List Building Overview

List Building Overview by Charlie Page

When it comes to list building there is so much information already on the market one would think that the market was saturated.

Every “guru” and his pet hamster says “the money is in the list” … and it is.

It sometimes seems like every other Warrior Special Offer is a list building scheme that can’t fail and is guaranteed to bring in thousands of hungry subscribers quickly and easily.

With so much information out there it’s easy to think that everyone except you is busy building their list and making money.

But the reality is much different.

The reality is that most people trying to sell things online struggle to get traffic when they don’t need to.

They pay endless amounts of money for courses and advertising that can work but seems to fall short of what they hoped.

But there is good news.

The good news is this… you really can begin building your own mailing list and you can start doing that today by taking some specific actions.

First let’s talk about one important thing – why would you want a mailing list of your own?

While I could write a book about this subject alone, I will limit what I feel are the compelling reasons for having a list to these two.

  1. In the history of the Internet it has been observed that a full 99% of people who succeed online long-term have a list of their own. Now that’s not scientific but it’s true.
  2. When you have a list of your own you completely eliminate advertising costs. I mean completely. With your own list you can promote anything you want any time you want and as often as you want … for zero cost.

In this series I’m going to share exactly how you can go from zero subscribers to getting new subscribers every week.

If you have a list now, I’ll share how you can grow that list larger faster.

If you know me you know I hate hype, so we’ll skip all the “instant success” methods that promise you can get 100,000 subscribers in 30 days or other out-of-this-world claims.

In order to set the stage for our little list building course it seems wise to start with the big picture.

After all, knowing what is required to do a job is the first step. If you don’t know what the end looks like how can you know if you are making a good start?

To do this let’s rely on an age-old method that works.

Let’s look at the who, what, when, where, why and how of list building.

WHO SHOULD BUILD A LIST?

There is an easy answer to this question. The answer to who should build a list is this … anyone who is serious about building an online business or making money online.

If you are marketing online as a short term thing and you aren’t really committed to succeeding online then list building is probably not right for you.

The reason is simple – once you have a list you need to stay in touch with them and let them get to know you a bit so they can like you, trust you and buy from you.

Please notice that order because it’s important. They need to like you before they can trust you. And they need to trust you before they will buy from you.

While it’s true that you can place ads and make sales, when it comes to selling with email to your own list they really need to like and trust you before they will buy in large volume.

And large volume is what we want!

WHAT IS NEEDED TO BUILD A LIST?

List building can be made to seem complicated or it can be very easy. Since I’m a simple guy I like easy.

All you need to build a list of your own are these things.

  1. A squeeze page. You can use a blog or other page but squeeze pages work best.
  2. An autoresponder to capture leads and send follow up messages.
  3. Something of value to get people to join your list. Just joining is not enough in most cases. People care about WIIFM (what’s in it for me) and providing a high-value “subscriber magnet” works well. Video series and downloadable PDF reports work especially well.
  4. Email messages you can send automatically to the people who sign up for your list.
  5. Great products to promote to your list. The goal here is to sell things, right? The way you do that is to provide helpful articles about a specific problem and then offer to solve that problem for your reader by suggesting a product. You don’t have to push the product because the sales letter of the product will do that. All you have to do is sell the click by creating curiosity.
  6. Targeted traffic. The key here is simple but all-important. Once you have your system in place you want to market to people who you KNOW need what you are offering. It’s called target marketing and it is the most important skill online.

If you have, or can learn to get, these six things you will have all you need to build a real and lasting online business.

One key is this – don’t limit your thinking to one market or niche. Once you learn to do these six things well you will be able to enter ANY market or niche and begin making sales quickly and automatically.

WHEN IS IT SMART TO BUILD A LIST?

The answer here is very important – if you are not building a list now then it’s time to get started.

If you see the logic of needing a list then make a commitment today – right now – that you will begin doing something every day toward building that list of your own.

I have spoken with literally thousands of Directory of Ezines and Follow Up Selling Systems members and can tell you that they ALL wish they had begun building their list when they started working online.

Most of them lost huge amounts of time trying this system and falling for this other hyped-up deal. We’ve all been there.

All we have is today. And today is the PERFECT time to get started building your list.

WHERE CAN I START BUILDING A LIST?

The best place to get started in my view is Aweber. Aweber is not only the best autoresponder but they have an incredible free series of videos to teach you the steps you need.

