Seven of the Best Methods for List Building

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A list of contacts is one of the most important things a blogger can have. If you’re serious about making money online, you need to learn how to build a list the right way.

Getting people to provide you with their email addresses willingly can be somewhat difficult, so you need to prove to them that you will only send out informative emails and updates and not spam.

Furthermore, you also need to promise to keep their emails private and not sell them to a third party.

Getting people to sign up for your list or newsletter or free “give-away” willingly is referred to as “opting-in”. Your list should consist of as many opt-in emails as possible in order for you to successfully run your email marketing campaigns.

Here are some of the best methods for list building:

1. Offer a “freebie” to readers in return for signing up. There are millions of people out there who are looking for free stuff on the internet every day. You can give away anything from a free e-book to a software download. Just make sure it is of a high quality, otherwise your optiins will un-subscribe.

2. Hold a contest. I held my very first contest just a few months ago. From that contest, I received over 200 opt-ins. If it’s a nice prize, many people will be willing to give you their email just for a chance to win!

3. Join a forum and write intelligent, thoughtful posts. Participate in discussions and debates. It’s okay to stir up a bit of controversy here and there. Make sure everyone knows that they can learn more if they sign up for your list. You can have the link to your blog or squeeze page in your signature. It’ll show up in every single one of your posts.

4. Write articles, tutorials, tips, etc. and submit them to article directories and social bookmarking sites. Once again, make sure readers know that they can join your list for more information. You need to establish yourself as an expert so that people will want to listen to what you have to say. Don’t just write the same articles over and over again—be creative and make each one unique. Make your articles, tips, and guides stand out above your competitors.

5. Make sure that every single email or newsletter you send out is of a high quality. Even if you only have a few subscribers, you need to put a lot of time and effort into making the email campaign great. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to attract more readers. Your subscribers will be more willing to share and forward your emails to their friends and family if the content is of excellent quality and useful.

6. Make the list easy to sign up for. Some webmasters make subscribers fill out a questionnaire just to join a list! The only things you really need to get from potential subscribers are their names and emails. Also, make sure you add a disclaimer to inform them that you won’t give or sell their information to a third party. Once they sign up, make it easy for them to download their free gift. You can use tools and scripts to help you build, run, and maintain your list. The best tool around is Aweber.

7. Guest blogging. By guest blogging you can attract new visitors. Some of those new visitors will opt-in to your free guide or give-away. For more information on guest blogging, check out this previous post of mine: Guest Blogging

By using these techniques your number of opt-ins will grow very rapidly.

What ways would you add to improve your list building? Share you views in the comments below.

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27 Responses to Seven of the Best Methods for List Building

  1. Tom February 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    For one of my blogs, when I comment I always leave my squeeze page in the website form – and it seems to get a decent response.

    In regards to making your list easy to sign up to, I would even suggest that most lists you don’t really even need their names for.

    No one believes the personalisation anyway, and a lot of people put put strange things in the name box and a personalised email would look weird for them.
    .-= Tom@Extra Large Dog Kennel´s last undefined ..Response cached until Thu 11 @ 19:23 GMT (Refreshes in 23.07 Hours) =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau
      Twitter:
      February 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

      Tom,

      I’m seeing more and more sites that only ask for the email address.

      Andrew

      • Dennis Edell February 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

        This is definitely the new thing. I remember a couple months back, reading about it everywhere.
        .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Theme Construction Part 2 – What Should Go WITHIN The Blog? This Is The FUN Part! =-.

  2. Wayne John February 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Ok, so I have an ebook that I’ll be giving away that is focused on Google Blogger users, what can I do with that list if I provided the ebook in exchange for them signing up?

    (I’m a programmer Jim, not a marketer 😉

    I’ll have to dig around here a little more, I suspect you’ve already answered that somewhere.

    Cheers!
    .-= Wayne John´s last blog ..An overview Chitika search advertising for publishers =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau
      Twitter:
      February 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

      Wayne,

      The whole point of having the list is to build a relationship with them. So as well as your free guide – start sending them extra advice type emails every 5 days or so. Advice they can really use to help them improve. Then once in a while (not too often) you could write a review of a service / product you use and make some commission as an affiliate form those that buy.

