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Top 10 Strategies to Fatten Your Opt-in Mailing List
By Matt Callen
Published on 05/1/2007

Do you think that building up your opt-in email list hard? It might seem so, but it really isn’t! As I’ve shown you over the course of the past two lessons, it simply breaks down to just spending a few hours to write compelling opt-in offers and knowing the strategies to increase your click-through rates on those promotions.

Ways to entice visitors to sign-up to your list
There’s no doubt about it, there are good ways to entice visitors to “sign-up” and there are worthless marketing strategies that simply do not work. I’ve given you a list of very effective and compelling opt-in offers, but there are still many additional strategies to help boost your list. The opt-in offers I spoke of earlier (like free newsletter, free reports, download, etc…) are simply proposals. Giving them what they want, works. But what are the best ways to go about promoting your newsletter and special offers?

How can you make these offers more visible to your potential subscribers? Of course, you need to provide alluring offers, but there are other marketing tools that will make your promotion more visible and appealing to your potential subscribers – thus increasing the odds that they will opt-in on your offer.
There’s a large array of strategies that well-known Internet marketers have proven to be successful. I have compiled together a “Top Ten” list of the best ways to fatten your opt-in list, and actually get your visitors to “sign-up”. These tactics have been researched by the most recognized marketers on the Internet and have been proven very successful at skyrocketing lists of loyal opt-in subscribers.

Tip 1. Use Pop-up Ads with opt-in forms to collect email addresses and promote your compelling offer.

There’s a reason that I listed this strategy as #1. If you ask any good Internet marketer, they will tell you that THE single biggest way to increase your opt-in subscriber list is to use pop-ups. Many times visitors find these ads annoying, but it has been proven that pop-up ads are 13 times MORE effective at generating clicks and opt-in subscribers than standard banners and forms found imbedded in a webpage. This is a very powerful way to present your newsletter or other free incentives. It ensures that your visitors will see your offer right upfront. Without a doubt, this is the most recommended means of creating a compelling and visible offer to your customers.

Tip 2: Increase the value of your offer. Continues on the next page.

Tip 2. Increase the value of your offer
People aren’t stupid, so don’t try to treat them like they are. You need to prove to your visitors that you’re serious about helping and catering to their needs. You need to show them that you truly want to create a relationship with them that’s worth their while to give you their contact information and their email address. For this focus on making sure you give them  something usefull and valuable.

This will stack the odds of you getting their address in your favor. Test your product and show a professional pesentation. Don't forget to double test your site navigation and order process and to read again your copy before sendin out a new mailing.

Tip 3: Everytime you sell a product, capture your customer's email address. Continues on the next page.

Tip 3. Everytime you sell something capture your customer's email address
Your customers will already be entering their details on your payment pages and as such you should be adding their email addresses to your list. Provide a free demo for your service and product, asking for the e-mail address of your prospect. Try to automate the whole process, checking the email adresses with a double opt-in system.

Once you have the email address of your prospect send him a confirmation email and lead him automatically to your product presentation or follow up page.

Tip 4. Have a “Members Only” area on your site. Continues on the next page.

Tip 4. Have a ?Members Only? area on your site
You can fill this section of your site with whatever your target market might find most interesting and valuable. You can offer downloadable articles that can only be accessed by “members”.

To increase your odds of getting opt-in subscribers, you should make it FREE to become a member, asking for the email address of your visitor and redirecting him to the area where he can find the material he signed up for. A member's are will also increase your site's credibility and help you build a stronger relationship with your visitors.

Build a list, build a relationship with that list by providing mind-blowing, over-the-top content, give them a free report or product and show them that you're a genuine human being that really cares about them, and you'll have them fighting at your virtual door wanting to buy your products or services.

Tip 5. Sprinkle more opt-in boxes in your sales letter. Continues on the next page.

Tip 5. Sprinkle more opt-in boxes in your sales letter

If you have a sales page with a single salesletter, you should ideally have one opt-in box on top, one in the middle, one three-quarters of the way down, and one right at the bottom. This way, you have four chances of getting the opt-in. A good thing to do is to exchange the first, top opt-in box with a pop-up ad, and then keep the placement of the other three boxes as described above.

