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We added calls-to-action (CTAs) on our Facebook page for HubSpot Academy below. The value in this list building technique is in the destination: Link your Facebook page’s CTA button to a landing page that requires an email address for access to a special resource.
We’ve established that email marketing is most certainly not dead, but one of the most popular questions posed by startups is how to increase the size of their email list, specifically through their company blog.
– 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.
List fatigue is also a concern. If you’re buying a list from a trade show, keep in mind that the other vendors at the trade show, and even businesses elsewhere who bought the list, are also emailing these recipients. By the time you reach the recipients’ inboxes, those readers are going to be exhausted by the barrage of unsolicited commercial email they’ve been receiving.
The text here is entirely focused on benefits to the reader. Who wouldn’t want to get behind a guy who’s looking out for your best interests like that? It’s a great CTA; a little testing and optimization can get you one of the same.
OptinMonster* is a powerful option here. I’ve mentioned it in the WordPress plugins above and that’s how OptinMonster started out. It’s now a fully fledged cloud app that supports both HTML and WordPress. It provides a great overview for all of your list building efforts and makes it easy to deploy split tests with a few clicks. Pricing starts at $19/month (or $9/month when paid annually).
Awesome stuff, as always. I would just like to add one thing to improve conversions and build bigger list: use feature box. Derek Halpern from SocialTriggers.com talks a lot about that, and it works like charm.
Used and tried, never again. Best way is with your own contacts not from a paid for database in my opinion. Most people now see as spam and delete with opening therefore a huge waste of money and resources.
Really good article. When you start out it’s definitely tempting to buy an email list, but I’m glad that I didn’t do it with my business. I hate when I receive an unsolicited email from a company that I’m not familiar with. I imagine that most people probably feel the same way.
One disadvantage of buying mailing lists is you can’t check the validity of the email address before purchasing. You cannot even be sure that the owners of these contact emails fall into your potential audience.
Finally, direct marketing is easy to optimize. Again, expanding on the above example, let’s say I carve out not just one sample size of 50, but two. I can send one offer to one group, and a variation of that same offer to the other and see which one produces better results. This is called split testing or A / B testing, and it’s extremely valuable, as it allows you to compare two approaches in a statistically significant way to choose the more optimal approach to introduce to the whole.
The downside to LinkedIn is that it doesn’t give you email addresses to anyone who isn’t already a connection. You do have InMails if you have an upgraded account, but that’s time consuming and won’t allow you to do things on a large scale. What about everyone else?
Forms of direct response marketing on television include standard short form television commercials, infomercials and home shopping networks. Short-form direct-response commercials have time lengths ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Long form infomercials are typically 30 minutes long. An offshoot of the infomercial is the home shopping industry. In this medium, items can potentially be offered with reduced overhead.[21]
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?
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.
Often different communications channels can be combined. For example, a direct mail advertisement may include a QR (quick response) code, allowing recipients to immediately follow and engage the message online.
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.
An electronic mailing list or email list is a special use of email that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is similar to a traditional mailing list – a list of names and addresses – as might be kept by an organization for sending publications to its members or customers, but typically refers to four things:
The identity of the marketer and/or operator and details of where and how they may be contacted should be given in the offer, so as to enable the consumer to communicate directly and effectively with them. This information should be available as a permanent reference which the consumer can keep, i.e. via a separate document offline, an online document, email or SMS; it should not, for example, appear only on an order form which the consumer is required to return. At the time of delivery of the product, the marketer’s full name, address and telephone number should be supplied to the consumer.
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.
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.)
Did you know that there are organizations dedicated to combating email spam? Thank goodness, right? They set up a little thing called a honeypot, which is a planted email address that, when harvested and emailed, identifies the sender as a spammer. Similarly, things called spam traps can be created to identify spammy activity; they are set up when an email address yields a hard bounce because it is old or no longer valid, but still receives consistent traffic. Fishy, eh? As a result, the email address turns into a spam trap that stops returning the hard bounce notice, and instead accepts the message and reports the sender as a spammer.
Select your target market – Who are you going to be marketing to? Try to get as specific and relevant as possible, only broadening your reach when you feel you need more people to reach out to. The more targeted your audience, the more targeted you can make your approach. Remember, however, that while adding data to flush out your target market is good, you need a way to actually collect this data and your audience.
– Find the best time and day of the week to send the campaign. Some marketers find that afternoons are more convenient, simply because people used to have less mail to deal with. Depending on your market niche and your subscribers, this may vary.
