There are tons of websites and publishers out there that cater to your audience -- and larger portions of it. Guest blogging for these websites helps you expand your contact list to this audience. When creating content as a guest blogger for another website, include a call-to-action, as well as a link in you author byline, for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email newsletter.
It used to be that marketers were set on building the largest email list possible, and many companies continue to boast about their “thousands” of subscribers. In order to stay competitive, marketers have tried tons of tactics to grow their lists, from pop-ups, to coaxing emails from lead gen assets, to running contests on social media that require an email address to sign up.
Groups are specialized list fields that correspond to fields on your signup forms. They let you ask your contacts to self-categorize with preset responses that you provide. For example, a garden shop might ask their contacts what best describes them: a gardener, landscaper, or indoor plant enthusiast. After contacts self-select their interests, you can create internal tags based on group data, or send email campaigns to a segment containing one group, a few groups, or all of them.
Offline events like trade shows are highly anticipated growth opportunities for professionals in your industry. Demo your latest product at an appropriate conference and collect signups in-person. Once you're back at the office, import these signups into your contact database. Be sure to send these contacts a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list. (See #8 in this blog post for tips on sending welcome emails.)
You can’t begin to personalize your campaigns if all you have is an email address, so work to figure out what data you already have. Do you have information on past purchase behavior, length of time on your email list, customer status, or geography? All of these areas can be leveraged for personalization, which will, in turn, improve list quality. Where does this information live? Is it in your CRM, e-commerce platform, or somewhere else? Integrations can help you combine your email list with outside information.
Mailchimp – This is the most affordable option on the market today and their email template design editor is quite feature rich. It also has a drag and drop interface. Their major downsides to Mailchimp is (a) they’re terrible, robotic customer support and (b) it feels like a lot more steps than are necessary to send a newsletter or to setup an autoresponder.
Customer reviews are the "social proof" that encourages people to join in on something. It's one thing for you to tell people to sign up for a campaign, but it's another thing for your happiest customers to say it too. Publish your best reviews from communities like Yelp right to your website. This adds genuine value to your landing pages when people are on the fence about submitting their contact information. 
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.

One of the reasons I signed up with WA is because I was having problems filling out the info on Aweber. I couldn't figure out where my affiliate link was supposed to go. I still don't know. I've listened to YouTube tutorials then when I try to do what they say I get confused or have questions and there is no one to ask. One day I'll see the live chat button the next day it's gone. I know it's me but it is so frustrating.
It’s important to note that these systems make your job a whole lot easier through automation. The leads can sign up, be added to the list, start getting emails, even make sales… All while you sleep. With these systems, you can send the same email to thousands of people at the same time, automatically. You could potentially set up a schedule of emails going out for weeks or more at a time. You can even manually send emails if you want to run campaigns or send out messages on the fly.
You can’t begin to personalize your campaigns if all you have is an email address, so work to figure out what data you already have. Do you have information on past purchase behavior, length of time on your email list, customer status, or geography? All of these areas can be leveraged for personalization, which will, in turn, improve list quality. Where does this information live? Is it in your CRM, e-commerce platform, or somewhere else? Integrations can help you combine your email list with outside information.
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.

Your content should focus on how you can fulfill your customer’s needs, so make sure every email you send provides value. Most importantly, refrain from telling them how great you are, but instead make your email messages all about them. If your brand helps them accomplish something or be something better, they’ll turn into ambassadors for you without you even asking.
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.
Traffic for list building is a topic that has really frustrated me at the hands of the so-called Internet Marketing gurus. I have heard so many ideas and implemented a mishmash of them. Maybe I should go back to all my notebooks and try to condense everything that has been said and try to distill my own strategic framework out of it all. These are some of the things that stick in my mind:

Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.


Instead, I’m talking about timed pop-up ads, or onsite retargeting. After a user spends a certain amount of time on your page, she can receive a pop-up relevant to the content on that page, or to her behavior. Examples include exit pop-ups, which appear when a user tries to leave the page, or scroll pop-ups, which appear after the user scrolls a certain percentage down the page.
It’s another grind-level tactic but if you’re just starting out with no list then this can work wonders. Product Hunt Every time you launch a new product, chances are it could be a good fit for Product Hunt. To make sure your product gets accepted by the moderators, make sure you reach out to an influential Product Hunter and get them to submit it on your behalf.
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).
Buffer – This one is the simplest and most practical for the purposes of promoting content since it will automatically try to share the content you pop into its feed to your social profiles at the most relevant time, maximizing exposure. The main downside they scaled back on their free plan so now you’re limited to connecting 2 or 3 social media profiles before they required you to upgrade. Regardless, it’s still very affordable and worth the $20 per month they charge.
The big splash works wonders because you capture the attention of the market. It’s the be everywhere at once advantage. But to understand how to pull off a launch, you need to know exactly how much time goes into it. The reason a big splash is different from a short burst is because there are usually months of time dedicated to the launch leading up to it. And by months, I mean upwards of 4 months for really big launches.
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.
Until recently the gurus stayed away from pushing paid traffic, maybe because they were wary of the horror stories. It is very clear that the easy days of cheap paid traffic are long gone. Cost per click is rising especially in popular niches. Paid traffic is also easy to get wrong. Quick Start Challenge view though is that paid traffic properly done delivers more consistent results especially when conditions change. The ad platforms always have a vested interest in keeping their ad revenues flowing. The same cannot be said on keeping your content presented on free platforms.
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?

Unfortunately, there’s a bit too much depth to the topic for me to cram everything in to a single blog post. Therefore, I’m going to begin creating a multi-part blog series on list building. Over the next couple days, I’m going to purely focus on teaching some tricks of the trade to build a list quickly (these have now all been merged into this single post).
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