One of the most common requests I get through my community survey is for me to share more about how to grow an email list.
Want to listen? There's an audio version below
I guess talking about how to get better results with your email campaigns in this post, and how NOT to grow your list here, and how to get your emails into the inbox here, and in chapter 27 of this book isn't enough. =)
But I get it, searching through archived blog posts and old podcast episodes takes time, and everybody wants new and fresh information (and so do search engines).
So, today, let's look at some atypical ways to grow your email list, how to convince people that signing up is worth them sharing their email address, and maybe some more tactical ways you can entice people to join your community.
4 Tips for Growing Your Email List
First off, nobody wants to join an email list. We guard our email addresses almost as closely as we fend off attackers asking for our cell phone numbers. While 20 years ago it was cool to get an email, now new messages are greeted with, “Ugh, what now!?”
So, if you're going to grow your email list, you're going to have to do something extra special.
TIP #1: DO SOMETHING SPECIAL
The other night, I was enjoying a cigar with an acquaintance. Like your relationship with many of your readers or listeners, our relationship swirled around a mutual connection and a passing interest (sorry for the vagueness). While we were enjoying our maduros, he said, “Hey you should buy ___(whatever it was)___ and if you don't like it, I'll take it!”
Everybody likes getting things for free. Though we don't always VALUE what we get for free, we still like getting those things.
Whether you give a 10% off coupon, a free strategy session, or a few of your favorite books through a giveaway, you should give something away for free.
TIP #2: GIVE SOMETHING FOR FREE
Over the past few months years, Facebook groups have become super-popular. Fan pages used to be all the rage, now those are dead(ish), and Groups are “where it's at.” After all, we don't want to be “fans,” we want to be part of a community. No, not like that…
Anyway, two of my clients have gotten amazing results and grown their email lists significantly (nearly doubled them) in the past few months, all because they started Facebook groups, built a community, and engaged with their members.
Brenda Mullard, an artist, teacher and entrepreneur from Wisconsin, started the Facebook group Art Teachers Teaching Art. When I asked Brenda about advice for growing an email list by leveraging a Facebook group, she said,
The biggest tip is to start a group without even thinking about making a cent from it. Start it to genuinely start a group for the avatar you care about, not people you want to buy from you. Help people to get engaged and start a community people want to come to for help, help others in the group or just to be with others like themselves.
Another client and entrepreneur, Bridgette Petrino, has also seen amazing email list growth after starting her Facebook group Mommy Needs a Timeout Community. From this group she's signed new coaching clients, sold products, and found real validation in her branding and marketing strategies.
It seems there really is something to this whole group thing, and if you want to join the Empowered & Equipped Facebook group for entrepreneurs, click here.
TIP #3: START A FACEBOOK GROUP
While Bridgette has done amazingly well with her Facebook Group for busy Moms, she attributed her email list growth to something else. When I asked her for her best tip for growing an email list, she said,
The best advice I can give is hustle like crazy. Guest post, figure out an opt-in that converts, and get visible.
Short, simple, to the point. But Bridgette's advice is really great, partly because it was quick and off-the-cuff, but also partly due to what her suggestion means if we break it down.
Let's take a deeper look.
Hustle – Putting up an opt-in form won't cut it. You've got to create content that builds your authority and makes you look irresistible to your prospective customers, and that takes a lot of hustle.
Guest Post – Bridgette's inspirational and empowering writing has been featured on the front page of Thrive Global several times.
High-Converting Opt-Ins – I tried almost 12 lead magnets before I found one that really attracted people to sign up. If you're struggling to find a lead magnet with a high opt-in rate, read 5 Key Criteria of a Killer Lead Magnet.
Get Visible – I bet a lot of people would glaze right over this last bit of advice, but it's likely the most important part of what Bridgette said. As I said here, obscurity is one of the biggest problems faced by small businesses today; the market is crowded, and nobody knows who you are. It's not that people don't want to be on your email list, they just don't know it exists.
TIP #4: GET VISIBLE
Get 2 BONUS Tips for List Growth!
Enter your name and email below to unlock the 2 bonus tips for growing your email list. PLUS! I'll send all 6 tips right to your inbox immediately!
When I email the people on my list, I send them information, stories, tips, and other bits that can't be found anywhere else. Treat the people on your email list like they're super-valuable (because they are), and tell people what exclusive benefits they can expect by being on it.
BONUS Tip #1: Offer Exclusive Content
If you hopped onto someone's website and there were typos everywhere and grammatical mistakes on every page, you wouldn't have much confidence in that person's ability to send you anything good via email. If they can't communicate well publicly, they can't communicate well privately to their email list either.
Additionally, if you plugged in your headphones and tuned into a podcast like The Ellory Wells Show and found that the host couldn't get to the point or teach a lesson, you'd probably assume that they didn't reserve their talents for their email communications.
We write like we talk, and we talk like we think. If your thoughts are muddled your words will be too.
As a side note, no one is going to forward a poorly written email to their friends or co-workers either. People don't recommend things that make them look bad.
BONUS Tip #2: Improve Communication Skills
And there you have it, 4 tips (and 2 bonuses) about how you can grow your email list. Sure, anyone can write about opt-in boxes that convert, or why you need multiple forms on a page, or even why pop-ups work (even though everyone hates them), but I hope these 6 tips for growing your email list are unique and helpful.