What’s Working To Grow Your Email List Right Now
by Lisa Appelo
In the online writing world, one piece of advice persists: grow your email list. Maybe you’ve done all the backend tech work — you have an email provider, you’ve created a free opt-in, and you have a welcome email sequence. Now if only that list would grow, right?
As I’ve worked to grow my email list and watched writer friends work on theirs, I’ve been taking notes. I want to share three ways to grow an email list that are working right now.
- Host a giveaway.
Hosting a giveaway is a solid way to bump your email subscribers. Create a bundle or choose a single product to give away and host alone or with a group of authors. Each new subscriber has a chance to win. You can offer additional chances when new subscribers share about the giveaway or follow you on social media.
Pros: With little effort and cost, your email list can grow substantially while blessing one of your subscribers.
Cons: People may opt in only to win and then unsubscribe once the winner is announced or never open your emails. Tailoring the prize to your niche, collaborating with similar authors, and cleaning your email list of non-opening subscribers will help with this.
- Advertise your freebie.
People find your subscriber opt-in two ways: as you organically share on social media, your website and at speaking events or through paid advertisements. Organic sharing is free, but it’s also a slower way to grow an email list. Facebook or Instagram ads sharing a freebie help an email list grow more quickly.
Pros: Facebook and Instagram ad audiences can be tailored to reach people interested in your content and niche.
Cons: Running ads is expensive, unless you have a book or product to promote to new subscribers offsetting the cost. There’s also a learning curve to creating and targeting effective ads on Facebook and Instagram.
- Optimize your top posts.
An often-overlooked way to grow email subscribers is right on your website. Most website traffic comes to a handful of posts. Optimizing those popular posts will help capture and convert that traffic into subscribers.
First, consult analytics for your site through Google Analytics (GA4), Jetpack or another feed, and find your top 10 blog posts.
Now go through each of those posts, and determine whether your subscriber freebie ties in to that post’s content. If it doesn’t, create another freebie valuable to someone reading that post.
Next, go through each post, and make sure the reader has multiple ways to subscribe. Put a subscriber box within your content, on the sidebar, in a top bar or in the footer. Add a gentle pop-up box or a direct link after the post (e.g., Get a downloadable list of all 20 Bible verses when you subscribe here!).
Pros: Optimizing top posts helps capture traffic already on your site. Once the initial setup is done, it runs on autopilot.
Cons: It takes a chunk of time to analyze your traffic, add subscriber boxes and create any additional freebies.
Taking steps to grow an email list is often unseen work that we can put off for flashier work like writing a new post or creating Instagram graphics. Before this year wraps up, challenge yourself to choose one of these options to boost your email list. Six months from now, you’ll be grateful you took the challenge!
Are you ready to take some steps today? Drop a (praise hands emoji) if you are!
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