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14 Easy Ways to Automate and Grow Your Email List

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” We’ve got 14 easy-to-implement strategies to grow your email list. Optimize your opt-ins and supercharge your subscriptions here!

automate and grow your email list blog post featured image

Are you looking for new ways to grow your email list? Of course you are. That’s the reason you landed on this page. And we’re glad you did.

We’ve put together 14 easy-to-implement strategies to grow your WordPress email list. You can use some or all of them and adapt them to your specific needs but you’ll definitely want to try out some of the automations that we showcased. From personalized, AI-powered emails to user-specific opt-in campaigns, these strategies are guaranteed to grow your email list.

What is an Email List?

Before we explore the various strategies you can use to grow your email list, it’s probably worth defining what an email list is to begin with. It might seem pretty self-explanatory—what’s easier to understand than “a list of email addresses”? But if you think of your email list in a slightly more entertaining fashion, you can really get it to sing.

Imagine, if you will, that you’re a multi-platinum selling rockstar, filling stadiums the world over. Wherever you go, you have millions upon millions of adoring fans. (Wouldn’t that be nice?) But with so many fans, how can you be sure everyone is getting what they want?

Some of your fans loved the concert so much, they want to know more about the production. Others loved it but would have preferred something a little more intimate. And even more of your fans watching at home want to know when you’ll be performing in their city.

If only there was some sort of list that would enable you to give your fans access to the content and information they wanted most. A list like… an email list!

Thinking of your email list in this way—not as a random collection of contacts but as a representation of your customers—will help you optimize your content, improve engagement and increase sales.

You can create different lists for your fans and have them self-sort to get the content they want most. A select few might want backstage passes where they get to meet your production team. Others can register in advance to attend the small venues where you’ll be performing new songs. And still others can track your world tour with daily updates so it feels like they’re on the road with you.

Now that you’re thinking about your email list in the right light, let’s figure out how to grow it.

7 Simple Solutions to Grow Your Email List

There are some very simple strategies that you may or may not already be employing to grow your email list. These are strategies that you may have overlooked or are currently using but that you might want to revisit to make sure you’re hitting the right notes.

1. Launch a Re-Engagement Campaign

It’s sad but it’s true: your email list will decay over time. According to the latest reports, you can expect to see your list decay by at least 22.71% per year. That might sound like a lot but there are any number of reasons why your list will depreciate over time. Invalid email addresses, typos, disposable emails and changing customer preferences are just some of the reasons your list decays. That’s why re-engagement campaigns are so important.

Any good CRM will have some form of re-engagement automations and/or email templates. We like MailPoet’s re-engagement features for their simplicity and ease of use. Not to mention, it’s included in their FREE platform and you can customize it to suit your brand.

Try using MailPoet’s re-engagement templates to re-invigorate your email list.>>>

mailpoet re-engagement email template

Removing inactive or invalid contacts from your list might seem counterintuitive if the goal is to grow that same list. But, just as with adoring music fans, quality is better than quantity. A highly engaged audience gives you real-time feedback on the type of content that they prefer so you don’t waste time creating content that doesn’t convert.

You can use Uncanny Automator to further improve your re-engagement campaigns—or prevent the need to launch one at all. In the screenshot above, we’re able to automatically remove a contact from a list (MailPoet will already have added them after a form submission) if they haven’t purchased a subscription in a certain timeframe. We then automatically move them to a different list where, perhaps, they’ll be likelier to engage with our content and convert.

Try making some Automator recipes yourself for FREE to re-engage with your audience.>>>

2. Optimize Your Newsletter Sign-Up Forms and Campaigns

It should go without saying, but optimizing your newsletter sign-up forms and campaigns will improve your chances of getting new subscribers. There are several ways to optimize your newsletter sign-up forms and all of them are easy to implement:

  • Location, Location, Location: Just as with real estate, location is everything in web design. Prominently display your sign-up form(s) strategically on your web pages to ensure users interact with them.
  • See Everything in Technicolor: Using high-contrast colors will make your sign-up forms pop and improve accessibility.
  • 3D: Use shadows, frames and lightboxes to give your form depth and make it stand out from the rest of the page.
  • Less is More: Reduce the number of fields your site visitors have to fill out to complete registration. Ideally, your users should only have to enter their email address. You can collect the rest of their data further down the sales funnel.
  • Give to Get: Offering sign-up incentives—even small ones—can convince more of your site visitors to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Write Your Heart Out: While a simple “Subscribe Now” call-to-action might work for some brands, a more compelling and stylized CTA can grow your email list. Think of your call-to-action as a preview of the kind of content that your new subscribers will be receiving in their email. Infuse it with your brand’s voice and style. Now, “Hit Subscribe and let’s keep reading!”

