Build Your Opt-In Email List: 7 Important Basics
by: Elizabeth McGee

You've heard it before, your best friend online is your opt-in email list.

Time and time again you have heard how important it is to develop a list of email subscribers that will allow you to place your products, special offers and priceless information in front of them on a regular basis.

Not sure about that? Let's consider the facts:

Fact: Online buyers are skeptical.

Fact: Online buyers need to trust you before they buy from you.

Fact: Online buyers require your product or service to be placed in front of them an average of 7 times before they actually buy from you.

Fact: Buyers that buy from you once are likely to buy from you again.

Fact: Your email subscribers need to be extremely targeted (interested) in what you have to offer.

Fact: Most visitors leave your site and never return.

So what do these facts mean to you? They mean your success as an online marketer depends on creating, nurturing and communicating with an opt-in email list.

This is what your email list will do for you:

- Allow you to capture your visitor so you can get them to return to your site on a regular basis.

- Allow your visitors to develop a trust in you. The best way I know to gain trust is to communicate with people. Tell them what you're about, what you offer and what your products and services can do for them.

- Keep them abreast of new products, specials and events. If they had a positive buying experience once, they're likely to buy again.

If you're a savvy business person and understand how this strategy can help you build a successful online business here's what you'll need to do.

1) Publish A Newsletter This is not as hard as it sounds. Start with a simple informational newsletter that you can send to your readers at a minimum of once a month, preferably once a week. Offer information relating to your products or services and sprinkle it with sales offers, product information, website updates, FAQ's, etc. Keep your newsletters fun and develop a writing style that has flair. You want your readers to look forward to hearing from you. Encourage feedback, respond quickly to inquiries and be helpful.

2) Invest In An Email Autoresponder An autoresponder service or autoresponder software will automatically collect your email list information. It will also allow you to send emails automatically to your list. You can pre-write your emails and schedule them however you wish. It will also send auto replies for any email you receive. The options are tremendous, however the key is automation and we all need lots of that.

3) Set Up An Email Opt-in Form Typically your autoresponder will help you create a form to put on your website. The key to setting up an opt-in form is to keep it simple. You only need to request a name and email address. Also be sure to state on your form that you will not sell or share email addresses with anyone.

4) Offer Free Incentives As an incentive to getting your viewers to subscribe to your newsletter offer them something free. You can write a simple e-book and give it away, or find an e-book online that you can give away.

Remember that if you really want someone to do something, it helps if you can give them something in return for their patronage.

5) Write articles Writing articles is an excellent way to get subscribers. It works by placing a link to your newsletter subscription in the byline of your article. If someone enjoys your article they're very likely to want to find out more and subscribe.

Not a writer? Not a problem. There are plenty of people out there willing to write articles for very reasonable fees. The amount of sign-ups you gain and the potential for sales can more than make of for the cost of the article.

6) Write an e-book Did you ever write a term paper in school? Writing an e-book is not much different. If you are knowledgeable enough to have a product and a website, you are knowledgeable enough to write an informative and useful e-book on your topic. Think carefully about your products or services and list everything you know about it. You might be surprised at how much you really know.

An e-book will capture email addresses because your e-book should promote your newsletter link as well as your website link. Try giving away your e-book to other business owners to use as a free give away. Once your e-book gets into the hands of interested parties, you're email list will grow like wildfire.

7) Join and participate in online forums. Respond to comments, answer questions and give advice when you can. Most forums allow you to create a signature line which you can setup with the link to your newsletter opt-in form or the page of your website that has your form on it. Another excellent way to build trust, promote your expertise or simply make a few business acquaintances.

If you can offer valuable information for free, establish yourself as an expert and remind your viewers to come back to your site, you'll be well on your way to achieving increased traffic and in return, increased sales.

Elizabeth McGee is the creator of Pro Marketing Online, an internet marketing tools site with no B.S., no hype, just trusted information on building your business with the very best marketing tools and software available. Sign up for her free marketing tips newsletter at:



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