In future messages I will be covering the “where” question in more detail. Things like “where can I get traffic” or “where can I find list swaps” are important enough to deserve their own articles.

WHY WOULD I WANT TO BUILD A LIST?

Easy answer – to make money by selling things. That might mean affiliate marketing or selling your own product or something else.

But if you are online to make money then list building matters… a lot.

I’ll repeat the two reasons given above. They bear re-reading.

  1. In the history of the Internet it has been observed that a full 99% of people who succeed online long-term have a list of their own. Now that’s not scientific but it’s true.
  2. When you have a list of your own you completely eliminate advertising costs. I mean completely. With your own list you can promote anything you want any time you want and as often as you want … for zero cost.

Here’s another reason – when you have a list you become a sought-after joint venture partner. You might not believe me right now but trust me when I say that if you build a powerful list the top marketers online will come a knockin’ on your door. They will want to reach YOUR audience. How cool would that be?

HOW CAN I START BUILDING A MAILING LIST?

The first step is to see the big picture. I hope this article helped you do that.

Take a moment to review the six points in the “What is needed” section above. That really is the road map we all follow when it comes to list building.

Begin today making a list (no pun intended) from that section of what you have and what you need. Use it as your list-building blueprint if you like.

I will tell you that having a mailing list of my own, and knowing what to do with it and how to develop trust and relationship, has been the most profitable thing I’ve ever done online. Including owning the DOE, writing 10 books and more.

About twice a year I’m asked “what would you do if you lost everything – how would you start over?”

My answer probably won’t surprise you — I would focus 100% of my efforts on building a list and giving the people on that list incredible value.

Once you do that selling takes care of itself and becomes automatic.

And having an automated selling system (or 12 of them) is a beautiful thing indeed!

 

    • Happily married for 40 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and owner of The Directory of Ezines, Follow Up Selling Systems, Common Sense Blog Blueprint and other membership sites.

      Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published.

      67 thoughts on “List Building Overview

      1. The leads are from marketing done with Big Idea Mastermind. No Sales yet, and I’m wondering what my next step with them should be. Thanks again, Charlie.

        • If they are in your GetResponse account and have not bought the first thing you offered them, you might write to them and ask what they do need.

          There are a lot of variables here that will determine if this list can be salvaged. The amount of time that has passed, what messages they have received, the source of the leads and more will ultimately determine what happens.

          But it’s always a good choice to try and help and to be of service, so offer to help them and see if they respond.

      2. Thanks, Charlie. My question is about GetResponse. I have about 250 contact names from several campaigns I’ve run over the past year. Is this my list? Are these just leads? I’ve gotten very little help from my business site and GetResponse itself. Am I on the right track?

        • Whether it is “your” list or not depends in part on how you acquired the names. If they opted in for more information from you, whether on GetResponse or not, they are your leads. If they came from another source then there might be a question.

      3. Enjoyed the article immensely, Charlie. I consider myself blessed to have found you because of your level-headed approach to building an online business. No hype – just simple and real common sense with an obvious thread of genuine concern for those you are reaching out to. Many blessings to you, your family and staff.

      4. I agree with the whole premise of building a list and there many good suggestions here especially the Aweber videos, but here is where I am confused. Say I want to build a blog or a website, is the squeeze page the first page of either of them, or do you build the blog and websites, and then you have to develope a squeeze page that gets the optin information with a link for them to click to your website. From what I read that you wrote I could develope a 100 different squeeze pages all with different products that I am selling with each having their own list and make money that way, is that true or what is it that I missing here????

        • Paul,

          There are many options for this. I think it depends on your goal. If you goal is to sell a single product then a squeeze page and follow up system works best. If you want to publish information to build credibility and then offer products your audience wants and needs then a blog with a sign up form might work best.

          So it’s not an “either or” situation because you can use both a squeeze and a blog, depending on your goals.

          Hope this helps.

          Charlie

        • A squeeze page is designed to both pre-qualify your prospect and collect their information if you just want to increase subscriptions to your blog you should add at least two ways for people to subscribe on all of your pages if it’s word press use widgets. For each of the different products you should create landing pages on your blog optimized for those specific products so that these pages could be found on google. Regardless of what anybody tells you the fastest and easiest way to build your list is with paid traffic it definitely had the best ROI and it’s scaleable.

