What Is A Email List?
Simply put, an email list is a database that holds a list of names and email addresses that you keep. This allows you to communicate with people who have given you their permission to receive your emails or newsletters. I want to show you how to build a email list with double opt-ins. See also my related post on e-mail software and servers below.
Now it is important to note that you can not add people to your email list on your own, they must confirm that they truly want to receive information from you. This is where the double opt-in comes to the fore.
A double opt-in makes sure that your potential new subscriber really does want to join your mailing list.
Contrary to popular belief, a double opt-in process is not explicitly required by law in any country, however, it is strongly suggested by several countries, like Germany, which would require you to prove an opt-in in court, and a single opt-in is not proof enough.
If you think of it in the offline world, it is equivalent to giving a brick and mortar business your name, phone number, and/or address, where they can then send you promotional materials, coupons, or newsletters. This is the same thing, but with the internet.
The difference between single opt-in and double opt-in
There is a good chance that you are on at least one, if not several, email lists already. If you remember when you opted in to an email list was it a single or double opt-in?
A single opt-in is where you send a subscriber to an opt-in box where they type in their email and name and click submit. From that very moment that they hit that submit button, they are automatically subscribed to your e-mail list
A double opt-in goes one step farther. After they fill in their information and hit the submit button, they will then get what is called a confirmation email sent to their inbox. In order to get on your e-mail list as a subscriber, they have to click a link in that confirmation email, otherwise, they are not subscribed.
Why a double opt-in is a better choice than a single opt-in
You might be thinking that double opt-in is an extra, useless step that only makes it harder for people to opt-in. What if they don’t get their email? What if they don’t know how to click on the link? What if they’re afraid to click on the link because of a virus or something? What if they give a phony email address?
Unfortunately, many people out there want something for nothing. if you are offering a free gift for people who sign up, you are going to get a certain percentage who will give a phony email address just to get to the download page where they can get their free gift.
Now, you might be thinking, “Okay, that’s not so bad. So they got a free gift out of me? So what?
Well, there’s still one more problem with this scenario. See, not only did they get the free gift out of you but they also gave you a phony email address. Remember that? But what if it’s not a phony address? It may not be their email address, but it may belong to somebody else.
What do you think is going to happen when this person, whoever they are, a person who doesn’t know you from Adam, gets your e-mail in their e-mail box? They will probably hit the delete or spam button.
And they would be perfectly within their rights. Remember, they didn’t ask for your e-mail to be sent to them so as far as they are concerned, it’s spam. In other words, with single opt-in, you are risking having your business shut down because of spam complaints.
Of course with double opt-in, you are going to lose some potential subscribers because they either don’t want to click on the link, don’t know how to click on a link, or don’t even get your email. But if you’re using a good autoresponder service, the problem of email delivery is the last thing you have to worry about.
Naturally, it’s your decision to use either single or double opt-in. I just personally don’t recommend using single opt-in as it opens up the potential for way too many problems.
So, now that we have a good understanding of what an email list is, I want to discuss the benefits of building an email list for your online business no matter what the business, an email list can make a big difference in recurring income.
Benefits Of Building An Email List
I want to make a quick list for you, and then touch on each point, so below are some of the major benefits of building an email list for your online business:
- Allows you to communicate with previous customers
- Allows you to send out promotional emails to previous customers
- Allows you to inform previous customers of new products/services
- It allows you to do all the above, but with subscribers who have not bought from you yet.
Now let’s touch on the above, for example, let us say that someone came to your website and purchased a product. Now, if they have no way to sign up for updates from you, there is a good chance you may never see them again.
If you never see that customer again, you must focus your efforts on sending more and more new traffic to your website every single day. Now let’s imagine that they are part of your subscriber list and they have opted-in to receive future updates from you.
You have a new product releasing, and you send out an email to your subscribers, now you have an opportunity to send pre-qualified buyers directly to your website at the push of a button. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well it is important you do not send your subscribers to many messages in a short period of time, or you end up spamming them, and you will lose them via the unsubscribe option.
Perhaps you carry real inventory that you ship out, and it is time to make room for some new products coming in. What better way to get the word out and carry out this goal then by sending out an email blast that has a coupon code for a percentage off, only for your loyal subscribers! Wow, wouldn’t that make them feel special, and help you achieve your goal of moving products?
This also provides you with the opportunity to do what is called “pre-selling” to your subscribers who have yet to buy from you. You see, you can segment your email list into buyers and non-buyers, which allows you to send out different emails to different segments.
You can send out informational emails and coupons to your non-buyers, and increase the chances of them actually purchasing a product. And without them being on your email list this would never happen because you wouldn’t be able to communicate with them otherwise.
But I’ve talked enough about the benefits, I am sure your mind is racing with ideas already, I know mine was when I got started. Now let’s talk about some of the ways you can actually build this list.
How To Build An Email List
The first thing you need to do is set up what is called an auto-responder. There are both free and paid options, and each has its benefits. It is best to do some research and try out what you feel is going to work best for you. The auto-responder is what is going to allow you to both manage and email your list, as well as create the boxes (called opt-in boxes) in which people will actually subscribe to your list.
Second, you will set up your email campaign, and prepare some emails for future subscribers. The beauty of it is that you only have to write the email once, and as people subscribe, they receive your pre-written emails in the sequence in which you wrote or loaded them.
Now that you have your auto-responder and your emails ready to go, you just put your opt-in box onto your website and start sending traffic. You will want to place your opt-in box somewhere noticeable, but not in the way of your main information. If you have a blog, you can ask nicely for your readers to subscribe to future updates via your opt-in box.
The toughest part about building a list is getting the traffic to your website. This is, of course, assuming that you have a website that provides quality information. And fills a need to the online community in which you choose to serve. It is very important that the information you provide is not just a bunch of spammy words or a sales pitch.
The best thing you can do is to help educate others, become an online authority in your subject. Be the expert, and when people need what you have, then they know who to buy from, you, the person they trust.
Do not abuse your email list, do not spam your subscribers, and do not send them “junk mail.” Keep driving traffic to your site by placing links on other relevant blogs, writing articles like this one, and placing a link or two to your website.
Do some SEO research and optimize your site, or outsource it if you have the funds. These are all ways that you will get relevant, targeted traffic to your website where your content and opt-ins will do the rest. It is best if you can update your content.
Don’t forget to offer your subscribers free stuff as in “how-to guides, e-books, and tutorials”. Also, put a free offer on your website with an e-mail opt-in form to receive new subscribers.
Related post…Compare e-mail marketing services
Related post…Do you need an autoresponder?
Related content…How to create a group contact list in Gmail
I hope you have learned why and how to build an e-mail list with double opt-ins from this article.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments box below or in the contact me form below.
I would love to know how you have opted in to an e-mail list whether it was a single or double opt-in. You can use the comment box below.