How to Effectively Build Your Email Subscription List (in 4 Steps!)

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Is your email subscription list suffering from the unsubscribed blues? We’ve been there. 

It can be a rather disheartening experience to watch your subscriber counts crumble along with your open and click-through rates. As a result, you start searching for answers: “Why are people unsubscribing? How can I build my email subscription list?” – grasping for any semblance of logical reasoning . . . 

email marketing subscriptionStop right there. Before your spiral further into subscription sorrow, let us build you up (buttercup)! We are going to guide you through 4 simple steps to effectively expand your email subscription list. 

What are you waiting for? 

Let’s leave the unsubscribed blues behind, there are greener pastures up ahead.

4 Easy Steps to Expand Your Email Squad

Have you checked out our ultimate email marketing guide? If not, you definitely should! We’ve boiled down building your subscriber list into four actionable steps.

  1. Make It Easy
  2. Make it Obvious
  3. Make Them an Offer
  4. Make It Fun

With that in mind, let’s deep dive into each step and discover how to effectively apply them.

Make it Easy

Just like a Sunday morning! The first step in expanding your email subscription list is to make it easy. This doesn’t just apply to your sending squad, it applies to you (the sender) as well. 

Let’s be real: nobody wants their flow disrupted by difficult directions. Making sure that the subscribing process is as simple as possible is key to gaining more subs.


Segmentation Station

The beauty of human beings is that we are all different. However, that means we all crave conflicting content. Email recipients want to receive content that caters to their specific interests and needs. So if you’re sending out the same broad emails to all of your subscribers, you may be setting yourself up for subsequent unsubscribes. That’s why you should visit the “segmentation station” before sending out your emails.

Let us explain.

Would you send the same style email to an idealistic millennial and a figure-focused senior? Probably not. Your audience is an eclectic group of buyers. For this reason, content should be targeted to each separate persona. Creating multiple subscriber types and corresponding emails will set you up for subscription success. In fact, marketers who used segmented campaigns have seen as much as a 760% increase in revenue. 

While you’re wrapping your head around that insane statistic, consider setting up a segmentation station for your email campaigns where you can decide which track (a targeted email) is optimal for each destination (the buyer). If you’re still unsure about how to strategically segment your email subscribers, check out our totally helpful guide for all the help you need!

how to get email subscribersPop-Up Your Game

Remember the simpler times when pop-ups were the bane of our internet existence? 

Well, not anymore

Timed pop-up ads can be super helpful in adding emails to your subscriber list. Whether it’s 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or right after a user logs onto your website, a pop-up form is used to advertise relevant content, limited-time offers (more on these later), and in this case, email subscriptions. Let’s head down to the shore and check out Surf Buggy LBI’s website pop-up:

email subscriber popupWhen you log on to their website, this little guy slides onto the screen after 5 seconds. First of all, look how cute it is. The pastel colors and sleek bike silhouette capture those beach-chic vibes perfectly. In addition, it’s aesthetically pleasing to look at and doesn’t inconvenience the user.

Other websites (we’re sure you know which ones) feature pop-ups that include an exhausting amount of drop downs to fill out. After providing your name, email, birthday, arm, leg, and first born child, you most likely will have forgotten what brought you to their homepage in the first place and close out the window altogether. 

Remember: we’re trying to make this easy for potential subscribers. That’s why Surf Buggy LBI’s pop-up form is so effective. 

“Do you want to sign up for news and updates?” 

Name. Email. Submit. 

And just like that they added another name to their email subscription list.

A/B – See?

Now let’s make things a little easier for you

If you’re still struggling to generate leads despite doing everything right – making your email campaigns easy, obvious, and fun while providing appealing offers – an A/B test could reveal the solution.

Basically, an A/B test involves creating two different versions of the same campaign. Each version may cover the same content; however, the format, copy, and colors can make all the difference. For example, try to spot the differences in BayCCS’ emails below:

what is A/B testingThe content may be the same, but each email emanates a different feeling. 

The option on the left is more “to the point,” asking the reader right away “What Hardware Will I Need in the Fall?” The images that follow are generally cool-toned and vary in style.

