64 Email List Building Ideas

Visit marketing discussion boards on any given day and you are likely to see the question, “How Do I Build My List”. In fact, there were 531,000 listings to “build a list” in Google.

If you’ve ever wanted some tried and true methods for building your list, you’ll want to bookmark this page immediately. Because we’re going to cover 64 ways you can begin to build your subscriber base TODAY!

First, we’ll cover the “good” ways. In my next post, I’ll mention some ways that would make your mother blush and possibly deny any knowledge of you (only to make sure you never, ever do them!).

1. If you don’t have a newsletter yet, start one. People always want to learn more about their topic of interest. GetResponse is a great web-based email marketing software for publishing newsletters and hosting your mailing lists.

2. Add a subscription form to every page of your website.

3. Make it quick and easy for your visitors to sign up. A first name and email address is all you need initially.

4. Be sure to state your privacy policy in your subscription box. Or add a link to a separate privacy policy page right next to your subscription form.

5. Be clear, persuasive and honest as to what your subscribers will receive and why your visitor will gain by subscribing.

6. Tell them how often they can expect to receive your newsletter or other emails. Do not inundate them.

7. Link to a sample issue before they sign up, so they have an example of what you provide your subscribers.

8. Archive your past newsletters and make them available on your website. (Bonus: This also produces additional organic search traffic!)

9. Don’t be afraid to link to other websites or recommend other good newsletters. Your subscribers will love it and the recommended sites / newsletters may even return the favor and recommend your newsletter!

10. Joint venture with other newsletter publishers and mention each other’s publications.

11. Create an ebook and offer it free as an incentive to subscribe.

12. Create an informative PDF report on your business topic. Only a few pages of useful content are needed for a report.

13. Start with your immediate contact list and generate buzz to draw visitors to your site and subscribers to your newsletter.

14. Offer a product discount for purchasers who subscribe to your newsletter.

15. Give away useful software or web-based tools to subscribers. If you’re not a programmer, hire one through RentACoder or Elance

16. Conduct a webinar (a web-based seminar) for which your visitors must register. On the registration form, get permission to send them future mailings.

17. Mention your newsletter during your webinar and provide a subscription link. This will give those who haven’t opted-in an additional chance to do so.

18. Ask your subscribers to tell their friends about your newsletter.

19. Add a link or button on your website and newsletter taking them to a “Tell-A-Friend” form, where they can invite 3-5 of their friends.

20. Allow others to reprint your newsletter as long as the content and links aren’t modified and your bio box is intact.

21. Add a “Subscribe” button, or a link to the subscription page, in every issue. Then, if your newsletter gets forwarded, the new recipient can sign up.

22. Optimize your website for search engine rankings. If you think SEO means “search engine optimism” instead of “search engineoptimization”, check out SEObook.com by Aaron Wall.

23. If your newsletter or campaign is newsworth, submit a publicity release at services such as PRWeb or BusinessWire. You might get a surge of new subscribers, as well as a number of inbound links.

24. Make your email marketing campaign “newsy”. Run a controversial survey and turn the results into a story. Then let the world know about it and get free exposure.

25. Include Opt-In information on Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Ask permission to communicate valuable info via email newsletters and promotions.

26. Create a squeeze page designed solely to capture new subscribers.

27. Find hundreds or even thousands of relevant keywords with services like Wordtracker,and then promote your squeeze page using PPC(pay-per-click) advertising, such as Google Adwords, Yahoo Sponsored Search, MSN adCenter, and more.

28. Track the effectiveness of your advertising and test changes with services like HyperTracker. Keep the best – scrap the rest. Always keep testing.

29. Spice up your squeeze page with a pre-recorded audio message to tell your visitors why they should subscribe. Record it yourself or write a script and hire a voice talent to do it.

30. Add video to your squeeze page. Not only can you speak to your prospective subscribers, but even point where the subscription form is located on your webpage!

31. Incorporate social proof through testimonials on your squeeze page (written, audio, or even video!)

32. Remind double opt-in subscribers to watch their email for your confirmation link and ask them to be sure to click it to confirm.

33. Start a free blog with WordPress or Blogger. It’s another way to communicate with your visitors and nicely complements your email marketing and list building.

34. Add your newsletter subscription form to every page of your blog.

35. Research similar websites and newsletters with Google Blog Search or Technorati. Post relevant, helpful comments with a trackback to your blog or squeeze page.

