Written by Michael Keenan

April 29, 2022

As a small business owner, growing an email list probably isn’t your favorite task. You might not even put it on your list of priorities for running a business. However, over half the world’s population uses email, and the market value is growing by billions

Email marketing isn’t going away any time soon.

email marketing stats
Image source: Statista

But why should you care about email marketing? If your business is in the retail, ecommerce, or consumer goods industries, email marketing can offer you a return on investment (ROI) of $45 per $1 spent.

Beyond the ROI is something arguably more valuable. Your email list is yours. That means that when one of your social media platforms goes down you can still reach your customers through email. 

Growing your email list doesn’t have to be a chore. You can use more interesting and engaging tactics that not only help you reach more emails but also help build up your bottom line. In this guide, we’ll look at the following tricks:

  1. Host a giveaway contest
  2. Set up a landing page
  3. Guest on blogs or podcasts
  4. Host an Instagram Live broadcast
  5. Referrals
  6. Build a loyalty program
  7. Use automated Story Mention replies

Host a giveaway contest

The first trick on our list is to run an Instagram giveaway. Giveaways are a fun and exciting way to encourage more engagement with your brand on social media. When Legion Beats ran a giveaway, the campaign generated over $260,000 in revenue.

To achieve these awesome results, Legion Beats partnered with ManyChat to create an automated giveaway funnel that started from a Comment-to-Messenger ad.

The key to growing your email list with a giveaway is to make users provide their email address—either to enter the giveaway or to gain extra “chances” at winning. 

In the case of Legion Beats, when users shared unique URLs as referrals, they had to provide their contact information to enter. 

Of course, giving away personal information for a chance to win something isn’t enough for many people. So Legion Beats made everyone feel like a winner by giving 10 free beats to those who joined the giveaway. You can use other incentives, like a free ebook or discount code.

Both Instagram and Facebook do have certain rules about hosting a giveaway. Those include explaining that Meta isn’t sponsoring, endorsing, administering, or associated with it. 

Set up a landing page

The next cool (and simple) way to get more email subscribers is to set up a landing page. Single-page websites with a clear call to action are a great way to boost email signups. There are two main reasons why single landing pages work:

  1. It’s easier to take action when there is nothing else to do on the website.
  2. The webpage has a single, clear goal: to get you to opt-in.

From your side, you don’t have to get stuck thinking about building and maintaining a whole business website. Simple goals equal simple solutions. So what can email signup landing pages look like? Let’s look at a couple of examples.

100 Users 100 Days

emai list landing page

100 Users 100 Days is a single-page website with the clear goal of getting website visitors to sign up for its next sprint event. The website contains an obvious sign-up form and leaderboard of people who took on the 100 in 100 challenge in the first round—using social proof that the method works.

Superhuman (pre-launch)

superhuman landing page

Before Superhuman launched its full site, the developers used a landing page during its pre-launch to build up anticipation for the full product release. People who visited the site were confronted with the bold mission statement and a single CTA sign-up button.

These examples teach us a few lessons about email marketing strategy:

  • For better lead generation, bake in the social proof about why signing up for your emails benefits subscribers.
  • The clearer the call to action button, the better.
  • Set expectations for potential customers (even if they are pretty high).

As we can see from the examples, the best landing pages for email subscriptions or email newsletters are ones that are concise, captivate, and avoid distraction by including other links. 

You can easily build a single-page site with tools like WordPress, Carrd, or Lander. Whichever tools you use, look out for options or widgets that help you view analytics such as conversion rates and use A/B testing tools.

Guest on blogs or podcasts

Another interesting way to grow your email list is to guest post on blogs or be a guest on a podcast. You might be thinking, “How does that get me email subscribers?” Well, it’s all in the strategy. 

The main benefit of guest posting is being able to be seen on a website that gets more traffic than yours. More website traffic = more chances of converting new subscribers. The key is making sure you can filter traffic from the guest appearance to your email list landing page or pop-up. 

But first of all, how do you get a guest post spot on a blog?

Securing a guest spot

The first step you need to take when using the guest spot approach is to make a list of blogs and podcasts that you either know your target audience reads or one you read/listen to yourself. 

Once you have made a list, you can try contacting the blogger or content marketing team of the site with your pitch. 

You’re bound to get some rejections. Some content managers might provide feedback on your pitch or you might not hear anything back at all. If you do receive feedback, take it on board and adjust your pitch. 

Creating the guest post on a blog

If and when you secure a guest spot on a blog, the next step is writing your post. Needless to say, the post itself needs to be well written and live up to the promises of your pitch. However, to get more email subscribers, you’ll need to use some link opportunities.