On the other hand (or side rather) the option on the right opens up with an ambiguous statement: “Autumn is coming . . .” The images used in this variation clearly stick with the “fall” theme reinforced by the title.

Clearly, sending out these email variations to similar demographic groups will allow you to discern which subject lines, colors, images, diction, and layouts are most effective in converting leads and gaining subscribers. That way you can alter your future emails. See what we mean?


Events Can Be Eventful

As a result of the pandemic, boomers and zoomers alike have become accustomed to the remote world of millennials. Web-based technology has taken over global thought when it comes to communication. 

Why not take advantage of the blossoming virtual world?

Host an online webinar to not only educate your audience on your services or products, but also to successfully snag their emails. 

Confused? Let’s clear this up.

How do you think you register for a webinar? By entering your email of course! This makes it exceptionally easy to build up your email subscription list while making it just as easy for your audience to access the content they are looking for.

By the way . . .  In-person events work the same way.

So as the pandemic comes to an end and more physical events begin taking place, consider joining a convention or hosting a meetup, seminar, or conference. 

For example, if you’re running a booth at a wedding road show, collect emails from all attendees! By providing them with meaningful information, inspiration, and hospitality, we’re sure attendees will welcome relevant content in their inboxes.

Case and point: events can be extremely eventful ways to fill up your email subscription list.

Make it Obvious

No questions needed! The second step in growing your email subscription list is to make it obvious. That is, let your audience know that you have something meaningful to subscribe to! 

Call Your Audience to Email Action

Call to actions are literally the best. They allow you to communicate directly to users via banners or buttons. You have the ability to virtually grab the attention of users like:

“Hey click this link because we have cool content that you won’t want to miss.”

We’ll work on crafting clever copy later, but you get the point. With all that said, you should add CTA buttons everywhere you can. For example, Facebook allows you to add links on your cover photo. Add a button that says “Sign Up” (or something) and link that bad boy to a landing page complete with a simple form that requires users’ emails and encourages them to sign up for useful tips, tricks, news, contests, giveaways – whatever it takes to convert!

Who wouldn’t want to sign up for all that fun stuff? 

You can even add a CTA to your instagram bio too. Use a few of those 150 characters to entice users to join your email squad, citing some exclusive content and benefits that they may be missing out on if they don’t subscribe.

Whether it’s your homepage, Facebook, Instagram, MySpace – you name it, you need to make sure to add CTA buttons and banners wherever you can. More buttons means more engagement, which leads to conversions and more names in your email subscription list.

Simple and effective.


Sharing is Caring

Social media is pretty darn useful right? Not only can you add CTAs to make your followers aware of your subscription services, but you can share posts about it too! 

Jump on Facebook or Twitter and start reaching out to the people who aren’t active on email. If you can find an adequate rooftop, shout and tout about your services to the people down below too. Share with them why they should care about joining your email subscription list and conveniently include a link to sign up. 

With enough sharing and caring, you’ll be on your way to extending your reach and building up your email army. Ultimately, if users know about your content, like your content, and want to gain access to more of your content, they have no reason not to enlist.


Unlock Gated Content with Emails

We understand the sentiment of making your content free for everyone (hooray for accessibility!) However, sometimes it’s okay to hold back a few aces. 

You gotta know when to hold’em and fold’em right?

Creating gated content like free ebooks or downloads can be quite an effective way to beef up your email subscription list. If customers are dead-set on seeing your content (which they should be), then they won’t mind handing you their email in exchange for it.

Let’s use Home and Garden Guides as an example. This New Jersey-based business offers plenty of professional insight on your home and garden needs. However, they also offer a “free digital magazine.” 

To visitors, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Monthly content for free? “Sign us up!”

However, take a look at the required info in the sign-up form below:

email marketing subscriptionBoom. Email has been secured! Now you will be able to send new subscribers that gated magazine they wanted access too, in addition to other offers, content, and services. 

You can also use social media to promote gated content because why not? This works especially well for visual content. For example, if you’re a cookbook blogger and want to get some more eyes on your recipes, you may want to consider using Pinterest. 

