5 Simple (Yet Effective) Ways To Grow Your Email and SMS List In 2023

Discover five simple yet powerful strategies to grow your email list in 2023. From strategic opt-in placements to engaging giveaways

January 23, 2024

You've probably come across the notion that email marketing is outdated, and people rarely bother to open and read their emails. However, let me assure you that such claims couldn't be further from the truth.

While all the current marketing trends revolve around TikTok and other social media platforms, research shows that good old-fashioned email marketing remains the reigning champ when it comes to growing a loyal customer base, delivering high returns on investments (averaging $42 for every $1 spent), and providing direct access to your audience without the algorithm limiting your reach, as opposed to most social media platforms. 

The best part? Unlike social media, email marketing offers stability and reliability. No need to constantly switch platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. With email, you have a consistent and dependable means of reaching your audience.

So if you’re someone who wants to take their business to the next level, then nailing down the right strategies to grow and build a healthy, high ROI email list should be your top priority.

Since this process can be confusing and overwhelming, we’ve put together 5 simple yet effective strategies to build that robust email list in no time.

What Is An Email List?

In simple terms, an email list is a collection of email addresses provided voluntarily by individuals through subscriptions or online forms, that typically look like this:

It allows businesses to directly communicate with their audience via email, sharing updates and relevant content. It's a powerful tool for building relationships, delivering personalized messages, and driving engagement. 

By nurturing an email list, businesses can connect with their audience on a personal level and foster brand loyalty. It enables targeted marketing efforts and the delivery of timely messages to engaged subscribers' inboxes.

Why It’s Important To Have One

Before we dive into how you can grow your list and take your business to the next level, let’s cover the most important part… the basics.

An email list is a valuable asset for businesses, providing a direct line of communication with your audience. It allows you to reach their inboxes, ensuring your message is seen.

But wait, that’s not even the best part…

The most successful brands that understand the importance of email marketing and have mastered it, generate 25-35% of their revenue through emails. Just imagine where you and your business would be with a 25% increase in revenue.

Also, with segmentation you can divide your email list into specific groups based on demographics, interests, or behaviors, enabling you to deliver targeted and relevant content that resonates with each segment, increasing engagement and maximizing the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. 

Let's say you run a brand selling supplements for pets. If you send promotional emails about your new "Kidney Healing Powder" to your entire email list, those who own cats might find it irrelevant and may even choose to unsubscribe. However, by segmenting your list into categories such as dog owners and cat owners, you can create more targeted emails that cater to each specific audience. This approach increases the likelihood of generating higher sales and engagement due to the personalized and relevant content delivered to each segment. You could potentially do the same with prospects and customers, VIP customers and first-time customers, and the list goes on.

Here’s how InClover utilizes a pop-up to get specific information on their customers, to segment their list accordingly.

To summarize, email marketing stands out from other channels by providing stability and control. By dedicating resources to build and expand your email list, you can forge enduring connections with your audience, drive sales, and ultimately achieve long-term success for your business.

Pretty much everything a business owner dreams of.

Who Should Focus On Growing The List? What Type Of Businesses?

The simple answer is every business

Whether you're a small local business, an e-commerce store, a nonprofit organization, or a large enterprise, having a healthy email list is essential for effective communication and marketing. 

Regardless of your industry or niche, building an email list allows you to engage directly with your audience, nurture relationships, and drive conversions. 

Email marketing becomes especially important when you're working with a limited budget. Most businesses don't have the luxury to spend thousands of dollars on ads. Instead of exhausting your entire budget on paid advertising, only to achieve mediocre results like 500 website visitors with a $2 cost per click, email marketing offers a smart and cost-effective alternative. 

By simply sending an email to your list of 2,000 people, you can generate the same amount of website traffic as you would with ad spending, but the best part is, it won't cost you a dime

So whether you're focused on promoting products, sharing valuable content, or raising awareness for a cause, growing your email list should be a priority for any business looking to expand its reach and maximize its marketing efforts.

When To Start Doing It?

Regardless of your company's stage, it's crucial to start building your email list right away. Whether you're in the launch stage, experiencing growth, achieving success, reaching maturity, or going through a decline or renewal, an email list is invaluable. 

Building an email list from the beginning helps create buzz, attract early customers, and gather feedback. In the growth stage, it enables you to stay connected with your expanding customer base and drive repeat business. During the shake-out/success stage, an email list sustains customer loyalty and informs them about new offerings. 

In the maturity stage, it helps gather feedback and adapt to changing needs. 