The most obvious way is to include a link to your email opt-in homepage in your writer bio at the top and/or bottom of the piece. However, you can also use in-text links, so long as the link is relevant. 

It’s a little harder with a podcast, as you’ll only be able to shout out your newsletter either at the beginning or end of your segment.

Host an Instagram Live broadcast

One of the most fun ways to grow your email subscribers in this list is to host an Instagram Live broadcast. This method is more hands on than others, but it’s also a great chance to showcase your brand personality while being relatable. 

People are social creatures, and we’re drawn to other people more than faceless brand images. So hosting a live broadcast where you’re talking to your customers “face to face” is a unique opportunity to build those relationships.

Automating email captures live

Hosting a live broadcast on its own isn’t going to net you much growth in your subscriber list. You’d be asking your viewers to leave your broadcast to go to your email capture form and fill in details. 

What you can do instead is use ManyChat’s Comment Growth Tool to automate the email capture process during your live broadcast. 

In one case study, Molly Mahoney used this method (combined with Facebook ads) with great success, netting her $90,000 in sales and 1,200 new subscribers. 

The key to this method working is setting up a chatbot flow with a keyword trigger connected to your Live broadcast post. Ask the viewers to comment with the keyword and that’ll trigger a DM conversation with your chatbot.

Referrals 

This next method for growing an email list is a little more conventional but can be made interesting. Using referrals is a classic tactic in growing a customer base and is the basis of affiliate marketing campaigns. 

We already mentioned using referrals earlier as part of a giveaway campaign to gather more entries. But what are some other interesting ways to use referrals?

Use incentives

Beyond asking your loyal customers to share your email newsletter link, you can also provide a lead magnet incentive for doing so.

A common method for premium paid-for newsletters is to provide either a discount or a free month to both the sharer and the new customers. However, if your newsletter is free, you can offer freebie resources or a small thank-you product. 

You can also offer the referrers store credit, e.g. $5-off coupon for each successful referral.

Create a private-access community

Another interesting way to encourage referrals is to create a premium-access community. These types of communities are typically paid for and can include sneak previews of new products, exclusive discounts, and “swag.” 

However, you can create this type of community and use a set number of referrals as the entry “price.” The draw of exclusivity and “free” entry can be a perfect match for growing your email list.

Build a loyalty program

The next method you can use for list building is to build a loyalty program. Many small businesses stick to having a paper stamp/punch card that the customer has to remember to bring with them. But there is a better way: digital loyalty programs.

A digital loyalty program allows businesses to create an interactive experience that customers are more likely to keep up with (since it’s on their phones). It also has the bonus of collecting your customer’s personal information and data on their shopping habits. 

How to get email sign-ups with a loyalty program

In ManyChat, you can use a QR code or Messenger Ref URL that links to a chatbot flow that encourages people to sign up for your loyalty program. These can be placed in email signatures or your Instagram bio, for example.

ManyChat QR code

Then, thanks to ManyChat’s integrated CRM system, you can automatically collect and store customer information like email addresses and phone numbers to use in both the loyalty program and future digital marketing or email marketing campaigns. 

Use automated Story Mention replies

Whenever someone tags your Instagram business page in a Story, you automatically get a DM that shows you the Story you were mentioned in. So the final trick for email list growth is to use Instagram Story Mentions to your advantage. 

Using Instagram Automation by ManyChat, you can set up an automated Story Mentions Reply. This reply triggers whenever a user mentions your account on Instagram, and you can configure the reply in a way that generates leads.

For example, Instagram marketing influencer Frazer Brookes used the Story Mentions Trigger tool to engage with users who mention him. 

ManyChat flow builder

While his replies are simple, you can use the tool to encourage users to use their emails to sign up for whatever you have on offer. For Frazer, this was a summit/webinar event. For you, it could be a loyalty program, referral scheme, or a giveaway. 

Automate your email growth today

Building your email list is one of the essential elements of running a modern business. It’s also not the easiest task in the world. But you can make the process more fun for both you and your potential subscribers by using any of the tricks listed above.

One of the tools that can help you achieve better results quickly is ManyChat. Whether your platform of choice is Instagram, Facebook, SMS, or email, ManyChat can help you automate your marketing efforts. 

ManyChat’s ability to help you create unique, interactive experiences can encourage more open rates and leads for email sign-ups, and fewer unsubscribe instances. 

Try ManyChat for free today.

You already voted!
The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.