I'm not going to bore you with list building tips like ‘put an opt-in form on your website' – although that does work <grin> and you probably already know that.
You likely already know all the basics of growing your list, like including a link in your email signature, asking your Facebook fans to join your list, or offering a free e-book in exchange for a valid email address.
Instead, I am going to cover 10 Ninja list building secrets. Although these aren't exactly revolutionary, I guarantee there will be at least a couple of ideas that you have not thought of.
After you have read through these, don't forget to leave your BEST ninja list building secret in the comments!
Effective List Building Tips to Grow Your List Quickly
1. Include a sign-up link in guest post bio
You already know the benefits of guest blogging in terms of links and SEO, but have you thought of it as a way to build your email list?
Offer your BEST incentive in your author bio with email sign-up. For instance, mention your upcoming free webinar (which of course requires a valid email address) and include a direct link to your registration page.
2. Visit niche forums with a link to sign up in your signature
Don't get me wrong: I'm not talking about visiting random online forums and spamming them with requests to join your list. But visiting niche forums and offering intelligent and value-based advice and comments can be a great way to build a targeted following.
3. Hold a free webinar
Many marketers are achieving fantastic results by offering free webinars with email sign-up. Holding a webinar not only helps to establish you as an expert in your niche, it is also a great way to encourage discussion, increase engagement levels and create sales.
4. Use video to capture leads
Marie Forleo of RHH B-School is one of the best examples I know of using video to build a list.
By offering valuable, free videos in exchange for an email address, she's built her business into a formidable empire in just a few short years.
5. Include opt-in checkbox on existing forms
Chances are you already have multiple forms on your site. These may include a contact form, or price quote or product pamphlet request forms.
Include an opt-in checkbox on each of these forms; you already know these people are interested in what you have to offer, so why not give them an easy way to join your list?
6. Use your list to connect, not to sell
While it's tempting to promote products or services to your list, do it carefully and sparingly!
Although using a list to drive sales is commonplace, it's also not the best way to grow your list. Make your primary focus on sharing valuable content to your subscribers – not selling to them all the time. Use your website for selling, and occasionally direct your email subscribers to your site.
Subscribers who know your goal is to offer valuable, ‘non-salesy' info will feel far more comfortable recommending others to join your list.
7. Offer something of value to other list owners in exchange for plugging your list
Ben Settle tried something outside the norm by offering some free press release writing in exchange for a few plugs from a well-known marketer.
So rather than spending days or weeks using his usual list-building strategies, he was able to receive dozens of new (targeted) subscribers by spending just a few hours of his time writing press releases.
8. Recommend someone else's product or service
This one may seem a little counter-intuitive; I thought we were talking about growing OUR lists!
But think about it: if someone with a fabulous site and newsletter recommended YOUR site or list to THEIR subscribers, wouldn't you consider returning the favor? Again, use this one sparingly, and choose who and what you share with your list very carefully.
9. Include opt-in box at checkout
If you have an e-commerce site, consider adding an opt-in checkbox on your checkout page.
They have just bought something from you, so chances are they are currently excited about what you offer. Capitalize on this excitement and offer them a chance to receive additional discounts, promo codes, or just plain valuable information via your newsletter.
10. Ask for emails at live events
You would be surprised at how many emails you can collect at live events like industry tradeshows.
The next time you have a booth at an industry event, hold an on-site giveaway and include an ‘add me to your list' checkbox on the entry form.
Are These List Building Secrets Right for You?
While these tips are certainly effective, you don't need to implement every single one–and certainly not all at once! Decide which tips make the most sense for you and your business, and start there.
When coming up with new ideas to grow your list, take some time to think outside the box. Don't just do what everyone else is doing. Take some risks, and figure out what works best for you, your business, and your subscribers.
What is your best ninja list-building tip? Anything we may not have thought of before? Let us know below!