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Top 5 Tips To Building A Large, RESPONSIVE List

By Mike Merz
Posted Monday, November 22, 2004

Regardless of which type of product or service you're marketing Online, building an in house list of prospects is absolutely essential.

One thing that is often not taken into consideration is subscriber quality and retention.

Having a big list won't benefit you if it's members are unresponsive.

Here are a few tips designed to help you maximize the productivity of your ezine, newsletter, follow up, etc. ...

1) Build a website, sub domain, or page off of your main site, solely dedicated to collecting email addresses for follow up.

Legendary Internet marketer Terry Dean of fame <(> goes on record as saying that the email addresses he collects using the aforementioned method are up to 5 times more responsive than those collected by outside sources.

These subscribers are ultra targeted, as they want, specifically, what you have to offer.

You may think building a website on your own is an enduring task, but it's really not. < ( > is an excellent resource for those wishing to learn how to build a website on there own.

I also recommend Shelley Lowery's Web Design Mastery, which comes jam packed with anything and everything it takes to build a professional looking website, regardless of your past experience. <(>

When designing this site/page, remember to include ...

- A subscribe form/link on every page. - Detailed description of your ezine/newsletter's content (what you offer the subscriber to satisfy their interests, etc. ...) - Testimonials, whenever possible. - Full contact info, subscriber options, related associations that help solidify credibility and trust (iCop, BBB, etc.). - A sample of your work, archived editions, etc. - A reminder to bookmark your site, and allow the ability to recommend it to others, in addition to giving subscribers permission to forward your publication to a friend, associate, etc. (add this to every mailing). - Something of value for signing up ... a freebie download (software, ebook, course, ...), discount, or other bonuses.

... which brings us to tip number ...

2) Focus on your content, NOT the freebies!

In an effort to draw more subscribers, I've witnessed many publishers promoting the freebies to a greater extent than the follow up, itself.

This may increase the number of subscribers, but the level of responsiveness, and retention, will surely suffer.

You'll draw more of those interested in only receiving the freebies, defeating the reason you've asked them to join in the first place.

Promote your content, and yourself, first and foremost, following up with the freebies.

Include reference to them as a P.S. (post script) to your promotional copy.

3) Offer them an article series, course, or additional bonuses in each mailing ...

... and end your send out with a sampling of what's to come.

This will keep your list members interested, and subscribed.

4) Make it interactive.

Give your subscribers the ability to provide feedback, in the form of replies, advice, questions, etc.

Allowing them to participate will greatly increase the level of interest, not only in regards to the one providing the feedback, but of those that are reading it, as well.

Providing the ability to include a link in their response will aid in increasing the level of interaction.

You may choose to involve them in other ways, such as group chats, forums, polls, etc.

5) Maintain a clean list.

If you do not have the ability to bulk remove repetitive soft and hard bounces, it is very important that you stay on top of eliminating them manually.

This should be done for 2 major reasons ...

A) If your mailing does not reach it's desired destination, it will not do you any good, nor it's intended recipient.

If you have the ability to auto send an unsubscribe response (HIGHLY recommended), include the invitation to re subscribe using a new email address. Even the most honest recipients of your mailings will occasionally bounce, due to any of a number of reasons, and they should be allowed back if they so desire.

B) When your list becomes large enough to take on paid advertisers, you're going to want to give them the best opportunity possible to achieve good results. That means keeping your list as close to 100% responsive as possible. When you make your advertisers happy, they will tell others.

And not only will you be able to enjoy filling your quota of paid ad spots ...

You'll raise the response rate of your own promotional efforts, in the process.

A major problem you'll face when trying to build your list to a size that will generate significant income is time ...

It may take you YEARS to build a subscriber base large enough to allow you to quit your day job ..;)

That's were co-registration services come into play.

These services utilize high level platforms to generate subscribers for a fee, allowing you to build a list much faster than you ever could on your own.

But there is a downside. :(

Many of the larger services will generate tons of subscribers for you, BUT ...

1) They charge a relatively high rate per subscriber.

Building a list of the size you desire may require big bucks, up front.

2) They DON"T filter out free email accounts (Yahoo, Excite, Hotmail, etc.).

Unfortunately, most people use free email accounts to subscribe to things they will never read, like FFA postings, free classifieds, etc., and even if their usage was for honest reasons, the filters imposed, and the size of the mail boxes allowed, will result in almost all of your unreachables.

... and you don't want that.

3) Many use untargeted means to acquire the addresses.

Your best subscribers will be those they want what you have to offer, specifically.

Many of the large services, in an effort to meet subscriber demands, use a VERY broad criteria when sending you subscribers.

Quality over quantity ... remember that.

One service that takes all of the aforementioned into consideration is Optinfrenzy
< ( >.

Optinfrenzy ...

- Allows visitors to subscribe to your ezine/newsletter upon viewing copy that you, yourself, have offered, making it ultra targeted.

- Provides double optin, confirmed subscribers. If they don't respond, you don't get them, virtually eliminating undeliverables.

- They filter out free email accounts. You'll enjoy up to 100% retention rate, and won't be subjected to "over quotas", or "mail box full" messages. Your money buys the best kind of subscribers ... those that have a real interest in the info you have to offer, AND will actually receive it! ;)

Optinfrenzy will build your list faster than you can on your own, deliver quality subscribers, and their prices are the best available. Highly recommended.

Well, there you have it.

Plug my top 5 tips into your list building strategy, and I'm sure you'll be happy with the results.

To your success!

Mike Merz
Internet Marketing For Newbies (


For more great tips on building a big, responsive list, I recommend Paul Myers' Amazing List Machine
< ( >.

Mr. Myers' is VERY highly respected in the field of Online publishing, and this is his best work to date ... do check it out.

Feel free to distribute this article, as long as it, and the following resource box,
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©2002 Mike Merz - (Top5News Group)

About the Author
Mike Merz is a well known Internet Marketing consultant, specializing in Online newbie campaign start ups, and is the owner of the Top5News Group of Internet Marketing related resources, featuring Internet Marketing For Newbies - <(>


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