If you have a small business, are doing online marketing, or simply have a specialized interest or hobby and would like to interact with others who share your passion, you need to have an email list. That’s because email remains the single most effective way to connect with other people online.

Unlike instant messaging or skyping, email doesn’t require you to be constantly online or monitoring your smartphone. Unlike social media, email doesn’t need daily updating in order to remain relevant. Unlike direct mail or traditional marketing, email doesn’t cost a fortune nor does it require you to devote a lot of time and labor to make it be effective.

Building Your List Gives You Freedom

Instead, building your list of email contacts and using that list to promote your products, services or ideas is still the easiest, most cost-effective and most user-friendly ways to connect with a large group of prospective customers, clients or fans.

Despite critics who claim that email is being replaced with other, faster methods of online interaction – such as instant messaging, Twitter, or even Instagram – the fact remains that most Internet users have at least one email account that they monitor regularly.

Need proof that email remains relevant? Answer this question: Have you checked your email anytime in the past 48 hours? If so, then you already know how important email remains to the average Internet user.

List Building Essentials

Building a large email list is the starting point to whatever Internet marketing program you have in mind. When you have a list of hundreds or even thousands of contacts, you can expect a certain percentage of people to respond to any single email you send out promoting a product, service, or even a link to a blog or other relevant content.

So building your list by attracting people who are interested in the types of products or services you promote or share your passion for a particular interest, is essential to the success of your online marketing strategy. Once you have a list of loyal customers, contacts or followers, you can promote an endless supply of niche-related products, services or links in order to drive response.

When you continually add new people to your list, you can create an effective sales funnel that can earn you profits. There are both free and paid ways to add people to your list. If you are starting out with a low marketing budget – or no marketing budget – you need not worry. You can start with free list-building techniques and after you start to make money with your list, you can reinvest a portion of your revenues into paid list-building techniques so you can make even more sales and keep making money indefinitely.

If you already have at least one email account, you probably are familiar with what an email list is and how it works. But building a large list – anywhere from 100 to 10,000 contacts or more – requires a little more administrative skill, management time and organization than the ordinary Gmail or Yahoo email account holder possesses.

To manage a list that large, you need some help in the form of an autoresponder. This is software that you buy that takes care of most of the tedious administrative tasks that come with managing your list, such as sending out emails according to a pre-established schedule, collecting email addresses of new subscribers, distributing your free giveaways, directing traffic to the appropriate sales pages and other promotional links, and so on.

Your autoresponder also will provide you with valuable data that you can use to better manage your online business, such as how many people actually click through from the emails you send out, which users always delete your emails without reading them, even how long the average user spends reading your emails before clicking off. You can use data like this to fine tune your email promotions so that they are more surgical and connect more effectively with a larger percentage of your list.

While there are dozens of autoresponders out there that you can get, the one I use and highly recommend is GetResponse. For me, it was user-friendly, intuitive, and their support has always been very helpful to me.

Getting a high-quality autoresponder is sort of like being a business owner who hires a hard-working, efficient and honest manager to run the day-to-day operations for you. Once you give the autoresponder the general directions you want, it can easily and effectively handle most of the time-consuming administrative duties automatically, so you can focus on the larger “big picture” issues related to running your business.

Squeeze Pages and Their Uses

The fastest way to build your list is to give away something valuable for free that people interested in the types of products, services or interests you are promoting will find irresistible.

For example, if you specialize in weight loss products, you could offer a free video that explains the “Top 10 Ways to Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days”. If you are promoting golf getaway vacations, you could give away a free 30-minute online consultation with a golf pro. Or if your goal is to create a forum in which literature fans can interact with each other, you could offer a list of the top 100 Great Books.

The free giveaway is called the Lead Magnet Report (LMR) or a lead magnet because it works the same way a polarized magnet does: It attracts people to join your list by providing them with some sort of high-value content in exchange for their email address.

Once you capture their email address, you can then use it to send an endless series of emails promoting your products, services, links to relevant content or whatever you want. You also can provide a continual supply of even more free high-value content in order to nurture your relationship with you contacts. If your subscribers know they are going to get something that they are interested in and will find whenever they receive an email from you, they will be more likely to open your emails, or at least not delete them without reading them.

List Building Is Still Useful and Powerful

While there are many ways you can reach out and find your ideal audience. List building is still one of the most useful and powerful. If you are not investing in this marking method, you just may be hurting your business. All you need is a good autoresponder, and high converting lead magnet, you will be on your way!

Resources mentioned in this article

GetResponse
This is an easy to use an autoresponder that helps you build your list and communicate with your subscribers.

Siphon Reloaded
This i s a system that provides you with a free lead magnet that helps you to build your list. (Your lead magnet will be a free website that you can give away to build your list)