If you haven’t started building a list yet, you might be asking yourself when is the right time to do. If you would ask me, I’d say the right time was yesterday. Of course it isn’t possible, but at least you will need to get started now. Not tomorrow, and not next week. Read below why you need to start building a list as early as possible.

Ask any of the well known Internet Marketers what they would choose if they would be allowed to keep just one of the tools they are using. Chances are high you will almost always get the answer: “My list.

Let me ask you something: Did you ever apply as an affiliate to promote some other marketer’s products.

If yes, then you also have come across the question: “How big is your list?”

Have you ever been asked how many Twitter followers you have, how many fans on Facebook or in how many Google+ circles you are? Usually not. The only question you get asked is: “How big is your list?

Well, rather than asking for the size of your list, it might be even better to ask for its quality. But this will be subject of another blog post, so let’s move on…

Why does someone ask about your list?

The answer is obvious. When building a list, you are building a list of followers who are interested in what you have to say. They want to hear about your experience and your recommendations. They want to learn from you. And they might even get in touch with you to ask questions or seek advice.

They can also do this via social media, I hear you say…

But email communication is different, read on…

3 reasons why to start building a list

1. Email is personal

Different to a message on any of the social media sites, your email is waiting for your subscribers in their inbox. There are no masses of messages pushing them down on the timeline in an instant, there are no systems in place filtering less liked messages out.

Just think about it for a moment. How many emails do you receive per day? Do you read them? Well, depending on the amount maybe not all, but at least you skim over them and open the ones that sound interesting. Now, how many Tweets do you receive per day? I am not going to ask if you skim all of them.

2. Email is targeted

Your subscribers opted in to your list for a reason, they are interested in your offer, your content or whatever you have to say. As you know exactly what your subscribers want, you can send them relevant content and targeted offers to achieve the best results. Since they have given their permission to send those emails, they are much more likely to click, buy or recommend your offers.

3. Email is one-to-one

While social media is typically a one-to-many communication, email is one-to-one. The message you send out does not appear on your timeline or wall, but in your subscribers inbox. This makes it a lot easier for your subscribers to interact with you, ask questions and even talk about their problems. With communicating this way you start building a relationship with your subscribers which leads to trust.

So, is building a list a guarantee to make money online?

No, it isn’t. But it is a fact that people who make money online do have a list and people who don’t make money, don’t!

What tools are needed for building a list

1. Autoresponder

An autoresponder is basically a mailing lists system that sends out pre-written messages at a specified time or interval. Once pre-loaded with your messages it will run on true autopilot as soon as someone joins your list. This gives you the time to work on driving traffic, optimizing your squeeze pages and expanding your list.

2. Squeeze Page

The squeeze page is basically a landing page that hosts the opt-in form for your autoresponder. Its only purpose is to pull in visitors and transform them into subscribers. A squeeze page can be easily done with an HTML editor like KompoZer or in WordPress with products like OptimizePress.

3. Incentive

A freebie to give away to those who sign up for your list. Usually this is an ebook, a video or an audio on a specific topic that motivates a visitor to subscribe to an email list. Often you can find people suggesting to offer PLR products as an incentive. If you decide to do so, I recommend to rewrite it – and maybe also get the graphics redone – and add your own twist to it.

Once you have subscribers added to your list you can work on building a relationship with them and improve the quality of your list.

As said above, it is not (just) about the size of your list, it is also about the quality. But more on the quality of the list in a separate post, so stay tuned.

Have you started building a list? If not, what does hold you back? What are your biggest issues with building a list? Share your experience in leaving a comment below.

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