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The fundamental idea is to give people something that aligns with the type of subscriber you seek. For example, if you wish to have a list of SciFi readers, a free SFF short story, book, or character dossier would be very appetizing to the sort of people you wish to attract. It can’t be something they can get from anywhere (like an Amazon gift card) but instead something genuine that you have created.
Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.
Opt-in rates have been on the decline for the last decade or so, and I’ve tried a lot of different solutions that have promised to turn that trend around. Of all the things I’ve tried including web based apps and various plugins, only Post Gopher actually delivered. I installed it on my bizweb2000.com blog and… “Post Gopher Has Performed Better Than All The Other List Building Solutions I Use Combined!”

• I don’t pay for duplicates. This was one of my pet peeves with Aweber. Because Aweber is based on lists (vs tags), I had many lists set up – from customer lists to opt-in lists and more. If you joined my main list and then opted-in to my new freebie, I paid for you twice. There are people on my list that have been there since 2008, and have opted-in to many of my lists — it’s possible that I might have been paying for people 5x or more. Plus – it totally skewed my numbers. If you were on five different lists, you were counted five times. This did not give me an accurate reflection of my current subscriber numbers.
Think about implementing referral links to incentivize your subscribers to spread awareness about your brand, too. Referral links allow your current customers to promote trackable links for your business. In exchange for sending new paying customers your way, you can give them incentives like discounts, coupons, vouchers, cash, prizes or redeemable points.