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  • Claire Elbrow

Quick ways to grow your email subscribers.

Growing your email subscriber list in an ethical, GDPR-compliant way remains a mystery to some. We know we cannot whizz through our inbox and bung everyone who has ever contacted us onto our mailing list, but what can a small business owner do to help grow their list?


Here are some quick tips..

Start with a quick review of your content.

Is the content you are providing valuable to your potential clients? You MUST answer this with a 'yes', or your audience will be the fastest unsubscribers you know.

Your emails should not all be about you, your service or your products; they must be worthy of your reader's attention and time, so they should cover different areas of interest. Make sure you capitalise on any opportunities you have to expand your content and showcase your experience, even if that is by including some via third-party content.

What does this mean? Look at some of your favourite emails and consider why you open them. Are they sales focused, or are they sharing a mix of salesy info with tips and tricks, case studies, how-to guides and content from other like-minded providers? Are they offering relevant discounts alongside information of interest? I suspect they are.

So what can you do to recreate the same?

1 Be personable

Use personalisation in your email to drive not only the open rate, but it will push up engagement. This can be as simple as including the recipient's first name in the subject line. You can also ensure your email is from a person - you, not your business. You can usually do this by including a person's name in the "from" section. This will ensure a name is clear to recipients when it arrives in their inbox.


2 Think about your subject line and make it catchy!


That sounds horribly twee, but it does work. If you use humour, emojis, and catchy wording, which makes people curious, you will grab a person's attention and encourage them to take the next step and open your email.


3 Create gated content


Gated content is online materials, such as white papers, checklists, webinars, articles and videos, requiring users to fill out a form before they can download or access it. The form may ask for the user's name and email address or might demand more details, typically about their jobs and organisations. Personally, for a small business owner, I would just go for a user's name and email address and keep it simple!


This approach can be a very effective way to grow your email list as you give people something of value in exchange for their email address. It is a transactional exchange, so you will need to create some 'wow' content first!


Your newsletter itself can be effective gated content. Try offering something in a series of newsletters or mini-courses where your audience can learn new skills for free.


4 Offer discounts


You can do this if you offer products and services. It is more straightforward with a product as you have more ways to discount, from options like a percentage off discount, a BOGOFF or free shipping. For services, you can offer similar such as a first month's trial service for a discounted price. Just be careful you do not devalue your offering and fall into the downward spiral of just discounted options.

5 Capture emails from your website


A basic one, but easily forgotten. Make sure your website has an option which makes it easy to subscribe to your newsletter. The newsletter may be run from your website or via a 3rd party mailing system, like Constant Contact or Mailchimp, but they should all connect quickly enough.

Make sure your sign-up option is clearly visible across your website, and make it fun and in keeping with your brand.


Remind people of your newsletter across social media platforms. Give them a taste of what your newsletter entails. Don't forget a link in the bio on Instagram which points directly to newsletter sign-up. Linktree might be your friend here!


6 Be welcoming


Take advantage of this quick win! When people sign up for your newsletter, make it a pleasant experience. It's an effortless and valuable opportunity to engage with your new subscribers and showcase your content further.

7 Segment your email marketing audience


Consider doing this right at the outset. Segmenting ensures you're sending the most relevant content to the right audience. You should consider allowing your audience to select how often they'll hear from you.


Finally, use double opt-ins when someone subscribes to your email list. This will make sure they really want to be there!

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