More on Growing Your List

Last week I shared a number of excellent list building tips from Andrew Kordek of Trendline Interactive. (Thanks again for that insight, Andrew!) Today, I'd like to share with you some more great suggestions on how to grow your list.

Kelly Lorenz from Bronto Software shared some very excellent advice in a follow up comment. It merits inclusion here. Kelly writes, "While I think Andrew and his advice is great, the one thing that stuck out to me from the original question is that this is a new business. The tactics Andrew outlines are must-haves and there are other methods new businesses can and should utilize to grow:
  1. Build a plan to promote your email program and business via, potentially aggressive, PPC (pay-per-click), SEO (search engine optimization), social, banner ads, direct mail, personal email connections, word of mouth, etc. If you have a brick and mortar presence, utilize POS (point of sale) and key areas of the store to promote your email program. Anticipate a larger budget to get you off the ground than you would typically spend on each medium.
  2. Think about strategic partnerships with like companies that are complementary to your business model. You could leverage their list through a proper list rental (getting them to promote you to their list), an opt-in co-registration or the like.
  3. See if you can find some bloggers/industry associations that are willing and able to promote your brand and email program to continue to get the word out.
Starting from scratch is very difficult, but there are many methods for growing organically which will allow you to maintain positive email response in the long term over "get list quick" schemes." Excellent advice, Kelly. Thanks for sharing! If any of that sounds like greek to you, consider hiring an expert to help you develop a plan specific to your business needs. There is no one-size-fits all solution, and it is likely to your advantage to have an expert guide you through the process.. I can surely tell you which non-spammy list building methods you could use, but that doesn't tell you which ones are the right ones to use for your business. But, if you're looking for more advice on things you can do on your own, there are multiple solid strategies that have been shared by various ESPs and marketers. Here are just a few of them. In closing, let me add a few thoughts of my own: If you're thinking about list harvesting, or list purchasing, or email append, you're thinking about the wrong things. These might have short term benefit in that certainly, you end up with a whole bunch of new email addresses to add to your list. But, they're poor long term strategies. All of these methods are risky and frowned upon by ISPs and third party blacklists. That's why I talk about permission so much -- not because I hide in an "ivory tower" talking about how I wish things were -- but because I work with ISPs and blacklist groups every day, and this is what I have learned from them.


  1. Al: Thanks for including Amy's post in your list. Lots of great resources there for sure. You know my thoughts on when it's okay to buy an email list (NEVER!).

    As you say, "If you're thinking about list harvesting, or list purchasing, or email append, you're thinking about the wrong things."

    Until we meet face-to-face again!

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory


Comments policy: Al is always right. Kidding, mostly. Be polite, please and thank you.