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.

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.
I’ve tested the Welcome Mat and Smart Bar apps as well but they didn’t produce anywhere near the conversion rate of the List Builder and Scrollbox apps (note: that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test them on your site… it’s just that they didn’t perform that well on our site with the setup we used so we removed them so not to distract the visitor too much while we figure out new ways to test them).
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

When you build a list, there are benefits that come with your subscriber base. You have the opportunity to track your emails (who received them, who opened them, etc). You can separate your list and segment it to those who want to receive certain emails or specific information. But more than anything else, you have a list of people who want to read your emails. Those can refer their friends to your business and help it grow through word of mouth.
For effective and actionable results, you should do A/B tests, which test two (or more) different approaches. For example, you could send half of your list one subject line, and an alternate subject line to the other half. You could also A/B test the two approaches with a small subset of your list, then send the winning headline to the rest of the list. 
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