Tiffany Joy Yamut Author
UpViral Team
April 24, 2024

Here's How to Know Your Email List Growth Rate and Tips to Increase It

Here's How to Know Your Email List Growth Rate and Tips to Increase It

Growing an email list is like growing a garden. Just like a gardener cares for plants to get good crops, you need to put effort so you can get a good email list growth rate.

Growing a garden and building an email list both take time and work to see changes. In a garden, how fast plants grow depends on things like soil quality and weather, and how much care you give them.

Similarly, how quickly an email list grows depends on factors such as the quality of your offer, how engaging your emails are, and how often you connect with subscribers.

Growing an email list is important for businesses because it lets you talk directly to customers, drive sales, and make lasting relationships — all without spending lots of money.

In this article, we will dive deep into email list growth rate and how you can increase it!

What Is an Email List Growth Rate?

Email list growth rate is a measure of how fast a business is adding new subscribers to its email list over a specific period, usually expressed as a percentage. It shows how quickly a business is getting more people to join its email list. This helps to see if the methods used to get subscribers are working well.

Knowing your email list growth rate is important for several reasons:

  • Performance Evaluation: Knowing your email growth rate helps you assess the effectiveness of your email marketing strategies. A positive growth rate indicates that your strategies are working well in attracting and retaining subscribers, while a negative growth rate suggests that adjustments may be needed.
  • Goal Setting: It allows you to set realistic goals for list growth. By monitoring your growth rate over time, you can establish benchmarks and targets to strive for, guiding your marketing efforts effectively.
  • Resource Allocation: Understanding your email growth rate helps you allocate resources effectively. If your growth rate is low, you may need to invest more time and resources into list-building activities. Conversely, if the growth rate is high, you can focus on other aspects of email marketing or allocate resources to other areas of your business.

The Formula for Calculating Email List Growth Rate

Now that we’ve defined what email list growth rate and the importance of knowing it for your business, the next step is to answer the question, “How do you calculate email list growth?”

Calculating email list growth involves determining the change in the number of subscribers over a specific period. Here's the formula:

Let’s break it down:

  • Number of New Subscribers: Count how many new subscribers were added during the specified period.
  • Number of Unsubscribers: Count how many subscribers unsubscribed or were removed from the email list during the same period.
  • Total Number of Email Addresses: This refers to the total number of subscribers on your list at the beginning of the period.

This formula considers both new subscribers and unsubscribers, providing a more comprehensive view of how your email list is growing or shrinking over time.

A Sample Scenario of Email List Growth Rate

To help you understand, let’s demonstrate using the formula with a hypothetical email list growth rate example:

Let’s say a food business named Healthy Eats Café starts the month of July with 2,000 subscribers on their email list. For the month, they implement the following marketing activities:

  • They introduced a new loyalty program offering exclusive discounts and rewards to subscribers who refer friends to join the email list
  • They also sent out a survey to existing subscribers to gather feedback and improve their email content and offerings.
A Sample Scenario of Email List Growth Rate

By the end of July, Healthy Eats Café had gained 300 new subscribers and experienced 50 unsubscribers, bringing their total to 2,250.

Let’s calculate their email list growth rate using the formula above:

Let’s analyze the result. Healthy Eats Café achieved a 12.5% email list growth rate for July. This indicates a positive increase in their subscriber base, even after accounting for unsubscribers.

The introduction of the new loyalty program and the engagement with existing subscribers through the survey likely contributed to this growth.

This growth rate can help Healthy Eats Café assess the effectiveness of its strategies and identify areas for improvement in its email marketing efforts!

What’s Considered a Good Email List Growth Rate?

The average email list size for businesses can range between a few hundred to several thousand subscribers.

A good email list growth rate per month can vary depending on factors such as industry, business size, target audience, and marketing strategies. However, generally speaking, a healthy monthly email list growth rate typically falls on 2.5% and above.

Let’s break down each factor:

  • Industry: Different industries have varying levels of competition, audience engagement, and market dynamics. For example, industries like retail and e-commerce may experience higher email list growth rates due to frequent promotions and sales, while industries like finance or healthcare may see slower growth rates due to the nature of their products or services.
  • Business Size: The size of your business can impact your email list growth rate. Larger companies may have more resources, brand recognition, and marketing budgets to invest in list-building efforts, potentially leading to faster growth rates. However, smaller businesses can still achieve significant growth by leveraging targeted campaigns, partnerships, and word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Target Audience: The demographics, interests, and preferences of your target audience also affect your email list growth rate. For example, if your target audience is millennials interested in eco-friendly products, campaigns focusing on sustainability and social responsibility may resonate more.
  • Marketing Strategies: The strategies and tactics you employ to attract new subscribers heavily influence your email list growth rate. We’ll discuss these methods below.

