Email Marketing

7 surefire ways to grow your email list in 2021

No long laundry list, no noise, just a few of the top techniques that worked for our clients, driving up to 40% more emails.

7 surefire ways to grow your email list in 2021

In this article, we are discussing a concern that's been puzzling all email marketers out there - How do you grow your email list in 2021?

We start off with an assumption that at least once in your lifetime, you have sat back and thought about diverting all your efforts to email marketing and drive the results with those big game-changing numbers. In a happy state of mind, let’s assume you actually cracked the ceiling and while reading this, you are just grinning. We are happy for you!

But the fact is, even after reading over hundreds of guides on how to grow your email list or how to collect emails from landing pages, a majority of individuals are found searching for ‘the’ right key. And why won’t they! The moment you google how to grow an email list, you end up finding almost the same long listicles with over 30, 50, or even 100 damn ideas.

Everyone is talking about the same ideas, in different sequences, and over the years, things don’t seem to change. However, you need the ones that are most effective, practical, unique, and drive quick results.

That's what this article has for you. No long laundry list, no noise, just a few of the top techniques that worked for our clients, driving up to 40% more emails. Let’s get started!

Everyone has an email list. But is it absolutely neat?

We live in times where we do not need to talk about what is an email list in every piece. But what’s important is, understanding what the ideal email list looks like. Is it only the length of the email list that matters? No! Then, is it the number of leads you get in a day? Certainly not!

“A small list that wants exactly what you're offering is better than a bigger list that isn't committed.” – Ramsay Leimenstoll.

With a plethora of individuals, startups, and enterprises in every industry using this amazing blessing of email marketing in its own ways, it is important to make a note of a few things to ensure a healthy email marketing radar:

1) Say no to paid leads

Have you seen those ads that claim to offer a bulk of leads for a certain amount? Stay away from them! No matter how desperately you need to increase your database to meet your goals, you don’t want to contaminate your list with a dump that is picked out of nowhere, literally. Invest all your efforts in strategizing and optimizing. Shortcuts aren’t as fruitful, anyway! (At least not when it comes to building an email list that is relevant and high-converting)

2) Scrub your list regularly

Any piece, whether living or dormant needs a cleaning touch from time to time. So does your email list! Ensure to spend some time with your list once in a while and read through the details. In fact, email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year. So it’s important to have a strategy to make up for these lost contacts. Eradicate all the leads that look spammy or do not fit the bill you serve. It’s important to do this cleaning ritual because:  

  • Contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another
  • Others abandon that old AOL address they don’t use
  • Unqualified leads opt-out of your email communications

Ensure your list is healthy and you are reaching out to the intended individual.

3) Segregated your list based on data

When any user gives you their contact details, the intent might differ from time to time, geography to geography. It is crucial to bucket the information in the right manner to ensure that you are sending personalized communication to relevant group of people at the most appropriate time.

For example, let’s say that your business provides painting and pest control services. A visitor lands on the page that talks about your painting services and drops in his email address. If you keep sending them emails about pest control, they’re eventually going to unsubscribe. Hence, segmenting your audience basis a number of factors and running campaigns accordingly is crucial.

Understand the changing trends in customers psychology

Times change and so do people. This does not apply only to all the interpersonal relationships we have but to almost everything we do to survive. Email marketing has come a long way and the current trends are inspiring, if not surprising!

a) Spam emails need a cure

Yes, people still hate it whenever an email lands in their spam folder but that must not count in your reasons to stop emailing them altogether.

Rather than stopping all your efforts in such a case, identify the reasons why is your email landing in spam - is it the case for everyone or selected people? Is your email service provider an issue? Or, is it the number of spam marks your emails have been getting? Run a detailed RCA and find out the reason - fix it and get set to communicate with them. This brings us to the next point - your messaging.

b) A powerful copy above everything

If you’ve often been told not to just talk about your business in your emails, those folks need to be corrected. . For sure, you should avoid being too salesy but it’s important to be direct and talk about what you do, your achievements, ongoing offers, new launches, and more. Just make sure that it's not too much and that it aligns well with the customer’s problems. A recent report by Sinch mentioned that over 40% of consumers say they have at least 50 unread emails in their inbox. Now it’s on you to ensure your message does not fall in the list on unread and the key is a copy that converts!

c) The new gateway that’s getting traction

Researchers found that consumers tend to check the Promotions tab once a day or once a week, on average.  This means that you don’t need to fret if your emails are landing in Promotional Tab. This tab has made itself a place in people’s inbox! Now that you are aware of the changing trends and the basics of building a working email list, let’s get to understand what are the best ways to grow your email list.