Use the platform to post ambrosial images of your homemade baklava or crave-worthy captures of your grandma’s manicotti. This way, eager users won’t be able to help themselves but click on your gated content and hand over their emails out of hunger. 

Filling up stomachs and your email subscription list at the same time. You deserve a medal.


Landing Page Lauding

If peeps are going to subscribe to your email newsletter, then they need to know that your content is good. No spam, just ham. Make sense?

Let’s break it down. 

Customer reviews are crucial in spreading the word of your stellar services. They provide social proof of your products, encouraging others to do business with you and your company.  

Think about it: if you were on the hunt for a (brave) little toaster, who would you rather hear sing its praises? The retailer who boasts the toaster’s high functions and low price, or Rob, the college student, who candidly shares how useful it is in his dorm?

We’d definitely rather hear it from Rob. Customer reviews can add meaningful value to your products, services, and content, especially when other customers are on the fence about making a purchase or submitting their information.

We suggest publishing positive reviews on your landing pages along with convenient sign-up forms. After reading Rob’s (and others’) meaningful experiences with your brand, leads will more likely make the leap. That obviously means more conversions and even more names in your email subscription list. Winner, winner, no spam dinner.

Make Them an Offer

They won’t be able to refuse! The third step in expanding your email subscription list is to make them (your intended audience) an offer. Think limited time offers and exclusive discounts!


Deal and Steal

Remember those helpful pop-ups from before? Slap an offer on one of them and you’ll be good to go! Creating gated lead-generation offers is a transparent and effective way to add some names to your email squad. It’s remarkably straightforward.

Make them a deal, then their email you’ll steal. Sure, you may not be technically stealing their email as they are willingly giving it to you; but it’s fun (more on that soon!) and catchy right?

Check out Mike Picardi Golf Academy’s profitable pop-up below:

mike picardi golf academyRight out of the gate, or rather on to the green, the user is given an opportunity to receive “10% Off Lessons.” All they need to do is fill out their name and email. Not a bad deal eh?

You often see these kinds of gated offers on retail websites. “Get 30% off your next purchase,” “Get 15% off when you sign up for emails,” “Unlock 20% off your order:” All of these offers were pulled from actual retail giants, ranging from punk purveyors to candle curators. The unifying function? Each requires the user to submit their email address in order to take advantage of the discount.

Who would say “no” to saving money?

Very few of us. For this reason, creating gated lead-generation offers is one of the most successful tactics in growing your email subscription list.


Care Enough to Share Enough

Similar to the methods used above, many marketers offer incentives to their audience for sharing and spreading the word of their business. After receiving an immediate tandem “welcome” and “thank you” email, subscribers can be offered an additional deal, such as “10 dollars off” or “free shipping” after sharing a link or code with friends and family.

See where we’re going with this?

In other words, the potential customers that your new subscriber sends the offer to will be prompted to take advantage of the original deal upon entering their email address. Then, in a process that will hopefully repeat itself forever (sharing is caring after all!) the potential customer will take advantage of the deal, receive the same “thank you” email including the additional offer, and send to even more potential names to add to your email subscription list.

Offer. Share. Rinse. Repeat.

Although it’s not often utilized or thought of, this method of gaining email subscribers can be immensely effective in the long term. Sure, you may eat some profits at first, thanks to the two consecutive discounts you’re offering; however, with more customers in your email list, you will certainly create more sales and conversions down the line.


Gotta Give to Get

Not only do people love discounts, but they love free stuff even more! This is why giveaways and contests can be hugely effective in getting your audience involved and scoring their emails. 

The process is simple: host a free giveaway, require emails to sign up, share on all social media platforms. 

In less than 10 minutes you just set yourself up for email subscription list success! However, you need to consider one very important aspect of your plan: what are you going to give away?

Whatever product or service you intend on providing to the winner of said giveaway or contest needs to be significant enough to entice prospects. With that in mind, we don’t think access to an e-book or “10% off” are going to cut it this time.

If you want visible results, you’ll need to bring out the big guns. Gotta give a lot to get a lot right? 

