List Building – Instant Gratification

Along with enticing your visitors, you need to provide some instant gratification. People like to feel like they’re getting something for giving you their email address. It may be hard to think about what everyone wants and how people repsond to various things, so always put yourself in their shoes.

As yourself these questions: What makes you sign up to a mailing list? Do you like getting free items sent to your inbox for signing up? Would you have signed up had you not gotten a freebie? Of course, your opinion might be different than the next person, but it’ll at least get you thinking about ways to marketing your mailing list.

Instant Gratification

For the most part, getting people to sign up for your mailing list involves enticing them to do so. I covered this topic previously, but instant gratification ties in a little bit. The most important thing to do is make your visitors feel like they actually got something for their time spent on your site. You can accomplish this a few ways:

  • Have an automated, yet informative message delivered to their inbox as soon as they sign up. This message should contain important links on your site, “starter” information about your content and maybe even a free attachement.
  • Send them to a ‘Thank you’ page after signing up which contains something unique that nobody else has access to until they join your mailing list.
  • Consider sending the very last edition of your newsletter to them instantly with links on how to download previous newsletters.

My two cents

Think of it from a sales point of view. How great does it feel to walk out of a Best Buy with your favorite music cd and be able to play it on the way home? It’s that instant gratification that helps justify the purchase. The same goes for mailing lists. You want to make your visitor feel like they got something out of it. But not just something–something great.

As for that image above, I just chose it because I thought it was funny!

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List Building – Enticement

How exactly do you get people to sign up for your newsletter? Maybe the more important question is: how do you get people to want to sign up for your newsletter? This question will not be completely answered here because there are so many factors that go into your marketing strategy. These factors are then varied based on the industry you’re involved in.

What I can tell you is that you need to find out what makes your visitors/customers “tick”. Researching your site’s demographics can help with this. Here are a few tips you can use to create buzz around your newsletter.


  • Content – First and foremost you need to remember that nobody will want your newsletter if it contains useless information. Always provide new, quality content. If you keep rehashing the same material over and over or copy content from other sources on the Internet, you will not be able to maintain a consistant subscriber list.
  • Free stuff – If your newsletter is primarily used to promote products and services that you’re selling, you might want to think about giving away something for free to get people to sign up. This will show your visitors that you are interested in keeping them around. Free stuff can include a special edition newsletter or a free eBook on a subject of interest for your visitors.
  • Speak the truth – Don’t fill your newsletter with bogus information, half-truths or outright lies. This will ruin your reputation and make you lose subscribers faster than you can send out your next message. This is especially true if your newsletter revolves around the latest news in your industry.
  • Be consistant – If you tout that your newsletter will be delivered weekly, send it weekly. In fact, send on the same day and time. Think of your publication as you would the daily newspaper. If you read it, you probably expect it at a particular time everyday. Your visitors will expect the same from you.
  • No spam – Never spam your visitors! Don’t send them offers that you know they won’t be interested in. Never sell your email list (unless you explicitly say you will before someone signs up) to any third party companies. Most of all, don’t overdo it!! If your visitors are expecting a monthly newsletter, don’t send one daily.

If your visitors know that your newsletter will contain the qualities mentioned above, they are more likely to sign up. The best advice I can give you is to put yourself if their shoes. If you were on someone’s website, what would make you want to submit your email address? On the other side, what would make you not want to submit your email address?

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