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Email List Building Tactics

Email List Building

Email is an immensely powerful marketing tool. Even after more than 10 years of email marketing, new techniques and tweaks are invented to benefit even more from email marketing.

The techniques and the small tricks you’ve been mastering, however, are fruitless without any subscribers.

Luckily, email list building isn’t that hard once you know the basics.

1. Start easy

It’s common sense to seek for gold where it could actually lie.

Let’s think about it: in your opinion where would it’d be easy to reach subscribers for you?
Maybe your offline store? Or do you own an online business, centered around a single website? Email list building is a breeze if you have a place where many people have a chance to subscribe.

Offline list building

You can ask the staff at your store to ask customers to subscribe to your list by hand. Add a suggestion box by your counter with printed latest newsletter desplayed next to it so they can see eaxctly what they will received, encourage them to subscribe with incentive like discount cupon for next bill etc. Of course, have these sign-up forms easy accessible for prospects that don’t buy anything yet, but want to subscribe. Although offline opt-in seems like a lengthy, manual process, it can make a huge difference.

Online list building

Your website is also an obvious place where you’d find many willing subscribers. A rule of thumb is to place an easy sign-up form on your website, on every single page, so the users don’t have to think twice once they’ve made up their mind. If you don’t want to include the whole form, then at least obvious email Call To Action will be sufficient.

In both cases, if the process isn’t going as well, try adding incentives for subscribing. A one-time 5 to 10% discount or a free gift to a new subscribers doesn’t put much weight upon your shoulders, but can spark motivation into previously unwilling customers.

2. Then, move to smaller sources.

Reading mail and browsing the Internet on mobile phones is common, and can bring you a lot of subscribers. You should optimise your site a bit, to bring mobile users to your list. Luckily, CopyBlogger has a great article about that.

Then there are social networking tools: Twitter, Facebook, and the like.
You can add a subscription form directly on your company’s Facebook fan page, or tweet out a link to a standalone sign up form. Social sources are more targeted, as the prospects are clearly attracted to offers from you, thus, you can create a well targeted email list.

If for some reason you don’t fancy social networks, you can try renting lists to attract subscribers. However, keep in mind that lists are still opt-in email lists and won’t remain yours after rental. Oh, and they are priced adequately.

3. Make up your own ways of getting subscribers.

Creativity makes both you and the customer feel good — the right kind of creativity, anyway, — and, as was mentioned, there is still a lot of room to be covered. And who says that email list building can’t be creative?

There are, for example, people who’ve had success with regular mail. As the return per subscriber is $948 (at least in the high-end tech niche), seemingly expensive regular mail can reap huge benefits. Counter-intuitive? Yes, but highly profitable.


Incentives are quite an obscure figure, actually.

Real incentives for subscribers is considered a best practice in email marketing, however, research by suggests that, “B2B marketers are more successful in driving new subscriptions with ‘incentivized’ registration, while B2C marketers find ‘non-incentivized’ subscriptions most effective.”

In other words, statistics show that regular consumers are less likely to fall for a “giveaway”; businesses are far more likely to sign-up in the mailing list for a small prize.

Incentives do remain, though, a great means of showing your customers that you care.


You don’t have to do anything too “out-there” to achieve email list growth. Solid, tested techniques usually do better, but don’t shy away — add new channels to ease subscribing even more.

How do you approach email list building?

Email List Building Tactics
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  • Anupam Rajey

    Hey Janis Rose, thanks for writing such an informative post. I’m sure that the tactics you explained in this post will help me add more subscribers to my email list. As far as my experienced in list building is concerned, I have got a huge success with a gated offer and content upgrades for my popular posts. What is your thought on a content upgrade?

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