The bigger your mailing list, the better. Having a robust list gives you more opportunities to sell and to build your reputation. Here are eight ways of growing your list:

1. Prioritize Expanding Your Mailing List

Put as much effort into expanding your mailing list as you devote to developing your social media presence… hopefully more. Getting “likes” on Facebook is one way of gauging your popularity, but you can’t control how your message is spread to your Facebook connections, and it can be difficult to communicate with them effectively.

2. Make it Easy for New Subscribers to Sign Up

Throughout your website, make the links to your sign-up page prominent. Consider placing a full-width banner at the top of your site, as well as in your margin or sidebar area. You can even use a pop-up or lightbox window as part of a particular landing page – provided that it only shows up once per visit.

3. Be Upfront With Your Value Proposition

Two things should be immediately apparent from your opt-in page:

  • What a person will receive if they sign up for your mailing list.
  • Why that thing is valuable or useful.

Don’t assume that a prospect will understand the value of your proposition from a brief description. Explain exactly how they’ll benefit, and don’t leave your value proposal to chance.

4. Deliver on Your Promise of Value

When you claim to offer something of value in exchange for an email sign-up, make sure you follow through. Don’t overwhelm your new subscriber by giving away too much (in terms of volume or content), but provide enough to ensure they don’t feel they’ve been tricked into giving their email address. Over time, you’ll gain experience and be able to gauge what’s appropriate.

5. Leverage the Trust You’ve Built

Your potential subscribers will be a combination of people who have visited your website before, and those who haven’t. With respect to returning visitors, you can improve sign-up rates on your squeeze page by leveraging the trust you’ve already built with them. If they’ve been to your site numerous times, they’ll know what you’re offering from your prior posts and site activity. Refer to past promotions, events, free downloads, etc., in your sign-up pitch to help persuade prospects that your newest offer is right for them.

6. Run a Contest

A contest or product giveaway can be a great way to drive new traffic to your site and grow your mailing list. An effective approach is to give away a product that is related to your business, as this can serve as an introduction to your niche and segway future purchases.

7. Review Your Past Experiences

Go back and revise what’s worked for you in the past. If you’re using Google Analytics or another analytics service, carefully examine the numbers to identify successful techniques. Do more of what works, and cut out what doesn’t.

8. Don’t Forget About the Offline World

Do you attend business networking events? Do you ever mention your business and website to people you meet? Have a set of business cards with a direct link to your splash page printed on them, and be ready to give them out when the time seems right.

Now that you know how to grow your list, it’s important that you communicate with your audience effectively, and that’s the subject of the next post. We’ll talk about engaging your readers and subscribers, and how to earn their loyalty by giving them exactly what they want.

About the author: Keith is the co-founder of Summit Evergreen, and helps course authors, product creators, and self-funded businesses increase their revenue from their existing traffic.