A Simple 2 Step Formula for Growing Your Email List8 min read

Email marketing is here to stay, regardless of what haters are saying.

Think about it. You own the list, you are able to reach out to your readers directly, when you want, how often you want to, and you can easily switch platforms, promote new content, and sell products and services.

Of course, for the most popular marketing tool of them all, there are a plethora of strategies and techniques you can use to grow your email list, but the truth is that the best way is also incredibly simple.

Today, I’m going to share with you a simple, two-step formula for growing your email list.

1. Offer a captivating lead magnet

Also known as an “opt-in bribe,” a lead magnet is a free download you use to incentivize people to subscribe to your list. In other words, you give them something in exchange for their email address.

This, of course, is nothing new. A lot of bloggers offer such a lead magnet (or even multiple lead magnets) in order to grow their email lists, but they rarely offer something that makes their blog readers think, “I need that now.”

That’s what you want to happen when you promote your lead magnet. You want people to go “yes, wow. I want in.”

How do you do that?

By offering a lead-magnet something that others within your niche are asking money for.

Would your readers pay for this freebie you are offering? Great.

At the same time, there are a few other questions you might want to answer:

  1. Is your lead magnet highly relevant to your audience?
  2. Is your lead magnet a product that allows your readers to solve a problem or overcome a challenge?
  3. Can you easily define the value you add with your lead magnet?
  4. Do you offer similar products to your lead magnet for sale?

As an example, our own “offer” for new subscribers to the newsletter is The Art of Blogging’s eBook, a 76 page downloadable PDF they can use as a framework for building a successful blog. And, yes, we also do sell a few other tutorials and eBooks on our e-store.

The sky is the limit (seriously!) when deciding on what exactly to offer your readers. You can offer them:

And the list goes on.

Another thing you need to consider as you put together your lead magnet is that, because they have become so popular, your offer needs to stand out from the crowd.

Yes, you are going to have to put in some work to get people to download something you are offering for free.

Don’t have an email service provider yet?

These are some of the tools you can use:

1. MailerLite. It’s what we use, what we recommend, and it’s both one of the most affordable ESPs and also one of the most feature-rich options out there.

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Oh, and they do integrate wonderfully with even free WordPress.com blogs.

2. Sendinblue

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Trusted by over 175,000 users, Sendinblue is a complete platform, offering email marketing, SMS, chat, automations, transactional emails, landing pages, and more.

Oh, and their free plan offers you just enough features to figure out if it’s worth upgrading to a paid plan or not.

3. Constant Contact

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Another interesting email service provider is ConstantContact.

It offers all the tools you need as an email marketer, including list segmentation, landing pages, signup forms, automations, and more.

It’s not as feature rich as Sendinblue, but it does cover all the necessary basics of setting up a proper newsletter for your blog.

2. Use a pop-up to promote your lead magnet

The second and final step is to make it insanely easy for people to subscribe to your email list and get that free download.

And a pop-up is one of the best ways to do that.

MailerLite, the tool we use for all our email marketing needs here at The Art of Blogging, offers a plethora of options when it comes to creating a pop-up (and it offers easy integration even with all WordPress.com blogs).

There are a few things to consider when designing your pop-up:

  1. Keep it visually entertaining. That’s why you need a custom graphic or cover image to promote your lead magnet.
  2. Do not add to much information. No one reads a five hundred word pitch on a pop-up. Keep it simple, short, and concise.
  3. Use social proof to your advantage. Showcase a testimonial from one of your subscribers, or, if you have the numbers, showcase how many email subscribers you have.
  4. Use a compelling call to action, one that relates to the main benefit of your lead magnet.

Of course, as every other tactic that involves growing your numbers as a blogger, you must use social proof to your advantage.

Social proof is simply your ability to promote your blog in a way that makes it seem like the type of blog everyone would like to subscribe to.

Fear of missing out is a powerful motivator, and it’s something you can use to your advantage.

Adding a countdown, for instance, is a brilliant way to further incentivize your readers to take action and subscribe to your email list.

How you deliver the eBook does not matter as much. Yes, you can set up an automation or simply choose to enable double-opt in and add the link to your eBook as the double opt-in “thank you” page.

However, I do think it’s best to go through a couple of extra steps to set up a simple automation to deliver the eBook to your readers, while also advertising your blog (or sharing social media links and so on.)

This is the email we send out to folks when they subscribe via our pop-up.

The message is clear, concise, and simple:

Hey ,

Thanks for subscribing to The Art of Blogging’s newsletter.

We are a platform dedicated to helping independent bloggers turbocharge their content, grow their audiences, and monetize their ideas and words.

As the first gift to you, you get to download The Art of Blogging eBook for free. — you can access it here.

After all, folks want access to their freebie as soon as possible.

We all add an image, and link, and a download button that all lead to the PDF.

Oh, and there’s a mention and a link to our e-store in case they want more help with their blogging.

That’s pretty much it.

A simple, two-step process you can use to grow your email list:

  1. Offer a captivating lead magnet
  2. Promote it with a pop-up on your blog.

If you have yet to start using email newsletters to grow your blog’s audience, we do recommend MailerLite. Or, maybe, read our comparison of the best alternatives to Mailchimp.

DisclosureThis post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchaseat no additional cost to you.

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Cristian Mihai
Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.
Articles: 143


  1. Such a great read! Thank you for the mention! We love to hear what our users think of us. Our goal is to make sure we grow a great community.

    – Lay
    Online Reputation Manager, MailerLite

  2. Totally adding this to my TBR!!

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