By Bailey Richert | @baileyrichert | Business Coach for Beginning + Budding Infopreneurs
Some of the links contained in this article are affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase from the affiliate. I only recommend products and services that I know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
The lifeblood of any business is sales which come from leads. Leads are potential customers: people who are interested in your business, in need of your products and services, and may purchase in the future.
An infopreneur should, as any business person should, try to gather leads constantly and consistently, so that he/she has an ever-growing pool of potential clients. Online business owners do this in practice by gathering email addresses, or "growing our email list".
Gathering leads and growing an email list is a key element to running a sustainable infopreneur business which can support your ideal lifestyle, and, as I teach in my business foundations course Infopreneur Institute, it is an early step in your automated sales funnel as well.
How do you grow an email list, though? There are tons of ways. Over 60, in fact. This list enumerates many of the ways in which infopreneurs encourage people to sign up for their email newsletters. If you have other ways, please share them with me and my community by leaving a comment below the post!
Are you familiar with some of these list building methods but aren't quite sure how to put them into practice? Then be sure to check out Level Up Your List, my online course which teaches proven techniques for increasing your email subscribers!
1. Welcome Mat
Turn the home page of your website into a landing page where people are encouraged to sign up for your list before doing anything else. Be sure to include a link to your blog or the rest of your site as well for returning visitors who have already subscribed.
Install a plugin on your website which will show pop-ups to visitors to encourage them to subscribe to your list. Sumo's List Builder app is popular for these purposes.
Add a HelloBar to the top of your website. This thin, colorful header will show across the pages of your site, encouraging your subscribers to take an action, like subscribe to your list.
4. Link in Header
Add a link right in your website header alongside your other major links to encourage people to grab you free content and sign up!
5. SignUp Form in Footer
Add a signup form directly in your footer. This usually works better than a link to your free content, which can often be overlooked among the other links you're usng in your footer.
6. Qualaroo Survey
Qualaroo is a website application which shows visitors a pop-up at the bottom of their screen and asks them a question. The intent of Qualaroo is to give customers these 'surveys' to better understand their wants and needs. I have seen some sites, however, use Qualaroo to get people to subscribe. The question asked is "Have you subscribed to our newsletter?" If yes, nothing happens. If no, the user has the option of entering their email address directly into the form.
7. 404 Page
Turn your 404 page into a landing page that can be used to get customers to subscribe. Tip: After they subscribe, automatically redirect them to your blog (not your home page if you're using a Welcome Mat...they've already subscribed!)
Mention your website at the end of your bio. If you're using a Welcome Mat, those who go to check out your site will be encouraged to subscribe.
Add a signup form to the sidebar of your blog. Put it at or near the top so every visitor is sure to see it, no matter how far they scroll down!
10. Share Buttons
Place share buttons at the end of your blog articles and/or floating on the sides of your pages. This encourages current readers to share your content, where it might be discovered by new readers who will hopefully sign up for your email list.
11. Blog Comment Opt-in
Create some code or use a plugin like which allows readers to subscribe to your newsletter with the click of a radio button when leaving a comment on your blog. Here's a great article from Yoast on how to do that!
12. Call to Action
Create an incredibly visible and clear Call to Action at the bottom of your posts encouraging people to sign up for your newsletter or free content.
13. Gated Content
When writing a blog post, do not show the entire article. Instead, show part of the article and ask the reader to subscribe to your list in order to be sent the remainder. Be careful how you use this technique, though! Too much gated content will turn away visitors.
14. Lead Magnet
Create a lead magnet or "ethical opt-in bribe" to entice readers to sign up for your email list. For example, I encourage all my visitors to sign up for my free infopreneur toolkit.
15. Content Upgrades
Create a lead magnet that is specific to the blog post you are sharing. Instead of asking your readers to sign up for your newsletter by downloading your generic lead magnet, instead create something special that pertains to the content they are reading. For example, you can download this "60+ Ways to Grow Your Email list" blog post as a checklist below!
16. Free Gift After Inviting Friends
Launching a new product and looking to build your list? Offer a free gift to anyone who subscribes and then shares the original optin with their friends!
17. Discount for Subscribers
Offer a discount on one of your products to anyone who subscribes. Promote this discount on platforms other than your website like social media to attract new customers.
18. Encourage Forwarding
You work hard on your email content. Encourage your current subscribers to share it. Add a forward button to make it easy for them to do so! Also include a subscribe button somewhere on your emails so those who receive it from current subscribers can sign up themselves.