Even in a decline or renewal stage, an email list allows you to reconnect, re-engage, and reintroduce your brand. 

Starting early ensures a strong foundation for growth and the ability to adapt as your company progresses. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of what an email list is and its importance on your business, It’s time we talk about the 5 simplest yet most effective ways to grow your list.

Put Your Opt-ins In The Most Important Places

Just like with everything else in life, setting the foundations is always the most important part.

When it comes to growing your email list, the most essential step is to put your opt-in forms in all the right places. 

What are all the right places?

  • On your homepage;
  • At the end of your blog content;
  • In your sidebar.

The trick here is to provide value in your opt-ins. People won’t subscribe to your email list unless they get something in return.

Selfish, I know. Yet every single human reacts to incentives that interest them personally.

But you can use this to your advantage. Immerse yourself in the perspectives of your target audience and genuinely consider their desires and needs. What can you provide them that helps fix their problems?

Got it?

Good. Now incorporate that into your opt-ins. Whether it’s a free ebook, a discount code, or a free sample. You want to give them something for free, so in return, they subscribe to your list. 

Here’s an example:

Why does this opt-in work so well?
Because it’s simple and provides value to the reader. That “Get 15% off your next order” is why people subscribe. Not because they’re H&M, but because subscribing to their email list provides them with value, which in this case it’s saving money.

To summarize all this…

  • Put your opt-ins on your homepage, blogs, and sidebar;
  • Provide value in your opt-ins;
  • Keep it simple and direct.

Hosting Giveaways

Giveaways are easily one of the simplest yet most effective ways to get more people to subscribe to your list.

But wait, there’s a catch…

If you don't execute it properly, your hard-earned new email subscribers may unsubscribe as soon as the giveaway ends. It can be disheartening to go from a sense of accomplishment to feeling like you've woken up on a gloomy Monday morning.

If you want to avoid being in that situation, I strongly recommend you pay attention to this next part.

Many people give away generic items that don’t tie in with their brand or niche. So instead of giving away free cash, or some expensive electronics, start giving away items directly related to your business.

For example, if you’re in the fitness space, giveaway protein powder, or workout equipment. If you’re in the Clothes & Apparel space, giveaway a hoodie or jacket. You get the idea.

Even better, consider offering your products as giveaway prizes. This way, even if someone decides to leave your email list, your brand remains in their thoughts whenever they use the products they won.

Here’s a great giveaway example done by JANE.

What makes this giveaway so good?

  • It’s giving away its product;
  • Clear and simple actions;
  • Partnered with 3 other boutiques;
  • The more steps a customer takes, the more entries they receive (higher chance of winning).

Since they aren’t giving away something generic and unrelated to their brand, almost every single person entering the giveaway is already a fan or customer of JANE.

Also, by partnering with the other boutiques, they’re increasing their reach and building relationships.

Implement Gated Content Upgrades

A gated content upgrade is essentially adding another piece of content on top of your current one, in exchange for their email.

A few examples of this can be:

  • If you’re in the fitness space, and selling mass gainers for people looking to gain weight, you can make an ebook going over “how to gain muscle” as a content upgrade.
  • Teaching people how to save money? Offer a free budgeting spreadsheet, as a content upgrade.
  • Writing a blog about public speaking skills? Offer a free video going over different techniques and strategies from the best public speakers.

You get the point.

But remember your goal. You’re trying to grow your email list, so you need to add an incentive for them to get the upgraded content, which should be their email address.

Here’s an example of a gated content upgrade:

What makes this “Curly Hair Quiz” so good?

It’s simple and direct. All the reader has to do is plug in their email, and answer the questions. The best part is that once they complete the quiz, they get their results and based on their answers, they’re recommended the right hair products for them. So not only are they getting their email address, but they are also driving sales with this quiz. 

With a simple content upgrade like this quiz, you can expect 250 out of 1000 visitors on your landing page to subscribe to your email list. That's a WHOPPING 25% opt-in rate and a whole lot of potential customers.

Online Ads & Squeeze Pages

Online ads can be a powerful tool to boost your email signups, but let's make sure we're using them wisely.

Instead of sending people straight to a product page or homepage, which might not always hit the mark, why not take them on a detour to a special place called the "squeeze page" or "landing page"?

Think of a squeeze page as a charming hideaway designed just for your potential subscribers. It's a cozy spot where they can focus on one thing: signing up for your email list. No distractions, no fuss—just a compelling offer and a simple form waiting to be filled.

Here’s an example of a squeeze page:

What makes this squeeze page work?

