Tips to grow your email subscriber list

Posted: Sep 19, 2014

Tips to grow your email subscriber list

John M. Haddad

All business owners know that they need to get the word out about their business in order to grow and to stay top-of-mind with customers. One of the best and fastest ways to do that is through email marketing.  However, many small business owners have questions about how to go about building or acquiring an email marketing list.

Should you purchase or rent email lists?   That may be a quick way to get the word out if you are just starting out, not having a lot of customers, but need a way to get the word out.

The bottom line is that there are no shortcuts to growing a loyal base of subscribers, fans and followers. Buying or renting a list is not the best solution.  So, how do you grow your list with subscribers who truly want to hear from you and take action on your messages?

Here are a few tips.

Give them useful information they can use

If you want someone to give you their email address and trust you to not send a bunch of junk to their inbox, then it’s important that you offer them something of value.  For example, on our Bisinet Technologies blog, we try to give small business owners advice on the latest trends and technology that they need to be aware of.  On that page, we have a signup form where clients and potential clients can sign up for our free newsletter.

As a business owner, what can you offer?   It can be discounts, exclusive deals, advance access, tips, how-tos, advice or something else—make sure the value is crystal-clear on your sign up form.

Ask them to sign up

subscribe-imageThe point of sending email for your business is to build a relationship with your subscribers. And to build that relationship, you first need to get subscribers permission to send them email.  This is where an email sign-up or opt-in form comes in handy.

An email sign-up form is an embedded or hosted Web form that you can place or link to on your website, blog or social media sites, and visitors fill it out if they want to receive your newsletters and emails.

Sign-up forms are powerful list-building tools because when people willingly give you their name and email address, they’re saying they want to hear from you. When you get permission, you build a relationship and gain trust.

Important:  Always make sure your sign-up form asks their permission before adding them to the list.  Don’t just add them manually without their permission.  All email list signup forms should always use technology called double opt-in.  What that means is that when they sign up, they get an email in their inbox asking them to click a link to confirm they want to join.

Tap the power of email sign-up forms by making sure your sign-up process is super quick and painless. Don’t ask for too much information upfront, only the bare necessities like an email address and a first name.

Then, give your potential customers an opportunity to sign up in just about any place they might interact with your business, including:

  • Your Website: Place your email sign-up form or link in a prominent place throughout your website. Don’t settle for having it on just one page; test having a sign-up link on every page to maximize its potential.
  • Blog: If you have a blog, it’s the prefect place to capture readers and turn them into subscribers.
  • Facebook Page: Incorporate a tab on your business Facebook profile, and folks can sign up for your email list right from Facebook.
  • Twitter Feed: Make it part of your social media routine to share a link to your sign-up form at least once a week.
  • Events and Trade Shows: If you’re hosting an event or exhibiting at a trade show, make sure you offer attendees the opportunity to sign up for your email list.
  • Email Signature: We all send email from our personal email addresses to friends, family, vendors, etc. Make sure you include a link to your sign-up page in your email signature.

Make it easy for them to help you spread the word to others

social-media-iconsThe tips mentioned above give you ideas on how you can spread your message on your various communications.  But another easy—and often overlooked—opportunity is to leverage your current subscribers. How to do this? Give your current email subscribers the ability to share your emails with their social media networks.

Simply include share-to-social icons for networks like Facebook and Twitter in all your marketing emails. Most email service providers offer these icons or buttons. This strategy places your messages in front of a whole new set of people who may have never known about your business. This is the digital version of word-of-mouth marketing.


Growing your email list doesn’t have to be a very complicated process.  By following the three tips mentioned above, you will quickly grow your subscriber base and in turn, grow your business.   Remember, don’t try to oversell in your email messages.  Always focus on value to the client with your messages, then provide subtle marketing messages throughout your email.  At Bisinet Technologies, we have worked with many clients in setting up email lists and creating web forms for subscribing.  Contact us to see how we can help your business.

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About the author

John M. Haddad
John Haddad is the Principal and Owner of Bisinet Technologies, LLC. He has been in the Information Technology (IT) field for over 40 years. Over his career, he has held positions in all aspects of technology … programming, systems analysis, project management, infrastructure support, systems architecture, IT Management and web development. He continues to work with many small businesses and non-profits in the local area to provide technology consultation, web design and cloud solutions.