8 Tips for Building a Profitable Email List

Email marketing still works!

At least, that’s what David Smith says and I couldn’t agree more.
That’s why I decided to publish David’s guest article about building a profitable email list.
Here goes.


Email marketing still works!
In fact, email marketing earns an ROI of nearly $50 for every $1 spent on it. Simply put, it’s one of the most effective direct marketing methods available. And if your business isn’t using it, you need to get started now.

The first step to building a successful email marketing campaign is growing a list of subscribers.

Remember, the CAN-SPAM Act says you can only send marketing emails to people who have opted in to your email list, and you also have to tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.

Here are 8 tips that will help you build a profitable (and legal) email marketing list.

  1. Place signup links on every page of your website.
    You never know how visitors will arrive at your website. Many will come through your home page, but others will arrive on deeper pages and on your PPC landing pages.

    That’s why I recommend placing a signup form on every page of your website. To get the most results, place this email signup form above the fold, and clearly label it. Give people a reason they should sign up by highlighting a benefit (e.g. “Get a 25% discount off your next purchase by subscribing to our email list”).

  2. Harness the power of article marketing.
    Article marketing still gets results. I know a lot of people view article marketing as an outdated and even spammy technique, but I disagree. You can get a lot of signups for your email list if you place links and a call to action in your author’s resource box.

    Remember, let people know what’s in it for them if they signup. And don’t make the mistake of putting too many calls to action in your resource box. It’s overwhelming and distracting. Leave it at one clear call to action.

  3. Promote samples of your newsletter.
    Show your website visitors what they’re missing out on. Post samples of your newsletters on your website. This can be a useful article from a newsletter or a special deal that email subscribers got to enjoy.
    By showing them rather than just telling them how useful a subscription to your email list is, you increase the chances of getting them to sign up.

  4. Socialize your email campaign.
    Email marketing and social media are beginning to become inseparable. 27% of businesses have already integrated social media into their email marketing campaign, and another 24% are in the process of creating an integration strategy. The benefit of socializing your email campaign is that it allows your email subscribers to share your content with their friends on Twitter, Facebook, etc. This helps you spread your messages farther, creating a viral effect and earning you more signups.

  5. Give people a reason to sign up.
    Sometimes, people need a little extra motivation to sign up for your email list. That’s where freebies come into play. Free eBooks, whitepapers, and trials of your product act as powerful bait for reeling in subscribers.
    For example, you could say “Get a FREE copy of our new eBook ‘10 Ways to Make More Money’ when you sign up for our email list!” Everybody loves getting something for free, and if it’s a good offer, they’ll happily give you their email address.

  6. Offer subscriber-only deals
    Reward your subscribers by giving them exclusive deals not available to anyone else. Each month, you could give them a special coupon. This accomplishes two things:
    1) It makes it worthwhile for people to sign up and stay on your email list and
    2) It drives sales as most subscribers will want to redeem their coupons.
    It’s a win-win.

  7. Never buy an email list.
    This is the biggest mistake you can make. Buying a list is a complete no-no. Not only do you run into the whole spamming issue, but the simple truth is no list that you buy will be as targeted as one that you build yourself.
    People who actually sign up for a list that you’re building do so because they’re interested in receiving your messages, meaning they’re likelier to take action than someone whose email address was sold to you.

  8. Use print signup sheets
    Do you have a physical storefront?
    Do you attend industry events?
    If you have any sort of physical interaction with your customers, you should have print signup sheets for your email list. This is another great way to get more subscribers, and it’s an offline method that most people ignore.

Does your company use email marketing? Are you satisfied with your results?
Please share your opinions in the comments below.

David Smith is the freelance writer working for conversion rate optimization company Invesp. Feel Free to download our free landing page templates.

