The Street Smart Marketer’s Approach To List Building

proper list building

List Building is the lifeblood of business success for anyone who is building a business online. It allows you to build relationships with your clients, learn about the problems they’re experiencing, and accumulate repeat sales over time.

The problem is that list building is also the area that most people struggle with the most.


Personally, I think people just make it WAY too complicated.

Confucius once said “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” The same can be as of business- even the “easy road” of building a business online.


When it comes down to it, building a list has just a few main steps:


  • Pick your niche


  • Set up a squeeze page


  • Offer a free gift


  • Set up a sales funnel


That’s it!

But before we get to those steps, let’s talk about a few misconceptions about what successful list builders really do. If you’ve been around for a while and heard a bunch of junk on forums, you may be surprised at what actually works.

Almost anyone (with a bit of practice) can master the art of throwing up a WordPress blog, creating products or even writing sales copy. But building a list? That requires all of these efforts as well as some creative thinking and courage.

Besides that, a lot of people don’t understand what makes for a good email list. Everybody wants a “big” list, and focuses only on getting more subscribers onto their list. But that’s not necessarily the best kind of list to look for in a long term business.


So what do you think a big, successful email list actually looks like?

Is it:

a) A list of 100,000 people?

b) How about a list of 20,000 people?

c) Maybe 500 people?

d) Or do you think the size of the list doesn’t matter?


If you picked “d” you’re already ahead of the game!


That’s right- at the end of the day, the size of your list doesn’t matter all that much.


Some marketers out there with lists of 5,000 and 10,000 subscribers will consistently get tons of sales from each email, whereas others with lists of well over 100,000 subscribers can barely make enough sales to cover their rent!

Doesn’t make sense, does it?

But here’s the deal. Successful List Builders understand “big lists” differently than the people with 100,000 subscribers. They’ve learned that a successful list is all about having a good relationship with the people on their list. They focus on influence, not numbers. Influence is the real marker of success.


When we talk about influence as a business owner, what we mean is:


  • Your subscribers open most, if not all of your emails


  • Your subscribers actually read the emails- they don’t open it up just to delete it!


  • They act on what you recommend or teach them


  • They buy stuff from you (or products you recommend as an affiliate


  • They beg you to put out more products that they can buy


  • They help you learn the market by telling you what they need when you ask questions


If you have influence with your subscribers, a list of 500 people who are “true fans” can be more successful than that 100,000 subscriber guy who simply hammers his list with one offer after another.


Want proof?


Ask someone with a huge list of over 100K people to show you their open rates. Chances are, they’re horrible! They might get a few thousand opens, but that doesn’t mean a lot of those people will buy anything.

That’s because what these “marketers” are doing isn’t marketing. They are spammers, throwing out a bunch of promos waiting to see what sticks.

Note that they may not be illegally spamming, but because they’re sending their list a bunch of unwanted junk, they’re essentially spamming. That is NOT what you want to do if your plan is to do this for the long term.



What Successful Marketers Do


Successful marketers continually provide solutions to problems their customers have. They make sure every word they say or write to their customers is geared towards benefitting them




They don’t resort to hard sale tactics. They know that “hard selling” makes people tune them out. It makes them sound sleazy and greedy.

Like that used car salesman down the street in the polyester suit.


People aren’t stupid.


Most “marketers” are just out to make a quick buck. They want to press a button, send an email to 50,000 people and walk away with $20,000 the next morning.

Sorry folks, it just doesn’t work that way!



How to Build Trust


You have to make a connection each time you communicate with your subscribers. You have to like them and make them like you. You want them to read your emails and make them feel like you’re talking directly to them.

The way you do that is by giving away helpful, informative, valuable content that actually solves your subscribers’ problems.

After all, isn’t that the goal of a business? To provide a valuable product or service in exchange for something else… usually money?

Find a way to earn their trust by giving them the high value information they are looking for, so you can sell to them in the future. In addition you’ve got to keep yourself at the top of their mind.

Otherwise, when they are ready to buy, they’re going to go looking for other solutions, spot another website, and buy from someone else.

You’ve likely heard this before, but I’ll repeat it anyways just in case. Most customers require 7-12 exposures to your products or services before they’re going to make a purchase.

They’re going to need to hear from you MULTIPLE times before they’re going to take out that credit card for you. This is especially true if they don’t know, like or trust you yet.


So stop just trying to make a few sales, and start building connections with your subscribers. Once you do that, and you start taking care of them, your sales numbers will skyrocket.


As the great Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

So focus on providing value and providing solutions to your subscribers rather than just milking them for their hard-earned cash.


Feel free to share and leave a comment if you found value.

new me






Terry Henry

Skype: terryhenry357


” I teach entrepreneurs the common sense approach to getting leads, building lists
and making sales online.”

PS. If You Wanna Learn How To Generate 25-30 Leads Per Day For Your Business, You Should
Get This Training – Lead Generation Mastery


  • Lisa

    Reply Reply August 15, 2015

    Hello there.

    thankyou for sharing your information in regards to getting leads. Having peoples trust and gaining there trust is a very important thing in online business. If we don’t get there trust it will be very hard for them to have anything to do with us.

    It is a good post. 🙂

    • Street Smart Marketer

      Reply Reply August 15, 2015

      Hi Lisa and Thank You for taking the time to visit and read my blog. I believe that trust is glue that holds this whole thing together. Like you said without it, they would have nothing to do with us.

  • Annette Marcantonio

    Reply Reply August 17, 2015

    Hi Terry
    Great article. Thanks for telling it like it really is.
    A lot of good information there.
    I have just downloaded your Lead Generation Cheat Sheet and looking forward to going through it.

  • Boris Qs

    Reply Reply August 17, 2015

    I guess the formula of KLT (know,Like and Trust) applies to all the strategies of marketing. Great tip about building the trust factor through email marketing

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