Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.
First proposed and popularized by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, a feature box is a large, well, box that sits above your company blog’s content, presenting a snapshot of what the blog is about and why people will benefit if they subscribe via email. To see an example in action, check our personal example on the Help Scout blog:
Have you ever noticed that when you first join an email list, you tend to read almost every email? But then, over time, you start to lose interest and read less and less—even if you don’t unsubscribe?
From a legal standpoint, it’s very risky. From an ethical standpoint, it’s shady and pretty much guarantees that you’re doing to have a high rate of unsubscribes and spam complaints (which are much worse) since the subscribers do not have a prior relationship with your organization.
When you send out an invoice, include an option to sign up for email communications with you. Again, sweeten the deal by offering an incentive such as a discount or free shipping on the next order as a reward for providing email addresses.
Social media platforms are still in the very early stages of rolling out methods for businesses to capture email addresses. In other words, using social media is far from being a proven method to build your list. However, new platforms are usually full opportunities for new movers, so these resources might help you venture into new waters. 
its like a bomb went off on my phone when I read this article! I’ve been struggling with my conversions and definitely going to try the content upgrade since its been on my mind. I thought I was crazy to think it might work but your numbers prove I’m sane 🙂
If they have spent time at your stand and have checked out your products, they have probably felt inspired by your brand or are interested in your product range. That means they will most likely be thrilled to receive your best tips or products in their inbox – so you should give them the opportunity!
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You can easily link to your Mailchimp form if you are using Mailchimp. To get the link to your opt-in form you go to your Mailchimp list, click the drop down, press choose forms and then general forms.
And let’s say I implement your “content upgrade” strategy on a particular post, by including an opt-in form at the end of the post. If people sign up via that opt-in form, they will get a beautiful PDF file that summarizes that post.
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Do keep in mind that nothing in life (unfortunately) is ever free. So when I tell you, you can do all of these things without spending any money, it does, however, mean you are going to invest a certain amount of your own time implementing these tips.
– Organize tools or resources into an e-book. You can simply organize a list of resources that are related to the subject you are focusing on into a downloadable document. The same way you can create a list of resources: blogs, YouTube videos, articles, books, or anything else. Essentially the resources will help your reader continue their education of the subject matter.
Your subject line needs to be consistent with the content of the email. While “Happy Thanksgiving” is a nice sentiment in a subject line, “Holiday Discounts for Special Email Customers” is more accurate.
Now, not being able to afford a “quality” email list is no reason to go out and waste money on a low cost worthless email list. Instead I recommend investing $400 into a direct mail or telemarketing list. Yes telemarketing is tough, BUT there are some nifty and effective ways to generate long-term profitable customers via telemarketing. And studies have shown that a well targeted direct mail campaign will easily generate more responses (sales) than an email campaign.
Help Scout is one of the best at putting focus on an email signup at the home page of their blog. The image above is from the blog landing page. When you navigate deeper into the blog, the subscribe form moves to the sidebar.
When you send an email, include a forward-to-a-friend link in case recipients want to forward your content to someone they think will find it interesting. Make sure the link directs newcomers to a page with your opt-in form.
You’re definitely onto something with the content upgrade idea. It’s almost like to get the most leverage from every single post now (and therefore get ahead of your competitors), it’s no use just having a generic sign up form at the bottom of each amazing post anymore.
If a customer or prospect visits your website, they’re already at least somewhat interested. Don’t miss the opportunity to add them to your email list. Include email registration forms on every main page of your site, as well as on the pages for popular products and services.
All of the things I have gone through in this post are great ideas and experiences I have made, and I know for sure that they will help you to effectively grow your email list and keep your email marketing budget intact.
Let’s be honest: there’s no such thing as a good email list that’s for sale. No reputable company is going to sell one in the first place. And if they do, the email addresses will have low response rates because of the number of times it has already been targeted with unwanted propaganda (Viagra, anyone?). It’s not a good way to introduce your company to someone.
Testing different audiences, different pitches, different creatives and designs, different campaign times. Doing so will help you optimize your campaigns and scale them up in a way that is both practical and profitable.
A direct marketing campaign may use multiple communications channels including mail, e-mail, phones, and face-to-face contact (See also Direct Mail Marketing). Different channels will be selected based on the target group. For example, a new restaurant might prefer distributing flyers or leaflets door to door, which saves money on mailing costs, targets the restaurant’s immediate neighborhood, and provides an opportunity for person-to-person engagement. Face-to-face engagement might also be used for in-store marketing. Home Depot In-Home Services, for instance, uses direct marketers in their stores to generate leads for various home improvement programs, such as cabinet resurfacing.