5 Ways to Increase Your Email List Growth Rate

There are different strategies you can employ to effectively increase your email list growth rate:

1. Run contests or giveaways

Contests and giveaways provide a strong incentive for individuals to join your email list. By offering a chance to win a desirable prize, such as a product, service, or gift card, you encourage people to sign up and provide their email addresses

Moreover, contests and giveaways often require participants to share the promotion with their friends or followers on social media or other channels. This word-of-mouth promotion can significantly expand your reach and attract new subscribers who may not have otherwise discovered your brand.

Once individuals have joined your email list through a contest or giveaway, you have the opportunity to nurture these new subscribers with targeted email campaigns.

By providing them with valuable content, special offers, and personalized communication, you can build trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships with your audience.

UpViral is a marketing platform that specializes in viral marketing and referral campaigns. It allows businesses to create and run viral giveaways, contests, and sweepstakes to attract leads, increase brand awareness, and grow their email lists.

Here is an example:

Kurt Francom, a young bishop in the Church of Latter-Day Saints, founded Leading Saints, a non-profit online platform focused on helping Latter-Day Saints enhance their leadership skills in various aspects of life.

Facing fundraising challenges during the pandemic, he explored the idea of hosting virtual summits as a fundraising strategy, offering free access to sessions while monetizing replays.

To promote these summits, Kurt utilized UpViral to encourage registrations and referrals. The campaign worked by offering free access to live sessions of virtual summits hosted by Leading Saints, with the option for participants to purchase all-access passes for replays of the sessions.

There’s also a third option: participants can earn a free all-access pass if five friends register for the event through their referral link.

Ways to Increase Your Email List Growth Rate

Through UpViral's campaign, Leading Saints raised nearly $50,000 in donations and gained 12,000 email subscribers in just 10 days.

2. Offer a free ebook or templates

Free resources, such as ebooks or templates, can help you attract new subscribers and grow your email list. These resources give them something of value in exchange for joining your email list, making it more enticing for them to sign up.

Additionally, creating and offering high-quality ebooks or templates related to your industry or niche showcases your expertise and establishes your credibility as a thought leader. This can help build trust with your audience and position your brand as a valuable resource in your field.

To offer free books and templates, create a dedicated landing page on your website where visitors can sign up to receive the free resource in exchange for their email address.

Promote this offer across your website, social media channels, and other marketing channels to attract potential subscribers.

Once users opt-in, deliver the free resource via email and continue engaging them with valuable content to nurture the relationship and encourage further interaction with your brand.

3. Make sure your email signup form is easy to find on your website

An email sign-up form is a digital form typically found on a website or landing page that allows visitors to subscribe to an email list or newsletter. It usually collects information such as the user's name and email address and often includes a call-to-action prompting users to join the email list.

Email sign-up forms are essential tools for businesses and organizations to grow their email lists and communicate with their audience effectively.

Here are some tips to help ensure that your email sign-up form is easy to find:

  1. Position the signup form prominently on your website, preferably in a location that's immediately visible without requiring users to scroll. Examples are in the header or sidebar.
  2. Make the signup form stand out by using contrasting colors that grab visitors' attention.
  3. Use a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA) that prompts visitors to subscribe. One example is “Join Our Exclusive Newsletter".
  4. Keep the signup form simple by requesting only essential information, such as the user's name and email address. The fewer fields users need to fill out, the more likely they are to complete the form.

4. Promote your email list on social media

Social media platforms have vast audiences, allowing you to reach a broader audience beyond your website visitors.

Promoting your email list on social media enables you to tap into these networks and attract new subscribers who may not have discovered your brand otherwise.

Identify the social media platforms where your target audience is most active and tailor your promotion efforts accordingly. For example, if your business is in fashion or beauty, you can utilize Instagram since it’s used by women 18-35 who are interested in these niches.

Next, craft engaging social media posts that highlight the benefits of subscribing to your email list. Provide value to your social media followers by sharing valuable content related to your email list topics.

Actively engage with your social media followers by responding to comments, addressing questions, and participating in discussions related to your email list topics. Building rapport and fostering genuine connections can increase trust and encourage followers to subscribe.

5. Consider collaborations and partnerships

Partnering with other businesses, influencers, or organizations allows you to tap into their existing audience and reach new potential customers who may not be aware of your brand. Collaborators can promote your email list to their audience, exposing your brand to a larger pool of prospects.

When established entities endorse your email list or collaborate with you, it validates your brand's value and quality, making it more appealing to potential subscribers.

Research businesses, influencers, or organizations that share similar target audiences or complementary products/services.

For example, if you have a business in the fitness industry, you can work with a fitness influencer to host a joint giveaway on social media. Participants can sign up for your brand's email list for a chance to win exclusive merchandise.


One common misconception among people who are hesitant to grow their email list is the belief that email marketing is outdated or ineffective compared to other marketing channels, such as social media.

This belief is incorrect because email marketing remains one of the most effective and profitable channels for businesses.

Emails land directly in subscribers' inboxes, allowing for personalized messages tailored to individual preferences and behaviors.

That’s why growing your email list is a must among other marketing activities. If you’re interested in running a giveaway to increase email list growth, consider using Upviral!

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