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It’s 2016. The best time to be building a list was yesterday!

The number one thing successful online business owners say is their biggest regret?

“Not building a list sooner”

You fit into 1 of 3 camps:

1. What is a list?

2. I’ve been meaning to do it. I want to do it. I understand the importance of it. I tried it once.

3. I’ve been growing my list, marketing to my list, learning, making loads of sales and winning at life.

If you don’t know what building a list is: It’s increasing the amount and / or quality of emails you have from people who are likely to be good customers of yours …and there’s many effective ways to do it.

When someone subscribes to your list you KNOW they’re interested in your particular product. Think about it, if you advertise on TV, radio, print or other traditional mediums you’re only hitting a fraction of the demographic that’s actually interested in what you do. If someone opts in to your email list you KNOW they like or need your product or service. It’s 100% targeted marketing.

Once you have a customer / potential customers email (providing you’re giving good value and / or good offers) you can remarket to them again and again. Most of the biggest digital startups in the last 10 years generate over 90% of their revenue through emails.

Email is the most personal. You’re in a clients hand, speaking to them directly through their inbox, far more personal than even social media. Clients / potential clients can also promote what you’ve sent them through forwarding on the email or posting on social media – giving you an even bigger reach.

Email has high conversion rate, all for a very cheap ‘cost per person’ interaction. A Facebook post currently has a reach of about 2% of your “likers” and you’ll need boosting (which you need to pay for) to get further.

Email has over 70%…

Owning It

Another essential benefit …and I can’t stress this enough, is you also OWN your list! This may sound strange but in other mediums like social media, you’re at the mercy of how these companies operate. They change the rules all the time. I’ve seen companies go down the tube solely based on Facebook changing their adverts terms of service, meaning the company can’t get new business like it used to. Same for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – a simple Google algorithm change can ruin a whole business model. OWN your list, no one can take it away from you. Users can unsubscribe, but that’s squarely on you and your content.

Also, people don’t always check their social media, but they always get round to checking their email. It doesn’t get lost in the fog either. It’ll be there whenever they decide to pick it up. That’s the reason behind the 70% figure above.

Size Does(n’t) Matter

Your list size isn’t necessarily important either. I’ve seen lists of under 100 steamroll lists of thousands in terms of engagement and sales. What’s a client worth to you? I have a client where a new client to them is worth over £5,000 a year. A very tight and targeted list of a few hundred is gold dust to them.

Using It Effectively

You can set your clients / potential clients up on a sequence of emails to tell a story, to prove your worth or relevance to their problem. To give them special offers or “first access” to a new product or service you’re launching.

If you create a new product / service from scratch or a new arm to your existing business, providing it’s industry relevant – what is better:

Building customers from scratch?


Having an existing bank of emails you can market to from day one?


You can test different types of emails, different styles, different language, different places to click through. Given all the metrics available you can find out what works best based on each receivers behavior. You can then do more of what works best to get better results each time. Get feedback from your receivers and you’ll learn more about your potential clients and how better to approach them on other mediums – even in real life!

Where should you be asking for emails?

  • On your website
  • On your blog posts (similar to the one at the bottom of the post or a pop up)
  • In your social media
  • In your social media advertising
  • By hand on any forms you give out, at say, your events
  • Ask those who give you their business card if they would like to be added

The list is almost endless.

To Sum Up

Email is:

  • Personal
  • Direct
  • Private
  • The most effective in terms of reach
  • 100% targeted
  • Used to market to your list again and again with current or new services / products
  • Used to get more sales
  • Used to get new customers
  • Used to increase traffic
  • and most important of all: You OWN your list!

So it’s one of the most effective, if not the most. It’s one of the cheapest. It’s the most personal and the most targeted because the person has voluntarily joined your list thus displaying their interest in your product or service. Has an infinite lifespan and can be started with a tiny existing list.

So, why are you not building a list?



Copywriting, Internet Marketing and Coaching

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