How to Grow Your Email List Quickly: Top 3 Proven Ways to Get Subscribers

Another holiday season is upon us — and this year, it’s more important than ever to laser-focus on your audience for your seasonal campaigns. Experts expect online shopping to be bigger than ever. But, If you don’t stand out, your messages will likely drown in an unprecedented sea of digital marketing content.

Now is the time to act if you want to get active, engaged subscribers on your email marketing lists. No need to panic about where to get email marketing lists or how to convince people to subscribe. Here are proven ways to grow your email list fast

Create a Can’t-Miss Lead Magnet

Everyone knows that a lead magnet is a great way to build your list. Naturally, that means every brand now has one. These “freebies” are cluttering the Internet, and it seems as though every website has a pop-up begging for your email address. The problem is, these lead magnets tend to be stuffed with generic content that could easily be discovered with a quick Google search. Consumers are savvier than ever, and when they see dozens of lead captures every day, they’re much less likely to choose any of them.

That’s why you need to make your lead magnet absolutely fantastic. You want your audience to feel a strong sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), then absolutely amazed by what they get. Otherwise, your brand won’t stand out among all your competitors who are also pushing their lead magnets.

Here are some tips for a can’t-miss lead magnet.

  1. Offer “yummy” content. You may want to save the “good stuff” for your paying customers, but here are the facts: today’s consumers are skeptical and discerning, especially during the holiday season. They don’t want to hand over anything, not even their email, if they could get the same content by Googling. Use your lead magnet as a chance to share something truly specific and unique that no one else knows or has.
  2. Think outside the box. Templates, worksheets, and other “downloadables” are great ideas for lead magnets — until they’re not. Depending on your industry, your target audience may have already had their fill. Craft your lead magnet in a way that gets your leads engaged. Nowadays, virtual events are wildly popular, so try hosting a webinar, Facebook Live, or Twitch stream to get your audience excited. 
  3. Let leads choose their magnet. Everyone likes to feel special, so rather than offering all segments of your target audience the same freebie, give them a chance to choose. You can create several variations of the same content, fully customized for each segment. For example, you can offer a personality quiz, then use the “results” page to drive leads down your funnel. Allowing your leads to “choose their own adventure” makes them feel more invested and willing to hand over their email address, as opposed to feeling like just another person you’re trying to sell to.

Use Social Media to Recruit Excited Subscribers 

While landing pages, social media posts, and ads are all great ways to drive traffic to your opt-in form, there’s still a high likelihood that people will skip subscribing. They figure they can contact you through your website if they need you, or they’ll assume they’ve seen what you have to offer. Either way, they don’t want to clutter their inbox with yet more emails.

It’s up to you to convince them that your mailing list is worth their while. One common mistake is to focus on the freebie. That’s a sure-fire way to nab subscribers and immediately lose them once you’ve sent them their freebie. For all they know, your email newsletter might have the same old stuff they can find anywhere.

That’s why you need to engage with your potential subscribers before sending them to your opt-in form. Instead of relying on Instagram posts and tweets to drive traffic to the opt-in, get involved in communities that are hungry for knowledge. There are five main places to build an audience before you build your list. 

  1. Facebook groups. Facebook has openly admitted that they de-prioritize business page content in its users’ feeds. That’s why you need to get people excited about your list in more organic ways. Join Facebook groups that revolve around your industry (or make your own!), and have valuable, genuine discussions there. Once people know your name and what you’re all about, it’s quite easy to say, “Hey, I regularly send out X, Y, and Z to my mailing list. Here’s how you can join.”
  2. LinkedIn groups. As with Facebook, LinkedIn is inundated by content. Making connections in targeted groups is the perfect way to send engaged subscribers to your opt-in page.
  3. Reddit. This social network is really more of a glorified discussion board. Depending on which “subreddits” you join, you can share links, photos, text posts, and so on. It’s important to note that Reddit is not a place for overt promotion, and its users are quick to sniff out marketing ploys. You must be natural and authentic in all Reddit interactions. When done well, you can pitch your opt-in page at the right moment.
  4. Quora. As a highly active Q&A platform, Quora is one of the Internet’s top destinations for those seeking knowledge, which makes it perfect for promoting your lead magnet. The secret is to translate your content into answers to your target audience’s questions, then include a link to your opt-in page. Don’t be obvious about it; provide well-crafted, detailed answers; and don’t spam the platform. Follow those three rules, and you can start growing your email list very quickly.
  5. Medium. Several self-publishing platforms have popped up in the past few years, but Medium has reached gigantic proportions. It’s a vibrant community of voracious readers, and they are very open to learning more. Publish some high-value content that ties into your lead magnet, then finish your article with a clear call-to-action to join your mailing list. Note that Medium does require regular engagement if you want to be seen. 

Tap Into Influencer and Affiliate Marketing

Let’s face it: some people just won’t subscribe even if you offer them gold. You need to find people who are already primed to join a mailing list. So, why not steal one from someone who’s already done it well?

Not really, of course! You should never purchase (or steal) someone’s list. Not only is it unethical, but it’s also bound to fill your list with a bunch of uninterested subscribers — hardly the qualified leads you’re seeking. The right way to capitalize on someone else’s successful list-building is to enter into a strategic partnership. There are two primary methods:

In influencer marketing, you make an arrangement with someone who is, well, influential in your industry. (Go figure.) They typically publish highly attractive content and have massive followings. If you can get them excited about your offering, they will promote it to their followers. But there’s no rule stating that they have to promote a purchase. You can absolutely use influencer marketing to build your mailing list. The key is to find an influencer who truly enjoys your content and brand. They will then share your opt-in with their followers. In return, they’ll expect you to show them some love, as well. 

In cross-promotional marketing, you work with a complementary company in your industry to generate leads for each other. For example, if you are a boutique store hoping to grow your list for your holiday sales, you could work with a hair salon to promote each other’s opt-ins on your signage, social media, etc. Offer a small discount or freebie for your partner as part of the lead capture. This is an excellent way to bridge gaps in your target audience and connect with people who are already seeking good deals.


Your ultimate goal in list-building is to get as many qualified leads onto your list right off the bat. With a bunch of “tire-kickers” on your list, you’re just spending money on people who will never buy from you. Unfortunately, most fast methods for list-building tend to generate a lot of decidedly un-qualified leads. That’s why the organic methods described above will get you more subscribers who are genuinely interested in your offerings. Best of all, these methods work quickly, especially if you regularly engage with your target audience. You’ll be amazed by how many people will opt-in from a Facebook group thread as opposed to stumbling onto your landing page from a tweet. So, get social, and get building!


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