HomeResources10 effective ways to grow your email database

10 effective ways to grow your email database

13th September 2022 - 6 mins


By Ellie Beeby

, Senior Account Manager

A growing, healthy and engaged email list is what all email marketers strive for and is vital for successful campaigns. But how do we get new customers to join our audience?

How do we continue to grow our customer base to increase conversion and retention opportunities? Here are 10 ways to help your business grow your email database and increase your customer base:

1) Maximise website sign up opportunities

Let’s start with the basics… a potential customer is browsing your website and engaging with your brand making your website the perfect place for them to sign up and take the next step in their relationship with you.
Here are two easy tactics that can support your website acquisition journey

      1. Header or Footer sign up field – A simple field in place for prospects to submit their email address. This makes the ability to sign up to emails easily accessible across all pages of the website.
      2. Website pop-ups – Pop-ups aren’t as dead as we think and as shopping activity transferred heavily to online, they’re more accepted than ever with journeys like email sign up being anticipated by customers.

Women subscribing to an email list

2) Incentivise with offers, free delivery or an exclusive welcome email sign up discounts

As always consumers are protective over their data however, 60% of users will complete the sign-up process to receive an offer (DMA).
Who doesn’t love a discount, whether its free delivery or 10% of the first order incentivising will help encourage customers to sign up and grow your email audience.
The impact of an incentive may vary based on your customer base, so don’t be afraid to test. It’s important that if you’re going to incentivise the journey that the offer is compelling to your audience in order to maximise sign up rate; here a few examples to get your started

  • Money off your first order
  • Free delivery
  • Free samples


3) Use social media acquisition to convert your followers into email list subscribers

More than half of the world are on social media (Smart Insights) and with such a large following why not reach out to your social audience and get them to engage them further with your brand and sign up to your database.
Social platforms such as Facebook allows brand profiles to add specific sign-up CTAs to the profile page making signing up to your email list as easy as possible.
The CTA is quick and easy for customers to use and doesn’t interrupt their online journey, promoting a positive user experience when engaging with your brand.
Not only can you optimise your profile but you can optimise your social content; giving the audience a sneak peek of what to expect from your emails.
This gives the audience a preview of the extra value your brand can provide and outline how that by signing-up you and your brand will continue to provide value. You may even want to consider one of the discount offerings above to increase the likelihood of customers signing up.
Women using her iPad

4) Use competitions and prize draws to encourage people to give you their email address

Giving your audience the change to win something of value through competitions and prize draws are a great way to encourage your audience to interact with your brand and sign up to your marketing database.
These are great tactics across social media and can support with user generated content such as post shares; getting your audience to share and increase the reach of your brands content.
Building brand awareness with new audiences whilst driving more email newsletter sign ups – it’s a win win.

5) Become a trusted source and offer your audience tips & advice via blog content

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get blogging.
Regardless of what sector your brand falls under blogs are a great way to increase your brands visibility online; showcasing your brand’s persona in order to build a relationship with your audience by bringing them value through blog content.
Valuable content will show your brand as an industry leader, helping your audience understand more about your products, your business and answer questions that have previously deterred them from purchasing.
Once you’ve built up enough valuable content, website visitors will be compelled to sign up to your newsletter – just make sure you’ve maximised your email sign-up process on your website as outlined in tip 1.
Older man checking iPad

6) Include social proof

Did you know that 91% of shoppers read online review before making a purchase (Bizrate Insights) so let your customers help sell your brand by sharing your customer feedback and kinds words.
Including reviews in the sign-up process, will provide potential future customers with genuine value and encourage customers to submit their contact information.
Social proof isn’t just about reviews; show your prospect audience how many customers are already subscribed and part of your brand’s community.
It is that fear of missing out (FOMO) that encourages customers to take action and can be a very powerful marketing tool.
Women at checkout

7) Instore sign up – at the checkout or via QR codes

It is important not to forget about your audience that are active and engaging with your brand offline. Most online sales journeys include the ability to opt-in for marketing at the point of checking out so why not do the same in your stores?
Launching a data capture mechanism in store will support your brands wider digital strategy by growing your email database.
Allowing for communications to reach a larger audience and creating more opportunity for personalisation based on your customer’s shopping habits, with local store information and events.
QR codes are back, providing customers with seamless, easy to use journeys. The use of QR codes at the point of sale in store allows customers to take action themselves with no prompt required.

8) Easy online checkout sign up

A simple step to add into the checkout journey is a tick box to opt into marketing, and something most ecommerce platforms allow you easily put in place.
If possible, avoid the need for a customer to create an account as leading ecommerce platform Shopify highlight mandatory account creation as a key reason for customers abandoning the purchase journey.
Pop the email sign up form after the customer has completed their purchase – there will be no better time than now to ask users who use the guest checkout option. Conversion rates here should be higher than any other page on the website.
Man checking his phone a bit unsure

9) Shareable content

Let your current audience help you and give them shareable content across social media, on your website and even in direct marketing channels such as email.
Allowing your audience to share your content will increase the reach of your brand and your content will become more authentic and trusted. And more reach increases the opportunity for prospects to interact with your brand and exposing them to your email sign up captures. (if you’ve followed some of the earlier steps)
Ultimately, quickly growing your email lists and database size requires the help of your brand advocates, they’ll be able to drive new visitors to your website or social platforms faster.

10) Early access and email subscriber exclusives

You can grow your email list by offering email subscribers early access to new products ahead of a general website launch. This air of exclusivity on high demand and appealing stock is often more than enough to encourage your audience to sign up.
It’s not just about new product launches. A trend that has been trialled in the last couple of years, especially on fashion ecommerce sites, is to only reveal certain products or colourways of a product to those users who have provided their email address. The product is greyed out and unveiled once an email address is provided. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues to grow.
And there we have it 10 simple, yet effective, ways to help grow your email database.

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About the author

Ellie Beeby
Ellie Beeby Senior Account Manager

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