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.
Appropriately ending our discussion of opt-in forms is the exit-intent popup. As the name implies, these pop-ups show up when users display a behavior indicating their intent to leave the page. Triggers for exit-intents can be rapid mouse movement toward the top right of the screen (where the close button typically is), clicking on off-page links, set on a timer, or activated on scrolling.
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.
You could have an ad or post on Facebook, a pay-per-click ad, a banner ad, a video on YouTube…. Whatever it is, you’ll have a compelling message that, hopefully, convinces the prospect to click your link to get more information. It often helps to include a limited-time offer of some sort, to create urgency. You should include a link on whatever type of ad you use.
One often overlooked strategy for list building is to step outside of your immediate market, and get known in new verticals. Take for example, my list building advice: it works for bloggers, but it can also work for photographers, dentists, and jewelry designers. I’ve been able to repurpose my content and do short focused bursts of list building in these different markets.
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.)
If that’s not enough to convince you to toss interstitials in the bin and never look back, there’s also the fact that users report these interactions as among their most-hated advertising practices (defined as ‘modals’ in this study by the Nielsen Norman Group). On a one to seven scale, modals (interstitials) landed at 5.82 for desktop users and 5.89 for mobile users, beating even autoplaying videos without skip for most-dreaded advertising type.
 It used to be you would have only one lead magnet on your site and that was sufficient. However, today your content and nurture sequence need to be highly relevant to the exact solution the person is actively looking for. By creating a content upgrade that is specific to a highly-targeted piece of content that is getting lots of attention helps you to raise that relevancy and turn more visitors into email subscribers.”
Every ESP will give you tools to create an opt-in form for your site. Generally speaking, the less information you ask for (at this initial stage, at least), the better. The more information you ask for, the less likely your prospect is to complete the process. You’ll obviously need to ask for an email address, and I also highly recommended that you ask for a first name so you can personalize your emails. However, asking for any information beyond these two fields can decrease conversion rates significantly without adding much valuable data.
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.
Matt Ackerson founded AutoGrow (Petovera Inc.) in 2010 as a conversion-focused web design agency. The company has since worked one-on-one with over 500 customers and clients to create their sales funnels. Matt is a graduate of Cornell University. He and AutoGrow have been featured in Techcrunch, Forbes, Inc, Venture Beat, Mashable, and Popular Science among others. He and the team write in-depth articles on digital marketing, sales funnel design, and also offer an advanced funnel training course here on AutoGrow.co

You have a website. Perhaps it's a brand new website, or perhaps it's a website that's existed for a while but you haven't focused on collecting email addresses. Your website has content, products, or services that you want to communicate with individuals about. To do that, you want to combine a social media strategy with an email communications list. However, you're a little stumped as to where to find email addresses and subscribers. In this section, we'll walk you through all of the locations that you should utilize to build email list and to maximize finding email subscribers.


Great article. Thank you. I’ve just started a blog and eZine. Swapping services with another company is one of the first things on my list. They are plugging my work in their newsletter, and linking on the basis that we co-refer through our emailings. We are in the same general market but our niches complement rather than compete. The reason they agreed was because they like having extra content for their list.
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.
Of course, getting people to read your content is not what this blog post is about – it’s about getting people to join your email list. Because of this, let’s focus on ways you can build your email list, when it comes to your own blog. It is important that you have all of the above down before you start promoting your content, or else your efforts might be in vain.
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.”

“Developing the right relationships with the right people is the long game. This is how legacies are made and preserved. The new album that is suddenly everywhere and being talked about by everyone? This doesn’t just happen—it’s the result of assiduously courting the right influencers, and maybe having brought on a producer who already had those relationships.”
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