How to Quickly Grow Your Email List: 42 Proven Ways

August 30, 2021

Do you find yourself losing sleep, wondering how to grow your email list?

We understand that your email list is an awesome asset to expand your customer base.

But how do you make it grow without spending money on buying email addresses/subscribers?

Databases sell you hundreds or even thousands of email addresses that probably belong to people who are not part of your target customer segments – so they are useless. What to do?

We give you not one but 42 answers!

Even with social media marketing becoming the norm these days, email and newsletter signups remain dependable sources of new customers. Conversion rates from email marketing depend very directly upon ‘open rate,’ the number of receivers who click to open your email/newsletter.

Regardless of the industry that you are part of, achieving a high open-rate is desirable, no doubt.

Apart from helping to increase email subscribers, our ‘answers’ will lead to a better open rate!

Table of Contents

Points to Remember Before You Begin

Before we get down with our list of tips for getting more newsletter signups, let’s discuss few common strategies applicable to the majority if not all, such as:

1. Understand the Audience Demographics

Every customer is different, so there cannot be a single tip to win them all. That’s why it is essential to know your audience. Different content and ideas will work differently for different people. Hence, the first thing to do is to segment your customer base, as per their interests, and preferences. Once you know your audience, you can employ the tips that maximize the returns for your efforts.

2. Know Whom to Target

There are different customer segments such as new customers, old customers, visitors, and others, even within a specific demographic. You want to get more people to signup for your newsletters but not at the expense of their experience. Showing irrelevant content or popups may frustrate your visitors and lead to abandonment. Therefore, pick your targeting options very carefully

3. Know Your on-Page Pop-ups for Maximum Engagement

Popups are among the best ways to encourage customers/visitors to sign up for your newsletters. Surveys act as feedback loop management systems and potential lead generators because customers also want to leave feedback or review after interacting with a business.

On the other hand, deal popups entice visitors into taking action by creating urgency or showcasing fabulous purchase opportunities. Then, popup subscriptions or lead forms ask the visitors for their contact information such as email address, phone number, etc.

If used correctly, popups work on almost every customer segment, from new visitors to loyal customers.

The following section will describe how you can employ these points while applying the tips on your website, app, or product.

Practical Tips to Get More Email Subscribers

Let’s take a deep dive into our long list of practical tips that help you get more email subscribers.

1. Utilize Your Most-Visited Blog Posts

Google Analytics (or any other SEO tools you use) will tell you which of your blog posts are attracting the most traffic. There are also other metrics like time spent on-site and click-through rate that identify your best-performing blogs. Leverage these blog posts by inserting subtle yet effective requests at appropriate places within the blog content and other places (like sidebars).

How to get more email subscribers from your best-performing pages?

  • Add survey popups and embed lead forms in them to capture emails and contact information. It will also let you collect visitors’ demographic information.
  • Target moments in the visitor journey such as a specific position on the page or when they click a particular element or spend a certain amount of time on the page.
  • If you are using popups to show personalized offers, try to target leaving visitors and cart abandoners. Ask for their email address in exchange for a small discount.

2. Target Exit Intent With Survey and Deal Popups

When the cursor of a website visitor (on desktop browsers) goes out of the frame of your web page, it is likely that they are considering exiting (or switching to another tab). Triggering a pop-up that entices them to share what they were looking for can also serve as an email sign-up channel, especially if you tell them that you will write to them about their query.

Exit Intent Survey by Qualaroo

How to convince leaving visitors to subscribe to the newsletter

  • Show them a personalized offer or deal using pop-up overlays.
  • Use survey forms and add the discount code at the end to maximize engagement and collect insights about their experience.

3. Incentivize First-Time Subscribers

When it comes to requesting prospective subscribers to sign up for your email or newsletter, the first time’s the charm. Once a prospect skips past the initial sign-up request, it takes some doing to convince them to sign up at a later stage. Overcome this challenge by creating an irresistible incentive for first-time email or newsletter subscribers – one that doesn’t hurt your bottom line.

How to create effective first-time incentives?

  • Personalize the offer by using dynamic content.
  • Target user behavior with different offer types such as free ebook, discount code, free shipping, 1+1 offer, etc.

4. Target People Based on Visitor Intent

Knowing whom to target and when to target them gives you a great advantage over your competition, who may be showing the same email sign-up CTA to all their website visitors. If you are unsure about how to target visitors accurately, check out this article to get more subscribers!

How to do it?

