How do you like it when you get an email in your inbox from a company you’ve never heard of? I bet that’s not the kind of company you want to work for or marketer you want to be. If someone didn’t ask to hear from you yet, it doesn’t mean they won’t want to hear from you later. It’s your job to prove to them — through helpful content and valuable offers — that they should stay up to date with your company via email. If you force your email content on anyone too early, even if you know in the depths of your soul that they’re a great fit for your products or services, you risk preemptively losing their trust and their future business.
Leverage the power of VerticalResponse with insights, examples and practical advice from our email marketing experts. See how easy it is to build your business with skillful campaigns and strategic customer outreach.
If you ship products, it’s a perfect opportunity to expand your email list at no cost! Include an inbox request on a card inside every package you ship. Be sure to tout your “email only” offers and direct recipients to your website’s opt-in form. After they join, redirect them to a page where they’ll receive their first promotional offer.
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They give the sense of urgency and VIP-status. If you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll be the first one to know about new sales, when they get new products in store, and you’ll even get exclusive previews before everyone else.
Meetups, seminars, hackathons, educational panels, and even your own conferences put you front and center of a networking event, and those who attend are often more qualified to be contacted because they came to your event. Take the opportunity to collect email addresses in exchange for the info and demos you provide at the event.
Examining these top blogs (plus some bonus research, too) shows that there are many different ways to go about growing your list and creating those crystal clear calls-to-action that drive subscribers. Here are a few of my favorite ideas.
Nowadays there are various free plugins that do what subscriber magnet does and then some. Just thought I’d let everybody know. Great tips and refreshing compared to all the other same ole stuff out there 😉
In analyzing the websites and techniques of some of these awesome email list builders, a certain formula started to emerge. If I could boil down the process of building a massive email list to just the most basic parts, I think it would look like this:
It’s eye-catching without being annoying. If you’re not a fan of popups, rejoice: since the feature box is front and center when your site loads, it will grab a reader’s attention without impeding their ability to read.
Notice that the call to action at the end of the presentation leads to our resource page, where visitors can download the eBook in exchange for their email address. This process is effective because it lets you work with content you have already created and turn it into something that generates leads on an entirely different platform.
The prevalence of direct marketing and the unwelcome nature of some communications has led to regulations and laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act, requiring that consumers in the United States be allowed to opt out.

Marketing Podcast with Allen Gannett Podcast Transcript My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Allen Gannett. He is the CEO and co-founder of TrackMaven, a marketing insights platform. He and I discuss his new book, The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time. Gannett’s […]
– Pop-up boxes. Pop-up subscription forms do have merit if they are not annoying. Some email marketers place a pop-up subscription box front and center when a user visits the site. It used to crop suddenly up in front of your eyes while you are viewing the web page. You just can’t miss it. You can either subscribe or quickly close it if you don’t want to signup.
Discussion lists often require every message to be approved by a moderator before being sent to the rest of the subscribers (moderated lists), although higher-traffic lists typically only moderate messages from new subscribers. Companies sending out promotional newsletters have the option of working with whitelist mail distributors, which agree to standards and high fines from ISPs should any of the opt-in subscribers complain. In exchange for their compliance and agreement to prohibitive fines, the emails sent by whitelisted companies are not blocked by spam filters, which often can reroute these legitimate, non-spam emails.[3]
– Product/service registration. When people subscribe for your service or product trial, you can add an option to join your list and receive useful tips, updates, best practices, tutorials, guides, etc. etc.
Instead of just linking to your home page, try linking to a relevant landing page within your author bio. Conversion rates are generally high because anyone clicking on your link wants more information from you.
In contrast, general advertising—for example, a billboard promoting a brand concept or product awareness—while seen by the customer, does not call for a specific response, and therefore cannot be easily measured. A marketer doesn’t know exactly how effective such a billboard is, or how many people are thinking about and buying the product because of the billboard. However, because of the specific call to action, he or she does know exactly how many people responded to a direct mailing.
