How to Build An Opt-In Email List for Your Business

Updated: May 21


With so many opt-in email lists in existence, you need to create a unique hook to attract subscribers. It could be something you offer inside every newsletter issue, like interviews with experts. Or it could be a unique incentive that is immediately available to your site visitors upon subscribing to your newsletter.


Here are three ideas you can use:


1. Build an Opt-In Email List by Creating a Private Members Only Site or Section

Create a private web site and have people sign up to get free, immediate access. For example, you could say, "Subscribe to our free e-zine and get free access to our private membership web site!" You can choose to have them receive a username and password every time they want to login, or you can just provide a link to the site in your welcome email.

Your private members only site can be as big or as small as you want. Some of the things you can include inside are: reports, software, articles, ebooks, etc. Inside the site, you can advertise your affiliate programs, as well. And you can follow-up to let them know about updates, new products they might be interested in, the latest news in your industry, etc.


2. Build an Opt-In Email List by Giving Subscribers a Free, Tangible Gift

Instead of offering a free ebook (or a whole package of them) like most everybody else, promise to give your visitors something they can hold in their hands if they give you their contact information.


For example, you could say "Subscribe today and get our new report mailed to you via First Class." You could print out your report on standard 8 x 11 sheets of paper, fold it up, put it inside an envelope, and mail it off.

Or you can offer a tips booklet and mail it to new subscribers. Or you can create your own downloadable content full of information targeted toward your market and mail that. Or if you have a wholesale supply of a product of interest to your subscribers, then you can send one to each new subscriber. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Follow-up possibilities include: articles (your own or written by others), tips you pick up, news in your niche, reviews of products or other interested, related websites, etc.


3. Build an Opt-In Email List Through a Contest or Sweepstakes

Hold a free contest or sweepstakes at your website where they must give their contact information, including their email address, to enter. Make the prize something that your niche market will be interested in. Otherwise, they'll never want to enter.

If you already have an ezine up and running, you could offer free automatic entry for new subscribers. For example, you could say, "Subscribe to our free newsletter and get automatic entry into our contest." You'll also want to retroactively include current subscribers.


You can announce the winner(s) at the end, as well as send any new contest announcements or product announcements. Or you can make this an ongoing contest, where you give away the same thing to one (or more) lucky people every month. That way you'll entice many subscribers to stay on your list.


You can find niche products to give away through wholesalers or dropshippers. Or you can create it yourself. One of my favorite ways to do this is create a downloadable guide or report (or sometimes several) that my niche market will find interesting.

Once again, you can follow-up with tips, articles, news, new product announcements, or just an announcement of each monthly winner(s).



Hopefully, now you are inspired to take some action or encouraged by some of these insights. Any idea, the more popular it gets, requires you to think outside the box every now and then to be effective. Building an opt-in email list is no different. With newsletters and ezines saturating the Internet, you need to offer something a little different, more compelling, to make your target audience want to subscribe to your newsletter.

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