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6 Stress Free Ways To Grow Your Email List

I’m going to let you in on a secret.

I’m here, blogging, because I am EXHAUSTED by social media.  I realize how important social media is to expanding my reach and potentially targeting new clients, but there are SO MANY people on there. 

And it feels like everyone is shouting, and everyone has an opinion, and every time I turn around, some “expert” is telling me what I’m doing “wrong”.

Plus, I am wayyyy to long winded for snappy hooks or Reels that “grab peoples attention.” 

My focus is mainly on my email list. It’s not like social media, because people are on your email list only because they WANT to be.  The people who are there WANT to hear from you, they haven’t just happened upon your content during a 60 minute doom scrolling session.

I like to think about my email list as a group of my besties who always want to hear what you have to say. They're on your list by choice - they want to know what's going on with you and your business!

The best part of your email list?

It's yours.

You own it - unlike your followers on social media. We all remember when IG was down for 2 days, or when our favorite influencer or coach's account got shut down for violating IG's mysterious "community guidelines."

Now that Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are all connected, we're vulnerable across multiple platforms.

The great thing about an email list is that you can still sell your offer or launch your program even if you can’t access social media.

Does this mean we should abandon social media? No way! Social media apps are a great place to bring in new leads and increase your visibility.  But I started thinking of it as just one piece of your list building strategy, rather than the whole puzzle.  So I decided to start being intentional about growing my email list.  

Over the years I've gathered up some of the strategies that have worked best for me when growing my email list. These are simple actions that you can implement today! I encourage you to try each one out to see what works best for your business.

Let's get to it!

Grow Your Email List Idea # 1: Add an Opt In Form

An Opt In Form is one of those little forms on the sidebars of websites or at the bottom of blog posts that is used to collect contact information (usually an email address) from individuals who are willing to receive communications like newsletters, promotional offers, or updates from a person or business.

The important aspect of an opt in form is that people must actively choose to "opt-in" by filling out the form, rather than being automatically subscribed.

Opt-in forms are used as a permission marketing technique to build email lists and comply with anti-spam laws that prohibit unsolicited bulk emails. By only sending emails to people who explicitly opt-in, business owners can make sure that their email marketing follows consent-based practices (because no one likes spam!)

Opt-in forms typically ask for basic information like:

  • Email address

  • Name

  • Sometimes additional fields like location, interests, etc.

They should also include a clear statement explaining what the subscriber is signing up for. You can read more about how to create an Opt In Form in THIS blog post.

Opt-in forms can be embedded on websites, included as pop-ups/overlays, or integrated into a checkout page. Their goal is to capture genuine interest from people wanting to receive future communications from you.

Creating a simple opt in form and embedding on the homepage of your website is probably the easiest way to start growing your list. Don't be afraid to make your opt in form stand out with a contrasting color - you absolutely want people to take notice!

Here’s what mine looks like:

While you can have an opt-in form that simply asks for someone's email address so you can “keep them updated” or send them your newsletter, a better practice is to offer something free in exchange for their email address. Here's more about that:

Grow Your Email List Idea # 2: Create A Freebie

A freebie (sometimes referred to as a lead magnet) is a free product - like a checklist, a workbook, or a guide - that is offered in exchange for someone's email address or contact information.

Generally, a freebie solves a small, specific problem or answers a particular question. Don't overthink it - it doesn't have to be pages long or super fancy. You don't need to solve every problem your ideal client has, you just need to address one particular pain point and give them an easy win! 

The purpose of a freebie is to capture leads (potential customers) by providing something of value for free, in the hopes that the recipients will want to receive additional content or offers from the business in the future.

Common examples of lead magnets include:

  • ebook

  • Video training series

  • Webinar or online course

  • Checklist or resource list

The idea is that by giving away a valuable piece of content or incentive upfront, businesses can demonstrate their expertise and build trust with prospects. Once they have the lead's contact information, they can then nurture that relationship through additional marketing efforts.

Lead magnets are important for list building and generating new leads that can eventually convert into paying customers down the line. They incentivize people to opt-in and willingly share their contact details.

Don't want to spend hours creating your eBook freebie from scratch? Grab the fully customizable 100+ page Ebook Template HERE

Grow Your Email List Idea # 3: Website Pop Up or Banner

Utilize your website’s pop up and banner feature so that it’s the first thing that visitors to your website see.

Pop-ups appear as a new window or layer on top of the website content currently being viewed. A pop up can be triggered in different ways - when a visitor lands, after scrolling, on exit intent, after a time delay, or through click triggers. They essentially "pop up" over the main page content.

Tips for Pop-Ups:

  • Offer a highly relevant and valuable freebie

  • Keep design and copy simple

  • Use best practices - if someone closes out the pop up, make sure it doesn’t keep popping up and start annoying them.

A website announcement bar or banner is a horizontal strip that appears at the top or bottom of a website with the purpose of displaying an important message, announcement, or call-to-action. The key advantages are that they are highly visible but not as disruptive as pop-ups, but the disadvantage is that they may be easier to ignore. 

