Email lists may as well be gold for online entrepreneurs. They are an online businesses bread and butter. To grow your email list means to increase your sales, your audience and your influence.

Why are email lists so important? Firstly, because it’s a list of people that you own and control. Your social media followers are important, but you’re not in control of them. Those companies can change their algorithms at any moment, meaning you can’t be sure your followers even see your content. (Looking at you Instagram.) Other companies can even delete you off their platform at will. Then, boom: there goes your audience.

Your email list is also important because it allows you to sell directly to people who want to hear from you. If someone has invited you into their inbox, they want to hear what you’ve got to say. They’re a ready and willing audience, which is hard to find on social media platforms.

Finally, there’s less competition. It’s your list- no one else is talking to them on your emails. You get to command their attention, which is no small thing. With no distractions, people are more likely to support you.

So let’s figure out how to grow your email list this week!

Give People a Freebie

Free incentives are par for the course these days. Every online entrepreneur should have something that they give away in order to get people to sign up to their list.

Put a link to your email sign-up page in an article on your blog, or on the top of every page on your website. It should be really easy to find your sign up links! Once people click on the link, set it so a box pops up to capture their email address. The freebie will be available for download after they enter their email.

Bam! Now you’ve captured their email for future contact and you’ve provided value to them for free. It’s a win-win. Freebies are an excellent way to grow your email list.

Ask People to Share Your List- And Make it Easy For Them

It’s easier to grow your current audience by using your current audience instead of going out and hunting down new people.

The people currently on your list chose to be there. They think you have something to say that will help them with a problem in their life. Maybe it’s growing a business, or maybe it’s fashion recommendations. It’s a pretty safe bet that they have someone in their life with the

It’s a pretty safe bet that they have someone in their life with the same problem. A friend who also needs help with their wardrobe or a sister who wants to save more money. All three of them are in the same boat, and you’re the captain.

Ask your current list to send someone they know a sign-up link. Make sure to incentivize this. The Skimm, a daily email with a breakdown of news and pop culture, does this well. They give their Skimmbasadors (as they’re called) a free tote bag for signing friends up. The more people you sign up, the better your swag becomes.

Your swag can be a discount on a course you have, or a freebie that you only send to people who sign up friends. Whatever it is, send it to people for referring other people to you. Use your current fans to create more fans.

Only Email When You’ve Got Something to Say

This falls more into the category of ‘keeping people on your email list,’ but hey- what good is a list that people unsubscribe from?

There’s nothing worse than being stuck on an email list that sends you too many emails you don’t need. We all hate that. The answer is to only send emails when you have something of value for your reader.

If you’re launching a course, or have a new freebie, or are having an event, send an email. If you just want to talk to someone, call a friend. Your email list is sacred. Send them content that they want to see and that will help them out. Otherwise, just keep quiet.

There’s definitely a learning curve with cultivating an email list. You need to know your audience and what their needs and wants are. It does take time to grow an email list of rabid fans that won’t unsubscribe. Don’t be dismayed if it takes awhile. Track what works and what doesn’t.

Most importantly, be consistent. These tips will work time and time again to grow your email list. Ask your list to refer a friend every few months and see your numbers grow. Don’t let yourself become complacent in growing your list, because it truly is the most valuable thing an online entrepreneur can have.