Participating in a joint venture is a great way to grow your list quickly in a short time.

Here’s how it works…

Say you have a colleague or client with a large list (500+ subscribers) and she knows a few other people with large lists. Collaborate to contact about 10-15 other people who have a free product to offer and want to grow their lists. Have each of them send a brief product description, link to free product page, and a graphic representing the bonus or just their picture. Now, create a one-page site listing the products each with a link to the opt-in page.

Note: One of your “free reports” would work fine; however, you might want to offer something that cannot be downloaded elsewhere for free. One idea is to repurpose your normally “free” product into another format and make that product only available for these types of offers. For example, say your normal free offer is a 5-part e-course. You could take the course lessons and create an e-book in PDF format as your bonus offering. Also, don’t give away a product as a bonus that is ‘for sale’ elsewhere – you’re bound to make those who actually purchased it not happy with you and it will ultimately devalue your product.

First, choose a theme that would fit your client or customer base. You can check http://www.epromos.com/calendar/promotional-calendar.html for some ideas.

Here is one example that I just did for a client last month:

February is National Time Management Month. You are a professional organizer and have many friends who are also organizers as well as productivity specialists, e-mail management gurus, filing mavens, etc. You ask your circle of colleagues to be participants in the promotional giveaway and all they need to do is send you a bonus product for the giveaway. Those participants would then send an e-mail to their lists promoting the event and directing everyone to the free giveaway page. You should provide the suggested copy for everyone as well as letting them tweak as necessary (called a “swipe file” – you want to make it as easy as possible). Your readers get free bonuses and everyone gets to build their list.

I have been a part of a few giveaway joint ventures that followed this basic format. The results have always been a success aseach participant promoted the event in their newsletters, blogs, broadcasting to their ‘lists’, posting on listservs, Tweeted, posting on Yahoo groups… it was viral marketing at its best!