It can’t be overstated: an email list can be transformative for your brand. It’s one of the most effective ways to communicate with people who care about what you have to say.

You already know that.

Here, we’ll break down the email list building strategies that will help you cut through the noise and build your audience faster.

They work through a combination of psychology, utility, and adding value. In other words: the recipe for success online. Let’s take a look at the most effective list building strategies you can start implementing today.

Interactive quizzes

Interactive quizzes are an effective way to grow your email list because they tap into human psychology. According to Dr. Robert Simmerman, a psychologist in Atlanta GA, quizzes connect with a part of our psyche that regulates the narratives we’ve created about the world and our role within it.

This is called narrative psychology and it determines what we think about ourselves, our environment, and those around us. A well-crafted and relevant quiz is able to tap into the internal conversation we’re already having and reinforce it.

The end result is quizzes that help you generate leads and are shared from one end of the internet to the other.

There are a few steps that you can follow to get the most out of your quizzes.

  • It should have a specific relevant topic. A quiz titled “Which Game of Thrones Character are you?” may be popular but is it relevant to your brand? Instead, focus on things with a direct and obvious connection to your business like “What Kind of Content Marketer are you” or “What’s your Fashion Personality?”
  • It should have more than 5 questions but fewer than 10. You want to include enough questions so people feel you have the information to tell them about themselves but you don’t want so many that it gets boring.
  • Craft at least 3 outcomes. There needs to be enough variety in your outcomes so people who take the quiz are able to see themselves in the diagnosis you give them. When creating the outcome, use a mix of Barnum statements and specific statements.
  • Provide an extra reason to subscribe.  Yes, people want to get a hold of their results but that may not be enough reason to subscribe. Instead, layer on something else like specific tips to be better or strategies to make the most of their situation.

Once you’ve got your quiz sorted out, you can connect it to a free email marketing service and start growing your list.

Small useful tools

No matter what niche you’re in, there are tools that will make it easier for your target audience to accomplish their goals.

For example, if you’re in the personal finance space, you can help them calculate their net worth with a simple tool. If you’re in the dating space, you may create a text analyzer that helps them determine the strength of their dating profile.

The list goes on.

In the example below, the brand that created the tool offers a marketing calendar. The tool solves a specific problem for its target audience – creating headlines.

It’s a relatively complicated tool but it generates new email subscribers like clockwork. You don’t have to create a tool that requires development resources or hiring a freelancer. A net worth calculator can be made in Excel and it’s still valuable.

To execute this strategy well, brainstorm a few simple problems your target market has and think of the kind of tools you can make to solve them. After you have a shortlist, explore whether or not any tools like that exist. If they do, it’s not a deal-breaker but you’ll want to make something better in order to get results.

Next, find out the search volume of the main keywords you’ll use to describe the tool. Do at least 1,000 people a month search for it? If so, you know there’s interest. You can use a free tool like Ubersuggest to find out.

Finally, build the tool and promote it on social media and your email list to get the ball rolling.

Using lead-generating content hub pages

If you’ve been creating content for any length of time, you know that it can be hard for your audience to follow a clear path through your content. Yes, internal linking helps but it usually doesn’t give them a well-defined route, instead, they’ll end up jumping around.

Hub pages are an excellent way to order your content while generating more email subscribers.

What is a hub page?

A hub page is simply a page on your website that organizes content you’ve created on a single topic. The content hub page links to individual pieces and the individual pieces link back to the content hub page. The end result is a better site structure and search rankings.

That’s where most people stop but it can also be a great place to generate subscribers. Since the hub page is linked to from multiple places on your website and ranks well in search engines, it’ll get a decent amount of traffic.

Take advantage of this by adding a hyper-relevant lead magnet at the top of the hub page.

It can be an Ebook, a quiz, a useful tool, a free training course, or whatever. The key is to make sure it’s perceived as being valuable and promises a specific outcome.

Video as a lead magnet

Video is responsible for most of the traffic in the world and that percentage will only grow over time. Though more difficult to create than written content, it’s perceived as being more valuable and also has higher engagement numbers.

You can put the perception people have around video to good use by offering a lead magnet which includes video.

There are two ways to go about this. You can create new videos to engage your audience and use them as clearly defined steps in your sales funnel. Or, you can repurpose video content you already have like a presentation and offer it as a lead magnet.

If you choose to go with a video series, keep the following things in mind:

  1. Each video should be bite-sized. You don’t need 30-minute videos because most people won’t be able to watch it all the way through. Aim for 5 minutes or less.
  2. Try to keep your video series to 4 videos or less so you can deliver value without dragging it out
  3. Each video should have a self-contained lesson that ties into the main product you want to sell down the line. Show them how to get a small win which proves your value and gets them excited for more.

Drive traffic from Instagram (or use a growth service), Facebook, Pinterest, SEO, your mailing list, etc. initially. You want to check how well the landing page you create is converting traffic and optimize it. After you get it to at least 10%+ then you can promote it more aggressively.

Guest post content upgrade

The last strategy on our list was more popular a few years ago but has fallen out of favor for some reason. We all know about content upgrades – it’s a lead magnet that’s hyper-relevant to the content being consumed and makes the lessons being taught easier, faster, or more effective.

If you guest post, you may also be able to take advantage of this technique. Pick your targets wisely because most guest posts won’t send much referral traffic. When you have an opportunity to create content for a large website, ask the editor or site owner if it’s ok to include a content upgrade that links back to a landing page on your website.

This step is important because most websites don’t allow it by default. When creating the content upgrade, spend time to design it or have it designed so it makes a good first impression and increases the perceived value of the content.

After creating the content upgrade, the only thing left is to write a killer guest post so people will be curious enough to check out what you’ve made.


Email is one of the most effective channels to increase engagement and revenue. You don’t get the results you’re looking for until you have an email list full of contacts who’re interested in what you have to say.

This article has gone through multiple strategies you can use to grow your email list faster in 2020. Start with one or two and see how they work for you over time. Add in the other strategies one by one and until your mailing list is growing like clockwork.