Why You Should Have Started Building A List Yesterday

Why You Should Have Started Building A List Yesterday

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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  • Graeme Ashe

    Reply Reply March 30, 2014

    Hi Torsten

    Very informative post.

    To answer your first question. Yes I have started building my list and have found that if you can give something like free software away that it works very well.

    Look forward to more of your posts!



    • Torsten

      Reply Reply March 30, 2014

      Hi Graeme,

      thanks for stopping bye and commenting.

      Giving some kind of freebie is indeed a great way to turn visitors into subscribers and it is a start. The downside is, that a list built in this way is often not very responsive, which means lower open and click through rates. The best way is to build a buyers list, but for this it is in most cases necessary to have an own product to sell.
      But we are on the best way to come there with John’s coaching.


  • igor Griffiths

    Reply Reply March 31, 2014

    Well hello Torsten

    Building your customer base is the most important activity any business can do and in that simple distinction lies the reason why the size of your list is not that important.

    If your supposed customer base is in fact filled with people who took your free gift but have now moved on then you do not have a customer base. Thus the true measure of your customer base is your engagement, how many opens you get and how many clicks you get.

    Once your customer base trusts you to guide them for their benefit then you are heading towards a profitable customer base.

    igor Griffiths recently posted…Aweber Email Marketing Service reviewMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply April 4, 2014

      I absolutely agree with you igor. This problem often occurs with a list build on giving away freebies. But it also depends on how you communicate with your list to build up that trust and relationship. In any way, best is to build a list of buyers, but usually it takes a product in the first place to come there.

  • Karen Thomson

    Reply Reply March 31, 2014

    I have spent many years trying to ignore the fact that I need to build a list Torsten.. Thank you for the kick reminder – you’ve made what can sometimes be a daunting task into something very simple and easy to follow – thanks!
    Karen Thomson recently posted…What’s the Point?My Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply April 3, 2014

      You are not alone, Karen. Many people ignore building a list for different reasons. This could be to avoid expenses during start up or because they think that it is something that can be done later. However, just compare it with a business meeting which you wouldn’t leave without exchanging business cards, as it gives both partners the chance to follow up.

  • Jan Kearney

    Reply Reply March 31, 2014

    I have a list… somewhere… I am terrible at actually sending mails though! Yet, I preach this stuff and send for clients!
    Jan Kearney recently posted…Google Places (+Local) Edit Info Warnings [Video]My Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply April 4, 2014

      It reminds me of the saying, “The shoemaker’s son always walks barefoot.”
      I hope this post could give a small push to also have you using and maintainig your list.

  • Sky Nealon

    Reply Reply April 1, 2014

    Hi Torsten,

    The problem with building a list I find is building a relationship with the subscriber, partly because I’m quite an introvert person, and although previously I have joined and learnt many different methods of building a list, I was pretty much hopping product to product and never really took it seriously, in particular the follow up part.

    Currently though, my main concern is not actually building the relationship part but instead how to attract new subscribers.

    Thanks again for such an informative post
    Sky Nealon recently posted…Which Animal would Win in Business? – The Fox, The Hare, The Tortoise or The Hedgehog?My Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply April 4, 2014

      As you said yourself Sky, there are various methods to build a list. But the most important thing is what you do with this list to keep them engaged to open your emails and also click through. he biggest list won’t help your business if you don’t have a relationship with them and have them open your emails.
      It isn’t about building this list fast, just think about the Hare and the Tortoise you wrote recently about in one of your posts. 🙂

  • Dave Thomas

    Reply Reply April 2, 2014


    Your opening sentence is very close to what I say to people who ask me, with my property portfolio hat on, when is the best time to start building a portfolio.

    My answer is today although yesterday would have been better, but tomorrow will do.

    The thing though is that you have to start and if you haven’t started yet then getting started as soon as you can is the best alternative!

    As always the sooner you start, the quicker it will become productive so get on with it as soon as you can

    Dave Thomas recently posted…5 Tips To Creating A Winning Facebook PresenceMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply April 3, 2014

      This is exactly how it is, Dave. The sooner the better, but it is and never will be too late to get started.


  • My blog doesn´t offer a product per se and I like the “on the spot” interaction of other platforms. That being said a list could be useful to keep in touch with those that are to busy to communicate with me on an on going basis.
    Paula – Buenos Aires recently posted…Time to party! G+ Linky Party, that is.My Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply April 7, 2014

      Yes Paula, it could be an additional channel to reach out for those you just don’t meet in one of the social media channels as regularly as you would like to.

  • Kaloyan Banev

    Reply Reply May 25, 2014

    Yeah, this is well known fact. Freebies always work well, no matter what kind of niche. I don’t think that the number of subscribers actually matter, it is always about the quality.
    Kaloyan Banev recently posted…New Website Templates – Update 25th of MayMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply May 25, 2014

      I agree with you Kaloyan, freebies work very well as a brivbe for someone to subscribe to a list. But as you said, it is about numbers, it is about the quality. For this it is important to build a good relationship with your subscribers and transform them to buyers. In the end it is the buyers list that everybody wants to have.


  • Sandy

    Reply Reply September 27, 2014

    Ah…I have been procrastinating on this and see the reminders of the importance of LIST BUILDING every corner (web page) I turn. I am just waiting for a few more info before I start. I m waiting for some details on this neat plugin for wordpress HybridConnect (in case u would like to check it out for potential affiliation). Thanks for the great post n reminder Torsten :p
    Sandy recently posted…Where is the ChampionMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 29, 2014

      Hi Sandy,

      thanks for stopping by and your comment.

      HybridConnect is definitely a great tool with lots of features that can help you with your list building. I might check it out closer and do a review on it, but I wouldn’t make my decision on building a list dependant on a review of a tool.

      To quote from their own website:

      The question is not “should I build a mailing list?” the question is simply “what’s the best way to do it?”

      I think the best way is to get started, no matter if it is with GetResponse, AWeber or any other of the autoresponder services and use the tools they provide you with. Then take it from there and see if there are tools available that can help you in your list building strategy.

      First looking for the best available tools and then trying to adapt your strategy to what these tools can support you with, is in my opinion like putting the car before the horse.

      But that’s just my 2 cent on this. 😉

      Have an awesome day and thanks again,

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