      5. Hi Charlie,
        I enjoyed this post and do enjoy being on your email list.
        I enjoy getting your emails….. from one marketer to another, if you can have people enjoy receiving your emails, you know your doing something right :) Thanks Charlie

      6. Hello Charlie thank for this information.I just join your fuss platinum offer.I have been following you for a while.I would like to learn.I have been out of work since my accident 2007 life since then is changed and lots of challence.
        you inspired me and would like to learn from you what there is to learn to be successfull online as this could be the only way I could work and keep me more
        inform and busy.thank you and more power to you and to your family.My friend Betty give methis website for me to work so Ican share.

      7. Hi Charlie: You’ve done it again! I want to personally thank you for the information on List Building. It is going to come in handy for the project I’m working as we start 2013. I’ plan to incorporate it into learning html, and building my website. I’m sure it will all come together. Again thanks to you for all that you make possible in this wonderful endeavor. Really looking forward to getting this project underway. Blessings to you and your family.

        • Blessings to you too Chris. Thank you for your comment. I’m so happy the information is helpful and wish you well with your new project. Keep me updated on your progress as your time allows.

      8. charley…..I certainly appreciate you views and honest approach to this style of marketing…….I am at a loss as to how to envelope the whole thing into a process…..through your input I am aware of autoresponders, squeeze /landing pages and the need to have a hosted website. How does one create the landing page when I can not even tell you the difference between HTML and fuel injected turbo charges combustion engine? Where to go to make –or is it more important to learn how to make a landing page…I am just know beginning the blogging process…..do you have some type of check list of steps/procedures that reveals how to work with the technical side of the internet offerings…..I can run an excel spreadsheet as good as anyone in the country—but I am at a loss to find anything that gives me the opportunity to create my own ” buttons, knobs, radio dials, etc………or will I be introduced to this aspect when obtaining a URL and hosting package…..I have just been furloughed from a 28 year career, so I am excited/motivated to take this as an opportunity to do things and have success as I have never before experienced…..thanks TERRy

      9. Dear Charlie: This article is right on time!There’s so many gurus online one doesn’t know where to turn. I’m pleased to know I can direct my attention and time to Directory of Ezines to get my answers. It’s such a delight to have you as part of my answer. Thanks! Thanks! for all that you do.

      10. Thanks Charlie! I am sure you are right in emphasizing the importance of building trust as much as building numbers in the list. I have a list of about 500 in IM but they are not very responsive as I have neglected the relationship-building. I am determined to do better with my blog.

        • That’s a good list size. Depending on how you built it, and what you do next, you should be well on your way. I have an article about building trust coming next week. I hope you find it helpful.

          Charlie

      11. Charlie, I always enjoy reading everything that you write. I could put down 100 adjectives to describe your writing and my positive reactions to it, and still probably not hit the nail on the head. I’m a struggling soul who does not yet have enough direction of my own to reach out for help, but you’re at the top of my list if I can ever get my act together. Don’t stop what you do for us all!! Jean B.

      12. Thanks Charlie,
        I now understand totally why I should immediately build my list! Will AWeber help and explain to me how to create my Squeeze page?

        • They have some good tutorials on that. I’m writing an article about building squeeze pages next week and hope that helps as well.

          Charlie

      13. Charlie:
        Great information. You make one’s attempt to conquer their task so simple and quite understandble. Thanks for all you do.

      14. Charlie, thank you, thank you for generously giving your knowledge. Your servant like, straightforward manner is refreshing and motivating. Finally, a real role model! I will learn from you in this course and I pray I get my funds together for DOE before it is closed.

        God Bless, you Charlie-a fan and “mentee”-Doe Winfrey!

      15. Great post Charlie. In my opinion, if you are trying to build an online business and you are not building a list, you are really just wasting your time. I have two mentors who have both made over a million dollars online. They both focus on building a list as a primary part of their business. I asked one of them is he believed that the quickest way to name “BIG” money online was building a list and creating your own products. Guess what he said, he said that this was absolutely correct. If you want to generate a huge income fast online, you absolutely MUST build a responsive email list.

      16. Raymond says
        April 15,2012 at 4:34 PM

        I have always been wondering how to be able to build
        a list. Your article here gives a great insight.
        Thanks a lot.
        Raymond.