If your landing page or your online sales page is not long enough then you can go for 3 opt-in boxes either. But try to give as many iformation as possible to your visitors, so your prospects may turn in customers.

Don't forget the idea of the first impression. If the first impression is bad, it is almost impossible to change it afterwards. But another way round, if it is good, the visit experience will be good, which will lead to more subscriptions to your newsletter.

Tip 6. Include an E-mail Signature. Continues on the next page.

Tip 6. Include an E-mail Signature
Every time you send an e-mail, you can use your electronic signature as a way to advertise your opt-in offer.

Although many times your emails will be sent to people not in your target market, you’ll be surprised at how many people actually visit the links in your signature. You won’t generate hundreds of new opt-ins a day by doing this, but every little bit helps. Your email is your first advertising tool, so use it at it's full potentiality.

Tip 7. Use Co-Registrations. Continues on the next page.

Tip 7. Use Co-Registrations
Yes, if you’re really lazy, you can actually buy subscribers. Basically, it involves having your subscription offer listed alongside other publication's offers, so that when someone signs up to the other offers, they are given the option of signing up for yours as well. We don’t usually recommend this option, but if you have extra money to spend, you may try this one, it might be a succesful tactic.

But like I said before, there are better ‘free’ ways to increase your email list than this one so use it only as an additional method to the others.

Tip 8. Include “Send to a Friend” Options. Continues on the next page.

Tip 8. Include ?Send to a Friend? Options
Generate new subscribers with minimal effort if you include this in each and every newsletter, promotion, or special offer that you send out. I encourage you to make it easy for already-subscribed visitors to share your newsletter with others.

They can simply forward the message, of course, but if you include an explicit send-to-a-friend link you are giving your customers and subscribers a gentle “nudge” to recommend your material to their friends and colleagues. This is a very powerful viral marketing technique that you need to take advantage of.

Tip 9. Promote Your Newsletter in Articles, Ezines, or Industry Directories. Continues on the next page.

Tip 9. Promote Your Newsletter in Articles, Ezines, or Industry Directories
Any articles that you write and send into online article databases should include a reference and link to your newsletter or subscription offer. This will not only bring new visitors to your site, that eventually turn into subscribers to your newsletter, but will also increas your site popularity and Page Rank, thus your search engine positioning. And this means more visitors for free.

When you write an article for an online database, make sure you state that your article can be used on other webpages as long as everything written is held in it’s entirety (i.e. Be certain that if someone uses your article for their website, they keep your reference and active link in the article).

Tip 10. Run contests on your website. Continues on the next page.

Tip 10. Run contests or a poll on your website
A contest at your web site works on the same principle as signing up for a contest to win a free dinner at a local restaurant. Both parties get something of value (you get their contact information and they win a prize). Make sure that the registration for this contest is SIMPLE. Your visitor should not have to spend more than a minute or two to complete the task – otherwise, they’ll frequently opt-out and leave your site before you’ve had a chance to get their email address. A great way to inform your visitors of the contest is by way of pop-up ads or a “Special Offers” page on your website.

Another thing you could do is to have people subscribe to your newsletter as a requirement of entry into the contest. If you’ve worked hard on your newsletter and included the tips from our last lesson, they will probably decide to continue to receive it
even after the contest or poll is over.

Even if you’ve only been marketing on the Internet for a short time, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the money is in the list”. A good email opt-in list – one that you build yourself – is worth its weight in gold. It is the difference between being wildly successful and falling into the midst of the no-name businesses on the web.
How you go about building this email list is completely up to you. But I guarantee if you put a little bit of time and effort into your marketing campaign, and use my recommendations, you’ll see firsthand how opt-in lists will skyrocket your sales.

If you’ve never implemented an intense “opt-in campaign”, you will be shocked and no doubt excited when you find this undiscovered gold mine of possibilities! It works, and it works extremely well.