      Do you have your own selling product as well? You can promote that via your list as well.

      Hope that helps.

      Andrew

      • Wayne John February 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

        I think the last thing I want to do is create the interface for people to download the ebook, and I collect their email addresses, and then never use them! Why not just give the ebook out and not collect the emails if that is the case, right?

        But I don’t want to give it for free, only to realize later I should have, could have done something different.

        A 75 page ebook doesn’t come along every day, lol.

        Thanks for the advice! I’m going to keep exploring this idea.
        .-= Wayne John´s last blog ..Death of a website – DiggityHost’s miserable marketing failure and what I’ve learned =-.

    • Dennis Edell February 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

      Are you a good programmer? Stupid question perhaps, but you could start a list for those looking for programing tips…for beginners maybe; something like that?
      .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Theme Construction Part 2 – What Should Go WITHIN The Blog? This Is The FUN Part! =-.

      • Wayne John February 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

        Good is relative right? hahaha Yeah, I can pretty much do anything I want with code in a short amount of time.

        Good ideas, and thanks for helping me get my head straight on this. I’ve been chewing on this for a few weeks now and think I’m near ready to implement something…just need to plan that out a little more and I think I’m good to go.

        Thanks you guys!
        .-= Wayne John´s last blog ..Death of a website – DiggityHost’s miserable marketing failure and what I’ve learned =-.

        • Andrew Rondeau
          Twitter:
          February 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

          Wayne,

          Please come back and tell us your plans or if you have any more concerns/questions.

          Thanks for dropping by.

          Andrew

  3. Monique Gallagher February 12, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    I really liked your idea about having a contest. I have done a contest on a monthly free call I do called “Taking the Brakes Off”. To encourage people to turn up live on the call one person gets to win a 30 minute break through coaching session. It has increased the number of participants and it is always fun to give something away.

    • Andrew Rondeau
      Twitter:
      February 12, 2010 at 10:35 am #

      Monique

      That’s sounds a great way to get the numbers up and I agree, it’s nice to share your knowledge for free.

      Andrew

  4. Arafat Hossain Piyada February 12, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    I think it’s depend on niche. Not every niche demand email list to be successful. I’m earning good money and I never feel a need of email list.
    .-= Arafat Hossain Piyada´s last blog ..7 top social website for sport’s fans and addicts =-.

  5. Dennis Edell February 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    You don’t even need a freebie if you can promise, then of course deliver, something unique…tips on something rare.

    It may take sometime to find that something, but it will be golden when you do. 😉

    Contests are AWESOME. My blog subscriptions (different from what you’re talking about, I know) SKYROCKETED when I held comment contests.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Theme Construction Part 2 – What Should Go WITHIN The Blog? This Is The FUN Part! =-.

  6. John Soares February 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    A good freebie is the most important reason why I sign up for mailing lists. Since most sites have blogs, I usually just get the RSS feed rather than get on the list.
    .-= John Soares´s last blog ..McGraw-Hill Has Increased Sales of Higher Education Textbooks and Digital Products =-.

  7. lunaticg February 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Questionnaire? I will certainly go away from any website with a pop up asking me to answer some question first before I can browse their site. I am searching for information not looking for questionnaire.
    Thanks for the idea, retweet it.
    .-= lunaticg´s last blog ..Where can you change damage money? =-.

    • Andrew Rondeau
      Twitter:
      February 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      lunaticg

      You should ask your subscribers for feedback after a couple of months – no sooner.

      Andrew

  8. Sushie March 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    It is a good way to build and attract a lot of traffic with guest poster, i have never done this thing yet…
    Anyway, thanks for this useful article. ^^
    .-= Sushie@ diet plans´s last blog ..To lose 4 to 6 pounds =-.

  9. Janice March 17, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more! writing tutorials and tips will help to improve our reputation and credibility to our viewers and also it can help to keep them coming back. We need to obtain the loyalty of our audience so that they can refer us to someone they one. I can say that it is a good viral marketing strategy.

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