11 Insanely Actionable Email List Building Strategies that Work Wonders for your Business

A wise man once said, ‘What goes up must come down’. Now we don’t know for sure what context that was said in, but if you take a closer look at things, trends seem to gradually rise and fall over time. Today, we see marketers going crazy trying to build their social profiles to attract followers that they can turn into leads and it happens to work wonders… for now!

Social media may be all the jazz right now, and let’s admit it social is important, but, do you know what’s even more important than that?



91% consumers have a habit of checking their emails at least once a day out of which 66% online consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email. Your message has more chances of reaching a person who has subscribed to your blog than somebody just skimming through posts on social media. This direct line to your subscribers helps you automatically generate more traffic that is most likely to convert.

A valuable email list really comes in handy for testing new products and promotion of new content. If you look at the statistics, it is an essential component to help build a profitable business because:

Take a moment to let those facts sink in.

Okayy.. Let’s get started on how to build a strong, reliable email list.

1. Create mind blowing content – In order to make visitors give their email ids, you need to give them a good reason why they should. Content is the best way to reel people in.

If you offer people good content, they will come back for more. And when they do, you can simply ask them to give you their emails, so you can send them even more content on a regular basis… and they will like it. However, for that to happen you need to be trendy, exciting and above all, interesting.


Most businesses assume that only blogs are what come under great content, but you can get creative in other ways too.

With today’s technology it’s easier to create content using platforms like videos, images, or even live broadcasting like Melanie Duncan. It could be anything at all, as long as people like what you have to say, they will want to hear more soon.

2. Make use of the exit intent – Pop ups have always been an annoying feature right? Well, not anymore. You know when you’re done exploring the page and it’s time to leave, so a pop up randomly asks to you subscribe to their posts? That’s called an ‘exit intent pop up’.


Exit intent pop ups are actually pretty smart. They help turn a leaving visitor into a subscriber with good chances that in time it will turn into a powerful lead.

Apart from that, pop ups have become less annoying too. If a visitor decides to close the pop up box instead of subscribing, they won’t see it again for a period of time (this usually depends on the cache and cookies settings on their machines). This certain technology has helped in making pop ups more tolerable for visitors.

However, Pop ups are really good at catching the visitors attention, making it better for conversions at a remarkably higher rate than when opt ins are put in side bars or at the end of the post.


A great software to use for pop ups is OptinMonster. Most businesses have used it to create optimized plug ins for their websites including exit intent pop ups and handle the conversion rates from their websites. It also offers other softwares such as testing tools, measuring ROI and segmentation of customers according to behavior personalization.

3. You’re going to need content upgrades – the first question I asked myself was, what is a content upgrade?

According to LeadPages, A content upgrade is simply a lead magnet (also known as an “opt-in bribe”) that is created specifically to be given away as a free download on an individual blog post in exchange for a visitor’s email address.”

Basically you trade a certain post with the visitor’s email id and the visitor turns into a subscriber. Pretty cool, huh?

A content upgrade could be anything from a free e-book, PDF versions of articles or even infographics. Whatever your visitors are most likely to subscribe to. Like this post from Robbie Richards. He’s giving away the ultimate guide to SEM, only in exchange for your email id.


Your post will have to be specifically created for such an upgrade, and it has to be highly relevant. The more the relevancy, the higher your content upgrades because more people will be interested in subscribing then. The idea is to get as many subscribers as possible before they leave. Without the content upgrade, visitors who have left the page will unlikely visit it again and chances are your business will be soon forgotten.

4. Guest Posting – Don’t listen to any self-proclaimed SEO geniuses out there. Guest posting is a great way to explore different audiences and getting their attention. In order to increase your subscribers list you need to find other bloggers in your area of interest and start guest posting.

5. Give them social proof – Would you give away your id to a blog you’ve never heard of before and you just came across accidentally? Of course not! But most people would if they know that a large number of people are a part of it. Social proof is a very odd phenomenon – if somebody is doing it, it must be a pretty cool thing to do. In order to get most of the visitors to give up their address you need to convince them that other people are doing it too, which is pretty easy if you give them a rough number of how many people are linked with you.


Social proof can have a great impact on your website. Most people will subscribe to you simply because a lot of other people have subscribed to you. If you have a large number of subscribers or followers, don’t hide that information! Wear it on your chest with pride and dignity as you watch new followers pouring in.