Let’s say you’re an up and coming restaurateur again (if you don’t remember the last time you were running a local food joint, check out our 11 Instagram Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners for a reminder). If you’re trying to fill up your email subscription list, you may not just want to give away a free dessert or something paltry along those lines. 

We love complimentary cookies as much as the next person; however, is that actually going to reel in those emails? Probably not, save for the sweet tooths in your audience.

Instead, offer something like a “free 3 course dinner” or a “private meal with the chef.” These rewards may be more costly than just comping a cannoli on the house; however, they will be far more effective in garnering attention and emails for your subscriber list.

how to build email subscriber listBe Our Guest

The final offer you should consider making is not only for your audience, but for another website. That’s right, we’re talking about guest blogging.

Let’s be honest, your business is not the only organization catering to your potential customers. There are countless companies out there vying for the eyes of your audience.

With that in mind, why not use the attention they’re getting to your advantage? Reach out to other websites that cater to your clientele and offer to write a guest blog for them. This will get your content in front of a wider audience. 

“But wait, how will this increase my email subscription list?”

Easy: add a CTA in your content for readers to subscribe to your newsletter. If readers who aren’t aware of you like your content, then they are likely to subscribe in order to see more.

So yeah, you might have to write quality content for another website; however, doing so will expose you to more eyes and subsequent emails for your army. 

Interested in guest blogging for Creative Click Media? Be our guest!

Make it Fun

For everyone! The fourth and final step in building your email subscription list is to make it fun. Let’s face it, email newsletters can be awfully stale. That’s why we are going to shake it up!


Stand Out and Surprise

If you’re sending out bleak and unimaginative email content, you may as well start singing the unsubscribed blues. Trust us, your audience has seen enough of the lengthy, black and white, formulaic emails and will happily cancel their subscription if you continue bombarding them with the same old commonplace content.

To successfully score some emails, your content needs to stand out and surprise your audience. Instead of receiving emails and immediately deleting them, subscribers should look forward to receiving your unique emails, and even sharing them with their coworkers or friends.

We get it: it’s a tall task to create emails that are entertaining, informative, and meaningful all at the same time. However, we assure you that your email efforts will not go unrewarded.

Let’s take a look at one of our “roundup” emails at Creative Click Media and examine what it’s doing right (obviously everything!):

build your email subscriber listOkay, so we broke up the email into two halves for you. This way, you can get a better idea of how we organized it. Before diving in, notice how the email is visually cohesive? All the colors and font choices remain consistent throughout. Additionally, headers and buttons break up the text beautifully, providing a pretty email to look at and explore. And just like that, we’re on our way to creating an appealing and effective email. 

Let’s jump into the rest of what this email is doing right:

It Informs The Audience

The email provides links to our latest blogs and even let’s readers know how long it will take to get through the article. Pressed for time? No worries! The email even includes handy summaries for each blog so you can get a jist of what you’re about to read. Helpful right?

It Entertains The Audience

The email includes light-hearted and clever diction as opposed to cut-and-dry, wonted wordage. It relates and even pokes fun at the reader (more on sarcasm soon!) saying “no hard feelings if you haven’t had time to catch up on what we’ve been working on.” In addition, it even provides a trivia question to test the reader’s wit (we purposely cropped out the answer in the screenshots above so you can quiz yourself!). Having fun yet?

It’s Meaningful to The Audience

Finally, the email is engaging the audience in a meaningful way. It provides subscribers with all of our latest blogs conveniently in one place. The email effectively empathizes with the audience, communicating that we understand how difficult it is to keep up with the countless content being uploaded daily to the internet. Can you relate?

This is why we send out these monthly “roundup” emails, to help our audience catch up on our latest blog posts. In doing so, we provide everyone in our email subscription list uncommon content that is informative, entertaining, and meaningful. You can do this too!


Cool Tools

We aren’t the only ones who love using free online tools right? User-friendly mortgage or pool chemical calculators actually make mundane tasks like applying for a mortgage and balancing your swimming pool fun! So why not lock the fun away behind a required sign-up page?

