Why Building A List Is Like Tending A Lawn

building a list

It might not appear that building a list has anything to do with keeping your lawn looking good…but it has.

One of the mistakes that listbuilders tend to make is concentrating on the numbers on their lists to the exclusion of everything else.

This would be similar to just laying a new lawn and doing nothing but ensure that the grass grows. While this will work well for a while, soon the grass will become unmanageable and you will not have the results you wanted.

However if you spend time regularly ensuring that the new lawn has the right nutrients it needs, is regularly watered and trimmed then it will look good all year round.

It is exactly the same when it comes to building a list – it needs regular maintenance and while the work needed is not too hard or even too time consuming, but it does still need to be done.

Here are three top tips to help ensure that you get the very best out of your email list:

1. Remember that you are building a list of people. The names and email addresses on your list all belong to individual people so be sure to treat them as both people and individuals. Be personal, write for the individuals on your list and not to the overall list as a whole. That way people will feel that they matter to you and that you want to help them. Using an autoresponder like RocketResponder can really help build the personal touch between you and your subscribers if you take care to treat your list as a group of individuals.

2. Be helpful, informative and respectful. Never forget that you do not have people on your list as a right…they are there because they want something from you. Generally the ‘something’ that people want is information relevant to their needs. Take care to draft a series of emails that will meet those needs so that your subscribers get the information they want in a timely manner. Make sure that every new subscriber gets a welcome email and that you let them know how they can contact you when they need additional information or when things go wrong.

3. Be flexible and react to fast-moving events. A good autoresponder is not just there for sending out a pre-written email series – it is much more flexible than that. Sometimes you will want to send out emails to your subscribers which do not fit into the pre-programmed series of emails that you had planned in advance. This is useful when you are reacting to breaking news or to new events in your niche or when you have some exciting news to impart or a new offer or promotion coming up.

It does not take too much time to keep on top of your email list, even when it grows to a large size. Just take the time and effort to tend to your list just as you might tend to a well-cared-for lawn and you will be sure to get the very best results from your list-building activities.

What Is Email Marketing And Why Should I Use It?

What Is Email Marketing

What Is Email Marketing?

When you send a commercial email to a potential client, a customer, a subscriber or to any distinct group of people, then that is email marketing.

You are using email to market your products, goods or services or may be alerting your target group to your latest offers or promotions or simply be raising awareness or helping for form opinions with your email message.

According to Wikipedia, email marketing “…involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness…

“Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately…”

Whether you are a traditional offline business, an online business, a charity, non-profit organization, a specialist interest group, website owner or blogger, you can all use email marketing to add value to what you do.

In fact if you could benefit from sending a message to any group of people, to either help market your products, raise awareness about the causes you support, or drive traffic to your blogs, then an email marketing software tool like RocketResponder is ideal for you.

For whatever purpose you may decide to use email marketing to get your message across, there is one golden rule which cannot be over emphasized. You must have the permission of the people you are sending your emails to, before you communicate with them.

Fail to do this and your emails are simply spam, so getting permission is vital. RocketResponder is designed to ensure that only those people who have expressly agreed to hear from you will ever get your emails.

Furthermore, the moment they decide that they no longer wish to receive your marketing messages they are automatically removed from your mailing list with just a single click of the mouse button.

Using an automated solution to handle your email marketing is very powerful, cost effective and can really help you get your message across to the very people you want to target and, more importantly, to the very people who want to hear from you.

What Is An Autoresponder And How Does It Work?

What Is An Autoresponder

What is an autoresponder? An autoresponder is a service which allows you to automatically send out emails to a group, or to several different groups, of people.

The key things to know are that:

  • subscribers sign up to receive emails from you
  • once the emails are written, the sending process is automatic
  • using email in this way is an astonishingly effective way to communicate

To get started you will have to first sign up to an autoresponder service such as RocketResponder and then set up a list within the autoresponder software for each group of people with whom you want to communicate.

For some people just one list is all they ever need but other people who use autoresponders may have multiple lists to target different groups.

Gaining subscribers

Next you will want to invite people to join your list. Typically this is done by asking them to provide you with their name and email address in order to receive emails from you.

So if you are a business the emails could be mainly about your business and any special offers you are running while bloggers tend to send emails when they have written a new post (a good autoresoponder will automatically do this for you either every time you post or at a frequency decided by you.)

Sometimes people like to include a gift in return for people signing up to their autoresponder list (which is also called a marketing list or simply an email list.) This may take the form of a discount on their first order, a free report on the subject area of interest or some tips and tricks that subscribers may like to know.

Communicating with subscribers

Now that you have names on your list you will need to talk to these people. After all they have given you their email address for that very purpose.

Typically you will write a short series of emails which go out to each new subscriber in the days, weeks (or even months) after they sign up to your list.

So if I join your list I might get a welcome email on day one, an introductory email on day two, something else on day three and then more emails on day six, 12  and 18.

You write the emails once, set the frequency you want them delivered and then each time someone new joins they get all your email series, in the order you wrote them and on the days you want them to get them. There is no further action required on your part.

The huge benefits of this are that:

  • your time is freed up to get on with the things you need to do
  • every single subscriber gets the same series of messages…even if you have 100 people sign up in a day, nobody gets left out. (Try handling all that on your own without an autoresponder.)

The other cool thing is that you can send emails to your lists at any time you want. So if you want to inform your subscribers about your new service which launches next week then write one email, press send, and everyone on your list gets to hear the news right away.

Some autoresponders are free, but these tend to have limited functionality or may impose limits to how many emails you can send or how many subscribers you can have on your list.

The paid autoresponders allow you to have more flexibility with how you communicate with your subscribers and can give you more data you may find useful including how many people opened your emails or clicked on your links.

