How to Build an Email List – Your Step by Step Guide to Taking Your Online Business to the Next Level

how to build an email listThe money’s in the list. That’s what they say. For many internet marketers, building a strong email list is the way to make money online.

We’re going to look at why – and how to make your list successful.

When I first heard about building an email list – I was sceptical. I thought it sounded a bit “spammy”. Like most of you, I was used to getting lots of emails for things I never really asked for.

I didn’t want to contribute more to the problem. However – I soon realised that you could build an email list effectively and offer value to your subscribers.

Here’s how I did it:

What is an email list?

Quite simply, and email list is a list of email addresses. Sounds straightforward, right? What you want to do is build a list of everyone who’s visited your site or expressed some sort of interest in your products.

In reality, it’s going to be hard to get everyone who visits your site to “op-in” to your list – but you want to capture as many email addresses as possible.

After you’ve got your list, what’s next? Generally, you’ll want to reach out to your new subscribers as quickly as possible, and then send them special offers or other things that might interest them.

You can set up an autoresponder to take care of most of this for you. Simply set up a series of emails that go out at regular intervals.

The main aim of an email list is to get people to buy something from you further down the line. But try to offer them something valuable along the way.

You don’t want people unsubscribing or deleting your mails because they know all you’re trying to do is sell to them.

Continue to provide relevant, valuable information for free and you should be rewarded.



What do you need to build an email list?

You need an autoresponder, like AWeber. There are others, but that’s probably the best. You then need to create a series of emails that get set out to your list.

You’ll also need a website or somewhere for people to opt-in to your offer in order to join your list.

Most people offer something valuable to get people to sign up, like a free report, download, or special offer.

Why offering real value to your subscribers is so important

Your visitors will be used to seeing sites asking for their email address. Very few people sign up unless they’re offered real value.

That means you need to give them something they actually want. Don’t trick them into signing up or offer them something you can’t deliver.

For my first email list, I used a free report that I had previously sold for $20. So it wasn’t some poor-quality piece. It had real value.

It’s also important that you continue to offer value even after they’ve signed up.

Don’t make all your emails sales pitches – offer more quality information so people will be happy to open your emails. Make sure your offers are neatly tied in and relevant.

Tricking people into signing up with poor quality content might get you a few people on your list to start with – but they’ll soon unsubscribe.

If they don’t – once they’ve seen what you have to offer, they’ll be far less likely to open your next emails, let alone buy anything from you.

Remember to treat your list with respect

Too many internet marketers treat their lists poorly. Don’t be one of them. You don’t want people to unsubscribe when they see the sort of stuff you’re going to send them.

Some marketers sell spots on their list. In other words, they let someone create an email and post it to their list for a fee, promoting another product.

While this can be a good extra income source – it’s one thing you want to be very careful with.

Don’t just sell a spot to the highest bidder – make sure what they’re offering is relevant and good quality. Don’t sell your list to anyone else, either.

How to increase sign-ups to your list

The best way to increase sign-ups is to offer something great as an incentive. It could be a discount, free ebook, or something else that people are really going to want.

Nobody gives away their email address for nothing these days.

Getting a good initial offer is great, but you also need to make sure it’s clearly displayed in the right place. Make sure all calls-to-action are displayed prominently and that it’s clear what you want people to do (opt-in).

You could even test a few different layouts and make sure you’re using the most efficient one possible.

One quick tip that you need to add to your site is sticky opt-in widgets. You want an opt-in panel along the side of all your content, but it needs to remain there even when people scroll down past a lot of content.

Standard widgets often stay at the top, losing opportunities to get people to opt-in.

These steps alone should help get you started on your way to list-building success. Some estimates say that a good quality list could be worth $1 per subscriber.

So start building your list today.

For more tips on how to make sure you’ve got the right plugins for your website, check out this post.

Verifying your email addresses

Once you’ve been building your email list for a while, you may notice that some subscribers are no longer actively engaging with the emails that you send.

You don’t want to be wasting your precious time or money on people who submitted a fake email address just to get your lead magnet for free. On top of that, these emails can adversely affect your relationship with your email autoresponder: Internet Service Providers could end up blocking or redirecting these emails to spam folders.

The end result? Your sender reputation can get severely damaged and you risk getting blacklisted. It won’t be long ’till your email autoresponder account gets shut down too!

This is why you may want to use a company, like ContactOut to verify your email list. You’ll save money on your monthly autoresponder charges, your conversion rates will go up and hence, your return on investment in your email list will increase accordingly.

ContactOut is like a search engine for contact info, but with better lead validation and overall data. It discovers phone numbers and emails in public internet pages and links them with the correct people, using artificial intelligence. Find out more about ContactOut here

Why email is still the number one activity on many systems

You might think that with the rise in popularity of social media and other platforms – email has taken the backseat.

While there are definitely more distractions or “alternatives” to email these days – it’s still often the first thing people check when they switch on their computer.

For some people, it’s still the only thing.

Even with the rise in popularity of phone-browsing. Most people are checking their email more than any other activity.


So while there are now other advertising platforms like Facebook for your business – email could still be number one.

A lot of marketers are moving away from email marketing because they think it’s old-fashioned – but they’re making a mistake. There are still people who you can only reach with email, so it’s an avenue you shouldn’t ignore.

The shift in the market also helps you, because there’ll be less competition for your effective email marketing campaign.

If you’re looking for some more ways to start making money from your blog, check this out.

Closing word on how to build an email list:

Email marketing, and specifically building a list, is one of the most tried-and tested methods for making money online.

It’s effective, efficient and easy to implement. It’s something you should already be doing.

By creating a compelling offer with a series of useful, informative and interesting follow-ups – you can set yourself apart from the competition.

A common phrase in the internet marketing community is, “the money is in the list”. Some estimates argue your list could be worth up to $1 per subscriber.

Hopefully, you’ve seen the benefits of list-building – so you can start your list today.

About the Author

Peter Ellington has years of experience in the internet marketing industry. He knows how important tutoring can be so that more newcomers to the industry get the right education. He likes sharing his knowledge with other looking to become successful online. That’s why he also works for a private tuition company based in Singapore,

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