This OptinMonster sign-up campaign is a great example of what you can do on your own website. Notice that the pop-up only appears as the mouse approaches the upper-left hand corner of the browser, where the “back” button is located. Then, we’re presented with a brightly-colored lightbox and a preview of the type of content that subscribers can expect to see in their inbox. Finally, there’s a well-written call-to-action for site visitors to encourage them to sign-up.

Pair a lightbox form with a few others across your site (scrolling boxes, floating bars, etc.) to make an irresistible campaign that will help you grow your email list in no time.

You can start creating high-converting sign-up forms and campaigns when you download OptinMonster for FREE.>>>

Uncanny Automator can help you optimize your sign-up campaigns with the use of action filters to ensure that the right audience gets the right prompts to sign up. In the picture above, for example, we’re only launching an OptinMonster campaign for customers who have completed a specific LearnDash course. It might be a newsletter campaign aimed at upselling users on the next course in a series or an industry newsletter that offers unique insights.

Optimize your sign-up campaigns with Automator.>>>

3. Embrace Segmentation

If divide and conquer is good enough on the battlefield, it’s good enough in business. In fact, the stats show that it’s more than good enough. Mailchimp, one of the leading CRMs, found that segmented campaigns had 2x the number of clicks as compared to non-segmented campaigns and nearly 10% fewer unsubscribes.

Harnessing the power of segmentation for your email list is more of an art than a science as there are any number of ways to draw your battle lines, so to speak. Age, location, industry, preferred device, purchase history, page views, etc. are all valid segments.

If you want to grow your email list, you’ll need to choose a CRM that is as dynamic as your customers. List-making and contact-tagging are pretty standard features across the board but, for enterprise-level users, we like HubSpot for its plethora of features that go well beyond standard customer relationship management.

Upgrade your CRM to HubSpot to divide and conquer your contact list.>>>

For small or even medium-sized WordPress businesses, it’s tough to beat the value offered by Groundhogg. You can easily segment your audience using tags and differentiate your newsletters with powerful funnels. Considering Groundhogg won’t charge you a “success tax” as your email list grows, it’s one of the best plugins for segmenting an ever-expanding list.

Get started with Groundhogg to grow and segment your email list.>>>

automator ultimate member groundhogg hubspot integration

Uncanny Automator integrates with both Groundhogg and HubSpot. With countless possible combinations of triggers and actions, you’ll be able to segment your email list in any way that optimizes your engagements and maximizes your conversions.

Divide and conquer your email list with Automator.>>>

4. Market for Mobile

Ever since 2017, mobile devices have accounted for more than 50% of internet traffic. As such, if you want to grow your email list, you’ll have to think about responsive design. Optimizing your sign-up campaigns for mobile devices puts you in a position to convert as much traffic as possible. Implement these five key functionality and design features to grow your email list on mobile devices:

  • Simplify Your Sign-Up Form: Mobile screens don’t offer as much space as desktops and laptops so keep your form as concise as possible. Use a single-column, minimalistic design and only include the fields that are absolutely necessary to complete the sign-up process.
  • Use Responsive Design: Whenever you’re designing your email sign-up campaigns, including forms, pages and graphics, keep mobile devices in mind. Learn the key differences between “px”, “em”, “rem”, “vh”, “vw” and “%” for image and element sizing.
  • Use Big Buttons: Designing big, finger-friendly buttons for your sign-up forms makes it easy for mobile users to subscribe. Also, think carefully about the placement of fields and buttons to avoid accidental clicks.
  • Enable Social Media Sign-Up: Giving your users the option to sign up with their social media accounts can save them time and reduce friction by eliminating the need for them to manually type their information.
  • Enable Autofill: Similar to social media sign-up, auto-fill enables mobile browsers to populate form fields with stored user information, making the sign-up process smoother, easier and faster.

5. Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing is the simple process of comparing two different versions of the same content (emails, forms, calls-to-action, pop-ups, etc.) to see which one performs better. Does your audience prefer the acoustic version of your latest hit, or the electronic version? Do they sing along more to the lyrics, “Sign up for my newsletter now!” or “Click to subscribe!” Did the applause last longer with the blue stage lighting or the red?

a/b testing sign up form comparison

If you’ve been trying everything to grow your email list (re-engagement campaigns, optimized forms, segmentation, promotional offers, etc.) and nothing has worked, then it’s time to A/B test your campaigns. Sometimes, a change in form placement, call-to-action text or even just font and background color can be the difference between an email list that stagnates and one that shines.

6. Go Offline

Your email newsletter might exist on the world wide web, but the sign-up process can happen anywhere. If you host in-person events or run a brick and mortar store (or ever venture outside of your home), you have plenty of opportunities to grow your email list. Make use of print materials like your business cards, invoices, receipts, flyers and brochures to market your email list and encourage sign-ups.

For these types of offline workflows, we like Signing up for an account is FREE and you can create, design and download your very own QR code in less than five minutes. Send people scanning your QR code to your mobile-optimized sign-up page or send them a pre-written email with a one-click newsletter subscription button. It’s entirely up to you.

qr code generator design window

Try making your own QR codes to grow your email list.>>>

7. Use AI to Help Write New and Interesting Content

When it comes to newsletters, there’s no substitute for good content. Whether your emails are promotional, curated, blog-style, event based, seasonal or hybrid in nature, they have to be engaging. Simply put, compelling content is at the heart of any growing email list. But, unless you’re as prolific in writing as Mick Jagger is in rocking, constantly creating great content is going to be a challenge.

Fortunately, you can leverage the power of AI to help you keep your content calendar packed with fresh ideas. And you can even use AI with Automator to create more responsive, segmented content that is tailored to each one of your email contacts.

automator mailpoet openai clickup recipe

In the screenshot above, for example, we’re using the information that new subscribers put into our sign-up form to draft original content for their welcome email. By feeding that information into OpenAI with a carefully crafted prompt, we can get individualized content for all of our subscribers. Then it’s just a matter of creating the task in ClickUp for our marketing team to review and put the finishing touches on the draft email before sending it off to our new subscriber.

Try this “uncanny” AI automation yourself.>>>

3 Social Solutions to Grow Your Email List

You’ve probably heard it said before but it bears repeating. Word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing. Did you know, for example, that 90% of consumers trust a brand when someone recommends it to them, even if that someone is a complete stranger? With these pro-social solutions, you can leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing to grow your email list.

8. Post to Social Media

Rockstars use amplifiers to fill stadiums with their sound. Expert email marketers use social media to do the same thing. And, if you connect your WordPress website to your social media accounts, you can amplify your newsletter and grow your email list like a rockstar.

While we could dedicate an entire article to the best ways to promote your newsletter on social media, there are a few best-practices you can implement right now:

  • Share Your Content: Social media is all about sharing so make sure to share as much of your web content to your various platforms as possible. Include a newsletter sign-up form in all of the web content that you intend to share on social media to maximize sign-ups.
  • Use Striking Images: Most social media platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) are visual in nature. Creating stylized images that capture the eye will improve the likelihood that users engage with your content and, ultimately, sign up for your newsletter. You can even use different images across your various platforms to suit the demographic of each audience.
  • Be a Tease: Social media platforms don’t usually lend themselves to long-form content. But a compelling tease with instructions on how to get more of the good stuff (i.e. subscribe to your newsletter) will drive people from scrolling to subscribing in no time.
  • Grab the Headlines: For better or worse, click-bait titles matter. Nearly 60% of people share articles on social media without actually ever reading them (or ever intending to). Writing eye-catching headlines to go along with your striking images will encourage more shares and further your content’s reach.
automator social media integrations

As the #1 WordPress automation and integration tool, Automator is a powerful post-to-social WordPress plugin. Get social with Automator and grow your email list on your favorite platforms.>>>

9. Leverage Your Existing Contacts

We bet you didn’t know that your email list was a self-perpetuating social network. While we did mention earlier that your email list will decay over time, it does have the ability to regenerate itself. With the clever use of “Forward to a friend” links, you can get your existing contacts to grow your list for you.

mailchimp "forward to a friend" link

Of all the CRM apps and plugins out there, we find that Mailchimp has one of the easiest-to-use “Forward to a friend” tools. Because it’s simply a link, you can customize the forwarding call-to-action and place it anywhere in your email that you think is most likely to get engagement. Even if you’re not using Mailchimp, it’s worth signing up for their free version, importing some of your contacts and experimenting with this feature.

