Method #1: Start From Within
Most internet marketers often look beyond the horizon for list building. While this is a good idea, an even better one is to start closer to home. Your family and friends could make up the first few entries in your list. Once this is done, move on to your neighbors, co-‐ workers and even random people you encounter. Why do all this? The truth is that people will have no second thoughts in giving away their email address. This, combined with the simplicity of this method, makes it a very effective tool for list building. Just be sure to write it down quickly.
Method #2: Hand Out Business Cards Another offline list building method you can use is handing out business cards. Never underestimate the power of this small card. Make it a point to leave one each time you meet someone who shows interest in what you do. Over time, you are bound to collect hundreds of email addresses. Ideally, this should tell people what your business is about. Be sure to express the message that you are willing to give them something in return as well. This proves that you are an honest person. Better yet, have an area reserved for your email offer to keep them coming.
Another offline list building method you can use is handing out business cards. Never underestimate the power of this small card. Make it a point to leave one each time you meet someone who shows interest in what you do. Over time, you are bound to collect hundreds of email addresses. Ideally, this should tell people what your business is about. Be sure to express the message that you are willing to give them something in return as well. This proves that you are an honest person. Better yet, have an area reserved for your email offer to keep them coming.
Method #3: Use Networks and Referrals
More is better when it comes to list building and nothing gets you more subscribers than referrals and networking. Every now and then, send out an email to your existing subscribers and ask for at least three email addresses from anyone they know. Do not forget to thank them of course. Do not be surprised if this method gets a hundred more subscribers. Send an email to these referrals saying how you reached them. Ask if they want to join your mailing list as a subscriber. As you can see, this method can quickly add more potential customers to your mailing list every time you do it.
Method #4: Opt-In Boxes
Instead of forcing people to sign-‐up, you need to ask them nicely. Do these by including opt-‐in boxes where they can enter their email address or close the window. Such boxes may be added to virtually any site or platform you use. In fact, some may already have this feature activated. Pop-‐up windows are great for first-‐time visitors and increasing your conversion rate. Be careful not to overdo this as it might turn away people from your site. Make it easy for them to sign-‐up with a user-‐ friendly template. Opt-‐in boxes are better used if you have an incentive to offer.
Method #5: Offer Free Stuff
Throwing an incentive for your customers is always good for your list building efforts. If you are still building your site, start out by offering something simple to your customers. Give out advice that they might find useful. Share a few secrets of your own or send them content that is not available to everyone. Once you have established yourself, you can offer bigger gifts such as promotional CDs, PDF files or eBooks. A few templates and themes come in handy as well. It does not matter what it is. Concentrate on incentives that would encourage people to sign up and join your mailing list.
Method #6: Cross Promotion
This method involves looking for another marketer willing to promote your offers. In return, you agree to do the same for his list. In other words, you are working together to promote each other’s lists. Subscribers receive free content and both marketers build up their lists. Cross promotion is a cost-‐effective method for list building and does not require you to spend. For the best results, you should find a marketer with roughly the same list size as yours. Make sure that he will do his end of the bargain as well. Of course you should do the same thing for him.
Method #7: Promote from Online Forums
Every niche has a few forums dedicated and built up around it. More often than not, people flock to these sites for information. As such, this can be a treasure trove for internet marketers looking to build their mailing lists. Joining these forums and becoming part of the community is a must. This allows you to build your online reputation as well. Look around for topics and questions that relate to your offer and answer them to increase your online presence. Make the most out of it and use the forum signature space to include a link to your opt-‐in page.
Method #8: Get the Word Out
The best way to get people to notice is to advertise. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that allow you to do this. Buying ad space on other high-‐traffic sites is one of them. Ads placed on search engine results pages are as effective as well. Affiliate marketing is another great idea you can pursue. Choose sites that are reputable and receive tons of traffic at the same time. Be sure to have all ads link back to your site or your opt-‐in page. The goal here is to funnel all that traffic back to your site and have them sign up to your list.
Method #9: Keep Things Simple
Getting people to visit your opt-‐in page is one thing but getting them to sign up is another. There can be many reasons why they do not go through with the process. However, one thing you can improve is the interface. Many people never sign up because of the opt-‐in page itself. Do yourself a favor and make this page as simple as possible. All you need are their names and email addresses so no need to ask for more. Include a disclaimer saying these will not be shared with a third party. Use scripts and tools to help build this opt-‐in page.
Method #10: Write and Post In another Blog
Now why would you want to do that? Writing in another blog or guest blogging shows that you are willing to help other people. This is exactly what potential customers might look for when they ask for help. Of course it does not hurt that this also attracts new visitors to your site. Some of these new visitors might even opt-‐in to your mailing list. One thing you should avoid though is to post in multiple blogs. Keep your guest post exclusive to just one blog. Make sure that your post is unique and not just a rehash of your previous post.