Most paid services will charge you based on the number of subscribers you have – the price goes up as your list size grows. RocketResponder has a flat-fee pricing structure so that you will always know how much you have to pay and not have to worry about the numbers of subscribers you have.

Finally one common misconception is that autoresponders are only really useful for people who are working online, but this is simply not true.

More and more offline businesses and organizations are using autoresponders to communicate with their subscribers too. When it comes to efficiently sending email to groups of people then autoresponders are indispensable and really cost-effective communication tools.

Don’t Fear Losing Subscribers When Moving Email Lists To A New Host

moving email lists

Top Email Tips from RocketResponder: It can be really daunting when it comes to moving email lists from one host company to another…but the fear is often much worse than the reality.

Generally it is not as simple as taking all of the contact details from one software provider and simply pressing a button to move them across to another.

In fact some email marketing software providers do not allow transfers of lists at all and, for those that do, there are normally certain hoops through which you must jump.

When it comes to moving lists then there is something which is generally true of most moves…you will tend to lose a percentage of your subscribers along the way.

This may sound like a disaster, especially to list-builders, but it need not be as bad as it might immediately sound.

Why Subscribers May Fall Away In A Move

If you are able to migrate one set of subscribers from one service provider to another then you generally will have to give them the option to come along with you.

Some will move over without any problem at all, others may want to move over but never get round to doing so and others still simply won’t want to move at all.

As strange as it may seem, some people just won’t want to take the trouble to move…even if the effort required is simply clicking a confirmation link in an email. It can just seem like too much effort and they won’t do it.

Those of you who use double opt-in subscriber lists will understand this only too well. There are always ‘ghost subscribers’ who take the initial step of signing up for your list but then never take the vital second step of clicking the confirmation link in the email to confirm their subscription.

I am not exactly sure why some people do this but they just do and it it can be a little frustrating.

So the bottom line is that when you are in a position where you want to move a set of subscribers from one email marketing provider to another, then you can expect your list size, initially at least, to decrease.

Why This Is Not Something To Worry About

Seeing your subscriber numbers go down when you are working your best to see them increase is not as bad as you might think.

For a start it is highly unlikely that everyone on your list reads all of your emails but it is more likely than not that some on your list will read none of your emails.

This can be for a variety of reasons but a common one is that, over time, people’s needs and interests change, so what may have appealed to them at one stage of their lives may not appeal at all now.

There may be others who open the occasional email you send out, but only pay it very scant attention and are not really interested in what you have to say any more.

These are the very people who are most likely to drop off when you move your list and they just so happen to be the very group of people you can most afford to leave behind.

If someone loves what you have to say then they are most unlikely to leave you behind for the sake of clicking a single email link.

How You Can Mitigate Subscriber Losses

Explain to your subscribers why you are moving and set out exactly what you need them to do.

Explain that the move will be in order for you to provide them with a better service and give them plenty of notice of the move.

Maybe you could provide some sort of incentive for your existing subscribers to move with you such as a discount code, special offer or some other item that your subscribers would find useful, informative or helpful.

If you have not communicated with your list in some time then it may be helpful to re-introduce yourself and vow to do a better job of keeping them updated from now on.

Don’t be afraid to send out the link to move to your new list several times because we are all busy and very often emails are missed or forgotten.


So while your list may be smaller after the move, it will almost certainly contain your most responsive subscribers.

Take this opportunity to reconnect with your subscribers or to connect with them better than you did before.

At the same time you will still be building your list so it will continue to grow and you will soon make the numbers up once again.

Why Email Marketing Services Will Give Your Membership Site A Boost

Email Marketing Services

Email Marketing Top Tips. Did you know that email marketing services (something called mass mailing or mass emailing services) can really give your membership sites a massive boost?

In fact using mass mailing – always with permission to do so – is a really very powerful way to get so much more out of a membership site.

When we are talking about a membership site here, we mean any type of website where people typically pay to gain access to all or part of the site. There are also membership sites where people can join for free and others where there is no free element and all members are paid members.

Regardless of the exact type of site in question, they all have one thing in common and that is that using email marketing services – such as an autoresponder like RocketResponder – can dramatically boost activity.

Most people understand that sending out email newsletters to subscribers is powerful but not everyone takes the time to do so. There may be a feeling that it is too complicated, or to much like hard work or just too time consuming to set up and manage.

RocketResponder was set up to remove all these obstacles so that sending out a newsletter was just about as simple as sending an email to your friends. Now, if you own or manage any type of membership site,  there is no excuse any more not to use the power of email to get more traffic and activity for very little effort indeed.

Convert free members into paid members

Do you have a mixture of free and paid members? Then use the followup email feature to encourage your paid members to convert into paid members.

The followup series – typically delivered over a few days or weeks – will point out all the advantages of moving over to the paid option and this can be amazingly effective at doing so without the need for any ‘hard sell’ at all.

People generally hate missing out on things…it is just human nature. So why not remind them that while their free membership is good, there is so much more that they are missing out on by not taking advantage of your paid membership level or levels.

Another cool thing is that the RocketResponder API will automatically unsubscribe them from the free list the moment they upgrade.

This means that they won’t get any more ‘upgrade now’ type messages and instead can get more targeted emails to suit their needs, such as tips on how to get the most our of the paid memership features they have signed up for.

Remember that this can be used in any kind of membership site, especially when there is a free trial or a free tier involved.

Finally everyone on your email list will have given you permission to contact them, and confirmed their email address, so that this form of mass mailing (mass emailing) is certainly not spam.

We very strongly believe that nobody should get emailed from a business without permission and as long as email marketers follow that rule then they should not go far wrong.