If you have been involved in Internet marketing for any length of time, you have no doubt heard someone say “the money is in the list.” What they are referring to is the ability to make money from a list of subscribers to your e-mail communications. I would like to share with you why building an e-mail list is so important and offer some tips on how to use e-mail marketing effectively.

Why You Should Build an E-Mail List

The primary reason that you should build an e-mail list is because it is cheaper and easier to sell to an existing customer or lead, than it is to go out and acquire new customers. Acquiring new customers costs money whether you are using “free” traffic methods or you are paying for traffic.

Obviously, if you are using pay per click, pay per view, media buys, or some other method of paid traffic, acquiring customers will cost money. However, free traffic methods are not always free. For example, if you are optimizing your site for the search engines, you may have to pay other people to do link building for you. Even if you do all of your SEO yourself, it still isn’t free because there is a considerable time investment, and time is money.

If you have a list of warm leads or customers that have purchased from you before, you will be able to market to those people again and again at zero or very little additional cost. You might have a monthly subscription to a service like aweber or getresponse and you will have to pay a few dollars a month for those autoresponder and list maintenance services, but aside from that, you really have no additional costs.

How to Build Your E-Mail List

To build your e-mail list, you need to ask people for their e-mail addresses. This is normally done with an opt-in form that may be front and center on your homepage, or it may be in a sidebar on your website. A lot of people also use a pop-up or a slide in to draw more attention to their opt-in list.

Simply asking people for their e-mail address isn’t always enough to get all of the subscribers you want. To increase the number of opt ins, you can offer a little bit of a bribe. Give something of value away for free in exchange for people’s e-mail addresses. It could be a free report, pdf, or video that costs you nothing but it is an incentive for people to subscribe to your list.

Another Benefit of Building an E-Mail List

There are many benefits to building an e-mail list. One huge benefit that I would like to point out is the opportunity to do joint ventures. If you have a list of subscribers, you can get together with another marker with similar but noncompeting products and you can help each other out. He can send offers to his list on your behalf and you can do the same for him. This is a win-win situation because you each have the opportunity to make sales that you would not otherwise have made and you each have the chance to add additional subscribers to your e-mail lists.

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