1. Newsletters

This is perhaps the most basic and traditional form of content used to get emails and other contact info. This generally only works well if your company is established and has something interesting to say. Otherwise no one will care.

2. eBooks

This kind of content is very effective at getting people to trade their info. A well-crafted eBook that contains very useful information is a tangible piece of collateral that not only establishes your brand as an authority in your niche; it also enables you to deliver calls to action to other content, products and services that you have to offer. If you are a good writer and a half-way decent designer, these are also pretty cheap to make.

3. Videos

Next to social media, people spend the majority of their time online watching video. Here again the subject matter must be useful such as a tutorial or advise on how to do something. If all people have to give is a name and an email in order to watch a useful video, they will do so. Prospects also respond much more to video because it doesnít require as much effort to consume.

4. Whitepapers

These are similar to the eBook idea however they are shorter and even more cheap to produce. Like an eBook you should offer useful information in a whitepaper. These are basically just PDF files hosted on a website or a social media account that people can gain access to by first leaving contact information.

5. Audio

Some versions of the above ideas can also be produced as audio. For instance making an eBook into an audio version. Like video, people love content that is easy to consume. Audio also works for building lists if your product lends itself well to it. For instance musicians and publishers could take advantage of this tactic.

6. Fangating

This is exclusive to Facebook and is also related to people getting access to content. Traditionally, these are used to get people to like a Facebook page in order to view content. You can tweak that idea to get people to leave contact information in order to view content .

7. Start a Club

As humans, we want to belong. Being a part of a community makes people feel special and it also conveys the feeling that they are part of something exclusive. Offer special discounts and coupons in exchange for joining a club that you have created. All that is required to join the club is a name and email.

8. Free Products and/or Services

The most obvious item of value that you can use to trade for contact information is free stuff or free services from your business. For example offering a coupon for free services in exchange for contact information is a good way to collect names and emails.

9. Enter to Win

A cheaper way to entice prospects to give contact info is to run a contest. This way you donít have to give away volume but a chance to win something. Try to make it a prize that appeals to your target market.

10. Refer a Friend

This is a contest you can perform with both employees, customers, partners and anyone else that could offer valuable referrals. You could send out a link to your opt-in funnel and tell people they will be entered into a drawing to win something (perhaps a product you offer or something with broad appeal like consumer electronics) if they can forward the email to a friend who ends up leaving their contact information.

11. Free Tools

If your company has built an online tool and you can offer it free for people to use, require that they leave contact info in order to use it. This could be something as simple as an add-on for Excel or a tool to help people do their jobs or make their jobs easier. It doesnít have to be the next best thing, it just has to be enticing enough that people are willing to trade a name and an email in order to use it.

12. Contact Form

If you have no other method on your website where visitors are submitting information, you undoubtedly have a contact form of some sort. You have to be clever here but in general adding a checkbox with some text asking visitors if they would like to receive email updates of some kind from your company is very easy.

13. TOS Agreements

If you have online tools that visitors are using, you probably have a terms of service agreement that people are required to accept. It is a common practice to also ask users if they would like to receive special communications from your company.

14. Ecommerce Transactions

When users check out through shopping cart software, this is a prime opportunity to ask if they would like to receive updates on new products or services that they may be interested in. In these scenarios, you have a lot of information already such as products or services that they like to buy as well as information related to shipping and billing. As long as you have permission from the visitor to use it, you can add them to your contact list.

15. Co-Registration

If you have partners that you work with that market to the same target market, you can approach them about sharing contact information. For example you could have a co-branded page where users could opt-in or work out a program where you share contact information. This is a bit tricky because you also have to let visitors know that you are working with the other company and they have to be aware that they may receive correspondence from that other party. If done right you can double your results with the same amount of effort.

16. Forums

Being active on forums where your target market is present helps build equity in your brand and establish you as a thought leader. On these forums you should be helpful and knowledgeable. Placing a link to your eBook download, newsletter opt-in, or other list building conversion funnel in the signature of a profile is an excellent method of promotion.

What tactics do you use to build your email lists?