Thursday, July 25, 2024

How to Build Your Mailing List and Stay Sane

It has become a mantra: start an e-zine, get yourself a mailing list, build a relationship with your readers – and sell, sell, sell!

Oh that it were that easy.

There are plenty of good people out there who can give you advice on starting and running your newsletter/e- zine. One of the best is Kate Schultz who started the E-zine University – a great free resource.

Or try the E-zine Publishers Association at

Whatever your subject matter, and however enthusiastic you are, you very quickly come up against the question that we all ask: “How do I build my subscriber list, fast?”

There are lots of ways to build your list. Some work better than others. Over the last 11 weeks I have been building the subscriber list for ‘BizE-zine’ from nothing to over 1400. It is now growing at a rate of about 200 each week. I’m the first to admit that I’m still a novice, and that my list is hardly earth- shattering, but it IS growing strongly. How am I doing it?

1. I work really hard on the newsletter itself. The first issue took me a lot of time to write and even longer to design (yes, you can design in plain text.) I always keep in mind that I want to be producing a newsletter that I would like to receive myself. And I am very fussy. Initially, all this work was done with no subscribers at all. A real act of faith!

2. I built a simple web site which had (has) one principle aim: to encourage people to join the list. It started out pretty much as a two page sales letter. Since then, the site has expanded considerably to include an ever growing archive, .txt and .pdb (Palm PDA) download files, and even more resources planned. But the basic aim remains the same – get the email address. Traffic to the web site has been growing steadily too, but that is another subject.

3. As soon as I had written some articles, I posted them at all the online article archives I could find. In my opinion, the best are:

Incidentally, once you have joined these, you will never have to worry about getting third-party content for your e-zine again – there are lots of great articles posted every day.

The benefit of posting your articles is two-fold: you slowly start to build a reputation, and, when other e- zine publishers use your work, you get loads of free publicity.

It works. I had an article published by a large e-zine just this week and within an hour of it being sent out I received over 100 new subscribers. My inbox has never been so busy!

4. You can buy subscribers. I do this as well as everything else and it certainly helps build numbers. I use and pay 16c per double opted-in subscriber.

5. Put yourself about. Post at discussion boards, visit newsgroups, send lots of emails – and always include a link to your site.

6. Register your site at as many of the e-zine announcement directories that you can find. There are lots of them and the list is growing daily. I am building a list for my own use, but if anybody would like a copy, just drop me a line on mailto:martin@B… and I will happily send it to you.

7. Keep at it. Have a strategy in mind and stick to it.

Some days you despair and other days you celebrate. Gradually you will come to celebrate more and more.

Martin Avis is the author of the best-selling ‘Unlock the Secrets of Private Label eBooks’ – a complete blueprint to private label rights success. Visit to see how you can tap into this goldmine for yourself.

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