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.

Until recently the gurus stayed away from pushing paid traffic, maybe because they were wary of the horror stories. It is very clear that the easy days of cheap paid traffic are long gone. Cost per click is rising especially in popular niches. Paid traffic is also easy to get wrong. Quick Start Challenge view though is that paid traffic properly done delivers more consistent results especially when conditions change. The ad platforms always have a vested interest in keeping their ad revenues flowing. The same cannot be said on keeping your content presented on free platforms.
When I think about the brands I like best, like J. Crew, Spotify, and SoulCycle, I know I’m not a loyal brand advocate because of their products alone. I can get cheaper clothes, music, and groceries from plenty of other places. Ultimately, I’m a brand advocate because I believe in what they promote and I feel invested in their stories, like SoulCycle’s: “We aspire to inspire. We inhale intention and exhale expectation.” I relate to their brand messaging.
If you choose a product everybody wants - like an iPad or an Amazon gift card - then you’re risking driving unqualified leads to your list. You don’t want to end up having to pay to have a bunch of unengaged people on your email list who aren’t interested in your topic and who will just unsubscribe the second you send them the next email and they haven’t won the giveaway.
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.
You might be a little bit worried that popup email sign-ups are going to hurt the user experience of your site. But, many bloggers have found that it isn’t bad at all. For example, Dan Zarella, found bounce rates only increased by a very small amount, while email sign-ups were 1.56% higher – which, in the long term, can be a lot of new subscribers.
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.
You probably have subscribers on your list that haven’t opened your emails for six months, one year, or even more. Whether their email address has become invalid, or they’re simply not interested in your messaging, consider removing them from your email list. Removing these subscribers will negatively affect your subscriber count, but it will positively impact your list quality, which is more important. If you get rid of these disengaged subscribers, you should see engagement rates rise. You can send a re-engagement campaign asking these subscribers if they’d like to remain on your list or be removed. If you don’t get a response, you can feel confident removing them.
“Developing the right relationships with the right people is the long game. This is how legacies are made and preserved. The new album that is suddenly everywhere and being talked about by everyone? This doesn’t just happen—it’s the result of assiduously courting the right influencers, and maybe having brought on a producer who already had those relationships.”
That’s why it is important to have a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use readily available on your site, and even a disclaimer before they sign up for anything. Not only is this good business practice, it’s also required by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter … pretty much every major company whose services you will be using to promote your business. Oh, and it is required by most governments.
Note: Searching ‘Contributor guidelines’ is a great way to do this. The submission process tends to vary from site to site, and some won’t have any ‘Contributor Guidelines’ available.  In the knitting niche, there are some sites that accept submissions via a contact form and some that will ask that we get in contact via email. If you can’t find the contact information of a blog, sign up to their email list and then reply to the address that is used.
The big splash works wonders because you capture the attention of the market. It’s the be everywhere at once advantage. But to understand how to pull off a launch, you need to know exactly how much time goes into it. The reason a big splash is different from a short burst is because there are usually months of time dedicated to the launch leading up to it. And by months, I mean upwards of 4 months for really big launches.

If you don’t wish to adopt any of the above-mentioned strategies to build your email list, you can also use blogger outreach programs and software that help promote your company, product or service. They post about you on their site in exchange for product, payment or any service, as a result of which you get mentioned in several places online which is likely to create email traffic for you.

Buffer – This one is the simplest and most practical for the purposes of promoting content since it will automatically try to share the content you pop into its feed to your social profiles at the most relevant time, maximizing exposure. The main downside they scaled back on their free plan so now you’re limited to connecting 2 or 3 social media profiles before they required you to upgrade. Regardless, it’s still very affordable and worth the $20 per month they charge.
Today’s tools make it easy send more individualized messages. You can use dynamic content to change certain parts of the email based on information you have about your subscribers. For example, you can use dynamic content to show different images based on where your subscriber is located. You can select which lists or segments of lists should see a particular part of an email. Dynamic content allows you to create several versions of the email for different sets of customers based on what you know about them, all from within one campaign.
That’s why it is important to have a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use readily available on your site, and even a disclaimer before they sign up for anything. Not only is this good business practice, it’s also required by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter … pretty much every major company whose services you will be using to promote your business. Oh, and it is required by most governments.
You might be doing all the right things to generate leads -- landing pages, gated content, contests, and more. The problem might be that the design or copy itself isn't driving the engagement you need. A/B test (also known as "split test") different aspects of your list-building campaigns with different versions of the same content. This includes the call-to-action text, the color of the gated offer, the time of day you're posting to social media, and even where on your website these signup forms are placed. Sometimes a small change can drive hundreds more conversions.
Customer reviews are the "social proof" that encourages people to join in on something. It's one thing for you to tell people to sign up for a campaign, but it's another thing for your happiest customers to say it too. Publish your best reviews from communities like Yelp right to your website. This adds genuine value to your landing pages when people are on the fence about submitting their contact information. 
Brian. You talk about how all these variables matter in getting this article to rank #1 for “list building” and how competitors have way more links than you, but then you also consider your DA and your PA together, you have almost the highest score out of the top 10 rankings; and when you consider you are more topical authority, then that explains why Hugpages (all purpose site) is not ranking higher. Maybe its not all as complicated as you suggest.

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.
Create as many subscription widgets as needed and test their performance across your sites. The subscription widget’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor allows customize your forms with a few clicks of the mouse. Edit the layout, text, image, and color scheme order to fit your brand’s visual aesthetic. When you’ve landed on a design you’d like to use, the tool will generate an HTML code to be copy and pasted into your website’s source code.

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.
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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