When a single step, like entering an email address into a collection field or selecting a checkbox, is taken to subscribe to an email marketing list. This practice is considered dangerous for a sender because nothing is preventing typos or forged email addresses from being added to your subscriber lists. With a single opt-in, there could be risks to your email delivery and reputation due to both a high number of bounced addresses and from blacklistings due to high spam traps.
There are tons of websites and publishers out there that cater to your audience -- and larger portions of it. Guest blogging for these websites helps you expand your contact list to this audience. When creating content as a guest blogger for another website, include a call-to-action, as well as a link in you author byline, for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email newsletter.
Advertising your email list on websites other than your own site can be a great way to grow your email list. In fact, it can often be more profitable than simply advertising your website. If you can give users a compelling reason to sign up for your email (such as free offers or discount codes), it is a much lower barrier to entry for most people to sign up for an email list than to make an initial purchase. Just be sure that you understand how much you can afford to spend per email address and that you have a plan in place to identify which emails came from which advertising sources.
Groups are specialized list fields that correspond to fields on your signup forms. They let you ask your contacts to self-categorize with preset responses that you provide. For example, a garden shop might ask their contacts what best describes them: a gardener, landscaper, or indoor plant enthusiast. After contacts self-select their interests, you can create internal tags based on group data, or send email campaigns to a segment containing one group, a few groups, or all of them.
Someone who has done a great job of becoming known in many verticals is Chris Guillebeau, he sits at the intersection of many markets like travel, entrepreneurship, artists, and so on. I personally stumbled upon this idea with my different blogs and businesses in the raw food market, when I realized there was a lot of overlap and people would follow me from one topic to the next.
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.
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.)