Include an opt-in field (i.e. checkbox) within your landing page forms to opt users into your list. This gives visibility to your email offerings and provides a value add to customers who have already engaged with your product. It’s important not to pre-check the box (see pre-selected opt-in below)–instead allow potential subscribers to choose whether or not to opt in.
One of the first dilemmas that you'll need to deal with when you begin to build email list is the quality versus quantity debate. Obviously, the larger your email list is, the more potential you have to generate revenue from it. However, as with most marketing activities, the quality of your leads is equally important. If you create a large email list by porting over old contacts or by buying or renting a large list, you may have a great number of email addresses. However, you may have very few email addresses that are actually leads who are interested in interacting with your product, company, or brand. That's why it's often a better idea to start slowly and build email list over time. Focus on getting the best quality leads on your email list and then let the numbers grow as your business grows. While you ultimately do need to grow the largest email marketing list possible, you also need to grow a quality list that will respond to your offers and increase your company revenue.
For subscribers who may have been on your list for a longer period of time, a small incentive or discount will often get them talking. Marketers should capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing by incorporating email sign-up on viral components, such as features that allow site visitors to forward products, services, wish lists, information online, notifications and more to their friends.
Once you’ve got that ability to shoot traffic to wherever you want, the skies the limit. You can promote affiliate products, you can always make sure your newest blog posts gets the attention it deserves, you can sell your own products to people, you can do favors for people by spreading the word of their cause or website… The list goes on and on. Having traffic at your fingertips is an awesome asset.
Brilliant! I know I probably shouldn’t be writing all just love what you’re saying here. But “love” what and “how” you are saying this here. I haven’t done the email thing yet, it’s something I’m ready to do and would benefit from too. But reading this today – found myself wanting to say, I would have wrote that – I want to copy and paste and tell others because you saved me the answer to myself being asked how do you do it Jane or errrrr zJayne!
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.
This is super actionable and thorough. I find the difficult part is coming up with an actual series for the autoresponder, and moving people towards a sale, vs saying “oh, that was nice.” I find many articles devoted to the lead magnet and landing page, without much attention on the autoresponder series – which can actually trigger a sale. Thank you for sharing your email template.
This exit-intent technology works by monitoring the movement of the mouse. When the system detects that a visitor is about to leave your site (by the movement of their mouse towards exiting the page or clicking bookmark links) a secondary message pops up to appeal to your visitors and engage with them further. Let’s see specifically how you can use this to maximise the number of visitors signing up for your newsletter.
Solo ads is essentially a method of paying someone to mail to their list for you. I don’t do this very often anymore but it is a very very effective way to jumpstart a list. If you followed along to a previous 30 day challenge I did on my old blog, Business & Blogs, you would have seen me go in to great depth about how I gained almost 1,000 new subscribers through solo ads alone.
Visitors to your website might overlook the call to sign up that you have at the top of every page, but it’s harder to ignore a lightbox or pop-up. Scroll boxes pop up on visitors’ screens after they’ve scrolled down a certain length of the page. The box encourages them to sign up for your email list. They can be effective for encouraging a user who’s already shown interest in your content (by staying on the page long enough to scroll) to sign up for your email list.

He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.


My suspicion is that our initial surge of subscribers has to do with what I mentioned at the top of this post: Our journey is compelling.  Plain and simple, people want to see if we can hit these numbers or not. (By the way, if you want to read our current articles — all which are very in depth articles with case studies and examples in each one about content marketing for real businesses, join our email list.)

Now that you’re all set up to starting collecting emails, the fun part begins (when I say ‘fun’, I actually mean ‘hard’). If your site receives a good amount of traffic and you have a truly compelling offer, this shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if you’re like most business owners, you’ll need to look outside your own audience to start building your list.


The Offer Finally, if/when you send out those “money” emails (especially for re-marketing purposes, which we will discuss later on), you need to test out offers. An extra 15-days to try the product, or a $10 discount for being on the newsletter? Should you offer an incentive to those who have signed up but haven’t gotten started with your product, or just send a reminder? Find out the answers with split-testing!

