Watching a juicy, engrossing, scary or action-packed movie with your BFF, tub of buttered popcorn in hand, is a first-rate way to spend a Saturday. And it’s every email marketer’s dream to create emails that are also just as engaging, keeping their readers eyes glued to the screen. While turning an email into a blockbuster might be a stretch, drawing an engaged audience is not. Here are 10 easy tips for growing your email list and maintaining loyal subscribers:

1.    Have Accessible Opt-In Forms

Offer easy-to-find opt-ins form on your website, blog, and social media sites. The more places there are to sign up, the more hits you’ll get. And keep in mind that the shorter you keep your form, (say, to just an email and first name) the more likely people will be to sign-up. You can always collect additional info later.

2.    Offer a Guide, Webinar or eBook

Want more opt-ins? Offer something free like an eBook or a webinar. Weekly or monthly tips shared from your blog are also valuable pieces of knowledge to share. On your opt-in form page, let your readers know how often you’ll mail and what to expect in the email. Here are two samples of inviting opt-in forms:


3.    Offer Referral Incentives

Just like a good movie, a good email is worth telling your friends about. To get people talking and sharing, offer a discount, a refer-a-friend program, and/or something for free when they refer your products or services to their friends. For example, if you’re an ice skating rink, you might give a free lesson to anyone whose friend signs up for a one-month skating class. Any deal that would encourage the email to be forwarded on is to your advantage. ModCloth, the trendy online retailer, does and excellent job with their refer-a-friend program. Here’s an example of an email including their referral plus benefits:


4.    Partner up

A collaborative way to reach more people is by partnering up and swapping email space with other businesses. If you have a similar customer base, but your products or services don’t compete, use this as a perfect opportunity to get your business in front of a new audience. Ask them to include a link to your opt-in in their newsletter, or to include some of your own content, in exchange for the same.

5.    Email-Only Specials

Sure, news and updates make fine email content, but nothing beats a good deal! When your customers are offered unique deals just for being on your email list, they have more reason to stay subscribed and to forward your email to friends. Offer something in your email that can’t be found on your website, on social or in-store, so your subscribers feel extra special – Make sure to promote it though!

6.    Host a Contest

Hosting a contest works best when you offer something of value to your audience, but also related to your business (such as a product you sell). Create a special webpage, or a social media tab on Facebook that details the contest and provides a place for email list sign-ups.

7.    Blog – Offer useful information

By maintaining a helpful and informative blog on topics that are of interest to your customers, you have fab content to share in your email and in turn, an easy way to attract more followers to your blog.  For more email list sign-ups, place an opt-in form near the top of your blog.

8.    Utilize Social Media

Social media and email marketing go hand-in-hand. Most email service providers supply a link that you can share on your social sites for followers to view your email. Also include social sharing buttons inside your email so that readers can share your email on their social network pages with one click.

9.    Subscribe Via Check-out

Do you have a checkout counter? Then you have a place to ask for opt-ins! Online, ask for an email address on your checkout page. In-store, have your employees at the cash register ask if the customer would like to be included in your weekly or monthly newsletter. Be sure to tell them what they can expect – like special offers, rewards, and the like!

10.    Participate in Events

Having a booth at an industry event or trade show is a fun and productive way to grow your customer base. Just be sure to do a little research on what kind of foot traffic you can expect, and whether or not the exhibitors will be provided with scanning devices to easily obtain contact information from participants at the event. If not, be diligent about collecting business cards and following up.

Start with these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to drawing the eye-popping audience you eagerly seek. For more tips on what to include in your email, be sure to check out our guide, “7 Golden Steps to Creating an Effective Email Newsletter.”

© 2013, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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