Incentivizing or at very least conveying the benefit of joing your list is critical. ”On exit’ style popups can increase subscriptions (in addition to simple sidebar integration.) Coregistration services like coRegMedia.com can also help to grow you r email list.
Kate – The problem many marketers will face is that most reputable ESPs will not accept purchased lists, targeted or not. That’s because they can wreak havoc on your deliverability in the long run. Purchased lists often contain “spam traps,” email addresses created specifically to catch people using these lists, and once you’re flagged with them most email clients will put your emails straight to the “Spam” folder.
Download the free trial of EasyMail7 and give it a try yourself to see how it helps you create and deliver awesome personalized emails to your subscribers and quickly build fully-customizable drip campaigns for all your needs.
If you went out to eat, and you gave your email address to the restaurant, and then the restaurant went out of business… would you want to start getting emails from the old restaurant owner about his new carpet cleaning business? I suspect not.
Whatever channel you choose for your direct marketing, you must ABSOLUTELY ensure that it’s personalized. The key to personalization is data. Now that there are tools such as analytics, statistical modeling and business intelligence – take advantage of it. Data can help you bridge the gap and spend your marketing dollars on customers most likely to respond. Just remember that there’s a difference between personalized marketing and creepy marketing. The former will attract potential customers and draw you closer to your business goals; the latter will send prospects running in the other direction.
For sidebar opt-ins and pop-ups, it’s best to keep things simple and just ask for an email, but on segmented lists and specific landing pages, gathering a name lets you use this tactic to create strong, personal connections with subscribers.
This encourages you to send more emails, but without any sort of strategic thinking, these emails may start to level off your previous success: you’ll see more unsubscribes, spam complaints, and fewer people taking action.
Set expectations – Before diving in head first, do the math to determine what are likely outcomes, perhaps based on past campaigns you’ve run or research you’ve done elsewhere. Naturally, make sure you’ve defined exactly what it will mean for a customer to convert so that when the time comes you’ll be able to effectively measure your ROI.
First off, of the 4,917 email addresses that I received, 1,483 of them were for “Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel.” Is anyone else having a hard time believing that nearly 1,500 people from ONE company genuinely opted in to this list?
Offer a birthday or anniversary club that allows people to “enroll” by providing their email address and relevant date. Reward them with a special offer for signing up, and follow up with something else special, such as a discount coupon, on their birthday or anniversary date.
I have tried to access the link to the Site Alerts website, but it seems that the domain is no longer active. I think it is very useful tool for any starting entrepreneur out there, so I am very interested in following this. Does anybody have any idea what happened to them?
Great post Brian. As someone that has stupidly not concentrated on building my list till recently I found this post invaluable to get my list building on the right track. Thank you for this informative and easily understandable post. Bookmarked and shared.
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.
Hi Brian great post as usual. My main concern with the pop ups is the mobile perspective. I know when I am reading on my handheld and I click through to a website and there’s a pop up there I will leave. Its such a small space.
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.
There are (obviously) unscrupulous email marketers among us, and you don’t want to be confused with any of them. Being illegal is, well… a bad thing. So, what are the email marketing laws that we all need to adhere to
Well, it’s brilliant. I tried to find that subscriber magnet plugin but didn’t have any luck. Yours worked for me though– just checked the box! =) P.S. Just so you know, I plan on e-stalking you, stealing all of your tricks and using them myself. I’m assuming you won’t mind.
All marketers should be familiar with the work of George Lowenstein, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University. Lowenstein’s research on information gap theory reveals powerful insights for creating email broadcasts that people will actually read and click through.
Where consumers have a right of withdrawal (the consumer’s right to resend any goods to the seller, or to cancel the order for services, within a certain time limit and thus annulling the sale), the marketer should inform them of the existence of this right, how to obtain further information about it, and how to exercise it. Where there is an offer to supply products to the consumer on the basis of “free examination”, “free trial”, “free approval” and the like, it should be made clear in the offer who will bear the cost of returning products and the procedure for returning them should be as simple as possible. Any time limit for the return should be clearly disclosed.