It used to be that marketers were set on building the largest email list possible, and many companies continue to boast about their “thousands” of subscribers. In order to stay competitive, marketers have tried tons of tactics to grow their lists, from pop-ups, to coaxing emails from lead gen assets, to running contests on social media that require an email address to sign up.


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.
When I was first starting out online, the slow and steady way is how I built my list. It’s the default way to build up an audience, and it’s not bad but it does take time. This is a perfect strategy to help you build your traffic and list over time, because it’s consistent: you create content, blog, guest post, apply SEO techniques, get word of mouth, and repeat on a regular basis.
A/B Test – One of the benefits of using GetResponse is that you can split test your subject lines i.e. send 25% of your mailing list a version of your newsletter with one subject line and 25% a version with another subject line. You can then compare which subject line is more effective and send the remaining 50% of your list the best performing version.
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.

One of a small business’s best marketing assets is a healthy email list. While proper management and use of your email file will drive revenue immensely, it is often a challenge to create the email list itself. With inbox clutter on the rise and customers becoming more sensitive toward any unwanted communication, marketers should develop their subscriber lists with relevance and care. 


HI Crispian... never worry about how long it takes you.. .you will find that you gel with some things instantly and other aspects of marketing really fox you. The important thing is not to give up and keep travelling forward. Remember the road to success is in zig zags never straight lines and I have so much respect for anyone trying to learn new things. There is such alot to learn in the beginning.. you almost have to learn a new language too - all the marketing lingo.. but if you stick with it, it doesn't take that long. Think of this as setting up a new business. If you went to university you would expect a course to take 5 years... so give yourself a break and don't worry about how long it takes... know one thing.. if you spent everyday for 5 years learning marketing, then you would have skills that would serve you for life! I think the mistake I made was thinking this could all be learnt in 5 minutes... I started in Feb 2013 and it is only now I am really seeing the birdseye view and feeling comfy with all the jargon. So now for me personally its time to get actually moving and take action... this is not a 5 minute game. This is a business opportunity and we will all give ourselves a much better chance of success if we actually understood that this really can be a key to financial success and time freedom... and with those things you can then help anybody or do anything :) best of luck

Hi Crispian. Yes I have heard of GVO. But I personally use GetResponse. I think all email mnagement systems e.g Aweber, GetResponse, GVO, MailChimp etc allow you to do the same thing, to automate your business by sending a series of pre-loaded emails to create a relationship with your list, provide value to them and of cause promote some products to them so you can make some money. So I'd say choose the one that is appealing to you, learn how to use it and stick with it as long as you want to.


The easiest place to start is with the people you already have on your list. Even though they may not be interested in purchasing your services and products, they were interested enough in your business to sign up and show some type of support. You can use your list of current subscribers to generate more subscribers who are more interested in actually purchasing your products or services.

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.


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.
To get people to sign-up in the first place, you need to grab their attention and make it worth their while to sign up. Many website offer "FREE" information or products to people who sign-up with their mailing lists. This technique will work if you offer the website visitors something that is of "value" to them. Value has to go hand-in-hand with promotional materials within your emails. No one wants to be bombarded with sales pitches every time they open an email from you, so don't bother even sending out such emails. The best way to promote your product is to provide information that relates to your product, then add a few sentences that make reference to your product and how it can help with the reader achieve something.

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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
Shoot a quick webcam video… Literally, just turn on your webcam and start talking in to the camera about your niche. Give some tips or ideas that will help people and save the recording. Put the video on YouTube and link over to the YouTube page after someone opts-in. It’s that simple. Don’t worry about the fact that people can find it by searching YouTube. They don’t know that before entering their email address. It doesn’t matter.
Shoot a quick webcam video… Literally, just turn on your webcam and start talking in to the camera about your niche. Give some tips or ideas that will help people and save the recording. Put the video on YouTube and link over to the YouTube page after someone opts-in. It’s that simple. Don’t worry about the fact that people can find it by searching YouTube. They don’t know that before entering their email address. It doesn’t matter.

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).


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.
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.
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