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).


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.
Social media. If niche forums was a great way to find people in your niche and connect with them, then social media is a great way to DRAW people into your content. Yes, once you get started, for example with your Facebook page, you can start posting content that you know your possible subscribers are going to dig! Then they'll share your stuff and your list will grow exponentially.
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%.
As marketers, we all know the importance of building, harvesting and growing our own list of email subscribers. Let's face it, having your own list is one of the best ways to guarantee your business a stable and recurring source of income. Instead of capturing clients all over again, you can create a cycle and monetize those subscribers over and over again.
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.
Just because your email list is an online marketing tool, it doesn't mean that you only have to solicit emails online! If you have a retail location, you can collect emails when customers purchase or visit the store or other location. If you market by attending festivals or concerts, you can collect emails at those locations. Offering to raffle off a prize but requiring an email on the raffle ticket can also be an effective way to grow your email list. Of course, you'll have to dedicate the time to retyping all of the emails that you collect into your system, but it's often worth it. Don't overlook offline opportunities to grow your email list.
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.
It’s a best practice to ask the referrer not only for a friend’s email address, but also for a full name so that the message is personalized. Most important, remember to add the referee’s full name to the email as well. By referencing whom the email content was recommended by, you gain instant credibility and will attain much higher conversion rates.
Unsubscribe rates track when you’ve finally lost permission for good. When someone unsubscribes from your list, it means they’ve gotten to the point where they’d like to formally revoke permission and never hear from you again. Marketers tend to focus on unsubscribe rates as the ultimate measure of when permission is lost. But the truth is, you probably lost permission far before your subscriber reached for that unsubscribe button.
Once you have a topic for content creation, you then need to think about producing it. What you want to do, is create something that’s better than what’s available. As I mentioned before, this can mean that you make the existing content more actionable.  It can also relate to creating content that has a better design.  It may even be just that you add more images, because content with more images tends to get 94% more views than content without images.  Creating something with a lot of words also helps, because if a post is longer than 1,500 words it tends to rank higher in the search engines.

I would agree with that statement and here’s why you should too. According to research from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) email returns $40 for every $1 spend on average. In addition, the same study found that email marketing has a buy rate 1000% higher than social media (such as Facebook and Twitter), and double that of organic search engine marketing (SEO).


It’s extremely affordable (starting at $15/month), while incredibly powerful and easy to use. I also find that GetResponse have some of the best newsletter template designs around. Aweber is another good call, but I find their user interface a bit outdated and clunky (plus, their pricing starts at $19/month – not a big deal, but considering they’re not quite as good as GetResponse IMO this pushes the needle in favour of GetResponse even more).
You could have an ad or post on Facebook, a pay-per-click ad, a banner ad, a video on YouTube…. Whatever it is, you’ll have a compelling message that, hopefully, convinces the prospect to click your link to get more information. It often helps to include a limited-time offer of some sort, to create urgency. You should include a link on whatever type of ad you use.
Video is a huge player when it comes to traffic. Videos provide content in a really similar way that articles do. Creating video content is not hard, and I'm going to show you how to create compelling videos so that you can actually drive traffic to your squeeze pages. The good thing about videos is that it filters the traffic that's going on to your sites so that all of the visitors have been previously targeted.
Subscribers get on your lists through sign up forms, but are you collecting info that can help you improve engagement? Create a new sign up form and ask for information that you can use later. For example, Topshop asks for birthday information, which can allow them to send relevant birthday offers, horoscopes, and age-related messaging. The brand also asks whether the subscriber is a student, which will allow them to send related campaigns.
Thank you for your comments RJ :) One thing just always sticks in my head and that is a comment made by highly reputable marketer. He basically had built up a sizeable list in Aweber and then because of a failed payment Aweber locked him out and he was unable to retrieve his leads. I think it is common knowledge that Aweber are not keen on biz ops etc . Can anyone else comment on this too? I know when I was actively promoting EN, EN reported that Aweber are not that keen on MLM etc so Get response was their new solution.
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.
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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