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.
Keep your content short and straightforward. Introductions to longer articles are fine, but emails should be just a few short paragraphs with a main call to action. And if you’re adding images, try to stay between a text to image ratio of 60:40 or 70:30 and remember to use alt tags for all images in case they don’t properly render for your recipient.
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.

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.
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.
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.

Your content should focus on how you can fulfill your customer’s needs, so make sure every email you send provides value. Most importantly, refrain from telling them how great you are, but instead make your email messages all about them. If your brand helps them accomplish something or be something better, they’ll turn into ambassadors for you without you even asking.
The key to building an engaged email marketing list lies in optimizing your opt-in pages, creating multiple opportunities for sign-up, and providing content that will empower your users. Once you acquire a new customer, make sure that you deliver on your promise by providing the tools and information that will keep them engaged with your brand for years to come.
SendGrid helps you focus on your business without the cost and complexity of owning and maintaining an email infrastructure. We help with all technical details (from domain authentication to DKIM) and offer world-class deliverability expertise to help your emails reach the inbox. And with a full-featured marketing email service that offers a flexible workflow, effortless list segmentation, and actionable analytics, all of your email needs are met in one reliable platform.

Before people hand over their email address, you’re going to have to offer them something enticing in exchange. This could be a free eBook, access to a Webinar, or the promise of discounts or deals exclusively for your subscribers. You could even repurpose some of your existing blog content and turn it into a guide or resource list. Whatever you decide to offer, just make sure it’s something people will recognize as holding true value! 

Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.

The Offer Finally, if/when you send out those “money” emails (especially for re-marketing purposes, which we will discuss later on), you need to test out offers. An extra 15-days to try the product, or a $10 discount for being on the newsletter? Should you offer an incentive to those who have signed up but haven’t gotten started with your product, or just send a reminder? Find out the answers with split-testing!


This is super actionable and thorough. I find the difficult part is coming up with an actual series for the autoresponder, and moving people towards a sale, vs saying “oh, that was nice.” I find many articles devoted to the lead magnet and landing page, without much attention on the autoresponder series – which can actually trigger a sale. Thank you for sharing your email template.
At the start of my online career i used to think that list building has no benefits but after doing some research on the topic and starting with the link building thing i came to knew it’s importance. It’s really necessary for website and blog owners to build lists or they’ll just let their selves down because list building is the game changer when Search Engines and Social Media doesn’t work for you.
A gauntlet could be three emails, five, 10… Whatever works or your niche and business. Figure out what’s best for you through testing. Once they’ve gone through the gauntlet, your leads are added to your regular email list. You should have a consistent schedule, sending around the same time, usually daily (though you may opt for a less frequent schedule).
Traffic for list building is a topic that has really frustrated me at the hands of the so-called Internet Marketing gurus. I have heard so many ideas and implemented a mishmash of them. Maybe I should go back to all my notebooks and try to condense everything that has been said and try to distill my own strategic framework out of it all. These are some of the things that stick in my mind:
Social media is becoming an increasingly prominent form of customer retention and brand awareness. With the right motivation and a properly designed email sign-up box, social media leads can often be solicited to become higher converting email marketing leads. When we discuss the best practices for designing an email capture box, we'll discuss specific practices to use when encouraging users to sign-up for your email marketing program via social media outlets.
The subscription widget is a no-brainer when it comes to maximizing your website for lead generation. Visitors are already interested or engaging with your brand, and email is a great next touchpoint for sharing non-promotional, value-adding content. It’s a free resource and a low commitment way for your prospective clients to get to know your brand.
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
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.
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