Ultimate Guide To Building An Email List: List Building That Works And Makes You Money

The complete guide to how to build your email list from your blog, including opt-in and lead magnet strategy that is working today.

  • Really good post, thank you! I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking I need a HUGE giveaway and that meant it took far longer to get it out there than it should have done. The concept of having a giveaway that arouses curiosity rather than one that’s just big is really helpful. I’m just about ready to create a new giveaway and I’ll definitely refer to your ideas in this post when I start work on it.

    My best list-building idea is to get a pop-up. I avoided them for a couple of years because I hated them, but they do work.

  • Chris says:

    Split test your opt-in forms. Using Hybrid Connect, I was able to split-test my opt-in form text AND colors and eventually increase my opt-in rate. Let me put it this way….WHAT YOU THINK LOOKS GREAT MIGHT NOT WORK GREAT. Split-test and find out what does work.

  • Mike says:

    Hi David,

    Good advice on the 20% rule. If only small businesses and websites spent half that, they’d be seeing nice results. The fact is, most don’t spend that much time truly, deeply focusing on how to improve their website with regards to attracting email subscribers. I work in the wine industry and help a lot of winery websites with this very thing – I wrote a similar article as yours about it on my blog (http://bit.ly/1bgvtjn). Optinskin and Magic Action Box are really great, as are popup subscribe forms in general. It’s all about the messaging and what value you’re actually providing the user in that context. That’s where creativity comes in.

    I point out how some wineries often have a sold out product, and they should put a “let me know when it’s back” type signup on these pages. 9/10 do not do this, but it’s a small example of how to inject your site with little listbuilding hooks; you just need the right message in the right context. You can also use the Advanced Custom Fields plugin to pretty easily create optin forms for certain post categories, although MAB is really much easier. I’ve used Optinskin before, and find it does very well.

  • tom southern says:

    Too right! It is easier said than done for many. I think on the whole this is because it’s a little frightening for some people. I know it was for me. Would anyone want to read anything I sent them? If they did, would they feel let down by what they got in return for their email?

    And, often people who do take the plunge into building their list are doing so because they heard it was something to do but they don’t quite know what they’re doing, or what they want out of building a list.

    Once I got how important it is [for example, more important than a blog – it’s your community and income source] I took the plunge. And did so without having a blog yet, just a simple opt-in page. And no offer yet either. After several months I have a list of 15! Yeah, only 15, but a lot of people struggle to get that many subscribers with a blog.

    What’s helped me grow this list is just finding a real-world need that David talks about. Then offering real-world solution through relationship-building. Then giving something outstanding that continues to give my solution to their problem. And learning from others who continually serve their list. Talking of which, thanks for some great ideas David, for doing this here – not just for opt-in offers but for keeping subscribers involved.

    And it does take a lot of work and effort too.

  • Yassin says:

    i thin the problematic issue is how to make your list convert. the methods to bring sign ups are on every blog. how to make your subscriber engaged, how to make him*her trust you enough to buy what you’re selling.

    • David Risley says:

      That is certainly important as well, however don’t gloss over the issue of getting them to subscribe in the first place. Most blogs convert quite poorly in that regard.

  • Lisa says:

    Great stuff David and very timely. I am planning my business goals for next year and do a lot of Facebook marketing in my new Facebook community https://www.facebook.com/mydogisawesomefans. I plan to build one new opt-in every month for the next twelve months. That should give me some good data on what people want in my niche. Thanks for posting this!

  • Sharron F says:

    I just bought the Gravity Forms plugin for WordPress. I see it’s not listed above; but I feel it could have a lot of potential for creating on-blog opt-in forms. Hopefully this was a wise move. – ?

  • Hello David,

    Very informative post over here 🙂

    E-mail list is something we all bloggers are blessed with. It can surely boost up our sales to the sky but if its done correctly.

    The main problem that every one faces is, they get trouble, how to convert leads into sales.

    I am pinning this down, so that I can take lessons from it.

    Thanks for the share.


  • Hi

    Very nice, I usually put several blogs posts in 1 ebook as a “XXX tips for XXX”, which help me to create relevant bonus to my main sections.

    But I wont use aweber in that case as a web site visitor that subscribes to 3 lists will count as 3 billed emails.. which can cost a lot.

    I would prefer use other tools like get response that count only emails not emails in lists 🙁

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