By now we all know that having an email list is one of the best ways to grow your business. So numbers matter. What matters more though, is the type of people on your list. You don’t just want to be collecting names for the sake of it, so how you grow your list matters.

You want people that want to hear from you, and more so, you want people who want to buy from you. For this reason, I never ever ever recommend buying a list. Most likely you will be buying ‘dead leads’, meaning that these people have no interest in hearing from you and they will be a waste of money.

So how do you get the right people on your list?

I’d like to share 5 steps to grow your mailing list authentically.

1. Optimise your opt-in

You can do this by making it easy for people to sign up. Firstly, have an opt-in box in a prominent location. Secondly, entice them to join you by offering them an incentive (a.k.a. your opt-in gift). Also, ask for as little information as possible. I recommend asking for their name so that you can personalise your emails and of course for their email address. That’s it, no more.

2. Put your opt-in box in various locations

Give your visitors numerous opportunities to join you by adding your opt-in box in various locations on your website and marketing material. For example, add it to your homepage, your blog sidebar, your thank you pages, your landing page and have a list form ready at live events or markets.

3. Give them the warmest welcome

In your welcome email make sure they feel so special they never want to leave. You can do this by personalizing it (remember to ask for their name during sign up), say a big big thank you for joining your tribe, giving them your opt-in gift there and then, and make sure you email them right away (you can use automation to do this).

4. Offer value

Make sure you stay in touch regularly and offer value to your subscribers. This starts with an enticing subject line to invite them to open your email. Make them curious to click on your email to open it. Make your email look spectacular by using your branding and images, just make sure you don’t overdo it. Keep it simple but stunning.

5. Make it easy to share

Make your email easy to share by adding share buttons, but more importantly make it so good that people want to share your content. Offer such great value that people email you to say thank you and that they simply want to forward it to their friends and peers because it’s so good.