List building is definitely something that we hear about almost endlessly and it does indeed have it’s place in the marketing arena. This being said no one seems to mention how difficult it actually is to build one instead you hear how easy and quick it is if you have two brain cells. I am quite sure that I have at least three brain cells and let me tell you to took me more than a few days or months to build up a list of people long enough to even call it a list. Now that I have put in the time and yes money I would have to agree that it was well worth the effort and frustration.

I am by no means saying that I am making millions or even tens of thousands per month but at least I can say with honesty it adds to my monthly income. If you are trying to build a list to make buckets and buckets of money by tomorrow you are fooling yourself or letting a so called guru con you. If on the other hand you are trying to build up an actual business on the internet than it is worth the trouble. The thing about a list compiled over time from your business, you are gaining a following of individuals who are at least interested in your product and what you have to say. In time with great products and great service you build a trust and relationship with your customers. The same principles should be at work whether you are building a business over the internet or on off line business.

Your list should be used to give your customers legitimate and useful information. For some reason many marketers think that it is acceptable to bombard the individuals on their lists with endless deals and so called new products hoping that something sticks. I personally have cancelled subscriptions to lists just because I got sick of opening endless emails to find out they were useless and repetitive. The most humorous and yet annoying is when someone is trying to sell you something you have already purchased. It should be remembered that most individuals originally sign up for information and if you switch gears and turn your newsletters and emails into constant sales pitches your list will shrink very quickly. You must ask yourself, would you make the same endorsements and claims on a constant basis if you were facing these people face to face, if the answer is no than don’t do it. Occasional offers that you are willing to put your reputation on the line for are acceptable and will lead to continued sales and a dedicated following.

Before you start your list building venture you must decide the purpose of your list and what your long term goal is. When your bills are piling up, you would probably say that it is a fast sale, but really I think we would all agree that we want an income level that is sustainable. We have all read advice stating how once you have hooked someone you must send them repetitive emails in order to keep them interested and to get your sale. You don’t want to be shoving products down anybody’s throat, this may work on an individual once but in the long term you will end up shooting yourself in the foot.

The other responsibility you have to your list is to send only the best quality information. If you don’t have anything you can be proud of, don’t send it. Individuals would rather get information once or twice a month that is worth their time to read than crap on a daily or weekly basis. Your list isn’t going to revolt because they are not getting information every other day, they will revolt when you send them pages of garbage and waste their time. If this is your practice it won’t take long for before your emails head straight to the deleted files. I have personal experience and I am sure you have as well, when you thought it would be interesting to get information from an individual because their website looked interesting and they looked like they knew what they were talking about only to find out they were full of hot air. Don’t treat your potential customers the same way.

The most helpful way to look at your list is to treat then as though you see them in your store on a regular basis. Treat them with respect and only send them information that they will view as valuable and useful. If you decide to endorse a product that is either your own or somebody else’s make sure that it is a product that you are willing to stand behind because in the end it will be your list of customers and your future potential sales that will effected by your decision. Although list building can be frustrating and time consuming it is a strategy that is definitely beneficial in the long term for building a business and generating sales, just ensure that you have a plan for how you are going to use your list and stick to it.

Christine Erickson writes articles relating to internet marketing issues and strategies. To learn more go to

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