Ok, so a lot of things have changed in the SEO world, and list building is one of the most controversial strategies under the radar. There is still some value to the strategy, actually, there is still quite a bit of value to the strategy, but there are major risks involved for those who do not do it right.

Google has made several updates over the last decade, and in the last few years alone, those updates have shaken the world of SEO as you once knew it. So, what do you do? Keep doing what you have been doing, but make sure you are doing it right!

The world of SEO has not changed much for those of us who were working towards building relationships with our customers and striving to add valuable content that they could use. So, to those of you, I say move on with the strategy, you already know what to look out for. For those of you who are new to the SEO world, or have failed with strategies Google found less than desirable, be very careful before venturing out into the world of list building.

The article below will guide you through the process of list-building strategies, and keep you on track to stay out of trouble.

Ask any of the highly successful Internet marketers, and all of them will tell you how important list building is for promoting your website and for building a successful online business. Attempting to promote your online business without the use of an effective list-building strategy is the equivalent of marketing a business strictly by cold calling. It gives you no option for passive income generation, backend sales, or increasing customer loyalty.

However, good list building gives you the option of generating repeat business and exploding the success of your online business. This article will provide you with some of the high-volume approaches for building a solid customer list.

The Risks of High Volume List Building

Before you apply any strategy for high-volume list building, it's important to consider the potential pitfalls. For example, using pre-existing lists that you have purchased or rented from third parties could result in spam complaints and even the blacklisting of your IP address. To avoid this kind of risk, it is a good idea to only use high-volume list-building practices to get started. Also, it's important to remember that the size of your list is not anywhere near as important as your relationship with your list members.

Use the following strategies with caution and only for the sake of getting your list started. Once you have established a list of about 500 members, focusing your attention on maximizing those customers and on acquiring the rest of your list slowly. So, in other words, start out slowly building organic lists. Why have 5,000 users on your list that care nothing about your product, message, or business? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have 40 that are interested? This is where many online business owners miss the point of quality over quantity. They have the mindset that with more on the list, the better the chance for a sale. The truth is, that is NOT true at all. The more people on the list just means more chances for spam penalties, fewer sales, and frustrated customers that continue to get impersonal messages, content, and ads.

High Volume List Building

  • List building services

List building services allow you to send an email to thousands of customers who are not already on your list so that you can build your own list faster. Some of the most popular and effective list-building services are List Joe, Viral Url. All of these sites have free and paid plans which allow you to build your list simply by sending out email ads leading back to your squeeze page offer.

  • Ezine advertising through ad swapping

Ezine advertising is sending your offer to a list of customers who are subscribed to someone else’s mailing list or online Ezine. Most of the time, you can accomplish this by allowing the Ezine owner to promote products to your list of subscribers. You can find these kinds of relationships through sites like Charlie’s Directory of Ezines or The Warrior Forum. Be very careful when submitting to any directory. Some of the directory sites do not favor well with the search engines, so check out the quality of content on their site before you list. Look for customer comments, read reviews, and make sure you are posting your quality content to quality sites. And, when swapping ads, I should not have to say this, BUT, stick to relevant sites that provide something that compliments what you provide.

  • Viral List Building

The most effective list-building strategy is the use of viral “tell a friend” scripts which encourage your existing subscribers to send their entire address book an invitation to your squeeze page offer. This script is something that your customers should be seeing the moment they join your list as well as the moment that they join your forum. You should always offer an incentive like a free eBook or free report to your customers in exchange for sending their friends an invitation to your squeeze page offer.  Do not forget about social media sites. These platforms are an amazing way to connect with people who may be interested in what you have to say or offer. Each social media platform has its own unique method for effectiveness, so take the time to learn how to use each one properly. Stay away from posting sales ads on these pages, instead, offer up something your visitors can use. 

Other High Stakes List Building Strategies

  • 100% Affiliate Commissions

A powerful way to build your customer list quickly is to sell a downloadable product for a very high affiliate commission. For example, if you have a $47 e-book and MP3 file product, you can offer an affiliate commission of $45 per sale. This will give you enough to cover the transaction cost while creating an irresistible opportunity for affiliate marketers to promote your product. Just be sure that you are capturing the names and e-mails of the customers who purchase your product so that you can leverage the high commission percentage to build your list.

  • Affiliate Awards for Opt-Ins

Another fast way to build your list is to pay your affiliates a commission for each list member that they generate. For example, you might pay your affiliates $.25 for each new name and e-mail address which they bring to your customer list. When using this approach, be sure that you are using a double opt-in process in order to keep dishonest affiliates from submitting names and e-mails without getting permission from the owner of the e-mail account. The whole point is to gain quality contacts, so you have to have a plan in place to weed out the bad affiliates.

  • Give Away Prizes

The final high-stakes list-building strategy is to offer your affiliates and list members prizes in exchange for the highest number of referrals. For example, you might have a contest for a free iPhone for the affiliate or list member who provides you with the highest number of referrals. Just be sure that if you are using this approach you are also requiring a double opt-in and that you set a minimum amount of referrals which the prizewinner must achieve in order to receive the prize. This is a great way to make your affiliates work harder for you. And remember, only quality contacts are worthwhile, so weed out those deceitful affiliates.


While it might be tempting to continue to use these kinds of strategies for expanding your list, it's always important to make sure that you are focusing on quality instead of on quantity. Always remember that you building a relationship with the list is the most important factor in the successful promotion of your online business.

These strategies are not for the faint of heart, or for those who plan to deceive anyone. The days of the grey hat or black hat SEO tactics are over, so stick to quality, build relationships with your customers, and NEVER overdo any one strategy.