How to Grow your Email List… in Simple Terms.

high open rate

So you’re telling me… if I sign up now I get it all for free?

I’ve recently seen a lot of articles, blogs, social media posts, and free downloads talking about how you can grow your email list, promising huge results if you follow their “strategies”.

In reading this mass of content, I’ve come to the realisation that there’s a HUGE overcomplication in this area… and that in reality success comes down to 2 simple steps.

…and if you understand these two simple steps, you can grow your email list as well.

Can it really be that simple?

Read on to find out…

OK, so I’m going to cut to the chase on this and let you know the two things EVERYBODY needs to grow their email list.

  1. A place to sign up to the list
  2. Traffic (or Interest)

That’s it.

If you look at all the content out there on growing your list, pretty much all of the methods discussed are variations on these two elements.

It’s not complicated…

So let’s dive in a bit deeper and give you some ideas of how you can use these two elements in a variety of situations… and provide a hit list you can actually action…

 A Place to Sign Up

It doesn’t matter how many different ways you cut it, to grow your email list, you first need a way of getting people onto the list – get their email and add it to your Mailchimp audience.

In most situations, this comes down to a “form” being completed… somewhere.

As we’re ethical marketers (which we are!), then we also need to ensure that people who complete the form understand how you’re going to use their information.

…and since we’re ethical marketers, we can’t add emails to the audience ourselves, we need their consent (which we can capture via a form).

We also should be making the form easy to complete AND sell the benefits of completing it (e.g. offering an incentive like a lead magnet or a voucher)

…but at it’s core, it’s still just a form.

You can have lots of different forms. You can use them in different places (your website, on a tablet at an event, in social media ads, on landing pages, etc.) and offer as many “carrots” as you need…

…but you need somewhere that people can give their details and consent to receive your emails.

Getting People to the Place Where They Sign Up…

OK… so once you’ve got a form, you actually need to get people to complete it!

Because if no one sees your form, does it actually exist?

You need “traffic” or “interest”.

In other words, you need to put the form(s) in places that will be seen by the people that you want to add to your list.

…and the more people who see the form, the more chances someone is going to complete it.

So it’s down to you to either find those places which are getting traffic already (your most popular web pages), or generate the traffic yourself through paid traffic and other means.

…and give more contacts the chance to complete your forms.

So that’s all you really need… a place where people can “join your list” and then a way of getting people to go to that place.

Not complicated right?

Well, it isn’t really… if you have those two things… then you have a way of growing your list.

…but the skill comes in taking this base concept and adding layers to it, layers that will take things to the next level and beyond.

1. A Place to Sign Up

From making them feel extra special, to crafting a compelling offer, there are plenty of ways you can ‘sell’ your form to potential subscribers; it just involves a combination of graphics, placement as well as using a combination of persuasive and strategic tactics.

Shout about it

Use persuasive techniques which highlight the value and benefits your prospects will receive by subscribing.

Use Social Proof – If you can demonstrate how others have found value in your content, you’re on the right path to instilling confidence in your potential subscribers. Do you have a meaty amount of current subscribers already? Shout about it! For example, Our Mailchimp Answers Facebook group page has nearly 13K members and if that’s not a testament to proving the value of our content I don’t know what is!

And don’t forget about your reviews and testimonials for added oomph too…

Let Them Control the Content – People like power, so give them the power to control the frequency, content and timing of the emails they receive.

Set Clear Expectations – Be transparent about what subscribers can expect after signing up.

Graphics, Make it Visually Great

Make sure your sign-up form looks visually stunning and aligns perfectly with your brand.

Add those eye-catching graphics making sure it’s all optimised for mobile devices.

Experiment and A/B test different designs of forms that you can use across your website.

Keep things clean and minimalistic for a breeze-like completion process…

How easy is it for users to complete their email address?
Clue: It should be as easy as physically possible.

Your call-to-action (CTA) should be compelling and action-oriented. Use action verbs and create a sense of urgency or excitement. For example, “Unlock Exclusive Content Now!” or “Start Your Journey Today!”

Location – Prioritise Placement

Optimise Your Website for Conversion – Everyone has high and low traffic pages so dig deep into your google analytics to find your popular pages. These pages already attract engaged visitors, making them more likely to subscribe.

Focus on sending traffic to those high converting pages, making sure your sign up form and CTA are both prominent. This is also a good time to optimise any low converting pages.

Enhance your website and content for search engines with SEO.

Know where to put it – Believe it or not some companies actually hide their sign up forms..don’t be one of them. Increase visibility on all pages and experiment with placement of your form such as at the top of the page, footer etc.

How about minimising the clicks it takes to reach the sign up page by placing one form(or variation) on every page?

Use Pop Up Forms – Including Exit intent pop ups – these are designed to capture visitors who are about to leave without signing up.

Piggyback on other landing page forms – Add an additional opt-in field checkbox or dropdown to subscribe.

