Top List Building Strategies


Top List Building Strategies

The marketing world has spoken, and the word on the street is that it is time to stop buying lists, and start building. Buying email lists is no longer as effective, as often the lists are not good and they target all of the wrong people.

In fact, email marketing to third party lists is no long even considered an effective strategy by most marketers, and it’s time for you to make the change, too.

Cue the time of the opt-in list. While building a list of real, interested and engaging clientele may seem like a daunting task, it can definitely be done. With a little bit of smart work, you will have built yourself a marketing email list that is actually worth its weight in broadband.

Here are our top list building strategies designed specifically to build a marketing email opt-in list.

Before we start, remember that the first step is always to make a plan. Know what you are trying to sell and the brand you are trying to create. Also, be certain of the audience you are trying to reach, so you do not waste time chasing the wrong tail, as it were.

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Strategy 1: Content is King

If your buyer is going to buy into whatever it is you are selling, you have to prove that there is actually something to sell. Whether it’s a service or a good, people need to hear about what it is you are offering, how it’s being used and why it’s the right choice for them.

Blogging is a great way to get this started, as it offers a platform to get a good amount of high-quality content onto the internet where potential customers can find it.

Content is King

This is not another opportunity to hodge-podge together some random information, but instead it is a great chance for you to show off your product and build your brand.

Offer clients useful information, such as industry reports or guides that will not only boost your search engine ratings but will give clients real information to put a product to a name.

Strategy 2: Social Media is Queen

Hand-in-hand with creating content that the public actually wants to read, is sharing that content in a way that people easily find it. In today’s day and age, this means social media.

Although a daunting task on its own, establishing a presence on social media platforms will create interest among people who may not have even heard of your company before.

Use a variety of content, such as your brand new and informative blog posts, infographics and videos that will engage users and get them interested.

Social Media is Queen

Furthermore, do not be afraid to pay a little bit for advertisement. The more people you can get to engage with your content, the more you will be able to convince to stay.

While it may seem like a waste of money, the number of clicks can translate into site visits, turning into subscriptions and eventually revenue. Remember – you have to give some to get some.

Strategy 3: Give Opt-In a Chance

Now that you have all of your content, and it has been spread out so that potential clients can easily find it, it’s time to get your opt-in list going.

One way to think about it, is that the content will bring them in, and the opt-in list will help them stay. There are two methods that are effective in getting people to sign up for your marketing email list.

The first method is to ask. Simply put, offer visitors to your site the chance for exclusive discounts, promotions and news that is only available via your marketing communications. Then, ask if this is something they want. The key is to offer something that people want – such as free stuff and information on discounts. If what you are offering is worth their while, they will say yes.

The second method is to require it. While this sounds a little harsh and demanding, there are ways to do it that make it seem like a sweet deal. Also known as “gating” content, this method asks for simple information in return for the premium content that you have so carefully built up specifically for this purpose. In exchange for demographic information, users are granted access into relevant and useful industry information.

Strategy 4: Make it Easy

The best way to guarantee that nobody will join your opt-in email list is to make it take longer than five seconds. We have all heard about the short attention span of basically everybody, and you would be foolish to think your potential clients are any different.

Ask only information that you need to know. Unless you are a private detective agency, you probably don’t need their mother’s maiden name. Basics like first name, last name and email are usually all you need.

Sign up form

If you do need more information, or want it for your own analytics, ask it on subsequent visits, or different pages. Remember it shouldn’t take more than approximately 5 seconds for people to sign up.

Furthermore, allow customers to opt in and out of certain marketing information. Some clients may only want to know about your monthly discounts, while others will want to know about all of the great new content you are creating.

This is not difficult to manage as the marketer, and it is a good way to make sure people who are subscribed, stay subscribed.


Remember, building a sustainable marketing email opt-in list is not going to happen overnight, and it is going to take some planning and execution. However, it is well worth the time to replace that third-party email list with people who may actually consider investing in what you have to offer. If you believe in your brand, selling it will not be hard if you target the right audience.

With these top list building strategies, you will be well on your way to creating a marketing email opt-in list that will benefit your business.


10 comments on “Top List Building Strategies

  1. Email marketing is something I keep meaning to get into but have just never quite got round to it. I hear that it is the holy grail of internet marketing techniques. Many of the most successful internet marketers have had email marketing as a key part of their strategy.

    You are absolutely right that it is important to provide helpful information to your readers. Whenever I have been on email lists myself, I have stayed subscribed if they were regularly sending out helpful or interesting information. If I was on a list and they started to just send out nothing but promotional emails, I would unsubscribe.

  2. Thank you for the tips on how to start out to build a list. I have a signup on my site for a newsletter but I have only had a handful of people interested enough to actually signup. I might try out one of your suggestions and incentives to get them to sign up. Wish me luck! 🙂

  3. Great page and great strategies. Content certainly is King and also getting your readers socially engaged in your comments is also is very important. I am still yet to get involved with or to try the marketing email list but will certainly give it some serious consideration.

    Thank you, Carl

  4. Chris,

    I always hear money is in the list so I also work my hand at building a list early on. It wasn’t easy at first, even though I put my opt–in form there on the front page.

    I found the method that helps the most is to use content upgrades for specific posts.

    I have not tried a general opt–in download like an eBook though – but I always find it to be too generic. I don’t know about you but a lot of times, I go to websites and there is always a book there, it’s not novel anymore. And most of the time, the book isn’t so good or offers a lot of value. So unless, I trust the guy (ie. Backlinko, Neil Patel), I would not give it a go.

  5. You certainly have put the right strategies in place and spelt them out very clearly so they are easy to follow and I think building your own email list is much better than using a 3rd party list.

    You also give some very good advice concerning mailing lists, I think making it an opt-in list is a great idea as you give the reader the opportunity to get what they’re interested in on your site without them taking in extra stuff that they don’t want.

    1. Hi Adrian,

      It’s important to realize that whilst email marketing is powerful…it also is very difficult in most cases! You need to build up a pretty large list before you take it on seriously – 1000 email addresses or sign ups is nothing at the end of the day!

      If you are interested in it don’t get ahead of yourself – just build the list and keep on building….the numbers are everything!

      Good luck!

  6. Which platform you are using to build your email list? I tried to do it a few times with Mailchimp and I always failed so I gave up with that. Now my plan is to start with Aweber after a while when I am starting to get some more organic traffic. By the way, when would you start building an email list? Wealthy Affiliate’s founder Carson recommended me to wait until I have 400-500 visitors per day. However, I think that I will not wait so long.

    1. Mailchimp sucks ass Roope – especially if you are an internet marketer. I’m guessing you haven’t got a huge list yet so why don’t you try signing up for a free account with one of the top dogs? In a lot of cases they allow you to have up to about 2000 subscribers before you have to pay…it’s worth thinking about?

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