– 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.
I’m not saying you should put up something crazy like a $6,000 value prize. Think about the products in your niche that people desperately want to get their hands on and look at putting some budget aside.
What about sending marketing messages to people who have only subscribed to your blog or vice-versa? If someone subscribes to a company blog, is it legal for the company to then use that provided email to send marketing information? Or should the email only be used for the intended use for which it was provided?
Given how speculative that rule is, it is a good practice to avoid purchasing email lists altogether. If you must sell an email list, you should probably rely on the ‘opt-in’ approach for creating such a list. ‘Opting in’ is express consent (preferably written) to a ‘clear and conspicuous’ request to share the consenting party’s email with others in order that they may send commercial email or to send the consenting party commercial email again after he or she has opted out at an earlier time.”
Do you really need their postal address, job title, date of birth and telephone number? If you don’t really need all that data, don’t ask for it. People are understandably nervous when the form asks for too much personal information.
Wait a second. Most people who visit my site do not care about these links. They are here to learn about business. So we changed it to specific content pages that I know people who read my site would be interest in.
Now that you’ve established the important topic on your site that this hub page will address, showcased your best pieces of content on that same topic, and piqued your readers’ interest, it’s time to leverage the opportunity to build your email list.
Don’t make people dig around your site to stumble across subscription options. Keep your offers up front, and include calls-to-action on multiple pages of your website. Some key places to consider include your website’s homepage, your ‘About Us’ page, and your ‘Contact Us’ page.
One service that has been really liked by the crowd is that of a company called Database of Decision Makers. It offers you a never before heard offer of replacing the bad contacts with good ones, in case you come across any. They have established a good network of lead grabbers and can offer you a healthy database of the most recent contacts, new and freshly updated.
This one was interesting: Demaria recommends that you avoid using one large image as the entire email (especially if it includes text image). The reason being, “Spam filters cannot read images so sometimes emails trick spam filters by embedding text in images.”
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.
No matter what purpose you are purchasing this email list for, you will find multiple vendors in the market to offer you this business database. But the truth is said, most of them will lack the guarantee of providing authentic and accurate business contact data.
Personalization Since it will be important in some cases to gather a subscriber’s name from a sign-up form, you’d be wise to test to see if this has a significant impact on open-rates & click-throughs. In some instances seeing a name in the subject line (or intro) will do wonders; in others it may confuse people into thinking your message is spam.
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 🙂
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.
To get people who want to give you their emails (instead of feeling forced to do so), building an email list requires a combination of skills: content marketing, design, copywriting, sales, and paid acquisition.
This is amazing stuff! Thank you so much. I’ve learned so much in the last hour. I have a question for you. You use Aweber as your email service right? What do you use to make such nice looking sign-up forms/popups on various areas/pages of your site? Is it LeadPages? I find that Awebers sign-up forms are not very good.
Harvesting emails and selling them can get you in a world of trouble. CAN SPAM specifically states that it is illegal to sell and buy email addresses. It is, however, legal to rent a list, but that’s still considered sketchy.
Calls to Action Should you tell people to click right away or save the CTA for further along in the email? Should the button/link say “Click Here” or “Find Out More”? When it comes down to getting people to take action (the most important part of marketing), you simply must test a variety of elements to improve conversions, as this is one of the worst elements to leave to guesswork!
Resending the email can yield big gains, since you can potentially reach subscribers who might have missed your first email. You could try a different subject line or slightly different content in the body. You’ll also want to segment out the responders—that could be just people who ordered, or everyone who opened or clicked.
“I believe it’s important to keep in mind that crossing international boundaries with email is easy and that other nations have different (and sometimes stronger) laws on SPAM than the United States.”
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?
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.
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.
– Ask for a reason for the unsubscribe request. The truth can hurt, but it can also inform you about what you did wrong if anything so you can avoid the same mistakes in the future. You can put a quick box on your unsubscribe page asking the user to tell you why they decided to unsubscribe.
Resource-style content such as white papers, eBooks, and infographics is made for promotion. While blog posts and traditional articles are a great way to reach out to people (“Hey, thought you might like this recent piece we did on…”), you can get a lot more mileage out of a broad set of evergreen resources.
When I upload contacts to gmail I can then import list to facebook to invite as friends. I will then delete the contacts from gmail as my invitations are sent through facebook and will pop up as a friend request notification on the targets profile if they are valid emails.
