How to Build A Mailing List


 by: Julie Martin

One of the most effective ways of communicating with and building up your customer base is by creating a mailing list. It is getting harder and harder to do that with new SPAM laws, mail filters and the general consensus that signing up for a mailing list on a website will guarantee an instant deluge of unwanted email.

First, let’s start with how to build your list.

Before you begin, you will need to start by creating a privacy policy. You can find a free privacy policy generator by visiting:


http://www.the-dma.org/privacy/creating.shtml

This website will walk you through the steps of creating a rock solid policy that will enable your business to function smoothly, and build customer confidence.

When you are finished creating your policy, you will need to post links on your website that are easily visible to your customers. It is also a good idea to include a link to this policy on the page where you’ll be collecting your customer’s data.

Your next step will be to figure out how you would like to collect the customer data. There are several free mailing list managers available. You can choose between remotely hosted mailing lists, which handle all of the details for you, including set-up, storing information and sending out emails. Before selecting a company to handle your remotely hosted list, you will want to make sure that they do not sell customer data and that they have a good reputation.

You can also choose to install software on your site that will handle list creation and management. These programs often include a web-based control panel, which make it very simple to send out messages to your customers and maintain their data.

If you plan to have a large list, make sure that your software and you have the capability of handling it. Plan ahead to avoid embarrassing loss of data, switchovers and the need to start from scratch. If you plan on running the list manually, using your email program to send out customer messages, back up your data frequently.

You will also need to check with your web hosting service to see if they require customers to “double opt-in” to your mailing list. Basically, this means that the customer will have to reply to an email generated by the list managing program before they are added to your list. This ensures that customers will not be included to lists that they have no desire to be on, and will help you to stand out from spammers.

Now that all of the technical stuff is done, you can get to the business of building your list.

You will need to make sure customers can find your mailing list, so you will need to post links on your website that are easy to find. It helps in the beginning stage to offer a free gift, or free information as an incentive for customers to sign up. You can also include a link to sign up customers automatically if they place an order on your site.

Many sites now have pop-up windows to encourage sign-ups and this does increase your customer base significantly. However, there is nothing more annoying than a persistent pop-up. It is best to have the pop-up appear once during a customer’s session.

Now you’ve got your customer list up and running, how do you keep them interested and most importantly, how do you keep them coming back to your site for more? One easy way to do this is to offer a free ezine to your mailing list. This can keep them informed and increase their level of trust in you as a business. People feel more secure about ordering items from companies they know. You can send out your ezine daily, weekly or monthly. Just make sure your customers know how often the ezine will be sent out ahead of time, to cut down on spam complaints.

It is possible to run an informative and lucrative ezine with just a few minutes of your time. Proper planning and effective list management software will ensure your success in creating your own mailing list.

About The Author

Julie Martin is the publisher of “The Iscaweb eZine” a weekly eZine dedicated to increasing your online profits, no matter what you are selling. Julie also uses the “Plug-In-Profit” system to GREAT effect!

To subscribe to the eZine, or to learn more about the Plug-In-Profit system visit: http://www.iscaweb.com


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