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List Building On My Mind

List Building On My MindI’ve always got list building on my mind.

Online marketing is almost entirely about list building.

Everything you do on your blog, social media sites, and advertising campaigns should be done with list building in mind.


Because you want your followers to be accessible by email.

List building is the process of getting your followers to join your private email list.

This is a simple concept, really.

An email list is nothing more than a data base of those who like your product, service, ideas or offerings.

Well, if they like all that… when you ask them to join your list, you should get a pretty nice response, and a lot of subscribers.

But when you think of it, that very simple little asset that you could call a customer list, subscriber list, prospect list, or email list, turns out to be the most valuable asset of your business.

This is true for bloggers, affiliate marketers, network opportunity reps and everyone else building an online… or offline… business.

You email list is the heart of your business.

It is the most valuable asset of your business.

To underscore the critical role of list building, let’s briefly review the benefits of building an email list for your business.

“My 3 List Building Machines”

Do you struggle to build a list of subscribers for your business?

Donna and I rely heavily on what we call “list building machines.”

They’re absolutely free access, and you probably use some or all of them already, but just didn’t know how to turn them into the “list building machines” they can be.

Get our FREE Guide on how to use these “3 list building machines” with a zero budget, and with incredible effectiveness.


Special:  My Free Gift To You!  See How To Build An Amazing Email List

Permission Based Asset

While your email list an asset, it’s deeper value lies in the fact that it’s a permission based asset.

That means those who sign up have given you permission to communicate with them at their private email address.

This gives you ultimate leverage Once you’ve obtained permission to email somebody.

You can use your email list in any way you want, of course, but primarily you want to use it to build an even deeper relationship with folks who have given you permission to do so.

You Own It

Your email list is yours.

You own it.

You don’t have to rely on any outside services to help you stay in touch with your followers, your permission-based prospects.

You have full right and authority to use it as you see fit.

Now, this may seem to be obvious.

Don’t you own everything you create?

Not really.

Many folks rely more on social media platforms to harvest and harbor their list.

Facebook or Twitter, for instance, could be where you connect with people. You can tweet your Twitter “followers” and post an update to your Facebook “friends” any time you like.

But that’s not really true, is it?

Social platforms can, and do, control which of your followers you can see, how often, and for a cost. And, they control what that cost will be.

But with a simple email account, you contact your entire list of contacts anytime you want for a fixed monthly fee.

It doesn’t matter if your favorite social platform makes a sudden change in their privacy or user settings, or if they change their Terms of Service anytime they feel like it.

You know that when they do, you will no longer be able to communicate with your “list” so easily or effectively.

You have far more control over you email list.

Special:  My Free Gift To You!  See How To Build An Amazing Email List

Therefore you have much more freedom and ability to keep you in touch with your target audience.

Everyone Monitors Email

Even though it may seem like everyone in the world is on Facebook, that doesn’t mean you can find a way to reach the people you want to there.

The same applies to all other social media platforms.

It requires time, effort and budget to reach prospects, leads and customers on social sites.

On top of that, you need to reach your target audience in a sea of disengaged users.

With your email list, you not only reach your target audience, but you reach those who have given you permission to contact them.

And while not everyone monitors their social media feeds day in and day out, virtually everyone monitors their email on a daily basis.

When they’ve learned that you give them valuable emails, they’ll look forward to hearing from you.

And your email won’t disappear on an ever-changing, short-lived timeline feed.

It’s Simple Stuff

Let’s face it.

Trying to keep in touch with people on social media sites requires some marketing savvy and technical skills.

But managing your email list is as simple as writing an email and sending it.

You don’t need an ad budget, and ad manager, a re-targeting strategy, custom audiences and all the rest.

Email is easy to use for those who are not terribly tech savvy.

It’s just a far simpler way of accomplishing your biggest goal… keeping in touch with your subscribers.

It’s also an easier and more systematic way to organize the names and contact information of your list.

And it’s the safest place to store them so that your contact list doesn’t get wiped out overnight.

The Power of Social Media

Now just because I don’t think that social media sites are the best place to “store” your database of followers (your “list”), don’t get the wrong idea.

I’m not saying that social media is not a powerful way to get people onto your list.

In fact, it’s probably THE most powerful way.

It’s just that you don’t want to have to use social sites to contact your subscribers.

Build your list on social media platforms, but then contact you list via your own private email address via whatever auto-responder service you use.

No Need To Hunt Down Traffic Forever

One of the greatest benefits of list building is that you do not have to stand on your head to get fresh traffic every time you decide to send out valuable content or promote something new.

Your list IS your traffic.

Social media or paid advertising may be your chosen source to get traffic.

But that’s only new traffic.

Your own private existing traffic is always at your fingertip, any time you decide to send an email to your list.