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7 Tips to Grow Your Email List (These are all you need!)

1) Create Pop-ups Like A Human, Not A Robot

It’s a universal fact that people love offers - the ones that are legitimate and provide sufficient value. However, over time, people’s behaviour towards pop-ups has changed drastically. There’s an increasing expectation in today’s audience to be spoken to like a human and not like a robot.

In fact, according to a study, a whopping 82.2% of all respondents said “no” to popups. Yet Sumo found, best-performing pop-ups convert like crazy--9.8%. 

The overall conversion rate of pop-ups is 3.09% which is not bad at all. 

Even Rand Fishkin gives pop-ups the thumbs up. 


So Popups still work - but the need of the hour is to find the right way to get your users to fill the form. Wondering how you do this? The answer is by banking all your efforts into drafting the right copy.

The millennial generation has had hundreds of “We have an offer for you!” What they need is something smart, witty, funny. While you are at it, make sure you deliver every necessary information and keep the communication concise (because literally, everyone’s on a run!).

Pro-tip: While you continue to use pop-ups, here’s a quick suggestion: Let the pop-up come to the visitor after a specific active time (for example, 180 active seconds) or define a logic that after 8 scrolls, the visitor shall be shown the pop-up. You want to put your pop up where your visitors are looking. 

Here's some bonus insight - according to a recent study by NNgroup,  users spend 54% of their page viewing time above the fold. This is a major shift from their 2010 study result, which was 80%. Interestingly, the pattern of a sharp decrease in attention following the fold remains unchanged. 



Another way to enhance the performance of your pop-ups is by using your live chat support and sliding the pop-up in between the conversation.

collect emails with creative pop ups

To make your exit pop-ups work like magic, use a copy like “But wait! Come back. Let’s work this out! The idea is to make all copies as human as possible. In the end, even if you are a B2B business, you are talking to a human!

2) Contests And Giveaways: The Trick Is To Stand-out!

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are round the corner and it is the best time to grab the attention of your visitors. One of the age-old and evergreen ways of inviting people to your business is by hosting contests and having giveaways.

You can run exclusive contests and giveaways from your website. Add a banner or show a pop-up to your visitors and let them know how the contest or giveaway works. Set clear rules and ask your visitors to engage with you. With the advent of social media and the aid it brings, you can invite thousands of people just by using the right set of hashtags (Example #contestalert). Ask your visitors to take actions like resharing, commenting, posting a picture, and more to be able to get shortlisted. This helps you give a boost to UGC, in the long run inviting people whom you might otherwise not be able to reach.

how to grow your email list through contests and giveaway

Pro-tip:  When you are at this, there’s one thing that you need to understand: there’s a line of difference between making a sale and looking cheap. Have you ever wondered what makes an offer a correct one or what should you use for a giveaway?

Almost every business runs a contest and hosts a giveaway session but the difference between a smart business is that they maintain a difference - by offering a decent deal & not overdoing it, by keeping the contest/ giveaway smart with their copies and strategically designing the entire campaign.

3) Tap Into Ambassador Programs - The Real Game Changers

Wondering how this fits in when we are talking about collecting email leads? Well, a happy customer is a goldmine for any marketing effort. It's the 21st century and there’s no stopping brands from thinking about innovative ways to get things done.

A recent report by Golfdale suggested that 76 percent of consumers are more likely to trust the content that is shared by people than by brands themselves. This brings us to the idea of building an ambassador program. Shortlist a couple of people who are hardcore fans of your brand or business and collaborate with them to widen your reach.

This can also be merged with an influencer marketing idea for your business. Since an individual invests a chunk of their time and energy in your brand, it is likely that they have a social media following of people with the same interests.

Communicate with them if they run a newsletter and embed your brand in one of their editions. The idea is to reach their audience, add some value to them, and collect their email ids on your platform directly. If executed in the right manner, this can bring in the right set of audience to you.

