7 Steps to Building a List Online Fast

If you have been in internet marketing for long, you should know that one of the essentials to success is building your own list. Whether you are selling your own products, selling on eBay, affiliate marketing, network marketing, or anything else online, you must have your own list.

Why? Just as in the offline world, people buy based on relationships. They buy online at a specific store or have their haircut by a specific stylist because of the relationship. The relationship contains a certain amount of trust which helps people feel comfortable purchasing.

Unless your customer is simply desperate or you have written the best sales letter in the whole world, you will not sell most visitors on their first visit to your web site. But once they get to know you, and they have seen your web site a few times, and they have read a few letters from you, they may buy from you.

As they are exposed to you and your name and your product several times, their trust level goes up. Once it is high enough for them to buy from you, you must be able to communicate with them again. Without a list, it is hit-or-miss. They might click on your PPC link again, but then you pay for it again. But if they are on your list, you can email them once a week or once a month, so they don’t forget who you are when they are ready to buy.

So what are the seven steps to building a list online fast?

Step 1: You must create a landing page or squeeze page on your web site where they can send you their contact information. Make this form really easy to use, and give them some incentive to use it. For example, offer them a free newsletter, ecourse, ebook, or sample if they opt-in to your list.

Step 2: You must subscribe to an auto responder service so you can send them automated responses and follow-up letters. You may think you can do it easily enough, but once you have a few hundred names on your list, it will become a nightmare. A good auto responder service can be purchased for about 20 dollars a month, and it is well worth it.

Step 3: You must drive traffic to your web site. It should be good, quality traffic that has the same general demographic as your typical customer. PPC is good for this, just be sure you choose your keywords carefully. If you are selling specialized ammo, you don’t want to pay for all types of clicks in the ammunition arena–bid on specialized words. Write articles about your area of expertise and the subject of your web site and submit them to the online article directories. Partner with non competing businesses that sell to a similar clientele. For example, if you are a dog trainer, you might partner with a veterinarian. You are not competing with them directly, but you can both benefit by getting to know the others’ customers.

Step 4: You must send the subscribers strong, informative, useful emails. They will not open your emails for long if they are not getting value from them. Do not be afraid to give away good stuff in your emails. You may be thinking that you usually charge for what you are giving away for free, but if it brings you new business online, it is well worth it.

Step 5: Make sure that every contact you have online with a potential customer gives them an opportunity to opt-in to your list. Your web site, all your emails, anything you mail out via the postal service, should all have a way for them to get on your list.

Step 6: Mail regularly—at least once per month, or twice per month. Always use the same return address or “from” name. Spam is such a nuisance these days, so people must recognize you to open your mail. And by the way, never, ever send your list junk. If it has no immediate value to them in your area of expertise, do not send it.

Step 7: Keep the big picture in mind. You are not building the list for the sake of building a huge list. You are building a list with the ultimate purpose of making new relationships online that may translate into business on down the road. It is far better to grow a small list and develop a strong relationship with the people on it, than to grow a big list with no relationship.

Now, get out there and start building a list!