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As an email marketer growing your list is one of the most important things you can spend time doing. Each new email represents yet another chance for you to make the sale when sending out your mailing.

Yet building your list can be an incredibly difficult process, and frequently only a small “sign up for our news letter” button is used. So today we’re going to go over some of the techniques you can use to build your list out.

  1. Sign-Up form on each page of your site – Make sure it’s highly visible with clear instructions. Be careful to not be too invasive or you’ll turn your visitors off.
  2. Forward to a friend – Placing a “Forward to a Friend” button in your newsletter can help to give it a viral push that can bring you more subscribers.
  3. Opt-in on check out – A great spot to get them on your list is during the sales process. These are the people that already like you enough to buy from you so getting them on your list should be easy pickings.
  4. In triggered emails – If you have any triggered emails, such as a Password Reminder email, set up for your site you can try to sell them on joining your newsletter list at the bottom of the email.
  5. Direct mail – If you have a list you’re sending direct mail to then place a nice sales pitch for your newsletter and the url to the sign up page on the mailing.
  6. Cross promote – Do you have another group of subscribers that you’re currently sending to that you think will also be interested in the mailing you’re promoting? If so then ask them to sign up in your next communication with them. The closer the two niches that you’re promoting, the better this technique will work.
  7. Call Center – Asking for an email and permission to send is easy to integrate into the call center’s list of to-dos they go through for each call.
  8. Collect emails at trade shows and conferences – This is really good for any B2B marketing. Just make sure you get permission to put them on your list when you get their email.
  9. Buy an ad or swap an ad – It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone else in your industry that has a newsletter. Try a query such as this keyword “newsletter sign up” or just keyword newsletter. Contact them and offer to buy an ad spot or, if you already have an established newsletter, offer to trade ads for an issue.
  10. Email signature – Might as well throw a link to your opt-in page in your signature, if you can squeeze it in next to your facebook, twitter, linkedin, digg, reddit, and stumbleupon link.
  11. SEO for your newsletter sign up page – If you’re setting up a sign up page then tweaking it so it’s search engine friendly is a must. Otherwise you’re leaving traffic and revenue on the table.
  12. PPC – You can step up a campaign on your favorite PPC platform and run traffic to your sign up page. You’ll need to find out the average life time value of a subscriber so that you can accurately measure ROI for your PPC spend.

Remember that building a list is about building trust between your reader and yourself. You can do this by following email best practices, avoiding spammy activity, and reassuring the reader that the content is relevant to him or her. A few key activities are:

  • Always attain permission!
  • Assure them you will keep their info private.
  • Tell them what’s in it for them.
  • Offer them something exclusive, for signing up.

There are lots of techniques you can use to grow your list. Just remember that your list is the first step of your email, and starting with spammy practices can only lead to trouble down the line.