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5 Mind-Blowing List Building Techniques


Let’s face it, without an e-mail marketing list, you are reducing the potential you have for driving traffic, building your brand and increase your profits. This is one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started out; I didn’t realize the true value of a list and didn’t have list building techniques in place from day one.

There are literally hundred of different ways you can build your list up. However, recently I have personally implemented these 5 techniques and have found to generate outstanding results.

#1 Mind-Blowing Technique Good Karma List Machine
I stumbled across this technique while watching the ShoeMoney System 2.0. This idea was originally created by Frank Kern during his List Control launch, however Jeremy created a public version that anyone can download.

The Good Karma List Machine allows you to rapidly build your email list by utilizing a referral system that entices people who sign-up, to get their friends to sign-up as well. It works extremely well when you give someone something of value for free, then you give them bonus content if they refer x number of people to sign-up. Similar to how Twitter updates spread like wild-fire through RTs, the same concept is applied to list building through referrals.

The List Machine system, automatically integrates with AWeber and has a backend where you can control how many referrals people need to have in order to get the referral bonus content.

I actually just started using this system for my free 10 week Internet Marketing course that you can see in action and sign-up for right now.

==> Download the Good Karma List Machine

#2 Mind-Blowing Technique – Multiple Triggers
The more opportunities you give a user to sign-up for your free offer(s), the better the chance you have of capturing that person’s contact information. Try adding your offer in the following places on your blog.

    1. Sidebar: Adding a quick sign-up form in the top of your sidebar will make it one of the first things the user will see. Using a well designed graphic with a contact form integrated will surely help the # of people who sign-up for your offer.
    2. After Every Post: A problem with blogs is that many readers will just read the newest blog post, without really navigation the rest of your site. If you put a sign-up box with your offer at the end of each post, it reinforces the user to sign-up.
    3. Bottom of RSS Feed: A am a big fan of the RSS footer plugin created by Yoast. This plugin allows you to add HTML code into the footer of your RSS feed. Because many subscribers read your posts in their RSS reader, they may not see offers you have on your site. This will help display that offer to your RSS subscribers, by putting a text or banner ad in the footer of your feed.
    4. Author Bio: Whenever you write a guest post for another blog, this is a great opportunity to not only mention your blog, but anything that you are giving away for free. Add a link to the landing page where they can download or sign-up for your content.


Below you can see this example in action at Michael Dunlop’s blog incomediary.com.

#3 Mind-Blowing Technique – List Swaps
List swapping is basically where you send an e-mail to your marketing list, promoting someone else’s product, offer or content and vice versa. Of course there are potentially a lot of issues with list swaps, as you are not familiar with the quality of the other person’s list. That is why it is important to personally contact the person who you are doing a list exchange with and find out more about he/his readership and list. Ideally it seems to work better when both of you have the same list size, similar credibility in the industry, and same readers.

Another technique you can try when doing list swaps, it cross-marketing in vertical niches. For example, if your list is mainly made up of Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, etc…you may want to try find partners who have Web Designers and/or Web Programmers on their list. Odds are that many of these users are probably interested in how they can better market websites they are designing/programming.

Here is a list of various list swapping sites that connect others who are looking to grow their list, just like you.

#4 Mind-Blowing Technique – Pop-Up Domination

There has been some recent controversy over this technique, however the bottom line is it works! Pop-Up Domination is a wordpress plugin that will display a lightbox pop-up to the user when they get to your site. That pop-up will put your offer, front and center to the user and drastically increases your opt-it rates.

The great thing about this plugin, is you do not need to have any type of design skills at all. There is a simply step by step process that you follow, where you fill in the blanks and the plugin will do the rest. Another option you have is being able to control how often the pop-up is displayed to the user. Because some users may find it obtrusive, you may want to only show the pop-up every few days or once a week.

#5 Mind-Blowing Technique – Contests
A great contest with a high value prize can go viral and make a huge spike in your subscriber numbers. Giving away things that are hot like the iPad, free pass to a conference or copy of your latest product can easily make people want to sign-up. You can also be creative with how you structure your contest to help spread the word about your contest.

For example having multiple prize tiers for referral contests, affiliate sales contests, incentive contests can give people added reason to participate.

