8 Easy (But Effective) Ways to Grow Your Email List

  • Your email list is one of your business’s most important marketing assets. Rather than fleeting traffic from temporary social media posts or paid ads, these are people who have engaged with you and you have direct access to.

    You can make money at the click of a button whenever you need to with a strong email list. Unlike other marketing channels, you have full control and ownership here.

    So how do you grow your email list? We’ll go through the most effective tips and tactics I’ve learned by growing multiple email lists in the tens of thousands

    Before we dive into the action steps, let’s get your head straight. When it comes to growing an email list, you don’t just want as many raw numbers as possible.

    Not only does this get expensive fast, it also hurts your email deliverability when you send content to lots of unengaged (and downright non-existent) email addresses.

    Instead, you want to focus on growing a highly engaged email list. Quality AND quantity.

    That means you should clean your list often, never buy generic lists, and always offer something of value to your newsletter subscribers. I’ll talk more about that last point later.

    Now that I’ve got you thinking about quality leads, let’s talk about the tried and tested tactics for growing your email list.

    1. Put your opt-ins in all the right places

    Start with all your bases covered. Make sure you have email opt-ins in the usual places:

    • On your homepage
    • In your sidebar
    • At the end of your blog content

    These are obvious places, but they can be overlooked—we want to start with a strong baseline before we get into the more advanced tactics.

    Something like this works well:

    What should you say in your opt-in?

    While you can have a general “Join 7,000+ brilliant minds like yourself,” it’s better to have something more targeted to your audience’s desires.

    Unless your content is something special to your readers (which, let’s be honest, it better be if you want to grow an online business), no one is going to sign up for another generic email spam list.

    2. Attract high-quality website traffic

    The quality of your email list starts with the quality of your website traffic. No matter how well your opt-ins convert, it won’t matter if the right people aren’t visiting your website.

    That’s where SEO and content marketing come in. Great content targeting relevant keywords can attract quality traffic on autopilot from search engines like Google.

    SEO has a learning curve and takes time to work, but it’s one of the most effective forms of content marketing to grow your email list.

    It starts with keyword research—knowing what keywords your ideal customers are searching for and how to rank for those keywords.

    You can do this quickly with a competitor content gap analysis. Simply type your website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and click the Content gap button at the bottom of the left-hand menu here.

    Once you hit Show keywords, you’ll get a list of all the keywords your competitors rank for, but you don’t. That can sometimes be tens of thousands of keywords, so you’re better off starting with keywords that all the competitors rank for to get the most relevant results:

    3. Create content upgrades

    A content upgrade is exactly what it sounds like—an “upgrade” to the content you’re currently reading.

    A few examples of this can be:

    • An “ultimate guide” to burning fat on an article about exercises to lose weight.
    • A budgeting spreadsheet on an article about how to create a budget.
    • A video series about how to play the ukulele on an article about the best ukuleles for beginners.

    You can get as creative as you want with this. What’s something you can give your readers that will be really valuable to them and relevant to what they’re currently reading?

    For example, I’ve got thousands of emails by creating a spreadsheet comparing over 50 different small campers as a content upgrade on my guide to the best small campers.

    Here’s what the opt-in form looks like:

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