  • User intent can be anything that indicates specific behavior such as scrolls, exit-intent, time on page, adding products to cart, clicking on the CTAs, etc.
  • Show surveys to ask for feedback and contact information.
  • Create urgency with limited-time deals using overlay popups.
  • Add lead forms and offer free consultation or advice to capture contact information.

5. Tweak Your Popups for Mobiles

The way your website functions on desktops and smartphones is different. Make sure you have optimized both versions for mobiles so that your email signup pop-up doesn’t appear out of place because mobiles (smartphones) are fast becoming the preferred device for accessing the net.

How to do it?

  • Make sure that the surveys and overlay pop-ups are mobile responsive.
  • You can also create separate surveys for the mobile browser and app.

6. Optimize Lead-Ins for Smartphones

The way you guide prospective customers into your sales funnel with an email campaign on your desktop website differs from the strategy required to convert smartphone users. The lead-in process, design, and the expected reward for signups need to be decided accordingly.

7. Ask Targets What They Want to Read

You can heighten interest in signing up for your email by asking the target audience via a pop-up survey what they would like to know more about. This small step shows them that you empathize with their intent. You just need to add an open-text field to your signup form, and voila! More happy subscribers!

How to turn opinions into email capture moments?

  • Design quick polls and fun quizzes to ask for suggestions from your visitors on new features and ideas.
  • Add a subscription form to the quizzes and ask respondents to signup for updates on upcoming quizzes to capture the email addresses.

Here are some of the questions to ask: 

  • “What topics would you like to see us write about next?”
  • “Was this help section useful?”
  • “Did this article answer your question?”
  • “Were you able to find the information you were looking for?”
  • “What other information would you like to see on this page?”

Check out more questions in this specially-curated survey question bank!

8. Maximize Value From Social Media

Your Facebook page can increase user engagement if you place a call to action (CTA) in it. The CTA invites visitors to get a benefit (joining bonus, free trial, discount code, etc.) if they just subscribe to newsletter broadcasts you send. 

For example, HubSpot Academy added a ‘Sign Up’ CTA to their Facebook page, which gave “access to a special resource” to all who signed up.

signup on hubspot to get more email subscribers

Why stop at your product or website?

  • Post your polls and quizzes on your social media channels
  • Reply to people who comment and give feedback on your social walls. 
  • Ask unsatisfied clients to contact your support services through email or call for high-priority assistance.
  • Ask happy customers to fill the surveys and provide ratings.

9. Add Signup CTA in the Comments Section

The voice of the customer is powerful more than ever today. Let them have their say about your blogs, articles, and announcements by demarcating a space at the bottom of such web pages. While you’re at it, why not put in a CTA for signing up to your email subscriber list? You could use a customer satisfaction email template to ask for a valid email address for commenting.

10. Reply to All Queries & Comments

As we have mentioned above, the voice of the customer is quite important today. Make them feel heard by responding to all communications regarding the emails you will send to them.

Reply to queries

11. Write a Specific Invite for LinkedIn

LinkedIn has emerged as one of the most reliable platforms that incorporate elements of social media with professionalism, so you would do well to create a high-level email signup invite that specifically suits your LinkedIn profile and allows you to expand your business connections, too!

12. Target Top & Bottom of a Sales Funnel

Email is showing no signs of becoming obsolete, even as other forms of communications are gaining traction. Prospects at all points in your sales funnel are likely to use email as a source of gaining knowledge as well as taking action. Hence, do not leave out any target demographic from your attempts to get more email subscribers.

How to utilize the sales funnel to earn more subscribers?

  • Gather data about your visitor demographics and target each segment with a personalized offer or deal.
  • Target new visitors with free shipping or a first-order discount.
  • Target repeat visitors by creating urgency with limited deals.
  • Prompt leaving visitors to take action with deals and survey popups.

13. Carry out Regular a/B Testing

A/B testing is a great way to figure out how to increase newsletter subscribers because it tells you which of the two (or more) strategies you are using is better. It is a vital part of feedback strategies for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to create great products with an awesome user experience. Comparing email subscriber list expansion campaigns will help spread the word.

What can you A/B test?

  • A/B tests your deals and offers overlay popups to see what works for your visitors.
  • A/B test lead form to optimize them.
  • Collect feedback from customers using surveys and sidebar feedback forms to implement it into your A/B tests.
  • Test the position of your forms to find the sweet spot for getting more email subscribers

Watch: Insights for Smarter A/B Testing:

Bonus Read- 30 Best A/B Testing Tools to Help You Convert in 2021

14. Gamify Your Email Signup Process

Involve the visitors to your landing page or pop-up form that asks them to sign up for your email or by making it fun for them! Let them play a game of tic-tac-toe or spin a wheel with benefits on it, and make them feel like winners. For their reward, they share their email! You Win!

email signup

How can gamification add new email subscribers?