  • Tier 1 = 20 Referrals / 1 iPad
  • Tier 2 = 50 Referrals / 3 Months of Coaching
  • Tier 3 = 100 Referrals / Pass to SMX East + Copy of Latest eBook

This article was contributed by Mark, who you can follow on Twitter.

About the Author Zac Johnson

My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.

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32 responses to “5 Mind-Blowing List Building Techniques”

  1. Love the Good Karma suggestion. Thanks for posting this.
    My recent post Attention Mobile Advertisers- Google is Going “Hyper-Local”

    • markthompson15 says:

      Thanks. It can be a little hard to implement if you are not a technical person, but you can also pay a programmer to help you if you need to.

      But well worth it.

  2. Dsquared says:

    great points. gonna put some to use for sure! thx

  3. dokemion says:

    Many people have now jumped on the bandwagon of internet marketing. Whatever method you try on the internet, you will find people doing it already. Everywhere you will turn, you will face severe competition. List building? Very easy, many gurus will harp. Most will never tell you how many years they took to build a list of few thousand.

  4. Maketta says:

    Do you know of any tools you can use with weebly? Like the one you mentioned at yoast. I am having the same problem getting people to subscribe to my mailing list even though I have a form on my sidebar.

    • markthompson15 says:

      I have only used Weebly a few times, but from what I know about it, I believe you are limited as to what you can do with your website or blog. I would recommend actually getting your own hosting and website that is not on a 3rd party website. This way you will have more flexibility and options.

      If you use a WordPress blog, you can open your blog up to tons of plugins and additional features that can help increase your list building.

      Thanks for the comment.
      My recent post Reputation Management for Your Personal Brand

  5. breakawaytom says:

    Good tips Mark. A quality list can be a great long-term revenue source. As dokemion mentioned above, building a good list isn't an easy task and it can take time to reach critical mass, but tactics like these can make the process go more quickly.
    My recent post Team Chaos Tennis Tournament Finals Right Around the Corner

  6. Joshua Noerr says:

    Zac, thanks for featuring Mark on this post, there is some really great stuff.

    Mark, these are fantastic tips. Which of the five would you say produces the best results with minimal effort?
    My recent post Controlling Invasive Species- Switching To Rubber Soles

  7. Carl Ocab says:

    This is a solid post Zac. I rarely see these kinds of posts on blogs nowadays (look who's talking lol)

    Michael's popup dom is probably one of the best stuff there that can dramatically increase your optin rate. I don't support list swaps that much tho as most (not all) of them are promoting crap landing pages.
    My recent post Google Chrome Philippines

  8. Jun says:

    Thanks for the tips Zac. Downloading the List Machine right now and will be spending time to watch the video guides and setting it up.
    My recent post How and why to build an email list

    • Matt O'Neal says:

      Zac and Mark – good info both, thanks! I've been studying a lot this past week about list building. Just haven't started anything yet, as I don't really have anything to offer. Any ideas on where to go to *get ideas* on what I can create for a free offer?

      Jun – I just went to your site to see your recent post. Also nice. Same question to you: what are you going to come up with to entice readers to opt in?

  9. TradeProfits says:

    Awesome post Zac. Definately some great tips there. Sure seems like list building is the hot thing these days..
    My recent post Forex Ultimate System – Bob Iaccino

  10. vee sweeney says:

    Great tips as always, but I do have an issue with the pop ups. They may work for those who only use SEO as their traffic getter, but what about those who are just starting out and use PPC or those who generally use PPC to gain traffic? Google has gone on a tirade lately marking websites with pop ups for email list building low quality scores and then banning their Adword accounts. I have even seen this done for sites that just have the standard opt in box on the side without a pop up at all. There are advantages but then there are always the risks as well, which should both be pointed out.

  11. You make some great points…any way to produce good karma is smart. I especially like your idea of list swapping as well. This is a great way to network and get your services to a wider audience.

  12. Khoirul Anam says:

    Great info. Does we need autoresponder to build list?

  13. David Miles says:

    You got some great tips here… I think i might try to do a Contest to help build a list on some of my niche sites.
    My recent post Beware Israel Bans the iPad over Wi-Fi concerns

  14. Delhi Hotels says:

    Any link that is responsible for targeted traffic to your website is a quality link. While it helps when the link passes value, that is not always the victory link. I have had links that I have proven to pass zero value in search engines, yet has brought thousands of visitors via direct traffic from that link. This specific example happened to be a forum link.