And remember, you have already built your authority and reputation with your list, so your subscribers are ready to receive your messages with an open mind.

You don’t have to “cold-call” every time you have something to share.

Subscribers to your list already know, like and trust you. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t stay on your list.

Special:  My Free Gift To You!  See How To Build An Amazing Email List

This doesn’t mean you never have to look for new traffic, but once you have a substantial and engaged list, the new traffic search becomes a far less consuming part of your business.

At this point, if your list building efforts continue to simmer on the low burner, the right way, your list should be constantly refreshed and increased right on your site.

That is why I always have list building on my mind.

Every video, blog post, article, social media post… every piece of content you create is an opportunity to increase the size and quality of your email list.

Cost Effectiveness

Finally, delivering content and promotions to your list is the most cost effective way to promote your business, services and offers.

It’s certainly far more cost effective way than buying pay per click ads, or using other means of paid advertising.

But it’s even more cost effective than social media, because it has become almost impossible to build a business with social media just from free posting.

You can get some traction that way, but you risk being seen as a spammer if you get too aggressive with this approach.

Remember, folks seeing your social media posts have NOT given you permission to send them promotions, unlike your loyal email subscribers.

Free methods are also usually very costly in terms of your time and effort.

On the other hand, you can send an email message to your list any time you want, and promote whenever you want, at no cost to you other than the monthly fee of your auto-responder service.

Again, having a list of subscribers enables you to communicate with them whenever you want to.

And you will always be communicating with a qualified audience that will be more engaged with your messages since they voluntarily subscribed to your list to begin with.

List Building On My Mind

List building is the key to having a successful, profitable online business.

It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, networker or affiliate marketer.

It’s only important that you organize and operate your business around building your very own email list.

That’s why I always have list building on my mind.

Do you?

Let’s talk about your list building strategies, what works, what doesn’t and what you might like to know a bit more about.

Leave a comment below so we can have a little chat about it.

Everyone’s free to join in!

“My 3 List Building Machines”

Do you struggle to build a list of subscribers for your business?

Donna and I rely heavily on what we call “list building machines.”

They’re absolutely free access, and you probably use some or all of them already, but just didn’t know how to turn them into the “list building machines” they can be.

Get our FREE Guide on how to use these “3 list building machines” with a zero budget, and with incredible effectiveness.


Special:  My Free Gift To You!  See How To Build An Amazing Email List

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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24 Responses to List Building On My Mind

  1. Dan Ewah September 13, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Hi David,

    You are right when you said List Building is the foundation of Online Business, all our objectives should be focused on Link building.

    Your email list is Owned Media, you own it, it’s yours but Social Media and the likes are Paid Media and you don’t have control over it.

    It baffles me why someone will prefer to spend time building his business on a platform he doesn’t have control over.

    Facebook or Twitter can just make a flip and your entire business is gone.
    Dan Ewah´s last blog post ..Why Every Blogger Should Use Guest Blogging – INFOGRAPHIC

    • David Merrill 101 September 19, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

      Well, it’s absolutely true, Dan, that any of the social media platforms including FB and Twitter can shut you account off, or just change the rules of engagement any time they feel like.

      People have a false sense of security based on their assumption that “there has to be a pretty good reason” for that to happen. Or, “I’ll fight it if they try to shut down my account.” Or, “I don’t do anything wrong. They’ll never shut me down.”

      I say false sense of security because any social media platform can shut you down anytime, for any reason, for no reason, with no obligation to even tell you a reason or to allow you to appeal their action. Will they do it? Probably not… but far too many people have clung to that false sense of security too, only to wake up one day to a business lost.

      Search engines like Google, and every social platform are privately owned and they can do anything they want with their property… which includes your account.

      There’s no reason to not use these platforms, but use them to build your own private email list. Then, if you lose your contacts on social sites, you still have them on your own email list.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Membership Site Communities

  2. Dr. Erica Goodstone September 15, 2015 at 1:00 am #


    You are so right that building a list is so important. And, another key is to nurture your list. I have built up a reasonably sized list and then neglected that list for long periods of time. And then I show up suddenly. That does not work for business success. Yes, some people continue to follow me but others just neglect to open the emails because they may have actually forgotten who i am and why they originally signed up to be on one of my lists.

    That is an important lesson we all need to learn, how to keep reaching out and stroking our lists so that we build real solild, long lasting relationships. You and Donna seem to have been doing this so well. I had been focusing more on social media and now I am back to paying attention to my lists, maybe consolidating some of them as well.

    Thanks for another reminder to focus on my lists and building them.


    Dr. Erica Goodstone´s last blog post ..The Key To Creating Love That Lasts

    • David Merrill 101 September 19, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

      You make an excellent point here, Erica.

      Building your list doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have loyal followers. It only guarantees you a chance to try to make your subscribers become loyal followers.

