6 Proven Ways to Grow your Mailing List to 100,000 subscribers in One Year

Written by Adrian Hedley

Email marketing continues to dominate in size and effectiveness when compared to Social Media and Keyword Marketing. There are 2.9 Billion Email accounts in existence almost three times those of Twitter and facebook combined. According to Email Marketing Analytics Company Litmus, the estimated return on investment with Email is $40 for every $1 spent in contrast to $17 for every $1 spent for keyword advertising.

So the question is… If you had just one hour to invest today how would you spend it? Assuming you already have traffic coming your way but your Email list is not getting bigger, the answer is simple. Invest time to build that list.

Below I have compiled as list of actionable items you can start implementing right away to kick start your list building efforts. Treat this as your checklist. Print it if need be, stick it to the fridge but do implement these steps below to see great results. Remember an experiment is worth a thousand theories

Create Great Content

You do not need to be able to write a great Shakespearean novel or a Stephen King best seller. The most important thing to keep in mind is who your target audience is and write content specifically targeting them. Content should be actionable and help fix a problem or concern. Do this and you will not need to worry about your audience leaving your list.

Sharing is Caring

So you are creating great content? Why not encouraging your readers to share your news letter or article to their peers. Sometimes we make the mistake to assume they will do this automatically but don’t leave that to chance. Better to you encourage them. Make it explicit. My recommendation is to suggest it, at the beginning of each email.  If you have a blog remind them  at the end of each article and use content sharing buttons like addthis to make it super easy.

Promote a Contest

Whether a free gift or a 50% discount to 10 Lucky winners, a contest is very likely to spread very easily, especially if promoted on social media like facebook, twitter or instagram. Just make the contest enticing enough for your target market. Remember, 50% off is better than 5% off. Free always wins! Remember that this strategy works best if you add the scarcity element and fear of loss principles. Make sure you limit it to a small number of people and include a short time deadline (12, 24 or 72 hours) to encourage them to take action immediately.

Segment your Audience

Segmentation is a $10 word describing the process of dividing a broad market into more specific subsets to better serve the needs and interests of the specific subsets. One easy example would be selling razor blades to men and women. If you segment the market between men and women you can better serve their needs based on gender instead of throwing them in the same bag. Basically the more information you collect and know, the better the segmentation.

(source: https://getmerit.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/market-segmentation/)

One very powerful technique is to carry out online surveys and create new groups out of the answers you get. Segmentation can also be done on email Marketing Response actions. Say you sent an email to your current subscribers and open rate is 20%. If your software allows it, you can split the 20% from the other 80% and send a different offer to the latter and track their response. The main benefit of segmentation is  that you can send more focused content to specific sets of people who in turn are more receptive whether it is information, advertising or webinar invitations which ultimately increases your ROI.

Content Locking

Content Locking is the current trend in Marketing to encourage user interaction with your site content. This will work well with longer posts. The concept is that say you have a top 10 List full of actionable information. You only show the first 5 items and lock the remaining 5 showing just an email subscription form to continue reading. The reader will have to enter his name and email to continue reading. This technique is a variation of the tried and tested subscribe to get a free pdf report method and works very well because the flow is not interrupted since the reader stays on the same page. One concern I may have with this method is that readers may enter a bogus email address and still getting the content unless the email address can be verified on the fly. How is this done? there are many options online but the cheapest and easiest one I found so far is Opt-In Content Locker for WordPress on codecanyon selling for $15.

This technique has two variations to it. The one explained above is referred to as  content cliffhanging. The other variation is content upgrade. the main difference in content upgrade is the reader will read a complete article and be offered a content upgrade to a related but still complete article. I will discuss this further in a future article.

Subscribe modal pop-ups

Love them or hate them modal pop-ups simply work because they provide a way to capture email leads without annoying your visitors. A pop-up can be triggered at the end of the article. This can be considered a call to action CTA for you visitor. Changes are that if your content is good they will subscribe, but remember if no pop-up shows up then it’s a 100% no subscribe. Pop-ups can also be triggered by detecting the exit intent. This works by having a javascript widget detecting when the mouse is exiting the page container and triggers the popup to load immediately. According to unbounce, popups should not appear before a user has been on the site for 60 seconds because you will experience a drop in conversion rate.


Take Action

This is the most important part. Don’t wait for next week to start implementing these strategies or you will be missing out on the opportunity of adding your current visitors to your list Treat this as your checklist, add it to your to do list and print it but do take action and implement these steps above to see great results. Remember an experiment is worth a thousand theories. Please take the time to comment and if you have ideas and strategies other readers will benefit let us know and post in the comment box below.