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.
For example, Crew, a company who matches companies with hand-picked freelancers, offers a number of different side projects to their customers, including things like a calculator to help people figure out the cost of an app they want develop, a collection of free stock photos, and a list of what they call ‘unicorn’ coffee shops to work from that have the ultimate combination of working perfection: good coffee, good wifi, and plenty of outlet plugs.
Customers who visit your website but don't make purchases or transactions are important email marketing leads. However, customers who do make a purchase or transaction are even more valuable email marketing leads because they've shown a willingness to purchase from you or entrust you with personal or financial information. Ensuring that you make it easy and inviting for users to opt-in to your email program when they purchase or transact with you will help you build not only a large email list but also an email list of valuable users with proven purchasing history.
Your best bet will be to give away something that’s valuable to your target market; for instance, a high-value digital asset on a niche topic. You can give away products (we’ve all seen contests where the prize is a free iPad or gift certificates), however this strategy often leads to entrants who are more interested in the money than in what you have to offer.
The live video option on Facebook, for example, can be increasingly used to your advantage, where you can connect with so many people at the same time. While you are at it, you can create a live contest too, through your live video, and get your audience on your email list by asking them to participate by leaving their email in the comment section.
When I was first starting out online, the slow and steady way is how I built my list. It’s the default way to build up an audience, and it’s not bad but it does take time. This is a perfect strategy to help you build your traffic and list over time, because it’s consistent: you create content, blog, guest post, apply SEO techniques, get word of mouth, and repeat on a regular basis.
The most obvious reason to build your email list is to maximize the value of your customers and your company revenue. However, it's also important to remember that your email list is a company asset. In the event that you want to sell your company, a high-quality email list can increase your company's overall valuation. Additionally, a high-performing email list can give your company additional revenue opportunities by giving you the chance to sell advertising space in your email products or send sponsored emails on behalf of partners or advertisers. You're not just building your marketing channel when you build email list. You're also building your company's total value. That's why it's worth your time to build a quality email list over time.
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.