List growth strategies

List growth strategies
Your list is your business

Online business marketing looks at list growth strategies and applications. These are your most important asset and tool for gaining new business growth

Why do you need a list growth strategy?

In any business be it fixed or online the value of your list will determine the worth of your business.
These are your customers, potentials and grazers that allow you to have contact with them in the future.

The basis of marketing

The basis of marketing comes with three important steps and if you miss just one of them your chance of success declines.



The world at large contains many potential customers all looking to be your friend and buy from you. The first question is how do they get to know about you if you hide in a corner and forget to flaunt your wares.

The first interaction must leave a positive impression that they like what they see and are happy to do business with someone like you.

Finally, after doing business with you they are more than happy to return again and again.

An example of know, like, and trust.

First of all an online example. I bet you get a lot of emails everyday, we all do from people you have been in contact with-in the loosest manner.
When you skim through the emails you first look for names and people you know and are happy to read. Most others will get the delete button. You know them or recognise them as someone you are willing to consider.

Next comes the subject line. This is an art form to get your attention but most likely they understand what you want. (we will show you how). Because they like you.

The subject line

If you have bought it before and had a good experience the temptation to dive in again will be there.

This little exercise is completed everyday unless we hit the unsubscribe button. However, it is only on the ones that don't qualify for one of the three items

What will you do with your list anyway?

The next step in this introduction to growing your list is explaining another important rule of marketing.

The rule of 7

This basically states that a potential customer needs to be touched 7 times before they buy,


In advertising, the most effective frequency is the number of times a person must be exposed to an advertising message before a response is made and before exposure is considered wasteful.

Maybe 7 or less, the rule remains

You will get to know the number along the way that mixes with your offer but the rule remains.

Therefore with a list, you can communicate in many ways to drag them to a conclusion and a buying decision.

Just this week I had a buyer call and say “you have worn me down, let's talk business.” This came after about 10 emails in a series to a person I had never met and who will now remain a lifetime customer.
He believed he knew me because of my constant exposure to him, he liked what I had delivered with information and testimonials and I had built that trust that I knew what I was doing.
It is a great feeling when you have this contact.

So how do we build a contact list?

First of all, let's look at what a contact list is and what form it should take.

  • A simple Exel spreadsheet is really ok.
  • Many in-house marketing packages contain a list builder
  • Through to an expensive off the shelf CRM product. (Customer Relationship Manager)

You will need basic information right through to a full package depending on what you want to do with them.
First and last name is a great start because you can address them formally in any message.
Email is essential as the cheapest and easiest form of contact.
A mobile phone number is handy for local marketing and last of all a fixed address to mail to.
It's all pretty easy information.

Now the strategies for the list building.

The first and most important is your Web page. Do you have a contact button above the fold?
Do you have a giveaway e book or similar on the page? Is there any reason for giving you their information?
If you want their contact details you have to ask.

Do you send invoices? Then ensure you have all their details in the list.

If you have a physical address and people walking in, have a competition, a survey, anything to get those contact details.
Ask them if you have nothing to lose.

Lady in wide hat
Not really, I would never. Black hat

List growth strategies that are all white hat

Facebook and list building

Now listen up here, your Facebook page is a list of contacts but where do you get them?
It is surprising that many Facebook owners will put all their contact details on the page and not on a website. This is bordering on Black hat but they should be legitimate addresses harvested from the information posted on your site. I reckon Kosher.

The giveaway list builder

This will work as good as the giveaway. e.Books, instruction manuals any free offer to extract an email address.
On your website, you will need to use a capture page linked to somewhere like A.Weber or Mailchimp that will collect and store details and deliver the giveaway.

Start a VIP club or discount card for customers but don't just provide a benefit get their details.

A lot of Coffee shops use a discount card. You get a card which is stamped when you buy a coffee, at 10 or so they give you free coffee.
I always see this as a really minimal program, I have half a dozen cards because I frequent different shops so I get my discount even not being particularly loyal.

What if they had to register the card so you got the details of your name and email etc.
One shop I spoke to recently said he had over a 1000 cards out, who are they I asked and he replied I don't know, customers I suppose.
What an opportunity missed.

What can you do with a good list?

List growth ideas restaurant
Fill those tables

I will start with my favourite example and a true story.
A well-known restaurant in my area is always busy and bookings are essential. When you book, they build a list.
We all have our quiet days so when the table reservations are down he sends an SMS message saying first 20 or so bookings tonight get 20% off the bill.
He fills the tables every time because there is always a waiting list and high prices so this is an opportunity.
How many sit and look into the street waiting for people to turn up when they can order up customers.

  • You can email your list
  • Send a newsletter
  • Send an SMS message
  • Ring them
  • Send hard copy brochure
  • Do birthday specials etc

Every business is different to make yours unique.

I just had a meeting with a business broker and we talked about this topic out of interest.
He stated proudly he had a list of thousands collected over the years, Great I said what do you do with the list?
Nothing was the answer, oh my Gaud what a waste.

Remember this is target marketing

Where can you read more about list growth strategies?

image of author
Peter Hanley

Your list is an asset, make it a priority and use it properly

Peter Hanley

Business growth and strategy for extra reading

Peter Hanley

I have been in business for many years and the internet to find ways to grow your business faster

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