While social media marketing like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn are getting tons of interest, email is still KING.

Email is used far more than Facebook and Twitter combined. How much more? Daily activity for Facebook: 60 million updates. Twitter: 140 million tweets per day. Email? 188 billion messages per day. Email continues to be used each day by 93% of consumers.

Think about it: Email is central to everything a person does, online and offline, every day.

Your email list is the core and infrastructure of your business. These names have more weight than a Facebook “like” or a Twitter follower, they are the most qualified, targeted leads that you are going to get! These people have willingly signed up to hear from you in the form of regualar email updates. They are the strongest candidates to purchase from you.

Obviously for email marketing to be effective, you’ve got to possess a list, right?

TIP: Don’t ever, ever buy one!

You must grow your list organically and you must do it by offering value, that’s it. This blog is all about how to do this.

List building starts with the sign-up process: You need to get people to subscribe. This means:

  • Get lots of traffic to your sign up form.
  • Get as many people who see your sign up form to take action and sign up!

Use an Email Marketing Service Provider. A good Email Service Provider (ESP) is vital to capture email subscribers and automatically add them to a database. I use Mail Chimp. I love them. There are many out there: Constant Contact, SilverPop, StreamSend, iContact, ExactTarget to name but a few.


1. Make Your Subscribe Form Visible on Every Page of Your Website: Make sure it is placed in a prominent spot on your site; above the fold is best. The more people that see your form, the more will subscribe.

2. Give People a Reason(s) to Sign Up: Let people know what they will be getting when they sign up.

3. Offer an Awesome, Valuable Free Gift: Depending on your business, you may offer 20% discount, an eBook, a White Paper, 30-minute free consulting…

4. Create a Compelling Sign-Up Form: Make the form appealing, include graphics of the free gift. Boxshot King is great for creating awesome 3D images (without Photoshop) for digital products that you can offer as opt-in gifts.

5. Create a Sign-Up Form on Your Facebook Page: It’s super easy and there are a few companies that you can use to do this: Woobox, Lujure, ShortStack, WildFire. I created a Facebook Custom App Thumbnail that opens into a simple form. This form brings me opt-ins over time, depending on how active I am on my Facebook page.
















6. Keep It Simple & Short (KISS): People do not like to fill in long forms. Get the basic necessary information so they can fill it in in less than 5 seconds.

7. Integrate Testimonials on Your Sign Up Form: This is a really great way to re-assure people who are a little hesitant. Once they read good testimonials, they will be more eager to sign up too. Include Social Share Buttons: Make sure these are everywhere so people can share on their social media networks easily with one click!

8. Create a Great Thank You Page & Welcome Email: Lots of people forget to do this, but it just shows your new subscribers that you go the extra mile. When people sign up, make sure to take them to a great Thank You page and send out a Welcome Email, either reminding them what they will be getting, or something cute or funny. Encourage people to share with their friends. Include ALL social sharing buttons.

9. Use a Landing Page: Create a special Landing Page to drive people to Sign Up. This is really much more effective than sending people to your Home Page. Conversion rates can be increased by 50% with a specific landing page. Check out Optimize Press theme which is a great way to rapidly create a landing page. See the example below of landing page you can create with Optimize Press:








10. Use Social Media: Use your social media channels to send people to your landing page, share the link, and build amazing relationships while doing so. I think the best networks for this are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

11. Include Social Share Buttons: Make sure these are EVEYWHERE so people can share on their social media networks easily with one click!  Read my blog post on this.

12. Add Your Landing Page to Your Twitter Bio: A Twitter tip most people do not know is that you can include multiple links in your bio: Add your landing page link there.

13. Use Your Email Signature: Include a link and call to action to your landing page. Use the free tool WiseStamp to add an image and more to your outgoing emails.

14. Try Google AdWords (Pay Per Click): Use a Google PPC agency. You may want to test the waters with this, starting off with a small budget. It’s really easy to set up an account. Then do the math and work out how much a lead costs you and how much business you have generated through that lead.

15. Write Articles: This is a great way to expose your business and your services across the web – in other blogs and websites – and get links back to your website. Be sure to include a sign up link in these articles.

16. Email Your Existing Contacts: Let them know about the Free Gift you are offering and ask them to pass or share this with their friends.

17. Comment on Blogs: Write insightful valuable comments on other people’s blogs. Leave your blog name and give your landing page URL.

18. Include Archives of Your Newsletters on Your Website and Landing Page: People like to browse older newsletters (or your blog) for content and to see an example of what they signing up for, so make sure these are accessible.

19. Give Your Newsletter a Cool Name: Make it different or suitable to your business or offering.

20. Create Valuable Content: Don’t make every newsletter a sales pitch. People will unsubscribe fast. Content must be rich, creative, awesome. Your subscribers will tell their friends and your list will organically spread by word of mouth.

21. Make Business Cards: Promotional business cards are a great way to build your business and your brand. If you get cards made up for your business, be different. Don’t create a boring ordinary card like everyone else. Use curiosity and a call to action. Something like: “Get a Your Free Gift When You Sign Up at www.yourlandingpage.com”.

22. Partner & Share Lists: If you can find someone with a similar sized list, and applicable target audience, you can share and “swap” your lists: You can send out an email on their behalf, and they can reciprocate.

As always, please comment and share your tips in the comments box below so we can all benefit from you!



7/25/2012 POST NOTE: There is a fab blog post, tips and ideas on great calls-to-action (CTAs) for growing your email list by HubSpot: 11 Clever CTA Tricks Real Brands Are Using to Grow Their Email List

8/1/2012 POST NOTE: John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing just wrote a blog on this, great reading: Don’t Bother With Social Media Until You Have Email Marketing Nailed

8/9/2012 POST NOTE: Social Media Examiner recent blog on 7 WordPress Plugins to Grow Your Email Subscribers.  So easy and makes a huge difference if you implement one of these plugins on your blog or website



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