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Building An Email List

By Yaro Starak
17 Comments

***Update***

BONUS – I’ve just recorded a 10 minute companion podcast recording to go with this article. The podcast will only be sent to people that subscribe to the mailing list (it comes 24 hours after you subscribe), it will not be released on this blog. You can sign-up at the end of this article.

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If you know anything about online marketing you know that an email list is probably the most important ingredient for success. Your email list is your list of prospects, people that are interested in what you offer, and some of them will hopefully one day become your customers.

The email list is a powerful marketing tool because it’s targeted. The process of signing up subscribers to the list should qualify your members as relevant prospects. What you offer therefore is very important because it impacts on the type of people that will subscribe to your list and how many will subscribe.

There is no magic formula for what you should offer for subscribing to a list and as with all marketing you should test to find out what works best. One of the most common methods, especially early on in the email marketing days, is the newsletter format. Periodically, usually once or twice a month, you send out an interesting newsletter to your subscribers. The content could be a single article or a collection of relevant news, articles and resources.

In the more recent history of email marketing the free report or e-course giveaway has been a common enticement to get visitors to sign-up to a list. This format is part of the early stage of what is called an online marketing funnel – a systematized process of collecting suspects, turning them into prospects, then customers then repeat customers. The report or e-course serves to give away some free information, valuable information, that demonstrates your skills and expertise as a teaser of what your full products or services offer, which are upsold to the email list automatically using autoresponders after the e-course or report has been delivered.

Another method to build a list is offering summaries of the content you already produce or other people produce, providing website links to the full articles. In this case the email list serves as a reminder to bring people back to the website so they don’t have to check in everyday. This method is often used by website owners that generate income from advertising. The email list brings readers back to the site to read the articles, increasing page impressions and hopefully click through rates and revenues.

Having an email list can also be a pseudo bookmarking tool. You may not offer any regular content for your list and simply call it a members list stating that you will send out announcements to the list whenever you launch something new, write a good article or come across something that readers would also like to read. This method allows readers to keep in touch without the list owner having to commit to producing anything on a regular basis. It’s simply a notification list when something of interest comes up that allows members to keep tabs on you and your website without checking in everyday.

Building An Email List – Follow My Case Study

If you are reading this article from the Entrepreneur’s Journey website you will no doubt see the big fat subscribe box at the top of the site and yes, you guessed it, I’m building a list. This is the first time I have attempted to build an email list on the topic of Internet business as all my previous lists have been related to my other businesses. I figured that most of my readers are interested in online marketing hence the process of building an email list would be a very interesting case study.

The Entrepreneur’s Journey email list is going to be my master list for all things related to this blog and my online business activities. As you can see at the moment I have positioned the list as a method for subscribers to keep up to date with the articles I write on this blog. I will be sending out a notification to the list immediately after I post one of my large instructional or commentary articles. I will not be sending notification to the list for every post made to this blog, only for the big articles I write (if you read my blog often enough you will know what I mean by the *big* articles), not the news pieces or small articles.

However list members will enjoy a lot more than just links to my articles. It will be a launch list, so subscribers will be the first to know exactly what I am up to regarding the launch of my online business projects, they will receive my information products first (I’ll be distributing my free whitepaper e-book to the list in the near future) and will also be the first to know about my e-courses or special articles and websites that I produce. Basically it will be the master list for anyone interested in the content I produce teaching and discussing online marketing and Internet business.

Market Testing

I’m going to be as transparent as I can be regarding this case study. Since you will likely be a participant if you join my list, as well as an observer if you follow this case study, it will allow you to gain a unique insight into the list building process from both sides of the fence.

As I stated above, at the moment the list is pitched as a means to keep track of my big blog articles. This will be a test to see how many subscribers can be attracted with this angle. I will also test nearly every method I mentioned at the start of this article to attract new subscribers. The focus will always be aimed at attracting people wanting education and information on Internet business and online marketing but I will test out different sign-up methods.

My e-book whitepaper on Internet business is almost finished. Once it is ready I will use it as a free giveaway for people that subscribe to the list. The same thing will happen with a free e-course I will probably have ready early next year. I’ll also have limited offers on special podcast audio recordings, article packages and other free content. I’ll place sign-up boxes on other websites, and some will focus only on getting sign-ups using techniques like the namesqueeze and micro sites (landing pages only).

It will be an ongoing process that I hope will help me to establish an email list of at least 1000 targeted prospects within 12 months, maybe more if things go well. I’ll report back the milestones to this blog from time to time but for the moment if you want to get in on the action there is only one thing you need to do – subscribe!

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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17 Comments

  • What do you mean by ‘namesqueeze’?

  • Dominic – a namesqueeze is when you “force” visitors to your site to enter their name and email address before gaining access to the main site. Basically you have a very small landing page with a little sales copy explaining what the site offers followed by the sign-in box. This is an aggressive method to get email list sign-ups before even showing content.