You’ve heard how great companies like Buffer have benefited from guest posting (especially in the early days), but what many entrepreneurs and marketers don’t realize is readers are suffering from byline blindness—the result of an over- saturation of guest bloggers.
Excellent post! This happened to be my introduction to your content. Can you share which tool you used for the confirmation page, which pops up after clicking for the PDF checklist? (I saw that you use Max Blog Press, but I think that was an answer to a related, but different question.) Thanks.
One of the smarter ways to gather email leads online is to simply integrate email into your product’s usage. The most basic technique here is requiring an email to sign up (which most companies do), but this is also an opportunity to get creative.
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.
I have been saying this again and again that old is not always the best and you should think about containing the wastage and optimizing the profits. Investing heavily in just getting the contact details is not a smart option. A moderate investment in getting the right contact database, which will not trouble you with bounced emails and out of service phone numbers should be the way to go, at least in today’s times when the competition is tough and even a penny profited counts.
Once you have the amazing content, the next step is to ask for emails. People who adore your content will be primed to receive that content as often as you can create it, delivered straight to their inbox. It’s up to you to make sure they find your call-to-action (or, in this case, a call-to-subscribe). Make it obvious. Make it crystal clear.
Combined, that’s nearly 500,000 email subscribers. How do they do it? I took a close look at each of these heavyweights of email (plus several other amazing sites) to see what methods they use to gain new subscribers. Here’s what I learned.
If your goal is to own and market to a legitimate opt-in email list (that is, the kind of email list that has a shot at garnering response), then buying an email list is not for you. The reason for that is simple…you really can’t “buy” someone’s permission. They have to give it to you.
Chances are, you have already invested masses of time on your social media profiles or Facebook business page. You have written or created amazing content you are posting on your social media profiles like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Why not use those platforms to collect emails as well?
Unless your company is in the middle of some M&A action, you’re not going to come across high quality email lists you can purchase. If it’s for sale, it means that the email addresses on it have already been ripped to shreds by all the other people who have purchased that list and emailed the people on it. Any email addresses that once had value have since been spammed to the ends of the earth.
There are many, many tools that can aid you in your direct marketing campaigns, such as lead generation tools to help you generate your list of prospects to outreach tools, which will help you actually launch the campaign.
In the United States, the National Do Not Call Registry was created in 2003 to offer consumers a choice whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. The FTC created the National Do Not Call Registry after a comprehensive review of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).[15] The do-not-call provisions of the TSR cover any plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls.
Slideshare is a great way to tap into a new group of targeted readers and because the traffic you get will be highly targeted and already value what you have to say, they will be more likely to opt-in to download your content upgrade.
If you practice email marketing you know how difficult it is to find relevant and free email lists. And even when you search for contacts databases, you have no guarantee that it will work for the success of your sales and business.

Don’t feel like you have to do everything on this guide. If you already have an email service provider and are happy with it, you can skip over chapter 1. Invest your time on other things that will generate value for your business. If your email service provider becomes an obstacle, you can revisit this later on.
In this day and age, there is no need for these services. No one wants to hear from you via email, phone or snail mail. If we did, we’d contact you. Unless a person speaks to you specifically and requests to be contacted, they did NOT opt-in. We were sold by some company who lied when they claimed to respect our privacy. We HATE being contacted by you, and feel violated each time it happens. People all over the world make fun of marketers of all sorts, and wish it were illegal for you to contact us in any manner. Curious to see how many spam email I get from this post.
Hey Loz, that may be the most poetic comment we’ve ever had on the blog (and we’ve had over 6,000). But you’re right: there’s A LOT more behind the scenes/up front work than there was even 2 or 3 years ago. The barrier to entry for growing a blog has doubled in that time. That’s good for hard workers like you and me 🙂
Email marketing has great impact with low cost way of delivering your marketing message to current customers and prospects. Use the easy way to email list building like put on the sign up sheet, leverage business cards, host an event, try telemarketing, optimize your website for opt- ins and etc.
HubSpot is one of the industry leaders in giveaways (so it’s probably no surprise they’re industry leaders, period). In an article about email list growth, Ginny Soskey shared HubSpot’s two-part view of giving something of value to potential subscribers: