How to Build and Grow Your Email List

How to Build and Grow Your Email List

Used by more than 3.7 billion people, email is the world’s most commonly used method of communication. As an online business owner, you can use this to your advantage by making email a key part of your digital marketing strategy. According to Experian, email marketing costs 2,000 percent less than traditional marketing methods. To add to this, there are plenty of stunning email templates out there to design beautiful email campaigns and enhance your email marketing strategy. If you’re thinking about using email to promote your business, though, you might be wondering how to grow your email list.

Include Signup Form on Homepage

Being that your homepage probably receives more traffic than any other page on your site, you should include a signup form here to attract subscribers. A good rule of thumb is to place your signup form somewhere above the fold on your homepage, meaning visitors can see it without scrolling down. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should place it at above or within your header, however. A study conducted by Patel found that placing a signup form on the left sidebar resulted in the most opt-ins.


Often viewed as the bane of the internet, popups are an effective tool for building an email list. They present your newsletter form directly to visitors in the center of their browser tab. Rather than using traditional popups, however, consider using exit-intent popups. These popups only trigger when a user has expressed intent to leave your site, thus making them less disruptive than traditional popups. One blogger found that switching from a sidebar signup form to an exit-intent popup form resulted in 1,375 percent more opt-ins. Another alternative to popups is to conduct a survey that will help you gain customer insights and capture leads.

Use Contrasting Colors

When designing your signup form, use a contrasting color scheme so that visitors will easily see it. If your website’s background is white and you use a light gray color for your signup form, visitors won’t be able to see it. And if visitors can’t see your form, they probably won’t sign up for your email newsletter. To prevent this from happening, design your signup form in a color that contrasts with the color of the background where you intend to use it.

Offer an Incentive

Rewarding users for signing up for your email newsletter is a great way to boost opt-in rates. Tangible incentives are usually too expensive to give away, so consider offering intangible rewards like a free e-book or video guide. Hosting contests and giveaways is the best to engage your audience. You can even set up an autoresponder to automatically send new subscribers the incentive after subscribing. While creating free incentives like e-books and videos takes time, it will make a world of difference in your opt-in rates. You’ll attract many subscribers who otherwise wouldn’t have signed up for your newsletter.

Integrate Email Signup Forms Into Site Registration

Many websites require users to register or create an account to interact with their site. This is particularly common with e-commerce sites where visitors must create an account to check out. If your site uses a similar registration feature, try integrating your email signup form into the registration process. If visitors have to create an account, for instance, you can request them to provide you with their email address. Just remember to be transparent and explain how you intend to use visitors’ email addresses.

Include Signup Forms on Social Media

When researching how to build an email list, you’ll probably discover some tactics that involve social media. If you have a Facebook Page, not a profile, you can place a call-to-action (CTA) button instructing users to sign up for your newsletter by clicking the “Add a Button” link and choosing “Contact you,” followed by “Sign Up.” Upon clicking this button, the user will be redirected to your signup form where he or she can enter their email address.

On Twitter, you can promote your email signup form in two ways. First, you can tweet a link to the form though you may need to use a URL shortener like Bitly to stay within Twitter’s 280-character limit. Second, you can add the signup form link to the website URL of your profile. While technically not a website, adding your signup form here ensures a high level of exposure.

What About Buying Email Lists?

Buying thousands of targeted email addresses may sound like a good idea, but it usually backfires. Most vendors who sell email addresses sell them to multiple businesses. Therefore, subscribers on the list are literally spammed by dozens or hundreds of businesses, making them ineffective for marketing purposes. Furthermore, there’s no way to tell how the vendor acquired the addresses. They could have acquired them through illegal activities, which could jeopardize your business’s brand image if you use them. Because of this, it’s recommended that you create your own list. By reading this guide, you should know how to create an email list.

Learning how to grow your email list is just one step in creating an effective email marketing strategy. You should also use your newly sourced addresses as a marketing tool by sending subscribers promotional messages. And once you get hold of your potential subscribers, send them out engaging emails with right subject lines.

Ronald Heijnes

Since 2008 I keep myself busy with the functionality, management, maintenance and performance of self hosted WordPress. I like to share this knowledge. All in my spare time!

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Hello Ronald,
for building my email list i am using mailchim and it one of the best tools for me.

Pradip Das

Nice article.