There are many articles, ebooks and white papers written and available on Net that deal with building your own opt-in mailing list and how it can help build your business. Here are some first hand reflections on how I am building my subscription base for my ezine, Home Income Quarterly E-dition.
I started with a personal list of associates and customers that numbered about 350. As of today I have a subscriber base of 11,000+. Actually my subscriber base is over 12,000 but I have always had policy of maintaining a higher base than I actually had. The primary reason I have this policy is to insure that my paid advertisers receive what they are paying for. Each time I do a mailing of an ezine issue, there are always 200 to 400, sometimes more that are undeliverable. This can be due to email systems or sites being down, email boxes being to full or other reasons.
Here are some steps that I took and still use to build and maintain my list.
1. Easy Sign Up Throughout Your Site
Post a subscribe link or box on every page of your site. I have over 150 pages on my sites and I never know from which page someone will enter site. Having link or signup box on most pages will increase your chances for new signups.
2. Create A Separate Ezine Page
Eventually I uploaded a separate page just for my ezine. Check out my example at http://www.homebizlink.com/newslt.htm This way I was able to put a signup box on some pages that subscribed them by email directly, or I used a "Free Newsletter" link that went to my ezine page above where they see a good description of it, some comments from subscribers and an offer of a free ebook about starting a business on Internet.
Another good reason to have a separate page for your ezine is so you can submit it to major search engines all by itself with some specific and targeted keywords.
3. Give Away A Free Sign Up Bonus
Giving something away free is a good incentive to get signups. It can be an ebook or special report that is geared to topic of your site and business. If you set up an autoresponder or download page, you can make it all automatic so that you don't have to keep sending freebie out.
4. Signature Files
Another easy and free thing to do is to create a signature file with your ezine information and subscription links similar to one at end of this article. And you should set your email software to send signature file on every email message you send out. Once people become subscribers then you can start building a relationship with them and offer your products and/or services.
5. Write Articles
If you can write articles, you have an excellent vehicle to get additional subscribers. I write about one article a month and send them out to over 300 ezines that have an interest in my topics. The article is always picked up by a certain percentage of ezines immediately or for future issues. Sometimes five or ten ezines pick it up immediately and circulation can total in hundreds of thousands.