Email marketing: How to create your email list for marketing As an affiliate marketing or a business who sells online, having a list of potential prospects wanting to receive your offers and content can be a great boost for your sales. Email marketing is a popular marketing tool, specially for small and medium businesses on the lookout for low cost marketing strategies. While it's true that you can purchase mailing lists from specialist third parties, building your own mailing list is the best way to create a high quality mailing list of interested recipients, and avoid being labeled as a spammer.

Create a good capture page

The first step towards building your own email list for marketing is having a capture page of some sort where people can sign up for your emails. Many marketers have a specific page on their website dedicated to this that reinforces the benefits of signing up for the newsletter. However, you can also just have a small form on each of your pages if your newsletter just intends to keep your users informed about your website's content, and not a direct website monetization tool. Your capture page should clearly explain what's on it for your reader, and have few or none alternative links apart from the submit button, to avoid distracting your potential subscribers. Keep your sales pitch to a different page or add a video to the lead capture page, but try to avoid filling it with too much information or people may have second thoughts and navigate away.

Sweeten the deal with something valuable

Most people are very wary (and with good reason) of giving out their regular email address to any marketer that asks for it. The answer to this is giving them a reason to do so, such as an exclusive deal or ebook or entering a competition or raffle. Make sure the reward is both appropriate and interesting, you don't want people feeling disappointed because they never got the link to the promised ebook or the content wasn't valuable at all. People can sign out or mark your newsletter as spam as easily as they can sign up for it, so if your goal is to increase your business sales make sure even your freebies deliver.

Provide more useful content

If you want to build your own business mailing list you'll need to create trust with your website visitors, and one of the best ways of doing so is by showing your expertise on the subject. Some marketers like creating a single landing page with videos and an offer, while others will build a fully fledged website around a topic both with PLR or original content to also get some search engine love. The quality of that content will directly affect the trust people have on your site, so review it to make sure it doesn't look like a spammer translated somebody else's website using Google translate. Original, well thought content that shows you as an authority on your niche works best. Customer testimonials won't hurt either, as long as they are authentic. If they aren't, be sure that somebody will find out and call you out.

Use a reputable mailing list management system

If you want your emails to reach the inboxes of your mailing list, make sure to use a reputable mailing list management system that has gained trust with the various email providers and can provide you metrics on the success of your content. This way you can adapt your future mailings to what's on demand, and you'll avoid upsetting your users when they cannot sign off your newsletter or change their email address. Nobody likes potential prospects leaving them, but if people can unsubscribe easily they are much less likely to mark you as a spammer and damage your reputation, and they weren't going to buy anyway. If you are targeting other business owners make sure you follow business email best practices and be extra careful with spam filters, since many corporate email systems are extremely demanding on what they consider spam.

Make all your mails relevant and useful

If you make your mails all about your readers, and they believe it's useful, they will forward them to their email contacts. This means your list could grow without you having to actively promote it. Of course, nobody will send a mail that is just an advertisement or offers nothing of value, so keep that in mind when designing your newsletter.

Follow direct email best practices

There are many best practices for email advertising, but they can all be grouped into a single header: Don't send a mail you wouldn't like to receive yourself. People are signing up to your newsletter because it's either interesting, offers something useful or is about a topic they want to know more about. If you send emails that are just advertising or have unrelated content that people aren't expecting they may think you are just a spammer, or at the very least unsubscribe and never come back. Don't burn your mailing list by being obviously promotional, sending low quality content or sending several newsletters a week unless there's a very good reason for that.