  • Add interactive quizzes to engage visitors.
  • Design tests and assessments such as personality questionnaires and ask them to leave their email address to receive customized reports and results.

15. Advertise Subscriber-Only Benefits

Encouraging landing page visitors to “steal this deal!” by becoming a member of your email subscriber list can work wonders for increasing email subscribers. Benefits that work both ways – you draw in more prospects into your sales funnel while subscribers can be regularly encouraged to buy your offerings – are good for expanding your customer base in the long run.

How to do it?

  • Offer personalized content and goodies on subscriptions.
  • Ask visitors what they are looking for and offer free customized plans or consultations to the email subscribers.
  • For example, a customized workout plan and meal plan for visitors who sign up for the newsletter.

16. Put in a Floating Sidebar Signup Form

As websites have become fancier with all sorts of bells and whistles, visitors have become accustomed to tuning out showy widgets and such. If you feel this is likely to happen with your website too, then consider placing a sidebar form that is tucked away unobtrusively until clicked.

What makes a sidebar form so effective?

  • Sidebar form is a non-intrusive element on your webpage. It doesn’t take any space or impede user experience. The visitors can interact with it at any time to provide their feedback. 
  • You can also use collapsible survey pop-ups and widgets.

17. Run Signup Giveaways & Contests

People love free stuff. Use this very human tendency to your advantage and offer free merchandise or trials or ebooks (repurposed marketing collateral of your brand) to the people who sign up for your email or newsletter. Even a few of them becoming customers is good!
18. Implement Web Push Smart Code

If you or your team knows how to code using the latest website and web page designing software like Dreamweaver, WordPress, Bootstrap, etc., then implement ‘smart code’ that enables web push notifications, ensuring that your email signup requests are served to the most suitable visitors. 

How to enable web push notifications?

One of the most effective ways to enable push notification is using Google’s firebase console. You can configure cloud messaging into your product or website to send push notifications to customers and visitors.

Read more about the Google Firebase console.

19. Push Notifications Across Platforms

Deliver a consistent user experience across your platforms – mobile, desktop, app – to show prospective customers that you have put in the effort to make them feel that they will get an equally consistent product or service from your brand. Reinforce this in your sign-up forms by ensuring that the design of notifications pushed to app users are the same as for web visitors.

How to use push notifications for increasing mail subscriptions?

  • Combine push notifications with signup incentives to earn more subscribers.
  • Send regular notifications about upcoming sales and deals. Add signup form on the landing pages to collect email addresses.
  • Leverage both web and mobile notifications to maximize your reach.

20. Charm Audiences With Witty Content

It takes something ‘different’ or ‘catchy’ to hold your target audiences’ attention. They are bombarded 24X7 from all sides with advertisements and prompts. Unless your email signup form stands out from the rest, chances are it will get lost in the cacophony of digital ads. 

How to do it?

  • Target users’ intent to show relevant content on the signup form.
  • Add actionable CTAs that depict the solution you offer and align them with visitors’ intentions/problems.

21. Offer Features as Subscription Trials

The features for which people will buy your product or service are also great as reasons to make them sign up for your emailing list. You can offer incentives that give them a trial of the best features for signing up with an authentic email address – one that requires verification.

22. Think of Unique Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are great for converting casual website visitors into email/newsletter subscribers. These are small tokens that cost you next to nothing yet expand your email list. This strategy is particularly useful if you are just starting to build an email subscriber base.

How to use lead magnets to earn more email subscribers?

  • A lead magnet needs to be different from a discount. Use assets such as product trials, case studies, reports, complimentary software, etc., to increase visitor engagement.
  • Template collections are a great lead magnet as well

23. Keep Content Simple & Minimal

Brevity is the soul of wit, wrote the Bard, and who are we to disagree? There is no reason why your sign-up request to website or social media channel visitors needs to be long-winded. Promote your benefit succinctly to get more email subscribers. Use witty slogans to hold their attention and give them an easy way to sign up – which brings us to persuasive action words.

24. Persuade Targets With Action Words

Action words drive people to do something: see these examples. In this case, you want to get more email subscribers, so apart from the usual ‘sign up’ and ‘register to know more’ prompts, you can create tailormade action phrases that are aligned to that purpose. 

An example for blogs: “Share what you thought” under the comments section and require an email to submit.

How to do it?

  • The action words should clearly specify the benefit or solution to the subscribers.
  • A/B test which actionable phrases work best to draw visitors’ attention.
  • Use phrases such as ‘Get instant access, ‘Grab your freebies now!’, ‘Become a marketing pro,’ etc. 

