Using Technology to Grow Email Lists

Instructor: Elissa Vaughn

Elissa is a professional content writer with a certification in inbound marketing, BA in history, and a decade of experience in retail sales and marketing.

Email lists are essential for recruiting and retaining customers, and technology puts even more people within reach. Learn how today's companies are using technological methods like QR codes, lightboxes, and social media to reach consumers and drive subscriptions.

Email lists are powerful marketing tools that connect businesses directly to consumers. They keep customers in the loop about the latest sales events and promotions, and businesses can email exclusive offers, newsletters, and coupons. In turn, businesses stay visible and relevant to their customers.

But how do people end up on email lists in the first place?

It's actually not unlike your own experience as a customer. To visualize, think about your favorite grocery store and ask yourself the following questions.

  • Does the store have a savings club card program for all customers?
  • Does the store have discounts especially for club card members?
  • Does the store use sale and promotional signs to advertise savings club deals?
  • Do the sales associates ask if you're a club card member?

Grocery stores use marketing techniques like these to entice you to sign up for their discount programs. By rewarding discounts for your participation, that grocery chain is rewarded with your loyalty.

That same philosophy applies to growing email lists through technology. If you research that same grocery store online, you'll likely find even more marketing techniques used to entice you to join their email list.

Let's discuss some of the ways businesses are using technology to grow their email lists.

QR Codes

Think of QR codes as bar codes for smartphones. Instead of storing item numbers for cookies and TV dinners, QR codes store online data like websites, social media pages, and email addresses. When scanned, QR codes instantly connect potential customers to web pages with powerful calls-to-action for email list sign-ups.

Furthermore, you can merge QR codes with your print advertising campaigns, as QR codes can be easily included in posters, brochures, flyers, or catalogs. For example, to encourage more people to sign up for their email list, our grocery store might include QR codes in their newspaper flyers to promote an upcoming seasonal food promotion through an email campaign. In turn, new email subscribers would receive 25% off in addition to the promotion.


Are you often greeted on a website by a little box asking you to sign-up or follow? Those are lightboxes, and they're an important internet marketing technique to grow email lists.

Lightboxes are the first thing you see on a website, so they have to contain enticing incentives and calls-to-action to grab visitors. This makes lightboxes particularly effective in drawing in new visitors to participate. For example, to garner even more new sign-ups, our grocery chain can promote that same 25% discount for new email subscribers in their website's lightbox.

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