How to Make a Mailing List

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So you want to make a mailing list but you’re not sure how to go about it. No problem. This post will provide the information you’re looking for and cover topics such as why you need one, ways to use it, mailing list services and options and, of course, how to make a mailing list.

This post is all about building a simple mailing list and using it to its potential. We’re not going to dive into advanced features and options but, by the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll have a good idea of what you’re looking to accomplish and how to make it happen. Let’s get started…

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Why You Need a Mailing ListWhy You Need a Mailing List

I just sell stuff on my website, why do I need a mailing list? It’s simple really. You build a mailing list as a way to engage your audience, inform them of new products and services, keep your site on their minds and, most importantly, as a qualified/targeted client list (more about these topics later in this post).

A mailing list acts as your client list. People actually interested in what you have to offer. That’s marketing gold in the online world (brick and mortar too). If you don’t already have a list built or building, get started as soon as you can.

How to Make a Mailing ListHow to Make a Mailing List

You can simply buy lists from companies but who’s to say that list you buy online is a good fit for your site? There are some reputable mailing list companies that strive to build niche related lists that may contain addresses of people that would be legitimately interested in your site, products and services.

Then again there are companies that just collect emails at random (have you seen the “sign up for a chance to win” pop-ups around the net or the same in physical form at the mall?) and compose lists for sale. The only true demographic there is you know whoever joined those lists was interested in winning whatever the prize was. That’s not a finely targeted list at all.
Now consider building your own list. It is a better way to get people that are actually interested in what you have to offer. If people come to your site and sign up themselves, that shows true interest (even if you have some bonus you’re giving away to get them to sign up, as long as it’s related to your niche). Look at it this way… They actually took the time to sign up, something they wouldn’t do if they weren’t interested.

Here are some ways to go about actually making your own mailing list:

  • Create a landing page that requires them to sign up to continue to your post, article or site.
  • Allow them direct access to your site but offer a pop-up after so many seconds or scrolling so far.
  • Display a sign up form/widget in a prominent place on your site (my drone site has it in the sidebar and this site has it at the bottom of every page, just above the footer).
  • Entice them with some sort of bonus for signing up (I do this here by offering my free multi-day training course). If you didn’t want that course, which is related to my niche, you wouldn’t have signed up.

That’s just 4 ways to start building your mailing list. Decide which one makes the most sense for you and get started. There’s nothing wrong with mixing and matching the options too (maybe a landing page and bonus offer, etc.).

Ways to Use a Mailing ListWays to Use a Mailing List

As I alluded to earlier, there are several ways to use a mailing list to your advantage:

  • Engage Your Audience – A mailing list is a great way to engage your audience. Consider running a poll or asking for their opinion on something. Getting your message into their inbox is like a foot in the door.
  • Inform Them of New Products and Services – Why wait for them to come back and look for updates on your site. At the very least, send a message to your list every time you post something new. A product review, helpful tips, it doesn’t matter, just send the notification. Chances are a good chunk of your list will follow the link and see what you have to say.
  • Keep Your Site on Their Minds – Ever see an email and think “Hey, I forgot about them”? I have, not often but, a few times. It’s nice to remind your visitors that you’re here and may have something of interest to them. Just like with anything else, repetition leads to remembrance.
  • Autoresponder – This is actually an “upgrade” to a mailing list, if you will. Autoresponders automate the task of sending emails. It may be a single autoresponder that will send a message when someone signs up for your list (maybe that bonus you offered) or a multi-mailing setup that will send different messages on a schedule (this is how my multi-day course offering works). It frees you up to do more important things than manually sending messages all day long.

This is just a small list of ways to use your mailing list but, as you can see, having one, and using it to your advantage can be a great way to engage your audience and keep your site relevant.

Mailing List Services and Options

There are various services and plugins you can use to build and utilize your mailing list. Many have free offerings as well as paid for options. Some are pay-for from the start or provide a short trial period. Whatever option you end up choosing, make sure it fits your needs, as they can vary in features offered.

Some of the top solutions available today are:

  • AWeberAWeber – Many affiliate marketers swear by this platform. It’s a great choice if you’re serious about your mailing list and are ready to select a pay-for solution. Take a look and see for yourself.

