More than 59 percent of marketers count email marketing as their biggest source of ROI. This proves that investing in email marketing is one of the most lucrative marketing strategies you could use, so your lists must be filled with high-quality prospects that are interested in what your company offers. Enter: opt-in subscribers.

Opt-in subscribers are a cornerstone of successful email marketing. More than just proof that people are out there who want to hear from you, opt-in subscribers are crucial for ensuring your emails make it to the inbox (and stay out of the spam folder). The lengthier your contact list, the more substantial amount of prospects you have to nurture and — hopefully — convert to customers. Now, if only it were easy to get all those opt-in subscribers in the first place.

Getting people to opt into your emails, like most things in digital marketing, requires a creative approach to see success. Unlike building a contact base off of purchased lists and site skimming, there are no shortcuts when it comes to growing your opt-in email subscribers. To win more subscribers, you’ve got to put work and time into it. Below are some of the creative ways you can encourage more people to opt-in to your emails for a stronger, more successful email marketing strategy.

1. Website Pop-Ups

We’ve all seen them: pop-ups that appear right in the middle of the page (or perhaps less overtly, off in the corner), encouraging us to “subscribe to our newsletter.” Pop-ups are a good, sustainable way to get more subscribers via opt-in. The average conversion rate for a pop-up is 3.09 percent. It might not sound like much, but if you’re getting 1,000 visitors a month to your site, that’s 31 new opt-in subscribers — all with very little work required on your end.

Prioritize pop-ups on the pages where people are most likely to end up, such as your homepage and your most viewed blog post pages. And to make it really “pop,” aim for bold colors and clean, concise text. Better yet, offer something of value for signing up, like a free asset or a discount code.

2. Tradeshows and Conferences

You’re probably going to at least one or two tradeshows or conferences a year, but are you using them as opportunities to get more email opt-ins? These kinds of events are great for building your network of potential leads, but you can also be using them to increase your email subscriber list. If a potential customer is already engaging with you person-to-person, there’s a strong chance they’re open to hearing more from you later on. And if they aren’t ready to become a customer right away, enrolling them in your email, outreach is a great way to keep tabs on them without inundating or coming on too strong. 

To maximize the potential of building your opt-in list at tradeshows or conferences, add it to your talking points when you start engaging with a potential prospect. Ask people if they’d like to receive your emails and have a sheet ready where they can write down their email address and check off permission to receive your marketing. Or, bring a tablet or laptop that has an email opt-in page already pulled up that they can quickly enter their information into. At the end of the day, you should have a nice long list to work off of.

3. Re-Engagements

Getting more opt-ins doesn’t always require reaching out to new people. Sometimes, you have to reach out to people who have previously subscribed to your emails but who aren’t currently engaging with them to see if they still want to keep their opt-in status. Re-engaging cold prospects serves two purposes: one, it can reanimate the relationship and spark more engagement moving forward. Two, it helps you remain compliant and avoid wasting time by emailing people who aren’t interested in what you’re selling.

If you use an email autoresponder, set it up to send out re-engagement emails after a certain period of inactivity. Otherwise, take it on as part of your routine. You’ll get a cleaner, more active opt-in list, and you’ll also build more trust with your recipients.

4. Add A Checkbox To Your Forms

Include an option for people to opt-in to your email marketing when they’re engaging with other content on your site, such as downloading gated assets, entering contests and giveaways, and registering for webinars. They’re already choosing to provide you with their contact information, so checking a box to enroll in your email marketing won’t seem too lofty. Just make it clear and visible so that people don’t miss it when they’re filling out those forms.

The methods that you use to get more people to opt-in to your emails should be implemented alongside your various other efforts, which makes it super easy to tackle. Focus on methods that build trust with your audience and never try to trick anyone into permitting further contact – that’s no way to build trust with your prospects and begin a meaningful partnership. Likewise, diversify your efforts so that you’re reaching as many people as possible. Everything from having a social presence to creating high-quality content is going to bring more eyes to what you’re doing — and as a result, more opportunities for opt-ins.