25. Create Video Promos & Short Ad Clips

The viral potential of short, catchy videos on video sharing platforms like TikTok has prompted Instagram and YouTube to come up with their own versions: Reels and Shorts. This knee-jerk reaction from two behemoths of social media cements the importance of 15- to 60-second clips for today’s short-attention-span audiences. It’s a bonus if you get your point across in a fun way.

Tiktok Ad

26. Show off Your Awards & Certifications

Certifications matter a lot for IT companies and manufacturing businesses, mainly due to the requirements of meeting industry standards. Knowledgeable audiences (especially in B2B-driven sectors) will look for such certifications (like ISO standards, data security, medical recommendations, food safety approvals, etc.). Show them off in your email sign-up requests.

How to do it?

  • Put your awards gallery on the homepage and most-visited web pages to build credibility.
  • Use carousels to showcase multiple recognitions without taking too much space.
  • Place a small embedded signup form underneath the awards section to collect email addresses.
ProProfs Awards

27. Highlight Your Product’s Features

The prime motive behind all your marketing and advertising efforts is to increase revenue. Revenue will increase when you have more customers, and email marketing is a time-tested channel of customer acquisition. 

But why should people become your customers or even join your email subscriber list? 

Your product features, of course! Highlight them as much as you can.

highlight product features

How to do it?

  • Add ribbons to the newly added features.
  • Highlight the features that set your product or service apart from the competition.
  • Add GIFs and images showing how the features work.

28. Engage Audiences via Crowdsourcing

Social phenomena in the digital sphere can spread unexpectedly. One way to increase the probability of your email signup form becoming talked about widely is crowdsourcing. You can get them to submit their ideas for new product names or features and require an email for it.

trader joe's homepage to grow email list

29. Weave a Story (for Millennials)

Millennials are convinced less by traditional ‘push’ advertising. They prefer relatable ‘stories’, either from other millennials (in the form of ‘social proof’) or real people (testimonials from clients). That’s why your email newsletter signup process would benefit from subtle ‘storytelling’.

30. Use Social Proof (Reviews and Testimonials)

Gone are the days of only showing a celebrity endorsing your product or service to make people want it. A lot of purchasing power is in the hands of millennials today, and they need a different strategy. One of the surest ways to convince them that what you are selling is worth buying is to show “social proof“. As Forbes put it, millennials “want it from trusted sources.” Pay heed to this.

How to use social proofs to increase email subscribers?

  • Show what other visitors are doing on your website in real-time (e.g. customer John Doe just purchased an Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max in Boston for $999!)
  • Add testimonials and user stories on the home page and product pages.
  • Show the subscription pop-up when the visitor reaches the testimonial section to prompt visitors to take action.

31. Place Email Signup Links Mid-Page

In-line CTAs that fit the context and flow of the text above and below them can prove to be effective drivers for increasing email subscribers by offering “related reads,” “further info,” or “deep dive” articles within articles or blogs that require interested readers to sign up for emails.

email signup links to increase email subscribers

32. Decrease Clicks With Embedded Forms

Nobody wants to jump through hoops just to add another subscription email to their inbox. Embedded forms for signing up reduce the number of clicks (and thus, steps) a person has to take to become a part of your subscriber list. Put them in sidebars or at the end of blog posts.

web embedded forms to grow email list

How to use embedded subscription forms?

  • The embedded signup form should not cover the entire screen.
  • Moreover, it should not distort the page content.
  • The visitors should be able to close the form.

33. Include Signup Link in Email Signatures

Your corporate email can become a great way to increase email subscribers if you add a link to the signatures of your entire corporation. This way, every employee’s outgoing email becomes a potential channel for new signups to be added to your subscriber list.

34. Host Webinars & Live Sessions

Webinars and podcasts (with the visuals from studio cameras either live-streamed or edited and posted later) are huge crowd pullers these days. What may have begun as something only for pop culture from Comic-Con has become a great way to capture your target audiences’ interest. 

You can have a pop-up form emerge right after the podcast or webinar ends to ask what they thought of it or whether they would like to be alerted about more such events in the future.

Podcast on SaaS Breakthrough: How Qualaroo Pivoted Product-Market Fit after a Venture-based Acquisition‬ 

35. Build a Step-by-Step Lead-in Process

Depending on your product or service, you might need to educate your prospects about the features and benefits of your offering to convince them that it is totally worth signing up for your emails or newsletters. Offer them beginner or advanced versions depending upon their Identity.