Help your contacts spread the love with Mailchimp.>>>

automator wp mail smtp pro advanced coupons recipe

As always, you can enhance this strategy with Uncanny Automator. Use a click-tracking automation to reward your contacts for sharing your newsletter by offering them store credit, an exclusive coupon or a higher membership level on your website.

10. Write and Feature Guest Content

Have you ever wondered why rockstars like to collaborate with other musicians? Quite apart from having an awesome jam session, it’s also an opportunity for them to reach new audiences that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Similarly, writing posts and newsletters for other marketers will give you instantaneous access to a whole list of potential subscribers. Don’t forget to include a compelling call-to-action in all of your guest content so that your new audience members know where and how to find you.

4 Ways to Incentivize Sign-Ups

Sometimes, we all just need a little encouragement. If it seems like your site visitors are getting a case of stage fright when it comes to your opt-in workflows, then you can give them a gentle nudge towards stepping into the spotlight and hitting that “Subscribe!” button. These four proven strategies incentivize new subscribers to sign-up and stay tuned in.

11. Host a Giveaway Contest

The t-shirt cannon is a staple at every sold-out rock concert. And there’s a reason why it gets people excited: everyone loves the chance to win! (Even if the thing they’re winning is a t-shirt big enough to double as a beach towel.) Occasionally tying a giveaway contest to your email newsletter is a great way to grow your email list and foster active engagement with subscribers.

rafflepress homepage

When it comes to WordPress giveaway plugins, RafflePress is by far and away the most popular and powerful. With a drag-and-drop builder, ready-made templates and fraud protection, you can set up a giveaway promotion in minutes—and grow your email list just as quickly. Of course, RafflePress integrates with most CRM and mailer plugins such as ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit and FluentCRM so tying your giveaways to your mailing list is a cinch.

In the spirit of giving, give RafflePress a go and grow your email list.>>>

12. Offer Lead Magnets

While we’re on the topic of things that are free, lead magnets (or lead generation offers) are another great way to grow your email list. However, instead of gamifying your new subscribers’ chances of winning something awesome, guarantee them a freebie when they sign-up.

free ebook lead magnet

A classic example of a lead generating offer is a free ebook upon subscription. Downloadable products like ebooks are easy to deliver and don’t incur additional costs for you as your email list grows. Nevertheless, more than 1/3 of marketers feel that subscribers don’t appreciate the value of their lead generation offer. As such, you’ll want to tailor your lead magnet to each specific audience.

13. Send Valuable Information via Email

It should go without saying but newsletters are, ultimately, about the news—your news. Product launches, updates, sales, knowledge building and important reminders are just some examples of the vital information that you can convey to your subscribers via email.

automator fluent support hubspot recipe

A simple time-saving automation, for example, could be adding your contacts to a “Knowledge and Support” mailing list after they’ve opened a ticket. Sending these contacts a ready-made email with FAQs, links to support forums or key product information pages can save time for your support team. And spare your customers from unnecessary headaches.

Try this and other time-saving automations yourself.>>>

14. Use Opt-In Plugins

Finally, if you’re trying to grow your email list, know that you’re not alone. You can draw on the expertise of professional marketers and developers by downloading opt-in plugins. With pre-built templates and seamless integrations, you’ll be growing your email list faster than you can draft your emails.

mailpoet homepage

OptinMonster, MailPoet and Thrive Leads are three of the most popular and effective opt-in plugins to help you grow your email list.

Grow Your Email List with Automator

You might not be a Grammy-winning rockstar (or maybe you are, do let us know) but there’s no reason you can’t have an email list that rocks. With the right plugins, like Uncanny Automator, you can “autotune” your list-building workflows to make sure you’re hitting all of the right notes.

Want some help implementing list-building automations that rock? Drop us a line in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to reply with an encore you won’t want to miss!

author avatar
Brendan Da Costa
Brendan Da Costa is a WordPress content writer with a Shakespearean-level gift of gab (his words, not ours). He left a successful career in economics to pursue his passion for writing and discovered the wonderful world of WordPress while building his own website to showcase his work. As a self-taught enthusiast who spends more time tinkering with plugins and themes than he would care to admit, Brendan writes equally for WordPress beginners and veteran developers alike. With his unique blend of expertise and creativity, he continues to elevate the digital landscape one WordPress article at a time.

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