Create a separate dedicated signup page – This way you can focus on one objective only without any distractions and make it easy to share the URL on Social media etc.

Remember, there’s options to sign up everywhere- If you have a brick and mortar, get them to sign up in store. Attending a trade show? Get your clipboard or Ipad out…you get the drift.

Making a form easy, enticing and attractive to complete will give you the best chance to get their details… as long as people see it… which then means…

 2. Getting People to the Place Where They Sign Up…

It’s all fine and dandy shouting about your form, but how do you get potential traffic to your form in the first place?

Create compelling content – Entice users to sign up by creating compelling content, exclusive resources and lead magnets. You can also promote your sign-up forms within your current content.

Promote on different channels – Reach a broader audience by promoting on different channels such as Social Media, Advertising and SEO.

For example with SEO, you can use relevant keywords and phrases to increase organic traffic and direct visitors to your sign-up form.

You can promote your sign-up page on Social media or even hold a competition to encourage more sign ups.

Run targeted ads–  on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to reach your ideal audience. Design eye-catching visuals and compelling copy that direct users to your sign-up form.

Use a variety of content such as blog posts, videos, and podcasts to reach a broader audience.

Don’t forget to tailor your messaging to each platform.

Incentivise- Encourage your current subscribers to refer friends and family by incentivising with a referral programme. You could also add a’ forward to friend’ link in all your emails.

Email Existing Subscribers-Offer exclusive deals or valuable content to allure your existing email subscribers to sign up for more.

The Bottom Line is that if no one sees your form, you can’t grow your list – so be sure to tell people about it and get traffic to where it is.

 Some Extra Ideas on Forms

Once you’ve got a form and traffic, your work isn’t done…. Here’s a couple of things you might want to factor into your equation…

Engage With Your Thankyou Page

Want to reinforce the value of their decision to subscribe? Engage with a thank you page.

This can be a page subscribers are redirected to after they have filled out their form – and can entail an additional surprise, such as an extra discount, bonus resource or even a referral offer.

Why would you not have a thank you page?… When people complete a form, they’re essentially putting their hand up and saying “I’m interested”, so why wouldn’t you want to continue to keep them engaged and interested?

Be the Best and Split – Test

There’s no such thing as the perfect form, which is why you should always be looking to test to see how you can improve your performance.

Split-test different elements such as type of form, location, copy, visuals, and offers to identify the most effective combinations. Don’t forget to split-test your landing page too.

Final Thoughts

Growing your email list doesn’t have to be complicated,

it all comes down to two simple steps: providing a place to sign up and driving traffic or interest to that place.

You get to decide where you put the form(s) to get them seen by the most people… and you get to decide what the form looks like, and how you can entice people to complete it.

So if your list is a bit stagnant and isn’t giving you positive signals, then maybe you should take a step back and look at what you are currently doing…

… are your forms visible, easy to complete and enticing?

…and are they located in places that will give them the best chance to be seen?

If your list is a bit flat, chances are one of these two is the reason – but at least you now have some ideas of how to improve things!

Mastering these two simple steps and applying the strategies discussed will empower you to grow your email list effectively.

With dedication, creativity, and strategic thinking, you can take your list-building efforts to the next level and beyond. So, why wait? Get started on growing your email list today!

If you’re not sure how to grow your list the right way, then why not book a 121 with us to get the insights and answers you need. Together we can build and create a strategy that authentically engages your audience the right way.

Related Blog: 7 ways to Stop Subscribers Becoming Inactive in Mailchimp (#5 is a must!)


Need to get the right answers?
Click here to learn about the top 10 Mailchimp questions, and 10 videos that answer them for you. 



The main man behind and the MailChimp Answers Facebook Group. What this man doesn't know about MailChimp...

Proficient in all things MailChimp, Marketing and Systems

Need Help Automating your Emails?

As Mailchimp experts, we know a thing or two about how you can set up and automate email messages to enquiries received.

If you’re not responding immediately, or haven’t even got the option yet of capturing someone’s email address, then why not give us a call and we’ll see how we can help you get more leads and more business.

Book a FREE 30 minute chat with us and speed up your response.

Challenge Us!

If you want someone to help you with your Mailchimp account, whether it's setting it up, reviving it or just keeping it ticking over, don't be shy.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our Troop

Like this article? Subscribe now to receive free tips and resources on Mailchimp and marketing.

Your email will be managed in accordance with our privacy policy which you can view here. Unsubscribe at any time.

The Mailchimp Fundamentals

There are some things that are 'Fundamental' to doing Mailchimp the right way.

We call them 'The Fundies

Join the World's Biggest Mailchimp Community

The Mailchimp Answers Facebook group is the world's biggest Mailchimp community

Everyone has Questions

Understand the 10 most asked questions about Mailchimp... and get the answers to each of them.

A short video course with screen captures of the 10 most popular questions about Mailchimp.