Going out of town? Include a link to your optin in your autoreplies.
20. Email Signature
Include a link to your website and/or lead magnet in your email signature. You can create one using text in most email clients, but if you're looking something a little more professional and designer, check out WiseStamp.
21. Offline Event / Trade Show
Bring a laptop, iPad or good ol' paper and pencil to an offline event where you will be meeting a lot of prospective leads who might want to sign up.
22. Speaking Engagement
Giving a keynote presentation? Put your website or optin URL on the first slide which attendees will see as they sit and wait for you to begin speaking. Even better? Everyone normally has their phones out. Make it easy on them by using a "text-to-optin" program.
23. Podcast / Radio Interview
Start getting yourself booked on radio shows and podcasts. Even if you don't have a product to plug at the time, you can reach new audiences and encourage them to visit your website where they will inevitably optin for your list. Don't know how to get booked? Try Radio Guest List.
Don't have any upcoming keynotes? Host a virtual presentation, a webinar. Promote it to your list, and ask them to share the optin. Promote to your social media channels, or better yet, team up with an affiliate and invite their list!
25. Virtual Summit
Multiply your webinar efforts exponentially by inviting several influencers to come together to conduct a virtual summit. The idea here is that every presenter will share the summit optin with their list, thereby growing yours fast!
26. Guest Post
Approach influencers and others in your field to ask them for an opportunity to guest post on their blog. By putting great content and a link back to your optin page on someone else's site, you will encourage their visitors to become your audience members too.
Ask an influencer to promote your optin to their list while you promote their optin to yours.
28. Product Bundle
Know of a peer who is launching a product soon? Why not offer something to this colleague to include for free as a bonus in their product package, such as a free short course of yours, where they'll have to login and give you their email address to access it? Your partner has more to offer their clients; the clients get more with their purchase; you get new audience members. Win-win-win.
29. Interview an Influencer
Whether you have a podcast or not, interviewing an influencer in your field can be a great way to generate amazing content for your audience and also get you more exposure. Once the content goes live on your blog or other content marketing channel, let the influencer know, and they are usually more than happy to share that interview with their audience, which drives traffic to your site.
30. Profile / Bio
Include your website link (if you're using a welcome mat) or optin URL in your social media profiles where websites can be listed. Get creative, too, and list it in your bio as well.
31. Facebook Call-to-Action Button
Customize your Call-to-Action button on your Facebook fan page to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
32. Facebook Tab
If you're using an email client or lead generation software like Clickfunnels which has the capability, add a tab to your Facebook fan page where people can sign up without having to leave Facebook.
33. Engage in Others' Communities
If you're a member of other people's Facebook groups or other online communities, you can become an engaging member, answering others' questions and offering links to your content when relevant. Don't get spammy or post your content in a blatantly promotional manner. It's wrong to take advantage of the community someone else curated, and overt marketing tactics might get you banned. See an example of how I engage digital nomads looking for ways to fund their travels in other people's Digital Nomad groups on Facebook below.
34. Start Your Own Community
Create your own community on Facebook or your other favorite social platform where you can invite members to learn more about what it is you do. Or, include an exclusive social community membership with one of your products. I maintain a Facebook group solely for the enrollees in High-Value Course Academy. In these groups, you can provide as much helpful content of your own that you want, and often members come to you first for premium services like coaching after they've been involved and seen you as the supportive expert for so long.
35. Tweak Your Linkedin Group Welcome Message
Do you have a group on Linkedin you started? If so, you ought to know that an automated welcome message gets sent to every new member. Why not tweak this welcome email to encourage people to sign up for your list?
36. Message Your Linkedin Contacts
A friend shared with me a tactic she recently used to get hundreds of new email subscribers. She simply sent a personalized message to every one of her Linkedin contacts offering her free content. Many of them opted in!
37. Direct Message / Tweet to New Followers
Some social media management software will allow you to send automated direct messages to new Twitter followers. Use this as an opportunity to offer your free content. Or, tweet at new followers with the link to your lead magnet.
38. Pin Freebies + Content Upgrades to Pinterest
Pin your free content and blog posts to Pinterest regularly so new audiences can see it. Tip: create customized pinnable images for every page of your website you share on Pinterest that states there are content upgrades within the post to entice people to visit your post and snag the freebie (see image at the top of this blog post for an example).
39. Let Followers Know About Your Newsletter Directly
Have you ever just tweeted out your newsletter link? So many of your followers may not realize you have an email newsletter if they follow you on Twitter but have never been to your site. You may just get several followers to become subscribers by letting them know!
