The best way to grow an email list is to do so slowly and organically, so that the people on your list are really engaged and are the top notch followers of your business or organization. We'll help get you started. But, keeping sending awesome and relevant content and you'll start to see your list grow even more.

In this article:

The Right Way

If you just started your business, or just launched your website, you probably don't have an email list to send to. So, what do you do?

Ways To Grow Your Opt-In List

Place your email newsletter signup form on your home page (MailChimp gives you free signup forms that you can customize and copy-paste to your website). You can find a link to your signup forms by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click the drop down menu for the list whose forms you want to work with and choose Signup forms.
    signup form dropdown
  3. Click the General forms option.
    general signup forms
  4. Copy the link under Subscribe Form URL.
    signup form URL

Once you have your sign up form link you can share it in different ways.

  • Link to your signup form from every page of your website (you might add a link to your footer, or side navigation).
  • Place a link to your email signup form in your email signature (ask everyone in your company to do it, too).
  • Add the link to your signup form to all of the invoices your company sends.
  • Offer free giveaways to one lucky subscriber (it can be a company t-shirt, or something kooky, like a 20 pound box of banana candy).
  • Post free whitepapers or helpful articles on your site. They'll get downloaded like crazy, if you just offer them for free and with no registration. Inside your whitepaper, place your own "full page ad" to your newsletter.
  • Send out personal, one-to-one emails to all your clients, and ask them to please signup to your newsletter.
  • In your "Contact Us" form on your website, add a checkbox to "signup for our newsletter".
  • Add an "opt-in for our newsletter" checkbox in your e-commerce checkout page.

Already Have a List of Customers?

What if you already have an email list of customers that you've been doing business with for years? Well, just because they're your customers, doesn't mean they want to start receiving your email newsletters.

If you have a list of customer email addresses and you want to start sending them email marketing, but you don't have their permission yet, ask them for permission.

Send a "Re-Introduction Email" from your own servers (not a bulk email program, remember you've gotta get permission). It's extremely effective, and best of all, it's polite. You just put together a personal note. Write it like you'd write to a friend. Then include the link to your sign up form on the emails. Make it easy to sign up. Check out this example and this example.

The Wrong Way

Purchasing or renting (or stealing...*sigh*) a list is the worst way to build a loyal following. It's not illegal to purchase a list, but it's not something we allow in MailChimp. Sending bulk mail to a purchased list is the definition of spam...and we all hate spam, right? Repeat spammy spam spam.

Sloppy List Management Practices That Can Get Your Emails Blocked
This article will tell you the wrong way to start a list and how to get yourself blacklisted and ruin your email reputation.

Good luck on your list-building journey!

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