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How to grow your email list? 20 Proven and Easy ways for free

How to grow your email list? 20 Proven and Easy ways for free

No matter what your business type is, email marketing is still one of the top and most effective marketing channels because it is a proven way to nurture leads and convert subscribers into long-lasting customers. An email marketing campaign’s success mainly depends upon the email list that you have.

Having an active email list is crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts. Without it, all the time and effort you put into crafting optimized email copy, creative subject lines, and attractive designs will go to waste. So, it's important to prioritize building and maintaining an engaged email list to ensure your email marketing campaigns are effective.

In this article, we share 20 proven and easy ways to grow your email list. These lists are completely free but they are too powerful. Before diving into the topic let’s have a look at Email marketing best practices to improve your campaigns.

Let’s get started

20 Easy ways to grow your email list

  1. Include Newsletter Signups throughout Your Website
  2. Create unique email copies
  3. Segment your email lists
  4. Encourage subscribers to share your emails
  5. Have a strong call-to-action
  6. Use exit intent pop-ups
  7. Keep your sign-up form mobile-friendly
  8. Promote sign-ups on social media platforms
  9. Offer content upgrades
  10. Make how-to videos
  11. Run giveaways and contests
  12. Offer coupons and free gifts for signups
  13. Add a signup button in your emails
  14. Use social proof to encourage more signups
  15. Use Gamified campaigns
  16. Make a quiz
  17. Host webinars
  18. Use the contact form to grow your email list
  19. Add QR codes to your promotional materials
  20. A/B test your opt-in forms

Include Newsletter Signups throughout Your Website

Offering multiple signup forms is an effective way to collect email addresses from your audiences. By providing more options, your audience can choose the experience that suits them best.

Include Newsletter Signups throughout Your Website image

Here are a few places you can include signup forms on your website,

  • Home page
  • Top menu bar
  • Sidebar 
  • Inside the blog content
  • Blog home page
  • End of the blog post
  • Floating bar at the top or bottom of a page
  • Your bio

We recommend you use a sticky floating bar or lightbox pop-up to make your signup forms more noticeable.

Create unique email copies

The content of your email is crucial because you have already convinced your subscribers to sign up. If your content is dull and irrelevant, you risk losing all your subscribers and all your efforts will be in vain. 

High-quality content not only captures your subscriber's attention but also engages them. Therefore, if you want to maintain your current subscribers and have them help you grow your email list, make sure your email content is unique, entertaining, informative, and valuable.

When crafting email subject lines, keep them short and sweet, with no more than 50 characters. Personalize the subject line by including the recipient's name and a familiar sender name. Use emojis sparingly, as different operating systems may display them differently.

Avoid using spam trigger words like "junk", "investment", and "last chance". Instead, use attention-grabbing phrases like "limited-time offer" or "exclusive offer for you" to encourage subscribers to open your email. Be sure to create a clear and concise value proposition that matches the content of the email. Avoid using all caps and overusing exclamation points as well.

Segment your email lists

Email segmentation is the process of dividing your subscribers list into groups based on similar interests and characteristics. 

Segments you can create in your email list include,

  • Demographics 
  • Psychographics 
  • Location 
  • Purchase history
  • Website Activity
  • Stage of the sales funnel

Segmenting your email list helps you retain subscribers because it allows you to send highly relevant emails to the right person at the right time for each type of subscriber group. By segmenting the email list you can increase the conversion too.

Do you know? According to a recent study, segmented email campaigns can have up to 50% higher click-through rates than unsegmented ones. Marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns. Segmentation also helps you to create a strong personal connection with your subscribers.

Encourage subscribers to share your Emails

If you want to grow your email list, encourage your subscribers to share your emails and this can be done with a single CTA button at the end of your email. By including a social share button and an email to a friend button in your marketing emails, you can make your email easily shareable.

You can also offer referral incentives to improve the share rate.

