You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “The money is in the list.” This phrase has gained in popularity as more business owners realize the value of an opt-in list. Your subscribers are people who have expressed an interest in receiving your information. They’re practically asking to buy your products or service. They just need a little more convincing. That’s where your email messages come into play.

Here’s how to build and maintain a profitable opt-in list. Grow your list; grow your business.

Step One: Create a compelling offer

The very first secret to building a profitable opt-in list is to create a compelling offer. Now a compelling offer might be a free consultation, or a free coaching session. However, if you’re marketing to someone who doesn’t feel they need consulting but instead needs a service provider, requires training,  or wants information, then you’re not targeting them with the right offer. A compelling offer needs to be related specifically to your targeted niche. You want it to be something that appeals to them, not everyone on the planet.

A compelling offer also has to be valuable and unique. For example, if you’re marketing to financial advisors, then it might be something like an e-book or report on “How to choose the right VA for your financial advisor practice.” It must offer value.

Step Two: Market your offer

Once you’ve decided on your offer and have created your product or giveaway, it’s time to market that offer. You can market any number of ways. The goal, however, is to drive targeted traffic to your opt-in form or offer page. You can use:

* Article marketing
* Social networking
* Co-registration
* Facebook advertising
* Blogging

Make sure your marketing efforts support each other. Create a comprehensive marketing strategy and send each prospect to your opt-in offer page.

Step Three: Use your list right away

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to focus on building the list and neglecting communicating with the list. Make sure you begin building that relationship with your subscriber right away. Send them a welcome message. Send them value in the form of links, downloads and information.

Start using your list right away. Make sure to have all your items in place and anything that you use to brand your business. Make sure it looks professional and builds authority and credibility. You want your prospects to trust you.

Step Four: Create a communication plan

Make sure you’re communicating with your subscribers on a regular basis. An autoresponder is a wonderful tool because it enables you to create and schedule your messages in advance. Each new subscriber can receive the same messages in the same order, regardless of when they signed up. This gives you control over the relationship-building process.

Also remember to offer valuable content, not just promotional messages. An autoresponder automates the process, including the subscribe and unsubscribe management. You don’t need to hire anyone to manage the task for you. Your time is free to build your business in other ways.

Step Five: Partner with others to grow your list

Once you have your list building and management process smoothed out, consider partnerships. You can really boost your subscribers by partnering with other relevant business owners. This can be in the form of doing joint venture giveaways, swapping ads or banners, etc.  Also, they can help market your opt-in list by including a link to your form in their newsletter and vice versa. You can support each other to succeed.

Your opt-in list can mean the difference between thousands of prospects. It really can launch your business. If you don’t have an opt-in list, start creating a plan to build one. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