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Double the Size of Your E-List This Year

March 27th, 2007 by Bob Bly

My goal is to double the number of subscribers to my e-zine, the Direct Response Letter, this year — from 40,000 to 80,000 subscribers.

That way, I can help more people who are interested in the type of advice I publish on writing, freelancing, marketing, and small business.

We are also preparing a guide on how to double the size of your e-list in a year, which of course will be based on what we learn in our own campaign.

Can you help me with this?

Specifically, I’m hoping you’ll share with me:

1. Your favorite e-list building technique (e.g., co-registration, pay per click, SEO) — the more specifics, the better.

2. How well it worked — how many new names did you acquire? at what cost per name?

If you contribute an answer, you will get my list-building report, which we will be sold along with DVDs for $97, absolutely free when it is ready — my way of saying “thanks” for helping us do the research!


This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 at 9:12 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

50 responses about “Double the Size of Your E-List This Year”

  1. Michael A. Stelzner said:


    I found the best way to build a list is to offer a white paper or special report.

    I wrote a post on this topic.

    Click on my name to view the article (your filter is strict and would not let me show it here).


  2. Bob Bly said:

    Michael: But HOW do you drive traffic to the landing page where they can download the report? That’s the real trick….

  3. Sean Woodruff said:

    Bob, start posting your content, page by page, day by day, to the internet and give it away. Put an opt-in box on every page. The search engines will eat up your content and you will rank high for a lot of key words that are already in the content.

    Secondly, why is there not an opt-in box in the header of every page on your blog?

    Offer a copy critique, or even a rewrite of a letter, for someone that owns a large list of your prospects as payment for introducing you to their list. Non-competing with you of course.

  4. Michael A. Stelzner said:


    Simply stated: Google AdWords.


  5. Jodi Kaplan said:

    Sean, he does have an opt-in box, but it’s at the bottom right of the page (lots of scrolling required). You’re right, it would be easier to find at the top of the page. Now that I’m looking at it, I think there’s a typo. It says, “Type in OUR e-mail address today…”, rather than YOUR e-mail address.

  6. Sean Woodruff said:

    OH, there it is!

    I’ve never seen it in all the years I have been reading here.

  7. Beth Erickson said:

    I like to drive traffic with articles. Whip up an article, insert a catchy byline, get it into one of the better article archive sites (or better yet, pitch it to a complementary publication), and you’re off to the races.


  8. Stacey said:

    It’s almost frightening when it happens to me. After promising myself I won’t join another email list–my inbox won’t take one more message, seriously–there are a few coaches in the copywriter circles who have gotten me on their lists. This never happens when I feel pushed.

    It happens when the author is empathizing with some pet peeve of mine, on some issue I’ve been scratching my head about–like all the standard, regurgitated advice out here that doesn’t sit right in my gut. That gets me to read the whole sales letter or lots of the blog. If I can see that we are clicking, I will opt in to their report or better yet, an audio I can listen to with a transcript for reference. But I don’t care what you are giving away if we aren’t “clicking” or if I get the sense you are selling me something. In fact, it goes back to the principles of Cluetrain Manifesto…you’ve either drawn me into a conversation in 10 seconds, or you haven’t.

  9. Hannah Martine said:

    Wow … from 40,000 to 80,000 … that’s a big list.

    I’m just starting out building my list and I have been doing it exclusively through speaking engagements. At the end of my speech or presentation, I offer people a free report: “Ads that pull.” I ask them to put “free report” on their business card and hand it to me. When I email the report to them, I invite them to join my newsletter list.

    It’s a slow way of building a list, but then, I’m just getting started. My main website (still in the works) will have a sign-up box as well.

  10. Bob Bly said:

    I do as you do: offer a report if they give me their card. Others suggest just telling the audience the URL where they can download the report. The latter is less work, but the former adds more names.

  11. Andrew Palmer said:

    In the last 9 weeks I took a business from zero to 35,000 free email subscribers. You need 3 things… good editoral, good marketing copy, and a good niche.

    I propose then you find an audience and give them value. Right now the largest audience is on Google, so I start there!

    It’s not as easy as I’ve made it sound. The old adage is true…
    “the devil is in the details.”

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    Bob, start posting your content, page by page, day by day, to the internet and give it away. Put an opt-in box on every page. The search engines will eat up your content and you will rank high for a lot of key words that are already in the content.

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