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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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?


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!


About The Author

Charlie Page

Happily married for 41 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.


Comment navigation

  • Lelia

    Reply Reply September 16, 2014

    I pay a visit day-to-day some blogs and information sites to read posts,
    however this blog provides quality based content.

  • captnemo

    Reply Reply July 30, 2014

    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.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply July 30, 2014

      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.

  • captnemo

    Reply Reply July 30, 2014

    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?

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply July 30, 2014

      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.

  • Phyllis Thomas

    Reply Reply September 18, 2013

    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.

  • Julie

    Reply Reply September 16, 2013

    Charlie, I think one of the reasons you’re successful with your list is because you continuously add more and more value.

  • Daniel Murphy

    Reply Reply September 14, 2013

    Great post Charlie, thanks. I look forward to more on this.


  • Paul Warner

    Reply Reply September 14, 2013

    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????

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply September 14, 2013


      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.


    • Gordie Chase

      Reply Reply July 29, 2014

      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.

  • Steve Marx

    Reply Reply September 14, 2013

    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

  • Violeta

    Reply Reply January 26, 2013

    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.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply January 29, 2013

      Thanks Violeta – I look forward to working with you.

  • Chris Mays

    Reply Reply January 13, 2013

    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.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply January 14, 2013

      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.

  • terry

    Reply Reply December 5, 2012

    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… 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

  • Chris Mays

    Reply Reply October 2, 2012

    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.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply October 2, 2012

      Thanks Chris. Hearing that means a lot. My goal is to be a resource for my readers and members.

  • dan

    Reply Reply April 29, 2012

    Great article about listbuilding,a great read…
    Some good ideas which need some attention!
    thanks again.

  • Archie McKerrell

    Reply Reply April 20, 2012

    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.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply April 20, 2012

      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.


  • Jean Burzynski

    Reply Reply April 17, 2012

    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.

  • Margaret Rhinehart

    Reply Reply April 17, 2012

    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?

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply April 17, 2012

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


  • Andre

    Reply Reply April 16, 2012

    Another great article by Charlie Page.
    I agree that if you want to succeed in internet marketing you`ll need your own list.

  • Chris

    Reply Reply April 15, 2012

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

  • Randy Swineford

    Reply Reply April 15, 2012

    You just never quit! Thanks a million!

  • Doe Winfrey

    Reply Reply April 15, 2012

    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!

  • Fred Williams

    Reply Reply April 15, 2012

    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.

  • Raymond

    Reply Reply April 15, 2012

    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.

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