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.)
Let's suppose you have an "anti-virus" website where you are promoting various products that scan your computer for viruses. You could send emails out to your list that explain what viruses are, or what new viruses are out there and how you could be infected. Then, you can mention that the viruses can be removed instantly by product A and product B. At that point you will want to add your affiliate link in the email or direct the visitor to a review page of your choice.
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.
Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.
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.

One of the first dilemmas that you'll need to deal with when you begin to build email list is the quality versus quantity debate. Obviously, the larger your email list is, the more potential you have to generate revenue from it. However, as with most marketing activities, the quality of your leads is equally important. If you create a large email list by porting over old contacts or by buying or renting a large list, you may have a great number of email addresses. However, you may have very few email addresses that are actually leads who are interested in interacting with your product, company, or brand. That's why it's often a better idea to start slowly and build email list over time. Focus on getting the best quality leads on your email list and then let the numbers grow as your business grows. While you ultimately do need to grow the largest email marketing list possible, you also need to grow a quality list that will respond to your offers and increase your company revenue.
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.
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”).
Article marketing is one of the most effective ways to build your list. Even though it's free when it comes to spending money, you have to provide your future subscribers with real content, content that will actually solve their problems and fulfill their needs. You can either write articles yourself, or pay someone to do it. Websites such as Ezine articles allows you to upload your articles in plain tech. However, 2.0 sites, such as Hubpages or Squidoo provide much more options in terms of customization and graphic backup.
Well, once your guest post is accepted on a site, you’ll often have the chance to create something known as an ‘author bio.’  In this section, you can mention that you have some complementary content available. This is often known as a ‘content upgrade.’  If the content you’re giving away is highly related to the blog post, you’re going to increase the odds of conversion rates being high.
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!
How do you go about getting people to join yet another newsletter — let alone actually buy your stuff once they've signed up? At the end of the day, you need the right mix of incentives, signup forms and high quality, valuable content to send out. Let's take a look at how to put all these ingredients together so you can drive more signups and sales.
Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.
We recently personalized an email campaign based on subscriber’s individual location. We created different images for people in the UK, USA, and Australia and tested them against a generic version (with just one location-agnostic image) to see if personalized images worked better. By making the images in our email campaigns personalized to the subscriber’s location, we were able to increase our email click-through rate by 29%.
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.
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.

The most obvious and logical place to find interested email subscribers is on your website itself. If users are visiting your website (regardless of whether they purchase or make a transaction), they have an interest in the information or content that you're providing. Every page of your website should include an email sign-up box that allows users to join your mailing list. We'll discuss the best practices for creating that email sign-up box later in this section. However, every visitor to your website is a potential email subscriber.
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.

Unfortunately, there’s a bit too much depth to the topic for me to cram everything in to a single blog post. Therefore, I’m going to begin creating a multi-part blog series on list building. Over the next couple days, I’m going to purely focus on teaching some tricks of the trade to build a list quickly (these have now all been merged into this single post).

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