  • Nathan Waters

    I see ‘free’ and I’m in! :D

  • I signed up for the newsletter; I hope things turn out well for you.

    “Namesqueeze” is a pretty good idea, however I was thinking of another approach. Many Web sites use this method but I’m not sure what the actual name is.

    A user goes to a Web site and sees a lot of things going on. People talking, leaving messages, content being changed from the Web site administrators, etc. They want to participate in the fun as well, but there’s a catch: “You need to be a registered user before you can do that. It’s FREE !” …

    Something of that nature. Many places use this and even this very Web site. To post a comment on Entrepreneurs Journeyyou need to input certain information. Of which is your name, e-mail and possible URL. This type of information can prove to be invaluable to a site administrator.

    Other Web sites, like online dating – for example – use this as well. Users see different people with pictures, can do a ‘simple’ search, etc. To message users, or do ‘advanced’ searches – to name a few – they need to register. At the point where the user registeres, both parties – the Web site owner, and the registered user – receive what they need.

    The notion of a ‘teaser’ is found in many of the methods. Bait the user, then reel em in with a registration. Free, of course, to make it more enticing.

    Regarding your list, let us know your progress. Many entrepreneurs seek to use tried, true, and tested methods in order to become more successful in their venture.

  • One suggestion that I have is to create a privacy policy and to provide a link near your sign up boxes for it. You may have one here, but just looking over this page really quickly I did not notice it, so it is not prominant if you do have one. It may make it easier to collect those email addresses.

  • Pat

    I didn’t know it was called “namesqueeze”, but personally, I don’t like it. When I do get to a website like that, I just leave. I get enough junk mail, so I like to know something about the site before I agree to let them send me email.

    I will sign up for your email list though, Yaro! I enjoy your site so I think I will like the emails too.

  • Beau

    Yaro,

    Great Stuff here! Keep up the good work!

  • I’m with Pat on this one. I dislike the concept of the ‘namesqueeze’ and will boycott sites or put in false information if I really require to access the content. Sounds dishonest I know, but due to my paranoia about the legitimacy of many sites, and my complete distrust of many websites, particularly the ones that espouse the mantra of ‘WE PROMISE NOT TO ON-SELL YOUR DETAILS’ leads me to this state of mind.

    Thats my two cents, but saying that I’m currently looking into doing a mailing list like feature for the client I work for, and your article has just reminded me that I better get my finger out.

  • Building An Email List

    For the past few days, I’ve been writing about publishing an ezine or building an email list on this blog. And I will be rolling out a few more in the next few weeks.
    Some of the articles that I’d like to highlight here are
    Publishing an…

  • dave

    Namesqueeze is the way to go for Niche list building. There is no way around it.

    You give away a free report or software or whatever and have the namesqueeze so they can get the download instructions sent to them.

    Meanwhile they subscribe to your ezine as well so you can stay in touch with them.

    Not only that but you use the namesqueeze so that on your salespage that comes right after they subscribe it is changed so it has their name inserted into it.

    This is THE prooven most effective method of building huge lists and converting a high percentage of sales with the customized salespage.

    My company is actually developing some new scripts that will make namesqueeze obsolete, but until then its the way to go for building huge niche lists and making lots of sales.

  • It’s hard not to at least test the namesqueeze method. You may not like it but if it works that much better than other techniques it’s hard not to use it.

  • I’m actually on the lookout for user-friendly and customizable newsletter engines. What are you using? And care to suggest any other?

    Cheers.

  • Interesting article.

    I wrote two brief articles about the increasing use of “Squeeze” pages a couple of weeks ago.

    They can definitely increase sales, but they can also lose you sales.

    It really depends on how good the web copy is and what you are offering.

    I am very reluctant to part with my EMail address these days, because of the amount of people that use autoresponders to spam.

    This means that sometimes I don’t bother giving them my EMail address and just leave.

    If I leave, then it is normally because they have not given me enough information for me to part with my valuable EMail address.

    Or, it is because they have failed to persuade me that their product or service is going to benefit me.

  • Danny- When you say newsletter engine, are you referring to a piece of software that will generate a newsletter template for you or the software that handles the email sending?

    I use the aweber script to handle email broadcasts and send out plain text emails.

  • jules

    I just wanted to let you know that most people I know will never really give away their email adress somewhere before they have had a good look at the site, if they need a working email adress, they’ll just put in their “junk” mail adress (yahoo, …), or, as is the case with most namesqueezes, they only need to type something like sqdsq@sqd.com and they are through. So in the end, if the user doesn’t subscribe by himself, it doesn’t have any real value.
    As for testing different incentives to get subscribers, I generally have more of bookmark reflex, and don’t really care about the incentives (nowadays pretty much everyone is offering some mini-course on something), but will come back later, and if the owner seems fine and the content is updated I’ll subscribe to know more.

    P.S. Sorry if my english isn’t that good.

  • [...] lots of people like Yaro have explained the benefits of having an email list – especially when it comes to monetization and affiliate marketing, and I think I can use this blog [...]

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