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15 Free Ways to Grow Your Email List

Have you set up an email list for marketing to parents? Are you wondering how you can build your list? Here are 15 free ways to grow your email list:

Grow Your Email List

Having grown an email list of over 90,000 parents for Mykidstime, here are some proven tactics that have worked for our business. Whatever tactic you use, you have to give people an incentive to give you their email address. This could be a discount or something of value or them feeling special somehow. Don’t make the classic mistake that I regularly see on business websites of saying “Sign up for our newsletter”. Would you sign up if you saw that?

With GDPR you also have to give people the opportunity to opt in (not just add them automatically) and we would advise to use Double Opt In on whatever mailing software you use so that you can prove that they did consent and show the details.

Here are 15 free ways to grow your mailing list. .

#1. Capture Emails Wherever You Can

Make it easy to capture emails wherever you can. Add calls to action to your website to encourage sign ups. If you run a business with a physical venue then you want to facilitate email capture offline too. Make sure every sign up has a consent box and a link to your terms and conditions so you are GDPR compliant.

You might also find Is Your Website GDPR Ready? helpful

We have created a free GDPR Checklist for your Website that you can download and work your way through these steps. 

Download your free GDPR Checklist here to use to make sure your website is GDPR ready 

gdpr checlist

#2. Run a Giveaway

An easy to way to increase your mailing list is to run a giveaway making it part of the entry process to have people fill out their email on your giveaway page.

To be GDPR compliant, make sure add an optin to consent to go on your mailing list as well as that they read your terms and conditions for entry.

Tip: Always email the losing entrants straight away e.g. with an offer or a nice message, after all they were interested in connecting with you so you should capitalise on this opportunity.

#3. Offer a Discount

Many e-commerce websites offer a discount for signup, I know I have done this a few times because I was about to buy something anyway so getting an extra 10% or 15% off is worth handing over my email for. Again have an opt in on your discount offer so that people are making the choice to go onto your list and that you are GDPR compliant.

You might also enjoy reading 18 Tips to Build a List for Marketing to Parents

#4. Offer Something of Value

Giving a piece of content that’s of value to your target customer is a very effective way of getting emails from people. On Mykidstime we give parents a free ebook full of Lunchbox ideas in return for them signing up. It’s important as with any place that people give their email that they have consented to also go on your mailing list.

lunchbox ideas ebook

#5. Offer an Opt in at Time of Purchase

Add an opt in to your email list during your shopping process so that as people are buying they can also sign up. Make sure to offer an incentive to them for signing up, maybe they will get special invites to customer events or sneak previews of new products or advance notice of sales. Home Store + More do this every month, their email subscribers get to see that month’s sale items ahead of everyone else giving them the chance to get them first.

email advance offers

#6. Encourage your email subscribers to share

Include share options on all your mailings to make it easy for people to share with their friends and family.

You might also enjoy reading 6 Simple Strategies for Parent Email List Building That Work

#7. Include calls to action on your content

On all our Mykidstime blog posts we include a call to action with a link to our signup page near the the top of the article:

sign up cta in blog post

#8. Put Signup Links on Social Channels

This is a really obvious and easy thing to do, to add sign up links to your social channels either in the bios, on your About section or on Facebook you can have your call to action button linked to your email signup.

Facebook page signup button

#9. Use Your Business Email Signature

Another place that you could add a signup link to is your business email signature. After all you are probably sending out emails every day. Make sure all email confirmations from orders or invoices or anything automated also includes a sign up blurb.

#10. Add Signup to Key Places on Your Website

Do you have a sign up call to action on your Home page as well as your About and Contact pages? These are prime places that people visit so make sure that you capitalise on that.


#11. Use a Light Box

Light boxes are pop up or slide in features that you can use to encourage sign up. We use Optinmonster which you have to pay for but it does work, we get signups all the time. We offer the Lunchbox freebie (see #4) and we make sure that the box only appears when people go to leave the page – it’s annoying if it appears at the start of their experience. Hubspot also have a free slider tool for lead capture.

You might also enjoy How to Make a Mailing List That Pays Off For Your Business

#12. Ask Your Social Media Followers

When was the last time you asked your social media followers to sign up?

#13. Offer Some Kind of Bonus Content

If you have a very popular blog post offer additional content in return for an email address.

For example, if you have a blog post “10 things to buy when having a baby”, you could offer additional content “10 things not to buy when having baby” and have an email capture with consent opt in within your first blog post to drive signups.

#14. Work with Another Website or Blog

Partner up with another website or blog to run something together to generate emails. If you both put in something to make a combined prize for a giveaway, and both promote it, and share the emails you’ll both benefit.

Tip: Remember that people have to have an opt in for either or both mailing list, so a tick box is ideal for both so that you know they consented.

#15. Invite People to an Event and have them register

If you have a customer evening or product launch or some event planned, then invite people to attend via an online registration form which will enable you to capture their email for your list. Again add an opt in to the event registration form to consent to go on your mailing list.

You might also like reading Why List Building is Crucial For Your Business Success

Over to you now. Have you used any of these tactics to grow your email list? I would love to hear your experience or thoughts in the comments below. 


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2 Responses to 15 Free Ways to Grow Your Email List

  1. Joanne 10th October 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Great list! I’m not always the best at leaving a call to action on a blog post.
    However if I do any of your suggestion I always see a spike in sign ups. I just don’t do them consistently. I also don’t out regular newsletters! So bad!

    • Jill Holtz 10th October 2017 at 12:43 pm #

      Hi Joanne just start adding a call to action all the time when you publish. All small steps…

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