      17. Charlie,

        Thanks for this. I will enjoy it with a smile.
        Even in the Netherlands I can use it and with great profit
        Thanks again
        Annet

      18. Charlie….buddddddy…… I have been on your list for along time and always wanted to buy the DOE Membership but could never afford it….did muster up this list building page though….thanks for everything you do …….I even have a Charlie Page Folder in my Thunderbird Email Program ……and yes you can use this as an endorsement …You The Man Charlie…and 2 Daughters too…God Bless Mate…… I am the Divorced Dad ….. with just 1 14 yr old daughter…scary…Hey Chuck…..maybe a how to guide for dad’s ;-) of daughters eh! Yeah I’m Canadian…luv ya buddy, keep it coming……. we ( your list) are paying attention/thrash

      19. Charlie
        Thank you for the valuable information, as always you over deliver!
        I very fortunate to be one of you subscribers and always look forward to reading whats in my inbox from you.
        Mt Davis

      20. Charlie,
        Thanks for the great information. This is exactly what is needed and overview to let us all know what’s necessary to build a list.

      21. Thanks Charlie, I have been around IM for a few years now and always hesitated to go forward with list building. You have given me an “ah,ha!” moment :)

      22. Thank you Charlie. I have printed these out already and will be keeping them for motivation and an action plan. I started building a list in November 2011 and actually now have about 1400 people on my list.
        People who actually buy stuff and reply to me!
        There is a feeling here Charlie, that you have been profoundly changed by 2011. Your desire to create a positive legacy to the world has been sharpened in some ways. Sorry if that is too personal. But I am grateful to you for all you have done.
        Goodness does triumph.

      23. Thank you Charlie,
        to layout what to do and when, I’m online long enough I should know better but I don’t.
        I’m getting Frustrated where to start, now I have proper way from you to follow.

        I signup for Follow Up Selling System but wondering How I’ll used when my list is 0.
        Hoping to heare about in near future.

        • Hi Charlie, New to Computers, Lack experience, Anxious to make money. Please suggest how I can launch my products and possibly get some help with list building which I have heard mention a lot and seems to be very important although I have never done it and frankly I do not know how to. Awaiting your kind reply. Thank you. CLIFF.

      24. Charlie, 40+ years of teaching private music lessons taught ME pretty much the same thing you are sharing here. There are basic skills, and really just a few important ones at that. Yet week after week, my students would come in wanting me to ‘teach them something new’; wondering when they would ever get to the ‘good stuff’ that would make them an instant great piano player.

        So it is with list building and dare I say, virtually anything else in life. We spend so much time searching for ‘answers’ when the Acres of Diamonds are right there in our back yards. A few simple tools, a bit of hard work, and the determination to not only follow a simple plan but to FOLLOW THROUGH with it would uncover riches beyond even the wildest expectations and dreams.

        One of the reasons people trust you so much is that you consistently give the same answer, stressing the basics, month after month, year after year, never wavering. When we stray too far off shore, Charlie ‘the anchor – the lighthouse’ is there to guide us back in with the tried and true proven methods that stand the test of time.

        We are truly blessed to have your leadership.

        All the best from Toronto,
        Russ

        • Bulls-eye! Same experience here as a real estate investing teacher for 12 years! A few basic principles applied religiously will eventually work. I see it all the time. I think its the “applied religiously”, the “eventually” and the “work” that we want to skip over. And the possibility that we might fail. But those are the things that successful people talk about when asked the “secret” to ther success. Hard work. Hard times. Failure. Sticking to it. Its part of the process. And I’ve found that it’s not enough to be committed to the prize…you have to be committed to the process.

      25. Liked your article Charlie but I’d like to see you address building relationships with the people on your list since you do it so well. It’s no good building a large list that’s not responsive.

      26. Hi Charlie,
        Like you say having a list is crucial for serious marketers and enables you to provide great value to the people on your list and by developing relationships they are more likely to get to know, like and trust you so they are more likely to buy. Everyone wins.
        I look forward to your next post. Thanks
        Regards
        David

      27. Charlie,
        I’ve been a DOE member for a little over a year and been very interested in Internet marketing for a several years; since I lost my business to the “New Economy”:-(.

        From the beginning I heard “the money is in the list” but was so “hungry” to make some extra income I have jumped from one get rich quick scheme to the other with NO results. Since I have no list I have even purchased Solo ads in ezines through DOE and still Zero response. I mean Zero! Needless to say, I am very disappointed and just about at the end of my rope.

        I have known all along that I needed my own list but everything I read about building a list seemed over my head and I couldn’t get it straight in my mind where to start and how to do it. I could not figure out which came first the list or the auto-responder. Thanks to this very informative list building mini course I finally see the big picture.

