4 Absolutely Crucial Things to Build Your List

Online e-mail marketing may have really exploded in the past several years, but, given the success of offline direct response marketing, those “in the know” expected it and are taking advantage of it.

More and more unique and creative online marketing strategies are being discovered and developed to keep pace with the changing face of online businesses.

The demand for successful online marketing strategies have drastically grown and what was a new form of business has become the norm today; opt-in email marketing, also known as double opt-in or permission marketing.

Opt-in marketing requires you get your prospect’s explicit permission before you send them your marketing materials. These materials that take form of newsletters, information, catalogs and other promotional mailings sent by e-mail.

The more mail sent, the greater the chance for more and larger sales.

To do this, you must do one thing. You must build a list of “subscribers”; those people who have opted in to one of your lists.

From those lists, you will get your targeted customer because they already have shown an interest in what you have to offer.

These are the people who have already decided they like you and your products, at least one of them and are consciously willing to see more and, hopefully, even purchase.

Many people think that building a list is hard work and takes lots of time.

This is not necessarily so, although it does take a bit of patience and the right list building strategies.

Do whatever effort it takes because it can bring your business to a new level.

There are many sources and articles available on how to build a list, but many of them which are confusing at best.

Different people have specific differences in their approach to in building a list, however, there are some crucial things to do to build your list. Here are four of them:

1. Put up a Good Lead Capture Form

While many people believe you need to ease your prospects into your sales message, the truth is that without a lead capture form on your landing pages you will not build your list as fast or as large as it would with the forms.

Remember that your landing pages must provide a quick, good impression and, to paraphrase the people over at Marketing Experiments “Clarity trumps everything”.

Confused people don’t buy or sign up, so make your landing pages be clear and direct or you’ll have lost the prospects, maybe forever.

A good lead capture web form is not that hard to do.

Just write some simple, short paragraphs (or create a video or, better yet, do both) touching on the problem and touting your solution — they may just be solutions the prospects needs.

Be sure to put in an opt-in box; the two places I’ve found them to convert the best when they are at the top right (either above or below the main navigation bar) and, secondly, inline with the content of the page.

Finally, make sure the opt-in box is highly visible (point some big arrows at it if you need to). Give a strong call to action, that is, explicitly tell them to sign up.

2. Have Good, Useful Content

You need to have some useful value on the page, showing them that they can get something from what you offer. Always leave the reader better off than when they came.

No matter what your niche is, you need to capture your prospects fancy; stimulate their emotions. So make the lead capture page be useful, interesting and very easy to understand.

Don’t waste your time making the opt-in page too fancy or too long. A lead capture page is not meant to sell, it is meant to get the prospects to opt-in (that is, capture the lead) so make is quick to load and your message clear and concise.

Your sales page and other points of contact (e-mail, blogs, etc.) also need to provide the prospect and customer with valuable information and entertainment.

Again, always leave them better off after they’ve had contact with you than they were before.

3. Be Honest and Real

To build a list you have to get the trust of your prospects.

To keep a list you need to retain that trust and your need to build a personal relationship with them.

If you lose their trust or if you don’t “bond” with them then your list will be on a continuous downward slide, becoming smaller and less responsive.

4. Have Superior Products, Services and Customer Service

If your prospects find your products and services to be lacking they won’t have interest in you or being on your list so it is crucial to make sure your are providing superior products.

They don’t actually have to be perfect or the best but they need to be good enough that it reinforces the trust and good will you’ve built.

The same is true of customer service. If you aren’t responsive and if you don’t meet the needs of your prospects and customers when they have issues you will find a strong resistance to you and your message.

A happy customer is more likely to bring in more business and a satisfied customer will provide you with that all important personal recommendation.

For many online businesses, word-of-mouth recommendations can bring in more business than an expensive pay-per-click ad campaign.


While not a Pillar of Guaranteed Success, building and keeping a list is tremendously important because it will make you more successful in a faster period of time.

There are a lot of ways people to build a list and keep it but whichever way you use there are 4 absolutely crucial things you must do:

  1. Put up a Good Lead Capture Form: No form, no list. Boring, ugly form, no list. Hidden form, no list
  2. Have Good, Useful Content: remember to leave them better off than when they came. Do this with entertainment, information, controversy and great offers
  3. Be Honest and Real: gain and retain the trust and respect of your prospects and customers by being honest and straightforward with them
  4. Have Superior Products, Services and Customer Service: make sure that your products and customer service delight your customers, this will bring in repeat business and referral recommendations

Must you have a list? No.

You’d be foolish not to though.

Remember, you should, on average, get at least $1 per subscriber per month. If you are then you need to make sure you are provided good value and things to sell that they actually want to buy!

Do you have a list or building one? If not, you should! Leave a comment and tell me about your successes and failures.

Talk soon,

The Shameless (Ethical) Marketer

O.Y. Need some help building your list and want some free e-books to use as incentive to join your list, check out Viral Ebook Explosion where you can get free e-books you can brand with your links and then give them away.

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