10 Ways to Build a High-Quality, Opt-in Email List

If you’re an online marketer (or your client is!) and you’re not asking every visitor to your website or blog to sign up to receive a regular email from you – you’re leaving money on the table.

Because, next to meeting each subscriber in person, sending out email messages is the best way to establish an ongoing relationship with your prospect. It’s also one of the easiest ways to grow your income to a level most people only get to dream about.

The most important thing about any email list is quality, not quantity. And the only sure way to guarantee your list is comprised of people who have a real interest in what you’re selling is to build it yourself.

How do you go about it? Here are 10 ways to quickly build up a quality email list:

  1. Feature a sign-up form on every page of your website (or blog). Make it easy to fill out. Don’t ask for too much information – name and email address will suffice. Offer an incentive, such as a white paper, free report, e-book or a mini-course. Promote the benefits of your newsletter. Alleviate any “spam concerns” your visitors may have by adding a link to your privacy policy.
  2. Include a pop-up on your promotion or website. A pop-up is a little window that “pops up,” usually when someone first enters your site or arrives at one of your landing pages. It should contain fields for the visitor to enter his name and email address, along with any incentives and the benefits of signing up.
  3. Buy PPC ads and drive traffic to a subscription landing page. A subscription landing page is a web page whose only goal is to capture someone’s email address. Generally they contain no navigation, and the content is kept to a minimum. Similar to a pop-up, the page simply explains the benefits of reading your e-letter or e-zine, and any incentives your prospect will receive for signing up today.
  4. Write articles. Writing articles and letting other people post them on their own websites is an easy way to promote your e-letter. Be sure to include an “About the Author” section, along with a short e-letter promotion and link to your email subscription page. (Tip: A quick and easy way to give other people access to your articles is to submit them to an “article” site, such as www.ezinearticles.com, www.goarticles.com, and www.articledashboard.com.)
  5. Add a “Tell a Friend” box. Some also call it “word of mouse.” Once someone signs up, ask him if any of his friends or associates would also be interested. You can also offer him an incentive as a way of encouraging participation.
  6. Partner with another e-letter or e-zine owner. Look for someone who has a related product or service, and ask him if he’s interested in doing a cross-promotion. Once he agrees, you both send a note to your e-letter or e-zine file, talking about the benefits of subscribing to the other person’s e-letter or e-zine.
  7. Add a link to your email signature. In the signature of your email, put something like: Subscribe to my free fly fishing e-letter, and get the report Fly Fishing Hot Spots of the World – FREE!
  8. Promote it offline. Include a link to your subscription landing page in any print marketing you do, such as brochures, classified ads, newspaper and magazine ads, etc.
  9. Write blog posts that promote signing up. At the end of a blog post, mention that your reader can get more information on this topic by reading your e-letter.
  10. Create message board postings. Subscribe to a message board related to your topic. Add a link to your landing page in your profile. If you post thoughtful and useful messages, clicks and sign-ups should follow!

Ask any Internet guru, and he or she will tell you, “The money is in the list.” A top-quality email list allows you to continually be “knocking on the door” of the people who are most likely to buy from you (again and again).

Consider this: If you start today and add, say, six people a day to your list … a year from now, you’ll have almost 2,200 ready, willing, and eager prospects. If you continue at the same pace, after two years you’ll have 4,400 subscribers. And at that point, if 10% of your list buys from you just once, and you generate a $100 profit per person – it translates into a whopping $44,000!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: October 1, 2008

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