10 Creative Ways to Build a List of Subscribers

Sometimes great marketing means being able to think outside the box. This way, you can find new ways to make your content and products seem interesting, you can reach people in ways and places they otherwise wouldn’t expect and you can find new opportunities that others missed. Creativity is often what sets the successes apart from the failures, so read on to see 10 creative ways you can build subscribers for your list.

1. Competitions

Running a competition is a great way to collect e-mails and to create some excitement around your list. You can even team up with another brand!

2. Prize Draws

Or how about an on-going competition in the form of a prize draw? You can even be creative on what the prizes are. How about a mystery surprise.?

3. Get Your Subscribers to Grow Your List For You!

Tell your subscribers you’ll share your most powerful tip but only if they help you grow your list to an extra 100!

Want a secret way to set up this winner?

Write a series of email messages giving tips to increase their value in whatever niche it is you’re marketing to. But, you leave one key ingredient out. One key step in the process.

You want to build up the tease.

Then, after you’ve sent 4 – 5 email messages out, getting the entire audience’s appetite whetted for the conclusion. Just STOP the sequence! Stop it and tell them if they grow your email list to the next higher 100 (or 1,000), you’ll give them the conclusive message to solve that problem in their life.

4. Member of the Week

Get your members excited to be a part of something by featuring a regular ‘member of the week’.

I like doing this in connection to an active social media private group. Each week, I promote the most active member of the week – or one who has contributed the most value to the group this week.

You get a number of benefits from this trick

First, you get new contributions of value to your group from other sources.

Second, your group stays active (in hopes of winning the “member of the week” moniker and badge)

Third, if you give the Member of the Week some type of reward, you’ve shown the members that there is value in being a part of your email list.

5. Chats and Meetups

Another way to make your list more engaging and to build buzz is to have chats, seminars and meet-ups. You can do them online or even in person!

This technique is similar to the section below titled “Throw an Event.”

But, I like this one much more, because it can be utilized completely online, if you have the skills and the tools.

I built an entire new list a few months ago by offering church pastors a free gift and a three hour “virtual summit” that included two little known speakers who had some knowledge pastors wanted to learn, and one speaker who pastors wanted to hear. (It cost me a little bit to get the keynote speaker. The other who were free.)

  • I maximized the audiences each of the three speakers had developed and my own by:
  • Sending an email out to every subscriber on all four email lists (three speakers plus mine).
  • Offering an irresistible offer in exchange for their email address.
  • Getting the three speakers to give me their current email list to build a “lookalike audience” on Facebook and advertising the summit to new, untapped prospects very similar to those who are already on the speakers’ lists.

This helped me help grow my guests’ lists with new names, too!

6. Market Them

Market members of your list to the other members of your list. This way you give them a financial motive for signing up!

I’m on a list that gets me a new writing gig about once a month. I subscribed to their free email list years ago. As part of the list, I completed a form describing the things I did well for digital marketers.

That list and our individual skills were catalogued into a spreadsheet. That’s all it is, just a spreadsheet. And, I don’t mind saying that I paid about $25 to get on the list. But, that investment has paid for itself a minimum of 10-times over each month!

7. Affiliate Schemes

You can even run an affiliate scheme and pay other marketers for getting members onto your list. As long as you have a good monetization method, this will provide a return on investment.

I wouldn’t do this early on in your business plan, unless you have some deep pockets funding your startup.

But, if you’re an established business, this can be a profitable.

Offer an incentive payment for each new email address your affiliates adds to your list.

You can also do this by posting “guest blog posts,” being a podcast or live video guest, or some other way to help an affiliate give something of value to their audience.

The idea with using affiliates to grow your email list is that you give them something valuable to their audience plus a payment for each subscriber in turn for a new subscriber on your email list.

But, you better have something the new subscriber wants. And, you better make sure you’ve got a plan to monetize the new names being aded to your list.

8. Online Tool

Ad an online tool to your website but require an e-mail address for people to sign up and use it. Of course the real creativity comes from knowing what to create!

I love this technique, and one of my Search Engine Optimization mentors, Neil Patel, has mastered this technique.

9. Throw an Event

You can even throw an event in real life in order to get people in one place where you can hand out cards or collect e-mails. If you’re not up for throwing an event then just attend one such as a tradeshow or networking event.

An event could be something as simple as a meeting at a movie theater (if your followers love a specific type of movie or a specific star). Or, just a meeting at a coffee shop. Whatever it is, just make sure you’ve giving them value for showing up.

If it’s valuable enough, charge them a little bit for it. That’s fine. Just make sure you get the email address of every person who attends, to make it valuable to you.

10. Publish Your Emails Online

Want to demonstrate what amazing value and quality you are offering with your emails? Then why not publish them on your site! Or better yet, publish a portion of them on your site so that people have to keep reading by signing up!

This seems like a counter-intuitive way to get people to subscribe to your list. But, Eric Homland over at EricsTips.com does this every week. And, this list keeps growing!

It’s a great concept. Write a post on your blog, send the content to your subscribers, then, a month later, add the content to your blog. Now, the subscribers get a premium (if your content is good enough) in that they learned your new technique early. And, they also get an easy, online library of everything you’ve ever sent to their inbox, in case they want to re-read your message and learn your lesson.

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