  15. Mr.Ven says:

    That's mind blowing :-) To mention, i am using Feedburner + N2H free wordpress plugin to build my list. I see great results in few days 100+ subscribers. I plan to move with aweber later in future…
    My recent post Burst Media Review – Money Making From Burst Media Advertising Network Performance-Display Advertising

  16. Perfect! Thanks for the share… Zac, I agree that without an email you're really losing a lot of potential customers and traffic. The ones you stated above are simply part of building an EMPIRE!
    My recent post Training on close doors- A long way to go

  17. Sam says:

    Very great useful, informative post. I've experienced swaps or solos from them, but yet to try the others
    My recent post Are You A Resourceful Leader and Entrepreneur

  18. List swapping tools, sounds like a good idea to me!

    My recent post Funny- Crazy- Bizarre Pics

  19. fibroids miracle says:

    Building a decent list will take months, if not years. WordPress has several useful plugins that can be implement prett easily, without having great technical skills.

  20. IT Rush says:

    I really hope I can implement atleast one of these technique for my list building effort.. thanks anyway for sharing.
    My recent post The Video Screen Microscope – A Microscope with Built-in LCD Screen and 5MP Digital Camera

  21. portabadge says:

    Same great tips here, I have never thoughts of contests.

  22. Usedom says:

    Very easy, many gurus will harp. Most will never tell you how many years they took to build a list of few thousand.
    My recent post Insel Usedom Ostsee Urlaub

  23. List building techniques – there is no doubt that you’ve seen and heard it time and time again that “the money is in the list”. While that statement is only partially true (the REAL statement should be “the money is in the RELATIONSHIP with the list”), you should, nevertheless, start building your own list if you haven’t started doing so yet. I stumbled across this technique while watching the ShoeMoney System 2.0. This idea was originally created by Frank Kern during his List Control launch, however Jeremy created a public version that anyone can download.
    The Good Karma List Machine allows you to rapidly build your email list by utilizing a referral system that entices people who sign-up, to get their friends to sign-up as well. It works extremely well when you give someone something of value for free, then you give them bonus content if they refer x number of people to sign-up. Similar to how Twitter updates spread like wild-fire through RTs, the same concept is applied to list building through referrals.

  24. MIT JOBS says:

    Before you can build your list, you need to have a high quality Freebie that you can give away to your visitors.
    Because nobody wants to give their email address to a stranger (you). They already receive tons of email every single day, and they don’t want their inbox to get more flooded than it already is.
    Your high quality Freebie will act as a bait to bribe them so that they want to give their email address in exchange for getting your Freebie. This is why your Freebie must be high quality enough (at least in their eyes) so that the perceived value of your Freebie is greater than the perceived value of their email.
    Do NOT simply give ANY kind of freebie away. You need to give away a Freebie that is related to your market/niche. It’s useless to give away a weight loss report if you’re in the forex market, for example.

  25. John Hunter says:

    Apart from putting an opt-in form on your squeeze page, you want to put an opt-in form on your blog too.
    This is because your blog is going to attract a significant number of visitors via search engines (if you diligently post content to your blog on a CONSISTENT basis) and via other traffic sources.
    When visitors land on your blog, you want to give them the ability to subscribe to your list as well. If not, you’ll just be wasting valuable traffic and these visitors will NOT come back to your blog, EVER!
    Hence, it is important that you put an opt-in form on your blog too. Give away the same Freebie that you give away on your squeeze page.

  26. taran says:

    You have shared a great list of techniques.Its a great info for me.You have written a great post, thanks for sharing such nice post.
    My recent post HTC Incredible S Now Receiving Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

  27. Andranik says:

    Thanks for the tips Zac.

  28. Sharanyan says:

    Popup Domination is the most Conversion driven and Listing Building WP Plugin, it's really nice post :)
    My recent post Remove The PayPal Restriction in Srilanka

  29. George says:

    The best list technique by far is giving away freebie. Free report with information about something that interests your audience always works great.
    My recent post 5 Options To Make Money Selling Online

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