• Danielle Sheriff

12 Ways to Grow Your Email List: How to Gain Interest and Segment as You Go

Harsh truth: No one woke up this morning and said, “Today I feel like joining email lists." So expecting that hundreds of people are going to navigate to your website completely of their own volition and fill out the newsletter submission form is an unreasonable way to expect to grow an email list. You have to give your ideal audience a reason to opt-in.


Nice truth: You absolutely can give them a reason with these methods:

  • Offering a discount on your product or service for first-time subscribers

  • Giving away a free download (e.g worksheets, e-book, art downloads)

  • Hosting a free, pre-recorded or live video training or webinar where people register with their email address

  • Adding a ‘subscribe to my newsletter’ checkbox on all forms and shopping-cart checkouts on your website

  • Creating a free course or class using a course platform

  • Adding pop-up forms to new visitors of your website

  • Include registrations forms in your header, footer and the middle your website for when people happen to be scrolling through

  • Build a quiz and have people register for their results

  • Brick and mortar? Use a paper sign up sheet and make it attractive. People enjoy handwriting things because it’s so rare now! Have some irresistible paper and a smooth, sexy pen.

  • Request the readers to forward the email and share it with a friend, making sure to include a registration link in the footer.

  • Post about something new you're working on on social media and ask people if they want to get updates. Provide a sign-up link (make sure it goes directly to the form or people won’t bother completing the request) or have them give you their email and enter them in manually (this is great for people who are starting out). I’ve utilized the Instagram ‘Ask Me a Question’ feature many times for this

  • Do a giveaway/competition where people enter via your email list

Most of these are different ways for you to offer something to get something – an email address – in return. But before I let you go, I wanna say a few words on segmentation and why you want to consider it.

Tagging and Segmentation - Start Early

If you’re collecting email addresses in more than one way (and you should be!) you’ll want to consider tagging those people so that you know how they got on your list. i.e. your website form, a free download, someone you met in person, etc.

Over time this allows you to refine your marketing and make it more effective because you can speak directly to certain segments of your lists population. Segmenting is the act of sending certain emails to certain people on your list. Let’s use a real-world example:


If you wanted to stand up in the middle of a crowded mall with a megaphone and speak to every mother you could…but you’d have all these dads, childless couples, singles, and children having to listen to your message too. How annoying for them and awkward for you.


Wouldn’t it be ideal if you could separate all of the mothers into one smaller room so you could easily speak to them directly without worrying about having someone being bored in the middle of your announcement?


This is what tagging your members and segmenting your emails allows you to do: speak directly to the right people and not fill the inboxes of those who potentially are not the right people.


But Dani, why would I have someone on my list that I don’t want to hear my message?


It’s entirely possible you have a niche that needs little segmentation, but most of us have slightly different audiences within our audiences. As an artist, I have both male and female subscribers but sometimes I’m sending an email that is deeply specific to my ladies.


At Female Founded, we have a subscriber base (hey, that’s you!) but sometimes we only want to speak to people who haven’t signed up for our mastermind, because it would be annoying for people who are already members to get an invitation to join - ya know?


So this is why you want to tag people on your list in as much detail as you can.

Okay, you’re sold. If you need some guidance on how to get people on your list in the first place, check out Hannah's post on how to use a lead magnet!