3 Ways to Quickly Double Your Mailing List

By: Brian Horn on: July 6th, 2011 14 Comments

While most of us are aware that “the money is in the list,” we also know that it can be very difficult to get that list in the first place. Struggling to get that first dozen or so sign ups is one frustration many small business owners encounter, but one which is even more common is the dreaded sign up plateau.

This refers to the time in your campaign when you’ve been stuck at the same number of opt-ins for weeks at a time. Whether you are just starting your newsletter campaign or you’re seasoned pro looking to boost results, here are 3 ways to double your mailing list quickly.

Ask people to sign up.

Ok, so it might seem a bit ridiculous to call this a “tip”, but you may be surprised how many people out there are simply not asking others to sign up for their newsletters. If they are asking, then it is possible they just aren’t asking the right way!

For example, many site owners create opt-in forms that blend in with their site so well that no one even notices them. As a general rule, try using the secondary color in your site’s palette as the background color for your sign up box. Let’s say your site uses three colors: teal, forest green, and sky blue. The background is forest green, and most of the objects are teal. Only a few lines or text here and there is sky blue, so it would be your secondary or accent color. When you create your opt-in box, make the background sky blue and most of the text could be that forest green color. It will stand out while still tying in with your site’s palette.

Another tip that many overlook is the “Sign Up” button on the form. With many auto responder programs, this button is automatically set to say “Sign Up,” but some of us change that to something we think is more witty. Things like “Gimme” or “Let’s Go” and the like are commonly used in place of the traditional text. Studies have shown, however, that given many other options, visitors are up to 28% more likely to click on a button that either says “click here” or “sign up.” Why fix what isn’t broken?

Create a custom Facebook welcome page.

You do know that you should have a Facebook page for your site, right? If not, that should be your first step – go get one set up and then come back to read this.

Traditionally, new visitors to a Facebook page are greeted with that page’s news feed. This is all fine, but what if you could make your page stand out by creating a full-page opt-in or advertisement for your website? Good news! You can do exactly that with a simple Involver Application. Involver allows anyone to use up to two of their applications for free on any page, and one of them just happens to create custom Facebook tabs which can then be set as your “home” page.

If you don’t want to use an Involver application on your page, you will need to code the page yourself using iFrames or have someone else do it for you. If you happen to be lucky enough to already have FBML on your Facebook, then that is still a viable option as well! With so many ways of doing it, there is really no reason not to get one set up for yourself today.

Create a “tips or questions” opt-in

The common opt-in form asks for a name and email. Sometimes there is a variation to this with a business name or occupation field, but for the most part, opt-in forms are pretty short and boring. This is great when they are going to be sitting on the sidelines of a website, but why not try creating one with a life and purpose all its own?

Try creating an opt-in that asks for something extra, like a suggestion for the site or an upcoming event, or any burning questions your visitors might have for you. You can even take it a step further by stating on the squeeze page that each entry qualifies that person for a drawing to win something. This will quickly raise the number of subscriptions to your list, as well as create the image of a site owner who talks with his or her visitors rather than just at them.

With most auto responders, you are able to create multiple opt-in forms which link to the same newsletter or list, so this large opt-in won’t require a whole separate list or additional headache.

Implementing these three strategies won’t take you more than one day. After that, it is time to track and test or simply watch those subscription numbers rise!


Brian Horn, of HornDog Search Marketing, is recognized by many as the "Glazer-Kennedy Secret Weapon", because of his role in helping not only Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer with search engine optimization and social media, but also many of the top Information Marketers in the world. Brian shares SEO tips for small businesses over at at his blog, BeOnPage1Blog.com.

14 Responses

  1. Just changed my opt-in box from “Show Me The Video” to “Sign Up Now!” (the default text) – will track results — but looks like a simple, quick, great idea.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Do you think a ‘pop-up’ opt-in is better than using a ‘text box’ newsletter signup on a website? I’m working with a ‘pop-up’ on one of my websites; I’m giving away a ‘free’ guide on increasing self-esteem.

  3. Scott Martin says:

    Great ideas. I write a lot of free reports and the content in the report is important. If it’s valuable, specifically salient and timely, then more people will sign up. There HAS to be a reason to opt in. It breaks my heart when I see a website with ‘please sign up for my newsletter’ tucked beneath the fold. And I think it’s important in this day and age of constant email avalanche to make sure people know they can opt out and that you won’t sell the email to a person in Chad who happens to have $34 million they’re desperate to get out of the country.

    Give visitors as many reasons to opt in as possible and, guess what, they’ll opt in!

  4. elpidio says:

    Thank you for this tips, you’ve shared with us. Very interesting on my part but sad to say I don’t know how to apply in my blog.

  5. Like Rebecca, I would love to hear your opinion on the pop up opt-in form for websites. I’ve read from some that they are the most effective method around and others say it’s been created by the devil and shouldn’t be used ever lol. Does anybody else have opinions on them?

  6. This tips will help me in email marketing. You really have to create an optin form and through it, you can build your list.

  7. Great ideas, I was going to run a competition on my site to get sign ups, I think I might add a box asking what they would like as the prize in the next competition.

  8. What do you think about offering free videos…would you do free videos or free reports? Videos sound more appealing in my opinion.

  9. Gema Dziadek says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to grasp so much approximately this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you just can do with a few percent to power the message home a bit, but other than that, that is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

  10. Good stuff…dig your blog!

  11. First, find out how much you love him. If you really love him, then is it okay to not speak to him for so long? Sure, it may take a long time to fix your relationship with him, but it’s worth waiting for. To work, just be understanding and funny when you’re around him. Smile, but not too much- if you smile too much, he’ll get suspicious. Don’t try to argue with him too much or get angry. If you get angry, wait at least ten minutes- then the feeling will probably go away. If you still are angry, hit something like a wall. Try to put in the effort, too. For example, you could work on simple things- like your appearence (Hey, I’m not trying to be mean. Sorry if I am soundin mean… but I meant you could put some makeup, straighten your hair or curl it. Things like that…) Remember the first time you met and why you guys were best friends. Go with that attitude. Try to learn from the mistakes from the past, and try to never let them happen again. Talk to him- not too much, and not too little. Just right. Try to agree with him too. And compliment. Flirt, if you want too, but not too much, if you don’t want him to figure out that you like him. Spend some time with him over the summer and whenever you can. Hope this helped

  12. Ranae Milam says:

    I think the most influential person in history is actor Tom Truong.

  13. This is a very good blog and very accurate. Thank you so much for your time in writing this stuff. I will put some links to some of those articles on my Facebook page for my friends to come and read it as well.Thank you.

  14. David Galan says:

    Brian, In addition to telling the reader to explicitly sign up, it is also good to have arrows pointing to that button too. And it’s even better if it’s animated arrows that draws attention to what they’re ‘supposed’ to do. I’ve seen all the great marketers do that.

    Keep these good articles coming.

    David G.

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