One often-overlooked source of subscribers for online businesses is their local community. We can get so focused on the online world that we forget we live in a town or city full of potential customers! Here are some simple ideas for building a huge list by marketing locally. Start with one or try them all then keep adding to your methods as you go for the best results.
1. Write a column for your community paper that offers tips and advice for your target audience. If your topic is of general enough interest (like gardening, parenting, business, etc.), the paper may be interested in publishing it with a link to your website.
2. Create a simple flyer and print several on brightly colored cardstock. Laminate them and post around town where subscribers can see them, such as on public bulletin boards or in laundromats or the town library. For best results, limit the text to a short blurb and your subscription URL. For instance, if you target crafters, your poster could read, "Free Craft Tips!" and the URL. These will last longer than plain flyers and cost less than printed signs.
3. Join local networking groups, chambers of commerce, and service groups. Not only will you break the isolation of working mostly online, you'll also be exposed to dozens of potential partners, advertisers, and customers!
4. Contact a local radio station and ask if they'd allow you to sponsor a contest for their listeners. Radio stations are constantly looking for promotions and prizes, so your chances of a “Yes” are high! Direct listeners to your website so they can enter the contest and include the stipulation that everyone who enters will be added to your mailing list.
5. Search for places your target audience frequents and promote your mailing list there. For instance, if you target parents, contact area hospitals and pediatricians and let them know you have a free mailing list that offers parenting tips and information, and ask if they could include a flyer in the packets they hand out to new moms.
6. Don't forget your local Craigslist. Craigslist – the online version of the local classifieds – has become such a huge draw that even Internet newcomers seem to know about it – and visit! Take advantage of this free ad opportunity. Just be sure to list your ads in the appropriate locations and follow all the rules to keep from being flagged.
7. Get in conversations. We often don't take advantage of opportunities to tell others about our business, assuming that because it's online, “ordinary” people won't be interested or understand what we're doing. That's a big mistake – people are people, and you're as likely to find your next customer next door as you are on the Internet. Get over your hesitation to tell others about your online business. Explain what you do and ask if they or someone they know might be interested in your product or service.
8. Speak! Local service clubs, hospitals, women's groups, senior centers, and the like are always looking for low- or no-cost speakers. Pick an area of your expertise that will be of interest to the group, and contact them about holding a seminar or talk. Make sure to bring your business cards or promotional items.
Stretching outside your comfort zone is a sure-fire way to expose yourself to new prospects. Think of everyone you come in contact with as a potential subscriber to your list, and realize that if they need what you sell, you're doing them a favor by solving their problems. 

If you're not into it yet, shopping carts are online applications that are quite a necessity nowadays and have become a crucial component to the success of your business. For small and just starting out businesses, a well thought of shopping cart can even bring about a break or make situation for them. This is why decisions on a shopping a cart should not be rushed. You should spend time thinking about what you want rather than thinking about how to resolve as situation later on.

When you are in the process of selecting a shopping cart application, it would be best to list down your specific needs from a shopping cart. You might not actually need all those additional features in the first place and purchasing them could be just a waste of your money.

However, do not limit yourself to the point that you will not avail of additional features ever. There will come a time that you will need some features to keep your shopping cart updated and at the level of your competitors. With this in mind, it would be best to keep options open and look for a shopping cart that offers future upgrades.

Because of the development of the shopping cart technology, you can choose from the simplest form to the more complex ones that have integrated webpages instead of just being an element of your online store. Again, it is a matter of knowing what you want. You can narrow down everything once you've organized your needs and expectations from the cart.

There are some very useful features nowadays that you should seriously consider. There's the option of the cart coming up with suggestions of other products that complements the current selection your client has at the moment. This idea appeals to the impulse buying behavior of individuals. The feature can be quite effective in generating sales and should not be totally ignored.

Another consideration, of course, is your budget. It is a very easy decision to select between a simple cart and one that is jam-packed with features if you know your budget. Things will be dictated by your budget, that maybe harsh but that's a reality that you will have to face.

It is okay to spend some money on a shopping cart but do not forget the other elements that will help make your online store successful. There's the payment gateway, additional manpower to maintain the shopping cart, hosting issues, and other stuff.

The point is to see this ecommerce shopping cart as a whole and not just in segments. You can invest properly by thinking that way. It will also help you to keep to your budget by factoring early on the costs of each component of your online store.