        Early in my 50+ years of sales and marketing I learned the KISS rule; Keep It Simple Salesman. And since I’m a very simple person I really don’t have any other choice. I like the way you keep it simple. Thank you very much for boiling list building down to six simple steps so even we simple minded people can understand it. I’m tying a knot in the end of my rope and will begin list building pronto.

        Thanks again.

      28. Good job, Charlie! I’m following this series with a lot of interest. I’m about launch 2 membership sites, so definitely have a personal interest. My “end in mind”?…Build one up & sell in 2 years to retire (in College Station, BTW), build the other up & keep, to stay busy when the grandkids are off to gymnastics or whatever! Info. marketing offline/email has been very good to me, now I want to take it online, then go fishing in 2 yrs. Build-up site is based on current business, so not starting from scratch. Second site will also appeal to my current list.
        Another thought. I know this series is about list-building. I hope you talk some about list-keeping, too. I know so many gurus who have 50K+ lists but are lucky if 2% open their emails anymore. You are very good at nurturing, caring for and respecting your list. I’d love to see your thoughts on that very important topic. It makes selling sooo much easier.
        Hope the back is doing well.

      29. I have tried other “guru’s” list building formula’s and had a so so result.
        I will follow this series steps to the T and see what happens.

        This should be fun!

      30. I have only 2 things to say about this article Charlie.

        #1) Well done and right on the mark, as usual

        #2) If anyone has been following you very long and paying any attention at all they would have heard you say this many, many times.

        However, it is always good to hear it new again.

        Thanks,
        Clyde

      31. Great article, Charlie. You always make it sound simple, and I guess it is to a degree. However, the step called Targeted Traffic can be a killer.

        Looking forward to more on that subject.

        Thanks!

      32. Thanks for sharing your ideas, Charlie. As usual, they’re very informative and down to earth. Although what you’re saying isn’t new to me and, I think, to most people reading your blog, we probably just need someone to remind us to do the necessary steps to list building.

        It’s either we just haven’t come around to doing the important things you mentioned, or even if we did we’re not doing the right things in their proper order and we end up getting frustrated because things don’t work enough to our satisfaction. I know -been there, done that. I have all the six points you mentioned above, but I’m still not getting the subscriber numbers I want — maybe one or two every other week, sometimes none for a month. I seem to be missing something. The answer will probably come from your other posts later — I hope.

        Anyway I’m looking forward to the rest of your series on list building.

        Cheers and all the best!

        • Ed, i feel your frustration and you’re not alone. I’m having almost the same situation as you except with a little better optin rate but no sale yet. Somehow, i felt there’s something missing somewhere but just can’t seem to put my fingers on it.
          Let’s hope Charlie’s future blog can answer that.

      33. Great post, Charlie. It’s true, the money is in the list. I’ve been working on my list for almost 18 months and have just over 2500 subscribers. My goal is to get to 10000 subscribers within another 12 months. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.
        Chuck

      34. Thanks for this great outline Charlie.

        Many folk run round in circles not knowing these basics, so if they stop day-dreaming and take notice, they’ll build a list slowly but surely. It’s worth emphasising that list-building is a strategic and deliberate thing, not magic or wishful thinking or aimless potshots at every target.

        Keep up the good work
        Best regards
        Stephen
        New Zealand

      35. Hey Charlie! Good stuff here. I have always been kind of unyielding when it comes to expressing the importance of building your list. I’m one of those people you described above, who didn’t listen to anyone about this my first 3 years in the industry and wish I could get those first 3 years back.

        I just recently wrote an article on my blog about it.
        http://workwithclay.com/internet-marketing-success-begins-with-building-your-list/

        I would love to post your article on my blog, too, if it’s ok with you. I can copy your Author’s box contents and link back to your blog of course. Do you mind?

        • Clay,

          Would be better if you wrote a short post about what you liked and then linked to my article. Duplicating my article on your blog opens us both up to duplicate content penalties and neither of us wants that.

          Charlie

          • Hi Charlie,
            Great info I’m on your list and you educate me so well i don’t have any experience don’t have a list but wants to start from the beginning how do i start.Once i join DOE lifetime membership would you guide me.zak

      36. I love this mini-course/ article style Charlie.

        It’s Friday, we’re all busy, yet I still enjoy a quick valuable read.

        Excellent. Thank you!

      37. Charlie,

        Thanks for the information. I’m currently on vacation for another week, but when I return home I’ll put somethings into action.

        Again, thank you,

        David E. Hill