Like anything you want to thrive and grow, your email list needs tending to. According to our research, 66% percent of businesses want to improve the quality of their email list.

Businesses know that quality trumps quantity. However, building a quality list takes time, and time is a hot commodity for many businesses. To help grow your retail email list – and save time – check out this list of eight proven ways to get more quality contacts. We’ve even included tools to help you achieve each item on the list.

1. Add a sign up form to your website

Turn website visitors into email contacts by adding an email sign up form to your website. While the term “form” makes it sound like visitors have to fill out a five-page questionnaire to sign up for your list, that’s not the case at all.


You can customize this kind of form to collect as much or as little information about your subscribers as you want. For instance, the form might ask for their birthday, position at a company or their location.

The key is to keep the form short. It’s best to collect 1-3 pieces of information at a time. You can always collect more data as you go. Grab more email sign up form tips here.

Tools to help: Campaign Monitor customers can use a Campaign Monitor sign up form, CreateForm or a WordPress tool to set up a form on their website.

2. Get fans to sign up for your email list on Facebook

Your website visitors aren’t necessarily the same people that visit your social media channels, which is why you should have another sign up option on your Facebook page.

Campaign Monitor customer, Speck, uses a subscribe link on its page. Here’s how it looks:


The “Subscribe” link sits just to the right of the page. When people click the link, they see a sign up form embedded in the Speck Facebook page where they can enter the info requested.

Tools to help: Ready to add a sign up forms to your company’s Facebook page? Follow these instructions to get it set up. Your email contacts will flow seamlessly into your Campaign Monitor account.

3. Add a pop up to your website

When visitors come to your website, use a pop up ad to encourage customers to give you their email address in exchange for a hot deal. Always remember that email marketing is permission-based and you should only send subscribers what they’ve opted-in to receive.

You’re probably wondering if pop up ads really work. A photography blog tried pop ups as a way to increase their email list, and subscriber rates went from 40 per day to 400 per day. So, yes, opt-in pop ups work.

Campaign Monitor customer, La Mer, uses this tasteful pop up with an incentive for subscribers to sign up for their email list.


If you decide to include a pop up on your website, adding an incentive is a good way to convince subscribers to sign up. Try offering a coupon to first-time customers or a free gift.

Tools to help: Campaign Monitor customers can use one of several apps to add a pop up to their website, including a WordPress tool and ScrollBox.

4. Run a Facebook Lead Ad

Facebook offers an advertising option that collects email addresses. You can create an ad that encourages potential customers to sign up for your emails.

When creating the ad, you’ll customize the form that you want potential customers to fill out, and select specific audiences so the ad is shown to people that are likely interested in your product.

Here’s what an ad looks like:


When a person clicks on the ad, a pre-populated form comes up. Any information that the person has shared with Facebook is filled in on the form, so things like a person’s name, email address, and phone number are already complete. Then, all that’s left is for the user to hit the submit button.

Tools to help: Campaign Monitor customers can use Zapier, a tool to ensure the contacts that are collected from the Facebook Lead Ad stream directly into their account.

5. Create a Twitter Lead Generation Card

Twitter offers a lead-generating ad that’s similar to Facebook’s. Both ads function in a similar way. You create the ad that gives potential subscribers a deal; maybe 20% off their first purchase for joining your email list. To sign up, the subscriber clicks on the ad and submits a pre-filled form that has the person’s name and email address on it.

Tools to use: Follow these instructions to sync your Twitter ad to your Campaign Monitor account.

6. Create a referral email campaign

Let your best customers do a little marketing for you with a referral email campaign. Create a promotional email that your loyal customers can forward to a friend. Consider giving new customers an introductory coupon, or a free trial of your service. And, reward any customers that refer your product with a similar deal.

Birchbox created this referral campaign that offers incentives for getting one, two, or three friends to sign up for a monthly beauty box delivery.


Tools to use: To help you keep track of new sign ups and the customers that successfully referred subscribers, use InviteReferrals. It’s a tool that’s integrated with Campaign Monitor to create seamless referral programs.

7. Get customers to sign up in-store

When your customers come through your checkout, you can engage them in conversation and ask them for their email address. You can turn a regular iPad into an email collection point and have customers enter their information while the cashier rings them out.

Here’s what your iPad could look like:

Tools to use: Campaign Monitor has an app, Enlist, which helps you convert your iPad into a customizable sign up station. With just a few taps, your customers can join your list.

8. Host an event

If you’re looking to attract new subscribers, why not host an event? People that are interested in your event can register via email, which you can then use to communicate with attendees. You can send event schedules, updates on speakers, parking information, and reminder notices.

Tools to use: Campaign Monitor has several apps that are helpful for event planning. Check out EventHQ, GuestList and Eventbrite.

Wrap up

With these eight tactics, you’ll cultivate a strong email list that’s always growing. It’s important to constantly work to attract new customers to your list. You want a good combination of loyal subscribers and fresh, new subscribers to reach out to at all times.

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