Simply put, an email list is a database that holds a list of names and email addresses that you keep which allows you to communicate with people who have given you their permission to receive your emails or newsletters. Now it is important to note that you can not add people to your email list on your own, they must confirm that they truly want to receive information from you.
If you think of it in the offline world, Latest Mailing Database it is equivalent to giving a brick and mortar business your name, phone number, and/or address, where they can then send you promotional materials, coupons, or newsletters. This is the same thing, but with the internet.
There is a good chance that you are on at least one, if not several, email lists already. So, now that we have a good understanding of what an email list is, I want to discuss the benefits of building an email list for your online business (no matter what the business, an email list can make a big difference in recurring income).
I want to make a quick list for you, and then touch on each point, so below are some of the major benefits of building an email list for your online business:
Allows you to communicate with previous customers
Allows you to send out promotional emails to previous customers
Allows you to inform previous customers of new products/services
Allows you to do all the above, but with subscribers who have not bought from you yet. (Are you starting to see the benefits already?)
Now let's touch on the above, for example, let us say that someone came to your website and purchased a product. Now, if they have no way to sign up for updates from you, there is a good chance you may never see them again. If you never see that customer again, you must focus your efforts on sending more and more new traffic to your website every single day. Now lets imagine that they are part of your subscriber list and they have opted-in to receive future updates from you. You have a new product releasing, and you send out an email to your subscribers, now you have an opportunity to send pre-qualified buyers directly to your website at the push of a button. Sounds great doesn't it? Well it is important you do not send your subscribers to many messages in to short of a time, or you end up spamming them, and you will lose them via the un-subscribe option.
Perhaps you carry real inventory that you ship out, and it is time to make room for some new products coming in. What better way to get the word out and carry out this goal then by sending out an email blast that has a coupon code for a percentage off, only for your loyal subscribers! Wow, wouldn't that make them feel special, and help you achieve your goal of moving products?
This also provides you the opportunity to do what is called "pre-selling" to your subscribers who have yet to buy from you. You see, you can segment your email list into buyers and non-buyers, which allows you to send out different emails to different segments. You can send out informational emails and coupons to your non-buyers, and increase the chances of them actually purchasing a product. And without them being on your email list... this would never happen because you wouldn't be able to communicate with them otherwise.
But I've talked enough about the benefits, I am sure your mind is racing with ideas already, I know mine was when I got started. Now lets talk about some of the ways you can actually build this list.
The first thing you need to do is set up what is called an auto-responder. There are both free and paid options, and each has their benefits. It is best to do some research and try out what you feel is going to work best for you. The auto-responder is what is going to allow you to both manage and email your list, as well as create the boxes (called opt-in boxes) in which people will actually subscribe to your list.
Second, you will set up your email campaign, and prepare some emails for future subscribers. The beauty of it is that you only have to write the email once, and as people subscribe, they receive your pre-written emails in the sequence in which you wrote or loaded them.
Now that you have your auto-responder and your emails ready to go, you just put your opt-in box onto your website and start sending traffic. You will want to place your opt-in box somewhere noticeable, but not in the way of your main information. If you have a blog, you can ask nicely for your readers to subscribe for future updates via your opt-in box.
The toughest part about building a list is getting the traffic to your website. This is of course assuming that you have a website that provides quality information that fills a need to the online community in which you choose to serve.