5 Ways to Grow Your Email List With People Who Are Really Into You Posted on 19 Apr 12:02

If you’re being real about reaching your ideal customer--someone who wants to be along on the ride with you and is truly into what you do--you don’t need to resort to spammy methods for growing your email list.

Instead, capture the attention (and email addresses!) of the community you really want to be attracting by being authentic, genuine, and by giving more than you are getting. Here’s how to do it:

Offer a free ebook. And make it a really, really good one. Not some vague idea that’s skirts around the details. Put your best stuff in there. If it makes you feel kind of funny that you’re giving away so much good information for free, then you’re doing it right.

Offer content upgrades. Create a worksheet, cheat-sheet, printable, summary, or another kind of supporting digital product that complements an existing piece of content like a blog post. If you’re a freelance photographer, write a long-form blog post that’s all about how to get ready and dress the kids for a family photo shoot. To complement this post, develop a one-page checklist of all your tips in list form, together in one printable. Readers can join your list at the end of your post via a custom opt-in that delivers this specific freebie.

Offer a discount. If you have an online shop, offering a discount code is a fantastic way to grow your list. Best part? These potential customers are more likely to make a purchase if it’s a coupon code that initially drew them to your list.

Run a giveaway promotion. Set up a legitimate giveaway of your product or services. (Consult an attorney to understand how to set up a contest that abides by the law.) Here are some good practices to follow: Require an email address for entry, not a follow on social media. Post contest rules. Skip out on those “win a $1000 credit card” giveaways — all you’ll end up with is a lot of unsubscribes, or a lot of people hopping on your list who don’t care about your brand.

Write guest posts. Where are your customers? Back to the family photographer example: are they reading industry magazines about photography equipment? Or are they reading parenting blogs? Be the expert in your field and reach a wider audience by sharing valuable content that helps your community where they already are. (Not where you are, deep in those trade magazines!) Close out your post with an offer to join your list.

Anything I’ve missed? What are your tried and true ways for growing your list with authenticity? I’d love to hear.


Written by: Rebecca Pitts

Rebecca Pitts is a writer and children’s products designer. She is the founder and creative behind Hudson + Daughter. Each month, she sends an exclusive letter to friends who write, make things, or want to. Join her list here or visit her online home at rebeccaapitts.com.