Growing your email list can be crazy lucrative. 

Or crazy hard. 

And sometimes both. 

You’ve heard a million times to “grow your email list” but what does that actually mean? 

Today we’re going to dive into 13 ways to grow your email list (that you may not have thought of yet, and certainly haven’t tried). 

1. Do a giveaway/participate in a giveaway 

I don’t know why this one came to mind first, but likely because I participated in one this fall and loved it! Giveaways are a ton of work if you’re the one hosting it — but the reward pays off when you get to go in front of everyone else’s audience and be the expert. 

As a presenter in a giveaway, you get access to an audience you’ve never seen before and if you get your message in alignment with who you’re in front of, the opt-in rate will be astronomical. 

I launched my Local Marketing Boss Guide — which you can snag for yourself for free at  to a group of online business owners from all over the world. Despite my topic seeming like it wouldn’t mesh — I know entrepreneurs are out there in the online space wondering how to get clients in their own backyard and that opt-in is STILL performing at 98% optin rate — which is crazy good. 

2. Create a freebie/optin 

This one feels really obvious — except it’s often overlooked because you have no idea either what to put out there that might actually attract ideal clients vs anyone. Freebies get a bad rap for being noise — but I love them. They allow you to introduce yourself, test a piece of your content out, take your lead further into the nurture journey and it costs nothing! 

3. Create a free report/education 

Yes, this technically is an optin, but the reason it gets its own special category is that it attracts a different type of audience and buyer when you’re creating reports and or educating. Reports carry weight, allow you to do polling and research, often have stats and case studies and are REALLY juice for getting people to opt-in…. that is again IF you are creating something your ideal person really needs/wants.

This type of option is mostly used in tech and educational sectors, as well as stuffy corporate, so you can take the idea and make it stand out if you’re in a different market. 

4. Ask people to join your community/group 

I love this one! And for good reason. Women who join the #GirlBoss Club not only are amazing but exactly who I’m trying to help grow a business. Despite being on technology all the time, we are a disconnected people and we all crave community. Creating a community, whether that’s on a social platform or in real life is a great way to grow your email list. People who join your community get to know you even faster than those on your list — so when they join, it’s like lighting a match. They begin to show up more in the community and open emails more and respond. We all want these types of people on our lists. 

5. Create a special deal/offer/coupon 

This works for any type of business, but especially brick and mortar stores. People like to shop local if they’re already out, and they will make an extra effort if they have a coupon or special offer that allows them to get something at a reduced rate or for free. In other words, it’s the catalyst for bringing people to your storefront — which allows you to make a sale — not just gain a new subscriber. 

6. Invite people to get an advance notification on an event

Exclusivity is a powerful tool that can be used to inspire people to take action. And as you may have noticed, that’s a lot of what we’re trying to do with growing an email list. We have to inspire them to sign up, click the button, enter their email, join the thing. It’s not a passive event — which makes it so valuable to your business. 

When you can tease an event and get people to sign up for a waiting list or to be the first to know — they can’t resist. Not only does this allow you to pre-sell your idea for free, but it also gives you a list of people begging you to offer it to them.


7. Create content upgrades for your podcast, blog, and videos. 

Content upgrades are the things you’ll see at the end of blog posts, show notes and in the comments or last frame of a video that invite you to give your email address in exchange for something else related to what you’ve just consumed. Most of the time it’s another piece of content (sometimes the same format, but other times a guide, book, list, etc.) that you can download to help you even more than the topic you’ve just learned about. 

Once you have someone consuming your content you MUST send them on to something else. Content upgrades allow you to give them an easy yes without showing them all your offers (or your only freebie offer) again and again. 

8. Create pop-up forms on your website 

As annoying as they are — pop-ups work! Like really well. Even the most obnoxious ones you can never seem to get out of. Don’t be like them, but I would recommend you create a pop-up on your website, or at the very least and exit-intent pop up that shows up when they try to leave a page so you can capture their info before they are gone before. 

From what we know about web traffic, you usually have 15 seconds or less to capture their attention. If they are consuming content, the length of time goes up, but after that, if you don’t capture their email, they usually never return. Isn’t that terribly sad?! Especially if you’ve run any kind of ads or promotions to get that traffic to your site! 

9. Create landing pages for your freebies/content (not just popups)

Pop up forms have their place for sure — but so do landing pages. A landing page is a page that houses a freebie that someone has to give their email address in exchange for it. What’s unique about landing pages is that is usually has a headline, graphic, a form of some kind, a call to action button and maybe a logo. 

Some landing pages get a little fancier with more text. Or testimonials — but the important thing is that the navigation is missing so they can’t exit easily. The main goal is to get someone to convert on this page without getting bored and clicking somewhere else. 

10. Get in front of other people’s audiences 

When I do strategy sessions with female business owners, one common question I ask over and over is “Whose audience can we borrow and get you in front of?” This could be someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn community, an email list, a live video, an actual location.

The point is to borrow other people’s social capital by letting them speak about you to their community so they are warmed up and excited about you.
When done well, this can explode a list’s growth because people are more likely to pause and pay attention when someone they know introduces them. 

11. Share your freebies! 

You must spend 5 times more promoting a piece of content than just creating it. That number seems bonkers — but we spend so much time creating something that we forget that we need eyeballs on it to make it worth it. Make a plan every single day (that you work) to get your freebie, content upgrade, content, interview, etc — out to the world so more people know about it. 

You can never over-promote yourself. 

Sure you may annoy yourself — but the person who shows up the most wins the game. 

12. Start pinning

Pinterest is a big project goal for me in 2020 to leverage. I dabbled in it in 2019 but this year, we are doing it for real. Why? Because for my niche, Pinterest is a huge traffic source and one that’s only continuing to grow and evolve. Pinterest is like running cold ads to your freebies/optins (which you can totally do) without all the guesswork of audiences.

When you set up your content correctly, understand how keywords and group boards work, you’ll be able to harness so much more traffic and people to your list than you thought possible. 

13. Add your link to your email signature 

This one is a tiny baby suggestion, but it gives me so much mileage. I make sure that anything someone can opt-in to is at the bottom of ALL of my email signatures. This includes my work and personal emails. You never know who may need you, know of someone, or have no idea you offered this. Make it easy for someone to click and join if they want to check you out. 

About Marketing Magic:

The Marketing Magic podcast is where women entrepreneurs trying to do all the things come to get inspiration, business strategy, and on-air coaching on how to get their business noticed and growing. If you have a business that people need to know about in order for it to grow, you’re in the right place. This is the place to uncomplicate your marketing. Be sure to listensubscribe, and leave a review! Join the conversation of other unapologetically successful women in her Facebook community, The #girlboss Club.