40. Share New + Old Blog + Email Content on Your Platforms
One of the primary ways to get people to sign up for your email list is to drive traffic to your site. Do this by creating amazing content on your blog, then promoting it across your social media channels. Remember to promote old content just as well as new content.
41. Host a Challenge
Encourage your audience to do a challenge with you. Set a clear goal, a number of days the challenge will last, and a specific step for each day. Share the steps daily with your audience. Email is fine, but many infopreneurs like Periscope for this type of engagement. Ask those participating in the challenge with you to share it; you might even offer free content for those who do. Promote your challenge on social media. Want an example of a challenge? Try my 30-Day #BusinessCleanUp Challenge!
42. Pay-Per-Click Ads
Promote your lead magnet using pay-per-click ads. For infopreneurs, ads on social media networks, especially Facebook, work well for our purposes. Target the ad as specifically as you can to the demographic you are trying to reach.
Create an informative presentation about your business, and post it to Slideshare. Include URLs and clickable links on the slides to encourage vieweers to visit your landing pages.
Consider adding a short quote from a current email subscriber of yours below your optin form which testifies to the quality of content you deliver in your email blasts.
45. Current Subscriber Numbers
Convince non-subscribers that they're missing out on something everyone else is in on by showing just how many email subscribers you have next to your optin form. "XXX,XXX email subscribers can't be wrong!"
Include your optin URL in your video description anytime you post a video to YouTube or other video hosting platform.
47. In-Video Subscribe Reminder
When you're recorindg yourself or your voice in a video, take a second to actually ask viewers to subscribe to your list (not just your YouTube channel!) by visiting the URl in your description.
48. Lower-Third Text
Add a lower-third bar of text to the bottom of your videos showing your website or optin URL.
49. Clickable Annotations
In YouTube, you have the ability to add clickable annotations to your videos. This is text which appears over your video which can actually be clicked on by a viewer. Create a few annotations in your video encouraging viewers to click the annotation and subscribe.
50. YouTube Cards
YouTube offers video creators a special feature called "cards" that can be used to direct viewers to a playlist, channel, donation, poll or approved websites outside of YouTube. If you have a website that is linked to your Google/YouTube account and verified with Google analytics tracking code, you can add a card and encourage people to visit that site where they might sign up for your email list.
51. Personal Contacts
All email lists start with a foundation of friends' and family's contact info. Isn't that what they say? No? I'm saying it now. Talk to your own community, including Facebook friends. You never know who might be interested in your services.
52. Ask During Conversations
Business still happens offline these days, too. When meeting someone at a networking event or having a call with a potential lead who is not on your list, ask them if they'd like to join.
53. Comment on Others' Blogs
Become an active commenter on the blogs of others in your niche. Not only does this help build a rapport with influencers you can draw upon later, but potential clients might see your posts and click to see what your business is all about (especially if you include a discreet link to your website at the end of your psot).
54. Forums (Quora, Reddit)
Become an active helper on forums like Quora and Reddit. Don't get spammy, shoving your website and services on people. Instead, become a trusted and valued contributor, and offer links to your own content when truly applicable.
55. Business Cards
Print business cards with your website or optin URL on them, and hand out as many as you can to prospective leads you meet.
When distributing handouts in person or even online, your materials are going to be passed along and shared by others. Make sure that you have written your website or optin URL on each and every handout (physical and digital) so that new leads who stumble across your content from someone can find you online and subscribe.
Free pens? Free t-shirts? Free swag? Put your website or optin URL on each and every piece!
58. Shipping Boxes
Don't just put your company name on your shipped products. Use your shipping boxes as a way to generate leads by putting your optin URL on them as well.
59. QR Code
Instead of plasting your URL on posters and promotional items that no one may actually type into a browser, consider creating a QR code you can use instead which, when snapped, will take people right to your optin page.
60. Order Form or Receipts
If you aren't automatically adding people to your list when they purchase a product (which you should, so long as you tell them that you are), add an optin form that they can select upon purchase of an item, or ask them to join when they are sent their receipt.
Have you published or are you going to publish an ebook to Amazon, Smashwords or other retailer? Though the rules surrounding external URLs can be a tad strict (no affiliate links are permitted in most published ebooks, for example), you can usually get away with a few links back to your website with no problem. On your cover page and on the "About the Author" page, be sure to include a link back to your site where folks can opt in.
I would love to hear from other infopreneurs what tactics they use to grow their email lists! Share them with me in the comments below!
You might also enjoy...