If you’re looking to increase the contacts on your email marketing list (if you’re an email marketer, you’re probably thinking, “who isn’t?”), it’s often tempting to take short cuts and buy or rent lists. In fact, most email marketers I speak to admit to doing so at least once in their career, if they aren’t currently. One of the biggest reasons seems to be because their boss holds them to a quota for their recipient list size.

To help, my colleague, Kelsey, just wrote a blog post about why you should never (never ever) buy or rent email lists: Buying Email Lists: 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t. But how do you grow your list the right way without using too many resources?

Our new interactive email guide, How to Grow Your Email Marketing List, is here to help. By following 6 tried and true steps, you’ll be on your way to growing a more engaged, quality, (and profitable) email list.

1. Create multiple opportunities for email sign-up

How are prospects and customers going to sign up for your list if they can’t find it? Too often, marketers don’t make their email sign-up forms visible enough. Use all the real estate that you have available to share your email-sign up and what value your subscribers will get for signing up.

One of our favorite areas to promote email lists is on your “thank you” pages. If a customer or prospect has engaged with your product or service, continue the relationship with them by sharing that you have an email newsletter. Most importantly, explain the value that they’ll receive from signing up—or better yet, share an example of one of your newsletters.

Discover 5 more areas in our interactive guide.

2. Optimize your opt-in pages

When users are signing up for your email program, it’s important to remember that less is more. Make it as easy as possible for subscribers to sign up, while still getting as much data as you need from them to personalize their email experience.

Twilio SendGrid’s Signup Forms allows you to either include a signup form on a landing page that Twilio SendGrid hosts, or embed code to paste into a page of your website. 

This makes including signup forms across your website super simple for you to create and for your website visitors to access. You can then engage your new subscribers as they are added to your contact list with an automated welcome series and thank them for signing up!

3. Send a stellar welcome email

Once a subscriber signs up for your email list, you have to keep them engaged! The best way to do this is to implement a thoughtful welcome series that introduces them to your product or service and shares helpful tips and offers. Take our welcome email quiz to see if you’re doing right by your new subscribers.

4. Develop valuable email content

Retaining email subscribers is just as important as getting them on your list in the first place. The best way to do this is to ensure that you’re always providing interesting, new email content. Don’t send email just to send it. The inbox is a busy place and competition for opens and clicks is fierce. The only way to fight through the noise is to stand out with compelling copy, offers, and subject matter expertise in your emails. Aim to be the BEST content producer you can be and you and your subscribers will reap the benefits.

5. Provide an email preference center

Providing an email preference center is one of the best tools you can implement in your email marketing program. Preference centers allow your subscribers to dictate how much content and what types they’ll receive from you. If you stick to what they tell you, chances are they’ll continue to engage and be loyal participants in your email marketing list.

6. Focus on email deliverability

Once you get subscribers to sign up for your list, your emails better get through. This sounds obvious, right? But inbox placement in HARD. That’s why ESPs like Twilio SendGrid exist (and why we have a whole team of expert Email Delivery Consultants) to help you clear the path to the inbox. Focusing on subscriber engagement is paramount, but none of that is going to matter if you can’t get your email in front of people. Too often marketers are hyper-focused on design and content (yes, these are super important) but your email infrastructure and sender reputation are just as important. Follow some of these tips and check out our 2019 Email Deliverability Guide for more advice.

Growing your email list takes time, but if you start implementing some of the tips above and follow our full recommendation from the interactive guide, you’ll start seeing an increase in subscribers and engagement. Just remember to always put your subscribers first and respond to their engagement metrics. They’re the boss. And when you treat them like the boss by having a subscriber-first mentality, you’ll retain and grow your list, and that makes everyone happy…including your real boss. 😉

Access the full guide here to get started!

As Twilio SendGrid's Sr. Director of Content, Jillian is responsible for ensuring that SendGrid provides valuable thought leadership content through the blog, whitepapers, webcasts, and more. When not writing and editing, you can find Jillian frequenting Denver restaurants in search of the best queso.