Sticky: List Building Tips


Five List Building Tips: How to Get People to Join Your Email List

If you’re not building a list, then you’re leaving money on the table. However, you’re also letting a lot of money slip through your fingers if too many of your visitors are leaving your site without joining your list.

Do you want your list building efforts to soar?

Here then are five list building tips to get more people to subscribe to your newsletter.

Tip#1: Write a Simple Squeeze Page

You cannot just put up the words “free newsletter,” post your subscription form in the sidebar of your website or blog, and expect a rush of new subscriptions. 

Instead, you need to create a squeeze page, which is a sales letter for your newsletter. This page should include the usual parts of a sales letter such as the headline, the bulleted benefit list and a strong call to action. But keep it short, very short.

Here are two additional suggestions for your squeeze page:

First, answer the “what’s in it for me” question.

From the second your reader lands on your squeeze page, he’s going to wonder, “what’s in it for me?” Your headline should answer that question by promising a big benefit. And every line of your short copy of your squeeze page should continue answering that question until your prospect is convinced he/she needs to join your list.

Secondly, make the copy reader-oriented. Your copy on the squeeze page should use the word “you” as much as possible (otherwise the reader will lose interest). If you have statements that include the word “I,” see if you can rewrite them using the word “you.”

For example, instead of: “I’ll show you how to train your dog.”

Rewrite this as: “You’ll discover how to train your dog.”

Tip #2: Offer a Freebie

Yes, your newsletter is free. But you need to offer a little extra bonus to entice subscribers to join now. Basically you want to offer your website visitor something in exchange for his/her email address.  It should be something of value that solves a problem or question, or provides a benefit.

This extra bonus might be something like:

  • A free report or ebook or checklist in pdf format 
  • A free multi-part ecourse delivered by an autoresponder. (This is one of the best freebies, because it trains your subscribers to read your emails!)
  • Free access to a membership site with great content.
  • Free access to a teleseminar.
  • Free audio recordings in mp3 format.
  • Free video recordings. Either stream or provide as a download. Be careful though and watch the bandwidth if you chose to do this!
  • Free software such as WordPress themes or plugins
  • Or other free tools or resources.


Tip #3: Provide Proof

Sad but true: Your new visitors to your website don’t believe you. Or trust you.  Or know you. 


And if they don’t believe you, they will be unwilling to give you their email addresses and click the back button, never to return!

That’s why, if at all possible, you should include proof of who you are and what you propose to do for them, with endorsements, testimonials, screenshots, video, pictures and other evidence that your claims are true.

Build trust and you will get a higher number of optins which lead to more sales.

Some examples of how to provide proof include providing a “before” and “after” pictures on a bodybuilding site. It would be even better if it was YOU in those pictures.

If you are promoting your ability to create income from affiliate marketing, then you might want to provide video proof of your Clickbank account to show that you know what you’re talking about.

If you are in a niche such as home and garden, you can provide some comments/testimonials from subscribers and customers.  If you do this, be sure to follow current FTC guidelines and rules.


4. Arouse Curiosity

One of the best ways to boost your optin conversion rate is by arousing your prospect’s curiosity about your newsletter and/or your freebie. You can do this in your headline as well as in your list of benefits.

Some good examples include variations on the following headlines:

“Discover a sales letter trick that doubles your conversion rate overnight – see page 18 to learn this surprisingly simple trick!”

Or  you can create curiosity by saying:

“You’ll find out what five words you can say to a marketer that will virtually guarantee he’ll agree to your joint venture!”

Another example from one of my own niche sites on public speaking, I use the following bullet point to build curiosity about a product on public speaking:

“How to take control of your nervousness and trembling with this simple mind trick”

So be specific about what but don’t reveal the actual content.  Let them opin and signup and find out for themselves.

5. List Your Privacy Policy

This final list building tip is somewhat controversial.

Some marketers recommend that you should include a link to your privacy policy on your newsletter subscription page or on your optin box.

Most people will not read it.

But it may boost your conversion rate for among those individuals who are concerned about how you will use their contact information.

You definitely should and must include on your website links to your Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Disclaimer, and more.

You could include in your privacy policy that you won’t trade, sell or otherwise share their information. But this may not be the best idea to say this, because what if you build a business asset around a certain niche, then want to sell off that business asset?

Part of any business is the list of customers and leads.  If you sell that business asset, then you want to sell off your list also to the new buyer. If you say in your Privacy Policy that you will not sell the contact information, then you are stuck. And now your business asset is worth a lot less.

So be deliberate in what you say in your Privacy Policy.  Just something to think about.


List Building Tips Summary

Rather than just slapping an optin box on your website’s sidebar and hoping for the best, you can dramatically improve your list building efforts by;

  • Using a squeeze page to collect emails;
  • Offer a freebie in exchange for a website visitor’s email address;
  • Provide proof of who you are and what your claims are.  Build trust.
  • Create curiosity by describing some specifics from your freebie; and
  • Privacy policy.  Have one.  Be clear.  And follow it.

Building a list of interested buyers is not hard.  But you have to be intent on the purpose of collecting contact information. And you definitely should be doing something with the traffic of people coming to your website – convert that traffic to leads and build your list and create sales.

Mike Darling

7 Responses to Sticky: List Building Tips

  1. Connie Ragen Green November 25, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Excellent and informative post, Mike. I would love to see you turn this into a seven day e-course.

    Connie Ragen Green

    • Mike December 4, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      Thanks Connie. Do you think if I expanded this topic, that it would be a good ecourse to deliver for free as part of building a list, or maybe even something that I could sell?

  2. Suzanne Ascioti November 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    Thanks for making these tips so straightforward and easy to use, Mike. I love the part of Tip #1 where you talk about having the squeeze page focus on the benefits to the reader! This is a great reminder that “it is all about them”. While it is important that my reader understands my credentials, what I bring to the party, I see that as very minimal as compared to focusing on the results the client/customer will receive. Your other points about the freebie and arousing curiosity go right along with this.

    • Mike December 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks Suzanne. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. And yes, it is always about the reader…what they want and if what we have to offer scratches their itch.

  3. Kit December 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Your post is perfect timing for me, Mike, as I am just getting my blog up to speed and working on my free report to give away in exchange for someones email.

    Thanks for the great tips on what to focus on and how to provide great value so my visitors will want to connect with me.

    Kit Rosato
    Kit recently posted…Choose to Pursue ExcellenceMy Profile

    • Mike December 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      Thanks Kit, I am glad you found my thoughts on this useful. Providing great value is a simple thing that leads to people wanting more.

      I look forward to seeing your free report when it is ready for the world!

      Mike Darling

  4. Fran Civile April 22, 2015 at 3:49 am #

    It seems like reminding bloggers to build their list of readers never goes out of style. I waited much to long, even when I was providing good advice to my readers.
    Thanks, Mike
    Fran Civile recently posted…Affiliate Marketing and CompetitionMy Profile

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