Qualaroo identify feature

36. Follow Heatmaps & Click Maps

Put the CTAs that ask visitors to sign up for your newsletter or email list at the spots that attract their attention. There are various tools that generate heat maps for your website’s landing pages and blog posts, showing you which spots visitors focused on and on which areas they hovered. These conversion spots are also identifiable through user session recording tools like FullStory

How to make most of the heatmaps data and session replays?

  • Use heatmaps to find portions of the web pages that visitors mostly interact with. Use the data to place the email subscription forms at these places.
  • The session replays also highlight the issues with the forms to help you optimize them and increase the completion rate. Use the data for your A/B tests to try different CTAs and form positions, and find the ones that work best.

37. Enable Signup Popups on the Homepage

Enable pop-ups that appear when the visitor to your homepage shows exit intent serve a dual purpose – they act as a pull to convince the visitor to stay and they give the visitor an opportunity to stay updated about your brand (by signing up for your newsletter). Use them judiciously, though.

38. Mark Form Fields With Placeholders

The process for interested people to sign up for your newsletter or email should be easy as pie. One of the ways to make it easier is to show the person pre-populated form fields. 

Add placeholders into the form input fields to show the intended value or help-text to the respondents. It would make it easy for them to fill the form.

Point to note: The dummy text should disappear when they start typing. Else it can cause form abandonment!

email placeholders to grow email list

39. State Email Frequency Clearly

People might not want to be bombarded with your ‘technology news round-up daily, but they might dig the idea of a daily ‘best tech accessories deals’ email. Survey customers to decide how often you will send a specific type of email and inform new subscribers upfront about it.

40. Promote Your “Free” Incentives Fully

As we’ve mentioned, people love ‘free’ things that they can get with minimal effort – for our purposes, by signing up for your email newsletter. If you have certain things you can give to subscribers for free, you stand a better chance of making them sign up to your emailing list.

How to take full advantage of free incentives?

  • Use survey data and session replays to understand what visitors expect from your target web pages. Know their intent to design personalized offers pop-ups that suit the CTA of the page.
  • Show different incentives to different visitor segments.
  • Send freebie and exclusive deals through push notifications to bring the visitors to the landing pages and subscription forms.

41. Prevent Bots From Signing Up

Implement CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test) through text or images that can’t be read by ‘bots’ so that your email subscriber list doesn’t become redundant. Obviously, you can use software that does this for you – but it can also cause abandonments, so use with care!

captcha form to grow email list

42. Deliver Exactly What You Promised

Think about it: how would you feel if you signed up to get brownie recipes in your inbox but started getting salad combos instead? Leaving aside the fact that salads might be better for you, they certainly aren’t what you had in mind when you clicked on that ‘Sign Up for Delectably Delightful Treats’ button, did you? What’ll you do? Unsubscribe, no? Deliver what you promised. 

The route to driving up your email newsletter signup rate needn’t be rocky. People subscribe to newsletters and informative content when they see value in them. The biggest hurdle is holding their attention and engaging them to see the value you offer. Figuring out how to increase email subscribers becomes easy once you determine which of these tips work best for your business. 


How do you get your first 100 email subscribers?

Begin by identifying the demographic that you want to target with your emails, whether you intend to send promotions, share information, or spread the word about your brand. Next, we suggest building a landing page created specifically for getting your target demographic to sign up or subscribe. 

The average landing page conversion rate for a B2B landing page is 13.28% and for a B2C landing page is 9.87%. Next, highlight the benefits of a blog post on your website. You can also contact a guest post contributor or a third-party website to host your custom-written post to attract new subscribers. Finally, implement an unobtrusive pop-up form on your web pages to get more sign-ups.

What are the cheaper, better alternatives to Mailchimp?

While MailChimp is definitely very popular due to its free features, it can get bothersome as your business grows. Some alternatives to consider are Moosend, Sendinblue, GetResponse, Constant Contact, Mailjet, mailer lite, HubSpot, AWeber, Omnisend, etc.

What is an e-marketing strategy, and how will it help me to get sales?

Email marketing is one of the most useful digital marketing methods. What you should do to get sales through email marketing is to take mobile penetration into account while devising your strategy. Another offshoot of smartphone proliferation is the need for responsive design. Ultimately, track these three metrics to measure your email strategy’s success: click-through rate, conversion rate, and click-to-open rate. 

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Do you want a free Survey & Feedback Software?

We have the world’s most versatile user research & feedback survey tool starting at $0

Do you want a free Survey & Feedback Software?

We have the world’s most versatile user research & feedback survey tool starting at $0