Among all the strategies you can use to promote your list, providing useful information that your target audience wants is the best thing you can do. Quality content will grow your list FAST as your readers pass your information on to others, and tell your friends about your expertise.  
Quality content attracts readers and subscribers almost on its own. You won't have to work as hard or promote near as much if every message you send to your list contains quality content your readers crave.
For example, if your target audience is dog lovers, providing them with fresh and original tips to help them best enjoy and care for their canine friends will bring in subscribers quicker than you can say, "Fido"!
You could include articles and information on:
• How to care for dogs
• What to feed specific breeds to keep them healthy
• Training a dog not to jump
• Teaching new dogs old tricks
• Choosing the right breed for individual lifestyles
• Dealing with grief in the loss of a beloved pet
• Where to go on a dog-friendly vacation
• Anything else related to your topic.
These are the kind of articles that your target audience scours the Internet for. Giving it to them will create loyal subscribers who can't wait until the next issue arrives in their inbox, and who tell everyone they know to sign up for your mailing list.
Think of your personal reading habits. Most everyone who is online has subscribed to a mailing list or two in a topic that interests them. You probably have as well. Are you still subscribed? Why? If you unsubscribed, what made you leave?
We sometimes say it's because we don't have time to read, but if the truth be told, we stay subscribed to the lists we really value—even if we don't have time to read every single issue. So what's the REAL reason you left?
Tired articles? Nothing new or original? Same old stuff you see online everywhere else? Probably.
And your subscribers will be the same way.
But if you offer quality content that meets the need of your most targeted subscriber, you can bet your bottom dollar that subscriber will stick with you.
So, how do you ensure the content you're providing is what your readers want? By conducting a little research and see what's popular in your niche arena.
For instance, looking at dog lovers again, what books are dog lovers reading right now? What products are they buying? What movies are they watching? Visit dog lovers' forums online and see what they're talking about. Chat with your friends and family who have dogs and find out what they would like to read. All of these things can offer clues as to the kind of content your subscribers would like.
Keep on top of current trends in your niche market so you can beat your competition with the breadth and depth of your knowledge. While they're serving up the same tired articles about the dangers of puppy mills, you're telling your readers about the latest research in flea collars and how to raise a vegetarian dog.
Once you know the topics, then it's just a matter of writing some informative messages that provide that content in an easy-to-read, conversational style that lets your personality show through.
Providing quality content will always be the best way to grow your mailing list. It's what people are looking for when they subscribe, and it's what will keep them coming back for more, and telling others about your list, after they do.


If you have an email list but aren't making any money with it, you're sitting on your golden goose, not allowing it to lay any valuable eggs! The whole purpose of going to the trouble of creating, maintaining and growing a mailing list is to reach more customers, sell more products, and make more money. If you haven't seen a successful increase in your profit with your mailing list, it may be time to regroup and see what you need to do differently. Here are some of the biggest mistakes list owners make with their email marketing efforts:
They get lazy. After a while, many list owners get busy – or lazy – and forget about their lists. They start publishing less frequently or their consistency drops off. Or they may stop publishing altogether! Don't let this happen to you.
A neglected list is an unprofitable list. You need to stay in contact with your subscribers on a regular basis. You can go monthly, though no less than that, but bi-weekly is better, and weekly is probably best, depending upon your subscribers and your industry. People won't buy from you unless you're top-of-mind, and people's memories won't last any longer than it takes to delete your message from their in-box.
They get sloppy. You have to maintain the quality and integrity of the mailings you send to your list. Sure, you can use reprints occasionally. But be sure to add lots of original content as well. And if you do use a reprint, add a personal note to it, to give it more impact and let your readers know why you chose it.
If all you're doing is reprinting someone else's great content, don't be surprised if your subscribers decide to cut out the middleman and go right to the source – dropping off your list and joining someone else's with stronger, original content.
They get dated. If you've set up your messages using Aweber, or another autoresponder system, go back through the messages every once in a while and make sure they're up-to-date and current. For instance, if you ran a special promotion in message number one that ended a month ago, it can harm your credibility when a new subscriber receives that message with old information and broken links.
Online, all you have to impress your prospects is your presence. A broken link online is like a dirty restroom in a restaurant. It shows a lack of attention to detail, and your customers will wonder where else you're cutting corners.
They forget to sell. While it's wonderful to send educational information to your subscribers, don't forget to tell them what you're up to! Let them know about your new products and services. Share success stories and behind-the-scenes glimpses into your business life.
People love to know about the people they buy from, and sharing a bit of personal information about yourself will help them feel more attached to you.
They overwhelm their readers. More is not always better! Giving your subscribers dozens of links to resources, five product descriptions, and ten articles in each newsletter is too much. When people get that much information all at once, they shut down. They either delete the newsletter right then and there, or they leave it to read for “later” when they have more time (which we all know means “never”).
Choose the best of the best and provide just a few carefully targeted pieces of information. After all, you want to be a solution for your subscribers, not another problem!
Your list will only work when you use it, pay attention to it, and help it grow. Treat it as a valuable element of your business, and it will pay you back over and over again. 


