Email is the favoured channel of many marketing departments.

And it’s easy to see why.

Conversion rates for emails are higher than social media, direct traffic, and search. And for every £1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of £35.

But the only way that brands can experience the benefits of email is by growing a database of engaged recipients to send their communications to.

To achieve this, marketers need an ongoing strategy that includes a variety of tactics, to ensure their email database remains healthy and growing.

Fortunately, we’ve come up with 21 ways to do exactly that.


Create great content

This might seem like a no-brainer. But great content is key when growing your email database. Without it, your subscribers will lose interest and your unsubscribe rates will increase.

Instead, by producing great content you will keep your subscribers engaged. And earn a reputation for offering an email list that those in your industry really want to be signed up to.


Encourage sharing of your emails.

Include social sharing and “email to a friend” buttons in all of your marketing communications, to encourage recipients to share with their wider network.Also consider adding a “Subscribe” button at your bottom emails. So those who have been shared your emails can easily sign up to them.


Promote sign-ups on your website

Make the most of your website by including email sign-up options on your key pages.

At the very least this should be included on your homepage for maximum exposure. Or placed in the footer if you don’t want it to be too intrusive on every page.


Add links to your email signatures

Encourage everyone in your business to include a sign-up link in their email signatures. That way, every communication that is sent from your business offers an opportunity to build your database.


Create free downloadable content

Whether that be whitepapers, guides, reports, or videos. Offer free content in return for an email address with the help of a lead capture form.

Just make sure the content is worthy of your readers handing their data over. A short blog post, for instance, will probably leave them disappointed.


Offer email only promotions

Everyone loves a freebie. So provide promotions, discounts, and sales exclusively for your emails subscribers to encourage sign-ups. And offer a little VIP experience to keep your customers happy.


Conduct an online poll or survey

Whether you’re asking for feedback or conducting research, polls and surveys are engaging pieces of content. Ask for the user’s email address within the poll so that you can keep them up to date with the results, or send them a copy of their responses.


Utilise paid advertising

Marketers often use paid ads to send users to a landing page, sales pages, or contact form. Instead, send them to an email sign-up form to increase your chances of keeping in touch.


Add a CTA to your social media pages

Social media accounts offer a variety of ways to add a CTA. From a dedicated button to a simple URL. Make the most of these by adding your email sign-up to the CTA and encouraging your already-engaged social network to also keep in touch via email.



Introduce referral programs

90% of people trust suggestions from family and friends. So treat your customers as an extension of your marketing team by incentivising them to refer people to your brand. This could include discounts, gift certificates, and prizes.


Host competitions

Competitions, contests, and giveaways are all great examples of interactive content that leads to engagement and shares between networks, friends, and families.

Encourage users to sign-up to your competitions with their email address, so you can keep in touch with them if they’re the lucky winner. (Just make sure it is GDPR safe!)



Experiment with pop-ups

When used well, pop-ups have been known to help marketers increase email subscriptions by up to 300%. And they can be used in a variety of ways on your website. Such as based on exit intent, page scrolling, or for brand new website visitors.

Just ensure you are using them sparingly, so as not to annoy your visitors.



Offer free online tools

There are so many options for free online tools, depending on your industry. ROI calculators, skincare selectors, free trials of software, even games. You can offer these useful tools in exchange for your user’s email address, allowing them access whenever they choose.


Create a blog subscription

If you already have a popular blog, then you already have an engaged audience. Make sure you capture their details and keep them in the loop regarding your latest content and posts by offering a blog subscription.

You can then upgrade these subscribers to other campaigns over time.


Practice guest blogging

Alternatively, if you have experts in your business then why not explore guest blogging on websites within your industry? You will gain access to a wider, potentially untapped audience.

And by adding an email sign-up link at the bottom of the blog post, you can encourage them to keep in touch with you.


Leverage partner promotions

Similar to guest blogging, if you have partner brands, such as resellers or sister companies, then use these relationships to promote your services and email sign-up.

You will be gaining access to a potentially new audience, and collecting their emails in the process.


Attend trade shows

Trade shows offer fantastic opportunities to connect with potential customers and others within the industry. And the most natural way to keep in touch with these contacts is by collecting their email addresses. Either via a paper sign-up form, or using ticket scanners.


Host your own events

Or maybe hosting your own events is more your thing. After all, there are lots of opportunities, both online and offline. Such as promo parties, networking events, exhibitions, and workshops.

Exchange tickets to the event for attendees’ email addresses. And be sure to collect any additional email contacts from other guests.


Stream online webinars

If full-blown events aren’t possible, then try something a little less resource-intensive, such as a webinar. Webinars are highly popular, simple to host, and usually registered for via email. Meaning you can contact viewers pre and post event.


Collect emails in-store

If you have a bricks and mortar store then combine your offline customers with your online offering by collecting email addresses.

A popular way of doing this is at the checkout. You can ask for an email address to keep the customer up to date with your newsletters, news, and exclusive promotions.


Optimise your email sign-up forms

Don’t lose your sign-ups at the last hurdle by making them tackle a lengthy sign-up form. Instead, keep it as quick and straightforward as possible to not scare users off.

We understand information is useful. But not at the cost of the sign-up. So remove any fields that you really don’t need straight away. And keep it to the essential contact details, such as email and telephone number.

21 not enough?

If you’re looking for even more ways to grow your email database. Then we can help.

Get in touch with our team of experts for strategic and tactical advice on building, growing, and making the most of your database.