emailYou’ve heard again and again that the money is in your list, and the bigger your list the better.

A big list is a great thing to have for sure, but a quality, responsive list, is what you want to aim for.

Having a robust list certainly gives you more opportunities to sell and to build your reputation. Here are 8 sure-fire tips for growing your list:

1. Prioritize Building Your Mailing List. Make sure you’re putting at least as much effort into building your mailing list as you are to your social media efforts…preferably more. Getting “Likes” on Facebook is one way of gauging your popularity, but you can’t control how your message is spread to your Facebook connections, and it can be difficult to effectively communicate with them directly.

2. Make it Easy for New Subscribers to Sign Up. Make the links to your signup page prominent on all the pages of your website. You can do this by placing a full-width banner at the top of your site, as well as within your margins or sidebar area. You might even want to use a pop-up or lightbox window as part of a particular landing page (provided that it only shows up once per user visit).

And get over your concern that pop-ups are just too annoying. The reality is, they work.

3. Be Up Front With Your Value Proposition. Two things should be immediately apparent from your opt-in page: (1) what a person will receive if they sign up for your mailing list, and (2) why that thing would be valuable or useful to them. Don’t assume that a potential sign-up will be able to understand exactly why something has value just from a brief description. Explain exactly what’s in it for them, and don’t leave your value proposition to chance interpretation.

4. Offer Something of Value.
It’s important to make sure that when you claim to offer something of value and substance in exchange for an email sign-up, that you follow through and actually provide something of value. You don’t want to give away too much (in terms of volume or content), but you need to make sure that a new subscriber doesn’t feel as if they were tricked into giving you their email address. Over time you’ll gain experience in what’s appropriate.

Choose one problem that you solve and then share all the details needed for your reader to solve that one problem. They’ll be eager to learn more from you and pay you for it to boot.

5. Leverage the Trust You’ve Built Up. Your mailing list sign-ups are going to come from two sources — people who have never been to your website before and who don’t know you, and those who have already experienced you in some way. With respect to the second group, you can improve the sign-up rates on your squeeze pages by leveraging the trust you’ve already built up with them. If they’ve been to your site many times before, then they know from reading your prior posts and other downloads you’ve shared, what you have to offer. Reference these things as part of your sign-up pitch to help convince your current readers that your newest offer is also right for them.

6. Run a Contest. Putting on a contest or product giveaway can be a great way to drive new traffic to your site and grow your mailing list. Of course, to be effective, the item you’re giving away must be related to your niche.

Just be aware that contests do not always attract the highest caliber of prospect and not always your perfect-fit clients.

7. Review Your Past Experiences. Go back and look at what’s worked for you in the past to grow your list. If you’ve been using Google Analytics, Yoast, or some other analytics service, carefully go through the numbers in order to identify the techniques that you know have worked well for you. As they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But look for ways where you can possibly improve it.

8. Remember the Offline World.
Do you attend business networking events? Do you ever get new readers or subscribers by mentioning your business and website to people you meet or for people in the audience when you speak? Have a set of business cards with a direct link to your sign-up or squeeze page printed on them, and be ready to give them out when the time seems right. This is a great use for the back side of your card. Be sure to include an image of your giveaway along with the link, and present the card so that the recipient is sure to see it. It is also okay to point it out and ask them to go download your gift.

In fact, anything you use as printed marketing materials should have a printed link where folks can go to sign up for your list.

BONUS TIP: Ask people you know who are already your fans to invite people they know to join your list. This is often a great ice-breaker that opens the way for more substantial referrals later on.

Got a great email list building tip or a thought you’d like to share? Use the comment section below. Thanks!