This may sound cruel, but it’s an effective way to stockpile reinforcements for your email subscription list. Developing intuitive tools can take up a lot of time and resources. With that in mind, requiring users to submit their email in order to use them is a fair tradeoff. 

Think about it: If you were in fact buying a house (congrats by the way!), would you rather use a free online tool after submitting your email, or pay a loan service for a quote?

Clearly, you’re going to want to use the cool tool! In fact, if it helped you out so much, you’re more likely to share it with your peers (who may also be looking to buy a house!). This means more eyes on your convenient content and more names in your email subscription list.


Talk Like a Human

First of all, don’t take your emails too seriously. Seriously. 

“Yes or No” copy has proven trite in today’s marketing world. Emails made with monotonous language won’t even make it to your audience’s eyes. They’ll send it straight to the dreaded recycle bin. If only there was a way to inject some personality into your email marketing . . . 

Communicate like a Person!

If after reading this article you aren’t convinced that there is an actual person scoffing behind these words, then you definitely need to go back and reread everything. 

Adding humor and sarcasm to your content is crucial in acquiring a human being’s attention. These colloquial devices can be especially effective in your CTAs and pop-ups. Example time!

Let’s imagine you’re searching the web for dog training services. You find one you like and start scrolling on their homepage when a CTA pop ups on your screen. It asks you to join their email newsletter for weekly dog-training tips, tricks, and guides.

Right away, you get ready to click the “No” button wherever it is. However, then you check out the copy beneath each option:

Yes please, sign me up pup!” and “No thanks, I like when my puppy counter surfs.”

The sarcastic comment below the “No” button might give you a chuckle, incentivizing you to hesitate before clicking. This brief hesitation when you would otherwise automatically click “no” can make all the difference. 

Thanks to the comical copy, users are not just saying “no thanks” to signing up for emails, but they are also saying “no” to changing their puppy’s problematic behavior. 

See the difference talking like an actual human can make? 


Tweet to Beat

The last fun-making method to up your email game is crafting tweet-like subject lines. It’s safe to say that a subject line can make or break an email. You have 60 characters to convince users to open up your email and not unsubscribe. 

That’s a lot of pressure.

For this reason, we suggest crafting your subject lines like Tweets, using shortcodes, compelling copy, and emojis to grab your audience’s attention. These types of subject lines will be able to set you apart from the rest and keep your subscribers engaged with your content. 

If you just received two emails in your inbox regarding this blog, which one would you be more likely to open?

Subject Line 1: New Blog Alert!

Subject Line 2: Email Subscribers ?‍♂️  Assemble! ?

Option 1 informs the reader that a new blog has been posted; however, we’re sure that there will be a dozen other emails in your inbox very similar to it. Remember, you want to stand out!

On the other hand, Option 2 doesn’t outright say that there is a new blog; yet it does call “email subscribers” (the very subject of the blog) to “assemble.” In addition, it includes emojis and plays off a very popular superhero film franchise that users are sure to know about (if you don’t know about it, we suggest you get up from under that rock and give it a watch). 

Overall, Subject Line 2 does a better job at capturing the audience’s attention. So if you write your email subject lines like you do your tweets, you’ll effortlessly beat the rest of the competition in assembling names to your email subscription list.

Ready to Build Up Your Email Subscription List?

It’s finally time to say goodbye to those unsubscribed blues.

Why? Because now you know how to effectively expand your email subscription list of course! 

[Insert recap montage here]

You have successfully made it easy, obvious, and fun for your audience to take advantage of the offers provided in your email campaigns. But wait – what if your email subscription list grows far beyond your expectations? Blooming into an ever-expanding banyan tree of subscribers? 

Creative Click Media’s got you covered! Our educated army of email experts will be able to help you develop a personalized plan to increase your ROI, click-through rate, and conversion rate all while continuing to strategically grow your email subscription list.

Sounds too good to be true? We assure you it’s not!

Get started today by giving us a call or filling out our fancy contact form. We can’t wait to help elevate your digital presence and bring you to those greener, more profitable pastures.

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