Some may argue that asking for opt-in results in a smaller contact list since customers have to perform this extra step. However, not asking for permission before sending puts you at risk of being marked as spam or worse, being blacklisted by an ISP – and obviously at risk of fines, since May 25th. Just one abuse complaint can lead to having both your Domain name and IP addresses blacklisted.
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
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.
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.
Thank you for your comments RJ :) One thing just always sticks in my head and that is a comment made by highly reputable marketer. He basically had built up a sizeable list in Aweber and then because of a failed payment Aweber locked him out and he was unable to retrieve his leads. I think it is common knowledge that Aweber are not keen on biz ops etc . Can anyone else comment on this too? I know when I was actively promoting EN, EN reported that Aweber are not that keen on MLM etc so Get response was their new solution.

For the initial launch of our blog, we mainly leveraged our network to get the word out about our new site. Most of the traffic for our initial first post came from posting on our personal Facebook pages as well as some Facebook groups that were focused around marketing and entrepreneurship such as From Wantrapreneur to Entrepreneur (a private group for people who’ve taken the SumoMe Building $1,000 monthly business course). We also tweeted from our personal accounts to get the word out. Finally, Benji emailed an old list of his that had 164 people on it, and got a 13.5% click rate, so that also drove some traffic.
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?
Considered a form of interruption marketing, interstitials are any page or pop-up that forms a roadblock to users’ path to content, either by displaying over the content or interrupting it. Users have no choice but to interact with the display before they can proceed. Forbes was a classic example of the “before” interstitial (also known as a “prestitial”).
I am a newbie too. For what your getting is free, it is great information. If you sign up for example with a weber they have their people that will assist you on setting up the auto responder. I felt it was very clear and easy to understand. If you do have questions you can also google it and they have great resources to be able to clarify it, or as Kyle said earlier in the introduction. One of the promises he asked of us all, is to ask questions.
When a single step, like entering an email address into a collection field or selecting a checkbox, is taken to subscribe to an email marketing list. This practice is considered dangerous for a sender because nothing is preventing typos or forged email addresses from being added to your subscriber lists. With a single opt-in, there could be risks to your email delivery and reputation due to both a high number of bounced addresses and from blacklistings due to high spam traps.
Note: Searching ‘Contributor guidelines’ is a great way to do this. The submission process tends to vary from site to site, and some won’t have any ‘Contributor Guidelines’ available.  In the knitting niche, there are some sites that accept submissions via a contact form and some that will ask that we get in contact via email. If you can’t find the contact information of a blog, sign up to their email list and then reply to the address that is used.

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.)

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.
Giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook have imposed countless rules that limit what you can and can’t do to promote your business. If you repeat content, you’re in trouble. If you “keyword stuff,” you’re in trouble. If you backlink to shady sources, you’re in trouble. If you violate their rules, they penalize you by not displaying your content, moving you down on their results, or banning you entirely.
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.
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.
This is ideal if you’ve got an actual business to run, or maybe you have a day job and this is your side project. It’s simple enough to dedicate a few hours per week to showing up and creating content. Over time your site’s authority will increase in the search engines, you’ll develop word of mouth from your fans, and things will slowly pick up the pace.
When they click on the link, they are taken to a landing page that has strong copy that reveals the biggest benefits of your product or service. Show the prospect how their life will change. You want this landing page, also called a signup page or squeeze page, to be short and to the point. (It is possible, of course, to just send them to your main website. But it could be distracting with all the links and different pages.
This can be a controversial topic, as many would consider this an interstitial. And some might not prefer this method as it might not be seen as the most user-friendly. However, if done correctly, they can have some serious sign-up power. Online learning management system Fedora, now rebranded as Teachable, deployed this strategy on their homepage to increase sign-ups for a promotional webinar.
People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
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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