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First Lesson - Your First Email List

By Expert Author: Jeff Volz

Welcome to the first lesson in the Your First Email List crash course. Over the next few days you will receive several lessons that will help you learn the ins and outs of building and making a profit from your very first email list.

In this first lesson, we are going to go over some of the important do's and don't of list building, so that you can get started building your own profitable list right away.

One of the most powerful tools in online marketing is an email list. An optin list is simply a database of people's names and email addresses. Usually this information collected from them via a web form, which gives the list owner permission to send subscribers periodic emails on specific topics that interest them.

The best part of this powerful tool is that it gives the list owner the ability to communicate and build a relationship with people who are interested in their business, products, or services. When it comes to effective list building there are a few do's and don'ts that you should know before you start your own optin mailing list.

First lets go over some of the things you should do:

- Always, inform people that they can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time. Be sure the let them know that their information is safe and that you will never rent, sell or share their email address with anyone.

- Make sure that let your subscribers know what you will be sending them. It is important that you ask people permission to send them promotional email when they subscribe to your mailing list so that you can reduce your risk of being accused of sending SPAM.

- Be clear about how people can benefit from subscribing and how often will you contact them. Let them know exactly what they will be receiving.

- If you can, contact new subscriber as soon as you can. Welcome them with notes and tell them what to expect. A good autoresponder service will help you do this automatically.

- Make it easy to subscribe by having a highly visible subscription form or link on the main pages of your website. Signing up should take as little time as possible and don't ask for too much information right away. A name and email address is all you need to get started.

- After someone subscribe then you should collect more data. For instance, you may want to know their company name, industry, or location. You can do this by including a survey in your emails to gauge interests. It's important to understand where people are coming from so you can make adjustments in your communications or promotions.

- When you write an email, put yourself in the reader's shoes and ask, "Why shouldn't I hit the delete key right now?" Your readers didn't subscribe because they want to hear a sales pitch. They have a reason for wanting information from you. It could be to save time, money, or effort, or improve productivity and success. Your emails must be
compelling enough to convince people to sign up, valuable enough to keep them wanting more, and useful enough to pass along.

Next, are the things you shouldn't do:

- Add everyone who has ever emailed you to your list. Always ask permission first.

- Purchase bulk email lists that you are not 100% sure that are optin. Always have an evidence to prove the legitimacy of the email addresses.

- Abuse the trust of your subscribers. This is a sure way to ruin your reputation, business and your chance of success. When you abuse your subscribers and bombard them with unwanted email, they will ignore your messages, unsubscribe or even worse report you as a spammer.

- Don't offer fantastic incentives for subscribing. Although this may seem like a great idea, you will end up getting subscribers that only want the reward, not to learn valuable information about what your business, products and services can do for them. Instead, use incentives that are useful such as a free report, seminar, or more information about your products & services.

- Bombard your subscribers with too many emails. How many are too many? This will depend on your message. During the subscription process, let people know what they are getting before they join.

- Don't be reluctant to address the needs of your subscribers. Keep your information focused. It is important to give them what they want. This will keep them on your list and wanting more. If you're information drifts off topic or is too generic you will lose subscribers as fast as you get them.

- Spend too much money acquiring email addresses. An optin list is a valuable asset and that means there is an investment on your part to build and maintain it. But, budget reasonably and in advance, find the most cost effective ways for reaching your target audience and know exactly how much it will cost to acquire each new subscriber. Keep in mind potential revenue, and lifetime value of each customer, and chose accordingly.

That's it for this lesson. In your next lesson, we will be talking more about building and managing your new list. If you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to help.

There are 5 parts to this Ecourse. Visit our site to get the rest.
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