The internet ifs full of websites and ezines articles offering to tell you all the list building secrets you need to know but most of these "secrets" are useless, many relate to specific lines of business only and only the remaining few may be of some use to you. To get you started, here are some simple list building secrets - you can go on to more advanced techniques are you become more adept at the process.
The first thing to keep in mind is forget everything you have been told about the importance of big lists - what is the point of a list with 10,000 names of only 1% of them are potential customers? A list of 200 potential customers is worth much more than an unfocussed list of thousands of names and for this reason its usually not worthwhile buying lists - they have no aim or focus and you don't know how valid the email addresses are.
A great way to build up our mailing list is to add a squeeze page to your site where a free download relating to your products is available to those who register with their email addresses. After getting the addresses keep regularly sending them interesting news and information - since they are interested in your line of business they will be happy to receive useful information and will soon feel that since you are a trusted source of news you must also be a trusted supplier.
Once people start trusting you, you can ask them for references and while few will reply, those who do will be giving you addresses of those who are like them and will be interested in what you have to offer and the fact that you are communicating with the new customer through a reference means that trust has already been established with your new contact. Also, do not think that once you have email addresses you can stop there - ask people whom you are mailing regularly for more information about themselves to refine your marketing efforts; but be discrete and do not appear to be intrusive. Use surveys and opinion polls to get the information you want without appearing to be nosy.
Check out what your competitors are doing by joining their mailing lists under a different email address - it's a great way to learn their list building secrets. But keep mind that the most important of all list building secrets is not to worry about the size of your list but about how effective it is in getting you business.