      That definitely takes effort and attention and I’d strongly suggest you do work on that level of your business. It’s much more time and cost effective to work with your existing followers than to jump through hoops trying to gather new ones.

      Best of luck with it.

      PS: if you’re trying to re-engage a “cold list” that you’ve not really cultivated, start by offering them a reason to get re-engaged. Try subject headings like “I’ve got a new Free training for my loyal subscribers”. Then give them something, an ebook, video training or something to get them re-engaged and to thank them for staying on your list, even though you haven’t given much attention to your newsletter for a while. Promise that you’ll be making it well worth their while to stick with you because things are going to change 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Should I Have An Autoresponder On My Blog?

  3. Theodore Nwangene September 15, 2015 at 3:43 am #

    Great post David,
    When it comes to internet marketing in general, nothing really beats having a good and responsive email list.

    And i think every marketer should make it top of his priority. I agree with all the points you mentioned here.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Theodore Nwangene´s last blog post ..GuestCrew Traffic Stats and Update – September 2015

    • David Merrill 101 September 19, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

      Hope you’re having some good success cultivating your own list, Theodore.

      I know I didn’t really get into the real details of building a great list in this article, but feel free to get my free List Building guide if you need some help in this regard. Just click any one of the blue buttons in this post to get free access to it.

      Meanwhile, do everything you can to make list building a priority in your online business because there’s absolutely no better way to build and grow it.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Blogging To Make Money

  4. Sue Bride September 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m never short of blog topics but when it comes to writing emails to my list, I get stuck. I really want to provide value but I’m not sure how.

    So I’ve been building a couple of lists and not doing anything with them.

    After reading this I realize I have to make it a priority. If I don’t try I’m not going to learn and improve am I?
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..10 Ways to Find and Keep Your Ideal Facebook Audience

    • David Merrill 101 September 19, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

      Writing emails is truly a far different writing style than writing blog posts.

      There are lots of ways to learn how to improve your game on this front, but the short version is to just do it. Every day. For every list you have.

      That’s a real good way to start learning how to write good email letters.

      And, yes, it needs to be a total priority in your business. It’s just so much harder for people who try running a successful online business without a list. In fact, I don’t think I know a single person who has a successful online business that does not make list building a central piece of the puzzle.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Make Big Bucks?

  5. Donna Merrill September 18, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi David,

    Sage advice here! I know because I do it with you lol. Seriously, when it comes to list building, it has to be done on a daily basis.

    Once we have several things in place, we can have a plan to keep and execute in so many ways. Simple CTA’s on social media can be fine if it is the right time and place. I know on my FB Page, I post 80 or 90% content and then give the CTA to press the app on the side or have an offer.

    Once people come to our list the fun begins. This is where we do most of our engagement.

    Great post!

    Donna Merrill´s last blog post ..Promoting Your Blog Just Got Easier

    • David Merrill 101 September 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

      So true, Donna.

      Online business doesn’t end with building a list, it begins there.

      Everything else is just “connecting,” “branding,” “posturing” and all the rest.

      Of course I know you’re up to snuff on the methods of list building because you’re the co-creator of “My 3 List Building Machines” … nice job!

      Nice to see you here.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Blogging To Make Money

  6. Basharath September 18, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

    I knew about list building but the list building in your build is something really which I need to appreciate.
    I need to follow all your tips which you mentioned here.

    Thank you for sharing such an informative article…


    Basharath´s last blog post ..10 Mind blowing features of PowerPoint to Edit Images

  7. Chery Schmidt September 20, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    Hello David, Well I finally did it, with the push from you and your lovely wife. I put together my free offer. “The Ultimate Game Plan For Online Entrepreneurs” I purchased Get Response, and set up my opt in on my blog.

    Wooo Hooo I cant believe it and I am getting opt ins too. Yeha now to start emailing these people.

    Thanks for the much needed push, it took me a while but I am on my way.

    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Become More Generous And Give Freely Of Your Time

  8. Deborah A. Ten Brink September 20, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    Hello David!

    Great post about list building! I have my database account, but I’m finalizing the design and shopping cart. Then, on to my product and list building.

    I always learn from your posts, and this one is no exception. I shall keep building and taking it step by step towards list building. It shouldn’t be long now!

    Your post gives me some new ideas, thank you David!

    Deborah A. Ten Brink´s last blog post ..10 Reasons For Daily Digital Journaling

  9. Enstine Muki September 23, 2015 at 5:59 am #

    Hey David,
    How are you this week man?

    Thanks for the free copy of your 3 list building machines. I just signed up and will be looking into it in a few hours.

    The bigger your list and the more targeted it is, the more your chances to really succeed online.

    thanks for the free gift 😉
    Enstine Muki´s last blog post ..Pogo Sticking is killing your SEO! Here’s how to fix it!