Also, this isn’t a widely known trick when it comes to collecting emails. So before the world overtakes this, go implement it!

4) Referral Programs - Get Your Advocates Pumped Up

As we mentioned above, a happy customer can do wonders for your email marketing efforts. Once you have a base of a handful of happy, loyal customers leverage their network to drive leads. Do you remember the initial mobile launches by OnePlus and the curiosity it generated? They created a waitlist that was accessible only via a personal referral and only if an individual had that invite would they be delivered a phone.

growing your email list through referral programs

What we are trying to say is that your existing customers hold a lot more potential than we assume. When you set out to launch a new product or release an updated version, get people talking on their channels, ask them to refer a friend, and set aside something for them as well.

Harry, a shaving brand did something like this. To accumulate buzz about their brand’s launch, Harry’s executed a week-long pre-launch referral program. They offered incremental tangible rewards to those who were willing to refer their friends through email, Facebook, or Twitter.

As the week-long campaign wrapped up, the results surpassed all expectations. They generated 100,000 leads within the first week. This is just one example but if you unlock the right combination for your brand, there’s no stopping you!

5) Gathering a Little Information Can Do Wonders

Surveys and questionnaires are now easier than ever to create, and more and more businesses are utilizing their popularity to build engagement with their audiences. If used the right way, surveys can bring two benefits. One, new leads, and two, information from prospective customers.

These surveys allow a business to get valuable feedback on the kinds of reactions people have to their products, as well as collect information on the kinds of products and content that their audience wishes to see in the future.

These questionnaires can contain incentives such as ad discounts or prizes attached to them after completion as well as being used to promote a new product that will soon be released to the public.

Pro tip: You can create a quick survey by creating a list of 7-10 MCQs or choose to draft just one question that gives your visitors a free canvas to write their thoughts. While you identify your business purpose and choose one, ensure that the copy that goes with it leaves an impact!

Once the surveys are filled out, the information contained in them can be added to the company’s email subscription list.

Feedback surveys to collect emails

6) Pre-Product Launches & The Unending Curiosity

Exclusiveness never seems to fade away its charm. Remember the times when PS or  Xbox announced a new game launch? It is always that everyone wants a sneak peek before others.

When generating an email list, you can use the same model that these pioneers have been creating. Create a buzz about your upcoming launch or release and give little details about it. The idea is to just create FOMO enough that the visitor drops in their email IDs. The communication here can be something on the lines of ‘You will be amongst the first once to get notified about this.’

FOMO product launch to collect emails

7) The Potential Of Creating Video Ads

Instagram reels have received crazy traction since the time it has been introduced. And YouTube, as we all know, has been the leader when it comes to video consumption.

Are you wondering how we can leverage this on-the-go video hosting platform to collect leads? Well, the idea is by creating captivating videos - the one that looks exclusive, are quick and can convert a user in those 15 seconds. Go for the videos that are interactive, short, and on-the-point. Even though people spend a lot of time on these video streaming platforms, they don’t usually consume lengthy videos.

This generation of the 21st century consumes things on the go and to convince them to give in their email ID, you have a playground open just for 15-30 seconds. Do your magic the right way and widen your email list with video marketing!

Pro-tip: Create a reel on Instagram with voiceovers or text that says ‘Subscriber via the link in bio and get 30% off.’ You can also run an ad on YouTube on the same lines. Once you get a lead, you can send them an email with the discount you promised!

Additionally, according to Getresponse, video and written formats are the two most popular options.

The same study reveals shorter videos perform significantly better ( 73% of respondents ). Interestingly, both short and long-form written lead magnets work (58.6% and 41.4% respondents). 

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The Next Step - Getting To The Actual Marketing

Email marketing isn’t a new trend. It has been existing for ages but what keeps changing is the way you collect leads. Collecting emails, although hard, is still the easier bit of the process. You would want to make the most of your email list and send out a welcome email that builds a connect and sales emails that are non-pushy.

We, at ConvertCart, have created an email marketing platform called Engage that will shoot up your email revenue in 90 days. Optimize your emails to drive more revenue, Period! Talk to our email experts today.

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