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6 Ideas to Get Your Email Lists Growing Again

Is growing your email lists important to your business? You’re not alone—in the Email List Growth Survey, almost seven in 10 marketers at B2C companies say email list growth is “very important” to marketing success.

However, far fewer are accomplishing this goal. Just 20 percent say their email lists are growing rapidly; almost three-fourths (74 percent) admit that their lists are growing slowly or not at all. Are you in this boat? If so, here are 6 ideas to grow your email list again.

  1. Focus on quality over quantity. A big list isn’t valuable if it’s full of subscribers whose emails bounce back, who never open the emails and who never engage with your business in any way. In fact, such subscribers just waste your time. Practice good list hygiene to clean off the “time wasters” and start with a good list.
  1. Identify the customers with highest lifetime value and seek to add them to your lists. Customers who actually buy from you, for instance, are ones you want to engage with via email. Make the email signup part of the templates for your email communications such as order acknowledgement, receipt of payment or account alerts.
  1. Identify the most and least successful email subscriber acquisition sources and methods. For the companies in the survey, the most effective tactics are:
  • Access to value-added sections of the website – 35 percent
  • Sharing on social media – 33 percent
  • Free content downloads – 25 percent
  • Capturing email during purchase process – 24 percent
  • Email forward to a friend – 20 percent
  • In-store email capture – 11 percent

Of course, your mileage may vary, so take the time to figure out where new subscribers to your email lists are coming from (as well as the tactics that aren’t paying off) so you can focus on what works best for you.

4. Offer multiple options for “opting down” instead of just opting out. For instance, allowing subscribers to change the frequency or type of emails they receive from you can make the difference between losing and keeping a subscriber.

5. Design your website to capture email subscribers. You should have visible, top-of-page opt-ins on the home page, any other main pages and key interior pages. You can even try using a popup opt-in, but be sure to track results carefully—many consumers get annoyed by popups, and you don’t want to turn people off.

6. Improve your social media sharing success. While social media sharing is a top way to grow email lists, respondents say it’s also time-consuming and hard to do. The survey suggests holding a contest or sweepstakes on social media and giving fans incentives for sharing the content with their friends and family. These could include loyalty points, special offers or discounts. To make it easier for users to share the campaign, include sharing links.

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Author information

Maria Valdez Haubrich

Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at