Powerful tips to grow your email contact list

Published in august, 09 of 2016

Put your email marketing contacts list on steroids and achieve better results

You already know that email marketing has one of the biggest ROI across all marketing channels. Besides, it gives you the possibility to talk one to one with your customer, has greater visibility, has a relatively low cost and is easy to track. Assuming you are already a fan of email marketing, just as we, you need to think of better and different ways to grow your email contact list.

A bigger and better email contact list means higher chances of conversions, and with it, more sales. But how to do that without going over to the dark side of marketing?

Just follow our tips:

Why do you need a good email contacts list

Although its many benefits, there are still a lot of marketing professionals that don't trust in the power of email marketing. After all, there are some many other metrics to worry about (like page views) or channels to contact and impact your customers (like social media).

In case you didn't notice the sentence above was sarcasm.

However, I'm afraid to say that who worries only about how well your website is performing or counts only with social media to leverage engagement and convert leads is making a big mistake. Email marketing is still the best way to build an engaged audience, sell a product online, or create hype around your next big event or service project.

So, once you realize the importance of building a strong email list of contacts, it's time to work on that. I'm not even going to mention that you SHOULDN'T buy email contacts lists because I'm assuming you already know that. As a marketing professional, you have to keep adding fresh, trustable, legitimate contacts to your list on a daily basis. Just in case you don't know: email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year.

Building an email list is crucial because it’s the best way to build a relationship with potential customers in an intimate way. (Nathalie Lussier)

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Email marketing has 3 basic differentials that make it worth to invest on: it's personal, it's direct and it's private. But that's not only:

  • Different from social media, you actually have control over your email marketing strategy. Take Facebook for example, it's always changing its algorithm so you have to pay for ads to have the slightest chance that your audience might see your messages. Although 22% of emails get lost in cyberspace you still have 78% of chance to hit your audience. Your email contact list is yours and you get to decide how to better use it to achieve your marketing goals.
  • Your subscribers are more likely to buy from you: if your subscribers allow you to reach their inbox, they are somehow interested to hear from you. So, in case you eventually try to sell something for them, the chances that they buy something are pretty high.

So the more interested people you have on your list of contacts, the more potential buyers see your marketing messages.

How to build up your list of contacts

I'm sure that the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of growing your email contact list is opt-in forms. Unfortunately, the digital marketing environment is already saturated with opt-in forms. Offer some value and use creativity and creating opt-in forms to grow your list of contacts.

Here're some tips to continually grow your list:


opt-in forms are essential but they have to be visible for your future subscribers. Popouts or popovers are an option but light boxes offer better results, simply because they aren't as annoying as popouts. Some companies register an increase of 1000% in opt-ins with popovers.

Offer some incentive:

people are driven by rewards. Offer different incentives for different people and segment your audience from the beginning.

Offer discounts:

discounts on purchases can be a great way to grow your list. Offer customers a discount on their next purchase with email sign-up.

Blog content:

show to your subscribers what they will get from you. The simplest way to do that is having great relevant blog content.

Content upgrade:

offer content upgrade. this is one of the most used tactics right now and it's pretty simple. You already offer relevant content to your subscribers, but what about offering deeper content on the same topic? They are already interested in the content and the chances that they want to know from you is huge. In fact, some companies that have tried this tactic claimed that they had an increase of 20% in subscription rates just by offering an upgrade in content.

Use welcome mats:

welcome mats are also a trend. The mats are placed on the top of the pages and fill the entire screen. It's almost like a giant popup. The major difference is that you can’t see the site’s content behind a welcome mat. The main point: capture the visitor attention straight away. And it may actually work: Bamidele Onibalusi said that after implementing a welcome mat on his blog, he got over 1,000 extra email subscribers in less than one month.

Use a feature box:

include lead magnets on your feature box and watch the magic happen. Use your lead magnet in exchange for email address. The advantage of a feature box is that your reader can still scroll down to your website or blog. DIY Themes increased their subscription rate by 51% just using featured boxes.

Run a contest:

contest are usually a fun and engaging experience for you and for your readers. It's a great way to grow your email contact list with little effort. Think of ways to engage not only your subscribers but also their friends. Make the contests shareable in social media and offer valuable prizes for your audience.