Hyperlinked email signatures can lead people to a landing page where they can sign up for your mailing list. Plus, if you’re already in a natural email conversation with them, subscribing to more emails can be a natural next step.
I use LeadPages* for the majority of my landing pages, it has split testing built in which allows you to setup a split test in a few clicks. The split testing feature requires a pro account which starts at $67/month.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that there were MANY email addresses in the list that started with admin@, advertise@, customerservice@, and webmaster@. These “role-based” email addresses may be valid, but they are certainly not opted in. In fact, there were 284 email addresses that started with “info@,” which is a clear giveaway that this is not an opt-in list.
You can specifically apply this to email marketing by following the one email, one goal rule, in that each email should only have one desired outcome (view a blog post, see a new feature, hear about an update, etc.).
Imagine if someone was getting married and they were looking for a photographer, and they saw that headline. Or if they had a friend who was getting married and they say that. THEY WOULD SHARE IT IN A SECOND!
– Turn an article into a guide. This is the fastest way to create a lead magnet. If you already have multiple blog posts on your site, you can simply check out Google Analytics and see what’s most popular. Then, all you need to do is to take the top performing article and turn it into a PDF guide, report or e-book.
If the list is small (say, under 100,000 records), maybe you could do this. Maybe not. But you have to be aware of the fact that sending a high quantity of promotional email out using your own email server could very well put your ability to send regular business email at risk.
The reason to put them behind an email opt-in (besides the obvious benefit of growing your list) is to qualify the people signing up; only the most interested customers will bother with an email form to access the content that suits their needs.
Craft your pitch – Next, put together the offer that you’re going to be sending out, and make sure the style of the creative (size, colors, user flow, language, etc) all match your target audience and selected channel. If email is your choice, we have you covered here with outreach scripts.
Sign up for a direct marketing course to better understand the cardinal principles of direct: have a clear and simple marketing objective, get a laser focus on list and offer, be benefit not feature centric, create multi-touch points, test and tweak campaigns.
Hey Brian. Another crazy good post! Man your content is so good. I had a request from your fans. Would you consider doing a post on http: vs https? Will that change to this new format hurt our backlinks and create 404s? Is it necessary to change? How to go about doing it? etc etc
Faster Campaigns – Digital campaigns from start to finish generally take less time. For example, it’s very possible to launch a digital campaign in a matter of a few hours, which would be nearly impossible to do for a mail campaign.

Now that you’ve seen the many different ways to grow an email list, I’d love to show you how some of the top sites implement these ideas. Here is what I found when browsing around some of my favorite sources of email inspiration.
– Test the email deliverability. You’ll spend time in vain if your subscribers don’t see your email. Don’t be lazy and test how your email is delivered across different ISPs and whether it is sent to the Inbox or spam box. You can use the GlockApps testing tools to check your email deliverability and spam score.
In the example below, the email list is marketed as “the most accurate,” “targeted” and SPAM-free.” The thing is though, the people on the for-sale lists did not agree to have your emails sent to them. Therefore, the list is not accurate, not targeted correctly and most certainly spam.
Marketing experts from across the world accept the fact that 82% of the enterprises use email marketing to reach their target audience. But you can not make email campaigns successful without using the verified email list as your tool. And this is where marketers face obstacle, as there are hardly any database provider in the market who can offer authentic data.
All you need is to add an opt-in form within your content. This can be done by embedding a form from your email provider or you can use one of the plugins listed above which support shortcode placement.
Another company that offers a great incentive is Zalando. They have made it absolutely crystal clear what the customer gains from signing up to the newsletter – and by including a discount they make it hard to resist! Everyone likes a great offer, hey?
Content upgrades will be your most powerful tool to get email subscribers. Also known as lead magnets, these are premium pieces of content you can freely offer to website visitors in exchange for their email addresses. You can use a single content upgrade to grow your list by thousands. 
Another collection method happens when list vendors buy emails lists from industry trade shows (or other events) where people give their info during the registration process. This is not the same thing as folks who signed up with you, directly, at your trade show booth! This is where list vendors purchase the entire registration list, from the trade show, itself.
While she noted an increased interaction from customers with the 24-jam display, only around 3 percent of customers actually BOUGHT the jam, whereas more than 30 percent purchased from the 6-jam display!