Once you have high-quality lists and are able to personalize campaigns, you should begin to think about email automation. Automation allows you to set up particular emails based on timing and triggers that send automatically based on subscriber behavior. For example, you might set up an automated welcome email after a subscriber signs up for your list.

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.)

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:

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.
A gauntlet could be three emails, five, 10… Whatever works or your niche and business. Figure out what’s best for you through testing. Once they’ve gone through the gauntlet, your leads are added to your regular email list. You should have a consistent schedule, sending around the same time, usually daily (though you may opt for a less frequent schedule).
Fewer people on the list will buy the “expensive” products. But the idea is that, through your name collection/lead generation (often shortened to lead gen) efforts, you will be constantly bringing new names on to your list. Out of those, a certain percentage will buy. A smaller percentage will buy higher priced products. And the smallest percentage will buy your most expensive offerings. Think of them like the “whales” in a casino. You want to cultivate your back-end buyers by offering good products and great customer service. They’re VIPs.

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.
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.
Solo ads and Banner ads. One of the platforms I have been using for 3 years now, called LeadsLeap, combines solo ads and banner ads into a single platform. It is essentially an ads platform that includes a mailing element. They email a digest of ads to all members and progressively rotate ads through the mailing. They also provide tools for placing a LeadsLeap ads widget on websites. They present ads on their own website. Each one of my ads generates 10 or so clicks a day, day in and day out. Actively managed by testing new copy regularly will increase this rate. The platform also includes a 10 level deep downline for referrals from which one can earn commissions and ad credits. I have referred fewer than 20 people yet I have over 500 people in my downline.
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.
This is super actionable and thorough. I find the difficult part is coming up with an actual series for the autoresponder, and moving people towards a sale, vs saying “oh, that was nice.” I find many articles devoted to the lead magnet and landing page, without much attention on the autoresponder series – which can actually trigger a sale. Thank you for sharing your email template.
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.
Ever since I first time heard that you can get free traffic from a thing called Google, I wanted that. But, I had no idea where to start. And what was even worse, every “great” tip I’d receive from an “experts” was a complete BS that only sounds nice, but could never be used by real businesses. Most of those things are considered black-hat now. That’s how “great” those tips were.
A gauntlet could be three emails, five, 10… Whatever works or your niche and business. Figure out what’s best for you through testing. Once they’ve gone through the gauntlet, your leads are added to your regular email list. You should have a consistent schedule, sending around the same time, usually daily (though you may opt for a less frequent schedule).
Ever since I first time heard that you can get free traffic from a thing called Google, I wanted that. But, I had no idea where to start. And what was even worse, every “great” tip I’d receive from an “experts” was a complete BS that only sounds nice, but could never be used by real businesses. Most of those things are considered black-hat now. That’s how “great” those tips were.
Once you have high-quality lists and are able to personalize campaigns, you should begin to think about email automation. Automation allows you to set up particular emails based on timing and triggers that send automatically based on subscriber behavior. For example, you might set up an automated welcome email after a subscriber signs up for your list.
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.

Some services have referral programs for growing lists, but you won’t always get the right audience’s attention. So often, those programs for getting 100 subscribers in a day are abused and cheated, and you’ll end up with 100 robots who don’t actually read your emails. There is the chance that your service’s referral program is legit and will get you genuinely interested subscribers, but just make sure to do your research.


Your list should be your total collection of contacts, so you should only need one overall list. If you still choose to create multiple lists, be aware that lists are independent of each other. They don’t share data or contact information. For example, if [email protected] is in two of your lists, we count that as two people. It’s almost always best to have a single list, and use our list organization tools to separate and manage contacts.
A gauntlet could be three emails, five, 10… Whatever works or your niche and business. Figure out what’s best for you through testing. Once they’ve gone through the gauntlet, your leads are added to your regular email list. You should have a consistent schedule, sending around the same time, usually daily (though you may opt for a less frequent schedule).
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.
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.
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.
I think what Brian and the testers are missing is that 15k is neither big enough to be impressive nor small enough to be inviting. It’s not a number that works effectively as social proof, and while I can’t test it out myself, I believe, based on evidence for social proof around the web, that DIYthemes would have had much better success with a combined number in the 50k+ range as mentioned above.

These prospects are looking for products, services and information that can help them maximize the performance of their buildings. Building owners can be a great way to secure many big accounts through one point of contact. Direct your communication efforts toward this group of influential individuals and establish long-term customer relationships.
When you build a list, there are benefits that come with your subscriber base. You have the opportunity to track your emails (who received them, who opened them, etc). You can separate your list and segment it to those who want to receive certain emails or specific information. But more than anything else, you have a list of people who want to read your emails. Those can refer their friends to your business and help it grow through word of mouth.
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.
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.
Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.
Very interesting tutorial, thanks Carson. Can anyone tell me how we learn to set up HTML or JavaScript Code for the auto-responder and which one is better? And also how to "copy and paste to pages source code" and how to actually add a form or create a squeeze page? Or is this something that Aweber.com would cover? Any help and advice appreciated - thank you! :-) Juliet
The focus of free traffic is to create content and then get people to look at the content. In my early days in Internet Marketing all the gurus talked about keywords and search engine optimization as the holy grail of free traffic. At one level this is easy to do – write your content in a keyword rich way. At the full level, this morphed into a complicated area of backlinks and private blog networks and the like. This very quickly becomes a time sink of effort and expense.
Integrations can help you marry data from your CRM with your email lists. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a developer to help you improve your lists. Automation and personalization are now totally accessible for the DIY marketer, and you don’t need to be using an enterprise-level tool to effectively do automation and personalization. Campaign Monitor integrates with CRMs such as Salesforce, Zapier, Sage, and many others. It also integrates with e-commerce platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, Eventbrite, and more.

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).
Start by asking “What do we want to send? What automation do we want to do? What personalization do we want to do?” Then work backward based on those goals. In order to increase the quality of your list, you must assess where you’re at, and make some goals about where you’d like to be. Once you’ve figured out the current state of your list, you can then build a strategy from the ground up.
People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
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