Giveaway Dos and Don’ts to Grow Your Email List Quickly

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One simple way to grow your email list quickly is to participate in giveaway events. If you’ve never been part of a giveaway, you might be wondering how they work. Typically, one business owner decides to create a giveaway. She asks other online business owners to contribute a product of their own to contribute to the giveaway.


Next, people can sign up for the giveaway once it goes live. Usually they sign up for the entire prize package, that includes content from all the participating online business owners, using their email address. Once they’re signed up for the email list, users receive instructions on how to claim their goodies from each of the business owners. Sometimes they have a special discount code to use during the checkout process. Other times business owners use a giveaway-specific link to download the goodie.

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How to Build an Email List Quickly Using Giveaways

The advantage of participating in this kind of giveaway is that you will grow your email list quickly. Depending on the giveaway, and the products being offered for free, you may get hundreds of new email subscribers. Plus, you’re also forming valuable relationships with the other online business owners who were part of the giveaway.

Sounds easy enough, right? Sure, but there are right ways and wrongs ways to use giveaways to grow your email list. This blog post will dive into the dos and don’ts, but the main thing to remember is to keep it fair and to keep it simple.

Do: Look for Giveaways

First, you need to find a giveaway to participate in. Ask online business owners whom you already know if they are hosting one or are participating in one. If that line of questioning doesn’t pan out, ask around in your business groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. You could also publish a blog post and ask for giveaway recommendations. Your readers may suggest online businesses that they like; then you could email those business owners to express your interest in participating in an email list building giveaway.

You can also search for email list building giveaways that need more participants. Go to Google and type in the names of marketers you know, along with the word “giveaway.” For example:

“Amy Porterfield” +giveaway

If there’s a more specific giveaway you’re looking for, use those works with a plus size (+) too.

If all else fails, start your own giveaway and invite other business owners to participate.

Do: Make a Product

Create a digital product specifically for the giveaway. Don’t panic! If you’ve never made a product, you can create one easily. You could:

  • Give away a product that’s been retired or isn’t selling well
  • Re-purpose old blog content by turning it into an ebook or a guide.
  • Record a quick tutorial video based on old content, either in-person or by screen-sharing.
  • Use PLR (private label rights) content, such as from Coach Glue, as your rough draft, then add your own advice, tips and voice for a finished product. (You can learn more about how to use PLR here.)

Just make sure your product is relevant to your business. For instance, if you sell essential oils, then creating a product on Google Analytics isn’t likely to attract your target customers. But if your product was about natural cleaning solutions, then your ideal audience would enjoy your product and happily download it.

Do: Write Two to Three Emails

A requirement for many participating online business owners in a giveaway event is that they email their own list about the giveaway. Even if you only have one subscriber, create a series of emails about the event.

Your first message could be about the giveaway and how excited you are to be part of it. You could even share a story about how and when you connected with other business owners.

In the second message, talk about the giveaway and highlight a few products that might appeal to your subscribers.

Your third message should be sent to your subscribers on the final day of the event. Mention how much you’ve enjoyed the event, then remind your list that it’s the last day to claim their freebies. Encourage them to sign up so they don’t miss out.

I use ConvertKit as my email service provider. (That’s an affiliate link. I make a small commission, at no cost to you, if you sign up for ConvertKit using that link.) ConvertKit allows me to easily create an email sequence that gets sent automatically to a subscriber. I can specify different emails and different email schedules, depending on what the subscriber signed up for. I highly recommend ConvertKit because it’s so easy to use, but most email service providers have a way to automate email sequences.

Don’t: Be Discouraged

Some (but not all) giveaways have minimum requirements that you may have to meet to be eligible to participate. For example, a giveaway organizer may only want to work with business owners who have an email list of 5,000+ subscribers. Other organizers may want you to have a product on a specific topic in order to participate.

Don’t get discouraged by giveaways if you don’t meet their minimum requirements.

First, keep a list of these giveaways for when you’ve grown your list (you will!) or have a product on that topic;  you can join next time.

Second, keep looking. Try to focus on online businesses or blogs that are on the second or third page of search engine results (or even further). They’re more likely to work with you because your business and theirs are probably similar in size.

Third, start your own and reach out to businesses that are about the same size as yours and in the same industry. If you’re a clothing retailer, you wouldn’t want to include, say, a financial investment consultant in your giveaway.

Participating in giveaways is fun and rewarding. When they’re done the right way, giveaways can grow your email list quickly. And you’ll make some great business connections.

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