How to Build a First-Class Email List in 30 Days — from Scratch

How to Build a First-Class Email List in 30 Days — from Scratch

Reader Comments (52)

  1. Funny I just setup two mailing lists 4 weeks ago. One was to send out updates when I post a new article on my web site, the other one was a weekly newsletter where I collect, cherry-pick and annotate links to a bunch of news items in a very specific subject: The Perl programming language.

    The former got I think 7 subscribers, not a huge success.

    With the latter I already have more than 500 subscribers. It is not as impressive as the numbers we can see for the copyblogger free updates (top right on this page, if you missed it) but it is certainly more than what I expected.

    Most of the subscribers came from Tweets, ReTweets, Google+ comments and Facebook mentions.

    Now the hard work starts. Keep sending the newsletters week by week.

  2. #5b: don’t just Excel at what you do. Keep an Excel spreadsheet to track your contacts and tasks, or the proceedings will soon get very messy. True story.

  3. Brilliant! I know I probably shouldn’t be writing all just love what you’re saying here. But “love” what and “how” you are saying this here. I haven’t done the email thing yet, it’s something I’m ready to do and would benefit from too. But reading this today – found myself wanting to say, I would have wrote that – I want to copy and paste and tell others because you saved me the answer to myself being asked how do you do it Jane or errrrr zJayne!

    Thanks! You rock!

  4. Huh – What an interesting idea 🙂

    I’m working on slowly and steadily building up my list and hope to start incorporating things like this and guest posting to my strategies soon.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Everything in business ultimately boils down to relationship-building. I have a few list owners on my radar (who are clients), but until I feel that our relationship is where it needs to be, I’m nervous to make this request. But I will…and I’ll report back!

  6. Horse trading for list building. lol I think it’s a great way to maximize your strengths by trading your services for promotion. It’s not new but it’s certainly a great tactic. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Set up a newsletter for my finance-oriented website back in December — now roughly 75% of my income is directly from the newsletter. I wish I’d set it up several years ago when I first started. 🙂

  8. Well said, Ben. I’d take your advice any day – you ARE the king of email marketing, and anyone who is looking to build or grow an email list should definitely listen to you!

  9. Ben: I’ve picked up an idea or two from your newsletter. Today, this post tempts me to go on a Guest Posting spree. With the goal of directing people to my opt-in page of course… 🙂

  10. Thanks for sharing this idea. What I love most about your strategy is that by giving a list-owner a sample of your services, you are creating the opportunity for an honest, heart-felt testimonial about the value of those services. The resulting “plug” will be so much more sincere and valuable because it’s based on true appreciation for the service you have provided. 🙂

  11. Great article. Thank you. I’ve just started a blog and eZine. Swapping services with another company is one of the first things on my list. They are plugging my work in their newsletter, and linking on the basis that we co-refer through our emailings. We are in the same general market but our niches complement rather than compete. The reason they agreed was because they like having extra content for their list.

  12. Great tips. I am getting ready to start my own business, so this information is very valuable to me. Thanks!

  13. What a great idea. Takes us back to the origins of marketing and trading/bartering – offering and matching something (product/service) with the needs of a person.
    The fact that you’re exchange of services has also gained you a priceless endorsement from them to their list members, is brilliant.

  14. Hi Ben,

    A super creative way to build your list.

    We all have unique talents we can exchange for a service. The key is to be really good at what you do, so people with influence will be more than happy to do the deal.

    As for social media, it has been a powerful marketing tool for me because I intend to connect with as many people as possible. People know people, and if you develop a caring connection with someone you leverage your presence like no other practice. The key is to make things personal, not business. Reverse the famous Godfather quote and you’re good to go.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Ben!


  15. Great post that you have here but when it comes to forums you really have to set a HIGH amount of energy and time to get noticed and to receive an abundant amount of clicks to your specific email campaigns. Some times the best way to increase your list is to let others review your product you’re trying to offer and link back to that specific squeeze page your having them download from.

  16. I really love this idea. I do have skills that would benefit people with online businesses (writing, proofreading, virtual assistant work), but I had never thought of trading those services for “plugs.” Now I just need to decide who I want to approach and get up the nerve to do it.

  17. I like the ideas on this post Ben, and I’d add this to point #3.

    Instead of just helping answer their questions, and “hope” they will make a trade. Why not go the extra mile and create a quick video to help solve their problem?

    In the past, I’ve done this on private forums. I search for the most popular viewed posts, and create a video that answers their questions.

    Granted, the sites allowed external linking, so I was able to send them to my site to watch the video answer, and captured some new leads.

    Jared Kimball

  18. I will be using your list! I’m planning to build an email list and seeing your post, I’ll be sure to use it! I think it’s very important to get the right people because there are some people who get annoyed with emails.

    – Jack Leak

  19. Ok, I’m an SEO expert and am willing to trade some consultation time for a banner ad or inclusion in an email blast. I thought I’d just get the ball rolling right here right now 🙂

  20. Thanks for this information. It is very interesting and useful. I understand the importance of a list but just not exactly how to get one going.

  21. I can always appreciate very creative solutions to what appear to be very complex problems… it kind of clunks you on the head and makes you say ‘now why didn’t I think of that?’ Your approach here is brilliant… thanks !

  22. The post is a reminder about the power of mastermind and the power of contributing value to a bigger flock. It breaks down the steps to do it. I like the part where you said not to oversee the smaller lists. It is an awesome pointer that greatness is built by little victories.

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