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.
Quality subscribers (those who opted in to your emails and those who open, click, forward, and reply to your emails) are way more valuable to you than a BIG list of uninterested subscribers. Those uninterested subscribers can do real, long-term damage to your email marketing program. They’re the ones who are more likely to unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam.
Figuring out when your visitor is ready to convert depends on your website viewers’ behavior, so you’ll want to conduct A/B testing to determine where you need to place your CTA. Does it work best towards the bottom of a blog page, when it slides out to the right, or does it get higher conversions at the beginning of the page, sliding out from the left?
All I know is that I have been pulled in every direction by shiny object syndrome chasing a lot of these ideas. Now is the time to step back and see what is in place and focus on things that are working. Or I can just do what Dean Holland suggested and start from list building basics until I can see a way to leverage the things that I have already done and tools I have bought.
Include social sharing buttons and an "Email to a Friend" button in your marketing emails. That way, you'll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a "Subscribe" CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.
For instance, Geoff points out popups as potentially distracting elements on a website. He recommends their use on e-commerce sites, but less so on SaaS sites. He says, “You won’t see any pop-ups on our website. While we may miss out on some emails as a result, my argument is [that] this benefits our brand [and] our credibility, and keeps the bounce rate of our site visitors down.”
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 Aweber is another good call, but I find their user interface a bit outdated and clunky (plus, their pricing starts at $19/month – not a big deal, but considering they’re not quite as good as GetResponse IMO this pushes the needle in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).

The focus of free traffic is to create content and then get people to look at the content. In my early days in Internet Marketing all the gurus talked about keywords and search engine optimization as the holy grail of free traffic. At one level this is easy to do – write your content in a keyword rich way. At the full level, this morphed into a complicated area of backlinks and private blog networks and the like. This very quickly becomes a time sink of effort and expense.
It makes sense: the people who visit your blog post or web page are looking for something specific, so your CTA needs to meet those unique needs. For instance, if you’ve got a ton of traffic visiting your “List-Building Strategy” blog article, why not entice those people to subscribe to your email list by including a simple CTA like this: “Click here to download a free list-building toolkit.”
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
To be honest, this is the first time I am on this site. I have been blogging since early 2012 but never paid so much attention on list building like I am doing now. Anyway I was just checking few articles (mainly how to guides) on list building. Landed on this page and now I know some of my mistakes that I have been making to create a list. Thanks for all the tips and they are really helpful for me.
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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