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How to Build a Marketing Opt-in Mailing List

Aug 17, 2007
One of the most powerful tools available to all webmasters is the opt in mailing list. Most people visit a web site once and never return: but a mailing list is a method of keeping in-touch with readers and increasing the chances of having them return to the website.

When most people think of newsletters, they think of the dozen or so newsletters they send to junk-mail each day. This does not mean that newsletter marketing does not work, it just means that most web sites use their newsletters to try and sell a product, or offer information. Few people will open a newsletter unless it promises to give them something they need or solve a problem.

It is fairly easy to build an opt-in mailing list if the web master understands why people use the web. If a person wants information, they will read a book. A person who wants to develop a skill will take a course. Most of the people who visit web sites are trying to solve problems. Promoting the opt-in mailing list as a source of problem solving solutions is one way to increase the chances of a person signing up.

The location of the sign up box is also important - the link bar is not a good place for a sign-up box. Placing the sign up box in a forum, or at the end of a free online course can improve the sign up rate. It is important to tell people what to do after they read an article. Readers who are not told where to go next or given something to do, will click the Google links and leave the web site. Instead of trying to sell a product at the end of a good article or in the forum, ask readers to sign up for the mailing list.

Beware of co-registration lists. This new SEO marketing tool lets web masters build a list in a short time, and the sign up reports look good, but the mailing list subscribers are not targeted to your niche or product. This dramatically lowers the web sites ROI (Return On Investment). It is better to have a mailing list with 1000 targeted subscribers on it than one with 10000 shared subscribers.

The one sure way of increasing a mailing list is to write an ebook. An ebook can be printed off and read when it is convenient. This has appeal to many readers.

The last word on building an opt in mailing list is to guarantee privacy. Make sure that the sign up page is neat, free of ads, and has a promise that the information collected will not be shared with anyone not associated with the web site. I have seen some excellent sign up pages that include a quote from the company president claiming that the mailing list is for the benefit of the readers, and will not be sold or shared with other companies.
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The Commentator is a unique program that blocks comment spam, while it builds a double opt in mailing list. For more information visit
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