Tips for Announcement Bars:

  • Keep the copy short and benefit-focused

  • Don't make it too distracting or invasive

  • Use contrasting colors to make it stand out

  • Have a clear call-to-action to opt-in

For both, you'll want to test different designs, calls-to-action, and positioning to see which generates more opt-ins.

Grow Your Email List Idea # 4: Use Social Media

Promote your freebie/lead magnet on social media. Remember how we talked about social media just being one piece of the lead generation puzzle? Now is the time to use that piece! Here are some ideas:

  • Add your opt in link to the link in your Instagram bio. Use the call to action "grab my freebie" or "download my free guide" or "sign up for my free challenge" regularly in your posts and in your stories

  • Utilize Collaborations. if you collaborate with another coach or service provider on an IG Live or FB Live, be sure to share your opt in link with them ahead of time so you can leverage their audience as well!

  • Create a graphic. Use a graphic design platform like Canva and create a graphic promoting your freebie. Post it regularly to social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

  • Join Facebook groups in your niche. Most groups have "promo" days, so be sure to head into the groups on those days and share the link to your freebie.

  • Run social media ads. Use paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to drive traffic to an optimized opt-in landing page.

  • Go live! Do a live video promoting the value of your lead magnet and how to get it by joining your email list.


Grow Your Email List Idea # 5: Freebie Swap 

Partner up with someone in a related niche and promote each other's freebies to your email lists.


It's like a win-win collaboration because it expands your reach AND also offers your freebie/resource to other people. 

A "freebie swap" is a marketing strategy where businesses collaborate to promote each other's free opt-in incentives (like ebooks, checklists, etc.) to their respective email lists.

Here's how a freebie swap typically works:

  1. Two businesses that serve a similar target audience agree to partner up.

  2. Each business creates a free, valuable lead magnet that would appeal to the other's audience.

  3. They swap promotional materials like email swipe copy, social media posts, etc. to advertise the other business's freebie.

  4. Each partner promotes the other's freebie offer to their own email list and social following.

  5. To get the freebie, subscribers have to opt-in to the other business's email list.

The main benefit is being able to use your partner's existing audience to rapidly grow your own email list. Their subscribers get your high-value freebie, while you get new leads.

Successful freebie swaps require having high-quality lead magnets, a good match between target audiences, and effective cross-promotion. Partners should also agree on promotion guidelines and swap timing.

It's a creative way for businesses to cross-expose their brands, while ethically building their email lists through reciprocal sharing of free content. Both partners potentially gain new subscribers genuinely interested in their offerings.

Not sure how to go about this?  Grab the Freebie Swap email swipe files (along with 25 other email templates for service providers) and you can literally copy and paste your pitch!


Grow Your Email List Idea # 6: Podcast 

Podcasts can be a powerful tool for growing your email list. By tapping into the loyal following of podcast listeners, you can attract a whole new audience of potential subscribers. Whether you're already a podcasting pro or you're looking to be a guest on someone else's podcast, it a great way to bring new people into your world! Here are a few tips:

If you have a podcast:

  • Mention your lead magnet/freebie throughout your podcast episodes, mention the free opt-in incentive you're offering (ebook, checklist, etc.) and how listeners can get it by joining your email list. Provide a link in the show notes. “Sell it” like it’s an actual offer so that listeners take action and download it!

  • Regularly give a verbal call-to-action during the episodes telling people to join your email list, along with the benefits they'll get. Make it easy to remember your opt-in URL.

  • Dedicate whole episodes - Do entire podcast episodes focused just on the free content you're giving away if they sign up for your email list. Go in-depth on the valuable information it contains.

If you’re a guest on someone else’s podcast:

  • Ask the host to mention your freebie. During the intro or when you're brought on, ask the host to quickly mention the freebie you're offering and that listeners can get it by joining your email list.

  • Provide a short pitch. When appropriate, give a 30-60 second pitch about your freebie, what it is, and why it's valuable. Explain how listeners can opt-in to receive it.

  • Include it in your bio. Have the host read a brief bio for you that includes a line promoting your freebie opt-in, like "Listeners can get Kristen's free Digital Product Checklist at"

  • Drop the link a few times. Naturally work in dropping the opt-in URL or links to your freebie landing page a couple of times during the interview portions.

Most hosts are happy to do this for you, just make sure to get their approval before you start shouting it out during the episode recording.

To Wrap Up...

With the social media space feeling like an overstuffed subway car some days, it’s hard to know how to market your business without feeling like you’re just shouting into the void. 

Your email list can provide a bit of a break from all the noise, and the best part is that you are totally in control of it. Finally, keep in mind that what has worked for me might not feel good for you.  Feel free to try any (or all!) of these suggestions to see which is the best fit for your business!

Ready to grow your online business but not sure where to start?  Don't spending hours researching, watching You Tube videos or asking a friend what they did. Grab the Online Business Checklist and start your side hustle today!


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