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Secrets to Building Massive Opt-In Lists

By Shelley Lowery

An opt-in list is the absolute most effective marketing tool available on the Internet. Not only do they provide you with a direct line of communication with your target market, but they also enable you to develop a trusting relationship with your subscribers.

The key to using an opt-in list effectively is to develop a large subscriber base. If you've struggled with increasing your subscriber base, this article will reveal some of the most effective methods used to build an opt-in list. If you're not using these methods, you're losing hundreds of new subscribers each week.

If you really want to build a massive opt-in list, you MUST provide your potential subscribers with an incentive. The competition on the Internet is fierce. You can no longer simply tell your visitors what your publication will provide and expect a large percentage to subscribe. It simply won't work. There are thousands of publications online and most of your visitors are probably all ready subscribed to many. Why would they want to subscribe to another one?'ll get some new subscribers, but how many? Enough to build a massive opt-in list? The truth is, if you continue to build your list simply by displaying a sign-up box on your site and listing your publication at the listing sites, it will take years to develop a massive list. You MUST give your visitors a reason to subscribe.


Using incentives is a highly effective method of obtaining new subscribers. However, your incentive must be of value and be of interest to your target audience.

Some popular incentives include:

  • Exclusive ebooks that provide valuable information that will be of interest to your target market
  • Special reports that provide exclusive, detailed information in regard to a specific subject
  • Special software programs that will assist your visitors

If you're not comfortable developing your own incentive, there are hundreds of great ebooks available online that you may freely distribute. You can find some here:

Subscription Exchange Incentives

In addition to using incentives to gain new subscribers, you can also use a subscription exchange. In exchange for your visitor's subscription, you could provide any of the following:

  • Provide access to a "members only" area of your website
  • Provide a service
  • List their website within your Directory or Search Engine.

In order for your visitors to use your services, they agree to receive your publication.

Popup Windows

Although popup windows can be irritating if not used correctly, they provide a highly effective means of obtaining new subscribers. The key to using popup windows effectively is to combine them with your incentives.

Design a small popup window that utilizes "cookies" and only displays the first time your visitor enters your site. This window should contain information about your publication and incentive. It might read something like this:

"Subscribe to A1 Marketing Tips and receive a copy of the highly acclaimed ebook, 'Secrets of the Internet Marketing Gurus' completely free."

Your subscription box should follow this sentence.

Alert Boxes

Although using popup windows with incentives is a highly effective method of obtaining new subscribers, there is one other method that is even better. When combined with an incentive, this method will literally double your subscriptions instantly. It's similar to a popup window, but it doesn't require your visitor to fill out a form.

When a visitor enters your site, an alert box will appear. This alert box should display text requesting their subscription and information about your incentive. Your visitor can choose to click on "OK" to subscribe or "Cancel" to close the alert.

The alert box is displayed via a script that extracts your visitor's name and email address. If they choose to subscribe, it then sends their subscription request, via email, to your subscription address and adds it to your database. In addition, you can send personalized messages to your subscribers, use autoresponder follow-ups and provide your subscribers with "one click" unsubscribe links within your messages.

To increase your subscriptions even further, you can also place a subscription box on each page of your website.


No matter how many new subscribers you may acquire, the key to a successful opt-in list is keeping them. The relationship you build with your subscribers will determine your success. Above all, you must provide your readers with quality content. They subscribed to your publication for a reason. If it doesn't meet their expectations, they'll simply unsubscribe.

Once you've developed a trusting relationship with your subscribers, your personal recommendations will be a very effective method of closing sales. However, it is very important that you only recommend a product or service that you truly believe in. Your professional reputation depends on it.

Copyright 2001, all rights reserved

About the Author: Shelley Lowery is the author of Ebooks: A Complete Guide to Self-Publishing. Stop by and download a free copy. It is jam-packed with valuable information and will teach you everything you'll need to know to create a professional ebook.

THIS ARTICLE IS REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR. Shelly Lowery is not affiliated with KMAnet or Contensive. This article is reproduced for eduaction purposes only.