how to build an email list in 4 simple steps

4 Quick Tips for Growing Your List

There is no excuse not to have an email list. In fact, you don't even need your own product or service before starting a targeted list (but it helps–immensely). All you need is an autoresponder and an opt-in box on your website.

Once you do create your own product or service, you’ll be happy that you already have your list in place. By then, you’ll already have readers who are interested in what you have to say. In fact, it will make it easier to sell those things when the time comes because a relationship will already be developed.

The Key = If you can get a targeted list of people who trust you, love your products, and see you as an expert in your field, your chances of reaching success have just skyrocketed above everyone else.

Quick Tip #1: Get Them to Opt-In

You should always offer quality content for free on your site so that when you do create an offer your readers are already confident that what you’re offering is worth their time & money.

Here are some ideas to entice your visitors to sign up for your list:

  • A Special Report – 7-10 pages in length
  • A Short eCourse – 5 to 7 days that will give you a chance to provide great information along with the ability to follow up in the future.
  • Informative Audio or Video – Make it one that can’t be found already on your site. Be sure to include transcripts for those who want them.

Make sure your free item of such great quality that your visitor could picture themselves paying for it instead of receiving it free.

Remember, not everyone on your list will be interested in buying your stuff immediately. Some just want to get your free information. That’s ok – the day may come when they need something you’ve got and they’ll know where to go. Plus, if you’ve built a relationship with them, they’re more likely to recommend you to others – growing your list even more.

Bonus Tip: Here’s a trick to help you separate the buyers from the freebie seekers.

Create a short report for your list. Offer your readers the report at a low price (no more than $5 or $10). Those who see the value in what you’re offering will gladly spend a few dollars. Have the customers opt-in for lifetime updates.

If you can, purge the new customers from your leads list. If not, don't worry about it. However, the great value in this method is that you’ll end up with a list of people who aren’t afraid to spend money — and that's where the real money is. Buyers trump free optins almost every single time.

Quick Tip #2: Make it Easy

Your opt-in box gives you the opportunity to convert one time visitors into long term relationships through follow-up emails. Make sure you place your opt-in form on every page of your website so your readers have the opportunity to sign up without having to search for it.

Where can you put your opt-in form?

  • Pop-up or Pop-over forms hovering over your site
  • In-line forms near the top. These allow for easy access and are seen “above the fold” so visitors can sign up once they’ve read a bit of your content and find out they love you
  • Links. Place a link in the footer of every page of your site that directs visitors to an opt-in page

They all have their own benefits so you should test them to see which one converts best for you.

Don’t forget to create a strong call to action in the opt-in box text – tell visitors what to expect and what to do next. Detailed instructions on how to check their email and click on the enclosed link to make sure they receive their freebie is always a good idea.

Quick Tip #3: Drive Targeted Traffic

You have an opt-in form, you have an offer and now you need traffic. The best offer means nothing if no one is visiting your site to see it.

There are many different ways to drive people to your site and using a variety of them will help you achieve the best results. A few to get you started:

  • Article Marketing & Guest Blogging – Share your articles on article directories and on influential bloggers' sites. Make sure your author bio includes a strong call to action and a link to your site. Use keywords in your articles to make them easier to find by the search engines.
  • Leveraging Social Networks – Did you know there are over 600 bookmarking and social networking sites on the Internet right now? Twitter and Facebook might be the most popular, but don’t count out sites like StumbleUpon or Digg or Reddit.

The point is you should be creating relationships through these sites so don’t go in with your sales spiel guns shooting your links all over the place. Build relationships, create your bio, and occasionally share a link or special offer to your site.

  • Blog Posts – If your website doesn’t have a blog create one and share quality information or recommendations in your posts.
  • Blog Comments – Make meaningful, relevant comments that provide good information (not just links to your site) on other blogs. Don’t comment just for the sake of commenting and don’t be afraid to comment on the blogs of your competitors. Competition is good and most realize the power of working together so while you’re helping with comments, you’ll build a relationship with them too.
  • Giveaways & Contests –Create traffic by hosting a giveaway or contest. Each has its own merits and you can work with other website owners to create traffic for everyone. For example, get 3 or 4 site owners with services or products they’re willing to donate. Those site owners each get to give away the “package” of 3 – 4 items. You can have your readers participate (which is always good) by visiting all of the sites and leaving comments or whatever you’d like them to do. Be creative but make it fun and easy.
  • Link Love Posts – Write a “round-up” post where you travel the Internet looking for great articles on your topic. Provide links to the articles on your site. Don’t forget to add your commentary and make it more valuable for your readers. Share the link to your post with the people you’ve linked to as a courtesy.
  • Guest Posts – Offer to write guest posts on complementary sites (see above). Everyone is looking for fresh content. Especially, if it’s good quality and they don’t have to write it. You can find places that accept guest posts by doing a search or you can simply email your friends and competing site owners and make the offer to write a post. What do you get in return for your hard work?  A short bio/author resource box at the end of your post with your keywords and links back to your site.
  • Interviews – Find places to share your information via teleseminars, podcasts or email interviews. Often, these will provide you with the ability to get your name and URL out to many people, not already on your list, at one time.
  • Contributors – Look for people to contribute guest posts on your blog for fresh content with an eye to providing quality information to your readers. People are often willing to write a guest post for you as long as they can link back to their own site or product.
  • Brandable Reports – Look for products you can recommend (or create your own) that have brandable reports as a marketing tool. You can give away these special reports that include your own affiliate links making the benefits two-fold. You have content for your readers and the possibility of making money through affiliate sales. (Look at for ideas.)

The Key = Find out what your target market’s intent is when searching for information in your niche. What, exactly, are they searching for? Give it to them.

Quick Tip #4: Test

No matter what you use to drive traffic to your site, you must test to see which offers convert and which are wasting your time. You want to turn visitors into list members AND you want to convert members of your list into buyers. But, the only way you’ll know what action is working best for you is to test them all.

You just need to start at the beginning and just get it done! Get your stuff out there and then test the heck out of it! Tweak & test again.

Now that you have the steps necessary to get your list started, growing your list should be a little bit easier for you. Just focus your efforts on designing a great offer, making your opt-in form easy to find and getting targeted traffic to your site so that your reader’s eyeballs see that opt-in box. Then, choose a few of the strategies to get traffic and see which ones work best for you. Remember to test and tweak your efforts until you get the best possible results.

If you want to learn more about building your email list, check this out.


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