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October 23, 2009

HOW to build a responsive list (and WHY you must to it now)

Some people think that building a following on social networking sites eliminates the need for building their own email list. I say they are fools!

With the massive amount of information we are bombarded with, getting and keeping the “email attention” of potential and current clients, is something every business owner should be very concerned about.

In fact, when you see or hear case studies of people who go from zero to tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits in only weeks, you can be sure those people have invested time and effort to build their own list first!

Having your own responsive email list has many benefits no social media or social networking site can replace.

Consider these 5:

  1. YOU ARE IN CONTROL! With your own list you control who you communicate with, how often you contact them, and what format you send your content in.
  2. GENERATE IMMEDIATE SALES! With your own RESPONSIVE list you can generate immediate demand when you develop new products and services.
  3. ATTRACT MORE AND BETTER CLIENTS! Having your own list gives you an opportunity to create a low-risk point of entry for new potential customers. And your messages educate them about your services and allow you to invite them to work with you when YOU want to!
  4. GET MORE REFERRALS AUTOMATICALLY! When you send out good information your subscribers will naturally forward it to some of their friends – creating more visibility for you in a very natural way (and without you ever having to ask for it!)
  5. INCREASE YOUR PROFITS. Turn subscribers into buyers and one time customers into life-long clients – largely on autopilot when you understand how to properly communicate with your fans!

And building a list is actually quite easy. Making sure it is targeted, and that it remains responsive, that’s a little more difficult, but something everyone can easily learn.

Here is a simple five step process to get you started:

1. Plan Ahead! Consider how building and using your own database of fans will fit into your overall marketing activities.

At the very least give some thought to things like the subscriber and broadcast management tools you will be using, the type of content you will be sharing, the format and frequency of your messages.

2. Create Subscriber Attraction Tools. It’s not enough to just say “subscribe to my newsletter.” You must give people a compelling reason WHY they should give you their contact information and pay attention to you.

3. Build a Subscriber Catcher. Every business should have at least one website devoted entirely to generating new subscriber opt-ins. And every page of all your websites should have an invitation to become a subscriber.

4. Generate Visibility and Traffic for Your Offer. Even your best “bait” and most effective opt-in page will be useless if no one can see them. You must attract TARGETED traffic.

Start with people you already have as your customers and prospects. Use social networking connections, free press releases, article submissions, special interest discussion groups, and commenting on industry blogs as a starting base.

And remember that quality subscribers are potential customers so don’t be afraid to invest a little to acquire them. Paid advertising methods like ezine ads or PPC (Pay Per Click) are good ways to start.

5. Deliver Value and Build Relationship. Never forget you are constantly competing for your subscribers attention, so send out information they consider relative and valuable.

Remember that you don’t communicate with the “list” but with one person at a time. And – this is a secret key to long term email marketing success – realize that people have more than enough information. What they really want is connection and guidance!

The author, Adam Urbanski, teaches service professionals and business owners how to develop better marketing plan and strategies to increase sales and profits. His website offers more marketing how-to articles and free tips to create a winning marketing action plan at