Using offline promotions is one of the best, though often overlooked, ways to build your email list. For beginning marketers, in particular, or publishers on a shoestring budget, it's a great opportunity to spread the word without spending a fortune.
Promoting offline can sometimes make it harder to reach your target audience, since you may not know as easily where they can be found – especially true if you have a narrow, niche market. So using a broader stroke in your marketing efforts is acceptable as long as you see good results.
The ways to promote your business offline are only as limited as your imagination. Here are a handful of ideas to spark your own creativity. The best part: They are relatively low-cost and won't break the bank. 
  • Fill a small zipper bag with a few Hershey's Kisses, your business card, and a quarter-page flyer that includes details about your email list, and the benefits for subscribers. Distribute these freely wherever your target audience hangs out.
  • Leave a few brightly colored, half-page flyer with your email list information and subscription URL in the lobby when you stay in a hotel. Staple a mint to each page, so the maid doesn't automatically toss them. Do the same thing with a quarter-page flyer at restaurants, day cares, grocery stores, pharmacies, bookstores, the bank and anywhere else you visit.
  • Place a small classified ad in your local community paper. Local papers usually offer affordable advertising options that are seen by a large number of people. The nice thing about community papers is that most people read them from front to back, so even though the circulation may not be as large as other newspapers, the actual number of eyes that see your ad might be greater.
  • Set up a booth at community fairs such as those held by your church, parish, or local Chamber of Commerce. Fill a basket with candy to attract visitors, and host a contest for a free gift.
  • Create some simple drawing slips with a small print disclosure that anyone who enters will be subscribed to your mailing list, and require everyone who enters to include an email address. When the fair ends, draw a winner, and deliver or mail the prize.
  • Rent a booth at a local flea market, business expo, or county fair. Offer free goodies such as a small booklet related to your niche topic, and ask anyone who stops by to subscribe to your email list.
  • Balloons, pens, letter openers… all of these ideas that we think only work to build a brick-and-mortar business, can also work to build your subscriber mailing list – if you use them! Carry a few with you so when someone asks you what you do, you can hand them one of your promotional items.
  • Contact local businesses and ask if you can post a flyer on the inside of their restroom stalls in exchange for a free button, banner or text ad on your website. (This is a good place to use laminated flyers, too.)
  • Have a few T-shirts printed with your subscription URL and info on them. Something short like – "Free Budget Tips!" and the URL work great. Wear one when you're out and about.
Not every idea you have will draw noticeable results, but by using a variety of methods, you'll get the word out about your business much more quickly. Give a few of these techniques a shot and see what works. 


Growing a huge list requires a variety of marketing strategies, and one of the easiest is to convert visitors to your website to list subscribers.
To begin, write a compelling description about what your list offers your targeted audience and why they'd want to subscribe. Use the WIIFM (What's In It For Me?) formula and include all the benefits of subscribing, the free goodies they'll receive for subscribing, how easy it is to join and opt-out if they choose, and details about the quality content they'll receive.
Create a page on your website specifically for this content. Your mailing list needs its own page. After all, your mailing list is one of the biggest and most profitable marketing methods you can use, so give it the attention it deserves.
Include a sign-up form on this page so visitors can easily subscribe to your list directly. You'll also want to include a sign-up form on every other page of your site. These forms are typically located in the upper right-hand navigation column. But on your dedicated list page, make it even more prominent and place it in the center of the page so it's easy to find.
Next, create a thank-you page and have your email list manager (Aweber or a similar service) redirect subscribers to this page when they subscribe. Here, you'll thank the subscriber for joining, and let her know if she should be expecting a confirmation in her inbox (a common “double opt-in” procedure for high-quality email list managers like Aweber).
You may want to think about using the bottom of this page for a "thank-you page swap" with another publisher who reaches your target audience. Your partner will use this space to promote your list, and you'll promote theirs. Language can be as simple as… "Now, that you've subscribed, why not check out another great newsletter…" with details or a link to a subscription box. This step isn't mandatory, but it can help grow your list if you choose your partner wisely.
Through your email management service, be sure that as soon as your subscriber has confirmed her email, she's redirected to the link to the free content you promised, or it's sent automatically via email. Whichever method you use, just be sure to get it into your subscriber's hands quickly. People tend to be impatient online, and following through right away on your promise to provide something will make a good impression.
Now that your new page is all set up, your thank-you page is in place, and your subscriber has the free information she wants, it's time to promote this page.
Submit the link to search engines, online newsletter directories, quality free advertising sites and anywhere else you can. Include it in the resource box for articles or guest blog posts you write, and in the signature line on forum posts. Arrange to swap links with other online business people in complementary industries.
Constantly work to build the site rankings on this page. Tweak the content and try different headlines and graphics, seeing which convert visitors to subscribers.