What You Need To Build A List

Absolutely every single business owner should have a list, and that includes brick and mortar offices or stores, as well as online business owners.

 

*E-Mail

 

The vast majority of people use email these days, and this is the easiest way to stay in touch with customers. It’s very simple to set up a list and start growing it.

 

A list is nothing more than the names and emails of people who want to receive your notices and/or newsletters.

 

However, it’s widely recommended that you use a third party email marketing service to keep these names organized and to abide by the CAN- SPAM rules and regulations.

 

The free Yahoo and Google email accounts are certainly budget-friendly but if you start sending hundreds of emails from those email addresses, you will certainly be flagged as a spammer based on the volume of e-mails you send.

 

It’s best to not send too many e-mails, so consider how many you plan to send, when choosing your e-mail service.  You might find the free services work just fine.

 

You’ll need to look into e-mail marketing services. Of ones with a monthly cost, Aweber and Get Response are two of the best. There are certain limitations to how large your list can get before the price increases, but both are just fine for starting out.

 

MailChimp is a good choice to start for free.  There are limits on your list size to be free of charge, but you can upgrade as you go.

 

Once you create your account, you’re ready to create your list. This consists of a few steps, such as naming your list, adding your company branding and contact information, as well as adding a signature that is attached to every email you send.

 

If you are very busy, and feel technically challenged, you can have someone else set everything up for you, with all of the professional customizations and accessories like opt-in boxes, pop ups and landing pages to direct people, and really target their actions.

 

You can even customize your blog post e-mails to include all of your social media, business site, offers, etc., to remind your readers every time they receive your e-mail, and to encourage them to visit your blog, instead of just reading the e-mail and deleting it.

 

*Opt In Box:

 

If you have an online business, you will have a box on your website (aka the opt-in box) where they will enter their name and email.

 

In order to confirm their permission to add their names, the customer will have to watch their inbox for a confirmation notice from your email provider. Within the text of this email will be a validation link. If they click the link, they have granted their permission to be on your list. If they ignore the link, nothing happens and they will not receive your emails.

 

The nice part about using the opt-in box is you don’t have to physically add the names to your list. It happens automatically once the confirmation is received.

 

*Getting Started:

 

Now you officially have the beginnings of a list and the fun begins. Obviously you have to promote the fact that you have a list, which means you better have a plan for what kind of information you’re going to send out and how frequently.

 

If you want to send out monthly sales coupons to your list, tell them that. If you have a monthly newsletter filled with information and tips, make sure that’s clear.

 

Be transparent with your plan and with how frequently you will send information so you won’t be labeled a spammer.

 

Even if you’re clear about your plans, some people need that extra push to sign up for a list. That extra push can be in the form of a freebie, such as a free report or a short audio. Basically, you’re agreeing to give them valuable information immediately, for free, in exchange for their email.

 

The genius of this move is that the link to the freebie is sent in the very first, immediate email message, which the customer can only receive if they click that confirmation link. It’s a win-win for both the list owner and the customer.

 

 

*Pre-Schedule:

 

Another wonderful feature of an email provider or autoresponder is the ability to schedule notices to be sent on future dates. Essentially, you could sit for an entire afternoon and schedule messages for the next 4 months, (or more) and they will be sent according to the terms you set.

 

Remember, even if you have just one person on your list, you need to fulfill your promise about sending valuable content, so get started right away.

 

*Analyze & Market:

 

Once your list is set up you might see an immediate interest with people signing up right away. Be sure to analyze your sales each month to see if those who are purchasing are on your list. Also check to see if those who purchase are quick to sign up for your list.

 

Eventually, that interest will fade unless you make a concerted effort to market your list. Creating a specific marketing plan for promoting your list using the ideas below will help reignite interest in your list.

 

Also try switching your freebies and track which freebie gets the most attention. This will prove that either the topic or the format is what your customers want.

 

Just as each blog or business is uniquely different, so are the ways to market your list. It really takes some testing and tweaking to find the best combination that works.