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14 thoughts on “8 Tips for Building a Profitable Email List

  1. Internet Marketing Program says:

    I wouldn’t say email marketing works but rather GOOD email marketing works. 😉
    There are newsletters I’ll unsubscribe from when there is nothing of value and just promotions, and then there are those that I will ALWAYS open and check out anything they promote when they do. It’s all based on trust and value.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I think email marketing works when there is a compelling offer to get subscribers to sign up – and relevant follow up emails. If it is just a signup page then this is probably not going to be effective.

  3. Muhammad says:

    Only if the offer is compelling – as a subscriber I don’t usually subscribe to just mailing lists unless they offer something really good and relevant to their website.

  4. Gary David says:

    This is a great post. Email marketing is one of the fastest ways to earn money. If you have a list, you will send out a promotion to your subscribers first before telling it to the entire internet world. Just make sure to take care of your subscribers, and they will take care of your business.

    #2 Harness the power of article marketing.
    I really like this strategy, it really works for me, people who are viewing your articles are targeted traffic, it all boils down on how to direct them to your link in the resource box. I’m submitting at least 1-2 articles in a day, it can only generate me few subscribers, but they are targeted and responsive.

    #7 Never buy an email list.
    Definitely yes! I’d rather have 500 targeted, responsive subscribers that I built myself than 5,000 untargeted subscribers.

    Keep on posting valuable contents.

    Gary David

  5. Frank says:

    i must agree on your “Not buying emails list” point. I bought once for email marketing but that did’nt give me any result. and the other thing is email marketing is not effective always if the list is not on targeted traffic. anyway, thanks for your valuable tips.

  6. For email marketing to work, it does need to have basic email etiquette. I believe that an email campaign can be successful provided that you have established a level of trust and relationship with your subscribers.

    Once you have that certain level of trust, they are more likely to open what you recommend and eventually buy.

  7. Jo Roberts says:

    Email marketing, if done meaningfully helps enormously. Once I jumped in and started creating and sending campaigns, I just couldn’t believe how easy it was to manage and send all my emails. Our sales have increased 20% since we started marketing through email and it is a fact.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow. You certantly have given me a great idea with point #8. We almost always focus on internet forms, since it is easier and less expensive to implement. But, yea! we could use offline and “paper” sign up cards.
    I’m comming up with something new here, may be give away a free physical book or free report that offers more free material if the client signs up on your website. How about that?

  9. Kyle Webster says:

    I think the most important part of email marketing is being targeted and segmented. One message is never going to appeal to all, so it is ensuring that all contacts you collect, you know enough about to segment effectively and then message to appropraitely. Without this your data is in effect almost worthless.

  10. Joy says:

    So long as the email is professional and appealing to their target audience, I wouldn’t have an issue with them. The tips mentioned above are great suggestions and it would certainly be nice to see more email marketers using these types of methods. I recently got an email not too long ago from some email marketer who was very unprofessional in their tone of voice and didn’t give me the option to opt-out of their subscription list. It was a hassle trying to fight my way around it.

  11. Luke says:

    Great tips! Regarding Tip #5 – When giving away a free bonus, such as a free ebook, be sure to include graphics of your book. I’ve boosted my sign up conversion rate from 7% to %20 by including an ebook cover. Then, by testing out a new cover design, I further increased it to nearly 25%. Essentially, I quadrupled my potential profits!

  12. Big Man Clothing Auckland says:

    Some very useful tips about email marketing are shared here in this blog.It can not not only boost the sales of your business but also helps you to stay in touch with your subscribers.It is a cost effective and easy procedure to manage all your subscribers regarding any updates you want to share.

    Big Man Clothing Auckland

  13. Daniel Sharkov says:

    I have read so many articles on email marketing and it seems like a good way to get high exposure to your site. I’m planning on starting my own campaign in the next weeks. Reading the article really helped me gather some nice ideas. I didn’t thought that article marketing can be an effective method when it comes to building a mailing list. Socializing those campaigns is also a good idea. Will first start with Digg and Stumbleupon to see whether it is worth it.

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