Top 10 tools to grow your email list

When I bring up the subject of email marketing with my clients, especially more established businesses who are new at trying to spread the word online, I usually come across a lot of resistance.

First of all, business owners don't want to seem pushy. Next, if they do want to build a list, they don't want to offer something free for people to download because they will fill their list with people who are just interested in free stuff and are therefore not high quality leads. 

I get it. I started out feeling much the same way, worried that by giving information for free, subscribers would take the content and run.

And guess what? Since I have been giving out more things for free, my list has tripled and only 2 people have unsubscribed.

So I was right about those 2 people! Some subscribers are only scanning sites for free downloads.

But most people sign up for free things as a way to connect. And by offering free downloads and quizzes, I am welcoming people to the site, letting people know that I want to connect with them too. 

List building should be one of your top marketing priorities because it's a way for you to connect with people who are interested in how you do business and what you have to offer.

The good news is that there are many options & tools to help you supercharge your efforts. So in this post I'll cover 10 ways to attract people to sign up for your list AND keep your subscribers engaged. 

Top 10 tools to grow your email list_brightworks



Creating a checklist can be one of the easiest free gifts (aka lead magnets) to make. This does not mean you whip up a poor quality checklist and hope that makes a difference. Ideally, make it as useful as possible and then tell people what’s covered in the checklist so they know what they’re signing up for. 


If you have lots of ideas for helpful templates and checklists, then you might want to create a password protected library for subscribers. For example, designers can provide a resource library full of branding and graphic design resources and downloadable templates people will find useful. Coaches can provide videos or podcasts to download, watch, or listen to help people on their path toward your services.

Once it's established, it's good to update your content to make people interested in coming back and checking out what's new on offer. 



Some people still love putting pen to paper when they are brainstorming. Worksheets and workbooks can also be a great way to keep all those great ideas in one place rather than scraps of paper and post it notes all over the house. So building one of these for prospects can really be a very helpful resource. 

I have created several digital worksheets and workbooks with fillable forms in PDF form for my clients. That way people can print them and write on them OR type their answers right in!





If you work in a field that needs to outline work in a more logical and strategic way, creating spreadsheets as a free download could be a great way to reach your audience. For example if you are a business coach or financial planner, creating a budgeting spreadsheet would be helpful. If you work in marketing, a simple spreadsheet to plan for social media marketing campaigns can be super useful.



5   |   QUIZ

As I have mentioned on this blog before, quizzes can be a very successful way to connect with your audience. This is by far my favorite lead magnet I've used in my business. The main reason is that it helps visitors feel understood right away and also gives us instant discussion points when they reach out to me for the first time. 

These take quite a while to design and set up but I have done several and I definitely think it's worth the investment! If you want to go this route, I recommend Interact which is intuitive and integrates with Mailchimp and Convertkit very easily.

And of course if you want a bit of fun right now, start by taking my quiz here to find your Key Business Strength. Then write to me and tell me what you think of your results!




If you're a writer, then an ebook makes a lot of sense. You could create a free download of the first chapter of your longer ebook that you sell on your website. Or you can go into personal storytelling and connect on a closer level with your readers.

If you are in marketing, PR or host a lifestyle blog, you can even create a digital magazine. This can be more time consuming and you have to calculate your ROI carefully here. But if you publish a digital magazine and sell subscriptions for it, you can give a free preview of the first 6 pages for example.



An email course or challenge is a great way to share your expertise with your audience and give them action items that prompt them to reach out to you as well. With a challenge, it's also a great way to drive traffic to and from your social media accounts and getting some high quality engagement. 

An email course can be as simple as a collection of automated emails that are meant to educate your audience on a specific topic. You can also add in a couple of pitches that tie in to your main marketing campaign such as signing up for your paid course, or a done for you version of the free course through your service packages. 

Take the Brightworks Profitable Business Brand email course  for growing the best version of your business.



Creating video trainings can be incredibly helpful and a powerful way to build your brand. You can share step-by-step tutorials or by showing some behind the scenes footage, allow your audience to connect with the face behind your brand. 

There are so many possibilities with video and its the medium that converts the best. If you’re a designer, you could teach lessons on how to pick your colors and fonts for your brand. If you're in marketing you could give a step by step tutorial on setting up social media profiles.  


Producing a wallpaper for desktop and/or mobile is a great option if you are an artist or designer. You can also create digital art pieces or hand-lettered quotes for people to download and print. If you are not artistic, you can always produce a desktop calendar which people can print subscribers or use as a wallpaper on their desktop. 


10  |  Make it easy for people to sign up by using List Building Tools


There are several tools you can use to make your site more interactive and make it easier for people to sign up for your list. Here are some useful ones:

  • – Suite of marketing apps for running competitions, capturing emails. Also allows you to showcase user-generated content.
  • Hello Bar – Navigation bar that appears at the top of your site to collect email subscribers.
  • Interact– Create, embed, and share your own quizzes. Also useful as a way to drive social traffic and generate leads.
  • IntroBar – Give your visitors a custom intro or offer based on where they came from.
  • Opinion Stage – Create viral polls, quizzes and surveys to dramatically increase time spent on your website.
  • SumoMe List Builder – A lightbox that helps convert visitors right before they’re about to leave your website.


So if you're thinking of building a lead magnet, which one of these appeals to you most and why? I'd love to hear in the comment section below which type you're going to create!