Proven and Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List

Looking for some new ideas to grow your email list? Smart marketers know that the more different ways you can entice people to join your email list, the better. In this post, we’ll share 73 proven and simple ways to grow your email list.

Did you know that your email list naturally degrades by approx. 22.5% every year? That’s why it is so important to continuously grow your email list and make up for these lost subscribers.

If you’ve run out of ideas, don’t worry! Here are 73 ideas that are proven to work, and super simple to implement…

1. One-up the competition with your lead magnet by making it bigger and better. For example, if your competition is offering a 30-point checklist, make yours a 50-point checklist.

2. Add content upgrades to your blog posts. These could be as simple as a PDF, condensed version of the post with additional, “bonus” information.

3. Make some of your content gated. Gated content is content on your website that can’t be accessed until the visitor enters their email address.

Optin Monster Content Lock

4. Host webinars. You can host a webinar for free using Google+ Hangouts on Air, and they convert really well because live events have a high perceived value.

5. Host a giveaway. Require participants to sign up with their email address, and give them additional entries when they share the giveaway on social media.

6. Create a quiz and require that participants enter their email address before they can download their results. You can use a tool like Qzzr to do this.

Who am I Quiz
Example via VisualDNA

7. Offer a coupon in exchange for an email address instead of a traditional lead magnet if you have an eCommerce site.

8. Offer a free tool or a free software that requires an email address to sign up.

9. Use Facebook ads to drive traffic to your optin landing page. Just make sure you optimize your Facebook ads for conversions.

10. Pin your optin landing page on Pinterest. Then, you can boost your pin with Pinterest ads to drive even more traffic.

Pinterest Giveaway

11. Answer questions on Quora that are related to the topic of your lead magnet. Then include a link to your optin landing page for further reference.

quora example

12. Search forums for questions related to the topic of your lead magnet. Then answer the question with a link to your optin landing page.


13. Answer questions in Facebook groups. Just don’t post the link to your optin unless it is allowed by the group admin. Instead, you can ask members to private message you for the link if they want it.

14. Participate in LinkedIn groups to become known as an expert, and then post the link to your optin landing page when the time is right.

15. Use Twitter lead generation cards.

Twitter Lead Generation Card

16. Use YouTube call-to-action cards and link the card to your optin landing page. (Here’s how to do it.)

youtube cards

17. Use SlideShare lead forms to capture leads with your PowerPoint and slide presentations.

slideshare lead form

18. Add sharing buttons to your email signature, your thank you page, and to your lead magnets themselves so that your existing subscribers can spread the word for you.

19. Add a sign up button to your Facebook Page. (Here’s how to do it.)

facebook sign up button

20. Add a call-to-action to your Google+ Page with a link to your optin landing page.

21. Submit guest posts to popular blogs serving your target market and include a call to action in your author byline with a link to your optin landing page. Just make sure to avoid these 6 mistakes when writing your guest posts.

22. Add a call to action to your About page with an inline optin form.

23. Seek out joint venture partnerships and do an exchange: they send an email to their list about your optin offer, and you send an email to your list about theirs. You both grow your lists in the process!

24. Host a local meetup and pitch your free optin offer to collect email addresses.

25. Use paid search ads to drive qualified traffic to your optin landing page. Just make sure your lead magnet offers the answer to the question they were searching for.

26. Add a QR code to all your printed materials and link it to your optin landing page. (Here’s how to do it.)

qr code example

27. Use native ads to capture leads from other websites and apps that have a similar audience as yours.


28. Install an exit popup on every post and page on your website to convert abandoning visitors.

Shopping Cart Exit Popup

29. Install a scroll box on your blog posts (works especially great for long-form content) and use your content upgrade as the lead magnet.

Scroll Box

30. Install a timed lightbox popup on content-heavy pages to convert readers who have been reading and enjoying what you have to say.

Design Your Lightbox Optin

31. Add location specific embedded forms above and below your blog post content that feature that content’s specific content upgrade.

Example via SnackNation

32. Collect data from your sidebar form to discover what variations work better.

33. Trigger a floating bar by user behavior so that it is perfectly targeted based on the referral source, the page the user is visiting, and the time they’ve spent on your site.

