Before You Start Collecting Names

by | Sep 3, 2010 | Building Relationships, Marketing & Selling

collecting names
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There are four things you will need to build your list:

1. A purpose for your list.
2. An autoresponder system.
3. An opt-in form.
4. A focused web page for collecting opt-ins.

And you will need them in that order. So let me go over them one by one.

A Purpose

Yes, of course, you’re going to have a personal or business purpose for your list … you want to have a list of people you can send your offers to. But that isn’t going to help you grow your list.

No. You need to have subscriber-focused purpose. This the purpose that will drive people opt-in to your list. Here are some examples:

  • To keep people up-to-date on new books, book signings and appearance.
  • To educate people on your area of expertise.
  • To build a community of like-minded individuals around a central cause, interest or purpose.

Be clear on that purpose and use it as your guide when developing content to send to your list.

An Autoresponder System

Do not … and I emphatically mean do not … use your own email box to send emails to your list. Not only can this make managing a list near impossible as it grows, but it also opens you up to all sorts of problems.

A good autoresponder system will allow you to set up a series (or several series) of emails that automatically go out to anyone who subscribes and to broadcast individual messages.

I use Aweber for this purpose, but there are other options, such as iContact, Constant Contact and MailChimp.


An Opt-In Form

This is the form on your website that collects the subscribers name and email address and sends it to your autoresponder system. This form can be simple or fancy. I can ask for only the email address or for additional information, such as name and address.

How you make your opt-in form appear on the page, as well as what information you require to opt-in, depends on the purpose of the opt-in list. Generally speaking, the less information you ask for, the higher the opt-in rate.

A Focused Web Page

Yes, you can put an opt-in box on your blog or website, and you will get the occasional prospect to opt in to your list. But, to really focus in on list building, you’ll need a dedicated squeeze page.

This is the page you’ll send people to at the end of your articles on article directories and guest blog posts. This is the page you’ll send folks to when you are a guest on someone’s teleseminar or online radio show. This is the page you want to drive as much traffic to in any (ethical) way you can come up with.

Once you have these four things lined up, then you can boldly go and build your list and start concentrating on what to do with the subscribers you’ll be gaining!

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