  10. Erika Mohssen-Beyk September 26, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    Like always you teach us the right thing .
    I will go and watch the videos and learn.
    I know listbuilding is important for marketers.
    I have some subscriptions recently ,which
    seem somehow unusual to me ,all from
    one country and the emails strange ,not
    like gmail or hotmail….
    Can it be that ,they are not real ?
    Thank you for this post and the gift which
    really will help many bloggers thinking about
    list building.
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk´s last blog post ..The Paper Boat – Be A Witness Of A Dream Come True

  11. Mary Sloane October 4, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    You are so right on so many counts David, Truly the list is the asset that keeps on giving.

    I say to myself I must get my list building machines built up and I don’t because I always struggle with the quality of the give away since i think it is so important as it starts the relationship and it is all about th relationship you have with your list

    Time to stop procrastinating!

    Thanks for the MANY valuable reminders

    Mary Sloane´s last blog post ..Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing, Both?

  12. Ron Killian October 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    Nice post David.

    I think of a list as traffic on demand. Hits you can send anywhere you want. Salespage, social sharing, trades and more.

    Course, as already mentioned, it needs to be nurtured. I have the same problem as Erica, I don’t always keep in contact with my lists. Too easy to get sidetracked or forget. I do use follow up series, but don’t do or have as many messages as I should.

    The other thing I’ve noticed, when people stop opening your emails, they start going into the trash/spam/promotional boxes. Another reason to keep the relationship going, on a regular basis.

    Plus, sadly, many marketers seem to be afraid to mail. They think they are bugging their subscribers or something. And not mailing enough can kill your list quickly. I see so many people say they mail once a month or so, that is so bad. It’s way too easy to get forgotten. Think we’ve all gotten emails from lists we actually signed for, but we don’t remember the sender, and don’t remember joining. Easy to get your emails marked as spam that way too.

    But your so right David, a list can be the best asset we can build.

    Enjoyed the post 🙂
    Ron Killian´s last blog post ..Unlock Hidden Profits From Your Blog

  13. Jacs Henderson October 11, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    Great title David!

    We should always have list building on our minds, and thank you for highlighting the many reasons why.

    How powerful is the fact that we do actually own, and have direct access to those people subscribing to our list. We are able to communicate with them personally, and wonderfully, we can access them all in one go.

    This does bring its responsibilities, to provide relevant, interesting and useful information and products for our readers to consume, but when we have something to share… our audience is ready!

    I’m not sure that I have truly appreciated the value of focusing on list building, but you have outlined it here in such a way that it means more to me than all those marketers out there, promoting their list building strategies.

    I have some ideas 😀 😀

    Thank you,

    Jacs Henderson´s last blog post ..Aloe Matters ~ My Online Magazine #13

  14. David Kovacs November 9, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    Hi David. When I started everyone told me that “David you should build your list.” And I did not even pay attention to that. After a couple of years I realized how important is that and now email is my 1# focus. Keep up the nice work.

  15. Kathryn Maclean November 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    Everything to do with your blog or social media or ads campaigns should be done with list building in mind. Yes indeed.

    Your list is your traffic. It is the key to a successful and profitable business, I do agree. I now also have list building on my mind David.

    I will make an effort to plug into your emails in my inbox this coming week. Wonderful article.
    Kathryn Maclean´s last blog post ..Social Media

  16. Monna Ellithorpe December 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi David,

    Wonderful post and lots of good information. I’ve struggled with list building off and on but I am beginning to gain traction now to good advice from you, Donna and some other people who are good at building lists.

    Wishing you and safe and Happy New Year and a wonderful 2016.

  17. Mark April 28, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

    You’ve shared several great points David!

    I couldn’t agree more, when you pointed out, even though
    we may tweet a link of our latest post to our followers, they still haven’t
    actually given us formal permission to solicit them,the way
    being an opt in email subscriber does.

    Your post really gets to the meat of why being proactive in our list
    building efforts is so important! Thanks!
    Mark´s last blog post ..How Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Strategically Create Tons Of Positive Word Of Mouth Publicity!Part Two

  18. Mandy Allen May 21, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    Great post, David, list building is the life of this business for sure.

    Enjoy the journey!
    Mandy Allen´s last blog post ..U Is For Unity

  19. Emenike Emmanuel November 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    You seriously don’t need to apologize to anyone that social media is not the best place to build list. It’s not in its entirety.

    It sucks when I see bloggers spending huge amount of money trying to buy likes on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks when they should I have used the same budget or less to build their email list. What happens to most social network years later is heartbreaking. At the long run many will discover that it is not worth it.

    Personally like David, list building is also on my mind. I need it badly.
    Emenike Emmanuel´s last blog post ..5 Simple Tasks Top Bloggers Do Daily to Grow their Blog

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