The right list will keep your email strategy sizzling, while the wrong one will have your results fizzling.

If you want to see results from email marketing, you need a quality list. And while most small businesses focus on growing the quantity of their list, that mindset could actually put them on the wrong track.

Because the size of your list doesn’t matter.

When it comes to seeing stellar results, what matters is the number of engaged readers on your list.

Think about it: ten exceptionally engaged subscribers will be brand ambassadors for you. They’ll tell their friends about you, forward your emails, and go out of their way to support you and your brand.

Because they have a relationship with you.

Email paves the way for dialogue, for 1:1 communication, so your brand becomes a trusted friend and authority in your customers’ lives.

But how do you go about finding those ten super engaged subscribers? These practices will help you grow your list and maintain its quality over time, no matter how big your small business gets.


But first—list hygiene

Over time, some of your subscribers will stop engaging with your emails. And that’s okay! People’s lives change, and so do their email preferences.

However, if you keep sending emails to people who aren’t engaged, you won’t see very good results, and you might even hurt your deliverability (the ability to deliver emails all the way into inboxes) over time.

So you’ll need to segment (if you’re not sure what that means, don’t worry—we’ll cover it in Lesson 6) your subscribers by their activity level and occasionally purgeremove—inactive subscribers from your list.

Learn more about the importance of maintaining an engaged list here.


10 tactics to grow your subscriber list

The most important aspect of building your list is offering quality, high-value content. Because people will only sign up and remain engaged with emails that they find worthwhile. So always, always put their needs, desires, and pain points first.

With that said, here are ten surefire tactics you can implement today to drive major signups for your email list:

  • Tactic #1 — Create an Instagram Story that features an excerpt from an email you know your followers will love (like a special offer). Then include a “Swipe up” option that allows them to subscribe.
  • Tactic #2 — Include “Subscribe now” CTAs in your blog posts.
  • Tactic #3 — Host a giveaway or contest on social media that incentivizes people to sign up to your email or announces the winner through email.
    Caveat! These subscribers might not stay engaged with your brand once the contest is through. Be sure to monitor your list and keep an unsubscribe link prominent.

Small business examples of Instagram story contests - swipe up to enter

Source: Create Cultivate

  • Tactic #4 — Include a subscribe form in the header or footer of your site so it’s available on any page, at any time.
  • Tactic #5 — Offer special promotions, VIP access to events or discounts, or other exclusive information that people can only access through your email list.
  • Tactic #6 — Offer high-value email courses. Like this one. See what we did there?
  • Tactic #7 — Create a dedicated landing page and then link to it in your social media bios.
  • Tactic #8 — Make it simple for readers to forward your emails to their network.
  • Tactic #9 — Add a lightbox to your site like the one below.

Small business lightbox examples - How to grow an email list - Campaign Monitor small business course

Source: Creative Revolt

  • Tactic #10 — Finally, never underestimate the power of consistent, gradual growth. If you continue to put the effort into your email strategy and develop a strong program, your list will grow! You just have to be patient.


Today’s Challenge

Create a post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter that encourages your audience to click through to your site and sign up for your email list using one of the ideas we’ve mentioned here—or come up with your own.

Tag @Campaign.Monitor on Instagram (in your post completing this challenge) and we’ll share a few of our favorites in our stories!

Start growing your list and reaching your audience.

Keep that personal touch with your customers as your business grows. That’s the power of unforgettable email marketing.