Building A Solid Subscriber List – A Fundamental of Web Marketing

2003 Viki Nygaard

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It's a fact of sales life. When people trust you, they buy from you. The imperative question has always been "How do I get people to trust me online"? Building a subscriber list can be a relatively inexpensive form of marketing that has a three-fold pay-off" building trust, gaining permission to send marketing messages, and increasing sales.

A list allows you to build a relationship with your subscribers, which in turn, establishes trust and credibility. Once they get to know you, once they are familiar with what you do and how you operate, they are more likely to want to buy your products or services. Because you have the subscribers' permission to send messages to them, your messages are more likely to be read. And, the result is a list full of people who are looking for information on the products or services you sell - and therefore are more likely to buy.

The most common type of subscriber list is an online newsletter, better known as an "ezine" pronounced "e-zeen" and short for electronic magazine. Ezines can be published daily, weekly, once or twice a month, or quarterly. They generally consist of helpful information and resources that pertain to your business and most often are free-of-charge.

The key to an effective ezine is providing your subscribers with unique and valuable content that focuses on some aspect of your business. For example, if you run a computer software business, then your ezine could consist of software reviews, recommendations, tips, specials you might be running, and so on.

Offering a subscriber form for list sign ups on your Web site can be an excellent way to promote your list, build your subscriber base (a.k.a. prospective client list), keep in touch with your customers, and rack up some additional sales. There are countless other ways to build your subscriber list and develop your ezine. You might want to check out one e-book I found that's very helpful. It's "The Step-by-Step Guide To Creating & Promoting Your Ezine." It can be found at http://www.creatingezines.com.

If publishing an ezine seems overwhelming, a simple alternative is to offer a subscriber list that publishes weekly or monthly specials and discounts on your products or services. People love to save money and many people who might not care to receive an ezine usually love the thought of receiving “advanced notice” of specials and discounts.

No matter which type of list you decide to offer, it is important that you protect both yourself and your subscribers by using a double opt-in list server. A double opt-in list server requires two steps in order to subscribe.

1. The subscriber first signs up by filling out a subscription form or by sending an email to your list server.

2. The subscriber will receive a confirmation email that they will need to reply to in order to confirm their intent to subscribe.

This ensures that only the person with that email address can subscribe, and it also protects you from spam accusations.

It is also important to include both subscribe and unsubscribe information in every issue, and include a privacy statement. People like to be assured that you will not sell or share their personal information with others.

Starting your own ezine takes a few steps, but it can normally be done quickly and easily, and at a minimum cost. Again, the e-book I mentioned earlier can guide you through all the steps of both launching and promoting your ezine.

Any marketing "guru" you meet online will tell you the importance of building a list - whether in the form of an ezine or otherwise. The fact that you kill three birds with one stone (building relationships, gaining permission to market, and increasing sales) is just the icing on the cake.


Viki Nygaard is President of Mount Evans Designs specializing in professional Web design. For those businesses who insist on quality but must maintain a budget, visit http://www.mountevansdesigns.com today. You'll be thrilled with the exceptional designs and the affordable rates!