 

 

 

 

  • Constant ContactConstant Contact – This is another big name in the email marketing arena. You’ve probably seen the commercials for their services. As a big player, they have a lot to offer and should be on your list to check out.

 

 

 

  • GetResponseGetResponse – GetResponse is basically in direct competition with Aweber. Chances are, if an affiliate marketer isn’t using Aweber, they’re probably using GetResponse. Definitely check them out and see if they are a good fit for you.

 

 

 

The offerings above are my top 3 picks when it comes to pay-for options. That said, you may not be ready to go down the pay-for path. If that’s the case, consider reading my Free Email Autoresponders | 5 Great Options for Your Blog post. It offers 5 free options that may fit your needs perfectly.

Conclusion

There you go, everything you need to know on How to Make a Mailing List. You have the why’s, the how’s, common uses and even several services and options to choose from. Check them out, build a test list and play with the various ways to take advantage of one. Chances are, you’ll see an increase in traffic once you start using a mailing list and wonder how you ever got around without one.

If you’re looking to get started with an online business, check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate. The WA platform provides excellent training, hosting and the tools you need to be a success.

Do you already have a mailing list? Did you take my advice and try one or more of the options above? Do you have something you think should be added to this post? Please let me know by commenting below.

Thank you,

Scott Hinkle

SmallOnlineBiz.com

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14 thoughts on “How to Make a Mailing List”

  1. Dave Sweney says:

    A useful and quick read about how to make a mailing list that helps all of us understand also why we would want to have a mailing list. The steps to get it in place and start collecting the names and emails of your targeted niche audience are not that hard and the reasons to do this make a lot of sense.

    I have done some research and it seems that email is still the number one way that businesses reach out to people, and although there are many other means of communication available such as Facebook Messenger, Push Notifications, and the like, email is still the best way.

    One of the biggest gaps I see in many new to online marketing entrepreneurs is that they shy away from getting such a system in place. This is a mistake, as there are so many ways to leverage that mailing list of people you get, as you point out. Also, it is not hard to set up these days using some of the tools you mention (i.e. the autoresponder services you cite).

    Thanks for this succinct article on how to make a mailing list, I have bookmarked it so I can refer others who need to read this to it. Sometimes hearing or reading this from another source helps convince people to take action, and I am hoping that will be the case. 

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello,

           You’re right.  Email is still the best method, mainly because you can market to your readers repeatedly over time.  Many don’t see the need for a list at the beginning but, the sooner one starts building a list, the better.

      Thank you for sharing my post,

           Scott

  2. Mark says:

    This is very interesting, because I’ll be doing this at some point. I’m still pretty new to affiliate marketing, but sooner or later, I know I’m going to have enough traffic to justify a mailing list. By then, I should have a short e-book ready that I can offer them. I’m glad I found this, because I have no idea how to get started with one and it helps to start getting some idea now, so I’m not so lost when the time comes. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      I’m glad you found this article useful.  I recommend you start building your list sooner rather than later.  You can always add your bonus offer later, once it’s ready.

  3. Christopher says:

    Hi Scott:

    If I was to buy a mailing list, do you have any idea of cost ranges? I’m guessing they are on a cost per thousand basis. 

    I ask this because it sounds like building a solid list will take a great deal of time and a lot of traffic coming to my site. 

    How much traffic would you say a site needs before it makes sense to form a mailing list? And, would you say an autoresponder can save a lot of time?

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello,

           I don’t actually, as I don’t use such services myself.  That said, I know they’re out there and using some Google-fu you can probably find them pretty quickly.

      As for building one yourself, yes it does take time but it’s much more targeted to your niche.  They came to you, they signed up, they’re interested.

      You can start building a list right away.  Why not take advantage of a list now?  Does it matter if only 1 person signs up this week?  No, you have that lead.  As your traffic grows your list will build faster.

      You don’t have to use the list right away but you should start building it ASAP.

      Thank you,

      Scott

  4. George says:

    These days email lists are bugging me because I see now more and more sites are implementing them.

    But what bugs me the most is that some sites use the pop up too frequently (like one in 10 seconds). Well as I grow my blog I’m thinking of setting up an X day email course for everyone that subscribes.