Yet again, It’s simple. You don’t want the traffic coming from your ads or social media posts to be confused, or else they won’t end up subscribing to your list.

A 20-30% opt-in rate with these squeeze pages, isn’t an uncommon occurrence. So let's get creative and craft some captivating squeeze pages that make signing up irresistible.

Social Media

There’s a reason why most marketing trends nowadays are revolving around social media. It’s a great place to gain traction and build an audience. The problem is most brands and business owners don't know how to use social media to its full potential.

Social media isn't just about sharing cute cat videos or food pics. It's also a fantastic playground for growing your email list and connecting with your audience in a fun and engaging way.

Think of social media platforms as lively parties, and envision your email list as the exclusive VIP section. But here's the real question: Who are the ideal guests you want to invite to join your exclusive crew? While expanding your list is important, prioritizing an active and engaged community should be your top focus. After all, what's the purpose of a list with 10k people if none of them actively participate?

Here's how you can do it with a sprinkle of social media magic:

  • Create Buzzworthy Content: Whip up some captivating posts, eye-catching visuals, and entertaining videos that make people say, "Wow, I need to be part of this email party!" Make your content so irresistible that they can't help but click that subscribe button.
  • Host Giveaways with a Twist: Everyone loves a good giveaway, but let's add a twist to make it even more exciting. Encourage your social media followers to join your email list for a chance to win exclusive prizes, sneak peeks, or even a virtual dance-off with your brand. Get creative and make them go, "I need to be on that email list ASAP!"
  • Engage, Engage, Engage: Social media is all about interaction and connection. Be the life of the party by actively engaging with your followers. Respond to their comments, ask thought-provoking questions, and spark lively discussions. The more you engage, the more they'll want to join your email crew to stay connected on a deeper level.

Remember, social media is like a friendly gathering where you can attract potential subscribers, entertain them, and build genuine relationships. So put on your virtual party hat, crank up the fun factor, and watch your email list grow faster than a viral dance challenge. 


Email marketing is like a hidden treasure chest of success, despite all the buzz around social media. 

it's still the real deal!

To summarize these 5 simple (yet effective) ways to grow your email list, faster than all your competitors. We created a quick summary, so it can really stick with you.

Here it is:

  • Opt-ins in All the Right Places: Think of your opt-in forms as treasure maps. Place them on your homepage, after blog posts, and in your sidebar. But hey, make it worth their while! Offer something valuable in return, like a free ebook, discount code, or a tasty sample. Give them a reason to say, "Yes, sign me up!"
  • Hosting Giveaways: Who doesn't love free stuff? But here's the trick: make it relevant to your brand. If you're in the fitness biz, give away protein powder or workout gear. Be creative! And remember, partnering with other businesses can widen your reach and build relationships. More entries, more fun, and more subscribers!
  • Gated Content Upgrades: Time to get fancy. Offer additional exclusive content to your readers, but there's a catch—they have to share their email addresses. It's a win-win situation! For example, if you're teaching about public speaking, offer a free video with expert tips. Give them a little extra, and they'll happily join your list.
  • Online Ads & Squeeze Pages: Let's steer your ad traffic in the right direction. Instead of sending them straight to your product page, take a detour to a charming spot we call the "squeeze page." It's like a cozy little cabin where they focus on one thing only: signing up! No distractions, just a compelling offer, and a simple form. Easy peasy!
  • Social Media: It's time to rock the social media party! Create jaw-dropping content that makes people go, "I need to be on that email list!" Spice things up with exciting giveaways, exclusive sneak peeks, or even a virtual dance-off. Engage with your followers, ask questions, and spark those lively discussions. You'll be the life of the party, and they'll flock to your email crew!

And there you have it! 

You're armed with these simple yet powerful strategies to grow your email list and unlock the full potential of your business. It's time to dive into the world of email marketing and watch your audience grow, engagement soar, and conversions skyrocket.

One last thing, before you go… 

Get A Free Email Marketing Audit With Our 7-Figure Email Specialists

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get a free audit on your email marketing strategy, tactics, and creatives, from a group of 7-figure email marketing specialists.

If you’re looking to:

  • Nail down a strategy that’ll not only grow your list but also keep them engaged and itching to consume more of your content.
  • Implement the highest-quality creatives on your emails, to ethically persuade your audience to keep throwing their wallets at you, using the art of copywriting and design.
  • Have your emails reach your subscriber's inboxes, instead of landing in their spam folder.
  • Set up email flows that’ll passively generate more revenue, as long as you have them active.

Then this is for you.

Spots are limited! So hurry up and schedule a free audit, with no strings attached.