"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila." ~ Mitch Radcliffe, American WriterRemember list building?
Ah yes... the reason we are here, right?
I've been having such great success with Google AdWords, 8,000 new subs this month at $3.20 per name, that I noticed I haven't talked about some of the other successful methoods for bringing in names.
There is a world of interested and productive names outside of the search engines... online and offline. We cannot forget them or we'll be leaving money on the table.
That being said, here are two quick tips for you.
First off, as you redesign your web site don't forget the importance of name collection. Remember to place the sign-up form prominently "above the fold." This should be non negotiable.
I realize some designers will hate this... but I don't care. The purpose of your site is not to get a design award but to acquire as many names as possible. As such, the sign up form must be foremost in your design.
You can always use graphics to draw the eye, but don't forget it's sign-up copy that will convert them. You just can't say "sign up for e-letter". You need to discuss the benefits of the e-letter and why the visitior needs to subscribe.
Oh, and don't stop at the home page... put a subscription form on every page in your site. No dead ends. Make sure every page leads to your goal. Be it free names, or paid sales.
In my mind this is very simple... it's just marketing. We take our visitors by the hand... show them what we want to show them... and on every page lead them to our offer. At that point, it's copy time!
If it's good, and been tested, you now have another new sub.
Secondly, if you have the kind of business where you contact your customers on the phone or face-to-face don't forgot to get these names too!
Always ask all your customers to subscribe to your e-letter when they contact you by phone or in person. Never pass up this opportuntiy for a name. Send free reports in exchange for the names in this situation just as you would with Goolge AdWords. Same goes for conferences and trade shows.
To make it easier, don't forget to display your URL on all printed materials with the benefits of your newsletter -- on sales material, fliers, bags, business cards, advertising, etc. Everything.
Hard to believe that this is a tip, but I see marketing material all the time with no sign of URL. Drives me nuts.
Stay in the game...