Have a strong call-to-action

Have a strong call-to-action Image

Call-to-action is a marketing copy that invites your visitors to take action. Without a clear CTA, your potential client may struggle to know the next steps to take to purchase a product or sign up for a newsletter and finally, they leave the site without accomplishing their task. Make sure to have a strong call-to-action on your website pages to encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.

Your CTA is just a button and you have a limited space to communicate with your visitors, which means make your CTA strong and it has to convey the required message in as few words as possible.

Here are some different ways to make your email CTA stand out,

  • Use hover or roll-over effect
  • Use contrasting colors for the CTA button
  • Make the CTA button big enough to find
  • Keep your CTA short and simple
  • Make your button text large enough to read, but don’t go overboard
  • Use approachable action verbs
  • Create urgency to encourage action
  • Use white space around the CTA button
  • Keep your CTA above the fold

Try multiple CTA styles and go with the one that works best for you. Your CTA should lead to higher click-through rates and it should generate higher conversions, remember this while choosing a CTA.

Use exit intent pop-ups

Exit intent pop-ups are a highly effective way to capture email addresses from users who are about to leave a website. These types of pop-ups are designed to display just before a user navigates away from the site. Website owners can use these pop-ups to grab the attention of their users and prevent them from leaving by offering engaging content. 

To encourage visitors to sign up for your email list, consider using exit-intent pop-ups to offer exclusive content, special discounts, free trials, and suggest related posts or events. This strategy can help you retain visitors who might otherwise leave your website without taking any action.

Keep your sign-up form mobile-friendly

These days most people access web content on their mobile phones. So if you want to make it easy for those people to sign up for your email list, make sure your sign-up forms are 100% responsive and mobile-friendly. The way your website functions on desktops and mobile phones is different. Ensure you have optimized versions for mobiles so that your email sign-up pop-up doesn’t appear truncated.

Promote sign-ups on social media platforms

Promoting signups on social media platforms is another effective way to grow your email list. All you need to do is create a landing page with an email signup form. Once you have your email signup page ready, just add the link to your social media profiles. 
By adding an email signup CTA in your social media bio and posting a link to your sign-up form in your social media post, you can invite your social media followers to join your email subscribers list.

Offer content upgrades

Offering content upgrades is an effective method to expand your email list. Essentially, a content upgrade is extra content that relates to the topic of the article that someone is reading. These upgrades can come in the form of ebooks, case studies, whitepapers, cheat sheets, videos, or even access to additional podcasts at no cost and they can access by submitting their email address via a landing page.

You can also use fully or partially gated content to encourage your visitors to subscribe to your email list. Gated content is content that will hide or blur beyond a certain point. To unlock the remaining content, readers have to enter their email address. This method is considered to be one of the most effective ways to expand your email list because it is easy to encourage visitors to subscribe who are already interested in your content.


Grow your email list effortlessly with 20 proven strategies! From optimizing website sign-ups to engaging social media promotion and enticing giveaways, well researched strategies.

Make how-to Videos

People love videos. Incorporating videos on your website is one of the best ways to engage your audience and grow your email list. You can post those videos in your social media campaigns to increase your email signups.

Make how-to Videos Image

You can also utilize your YouTube channel for email list building. All you need to do is add end cards to your YouTube videos. End cards are used to promote other videos, websites, playlists, or merchandise. You can add up to 5 cards in one video, and you can include images, text, and a clickable link in your card.

Adding hyperlinks to your sign-up landing page in your end cards can help generate further engagement from your viewers and grow your email list. It's worth considering. Add an email signup link in your video description and instruct the viewers to click the link for more informative content.

Run giveaways and contests

Run giveaways and contests are effective attention grabbers that can help you grow your email list. People are willing to sign up if they have a chance to win something. By promoting your giveaways and contests through social media channels, you can reach a wide range of audience.

Offer coupons and free gifts for signups

As I mentioned above, Offering coupons and free gifts for signups is an easy and effective way to grow your email list organically.

