7 Creative Ways to Build Your Email List and Increase Sales

Creative Ways to Build Your Email List and Increase Sales: Building a highly engaged email list is crucial for growing your business in 2023 and beyond. But collecting email subscribers and keeping them active takes creativity and strategic thinking.

Simply adding a basic signup form to your site isn’t enough these days. You need unique ways to convert visitors into loyal subscribers who open and click on your emails.

We’ve tested dozens of outside-the-box tactics to expand our email lists and keep our audience engaged over the years. Read on to discover our proven list building hacks that can double your email list virtually overnight!

Tactic #1: Offer “Lead Magnet” Content Upfront

People won’t hand over their email address without getting some perceived value in return. Offering free, downloadable “lead magnet” content in exchange for an email signup is an incredibly effective tactic.

These lead magnet assets can include:

  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Cheatsheets
  • Free tools
  • Video training
  • Checklists
  • Audiobook summaries
  • Samples or demos

Choose topics strategically aligned with your audience’s interests and pain points. The more relevant value you provide, the more leads you’ll generate.

Tactic #2: Gate Your Best Content

Along with creating dedicated lead magnets, consider gating some of your best website content behind an email signup form.

For example, only provide full access to resources like:

  • Special reports
  • Industry guides -DATASETS
  • Webinar replays
  • Case studies
  • Free trials

After signing up via email, subscribers can access the full, downloadable content. This turns one-time website visitors into long-term audience members.

Tactic #3: Run Content Upgrades

While gated content works well on blogs and resource pages, you can take it a step further with content upgrades.

With this approach, you first share great free content in a blog post, video, or article. Then halfway through, you can introduce a more detailed “upgrade” version available via email signup.

For instance, provide access to a companion resource like:

  • Complete guide to the post topic
  • Step-by-step checklist
  • Resource spreadsheet
  • Extra audio or video training

This taps into the psychology of commitment and consistency – getting visitors to take a small step to get more value. The email gate then converts them into subscribers.

Tactic #4: Add Email Signup Slide-Ins

Another angle to capture more email signups is using slide-in popups or overlays on your website. These can engage visitors when they:

  • Have scrolled past a certain point on posts or pages
  • Click to leave your site
  • Spend a set time on your site

The slide-in can highlight a compelling lead magnet offer targeted to their interests. For example:

  • An ebook or guide related to the page topic
  • Entry into a giveaway or contest
  • Insider tips or exclusive updates

Just make sure slide-ins feel useful rather than annoying to boost conversions.

Tactic #5: Run Giveaways and Sweepstakes

Giveaways are a tried and true tactic for quickly growing email subscribers. Everyone loves getting something for free!

Some giveaway ideas include:

  • Prize packages with multiple winners
  • High-value items like tech devices or gift cards
  • Special experiences like hotel stays or event tickets
  • Free access to a paid product or program

Require email signup to enter. You can also ask for other details like demographics to learn more about your audience.

Promote your giveaway via social media, PPC ads, email, and website banners. Capture new leads from giveaway traffic by making it go viral.

Tactic #6: Leverage Social Insiders

Work with engaged social media followers, current customers, industry peers, and micro-influencers to help spread the word about your list-building campaigns.

Some ways they can help amplify your efforts:

  • Sharing lead magnet links and giveaways
  • Emailing lists about your content upgrades
  • Posting promotional text, images, or video
  • Referring their friends and followers your way

Incentivize their support by offering rewards for referrals, shares, or emails sent. Gain exponential exposure by leveraging your insider circle.

Tactic #7: Promote Via Paid Ads

Beyond organic and social promotion, paid advertising can skyrocket email lead generation quickly.

Leverage platforms like Facebook ads, Google search ads, Quora ads, YouTube ads, LinkedIn ads, and Reddit ads to get your offers in front of many new potential subscribers.

Target your ads around:

  • Keywords related to your content or offers
  • Interests and demographics that align with your audience
  • Past visitors of your website or customers
  • Lookalike audiences modeled off customers

Then track conversions carefully to double down on winning placements, creatives, and targeting.

Follow-Up Tactics to Increase Email Engagement

Attracting newsletter signups is only step one. You need rock-solid follow-up tactics to keep new subscribers engaged and hooked on your emails long-term.

Here are our top strategies for maximizing email engagement:

Welcome Sequence

Don’t just collect emails without immediately showing value. Set up a 3-5 email welcome sequence that shares your best content with new subscribers right away.

Send guide downloads, product resources, or training assets to onboard them into your email community.

Ask For Interests

Not all subscribers have the same needs. Send a follow-up survey to get their interests and communication preferences. Then you can segment emails and offers accordingly.

Send Consistently

Don’t let weeks or months pass without emailing subscribers. Send broadcasts on a consistent basis so you stay top of mind.

Promotional Schedule

Promote key assets on a schedule instead of randomly. For instance, promote new lead magnets each Monday and product releases on Fridays. Consistent timing trains subscribers to watch for and open your emails.

Subject Line A/B Testing

Never stop refining your subject lines. A/B test different subject line versions to uncover what gets opened most. Then apply those learnings to future broadcast subject lines.

Get Personal

Tailor email content and messaging to different subscriber segments where possible. Use merge tags to incorporate first names. Send to specific niches based on interests. Personalized content comes across as more valuable.

Surprise and Delight

Go above and beyond with surprise giveaways, exclusive insider content, or contests just for email subscribers. Delight subscribers with random acts of value to exceed their expectations.


Attracting new email subscribers is one thing. But keeping them highly engaged for the long-haul takes work. You need both creative list building tactics and strategic follow-up campaigns.

Apply these advanced email list building strategies to capture thousands of new leads. Then use smart onboarding and promotions to supercharge engagement. With this comprehensive approach, you can rapidly grow and optimize a high-quality email list that drives business forward.

What unique list building ideas will you test first? The options are limitless for finding converts in surprising places. Get creative and think outside the box! With the right mix of lead magnets, content upgrades, incentives, and follow-ups that delight, you’ll double your email list and revenue in no time.

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