If you’re serious about growing your business, building a healthy email list should be one of your top priorities. When it comes down to it, your list is one of the only online assets that you have 100% control over. Having a solid social media presence is absolutely essential (here’s why), but you’ll always be at the mercy of new and changing algorithms (think Facebook’s Edgerank). And achieving high search engine rankings is great too, but again, you’re at the mercy of changing algorithms and updates.
Include an opt-in field (i.e. checkbox) within your landing page forms to opt users into your list. This gives visibility to your email offerings and provides a value add to customers who have already engaged with your product. It’s important not to pre-check the box (see pre-selected opt-in below)–instead allow potential subscribers to choose whether or not to opt in.
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.
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.
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.
Integrations can help you marry data from your CRM with your email lists. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a developer to help you improve your lists. Automation and personalization are now totally accessible for the DIY marketer, and you don’t need to be using an enterprise-level tool to effectively do automation and personalization. Campaign Monitor integrates with CRMs such as Salesforce, Zapier, Sage, and many others. It also integrates with e-commerce platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, Eventbrite, and more.

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.


Thanks for sharing this idea. What I love most about your strategy is that by giving a list-owner a sample of your services, you are creating the opportunity for an honest, heart-felt testimonial about the value of those services. The resulting “plug” will be so much more sincere and valuable because it’s based on true appreciation for the service you have provided. 🙂

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

If you need to grow your email list quickly, there are a number of services that will allow you to rent or purchase email names. However, doing so comes with several risks. Most list purchases or rentals are somewhat expensive, and you may not make your money back as quickly or as regularly. Additionally, a rented or purchased list means that you are buying email addresses of individuals who have not been exposed to or shown and interest in your brand or product. This may mean that they are less likely to respond to your email, and may even mark your email as spam. This could create domain reputation problems for you with future email sends. Finally, if you do choose to rent or purchase a list, be sure to use a credible agency. If you rent or purchase a list that includes a high number of bad email addresses that will bounce or be undeliverable, you will incur sender reputation penalties that will impact your ability to email market moving forward. While buying or renting an email list can help to quickly grow your email list and show returns, proceed with caution when soliciting and buying lists.
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
WOW! We want to do EVERYTHING we read about here at Wealthy Affiliate University! Are there enough hours in the day? Hope so! Actually we are thinking about dividing the week up into 6 days... one day off... and put in so many days on article writing, so many days on email marketing, etc. Does that sound like it will work? (We have committed to working at least 6 to 8 hours a day M-F and 4 hrs on Saturday)
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Wow – now this is an exhaustive list of enough reasons to NOT fail when generating ideas to build your list. I particularly like the idea of hosting a JV giveaway as you can leverage different audiences and the cost is minimal for the exposure (providing you team up with a blogger who has an engaged audience). Guest posting is an interesting one as I believe to get more audience back to your page and build credibility, you really need to guest post on sites which have a loyal audience that engages with the author e.g. Adriennesmith.net or firepolemarketing.com . Great job with the post Ana 🙂
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.

Growing your email list can be quite similar to advertising your business as a whole. Websites that have similar content or user demographics to your website can be great places to prospect for potential email list leads. You can do this in a number of ways. Ideally, you can cut a deal with the website on which you want to collect emails to promise them advertising space in any email that you send. This will save you from having to pay to advertise for your email list. You can also pay to advertise for sign-ups to your email list on other websites. You can do this by purchasing an impression-based or click-based advertising campaign, or you can offer to pay per valid email sign-up. Both are acceptable industry standard ways to pay for email advertising. However, if you are going to pay to advertise your email list and recruit email sign-ups on another website, you'll need to ensure that you have a firm understanding of what you can afford to spend per email sign-up is. To do this, you'll have to assign a value to an email name. The best way to do this is to keep it simple. Take a look at your last email send. If you had an email list of one hundred people and your email generated $100 in revenue, then you can spend $1 per email sign-up.
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.
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.
This is especially effective of course if the content you’re sharing is relevant to your own business, and if you’re sharing it to or with a group of your target audience. If you share highly relevant content on Facebook and your target audience clicks on it from your Snip.ly link, chances are they’ll also be interested in your content and opt-in offers. Use Snip.ly to add calls to action to all of the relevant content you share.
Many marketers are afraid of screwing up, and they let “send fear” take over. It’s important to try personalization beyond just using first names in the body or subject line of the message and have the confidence to test personalization for your brand. If you’re skeptical, use A/B tests to figure out if personalization resonates with your lists. Make sure all fields are mapped to the right things, so that when your campaign goes out, everything appears correctly.
You can use this strategy to your advantage and increase your email list by giving people an incentive in return for their email. The giveaway could be free access to an e-book, a report, a gift hamper, or perhaps a lucky draw where people enter their emails and get a chance to win. A tantalizing offer is all you need for people to comply. For example: 
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