20 Ideas on How to Supercharge Your Mailing List Growth

tips to grow your mailing list

Mailing list is one of the most effective marketing instruments, ever. Here are 20 methods how to increase the sing up rate on your web properties and offline. Social media is getting more and more important, but mailing lists are still extremely important in regular communication, lead generation and sales.

1. Never say “Join our newsletter”

This is probably the most important tip in this post!!! Nobody wants to join a newsletter. Newsletters are boring and I don’t have time to read them. Our experience has shown that when you replace “join our newsletter” with clear points what the newsletter will contain and why you should join then the sign up rate will increase several times.

2. Give value

One of the best tactics to build your list is to give something in exchange for the email address. Create a white paper or short course and let people sign up to get that material. Again, you will see very substantial increase in sign up rate. Giving value that is specific to your industry ensures that people who sign up are members of your target group.

3. Add sing up form to every page

Joining your mailing list should be really easy, so add the sign up box to every page. You can also create a dedicated sign up page which tells the visitor what value will they get if they join.

4. Ask them to join the list during transactions

Visitors who are in the process of buying or some other important transaction has already given you a big YES. Use that positive state of mind to ask for a small yes of joining the list.

5. Thank you pages

You think that transactions, specially buying process, are so important that you have to remove all clutter, even the check box for the mailing list. No worries, add the mailing list sign up to the thank you page. It works the same way as previous point, if you got the big yes of transaction the small yes is easy to come.

6. Transactional email

Transactional email is sent to confirm some action visitor has just taken. These emails get opened and paid attention. Ask them to join the mailing list and use the transactional email itself as an example of what they can expect in the future.

7. Partner mailing lists

Find out if any of your partners has a list where yo can add value. Create an offer or message that is useful for the subscribers of that list. Best tactic would be to use something that they would need to sign up for. (Don’t try to sell in your first interaction.)

8. Rented lists

Look for industry newsletters or sites that sell the opportunity to include your message in their regular communication. As with partner lists, find the value that would make the recipients interested enough to sign up for your offer. The trick is in the relevance of the list. If you sell industrial machinery don’t send the message to teenage girls, even if the list is free.

9. Online tools

Create a tool that your audience finds valuable and solve their problems. You can then send the results to email address or ask for one in the process of using the tool. One great example is Website Grader by HubSpot.

10. Send to a friend

Every email that you send to your list should encourage people to forward it to a friend or colleague.

11. Social media

Ask people to sign up in your social media channels. Create a special page that asks people to sign up and gives clear reasons why they should do that.

12. Events

When you are speaking at an event ask the audience to sign up. Tell them that they can sign up for you newsletter on every page of your website and get the information they are paying right now for free, forever. Additionally, if you are the organizer of the event then you can add mailing list sign up to the feedback form.

13. Offline material

Product data sheets, brochures and other printed material should include the information about signing up for more.


14. Direct mail

The older brother of email newsletter is a great opportunity to ask people to continue the discussion online. Ask them for feedback online that includes newsletter sign up with or without giving up the dead tree version.

15. Point of sale

I have joined a newsletter of a food court at the place of their business by writing my name and email on the piece of paper. Every Monday they send me a fresh menu for that week. Use that if you have people visiting your place of business.

16. Loyalty programs

When customers join your loyalty programs always ask permission to send them email.

17. Tell them it’s safe to join

You can write a privacy policy or just say in one shot sentence that nobody will get their email address from you. Depends on your legal department but I believe that the shorter the better. You can see an example on our sign up form.

18. It’s about who not how many

Concentrate on the quality of your mailing list. It’s more important that the people on the list actually care about what you have to say than how big is the list.

19. Make it easy to join

Ask only for most important information. In the simplest form it’s the email address. Don’t ask for birthday, shoe size or grandmother’s maiden name in the first encounter. You can always refine the list later by offering incentives to give additional information.

20. Ask!

If you are in contact with your audience always ask them to join the list. Be it offline meeting or a blog post about list building. On the right site of this post is the sign up form for our mailing list. Sign up for more internet marketing and social media advice.

And don’t forget to share this post!

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Image credit Marcel Hol

Also published on Medium.

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Priit Kallas

Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.

9 Responses

  1. Adam Logan says:

    Nice list you got here Priit. In addition to this, i found few more here (http://upviral.com/10-hacks-neil-patel-uses-quickly-grow-email-lists/ ) that demonstrated how Neil Patel grow his email list. I particularly like and found useful having an optin / popup to capture ( annoying but very useful too 😉

  2. I like your tip to ask visitors to join a mailing list during transactions. Like you said, people buying something from you have already approved of you. They’ll be much more likely to want to sign up for your mailing list than if you had asked them when they just clicked on your site. Thanks for all the tips!

  3. Petr says:

    I use this tool to collect email addresses. Quite good… http://www.nevirta.com

  4. Great tips. FYI #3 should be sign up, not sing up. However, I can sing for you if you’d like!

  5. Doaa says:

    Really great tips
    Thanks very much

  6. Great tips indeed on how to grow email list.

  1. March 12, 2012

    […] your targeted audience to join your mailing list by giving the some unresistant offers. Read 20 Tips to Grow Your Mailing List by Priit Kallas for more […]

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