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Nineteen (19!) Ideas for Growing Your Email List

by Hunter Boyle  |  
October 1, 2012

What would you rather have, a big list with dismal conversion rates or a smaller list targeting a highly engaged audience? Thought so.

For a healthy opt-in email list, quality always trumps quantity, and here are 19 budget-friendly ways to get the list you want. What you'll find here are a few new twists to familiar tactics, along with real results and examples, to help you implement these ideas more effectively yourself.

1. Clarify your unique value proposition (UVP)

Who could possibly be excited about signing up for more email? To turn visitors into subscribers, you must show them what sets you apart from the crowd. Use your value proposition to answer visitors' "What's in it for me?" question—namely, getting something they value, something they can't get anywhere else. (See more on creating stronger UVPs, including a free PDF worksheet.)

2. Start a swipe file

See ideas you want to steal draw inspiration from? Combine the bookmarks, downloads, emails, and screen captures that you're intrigued by into a digital swipe file. Use it to get your creative juices flowing before brainstorming a new campaign or test. Try a free Web- and mobile-based utility like Evernote for storing ideas on the go.

3. Listen to your readers

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Hunter Boyle leads business development for email powerhouse AWeber. A veteran content marketer and conversion optimization strategist, he's helped organizations improve their digital ROI since the dot-com days.

Twitter: @hunterboyle

LinkedIn: Hunter Boyle

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  • by Hunter Boyle Tue Oct 2, 2012 via web

    Question for readers: Did this post encourage you to test an email opt-in form lightbox?

    I've heard from a few folks on Twitter that they're going to give it a shot. How about you? Thoughts? (Bueller?)

  • by Amy Sutherland Tue Oct 2, 2012 via mobile

    Yes, it has! Great ideas put to paper!

  • by Hunter Boyle Wed Oct 3, 2012 via web

    Thanks for the feedback, Amy. Glad to hear you've got some new ideas for testing. I'd love to hear any results and feature them in future posts. Cheers!

  • by Angela Wed Oct 3, 2012 via web

    Does it count if it encouraged my boss to have ME test a lightbox? :-)

  • by Hunter Boyle Thu Oct 4, 2012 via web

    Hi Angela. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I'm pretty sure that still counts. And I hope the test goes well ... so maybe you'll forgive me, ha!

  • by Lynn Dalsing Mon Oct 8, 2012 via web

    Thanks for a great post, Hunter! We shared it in our roundup of email marketing news:

    Another option that we would add is email advertising. When done right, you can use it to add to your prospects or acquire new customers.

  • by Hunter Boyle Mon Oct 15, 2012 via web

    Hi Lynn,

    Thanks very much for the comment and sharing this post. I agree 100% with email advertising as a list-building idea, although those costs can run much higher than the ideas outlined above. Advertising is an area that's rich enough for a post (or several) on its own. Hmmmm .... Cheers!

  • by Lynn Dalsing Mon Oct 15, 2012 via web

    Good point, but I mean, you ONLY gave us 19 ideas in this post. :)

  • by Hunter Boyle Mon Oct 15, 2012 via web

    Ha ha, that's true. Funny thing is, we actually cut this down from 25. ;)

    Thanks again for the feedback (and the laugh)!

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