Last updated: Jun 30, 2021

3 Ways to Build an Effective Email Subscriber List

Did you know that on average, email marketing has a 3800% return on investment? (Quicksprout) That means that for every $1 spent on email marketing, it averages a return of about $38. That’s why email marketing is an exceptionally useful tool for small and large businesses alike. It has withstood the test of time, and even puts social media to shame when it comes to conversion rates and value for money. In fact, more than 50% of us check our email before doing anything else online. (OptinMonster) That’s certainly useful information, but how do you actually get people to sign up for your content? Here are a few ways that you can build an effective email subscriber list.

What people check first when they go online
Over 50% of people check their e-mail before anything else.

1. Create Gated Content

Have you ever been reading an article or watching a video, and about halfway through a pop-up appears that tells you that in order to continue, you have to enter your email? Or perhaps you were offered a discount code in exchange for your email information? In fact, 60% of consumers subscribe to a brand’s email list to get promotional messages and deals. (MarketingSherpa) These are prime examples of gated content.

Gated content or ‘content walls,’ essentially put valuable information or incentives behind a required email sign-up form. Users provide their name and email address to gain access to these incentives. These could be things such as e-books, white papers, webinars, and coupons. Contests are also always a huge draw for sign ups. Try offering different incentive options until you find the best fit for your business. It’s all about providing value in exchange for their contact information and potential future patronage. If they’re interested in what you offer, chances are that they will be interested in staying informed, which means continued engagement. With gated content it’s all about providing the proper incentive for your audience, and it’s a great tool for creating an effective email subscriber list.

Offering something in exchange can grow your email subscriber list exponentially.
Incentives such as free downloads and giveaways are prime examples of gated content.

2. Make Your Content Easily Shareable

It’s a no-brainer to say that social media plays a part in raising interest in a business or service. Essentially you’ve taken the ability to have positive recommendations or “word of mouth” spread quickly, across an enormous audience. Creating content that is genuine and valuable, and making that content shareable is key. Add sharing buttons to every article or material that your business puts out. Also adding a “forward to a friend” option in your marketing emails is an easy way to help to improve your reach.

And let’s not forget the physical world. It too can be a great place to stir up interest in your content. Try adding a signup URL to your business cards, or informing people of your newsletter at speaking events. Positioning your business as an industry thought leader can improve your visibility, as well as your industry standing.

3. Leverage Your Website for Sign Ups

There should be plenty of places to subscribe to your email list on your website. Many sites utilize header and footer sign up spaces. Pop-ups that are triggered at various stages of a user’s visit have also proven to be very effective in spurring new sign ups. These pop-ups can be triggered on a user’s arrival to the site, after they’ve scrolled or been there for a period of time, and even upon trying to exit the site. To be most effective, the pop-ups should be eye-catching and have a clear call to action.

There should also be links to sign-up at the end of your articles themselves. 49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails from brands that they like on a weekly basis. (Statista) Which means if they’re interested enough to read your article, odds are that they’ll want to hear more from you.

An exit pop-up can help to build your email subscriber list
Pop-ups can be triggered during different stages of visiting your site, including trying to exit.

What to Include in Your Sign Up Call to Action

Your sign up prompts should always include a call to action that clearly communicates the intended action. Something such as “don’t miss out on this great discount!” or “don’t forget to sign up for more great content”.

A pop-up call to action can persuade subscribers
A prime example of a call to action

Including samples of previous emails or content is a quick way to show what they can expect when signing up. Adding a short testimonial or two from satisfied customers is helpful in persuading sign ups as well. Consumers trust online reviews almost as much as they trust the word of their friends.

An Effective Email Subscriber List Can Payoff for Your Small Business

To sum it up, building your subscriber list is about offering content of value or interest that’s shareable and genuine. As well as being strategic about how you exchange that information. Utilizing tools such as a call to action in pop ups, dedicated website space to subscribe for more content, and offering some kind of incentive can help you to build an effective email subscriber list. Our recommendation is to try one of these techniques for a month or so, and see if you’re gaining subscribers. If not, try focusing your efforts on another approach. It’s all about finding the right fit for your business.