In this article you’ll learn:

  • How to use inbound marketing to grow your email list
  • How to use opt-ins to make more people subscribe to your email list
  • How to use social proof and to validate visitors’ intention to subscribe
  • *Why you should make your emails *shareable

Email marketing is almost ideal: fast, low-cost and efficient in comparison with other digital channels.

Almost. Because to make it work you need subscribers. And even if you already have them, you have to constantly be engaged in the list building.


Because your email database naturally decays for almost 23% every year. By the way, you can find a free email database decay calculator here and check it yourself.

So, to have good quality email list you will have to make continuous efforts to recruit new subscribers and keep your database up to date.

Here are some tips that can help you with that.

Use Inbound Marketing Traffic

Sometimes, when you just start building your email list, it makes more sense to skip advertising for a while (especially if you have no budget for that) and focus solely on inbound marketing.

What keeps bringing new lead is converting visitors of your blog or people who are interested in free content you offer them (like webinars, podcast etc.) into subscribers is.

So, how can you make your visitors subscribe if they have already landed on your website?

1. Post your content continuously

Your visitors, before they subscribe, usually make sure that they don’t give you their email in vain and they will get updates regularly.

2. Create a compelling value proposition

If you are developing a long-term strategy of increasing your blog subscriptions, you should define your value proposition first.

So, you define what is unique you can offer your subscribers: expertise, content, frequency etc.

You have to decide what value you bring to your readers and how exclusive is your content.

3. Offer an upgraded content in exchange for email

You readers are already interested in the content you offer, they landed in you blog.

So, why not to offer them an advanced version of the same content in exchange for their email?



Actually, 20% of your blog pages are driving 80% of the traffic. You can find out these pages using analytics and use them to create advanced content that will force your visitors to subscribe.

4. Offer free content in exchange for email

You definitely have seen plenty of websites offering e-books, white papers, resource lists, webcasts or free software in exchange for email subscription.

Why not become one of them?

You can use these resources as in-blog ads in:

  • Sidebar



  • Popups like the one below on Neil Patel’s website

Email list - Pop-up subscription


  • Header or footer
  • Author’s bio

Use Strategically Placed Opt-ins

5. Remind your website visitors about your value proposition all the time with popups

You either like them or hate them, but you cannot ignore popups.

Popups still work and bring in more subscribers that their absence.

So, Social Media Examiner says that 70% of their subscriptions come from popups.

Don’t forget that your popup’s copy should reflect the overall value proposition of your blog or newsletter.

Here is an example:


Just not to seem overly annoying, it is better to set up popups in such a way that they appear with a short delay, when your visitor was already able to estimate whether he likes your content or not.

For instance, you can make a popup appear after the first three paragraphs of the text or with 5 second delay. And another one at the end of your blog post!

6. Place simple sign-up forms in strategic places

Besides setting up popup lightboxes, you should place light sign up forms in strategic places on your website so that your visitors don’t have to look for one if they decided to subscribes:

  • In the header/footer
  • At the end of each blog post, like it is done by HubSpot



  • On about page

Leverage Social

7. Leverage social proof

Leveraging social proof creates a double effect:

  1. Social proof validates the decision to subscribe
  2. Social proof makes your visitors feel as if they are missing some information that other people already have

One of the simplest ways to make social proof increase your email subscription is to mention the number of subscribers: 2,000; 20,000 or even 190,000 followers. Any of these numbers will look impressive and make your visitors to think that a lot of other people like what you are doing.

Here the word ‘followers’ means not only email subscribers, but also social network followers.

Another way is to drop the name of a famous person or a company, like here:



Mentioning publication in a magazine or newspaper, a book you wrote on the subject will also be a good example of social proof.

8. Leverage social networks and giveaways

If you are already connected with your audience through social, that’s great. Just offer them a subscribe option in the social media.

If not, you can use a giveaway to collect emails.

Make your prize something only your potential customers need. You don’t want irrelevant people on your list, right? Never forget the basics of a good giveaway:

  1. A compelling prize your audience actually wants
  2. Bonus entries for referrals
  3. Guaranteed bonus incentives for all non-winners (something you can give for free)
  4. Promotion to relevant audiences

Some people even managed to add almost 200k emails in their list in less than two weeks using giveaways.

Make Your Emails Shareable

9. Use share buttons in your email

GetResponse study showed that emails with social share buttons generate 158% more click through rate than the ones without them.

Why so?

Some people tend to share content even without reading it. But this habit plays in your favor, isn’t it?

People who come to your website via shares can be your new subscribers.

10. Use ‘forward to friends’ button

Along with social share buttons, don’t forget the share with a friend button. Just in case your offer is extremely interesting, valuable or outrageous.


Do you have anything to add to this topic? Go on and post a comment now.

Roland Pokornyik

Roland Pokornyik

CEO / Co-founder @ &

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