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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image of Hunter Boyle

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