36. Keep your blog readers notified of new posts when they sign up for updates. This has a 3-prong benefit: build your email list, maintain relationships with your readers, and get more traffic to your blog.

37. Use a responsible co-registration list-building service like GetSubscribers

38. Perform a cross-registration campaign with other newsletter owners by adding a link/banner to the other newsletter on the confirmation page. Subscribers won’t see it until after they’ve joined your list.

39. Advertise in ezines and other newsletters. Use a directory like Ezine-Dir to find newsletters reaching your target audience.

40. Submit your newsletter to ezine and newsletter directories.

41. Promote your newsletter / promotional emails in industry directories and websites.

42. Sponsor other people’s contests and get exposure for your newsletter. Give away freebies that don’t cost you money.

43. Submit articles to Article Directories like GoArticles, SubmitYourArticle or EzineArticles. Include a bio box at the bottom with a link to your website or the email address to be added instantly (if you are using an autoresponder).

44. Visit discussion boards, forums, Yahoo! Answers and similar sites to provide helpful answers, while including a link to your newsletter subscription page in your sigfile.

45. Add your newsletter sign-up link to your email signature.

46. Promote sign-ups in Confirmation and Transaction emails.

47. Include an opt-in link on customers’ credit card receipts.

48. Add an opt-in message to Warranty and Product Registration Cards.

49. Use sign-up message on all Invoices.

50. Network at trade shows and conventions. When exchanging business cards, ask permission to send them your newsletter / report. If they say “no”, write an “X” on the back of their card. Otherwise, add them to your list.

51. Hand out sign-up forms promoting your newsletter when speaking to groups or at seminars.

52. Include newsletter subscriptions in Trade Show Lead Generation form. Ask booth visitors for permission to send your monthly newsletter to them. (see 50 above)

53. Make it easy for your audience to subscribe by including a link to your newsletter subscription page on the footer of your PowerPoint or webinar presentations.

54. Look for ways to collect email addresses if you are a brick & mortar business.

55. Display opt-in forms at the Cash Register to receive weekly discounts, etc.

56. Advertise email promotions on Product Shipping Boxes, Packing Slips and Direct Mail Cards, with links to your site.

57. Offer customers a VIP or loyalty program for signing up for your list.

58. Request employees use an email signature such as “Subscribe to the Company X Email Newsletter”.

59. Call Center and Sales Employees can ask customers and prospects if they’d like to receive newsletters or promotional emails and get their information by phone.

60. Encourage email subscriptions by printing on Direct Mail, Catalogs, and all Print Ads.

61. If you have a physical mailing list from your offline business, send a postcard to your customers, offering a special for opting-in to your email newsletter.

62. Study each offline advertising piece with the thought of integrating a list building component into it.

63. Collect email address at each point of contact with customers and prospects.

64. Get more traffic to your website. Even if your opt-in percentage doesn’t change, this will automatically result in more subscribers.

As I mentioned in the post “Taking Action”, I’ll be revisiting this list to provide more detail on the who, what, when, where and how of these ideas. If you have questions on anything, please comment below and we’ll get you an answer.

In my next post, I’ll talk about THE DARK SIDE… the wrong way to build an email list.

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  • http://www.bisnesborongchina.com Nizar

    Hello Debbie!

    I’m a newbie here and still using the free account. For the past 5 days of using this, I must say that GetResponse is a great tool for email marketing. I am very satisfied with all the features. Even for a free account, I’m already ecstatic and got tonnes to do with it! As soon as my list hit the free limit, I will surely upgrade my account!

    Thank you GetResponse. I’m truly blessed to know this great company!


  • http://www.billclemens.com Bill Clemens

    Great article with a ton of incite. I have been building lists and teaching others the Art of List Building for over 10 years now. And I have to say you nailed just about every pertinent topic. I would love to see a revised edition since this was written in 2007 and it is now 2011.

    If your ever interested in being a guest blogger I would welcome your articles, my site is billclemens.com If your interested shoot me an email.

    Have a great day.
    Bill Clemens

  • Susanna

    Happy Thaksgiving Day!

    Already some month I try different sites and blogs and nothing useful, even have some problems.Just this time I guess I am on right place. I hope I can do something in here.

    Best regards

  • David Newby

    Great list Simon! So many useful ideas…I’m sure that by just implementing a few of them I will see my list grow. Thanks!