Method #11: Submit Content to Article Directories
Taking advantage of high-‐traffic sites is a great tactic for list building. One such site is an article directory. Tap into this site by writing articles and submitting them for publication. Topics could cover anything useful from tutorials, FAQs, tips and news among others. With enough articles, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field. Soon enough, people will flock to your for advice and information. This is great news for your site. Do not forget to lead visitors to your opt-‐in page to get their email address. Make sure that each article is unique and stands out from the rest.
Method #12: Use Social Media
Speaking of high-‐traffic sites, you could not do better with joining social media sites. Social networking is the “in” thing now with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube among the most visited sites on the internet. Sign-‐up for an account and have your own site linked to it. This not only helps your online presence but presents yourself as a member of the community as well. Link every post on your blog to your account to alert people. This is also great for promoting your business. Have your followers directed to your opt-‐in page and see your mailing list swell with new members.
Method #13: Organize a Contest
Nothing else gets people excited and revved up like a good old contest. Use this fact to your advantage by holding one of your own. Your site should be the perfect venue for this. You can ask existing members to make referrals where they could win prizes. Alternatively, you can encourage more sign-‐ups with prizes as well.
This is a sure and effective method to build-‐up your list. People are willing to give their email address for a nice prize. So what if you need to give away some stuff? You will get more opt-‐ins anyway. Not a bad tradeoff.
Method #14: Go Viral
Never underestimate the value of viral marketing. Anything that people find valuable will get off the ground and be passed around a lot. So if you have something like this, do not hesitate to fire the big guns.
Viral marketing is the daddy of all marketing methods. It presents a quick and easy way list building method you cannot afford to miss. You get more subscribers faster than any other method in fact. What more could you ask for? Be sure to keep your web address visible at all times. Have it lead people to your opt-‐in page as well.
Method #15: Hire an Expert
List building is such an important activity to internet marketing that there is a pool of experts dedicated to it. If you are still clueless with what to do, it is best to ask help from these guys. They will know what to do and how to increase your opt-‐in conversion rate.
Experts may be hired from various online classifieds. Be sure to hire one who knows the ins and outs of the business. Knowledge and experience are what you are looking for here. Sooner or later, your list building campaign will take off with your mailing list increasing with more members.
Method #16: Create Visual Appeal
The power of imagery can encourage more sign-‐ups for your mailing list. With this in mind, you want to put more images on your site wherever appropriate. The goal here is to make it more appealing. Make sure that your web design is not tacky and overdone though.
Another thing you can do is to upload video content. This is a much better way to share your messages with your subscribers. It is also a great way to tap into high-‐traffic video sharing sites such as YouTube. Keep the videos as short as possible without compromising on its content.
Method #17: Keep In Touch
After you have built-‐up your mailing list, your next task is to keep in touch with your subscribers. Keeping them updated on the latest news, events and products from your business is a must at this point. Communicating via newsletters is a good way to do this.
Ideally, newsletters should contain useful information. Valuable content is what people are after in the first place. Newsletters may be sent out on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. The frequency is entirely up to you. This method is guaranteed to keep customers coming and reach a large audience at the same time.
Method #18: Automate
The problem that comes from managing a large mailing list just comes with the territory. Of course there is no need for you to keep doing this on your own. Help does come in the form of autoresponders. In simple terms, these are programs designed to send out messages according to your preferences.
Autoresponders are great for reducing your workload. It also improves accuracy and efficiency making it good for business. Be sure to choose a provider that is able to meet your needs. Try to stick to one provider as much as possible to avoid spamming your mailing list.
Method #19: Offer Value
In your rush to send out a regular newsletter, never forget what your customers signed up for – value. Invest time and effort into doing this to conduct an effective list building campaign. You want your subscribers not to regret signing up to your mailing list.
It is best to review your newsletter or any other content before submitting them. A little proofreading goes a long way. As long as it is useful and high quality, people are likely to share it with their networks. Word-‐of-‐mouth marketing is just another method for list building. This is why you want to offer value in every post you make.
Method #20: Serve Your Customers
The truth of the matter is that people sign up for answers. Serving them should be your priority not selling products. This is something that most internet marketers seem to forget. Serve your subscribers by giving them value and useful information. In return, you get more trust from them.
When they begin to trust you, they are more likely to recommend your business to their friends and family. Another thing is that they will actually start buying your goods. Remember that you reap what you sow. Be a good marketer and you get good customers in exchange.
Method #21: Evaluate Your Campaign
With everything that is going on, it is quite easy to get lost in the middle of a campaign. Still, you should keep track of what is going on. Specifically, you want to make sure that everything is going well and indeed producing desirable results.
Check in from time to time and see if your chosen methods are still effective. Otherwise, see what the problem is and make the necessary adjustments.
So now that you have 21 proven list building methods, what are you going to do? Implement them of course! Many internet marketers often get stuck with the planning stages of a list building campaign. As such, nothing ever gets done.
Do yourself a favor and avoid this blunder. Take the initiative and start doing something. Nothing will ever happen if you keep planning and changing your mind. You can only spend so much time on the drawing board. Consider that a bonus tip.
Good luck and happy list building!