TwelveSkip Floating Bar
Example via TwelveSkip

34. Include a prominent header with your call to action on your homepage.

Michael Hyatt Header
Example via Michael Hyatt

35. Display page-specific optin forms. In other words, don’t just show the same optin on every page or blog post… use a lead magnet or content upgrade that is specific to the content the visitor is currently viewing.

36. Add a newsletter opt-in checkbox next to the submit comment button. You can use the WP-Leads WordPress plugin to accomplish this.

37. Add social proof by saying how many other people have already subscribed to your list.

38. Add testimonials below your optin forms to convince visitors to sign up.

B-School Testimonials
Example via B-School

39. Add credibility by explaining what qualifies you to give them this information.

40. Make your optin copy relatable by avoiding corporate speak and instead using the specific language that your subscribers use when they talk normally.

41. Keep your optin form simple: you should only ask for first name and email maximum. Only ask for an email address if you can.

42. Add a newsletter optin checkbox to your e-commerce checkout page. If you use WooCommerce, you can use the Newsletter Subscription add on to accomplish this.

43. Add an anti-spam policy right below the submit button on your optin form to increase conversions. For example, “Your email address is 100% secure and we will never sell your information to a 3rd party.”

44. Offer different lead magnets for different segments of your audience. Here’s an example of a popup that offers a choice of multiple lead magnets based on the user’s needs:


45. Give a preview of your newsletter to show visitors what they’re missing out on if they don’t sign up.

46. Add a fishbowl to your counter (for brick and mortar businesses) and ask shoppers to leave their email address in the bowl for a chance to win a prize.

47. Include a call to action on a sandwich board outside your store that encourages shoppers to sign up for your email list.


48. Add a call to action to your Facebook cover photo, encouraging visitors to sign up with their email.


49. Add a call to action to your YouTube Channel with a link to your optin landing page.


50. Use Foursquare to post an alert to people in your area with a link to your optin form.

51. Use Google+ communities to grow an audience of people interested in your topic and then promote your optin form. (Here’s a guide to using Google+ communities.)

52. Host a Twitter chat to get people talking about your lead magnet. Here’s how to get started.

53. Create Vine videos with a call to action to sign up for your list.

54. Add a call to action to all of your bios on your various social media profiles with a link to your optin landing page.

55. Comment on blog posts, and when you fill out the “website” field, use the URL to your optin landing page.

56. A/B test your call to action to figure out which offer or wording converts the best.

57. Add a call to action to your local business listings, such as your Yelp page, with a link to your optin landing page.


58. Add a call to action to your podcasts telling listeners how to sign up for your lead magnet.

59. Share your email archives on social media to show people what they could get by being on your list.

60. Ask your existing subscribers to forward your emails to a friend by including a “Forward to a Friend” button at the bottom of your newsletters.

forward to a friend example
Example via Digital Marketing Institute

61. Add a call to action to your email signature linking to your optin landing page.

62. Ask people to join your email list by text (useful for podcasts or television interviews).

63. Add a sign up link or QR code to your brochure.

64. Add a sign up link or QR code to your business card.

Example via 708Media

65. Add an email signup to your event, so when people register they are automatically added to your email list.

66. Book a speaking engagement and use that opportunity to pitch your lead magnet.

67. Start a loyalty program to encourage shoppers to sign up for your email list.

68. Start a birthday club to reward those who signup for your email list with special discounts and bonuses on their birthday.

69. Reward subscribers or employees for referring their friends to join.

Example via Sakara

70. Add email-only offers to your boxes, packages and mailings.

71. Host a free “challenge” for a specific number of days, and require that participants enter their email address to register.

Example via Simple Green Smoothies

72. Publish a landing page with a ton of free content related to your lead magnet so that you can rank in search engines for relevant keywords. Then include a prominent optin box for your lead magnet.

Example via CoSchedule

73. Add an email signup to your mobile app, with an incentive to sign up (e.g. BabyCenter’s pregnancy app offers weekly newsletters with updates about your pregnancy).

mobile app email signup

That’s it! We hope this post has helped you think of some new, simple ways to grow your email list.

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