8 Creative Ways for Small Businesses to Grow Their Email List

Every small business needs to have an email list – it’s one of the most valuable assets you can develop in today’s largely digital world. 

Having a list of people you can send information to regarding product launches, sales, and service reminders will give you a big boost to your business.

But you need people to opt-in to receive emails; you can’t just add someone to your email list without their consent. 

The following strategies will help you grow your list. 

Make It Easy to Sign Up

Start by ensuring that it is as easy as possible for people to sign up for your email list. Asking for someone’s first name helps with personalization, but your list will grow more quickly if you get rid of this field. You will have to decide whether that is worth it for you. The bottom line is that the less information you ask for, the quicker your list will grow. 

No matter what information you ask for, make sure that your email signup list is in an obvious location on your website. And reduce the number of clicks people have to make to get the signup. 

Invite on Social Media

Take advantage of your presence on social media platforms to occasionally remind people to subscribe. Include a link to do so in your bio on your social media profile pages. Then, every once in a while, create a post encouraging subscriptions. 

Pitch the Newsletter

Whether you promote your email list on social media, your website, or somewhere else, consider pitching the newsletter directly. Of course, you first have to create a newsletter that is relevant to your audience for this to work. For example, a clothing store could offer a weekly or monthly style guide. Or, if you provide a service, you can offer a regular newsletter with industry insights. 

Use QR Codes to Get Signups

Speaking of making it easy to sign up for your email list, consider creating a QR code that will take users right to the signup page. Then, place this in physical locations in your store and on your physical advertisements. Add them to the bottom of your receipts. You could even put one on your website, but these are more effective in the real world. 

Offer an Incentive

A classic method of gathering emails is offering some sort of incentive. Depending on your business, this can be a discount code on the next purchase or a free item with the next purchase. Or maybe it will be a free trial of your service. 

Or you can offer something educational and useful, such as an e-book. For example, if you are a realtor, consider writing an e-book about tips for buying or selling homes. 

Host an Event – And Ask for Email Addresses

A related idea is to host a webinar or in-person event and ask for emails as part of the registration process. Just make sure to make the process of opting in clear. You don’t want to fall into legal trouble. (This can be as simple as adding an appropriate checkbox.) 

Thank New Subscribers Right Away 

Part of building your email list means not losing the subscribers that you have already gained. One way to do this is to engage with new subscribers immediately. This can be as simple as a thank-you page after they sign up. Or sending a welcome email. This is also a great time to throw in those discount codes, e-books, or other incentives mentioned before. 

Let Users Control the Content They Receive

Another way to reduce the number of people who unsubscribe is to increase the chances that they receive the content they want. Start by making sure you always offer high-quality, relevant content in the messages you send. 

But consider taking this to the next level and giving your subscribers options. You can offer emails at various frequency intervals or give them the option to only receive certain types of emails. For example, maybe they don’t want to receive your weekly product round-up but do want to know about discounts or new products. 


With the above tips in mind, you should notice your email list growing and your unsubscribes dropping. Now, you have to focus on creating an effective email marketing strategy. 

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