One of a small business’s best marketing assets is a healthy email list. While proper management and use of your email file will drive revenue immensely, it is often a challenge to create the email list itself. With inbox clutter on the rise and customers becoming more sensitive toward any unwanted communication, marketers should develop their subscriber lists with relevance and care. 

When you meet people face to face for any reason, ask for their business card. Offer yours. Set a glass bowl on the counter in your store or the reception desk in your office, and ask visitors to drop their cards in it. Offer some incentive to do so — a free product or service, gift card, etc. Use your own business cards to further drum up emails; add an offer on the back of your card that encourages people to sign up to receive your emails.

My traffic model looks like a complicated shambles. I use a number of Social Media platforms, mostly Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, with several profiles in each. I have some sizeable followings in niche areas, like Bitcoin and Affiliate Marketing.  I have a bunch of tools that automate the flow of content. I know it is a shambles because it is not producing consistent subscriber or sales results. The only thing that works well is my charity fund raising. Weird that as I can get people to give money away more easily than I can get them to buy something of tangible value to them. Now there is a big lesson in there for me. 49% of my donations by number come from former colleagues. These are people that I know and who have grown to know, like and trust me.


Growing your email list can be quite similar to advertising your business as a whole. Websites that have similar content or user demographics to your website can be great places to prospect for potential email list leads. You can do this in a number of ways. Ideally, you can cut a deal with the website on which you want to collect emails to promise them advertising space in any email that you send. This will save you from having to pay to advertise for your email list. You can also pay to advertise for sign-ups to your email list on other websites. You can do this by purchasing an impression-based or click-based advertising campaign, or you can offer to pay per valid email sign-up. Both are acceptable industry standard ways to pay for email advertising. However, if you are going to pay to advertise your email list and recruit email sign-ups on another website, you'll need to ensure that you have a firm understanding of what you can afford to spend per email sign-up is. To do this, you'll have to assign a value to an email name. The best way to do this is to keep it simple. Take a look at your last email send. If you had an email list of one hundred people and your email generated $100 in revenue, then you can spend $1 per email sign-up.

Shoot a quick screencast video… If you’re on a PC, use Camtasia. If you’re on a Mac, use Screenflow. These are tools to record what’s happening on your screen. You can use them to present slideshow presentations or give a tutorial on how to do something on your computer. For example, when I teach WordPress stuff, I turn on ScreenFlow and just record my screen as show people how to set things up. It’s simple.

Very interesting tutorial, thanks Carson. Can anyone tell me how we learn to set up HTML or JavaScript Code for the auto-responder and which one is better? And also how to "copy and paste to pages source code" and how to actually add a form or create a squeeze page? Or is this something that Aweber.com would cover? Any help and advice appreciated - thank you! :-) Juliet


It’s extremely affordable (starting at $15/month), while incredibly powerful and easy to use. I also find that GetResponse have some of the best newsletter template designs around. Aweber is another good call, but I find their user interface a bit outdated and clunky (plus, their pricing starts at $19/month – not a big deal, but considering they’re not quite as good as GetResponse IMO this pushes the needle in favour of GetResponse even more).
To put these numbers into context: a myriad of data compiled on Twitter shows that the average click-through rate rarely tops 1.64 percent. Without paying for promotion, the average Facebook post is even worse. This is compared to email open rates, which hover around ~20% for many industries and can go up to as high as 40, 50, and 60 percent (and beyond!).
I’ve talked about how you can promote a blog post here and here. Though how hard you work to promote a post can influence how well it does, what’s more important, is the content of the post.  That’s because high quality content will be more widely shared. Because of this, if you’re just starting out with the creation of your blog, focus on creating posts that are based on popular topics within your niche.
Brian. You talk about how all these variables matter in getting this article to rank #1 for “list building” and how competitors have way more links than you, but then you also consider your DA and your PA together, you have almost the highest score out of the top 10 rankings; and when you consider you are more topical authority, then that explains why Hugpages (all purpose site) is not ranking higher. Maybe its not all as complicated as you suggest.
HI Crispian... never worry about how long it takes you.. .you will find that you gel with some things instantly and other aspects of marketing really fox you. The important thing is not to give up and keep travelling forward. Remember the road to success is in zig zags never straight lines and I have so much respect for anyone trying to learn new things. There is such alot to learn in the beginning.. you almost have to learn a new language too - all the marketing lingo.. but if you stick with it, it doesn't take that long. Think of this as setting up a new business. If you went to university you would expect a course to take 5 years... so give yourself a break and don't worry about how long it takes... know one thing.. if you spent everyday for 5 years learning marketing, then you would have skills that would serve you for life! I think the mistake I made was thinking this could all be learnt in 5 minutes... I started in Feb 2013 and it is only now I am really seeing the birdseye view and feeling comfy with all the jargon. So now for me personally its time to get actually moving and take action... this is not a 5 minute game. This is a business opportunity and we will all give ourselves a much better chance of success if we actually understood that this really can be a key to financial success and time freedom... and with those things you can then help anybody or do anything :) best of luck
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This is nothing more than a long generic definition of what building a list is. It completely lacks the mechanics needed to actually begin building a mailing list. From a newbies perspective, we need specifics. For instance the blip in this tutorial simply states that AWeber can send out regularly scheduled emails but gentlemen--there is a whole process required to actually get this done. A person needs to create these promotions on their computer and and then load them up to the internet in order for this operation to function properly. Simple statements like you have an option with AWeber for HTML or Text is not sufficient. Where are the whys? and How To's? We need screen shots and maybe even videos detailing each step for this to all make any real sense. Building a mailing list is PROBABLY the most important key to becoming successful with internet marketing and this tutorial hardly scratches the surface.

What is the best place to find out a lot of people that are interested in your niche hanging out together? A niche forum of course! Join a niche forum and not only you'll interact with people possibly interested in signing up to your list, but you'll also be able to get to know them better and find out more information about their needs and problems. Great place to get ideas, isn't it?
Thanks for sharing this idea. What I love most about your strategy is that by giving a list-owner a sample of your services, you are creating the opportunity for an honest, heart-felt testimonial about the value of those services. The resulting “plug” will be so much more sincere and valuable because it’s based on true appreciation for the service you have provided. 🙂
It’s a best practice to ask the referrer not only for a friend’s email address, but also for a full name so that the message is personalized. Most important, remember to add the referee’s full name to the email as well. By referencing whom the email content was recommended by, you gain instant credibility and will attain much higher conversion rates.
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