How to Grow Your Email List: Recommended Tip [PART 2]

Written by Sarah on 29th June 2017

Annnnd we’re back!

Last month we guided you through the top 6 recommended ways to grow your email list after trawling through the top 10 SERPs and finding over 307!

After categorizing our results, we narrowed it down to 55 tips, and in part 1 we covered the first 6.

We’re back with another 6 (don’t worry as the categories get smaller, we’ll be covering more in each post!), so let’s get to it!

Outreach

There’s a bit of crossover between outreach and social media areas, but this section is all about specifically reaching out to people to share your content.

Outreach should be part of any marketing strategy, and using it to help promote your email list is no exception.

Firstly, you need content that is already a conversion winner for email signups. Then it’s case of reaching out to the people who your content is one, relevant for and two, something they’d be likely to share.

The biggest tip from this that you should take is: Don’t be spammy! Don’t share your content where it’s not wanted or without having an extremely valid reason for doing so.

The Tips:

  • Search forums for questions
  • Answer questions in Facebook groups.
  • Comment on blog posts
  • Answer questions on Quora and link to your landing page where applicable.
  • Create a course on Udemy to reach people who are searching for help there at Udemy.
  • Promoting your blog to get more traffic to posts that already perform highly for email conversions.
  • Get featured as a guest interviewee on a popular podcast. While you’re on the mic be sure to mention your opt-in offer.
  • Join a relevant community like ProductHunt or GrowthHackers or FoodGawker or CraigsList and submit your opt-in offer or opt-in offer there.
  • Mention a popular Tweeter on your newsletter then tweet about it. Maybe that influencer will retweet it to his or her followers.
  • Regularly monitor key terms on Twitter and respond to people mentioning your landing page where applicable.

Online Events

Following on from offline events, the next tip is, of course, it’s digital counterpart.

The majority of suggestions focused on one or two options – hosting a webinar, or hosting a giveaway. Two other suggestions included starting your own Twitter Chat or getting people involved in a free email challenge (see Derek Halpern’s Sales Page Challenge).

The key to this one is to make sure the content is highly relevant to the people you want to subscribe to your email list. This is similar to the epic content point, but it’s one that’s worth repeating over and over until it’s stuck in your head.

The Tips:

  • Host webinars.
  • Host a giveaway.
  • Host a Twitter chat
  • Create a free email challenge.

Targeted Personas

Personalization is huge when it comes to email marketing, but too often for some brands personalization comes down to adding the FNAME tag and leaving it at that.

But when done right personalization can be key to growing your email list and keeping them there.

Here’s the tips broken down:

  • Create multiple offers on your site for different segments of your audience. This could improve the relevance of the emails you send to your subscribers.
  • Find the top 10-20 pages on your website and add a strong call to action for a relevant opt-in offer.
  • Offer the ability for subscribers to choose different lists to subscribe to so they can get more relevant, niche content.

Essentially the tips suggest that when growing your list, you should also at the same time be segmenting it into different personas. Of course the people signing up to your list should all be part of your target audience but there will be ways that you can narrow this down further.

For example, if you’re running a sports ecommerce store, you’d expect that your audience will be interested in all things sports. However, you could increase your sign ups and your engagement in a number of ways:

  • By sport e.g. football, rugby
  • By age range
  • By gender
  • By professionalism

Cross Promotion

This next tip is really quite genius when executed properly. The aim is to identify a business that complements your own so you can promote your business in front of a readily built audience.

Going back to our sports ecommerce store, we could look to partner with a national gym chain and cross promote our gymwear to their audience in return for promoting their gym memberships to our audience.

Here’s the tips in full:

  • Seek out joint venture partnerships
  • Cross-promote with another publisher or business in a similar area of interest and promote each other’s newsletters.
  • Partner with Influencers
  • run a joint email campaign with a complementary business
  • run a promotion on a partner website or email newsletter
  • Sponsor a Giveaway on Another Site

One of the first questions you might have is how do you arrange these cross promotions if you only have a small list?

Here’s where the old adage comes in handy – size doesn’t matter. What really matters is the level of engagement that you’re getting. If you’re email list has only 1000 subscribers but with each email 10% of your readers purchase something new (way higher than the average), then a potential partner might be a lot more interested.

That’s why whilst growing your email list you should always be keeping an eye on your engagement and open rates. What’s the use of a 100,000 strong email list if no one opens the email?

One of the great benefits of cross promotion, is that you’re putting your business in front of an audience that may not have come across you before. What’s more, it’s often at much less of a cost than putting money behind a paid marketing strategy or pushing an organic marketing strategy.

Encourage Sharing

How often do you try new restaurants or check out new stores because a friend recommended it? It’s true that you’re more likely to check something out when someone you know has suggested it to you and the same applies to email lists.

If you’re creating epic content and keeping your subscribers engaged, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t recommend you to their colleagues, friends and family.

Of course, if you want something you need to ask! Don’t be afraid to include a sentence at the bottom of your email asking the reader to share it on.

Take CB Insights, at the bottom of their email they include the sentence ‘If you loved this newsletter, send it to a friend’.

Or better yet reward people for referring people they know to your list, and while you’re not expecting to be dishing out money for each referral, make sure it’s a prize that’s worth it.

Here’s the tips:

  • Add sharing buttons
  • Ask your existing subscribers to forward your emails to a friend
  • Reward subscribers or employees for referring
  • Add a viral loop to your opt-in pages

Use your signature

It’s one of the oldest growth hacks in the book, but one of the reasons Hotmail was able to grow so quickly was thanks to a little link in every email’s signature – “Get Your Free Email at Hotmail”. That signature link helped Hotmail go from 20,000 users to 1 million in 6 months.

You never know who you’re emailing who might be interested in your email list, by including a call to action in your signature, you’ll always be ready.

Direct the link to a landing page and then encourage the team to do the same. The more emails it’s on, the higher the chance of people clicking it!

Here’s the tips:

  • Add a call to action to your email signature
  • Add a link to a landing page in your email signature.
  • Add a link to your employees’ signatures
  • If you’re on any forums, update your forum signature to include a link to your landing page opt-in.

And that’s us wrapped up for Part 2!

As we said in Part 1, you don’t need to implement all of these strategies. Look at the areas that you can effectively execute and stick with those.


Also published on Medium.