9 Free Email List Building Strategies Updated for 2024

Updated: 28 October, 2023

Email list building is a strategic game. You need to employ multiple strategies, test which ones work, and then utilize what works best for you and your business. In this tutorial, I’m going to provide you with 9 free email list-building strategies that you can start using to determine what works for you.

Email List Building Strategy #1: Let’s Play A Game

Utilize gamification, which involves designing interactive elements on your website that resemble a game. When visitors interact, they receive rewards. Examples of gamification for email list building include spin-to-win or wheel of fortune-type apps, surveys, quizzes, virtual scratch-off tickets, and tests.

Email List Building Strategy #2: Implement a Referral Program

People love to share things they love. Encourage your current subscribers to refer others to your email list by rewarding them for doing so. You can offer incentives such as payments or redeemable points for referrals. Various apps can help you set up and manage a referral program for your online business.

Email List Building Strategy #3: Offer a Content Upgrade

A content upgrade is an additional piece of content offered within an existing blog post or article. It entices readers to join your email list. For example, if your content is about building an email list, you can provide an opt-in form that allows readers to access a video tutorial on the same topic. Consider offering content upgrades for every piece of content you create to maximize lead generation.

Email List Building Strategy #4: Host a Contest

Organizing a contest is an effective method to grow your email list. Identify a desirable prize that your target audience would love to win, and then create a contest where entrants must opt-in to your email list for a chance to win. Numerous tools and apps are available to help you manage contests, so explore your options to choose the best fit for your business.

Email List Building Strategy #5: Strategic Discount Codes

Offering discount codes is a proven method to entice people to share their email addresses. Take it a step further by adding a discount code during the checkout process, requiring visitors to opt-in to your email list to access the discount. This not only builds your email list but can also convert potential customers who are already on the verge of making a purchase. Additionally, having their email allows you to re-engage with cart abandoners and increase the chances of converting them into customers.

Email List Building Strategy #6: Exit Intent Pop-Ups

When a visitor is about to leave your website without taking any action, you risk losing them forever. Implement an exit-intent pop-up offering a valuable freebie to capture their email addresses. Most visitors believe they will return to a website, but in reality, they often don’t. Craft an irresistible offer that compels them to share their email address before they exit your site.

Email List Building Strategy #7: Presell Notifications

Create lead capture pages or opt-in forms that offer presell notifications. This is an effective strategy to build a list of highly targeted buyers who want to be informed when your products become available. Consider using scarcity tactics to encourage opt-ins. If potential customers fear missing out, they are more likely to join your list and engage with your email content.

Email List Building Strategy #8: Multiple Strategies for E-commerce Stores

For e-commerce stores, leverage multiple lead capture strategies in various areas of your site. In addition to presell notifications, consider implementing cart abandonment strategies, collection updates (for those selling collections of items), and back-in-stock notifications. It’s essential for your e-commerce store to utilize every available lead capture form strategy to maximize your list-building efforts.

Email List Building Strategy #9: Use the Free Account Strategy

Offering a “free account” on your website is an excellent approach to growing your email list. Provide access to freebies, discounts, and other incentives to promote your business. When users sign up for their free accounts, automatically add them to your email list. This strategy holds a high perceived value and serves as a strong incentive for people to join your list.

As demonstrated by the strategies presented here, successful email list building requires the use of multiple approaches. Start with a solid lead capture page for your business and drive traffic to it. As time goes on, evaluate your strategies to identify what’s working and what isn’t. Focus on the strategies that deliver results and continue to refine your email list-building efforts.


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Reg Ervin

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