List building is an incredibly powerful tool for marketing your business and can also be used in a range of other ways to build trust, to collect data and to crowdsource ideas. That's why I always recommend email collection should be an central part of any marketing strategy. And it's a vital part of great content marketing for individual and business bloggers.
Because there's an entire industry build around email marketing, we are seeing more and more tools to help you grow and manage your list!
LeadPages may well be the industry leader. They have a solid range of landing pages, and the ability to beautifully integrate into just about any situation, including webinar signups, giveaway optins, and full sales funnels. And they have all sorts f bells and whistles, including solid analytics, and cool tools like optin via text. But they are also at the higher end of the pricing spectrum, making them less desirable for me – as I'm comfortable with bootstrapping and using tools that I build myself (at a lower cost).
Sumo Me List Builder
Alternatively, you might just want a subtle box to pop up on your page to nudge your users to giving you their e-mail addresses. If you offer a free ebook or something this can be a very effective tool. Sumo Me is a great option for a popup ‘lightbox' – and it is available in its most basic form (which I use) for free.
22 Social via Facebook
Perhaps the most effective tool I use in my own list building. (You can see my primary optin page right here.) The magic of 22 Social is that it is fully incorporated into the Facebook API, and eaveryone who joins my list, purchases access to a product, enters a contest, or watches a private webinar via a 22 Social Facebook App… gets added to my list via their Facebook authenticated email address. Watch a full overview of the 22 Social platform here.
Email Marketing Services
You've probably heard the names… Constant Contact, Emma, MailChimp, etc. My two favorites are AWeber and GetResponse, because they are built with a wide range of sophisticated tools like split-testing, list segmentation, and automation rules that can make your email marketing really powerful.
GetResponse is the one that I use for my primary lists, mostly because they continue to innovate in the direction that is most meaningful to my business. Their most recent addition is a full range of really impressive optin forms, now available to all of their users. Unlike the bland forms from most other services, these are beautifully designed, and may well replace the Sumo Me forms I'm currently using. (That's a project for another post).