List Building 101: How To Get Started Building A List

The long-term success of your business depends greatly on you building an email list community. The smartest and most successful online businessmen and women spend the majority of their time building a list of subscribers that is engaged and responsive.

This article will cover how to collect those emails, what to do with that information and the resources you’ll need to get started.

This is email list building in a nutshell: You create something of value. You give it away to people in exchange for their email address, and the right to send them emails in the future. That is really all there is to building a list, at least theoretically.

When list building, a first step is to insert an area where names and email addresses can be gathered and collected. In general, there are two choices that you’ll be faced with when deciding exactly how and where you’re going to be gathering emails:

1. List Building – Creating an Opt-in Page

Among those who are honestly going all-out to build up a list, this is the most commonly used method, simply because of its effectiveness. By creating a separate opt-in page, all the attention on that page can be focused completely on the singular goal of getting a customer to subscribe to the list.

Essentially, the best opt-in pages are those that have no ‘extras’ that may distract from the goal, and so normal advertisements and other links (except at least one leading back to the main website) are removed.

Really, it is sort of like plugging up all the ‘leaks’ so that everything just flows towards gathering up emails.

Also, having a distinct opt-in page would allow traffic to be channeled directly to it, maybe even bypassing the main website entirely. By doing so, the possibility that visitors will be distracted on the way to the opt-in page is removed as well.

Thus, the opt-in page gives the customer a two-way decision: to subscribe or not to subscribe (with everything possible being done to ensure that the former option is picked!).

Remember: With an opt-in page, your form should always be ‘above the fold’ (so that visitors will not need to scroll down to see it).

There are many Opt-in Page creators/services that you can choose from to create a high conversion page.

I highly recommend Thrive Architect and I use it myself to regularly create...

  • Opt-in Pages
  • Landing Pages
  • Sales Pages
  • Sales Funnel Pages
  • And WordPress Content

And one of the best things with this WordPress plugin is that you're not limited like you are with a theme, so you can create your vision.

To See More Tips on creating Great Capture pages, read my article, Elements Of Creating A Killer Capture Page

2. List Building – Add an Opt-in Form to the Website

Another list building option, although less effective under normal circumstances, adding an opt-in form to your site. In some websites, especially blogs, which may not want to have their traffic leaving the main website to go off to a separate opt-in page, having the form as part of an easily located sidebar could even work just as well.

Of course, doing so does not have the added benefits of removing all other distractions from the equation, but it is still better than nothing.

There are opt-in plug-ins that make adding an opt-in form to a site super simple.

I highly recommend Thrive Leads and I use it myself to create various opt-in forms for my site. They have many styles of forms that you can use on your site and numerous templates to use. These templates are easily edited to suit your needs. Here are some of the form types offered in Thrive Leads:

  • Ribbons
  • Lightboxes
  • Sidebar Widgets
  • Post Footers
  • Slide-Ins
  • In Content Forms
  • 2-Step Text and Image Lightboxes
  • Screen Filler Lightboxes
  • Scroll Mats
  • 1-Click Email Sign Up Links

Regardless of which option is chosen in order to build up a list, there’s one other key ingredient that should not be overlooked:

List Building with Autoresponders

After collecting your lead’s contact info, you now need to use it. The first email is usually a welcome email that delivers the free content you offered in exchange for their email address. You’ll want to engage with your list community regularly. Some marketers email daily, while others send emails every couple of days. The frequency is up to you, but should at least be once a week. You’ll mail these messages via an email service provider’s autoresponder.

Firstly, it is actually possible to build and maintain a list without using autoresponders at all. That said, it would be monumentally difficult, inconveniencing, and get close to being downright impossible when the list reached a large size.

Today’s generation of top-of-the-line autoresponders deal with a variety of functions. Not only do they store email addresses, but they also have the ability to send out scheduled automated emails.

Most autoresponders track a variety of statistics based not only on sign-up rates, but also on the click-through rates and open rates of emails. In short, they can do pretty much everything that you’d ever need done to help manage your list.

Just to get you started, here are the 3 well known email service providers that are currently available:

1) Aweber – By far the most established provider; it has a huge list of features, and also claims to be able to avoid junk mail filters the best.

2) GetResponse – Aweber’s main rival, it is almost as good in terms of the number of features on offer, and a lot cheaper, especially for large lists.

3) And last, but most definitely not least, Active Campaign, my email service provider of choice because of it's advanced Marketing Automation features.

Marketing Automation is really the next level of email marketing and Active Campaign leaves most other service providers in the dust.

Active Campaign is the best overall in terms of ease of use, features, advanced capabilities and pricing and I highly recommend it.

Additionally, Active Campaign integrates smoothly with the Thrive Landing Pages and Thrive Leads resources just mentioned (in fact, they use Active Campaign too! So you know that every product they create will integrate seamlessly with that email service).

Now that you have the information and some great resources, get started on building your first list.

Please stay tuned for our next article in this list building series, Elements For Creating A Killer Squeeze Page.

Peace & Marketing Mastery,

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