You’ll still run into the same problems as buying a list. The people you’re emailing did not request information from you directly, and will likely view your messages as spam. The more complaints you get, the worse your delivery rate will be.
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. 
If you were to click on that banner, you’d wade through survey questions where they ask about age, income and collect other info relevant to placing you into categories that they can then offer as “targeted” options for marketers. They also collect your email address.
Fortunately, there are options for popups, as the strategy covers a wide variety of different implementations. I’m throwing all these under the umbrella of “popup.” Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any favorites you’ve used or seen.
Effective direct marketing begins with data. Marketers examine categories of customers or prospects they think will be interested in their product or service, and develop or procure lists for making contacts.
Don’t put your profits in the hands of a third party, be in control of your email — OWN YOUR DATA, OWN YOUR AUTORESPONDERS, CONTROL YOUR INBOX DELIVERY, REPUTATION, DELIVERY SPEED and either send email for free using your SMTP or use any number of third party email senders of your choice like AMAZON SES API… No Monthly Fees!
Very informative article as always, i have been lazy to do a lot of things even reading this post but i am glad i did today and i am full of ideas right now that i can’t wait to get back to implementing them to improving my subscriber list. Thanks for sharing.
Need a list for your next marketing campaign? InfoUSA makes finding new customers a snap. Plus once you’ve identified your target audience, we have everything you need in order to design, print, and deliver your customized mailer.
Most people don’t think of email as a lead- or contact-generating channel. But because people forward helpful emails to colleagues or friends, it can actually expand your database if you simply make forwarding or sharing email content easy for recipients. Include calls-to-action in your emails that make sharing an obvious choice for recipients, particularly with your most useful assets.
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.
A 2010 study by the Direct Marketing Association reports that in 2010, marketers—commercial and nonprofit—spent $153.3 billion on direct marketing, which accounted for 54.2% of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.798 trillion in incremental sales. In 2010, direct marketing accounted for 8.3% of total US gross domestic product. In 2010, there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 8.4 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.8 million US jobs.[1]
In order to convince you that email should be your #1 when it comes to communicating with customers, it’s time to bring out the statistics and data to examine how and why email use lends itself to better engagement.
An essential element of successful email marketing campaign is a list of email addresses of people who are really interested in receiving the emails from the company or organization. Otherwise, unsolicited advertising will be classified as spam. Although sending out magazines and newsletters through bulk emailing is free, companies cannot risk the equity of their brands by offending people. An opt-in email list helps you assess the success of your email campaigns, and, more importantly, it reduces the risk of breaking anti-spamming laws.
Not all gated content is worth it to a website visitor. In order to gain their interest, you need to give them free content first. Start with a blog post that offers beginner advice on a subject, then offer “bonus” content with more advanced tips that they can access by submitting their email address via a landing page.

In the midst of your “junk” mail, one particular piece catches your eye, one advertising a techno gadget you’ve had your eye on for a while. And there’s a sale on it—all you have to do is enter the following code on the website…
In addition, you will need to have a process to handle all of the hard bounces, soft bounces, out-of-office replies, verification messages, and unsubscribe requests. There’s a lot more to handling your email marketing than just hitting the “send” button.
Having a list of email addresses can be very beneficial for your business. It offers the opportunity to send those people email newsletters informing them about your products, services, special offers, and other stuff which can be a great way for you to increase your sales.
In sum, choosing the best of all the above parameters may yield up to 58 times more response, as compared to choosing the worst of the above parameters. Addressing these helps assuage the concerns of the marketers.
Imagine reaching those who want to hear from you. Imagine taking your solutions to those who need them the most. Imagine making a positive impression on those who’ve never heard of your business. Or delighting those who have. This is direct marketing in a nut shell. And, contrary to what you may have heard, it’s still a big deal.
If you are already using videos in your content marketing, you should consider how to turn viewers into leads. It is actually possible. I have discovered the tool Wistia, which allows you to collect emails directly in your videos through their Turnstile feature.
Webinars are a great way to go deeper on topics than you can through other list-building tools and really give a robust training, and cohesively introduce an offer to them, while also building real connection with your audience via the audio + video medium. Hands-down the best (and most FUN) list-building approach!”
I’ve found giveaways are a good way to build up your email list. This gives incentives for people to willing give you their email in exchange for a chance at winning something. Also searching forums related to your niche is a good way to find people who are interested in what you are selling.
Auto responder sequence – consider your goals here; this can be a great opportunity to grow your passive income, but avoid the hard sell approach. Nobody likes to sign up to an email list only to be battered with promotional emails.
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.
Thanks Rob. Single opt-in is definitely something to consider. I’m personally a fan of double optin because (as you said) you get less bad emails. But it’s a decision that depends on the person and business 🙂
If you already have a pretty large database, you also likely have some contacts that have gone quite stale. If so, I recommend running a re-engagement campaign that can help you both scrub your list and prevent the kind of spam and IP issues I addressed earlier, as well as reawaken old contacts that might have forgotten about you, but would actually be great fits for sales. If you want help structuring a send like that, check out this blog post.
Great post as usual Brian. Already on top of most of these tips…but had no clue about the single-option aversion study. Definitely going to be something to test. Will definitely share this around because this post is a must-read.
If you’re new to list building and email marketing, look around and see which services will allow you to do these important activities: segmenting subscribers, tracking email marketing metrics, broadcasting emails, customizing email messages, and building automated funnels.
Wow. Can I just say thank you so much for building one insanely well done blog post instead of feeding us crumbs for 8 months over email or selling us a $29 ebook. Your go-giving will pay off for sure. Solid stuff here!
In October 2013, the Federal Telephone Consumers Protection Act made it illegal to contact an individual via cell phone without prior express written consent for all telephone calls using an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice to deliver a telemarketing message to wireless numbers and residential lines. An existing business relationship does not provide an exception to this requirement.