Many marketers have “send fear” when it comes to emai marketing. They know that screwing up recipient’s names or preferences can lead to turned off subscribers and list decay. And it’s true– if you don’t do personalization correctly, you can wind up sending irrelevant messages to subscribers. However, this fear is getting in the way of marketers’ success, and the best way to move forward is to experiment with personalization. Start small, testing a few changes, and grow your strategy as you get more comfortable.

Couple your sign-up boxes with a clear description of “what’s in it for them.” Let customers know exactly what to expect when signing up, and sell the benefits for being on your email list. This can be as simple as promoting the general advantages of the channel — such as being able to receive information and offers faster and that it’s eco-friendly.


Choosing an AppSumo product their target audience would like, they let people enter to win it by taking specific actions such as subscribing via email and sharing on Twitter. Because of the viral nature of social sharing, these giveaways amplify the initial promotion to quickly reach a larger audience, all while increasing the visibility of specific AppSumo products.
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.
Save any new documentation as a PDF for download, and require that individuals enter their names and email addresses in order to access it. The value of the information you are offering is directly proportional to the amount of personal data your customers are willing to provide, so make sure the tradeoff is fair. A highly anticipated white paper or report can garner a high number of new email subscribers who are openly expressing interest in your brand, so don’t leave this opportunity unaddressed.

Even if you haven’t collected subscriber information via an email sign up form (such as one on your website or blog), you can use information collected from your CRM or e-commerce platform to personalize your campaigns. For example, Salesforce might tell you which individuals live in a certain geographic area based on their billing address. You can then use this information to send emails that are tailored to a subscriber’s physical location, which is useful if you’re promoting an event in a particular city.
One way you can do this is by heading over to Buzzsumo again and searching a keyword based on your niche.  You’ll want to find content that is popular in your niche and look for ways to make it better. Finding this kind of content can sometimes be hard, especially if you’re using broad keywords in certain niches. As a result, you’ll need to follow the tips that I provided earlier for combining the core keyword with something that relates to the ability to take action.
There is hardly anyone who doesn’t get excited at the prospect of winning something without making an effort and that too, for free. And if subscribing and giving my email is all it takes, I, for one, am going to participate! Think about it. If a landing page asks you for your email address, why would you give it, unless it was going to give you something in exchange?

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.
How your email looks is just as important as what it says. Some may argue it’s even more important. A well-designed email will ultimately be more appealing to your subscribers, so make sure your email is responsive to accommodate all devices and don’t forget to have a text version in addition to HTML. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, take advantage of 5 free, responsive email templates that we’ve created here.

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

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.
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