Social media:

add opt-in forms to your social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. You can also use your pages to promote a special offer that requires an email address submission.


if you work with videos channels like YouTube or Vimeo, be sure to add call-to-actions in your videos and ask your viewers' email addresses, so you can send more relevant videos according to their interest.


co-marketings are also a great way to grow your list of contacts. If you produce and distribute content with other important player in the market ask them to share their leads with you or you can create a landing page to capture some leads.

Offline events:

are great places to collect email address and grow your list of contacts. Just be sure to send a warm welcome afterwards the event and confirm if they want to opt-in to your list. Then, send content with topics related to the event!

QR codes:

integrate with the physical world and add QR codes to your offline media, such as posters, business cards and flyers.

Email campaigns:

think of creative email campaigns. It may not seem like the most powerful tactic but remember that people do forward interesting emails to family, friends and co-workers. Include call-to-actions that make it easy to share and sign up.

Paid ads:

if you are running a paid campaign on Google, don't forget to add a signup form on your landing page.


make it easy to sign up. Use a form rather than a link to a signup form. As the difficulties to sign up increases, so the chances that your future reader may give up subscribing to your newsletter.

Use numbers:

use numbers to show your power. Social proof does help you achieve more subscribers. People tend to follow others if they believe they might get something good from that. Let's say you have 1,000 email subscribers, 12,000 Facebook fans, 8,000 Twitter followers, and 3,000 RSS readers (they’re people too): why not let your potential subscriber know that? 24.000 followers is such a more impressive number and it can be used to wow your customers. For example, why not say: "Join 24.000 subscribers and receive free updates". Check out Michael Hyatt blog.

Example of email list growth with numbers

On his blog it says that he has more than 600,000 subscribers. The chances that this number accounts only for email subscribers is minimal. This is probably a combination of Facebook, Twitter and other social media followers plus email subscribers. What this causes on potential subscribers? They are obviously mesmerized with the number and compelled to become one of his subscribers as well.

Speed up:

did you know that how fast your website loads impacts on your sign ups and sales? Just take a look at these statistics:

  • Amazon’s sales increase by 1% for every 0.1 second decrease in page load time.
  • When Google tried showing 30 results per page at a cost of just 0.5 seconds in load time, traffic and revenue decreased by 20%!

  • 40% of visitors will abandon a site after just 2 seconds of load time.

  • Shopzilla increased its page views by 25% and its conversion rate by 7-12% after improving average page load speed by 4 seconds.

So if you want to have a ever growing email contacts list you better improve your loading speed.

Mobile apps:

use mobile apps to grow your list: mobile usage is reaching impressive numbers. So it's only logical that you take advantage of that to grow your email contact list. A great example is the one used by website Babycenter. The website provides maternity and child advice to parents. They offer an app that helps the parents follow the whole steps of the pregnancy: when visitors enter a due date on the app, they simply ask for an email address so they can receive weekly newsletters with pregnancy tips.

Remember there's a huge competition out there and you have to stand out. Otherwise you are going to be just another company trying to get as many emails as possible, without worrying about your potential customers interests.

Email is the most scalable way to make sales with new customers and build deeper relationship with deeper customers.(Noah Kagan)

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Work out your email marketing strategies and grow your list

Optimize and segment your list of contacts

Once you have a good and strong email contacts list, it's time to segment them to take full advantage of your subscribers. Personalization is the main reason of why you need to segment your contact lists. Your subscribers need to receive information that is relevant for them: the more you segment your list more chances you have that the information you send will resonate with the recipient. This ultimately means more conversions.

Segmenting is the best way to optimize your results. If your subscribers know that your emails are relevant to them, you'll be able to see better open rates, better click-through rates, better conversions rates, lower unsubscribe rates and your chances of falling into spam folders are also smaller, since your email reputation is set to be good.

If your question is how can you segment your lists, well this is up to you. You can segment by gender, behaviour, location, job title and so on. If you need more advice on that just check our blog post about how to segment and manage your email contact list.

After segmenting your lists the next logical step is A/B testing. Testing is essential in marketing and A/B testing gives you the correct notion of what's working and what's not. You can test almost everything on your emails, just select a random group of recipients within different lists and send different versions of subject lines, CTAs, images, etc.

There is always room for improvement. There are always new ways to grab the attention of potential subscribers. Growing your email contacts list with engaged subscribers is an ever going task so you need to keep your eyes open to new possibilities and technologies that may help you on this challenging mission.