Once you’ve got a mailing list up and running (and engaged…), you can start using them to increase it further without making effort yourself.

How? It’s easy. Run a contest, and reward people for encouraging others to join.

Let me explain.

Creating a leaderboard contest with Viral Loops

First sign up with Viral Loops, a service that allows you to setup powerful contests with a few clicks. Next pick a decent reward. It should be something that will appeal to people in the industry you’re targeting, but it doesn’t need to be crazy expensive. I was building a watch and I wanted other people interested in watches to enter, so I got a watch as the main prize and some straps for runners up.

Viral Loops
The Viral Loops website

The type of contest I created had a leaderboard showing who was currently in the lead. People move up the leaderboard by referring their friends to the contest via a unique link. Each friend that enters moves the person that referred them further up the list.

Viral Loops leaderboard
A Viral Loops leaderboard contest

Each person that enters is then in the contest and gets their own referral link, so they can then get their friends entering. It can quickly lead to thousands if your reward is tempting!

You can further reward people for signing up to your social media accounts as well. They could be given an extra point for following you on Twitter, another for following on Instagram. You get the idea.

If you’ve got 200 active people on your mailing list, you don’t need people to make much effort for your mailing list to double very quickly, and grow rapidly from there.

Viral Loops stats
Viral Loops contest dashboard

It’s an almost free, almost effortless way to grow your subscribers. You’d be crazy to ignore it.

Do the new subscribers convert in to customers?

You will almost certainly find that the people that join your list to enter a contest convert in to fans or customers at a lower rate than those that sign up without reward.

But that’s fine, they were free to gain and you’ll still get some of them on board.

Treat them as you would any other subscriber by sending them your regular on-boarding drip email campaign and do what you can do build a relationship.