List Building – Should You Build Your Own?
If you read publications or training material, you will almost always be told that building your own list is one of the essential elements you need for your online business to be successful. That is 100% correct. It is not the only thing you need but it is very important.
As you surf the Net, I am sure that a very high percentage of websites that you have visited have had a form requesting your name and email address either to receive a free report or to subscribe to a newsletter. This is one of the processes used to build a list. The form that you see is most likely connected to an autoresponder. This autoresponder takes the name and email address and adds it to a data base. It also immediately sends the new subscriber a request to confirm their email address (this is called confirm optin), and when they confirm their email address through a link in that email, they receive a thank you and/or the information they requested. This process takes minutes and is all done automatically.
Another technique used to build a list is through the use of a landing or capture page. Simply put this is a single web page that is offering free information in most cases, or access to a web site with information they might be interested in. This landing or capture page will have a form section for them to enter their email information. Once they complete that step, the process I described above will occur in most instances. There are some situations where the form may be a simple optin process rather than confirm optin. This means that they are entering their email, going to be added to the list and receive whatever information they are requesting. There would be no confirmation process involved.
So What Should You Consider When Starting To Build Your List.
The first thing to consider are the reasons that you want to start building the list. In today’s world, everyone is on the Internet and as a result, if you are marketing a product or service, this is the place to be. Marketing online is more economic than offline marketing, sales can happen much quicker and you can have continuous contact with your customers. In offline retail, you depend on the customer coming back to the store for subsequent sales, while online you could contact them about sales on a daily basis if necessary.
You also want to build your own list because you know that these individuals are interested in your product or service. If you went out and purchased a list from some list broker, the people on that list have no idea what your business is about or what type products or services you have available. Once you have someone opt in to your list, they are giving you their permission to send them information. This information can be marketing material, a newsletter, promotions and other informational products. I recommend highly that you use a confirm opt in autoresponder service.
Why confirm opt in? In today’s email world, there are millions of emails sent out from all over the world on a daily basis. I know that I get hundreds of them each and every day and I have not given any of them permission to send me their information. This is called unsolicited email or SPAM. There are laws in the US against this type email but it is very difficult to stop it. If you get accused of sending this type email you can lose your autoresponder privileges, your hosting account and Internet service provider. So it really is not worth it.
If you are part of a system that is confirm opt in, the subscriber/prospect is signing up to receive your information, newsletter or free report. And they have to confirm they want the information by clicking on the link in a confirmation email the system sends out. This process protects them, but more so protects you from claims of sending unsolicited email. They could still file a complaint since many people get so much email that they forget what they joined. But in a confirm opt in system the system saves certain information such as their IP address that you could use to prove that they signed up voluntarily. One other thing, autoresponder messages will have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email, so any time the subscriber wants to opt out of your list, it is easy for them to do.
There are many autoresponder services out there that have various monthly costs and requirements. I have been providing an autoresponder service for over fifteen years and only charge $24.95 per year for an account with unlimited autoresponders. You can take a look at it here, 123Response.com
Some Points To Consider
1. The easiest way for you to start building your list is to place a form on the pages of your website. I personally like to put the form on every page of my sites that I can. That way whatever page they visit, they have the option to join the list. It does not have to be a large form and it should be simple in nature. For instance, you might just have a brief statement about your free report or newsletter, spaces for them to enter their name and email address and a subscribe button. I generally request just their first name and email address on the form. Many people will not fill out a form if it asks for too much information. If I have their first name I can personalize any mailing to them in the subject and/or body of the email as Hi Joe or something like that. It will get more emails opened when it is personally addressed. With most autoresponders you can create the necessary form code for your web page in the client are of the service.
2. Make sure that your mailings look very professional when they go out. They can be entirely text or in html. I send most of mine out in text since there are many email services that block html messages when they look like advertisements especially when they contain a lot of large images or photos. I would also not make the messages very lengthly. I see so many emails where the sender has messages that are three pages long and I just never want to read the entire message. If you are recommending or advertising a web site, just give bullets about it and let the web site or sales page do the selling.
3. Do not share or sell your list to anyone. You do not want to lose control of it and you sure do not want somebody else to start spamming your list. It is a sure way to lose subscribers.
If there is any one thing that you want to consider when you start your online business, it should be the option of building your own list. That way you have a list that people have opted in because they are interested in what you have to offer and this makes them a targeted list for your marketing and promotions. For example, if you are marketing making money at home products you want a list of potential customers who are interested in that topic.
Wish you the best of success.