Busy & Chic

A Lifestyle Blog for Women Entrepreneurs by Tierra Wilson

Ask the Expert: How do I grow my email list?

First, let’s chat about why it’s important to make list building activities your priority.

The bottom line is that you don’t own your Facebook Page. You don’t own your Instagram account. You don’t own your LinkedIn Profile.

Even though all are critical for marketing your business online, you don’t actually own them.

For example, I was networking in my favorite Facebook group for women biz owners and one woman put up a frantic post.

You could hear her anxiety leaping from the screen.


She informed the group that she had spent a year pouring her heart and soul into a Fb group and growing it to over 20k members, and then all of a sudden, POOF! The group had disappeared.

As I lurked through the comments (Yes lurked. Don’t judge me!), I saw similar stories of legitimate and professional Facebook groups and Instagram accounts with huge followings, being removed or deleted with little to no explanation.

Hmmmm…. 6 words came to mind. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

But you know what you do own? You own your email list.

It’s yours, and no one can take that away from you, even if you switch email marketing providers, you can take your list with you.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox. Let’s get to the good stuff!

A. If you want to grow your list, push list building activities to the top of your marketing list and make it your priority when growing your business.

Here are 30 proven tips, all tested by me over the years, to help you build your email list.

#1 Optimize your website for sign-ups. Make sure the sign-up button is in prominent places that will catch the attention of your audience. When in doubt on where to put your email call to actions, use the F-Pattern method.

#2 Offer free downloads in your content, also called content upgrades, to encourage sign ups.

#3 Ask your current list to share your emails. Include a forward or share button on your emails to encourage them to spread the word.

#4 Add a link to your email signature. Quick, easy, and powerful to do.

#5 Promote your freebies and content upgrades to social media and groups.

#6 Incorporate your email call to action or freebie in your social media descriptions.

#7 Add “sign up” call to action button to your Facebook Business Page.

#8 Run a promotion for one of your free downloads on a partner website or email newsletter.

#9 Host a co-marketing offer with a partner or group of non-competing small business owners.

#10 Collect email addresses at offline events, tradeshows, and conferences.

#11 Host a free webinar.

#12 Pay for PPC ads for your free download or content upgrade.

#13 Run a contest.

#14 Add an exit-intent pop up that reminds people to sign up before they leave your site.

#15 Share your old newsletters to social media.

#16 Offer a subscriber-only offer and promote. For example, sign up to my newsletter and get X% off of X.

#17 Include testimonials in your subscribe box. Proof works.

#18 Include your email sign up call to actions at the end of guest blogs.

#19 Create a free email course and promote.

#20 Design landing pages for specific referrers. For example, a link to subscribe on Instagram may link to a page that starts with “Welcome insta fam…”

#21 Make them feel like they are missing out by providing social proof in your opt-in box. For example: “Join the # subscribers who…”.

#22 Play around with adding gates to some of your content. Gating means that you show some of your content and require email sign-up to read the rest. This won’t work for everyone, so test it out first.

#23 Write an email that includes a product recommendation or influencer mention. Then, share the email campaign to social and tag the brand or influencer mentioned. Hopefully, they reshare 🙂

#24 Create an email opt-in post and pin it to the top of Twitter and Facebook.

#25 Add a sticky email opt-in bar to the top or bottom of your website.

#26 Create a quiz focused on your targeted audience and promote on the web. Require sign up to receive results.

#27 Add an email link to your blog byline. Thanks to coschedule for this tip!

#28 Add email link to your byline. I borrowed this cool trick from Sujan Patel, Co-Founder at Web Profits INC

#29 Integrate your email form into the header design of your website pages.

#30 Use emotional call to actions. Ditch the “subscribe” and go for stuff like “Yes, I want to XXX”, or “Help me XXX.”

So there you go! 30 tested tips to grow your email list.

And oh, for the love of God, don’t do all that work and then become inconsistent about email marketing. Here’s a great blog post by Melyssa about what to send your list to stay consistent.

I want to hear from you! Comment below and share the tips that have worked for you.

Sharing is caring 🙂

Tierra Wilson

Hi, I'm Tierra, the Owner & Creative Director for TW+CO. When I'm not working with my clients, I'm passionate about teaching creative entrepreneurs and small businesses how to succeed online.


  • The Girl Brand
    Posted at 17:25h, 10 January

    This is some fantastic advice! I found 17 different things that I could start using right now to make my list grow. Thanks so much Tierra! I’m pinning this article ASAP!

  • Tierra M Wilson
    Posted at 17:32h, 10 January

    Thank you for reading and sharing!!!

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