You won’t have to fall into that camp though, because today we’re going to go over how to take your startup’s blog and refine it into a conversion building machine—and the best part is that simplicity is the foundational element, so you won’t have to worry about coding up a ton of random features.
Visitors to your website might overlook the call to sign up that you have at the top of every page, but it’s harder to ignore a lightbox or pop-up. Scroll boxes pop up on visitors’ screens after they’ve scrolled down a certain length of the page. The box encourages them to sign up for your email list. They can be effective for encouraging a user who’s already shown interest in your content (by staying on the page long enough to scroll) to sign up for your email list.
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.
As a marketer, it’s your job to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns so you can keep your numbers moving up and to the right. (But not by purchasing email lists — learn why you should never buy an email list in this post.)
There are many such issues (see the articles linked from this blog post). For brevity’s sake I’ll stick to one: no such service is going to reliably remove spamtraps (which don’t necessarily bounce) from a list.
Broadcast faxing, in which faxes are sent to multiple recipients, is now less common than in the past.[citation needed] This is partly due to laws in the United States and elsewhere which regulate its use for consumer marketing. In 2005, President Bush signed into law S.714, the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 (JFPA), which allows marketers to send commercial faxes to those with whom they have an established business relationship (EBR), but imposes some new requirements. These requirements include providing an opt-out notice on the first page of faxes and establishing a system to accept opt-outs at any time of the day. Roughly 2% of direct marketers use fax, mostly for business-to-business marketing campaigns.[17]
You promote your new gated assets by blogging about subject matters related to the content assets you’ve created, and then put CTAs that lead to the asset’s landing page on every one of those blog posts.
In a great case study published on AWeber (and echoed through numerous other tests), a clear picture is painted for what it takes to write a successful subject line—clarity trumps creativity when it comes to open rates.
If you insist on using social proof, I highly recommend you to use more quirky numbers. It is more powerful saying ‘Join 4,693 other ecommerce fans. Get your tips now.’ It seems like the number is the exact number of subscribers and will seem more accurate.
“You may use the email address from your blog to send marketing emails, subject to the rules of CAN SPAM in any other situation. But be aware that the focus of any CAN SPAM compliance analysis starts at whether the ‘primary purpose’ of the message is commercial content.

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.
#3. Accurate Business Information and Company Profiles from Leading Business Data – Data.com do charge a hefty price and deliver reasonable services and have been in the public domain for quite sometime.
My name is Paul, I tried Atomic Email Extractor and Atomic Email Sender and found them to be very useful. The truth is if you do not try you will never know. I recommend AtomPark company and its Atomic software to small and large businesses – it is profitable especially when you want to develop reasonable contacts and good relationship with others. Read more »
This is really awesome. I started using SumoMe when i saw it on your website and it did not really increase to my satisfaction and that was because i had no bait for people, but with the introduction of squeeze page, i should probably use one of your ebooks as a bait. Thanks for sharing.
So now that I’ve told you a few ways to acquire email lists, I’m going to tell you why you should acquire them through method number three above — the opt-in method in which you generate your own list of email contacts.
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 😉
They have made it easy to forward to a friend, and they have included the subscribe option. However, I do think one thing is missing. They aren’t really making it clear what the subscriber will receive – why should they subscribe?
Identify known homeowners and mortgage seekers, updated monthly. Select your geographic territory via a map interface or standard selections such as zip codes, counties, cities, etc.. View more information…
Sandwich boards are nothing new, but what about using one in a new way? Place one on the sidewalk in front of your storefront or office to advertise your newsletter and offer a reward to anyone who signs up. Invite customers into the store to enroll, or give them the web address where they’ll find your opt-in form.
One of the driving forces behind every successful business is building a targeted and responsive list. We make it easy for you to build your list by mailing up to 20,000 members in as little as every 2 days.
Segment your market (optional) – Ideally, break your market into tiny segments, large enough to collect statistically significant data, while small enough to balance your investment risks. Try testing two or more offer variations to see which one performs better on a small scale.
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.
What’s nice about this trick, is that your main focus shouldn’t be on sales, as I am convinced that sales will follow automatically. People that have followed and liked your course will automatically turn to you, the expert, when they need something.
Wow – amazingly in depth post on list building! I am having a real focus on this (just installed my lead magnet which is doing well) but there is a tonne of things I still need to focus on. Thanks for the tips.
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.
When developing our business databases, our data experts have collated data from global and legitimate sources to ensure all data our email lists contain is accurate. Some of those data sources include: business directories, trade fairs, opt-in email addresses, surveys and feedback forms, seminars and conferences, etc.