Fifteen Ways to Grow Your Email List

news-226931_1280Wow, I never knew you felt that way!

Apparently, many of you are getting fed up with Facebook. Last week’s post generated several comments in regards to Facebook and its effectiveness. Throughout the discussion, email marketing came up as a solid alternative. Personally, I think it is the way to go. It’s a more direct and personal way to communicate with your fans.

I wrote a couple of posts last year on how to get started in email marketing; you can find Email Marketing – A Way to Stand Out in a Crowd and Follow-up to Email Marketing by following the links.

The biggest struggle with email marketing is reaching new readers. How do we grow those lists? First, let me stress a basic point—any effort to grow your email list should be based in QUALITY not QUANTITY. Do not try to grow your list with gimmicks and tricks. If you are going to offer something in exchange for an email, make sure it is something that you would want if you were on the other side of that exchange.

Here are fifteen ways in which to grow your email list.

1. Include a “subscribe to newsletter” opt in form on your blog or website.

2. Make sure to have the above link on each page of your website.

3. Add an email signup as a custom tab on your Facebook page. You can find a “how to” link in this previous post.

4. Add a “Subscribe to my Newsletter” link in your email signature.

5. Include a sign in sheet that includes email at your book signings.

6. Put a link to sign up for your newsletter on everything you print including bookmarks, flyers, etc.

7. Offer a “Birthday Club” where you offer something special to people who sign up. It might take a little extra work, but you could send out a short story or flash fiction piece to your subscribers on their birthday. (You don’t have to do a separate one for each!)

8. Offer email-only discounts or freebies.

9. Use your “About” Section on your social media profiles or website to ask your readers to sign up for a newsletter.

10. Run a contest that requires an email address to enter.

11. Encourage your current email subscribers to share and forward your newsletter.

12. When creating content for guest blogging opportunities, include a link for readers to subscribe to your newsletter.

13. Include a QR code on material both offline and online that links to your newsletter sign-up form.

14. Consider using email sign-up to comment on your blog.

15. A whole host of paid programs: Rent, purchase lists, Adwords, FB ads etc.

This list is intended to help you get thinking about where you can grow your email subscriber list. I do not necessarily use all these methods. For example, I don’t use any paid programs for myself or my clients. The key is to find the methods that match your personality, style and that you feel comfortable with. The last thing you want to do is become an annoying marketer.

Lynne Cantwell recently wrote a nice post on MailChimp for adding an email signup form to your blog. MailChimp is chock full of ideas and tools for expanding your email list. Constant Contact is also a great tool for email newsletters and they offer many different tools for growing your list as well.

Your email list can quickly become your most valuable marketing tool in your possession. What type of methods do you use to grow your list?

Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

26 thoughts on “Fifteen Ways to Grow Your Email List”

  1. Jim, I hope you realize how valuable this information that you pass along to us really is. Some of your above points are great reminders and others are things I totally should be doing. Thanks very much for putting this together!

  2. That is awesome. Thank you Jim for your smarts and Martin too for your smarts!! Now I have to think about this “newsletter” thingie. Oh my!!! 🙂

  3. Great post, Jim, and not just because of the shout-out for my Mailchimp post. 😀 I’ve used “sign up for my newsletter” as a Rafflecopter entry and have gotten great results from it. But I need to do some of your other suggestions, too.

  4. Wicked good tips! I’ll be using some soon.

    If I may, here’s another. YMMV on this but consider a “list swap”. Warning: trust involved.
    Ask another author you know in a similar genre with a list of about the same size as yours. They will email their list with YOUR book link or blog or whatever, and you do the same for them.
    You should each sign up for each other’s list to verify as well as keep up with their goings on. That can lead to further swap opportunities.
    If the lists are not similarly sized, then send twice in a month (or three times in two) to make up the differences.

    1. Thanks, M. Frank,
      That’s an interesting concept, however, you would have to be careful with swapping lists. There are more and more anti-spamming laws out there that protect the general public.

      Most of the services incorporate an opt-in or double opt-in process so that the person signing up verifies that they really are signing up.

      That’s why when you sign up for something, many times you receive an email asking for you to verify through a link. I know that Constant Contact goes through great pains to manage your email lists for your, including monitoring your unsubscribes, opt-outs, spam reports and removing them from your lists to protect you.

  5. Great reminders, Jim! I recently had a contest on my blog to win one of two audio books for signing up for my newsletter and had a few takers, but haven’t been very strategic as far as other ideas. I will definitely bookmark this post and refer to it, as well as share!

  6. I’d just come to the conclusion over the last few weeks that I need an email list, too. Many of the same reasons that apply to authors (something in your control that won’t be effected by the vagaries of different social media) apply to me just as much. I’ve started the initial planning and thought of some of your ideas, but there are others that I hadn’t considered. Thanks for this timely (for me) post, Jim.

    1. Thanks Al, good luck with growing your list. The key is to stick with the methods that you’re most comfortable with. Don’t try and incorporate something that doesn’t have the feel and philosophy of how your do business.

  7. but dont you have to have something interesting to write for said news letter? What do you write about? I love the idea but just have no idea of what we could write about that would be of interest to others as far as a news letter goes. When I do come up with something this list will be a fantastic guide to help get word out about it. Thank you Jim and Martin for posting and sharing!

    1. Ah, WendyandCharles, that is lesson number 1 in growing a following through newsletters or any other means. You must provide quality content that others will engage with. Make your content amazing and it will grow. I think that is a great topic for next week’s post, stay tuned for ideas on what to include in your newsletter.

  8. An excellent post, Jim! Coming from the marketing world prior to publishing, I’ve been using newsletters for years. As Facebook and other social media continues to change, you may not always “own” your followers. But you have complete control over your newsletter list. As well, I strongly believe in having an irresistible free offer (an ethical bribe) to entice people to sign up, rather than just saying “sign up for my newsletter.”

    Thanks for some great reminders that I have let fall by the wayside.

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