6 Proven Strategies to Grow Your Email List in 2022

Jenna Kutcher 

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January 26, 2022


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It’s no secret that email marketing is a powerful way to speak to your audience, stay connected, and sell your stuff. In fact, my email list is the number one revenue driver for my business, and it’s the way I stay connected with my audience more intimately — in their inboxes and one on one. It gives me this chance to whisper to the right people instead of trying to shout into the public vastness of social media. Pretty much everything I do and create is meant to guide people onto my list where I can serve them even better, it’s at the heart of so much of our processes. 

Maybe you’re on board with starting your email list — or maybe you HAVE a list, but its growth or the way you serve it has gotten a little stagnant over time (hey, it happens!). And maybe now you’re wondering how to actually get people excited and enticed to sign up and subscribe so you can serve them well.

In this episode, I want to share with you my 6 favorite ways to add people to my own email list — some are more creative and out-of-the-box while others are your more tried, true, and traditional list growth methods that straight up work! I’m excited to share all of them, so let’s get on into it!

Host a free webinar

You might call it a masterclass, a training, a webinar, but whatever you deem it, the premise is simple: you provide value and a lesson on something in your area of expertise for free, and in exchange you get the email address of everyone who signs up! 

We invest in filling up our webinars because it’s not just about making a sale on the training itself, we see the value of each and every subscriber, regardless of if they purchase, because even if they don’t purchase the product while attending the webinar, we still get to serve and nurture a new subscriber once the training is over! Their lifetime value is high and our opportunity to serve them through our welcome sequence or through our weekly communications is critical. 

One thing to be sure of is that you want to make your free training actually valuable and helpful to viewers! Pick a topic that people will sign up for or something people are curious about — this is a huge way for you to convert your social media followers to become email list subscribers. And know that you can also do a no-pitch webinar where you’re literally just serving and sharing on a topic, in fact, I highly recommend this method! Regardless of if you’re selling something or not, make sure your training isn’t just a glorified pitch for your paid product dressed up as a free training. We always make sure that regardless of whether someone buys, they walk away with actual steps or tips to improve some area of their business, life, or marketing. 

The whole idea here is to serve and help people get results, so create a training that allows you to do just that and you’ll not only grow your email list but you’ll get results for yourself and for your attendees! 

Rock your pop-up strategy

A lot of people use pop ups but don’t really back them with strategy. Sure, you can have a pop-up that simply prompts people to join your email list to receive newsletters, but we’ve found it to be way more effective to provider related free value in exchange for signing up for the list. 

Alignment here matters which is why a generic pop up strategy probably won’t yield a ton of opt ins. You want to make sure that you’re utilizing this strategy with the viewer’s experience at the forefront of all of your decisions. We want to use this as a tool of connection or as an invite to take another step or go further on a topic that had someone curious enough to land on that page in the first place. A lot of times that’s where our freebies or free webinars come in, and so we can create pretty pop-ups that advertise these resources and that have a signup form right there on the pop-up for people to quickly leave their name and email address in exchange for the freebie materials that will then be delivered straight to their inbox.

During 2021 we’ve really been honing our pop-up strategy as a team and it’s paid off big time. From January 1st through December 31st of 2020, we had 283,324 total visitors on our pop-ups, or in other words, people who clicked through to a link on the pop-up. From those we had a total of 6,265 conversions which is a total conversion rate of 2.21%.

Want the full run down on our current pop-up strategy? Hit play on this episode for a robust breakdown including our process to split test and refine who sees what when they land on our site.

Pinterest for lead magnets and free offers

Yup, my favorite secret weapon strikes again! Pinterest is a huge way we drive new leads to our content on the website and since I just got done talking about our pop-up strategy, it makes sense to have a plan for the traffic that we get from Pinterest. Can you see how a lot of these puzzle pieces can fit together? 

Pinterest is a space to push out evergreen content like blog posts that you work hard on, people on Pinterest see the pin and click over to read more or see more, which then boosts your website traffic as people click through from Pinterest to the blog or website link.

Once they land on the page you’ve connected to you pin, you get to serve up the content your audience clicked on, and while they are enjoying it, a pop-up shows up inviting someone to take a next step or to get another free, valuable, and related resource in exchange for their email address. Simply put, you need eyeballs on your stuff to get a new subscriber, so Pinterest is a great way we do this and our Pinterest strategy takes us under an hour each week but drives a ton of traffic to our pages which is where we convert them to our email list! 

If you don’t have a blog or a place to send people to, you can also use Pinterest to market your freebies on their own. You can create pins pointing to a simple landing page that promotes free resources you create with the intention of growing your email list.

A few things that perform really well on Pinterest are checklists, templates, workbooks, and guides, so try to create freebies that focus on those areas for starters in order to find the most success! 

Content upgrades on other platforms

All of the platforms that we’re on are used as a means of introduction and inspiration and my hope is that we can continue to give out invites that will get people off of the app and onto our email list so we can serve them more intentionally and specifically. While it’s not always easy to link directly to a freebie on every single platform like you can do with pop-ups or even on Pinterest, it should be at the forefront of your strategy, this idea of getting people off of the apps and onto your list. There are definitely ways to utilize other platforms to share invitations to take advantage of your freebies, the value you offer, or coupon codes that require an opt in, especially when the topics align and you know it would benefit your audience.

Here’s an example… this podcast episode you’re listening to right now is all about how to grow your email list, and lucky enough, I have a freebie that goes EVEN deeper into this topic. So this would be a great opportunity to share that freebie with you! If you’re invested in this idea but you still need help understanding how it works, what to send people once they join, and how to use an email list to drive real results, head to: growanemaillist.com, that’s growanemaillist.com and you can watch my free masterclass on how an email list can help you algorithm-proof your business and turbocharge your results. That’s grownanemaillist.com and we’ll also link it up for you in the show notes, of course!

So you probably see what I did there… If you have a podcast or YouTube channel or even on your Instagram or Facebook pages, you can utilize episodes or social posts to guide people to additional resources that are in alignment with the topic you were originally talking about on that platform. I try to be super thoughtful about what I have built or what I can share that our listeners would like or that would help them get a quick win or a bigger result and I make sure that any invitations are both aligned but also help that person take the next step! 

Play with Facebook Ads

While ads are investment, hopefully throughout this episode you can see how much we value our subscribers and understand how much value they bring to not just my life but the business.

Most people only try ads when they are ready to launch or have something for sale, but 90% of our paid ads are running to freebies or free resources in order to grow my list. Not only are you paying WAY less per lead (like pennies to the dollar rather than upwards of $10 per lead) but you’re also starting your relationship serving someone instead of selling to them. You have to see investing in ads as playing the long game when it comes to your business, in that we’d rather invest in growing our list with people we can serve, build a relationship with, and truly nurture before diving straight into a sales pitch. Truthfully, I love leading with freebies and kicking off as the person who gives, not takes, I’ve found to be so much more effective than going straight for the sale from an ad.

This approach makes our ad spend lower while giving us a larger lifetime value with my audience, so it’s totally a win all the way around. It also helps us hone in on the right audiences for less investment by playing with targeting on Facebook and Instagram ads, that way when we do go into a launch and utilize ads for our paid offers at that point, we know how to target the right audiences, the people already interested in what I’ll be talking about. 

The Big Picture

At the end of the day, all paths should lead to your email list so that you can serve and show up for your insiders, offering an experience that only you can offer — one that leads to bigger results for both them but also for you! 

If you want to see how all of these strategies work in real life, sign up for my entirely free masterclass, How to grow an email list that algorithm proofs your business by joining the Zero-250 Challenge.

Thank you to our Goal Digger Sponsors

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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