When it comes to digital marketing it is not true that you simply have to 'build it and they will come'. With the best will in the world, people won't just hand over their email for no reason, but instead need to be convinced that doing so will benefit them.
Partly this is about building a relationship with those visitors through the content on your site and gradually establishing trust over time. At the same time though, it is also about using smart promotions and techniques to increase the visibility of your sign up form and to make it more enticing. Here are some of the techniques that I use that use to build my list:
This should be your main technique - period!
Use a Pop-Up
Many big bloggers, use pop-up windows on their site to capture emails. If you stay on their site reading for long enough, the window will appear in front of you and will encourage you to sign up. LeadsLeap has a great one and it's free.
You need to be careful with these pop-up windows as they can be very frustrating for users if they get in the way of their surfing. At the same time though, the fact that such big names use them should tell you something about their effectiveness.
Give a Teaser
Many bloggers that are trying to get people to sign up to their mailing lists will only ever do so via the box on the side of their page. A bland box without any information around it doesn't exactly beg you to hand over your email address, so instead why not publish one of your emails on the site? If you publish the first part of a ten part email 'series' for example, then this will give your users much more incentive to sign up as well as showing a taste of the kind of content they'll receive.
Run a Promotion
There are all kinds of promotions you can use to encourage your visitors to hand over their emails. One example might be to give away a free e-book, or alternatively you could run a competition. These promotions can be ongoing or they can be temporary, though the latter is often a good way to build some hype and buzz.
Use Other Venues
You don't just have to promote your mailing list on your site – likewise you could do a deal and promote it on someone else's site, you could promote it on social media, or you could even go round collecting emails in person at networking events!
Hope that helps you get some creative juice going with new techniques!