your customers that helps them solve a problem they're facing! 

15) Calculator

Similar to the point above, but worth an honorary mention because creating a calculator is a little more achievable for the less techy among us! There are some great calculators out there.   Tax calculators, calorie calculators and more.  I'm actually working on a calculator of my own at the moment to help people work out how viable their business idea is!

16) Planner

Remember I said that people want you to save them some time?  Well, a planner is a great way to do that! Perhaps your niche is travel; you could give people a planner to organise their holiday. Perhaps you teach people something? Give them a planner to organise their study time... you get my drift.

I created a Weekly Planner, which helps entrepreneurs to organise their work time.​

17) Printable​

Got a knack for design (or a handy tool like Canva)? Then you can create attractive printables to make your ideal clients' lives more convenient. Lists, quotes, recipes... what do your audience need?

18) Infographic​

This can be a great way to get dull or complex information across more simply and easily. They work well for concepts that need to be visualised, or as a way to make statistics a bit more engaging.

​19) Mini-Course

What is the biggest challenge that your ideal clients are facing? A mini-course to help them solve it is sure to persuade them to hand over their email address!

20) Cheat Sheet

Similar to a checklist or template, a Cheat Sheet can also make your readers' lives more convenient. It gives them a repeatable solution to a problem and removes the need for thinking about it too much! 

Want an example? Take a look at the Email Welcome Series Cheat Sheet that I created to help people who struggle to know what to include in their welcome emails to new subscribers.​

21) Free Consultation

If you provide a service, then a free consultation could be a great incentive to subscribe.  If a customer is interested, this is a handy way for them to find out more - and for you to add them to your list!

22) Free Quote​

Depending on what your service is, you may be able to offer your customers a free quote.  This also gives you the opportunity to ask for more information than most lead magnets as people will be happy to provide their details in order to get a realistic quote.

23) Prompts and Inspiration​

Not all lead magnets have to be completely practical.  How about focusing more on mood and motivation? Inspirational quotes to brighten people's day or perhaps daily meditations to help with focus...

24) Event Tickets​

Both live and online events are a great way to build your email list.  They're also a fab way to increase your credibility - and to build community! You could organise a live get-together or perhaps an online summit.

25) Resource Library​

If you have a number of lead magnets already, then consider grouping them together. The more resource, the more value! Rather than just signing up for one resource, give your readers the opportunity to access them all.

26) Facebook Groups

Using your Facebook Group as a lead magnet could have a double benefit - you'll build your list AND you'll ensure the quality of your group by making sure that only your really engaged readers become members.

27) Pinterest Boards

Pinterest is so popular (and powerful) when it comes to growing visibility and traffic.  Group Boards are a key part of any Pinterest strategy, so if you have a large and engaged group board then that's an asset and something people will happily part with their email address to join.

28) Free Membership​

If you offer a subscription based product, then creating a free version works very well as both a way to build your list, but also to give your customers the chance to 'try before they buy'.

29) Waiting List/Earlybird Discount​

Perhaps you have a product that you only launch once in a while, or a new product that you're building some buzz for? Create a waiting list and perhaps an early bird offer and you can attract people to your email list AND nurture a warm audience for your launch.

30) Your Newsletter

Last but not least, in some cases, your email newsletter itself could be enough to persuade people to subscribe. What can you offer in your newsletter that will entice your ideal clients?

So there you have it. I hope that's given you some inspiration! Now, once you've got your email list growing, you'll want a really engaging welcome series to greet your new subscribers with! 

Did I Mention My Email Welcome Series Cheat Sheet?

I'll tell you everything to include in a simple, but powerful 5-email welcome series that will make your customers fall in love with you and your business! Get your copy by popping your details below!

Colette Broomhead

Helping you to leave your 9-5 behind for good and create a business and life you love.

  • Tyra Skinner

    Your planner idea just set off a huge light bulb in my brain! I’m a travel blogger and it makes sense to give travel planners! I have some work to do this week. 😀 thank you!

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