    I read your post about the free email corresponders. Of course my first attempt of using email lists will be by using a free service. I think that is the course of action for many people.

    Good content. Keep up the good work.

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      I totally get the annoyance part.  Landing pages that make you enter your email before allowing you to the content or you start reading content only to have one pop-up mid-sentence and so on.

      It’s really a catch-22.  Those tactics work and that’s why people use them.  That said, I’m not as aggressive as some and don’t currently use that strategy.  That’s not to say I won’t in the future but I’m testing out different ways of going about it.

      Right now, my methods are all about making people think they might miss out on something, for my drone site;  “Don’t miss my next post” or “Keep up to date on the latest drone news”, etc. and offering a bonus on my online business site.  I will probably create some landing pages and scrolling pop-ups for various campaigns down the line, but I’m not there yet.

      As for the services to use, free makes sense, at least as you’re starting out.  It’s a great way to test the waters and get your programs all setup.  The only thing to keep in mind is making sure to export or backup your list.  If you switch services, you’re going to want to be able to import it.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment,

      Scott

  5. migzzz says:

    Hi Scott,

    I just want to say, this is absolutely awesome information. I’ve always wondered how mailing lists work and how can I use one to my advantage. 

    I like how you made bullet points for different uses of mailing lists as well as the top services for it. As a beginner, I don’t think I’m going to go for the paid services yet. I was looking for information about free services and was glad when you actually mentioned them on another post. I will definitely be checking them out. 

    I think your content here is great! It will definitely help those thinking about getting a mailing list service. Your information is straight to the point. As a reader, this is appreciated. 

    I thank you for this information and will be checking out the free mailing lists for now. I will refer back to this page when I’m ready to go to the next step.

    Have a good weekend!

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello there,

           I’m glad you found this information useful.  Yes, the post on free email autoresponders is a great resource if you’re looking for an autoresponder for your site on a budget.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment,

      Scott

  6. John Mullen says:

    Finding this post was awesome for me, in the past I’ve built the setup to build a list, but I never actually got any people joining my list and I quit spending the money trying. 

    That was my lack of experience at the time, but after learning affiliate marketing through Wealthy Affiliate I plan to do this as one of the very next things in building out my business. 

    Since I was here I decided to read some of the other great posts on this site and I think I will take your advice and start off with some of the free autoresponders to get my list started. 

    When I reach 2000 on my list I will consider upgrading to a premium service at that time. 

    Back in the day I was using paid double opt in lists that produced little to no activity, but supposedly they had over 1 million on the list. I would be willing to bet the 2000 subscribers on the free list you offer will out produce that paid list all day long. 

    Thanks for the solid information, I was having a hard time deciding, but I decided to go with MailChimp, it looked like the best free deal to use to start building my list out. 

    Which paid service do you think would be best for someone that writes article posts in a few specific niches?

    I bookmarked this page to come back to for future reference and because you offer great advice and information to your readers, I will need to refer back here when I attempt to set up my email list.

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello John,

           Thanks for the great comments.  I’m glad you found this information useful.

      MailChimp is loved by many, I’m sure you’ll be happy with it.

      As for paid services, you can’t go wrong with AWeber or GetResponse.  I see you said you’re also a Wealthy Affiliate member so I know you know who Jay is.  I believe he uses AWeber and that’s the one he recommends so, just based on that, I’d probably go that way down the line.

      Thanks for bookmarking this site.  I hope you find more useful posts as I continue to build it out.

      Scott

  7. shakil19 says:

    Hi Scott,

    First of all I want to thank you very much for sharing this kind of beneficial article about “How to Make a Mailing List”

    It was so interesting to read. I didn’t have any idea about mailing lists but, after reading your article, I understand that it is way of engaging the audience and inform them as a client about a product, service or just useful information.

    You have also provided with a method of how to make a mailing list and the ways to use it. It was a well detailed article. I have learned all the necessary information about this topic that you have mentioned in your article very nicely.

    I hope these tips will be very much helpful for the people. I am going to bookmark this article.

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello,

          I’m happy you found my article an interesting read.  I’m sure you’ve had some experience with mailing lists, at least at the end-user or subscriber side of it.

      Thanks for taking the time to bookmark this article.  Please feel free to reference back to it at any time.

      Scott

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