How to Grow Your Mailing List With Cash & Other Incentives

After attending an awesome conference on email marketing strategies, it seemed timely to publish a sponsored review for a company that helps you grow your mailing list. Incentivibe helps bloggers and businesses run contests in order to build their mailing list. The best part? You get to give away a $500 cash prize or item – and all it will cost you is $25.

How It Works in a Nutshell

Incentivibe pools together other bloggers and businesses looking to grow their mailing list. A group of 20 bloggers and businesses contribute $25 per month, allowing them to run one contest per month. At the end of the contest, everyone will choose / nominate one entrant from their website. Then Incentivibe chooses the winner from those nominees.

To get started, you sign up for a free 14-day trial. You then set up your contest by choosing the prize to be given away…


Selecting ways people can enter…


Adding a survey question to help target campaigns towards the right leads…


Entering your basic details…


Choosing from a lightbox popup or slider, then adding on additional social sharing options.


When you click to get your widget, you will be taken to a page with instructions on how to install the contest on your website. For WordPress users, this will be through the use of a plugin and custom widget code you add to the plugin’s settings.

Once installed, if you chose a lightbox popup, it will look like this.


If you chose the slider, it will look like this.


Emails will be collected in your admin dashboard within Incentivibe. You can connect to Aweber or MailChimp to get your entrant’s emails from your dashboard to your mailing list, or you can export emails to your computer and then import them to your email service provider.

How It’s Targeted

When you look at the list of contest prizes, you might wonder how this is going to help you grow a target mailing list. The answer is through the one-question survey you can set up for entrants to answer before they submit their email address.


The one question you can ask entrants is a multiple choice question. You need to think about three answers that can help you determine what information to will send your entrants once you add them to your list. For example, if you sell three products: one on content marketing, one on SEO, and one on social media, you can ask the following.


While this doesn’t stop someone with absolutely no interest in your niche, it does help you segment people who are targeted to something they are more likely to be interested in or purchase. You can even throw in an answer option that says “I’m just here for the contest.” to gauge the number of people who may not be the best leads for your mailing list.

How It Works for Entrants

Although you are pooling your resources with other bloggers and businesses, the subscribers you gain through your contest widget are yours and yours alone. Neither you nor they have to worry about their emails being shared amongst everyone who has grouped together to run the contest.

What Happens at the End of the Contest

Once the contest ends, a winner is randomly chosen by Incentivibe from a pool of nominees from each blog / business running a contest. Incentivibe sends out an email to all entrants announcing the winner, but not the blog / business the winner entered through.

Since Incentivibe handles the winner choice and communication, the only thing you need to do is export your entries into your mailing list. You can connect to Aweber and MailChimp, or export the list of emails and import them into your mailing list service provider.


You definitely want to do the latter if you are going to segment your entrants to multiple lists based on their survey responses.

The thing to keep in mind is that your entrants will not be added automatically to your mailing list throughout the contest. So you may want to go in regularly to export your entrants and add them to your mailing list as opposed to wait until the end. Otherwise, people might forget how they subscribed to your list.


If you’re looking to grow your mailing list with a nice-sized contest prize – without having to invest $500 yourself – Incentivibe is a great option to try. If you want to see it in action first, visit the Incentivibe blog.

Also, be sure to check out Incentivibe’s contest for a chance to win a $1,000 Facebook ad credit!

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  1. says

    Hi Kristi,
    This is good information…but I really wish to know your take on how can I get people to read my emails…How should I frame my content and subject so that people would actually open it and read..
    Ekta just posted South Mumbai – City Guide

  2. says

    As always you share such quality stuff. I will get the trial today itself and then thee is a chance to win a $1,000 Facebook ad credit. Wow i wish i get it. thanks for sharing.

  3. says

    Hey there Kristi!

    Incentivibe is definitely a great way to drawn in a much bigger audience, and build an amazing reputation.

    You are doing a great job as usual!


  4. says

    Like the concept, Kristi. Sounds like an easy way to increase your subscribers.

    Still, I’m not so sure about it:

    The ads say they can win a prize, but there is no information in the ads that lets them know that they signed up to receive a bunch of emails in their inbox. Guess you could tell them in the welcome email. What would Aweber think? And what would the unsubscribe rate be once they begin to receive those emails?
    Bob Guzeman just posted Movie Intros: Your Own Movie Intro in 8 Easy Steps

  5. says

    Wow I had no idea there was an email subscription service that made things like this so easy. I thought I’ve considered having an incentive for my email list, but I thought I would have to manually sort through the emails and pick someone. This is giving me so many ideas about what to do for my websites!
    Matt just posted Godaddy VPS Coupon

  6. says

    Hello, Kristi,

    Incentivibe is something I’ve never heard of before…I’m going to try their service and see. However, I think the winning website ought to be mentioned. What do you think?

    As usual, thanks for the helpful tips.

    – Terungwa
    Akaahan T.P just posted Twitter To List At $26 A Share

  7. says

    Nice post Kikolani,

    People love free things. By giving them these free things in exchange of small commitment (e-mail address) you can grow your list.

    However, this audience is of people who love free things and not people who can spend a dime to get anything that can help them.

    Then, comes another stage that requires you to convert this love-free-things people into buyers. And, it’s painstaking, I’ve tried.
    Bryce just posted Why 99% of Bloggers Fail Online and How You Can Fix It

  8. says

    Hi Kristi

    Although it’s an sponsored post but does’t look like. It’s full of information & indeed a workable strategy to build mailing list.

    $25 is an small investment to get a targeted list. I think i should give it a try for my blog.

    Tauseef Alam