Here are some incentives you can offer,

  • Discount codes
  • Email series
  • E-book
  • E-courses
  • Spreadsheets 
  • Free shipping
  • Resource guide
  • First access to new products
  • Webinar

Here is an example from Optinmonster,

Add a signup button in your Emails

Your subscribers may forward one of your emails to their friends, family, and colleagues. But even if that friend reads your email doesn't mean that they have joined your email list. To ensure that you are reaching a wider audience, it's crucial to include a call-to-action button in each email that invites new readers to sign up for your email subscription list.

Use Social Proof to encourage more signups

Social proof is a powerful way to grow your email list. Sometimes, an exciting lead magnet may not be sufficient to persuade people to sign up for a marketing newsletter. This is where social proof comes into play. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people tend to follow the actions of others, assuming them to be the correct behavior. If a visitor notices that a large number of people are already subscribed to an email list, they are more likely to believe that they too could benefit from subscribing.

All you need to do is include the total number of subscribers in your emails. Including testimonials and product reviews on your signup form pages helps you to show the positive experience of your customers. So that your new audience can understand have worth it is to subscribe to your email newsletter.

Use Gamified campaigns

Gamified campaigns encourage your audience to engage with your lead capture form. Some examples of gamification include spin-to-win, pop-ups, slot machines, Puzzles, scavenger Hunts, and scratch cards.

Using a spin wheel gamified campaign is an effective way to grow your email list. New customers have to enter their email addresses to spin the wheel for a chance to win a discount, bonus gift, or other incentives. We suggest using the gamified campaigns during the holiday season when you’re offering several promotions.

Use Gamified campaigns Image

Source - Eber

Make a Quiz

Gamification is an effective way of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones, and quizzes are a great gamifying element to achieve this. To access the quiz results, customers need to provide their email addresses. Quizzes offer a fun and interactive way of engaging your audience, and you can increase your subscription rate by offering winners ebooks, discounts, or freebies.

To ensure maximum participation and an increased chance of winning, keep the quiz simple and relevant to your brand or upcoming holiday. Quizzes are particularly effective when introducing a new collection or during special events.

Host webinars

Host webinars and online conferences are a fantastic way to grow your email list and they provide an excellent opportunity to engage with your target audience. Choose a relevant topic, make sure you have a clear objective, and promote it on your social media channels and your website. Make sure you provide some valuable information to your audience. When something is valuable people are more likely to give their email addresses.

Don’t always have to be digital to grow your email list. Try hosting some business events to collect email addresses.

Use the Contact form to grow your email list

By simply adding contact forms to your website Contact form gives you the opportunity to ask your user’s email addresses. Don’t ask for too much information in the contact form, make subscribing quick and easy and make the subscribers feel comfortable to share their contact information.

Add QR codes to your promotional materials

Even in this digital era, don’t underestimate the power of printed materials. Consider adding a QR code to your print marketing materials that allows people to scan it and access more information on the content you're promoting.  Include a QR code leading to your email signup page to encourage people to join your email list to access additional content, which can help you grow your email marketing list.

A/B test your opt-in forms

Consider A/B testing to know what will work better to grow your email list. A/B test means creating two different versions of your form and seeing which one performs better. You can test various subject lines, content layouts, CTAs, overall design, and images.

For precise outcomes, it's recommended to test one element at a time. Simultaneously testing multiple aspects may make it difficult to determine the specific factors that contribute to the difference in results.


The above-mentioned tips are simple and effective, and they will provide you with a lot of ideas on how to grow your email list. Some tactics may work well for others but not for you, so try all the methods to see what works best for you. Building an email list is not a one-time effort; it is an ongoing process. You must be consistent with your email list-building efforts to achieve the desired results.

What strategies have you found effective for expanding your email list? What methods have you employed on your website to entice visitors to subscribe to your email updates? 

We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Content writer and Marketer

An enthusiastic SEO expert, passion for digital marketing with two years of expertise in writing Digital Marketing and SEO content. She is a Master of Business Administration graduate from a reputed university in south India. Her passion for SEO and online marketing helps her to stay up to date with the trends and strategies. Follow her on social media sites, to stay up to date with SEO, and Digital Marketing, Updates. To contact Raji, visit the contact page.

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