Wow – now this is an exhaustive list of enough reasons to NOT fail when generating ideas to build your list. I particularly like the idea of hosting a JV giveaway as you can leverage different audiences and the cost is minimal for the exposure (providing you team up with a blogger who has an engaged audience). Guest posting is an interesting one as I believe to get more audience back to your page and build credibility, you really need to guest post on sites which have a loyal audience that engages with the author e.g. Adriennesmith.net or firepolemarketing.com . Great job with the post Ana 🙂

This practice gives users the option (or forces them) to agree to receive email from third parties. Co-registration is very risky and should be used with caution because it can be confusing to recipients if they did not remember leaving boxes checked and accidentally signed up for emails they did not expect. This can easily lead to spam reports and corresponding email deliverability issues.
Solo ads is essentially a method of paying someone to mail to their list for you. I don’t do this very often anymore but it is a very very effective way to jumpstart a list. If you followed along to a previous 30 day challenge I did on my old blog, Business & Blogs, you would have seen me go in to great depth about how I gained almost 1,000 new subscribers through solo ads alone.
Use a reactivation campaign to gauge whether non-responsive subscribers are still reading (just not clicking through or tracking open rates), or if they’ve truly decided to opt out. An example from MarketingProfs is shown here. The language you choose can play a big role in how successful these campaigns are, so be sure to split-test a few versions to maximize response.
Tip: Align the timing of your pop-up form with the average amount of time a visitor spends on your website. Set the form to appear immediately (or with a 5-second delay) if people aren’t inclined to spend much time on your site. If visitors have a tendency to browse, consider a 20-second delay or a scroll-based trigger when someone reaches the middle or bottom of your page.
This is super actionable and thorough. I find the difficult part is coming up with an actual series for the autoresponder, and moving people towards a sale, vs saying “oh, that was nice.” I find many articles devoted to the lead magnet and landing page, without much attention on the autoresponder series – which can actually trigger a sale. Thank you for sharing your email template.
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
Most of the how-to articles you read about list building strategies are actually talking about specific list building tactics. You know, like how to use SEO to drive traffic, how to use a specific type of squeeze page, or how to guest post. These are all specific actions you can take to get more traffic and subscribers, but they don’t constitute an overarching strategy.
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If you take the time to build your email list the right way, you’ll encounter fewer obstacles with your deliverability and you’ll cultivate a strong group of brand advocates who will champion your email program. So when your boss tells you to send an “email blast” to as many people as possible, remind them that the numbers you want to concentrate on are your email engagement numbers, not your list size.
How your email looks is just as important as what it says. Some may argue it’s even more important. A well-designed email will ultimately be more appealing to your subscribers, so make sure your email is responsive to accommodate all devices and don’t forget to have a text version in addition to HTML. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, take advantage of 5 free, responsive email templates that we’ve created here.

Some services have referral programs for growing lists, but you won’t always get the right audience’s attention. So often, those programs for getting 100 subscribers in a day are abused and cheated, and you’ll end up with 100 robots who don’t actually read your emails. There is the chance that your service’s referral program is legit and will get you genuinely interested subscribers, but just make sure to do your research.
Start by asking “What do we want to send? What automation do we want to do? What personalization do we want to do?” Then work backward based on those goals. In order to increase the quality of your list, you must assess where you’re at, and make some goals about where you’d like to be. Once you’ve figured out the current state of your list, you can then build a strategy from the ground up.
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.
Building an email list is not an easy task. However, it is an extremely effective marketing strategy. In fact, email marketing is 40 times more effective at converting prospects into customers than social media or any other online medium. The reason why you should do it, then, is to create engaged contacts who will turn into loyal (paying) customers.
Once you’ve got that ability to shoot traffic to wherever you want, the skies the limit. You can promote affiliate products, you can always make sure your newest blog posts gets the attention it deserves, you can sell your own products to people, you can do favors for people by spreading the word of their cause or website… The list goes on and on. Having traffic at your fingertips is an awesome asset.

Subscribers get on your lists through sign up forms, but are you collecting info that can help you improve engagement? Create a new sign up form and ask for information that you can use later. For example, Topshop asks for birthday information, which can allow them to send relevant birthday offers, horoscopes, and age-related messaging. The brand also asks whether the subscriber is a student, which will allow them to send related campaigns.
Unsubscribe rates track when you’ve finally lost permission for good. When someone unsubscribes from your list, it means they’ve gotten to the point where they’d like to formally revoke permission and never hear from you again. Marketers tend to focus on unsubscribe rates as the ultimate measure of when permission is lost. But the truth is, you probably lost permission far before your subscriber reached for that unsubscribe button.

To incentivize the prospect to sign up, it’s important to offer them some sort of free bonus, like an ebook, access to a webinar, or whatever attractive freebie you can give them that is related to your business. But you shouldn't have to bust your butt to put this bonus together. You could collect together past blog posts into one PDF, for example.
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