5 ways to grow your list

A healthy, growing email list is key to long-term business success.

There’s a special Vietnamese restaurant, always buzzing with happy customers.

The aroma of sizzling steak, sweet spices, and fresh herbs hangs in the air.

Friendly servers weave between tables.

They share warm smiles as they refill drinks.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the restaurant owner to increase brand awareness and sales through email marketing.

He’s another satisfied client of mine.

But this isn't just any restaurant – it has a loyal following of over 10,000 subscribers on their email list.

Now, that's impressive!

Here's the secret sauce (besides their delicious food)…

They built this massive list with juicy discounts, great customer service, and persistence.

As a marketing consultant, I couldn't help but dig deeper.

What did they do differently?

What made people so eager to connect with them?

It turns out, there's a science to building a thriving email list.

There’s a way to tap into what resonates with your audience and compel them to join your inner circle!

Now, are you having trouble growing your list?

Don't worry, it's a common struggle business owners have.

The good news is, you don't have to be like everyone else.

Let's talk about the secrets behind building a list as mouthwatering as that sizzling steak.

What is an email list?

“I want to do business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege, not a transaction.”

– Andrea Mignolo

An email list is a collection of email addresses gathered from people who have signed up to receive emails from a business or creator.

It’s a direct line of communication with people who are interested in what you offer.

Why do you need to grow it?

“25% of an email list degrades yearly.”

Source: ZeroBounce

Even the best email lists shrink over time.

People change their email addresses, lose interest, or move on.

That’s why it’s crucial to keep new people coming in.

A Slow Drain on Your Business

A stagnant email list means your marketing efforts are hitting a dead end.

If your content isn't attracting new subscribers then you're doing something wrong.

Here's what you'll experience:

  • Feeling stuck: You might feel like your newsletter isn't progressing or helping your business.

  • Less feedback: Fewer people open your emails and click on links.

  • Self-doubt: You might lose confidence in your work, wondering if your newsletter is good enough.

When your list isn't growing, it can make you doubt your content or even yourself.

The Cost of Ignoring Your Email List Health

Sustaining a healthy email list demands ongoing effort, like exercising your body.

With low list growth, the other problems you'll experience are:

  • Reduced sales opportunities: Fewer prospects means fewer customers, resulting in decreased sales.

  • Uncertain ROI: The return on investment (ROI) from email marketing efforts may be unclear to justify ongoing investment in this channel.

  • Competitive pressure: Competitors with larger, more engaged email lists have an advantage in reaching customers.

Don't get left behind, keep reading!

How to Attract Your Ideal Subscribers

“During the first 10 months of 2012, AppSumo grew from 0 to 147,973 subscribers by running giveaways.”

Source: Overthink Group

Your newsletter content should provide solutions to the painful problems your readers have.

They offer their email (a valuable asset) and in exchange, you provide the best value you can to honor that relationship.

With these ideas in mind, here are some tips for growing your list:

  1. Write your promise statement: A promise statement is a concise declaration outlining your newsletter’s value proposition, content focus, and the benefits subscribers can expect. With a strong promise statement, readers will feel confident and informed about the value they’ll receive and the topics you'll cover. Read about how to create a great promise statement here.

  2. Produce valuable content: Offer high-quality content that resonates with your ideal reader like articles, how-to guides, and exclusive insights.

  3. Make subscribing easy: Share your landing page link on social media. If you have a website, create a simple sign-up form. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe by asking for only essential information.

  4. Use lead magnets: Offer lead magnets such as ebooks, cheat sheets, or templates in exchange for email subscriptions. Create compelling opt-in resources that provide solutions to your audience's problems.

  5. Collaborate with influencers or partners: Partner with influencers or complementary businesses to reach a wider audience. Guest writing, joint webinars, and co-promotions help expose you to new people.

A good reputation, social proof, and a backlog of valuable content make your newsletter a compelling choice for subscribers seeking solutions to their problems.

Most Effective Strategies to Grow Your List

“Always grow your list because newer subscribers are more engaged, adding to healthier open rates and ROI.”

– Karl Murray

Building a thriving email list is essential for connecting with your audience and growing your business.

Here are some of the most effective ways to grow:

  • Quizzes

  • Lead magnets

  • Social media promotion

  • Contests and giveaways

  • Live audio events or Spaces on X

  • Content upgrades or bonus content

  • Partnering with other businesses and creators

  • Webinars, video calls, or in-person presentations

  • Encourage sharing and forwarding of your content

  • Long-form content that provides a solution to a problem (examples: threads and ebooks)

Review my "How to Grow Your Email List” resource to learn more about these strategies.

Single vs Double Opt-in

The choice of single or double opt-in is up to you.

Most Email Service Providers (ESP) allow you to change this option in settings.

Single opt-in: Subscribers are added to your list with one confirmation by entering their email address and clicking subscribe.

Double opt-in: Subscribers confirm their email address by clicking a link in a verification email sent after they sign up.

Double opt-in ensures they own that email address.

It helps reduce the number of spam complaints you receive.

“Double opt-in is considered best practice in countries like Austria, Norway, Greece, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.”

Source: Iubenda

Create a List Growth Plan with AI

AI can create your lead magnet, welcome email, quiz questions, webinar topics, plus more.

Try the prompt below.

The output is a plan to execute an email list growth strategy.

Change the Variables to fit your needs.

Let's roleplay.  You are an expert planner who makes things simple to understand and apply.  You are creating a plan that will help me grow my email list faster. 

{STRATEGY}: Partnering with other businesses and creators 
{NICHE}: Branding 
{READER}: Business owner wanting to learn about branding {NEWSLETTERGOAL}: Help solopreneurs brand themselves and land gigs to help clients with branding 
{TIMEFRAME}: 3 months 

1. Center plan around the value of the newsletter to the reader and why they should care. 

My newsletter is in the {NICHE} niche and the readers I help are {READER}. 

Give me a plan to execute this strategy that will attract the exact readers that I'm helping: {STRATEGY}. 

Give me ideas for accountability and tracking my progress.

Make the plan easy to apply but focus on the highest impact steps. 

The plan should be for a total duration of {TIMEFRAME}. 

In a prompt, tell AI your plans for growing your email list.

Ask if there are any ways it can help.

You may be pleasantly surprised by the response!

Closing Thoughts

Apply this wisdom to attract new subscribers from your ideal audience.

Explore these resources for further guidance:

Boost your new sign-up rates by experimenting with different strategies and doubling down on what works!

If you'd like any help with growing your email list, let's do a 1-on-1 call.

If you have any questions, reply to this email and I'll respond.

Your friend,