The email list is the centerpiece of email marketing. It’s the key that unlocks the door to a person’s inbox, and the inbox is where we all spend every morning, afternoon, or night. The more email addresses you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to generate leads, push out your messaging, and prove the value of your email marketing efforts.

Guest post by Mac Mischke at WhatConverts. The views detailed in this post might not fully align with CodeCrew's best practice suggestions. Contact us for more insights into our advice on the topic.

Email marketing is like an exchange; you spend time creating emails, and you’re paid back in leads that occur via conversion actions (call, form-fill, chat, or transaction). It’s only worth your time if it’s generating qualified leads.

But what are you supposed to do if your email marketing doesn’t have the impact you hoped for? Panic?

You just can’t spend your money on buying lists or paying for custom email services. What? Why? Because that will, my dear friend, send your ROI on a wild-goose chase. What you need to do is to figure out how to grow your email lists organically. Organic list growth costs nothing but can increase the size of your email marketing net. The bigger your net, the more useful it is in delivering new leads and customers to your business.

And that's exactly why we're here today. We'll try to explain how you can increase the size of your email lists organically, and have decent email marketing ROI. Trust me, your boss, client, and CEO will appreciate it.

5 Techniques to Organically Grow your Email List Post Highlights:

Add “mailing list links” to your blog posts and throughout your website

Mailing list links need to be highly visible. Each subscription form should include a small blurb describing what people can expect to receive in their inbox if they give you their email address. Here are just a few examples of the types of regularly scheduled emails your customers would want to receive:

  • Monthly newsletter
  • Timely product updates
  • Article rundowns
  • Special offers and Sales
  • Discounts and coupons

Whatever it is that you plan to email out to people, make sure it’s something you would want to see in your own inbox. You’re not emailing people just to email them; you’re trying to engage your audience, create a digital connection, and make sure you’re the first brand they think of when they’re ready to buy.

Another thing; make sure the newsletter signup is “above the fold” on your website; people shouldn’t have to scroll down to see it. Once you’ve got at least one signup form above the fold, feel free to add other subscribe links within your blog posts, in the sidebar, or pop-ups. 

Put extra effort into your content offerings

Blogs are great. People read them and learn from them, but blogs don’t get email subscribers excited. Nobody is going to give you their email address in exchange for you allowing them to read your blog. 

However, people will provide you with their email address if you promise them something substantial, like an e-Book, recorded webinars, or step-by-step how-to guide. Those are the kinds of content you can lock behind a form, asking people to provide an email address in exchange for the content download link.

Send emails at the right time

It’s a more indirect way of growing your list, but sending emails at the right time of day and week will help you maintain your existing potential customer list. You want people to be opening your emails, finding something valuable in the content, and looking forward to your next email. If you get enough people to engage with your emails, they might even start forwarding emails to their friends. Part of growing an email list requires maintaining the current one and building credibility within your subscribers base. 

So, when should you send your emails for maximum engagement? Studies have found that the average open-rate is 21.26% for emails sent on a Tuesday. That’s the highest open rate of any day of the week. 

It's a power powder
It's a power powder

Source: SuperOffice
People commonly open those emails around 10 am or 1 pm; after people get to work or after they get back from their lunch break. General industry data has shown that the best time to send an email is Tuesday at around 1 pm. These points about timing might seem obvious, but it’s reassuring to know that the data really does back up our assumptions about when people check emails. 

Listen to the experts

All of the email marketing experts have been dealing with emails for a long loong time, and they’ve found a few tips and tricks that are worth listening to. Let’s hear from Campaign Monitor, one of the most popular email automation services out there. Campaign Monitor has a simple little formula they recommend using if you want to grow your email subscriber list. Here's how it looks: 

Valuable incentives + Simple subscribe
opportunities = Large email list

Here’s what each part of that equation might look like for your business. A discount is a great example of a valuable incentive. Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off! Providing a coupon might get you a new email subscriber, but I'm afraid that his reason for subscribing had little to do with the content of your emails and everything to do with a financial incentive. Am I right? Sure. That said, you just can’t be surprised if this person immediately unsubscribes. 

Fortunately, there are other valuable incentives. Great content is a valuable incentive. Super up-to-date news, product updates, and interviews with industry experts as well. Let’s be honest, it’s not hard to come up with great content ideas that will engage your email subscriber base. So, what are you waiting for?

Now for the second part of the equation; simple subscribe opportunities. This is all about adding subscribe forms wherever you can. Keep them simple by only asking for their email address. I mean, you don’t want anything to get in the way of you and their email. All those extra lines they have to fill out would be an additional reason for them not to.

Host webinars or partner up for co-hosted webinars

Events attract people to your business, but digital events like webinars are the easiest way to acquire new email addresses from people who are interested in learning more about your industry. When someone signs up for a webinar, they can also sign up for your emails and double down on their content intake.

Alright, ready to grow?

Like all types of marketing campaigns, your email marketing strategy is only as good as the data you can track. We’re not just talking about open rates and click-through-rates; we’re talking about the data that actually impacts a business’ bottom line; leads. Remember that equation from Campaign Monitor? The end result promised a “large email list.”

That “large email list” will be filled with potential leads. If those people click on a link in your email, fill out a form on your website or make a call through your call tracking software, you’ve got to be able to track that, trace the lead back to the email marketing source, and assign value to the lead so you can understand the return-on-investment you’re getting from your email marketing efforts. That’s how organic email list growth impacts your bottom line and keeps clients and CEOs happy.