However, providing social proof can be a real challenge if you’ve got only 150 followers. That number aint gonna catch anybody’s attention. What you can do is provide a few testimonials from your small yet significant number of followers and post their opinions on your webpage. This should give visitors some confidence that others really are a part of this business.


6. Confirm your subscribers – Most of the times people fill out their email addresses through content upgrades or popups, but they don’t actually make the email list. In order to reach their inbox you need to make sure they have confirmed their subscription from their emails. If they haven’t then all your hard work and promotions goes straight into spam. But don’t worry, there’s a solution to that.


GetResponse is a great online tool that uses automated follow up to turn leads into customers. You can use it to check the number of people who did NOT respond to the subscription confirmation in the last 48 hours and send them a reminder confirmation email. That way they can make it to your email list and you get another confirm lead.


7. Make them uncomfortable to NOT subscribe – I’m not saying totally weird them out, but limit their choices and make them feel a little stupid to NOT subscribe to your website. A few sites are using this tactic and it DEFINITELY works, plus it’s got a bit of humor to it too. Like this example down here:


Of course nobody likes it when visitors bounce and it would be stupid to NOT subscribe. It sort of leaves a visitor with not much choice on the matter, so most of them end up clicking “yes”.

8. Tweet your way into email list building – Twitter was the best thing that’s ever happened to inbound marketing, especially if you want access to people’s email addresses. However, this happens to be a three-step process:

(a) Collect more audience using Tweepi where you can find other users, interact with them and catch more attention.

(b) You convert your newfound followers into subscribers via CrowdFire. This sends users a private Direct Message right after they have followed you. Different DMs might get different responses. You can use Bitly to help keep track of how many clicks a specific DM gets.

(c) Use Tweet Juke Box to drive the traffic to your site. This will let you recycle old forgotten blog posts and help revive more traffic to your email subscription list. With the juke box you can set up feeds and add your content at a certain schedule. As your twitter audience begins to grow this strategy becomes more powerful.


9. Optimize your About Us pages – As discussed in eCopyDesk’s post on 6 Techniques to Use on Your About Us page to Transform it into a Lead Generation Machine, we cannot emphasize enough on how important the About Us page is. If your about us page convinces the readers that you can offer them what they need, you already have a lead. The about us page is the most clicked page on a site. A great way to increase your email list is by adding the subscription button on your about us page. Once a visitor is satisfied regarding who you are and what your business’ purpose is, they will most likely subscribe to your content.


Like the Leaderbe about us page lets you explore around and get to know them and has the option of subscribing down below so you can give away your email address while you are still overwhelmed by the site’s awesomeness.

10. Make post specific sidebar options – The sidebar is a really great place to throw in the subscribe box. People can subscribe to your blog in the middle of a post (because let’s face it, not many people finish the whole post) so it doesn’t have to wait at the bottom of the page hoping someone will read the whole thing.


However, what most sites do is put the same box on every page, which is pretty boring if you ask me. What you can do is put content upgrade options in there to get people to subscribe to content while reading specific posts, like a subscription for an e book explaining Testing Tools can be offered while a visitor is on the A/B testing page. This little tactic can really help in increasing your email lists as people will want to read more if they like your post, may as well give them something from a similar background.
There are many ways to create specific sidebars for your posts, but ThriveThemes lets you create targeted sidebars easily within a few minutes. If you are interested in creating specific targeted sidebars, you should definitely check it out.

11. Target the commentators – If you have people commenting on your posts then that is great news! This shows that people are actually reading what you have to say and are responding to it too. All you have to do now is convert them into subscribers. One of the ways to do this is by installing the Comment Redirect plug in. What this particular magic wand does is redirect anybody who has commented for the first time to redirect them to any page you want. What you can do is use this for your benefit by redirecting them to your subscription page. This should really help raise your email list and your ROIs too. 


Once you have a reliable email list, trust me, it wont be long before they start converting into clients. If you need help with strong and reliable email list building, send us an email and we’ll get to work right away

About the author / Aisha Khalid

Aisha Khalid is a content marketer who writes about conversion optimization and copywriting. Some would say she is obsessed with optimization techniques that take meh content and transform it into something that readers can gobble up. She’s on a mission to stomp out all corporate, boring speak giving way to words that actually matter.

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