How to start building a list for free in less than 5 minutes

Hey so as you know I’m a big advocate of growing your email list in every market you go in. For the past year I have been upgrading all my old Adsense and Amazon websites with optin forms; probably the smartest thing I have done in years!

If you think about it, if you are not capturing emails then you are losing visiors on a daily basis. Would you rather have 100 visits to your site a day or 100 visits and 50 subscribers that you can market to indefinitely for life?

Now one of the biggest barrier to entry when it comes to list building is price. In fact an autoresponder service is not cheap, you’ll need to shell out about $15-$30/month for a serious provider. By the way for this effect I recommend Aweber and Icontact, although I know that Mailchimp has a good free offer (only thing is their site just gets me very confused so I would go anywhere near that monkey ever again:).

So today I wanted to show you how you can integrate your first autoresponder to your site for free and in 5 minutes and start building that list today!

I don’t feel like shooting a video today, so here is a hardcore step-by-step tutorials, straight screenshots, no yada yada.

You’ll be up and running in exactly 5 minutes, just open a new tab and follow the steps.

STEP 1: Go to Feedburner.com and enter your blog URL

STEP 2: Give your feed a title (don’t sweat over it)

Step 3: Click on ‘Skip directly to feed management’ at the bottom

Step 4: Click on “Publicize”

Step 5: Click on “Email Subscriptions” 

Step 6: Activate email subscriptions

Step 7: Copy the whole code

Step 8: Go to your widgets dashboard (WordPress)

Step 9: Paste the code into a new text widget 

Step 10: People will now be able to subscribe to your blog

This means that everytime you will update your blog, your subscribers will receive an automatic notification email. This will translates in loads of return traffic, and traffic equals revenues 🙂

How cool is that? Now take two minutes and implement this on your Adsense and Amazon sites starting today, you’ll be amazed how many people will sign up!

12 thoughts on “How to start building a list for free in less than 5 minutes”

  1. Great instructions for using FeedBurner, but doesn’t it leave the unwary user with a new problem somewhere down the road when they grow to the point of needing an auto responder such as aWeber? Most auto responders will not allow you to import a list without going through a double opt-in process in which you will lose a huge percentage of your list. I would be happy to learn that I’m wrong on this or that there is a way around the issue.

  2. Jerry,

    You make a very valid point, at some point people will have to transition to a paid autoresponder service. This said, in the meantime, I think it is better to have a feedburner list than no list at all!

    The reason Im suggesting this free tool is simply to get people started with building their lists. I know most people (Ive been there) are not ready to commit their dollars with Aweber or simply do not have the money to do so. So this is an easy yet temporary solution to get started.

    Furthermore if let’s say one person here follow my advice and starts with feedburner today. By next year that person may have 5000 subs on his/her list. The person then decides to switch to Aweber, by doing an import and a double opt-in verification. He may then lose 80% of his list, people who are not bothered to sign up again. Good riddance I’d say 🙂

    (Who wants 4,000 freeloaders anyway?)

    Now he is left with 1,000 hardcore subs one year on from now. People who decided to follow him from feedburner to Aweber. Would this be better than NOT acting on a free technique and having zero subscribers by next year?

    I guess that’s what I wanted to put across. If someone has the money, yes by all means go with Icontact etc. If you can’t afford it, start somewhere, and that somewhere might be feedburner..

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment
    Bertrand

  3. Bertanddo:

    Interesting idea. Never heard of it before but it makes good use of feedburner. Would you use it in addition to a optin box for your list? Or is this one a new/different list for your blog?

    Thanks,
    Kat

  4. Kat,
    You can use this as the main list building technique for your website, I wouldn’t use it in addition with anything else (it’d be too confusing for your readers, let alone yourself!).

    If you already have a paid solution, then go 100% with it Id said. If you have no list building going on on your site, then this is better than nothing.
    I hope this answers your question,
    Cheers.

  5. Excellent Post and delivered for all the right reasons since I have been guilty of not doing any list building until I felt I had enough steady traffic before investing in a monthly fee.

    So this is exactly what I needed to accomplish both not losing out on anyone I could sign up in the short-term, plus hopefully having a base list to start with when I do graduate to a paid monthly service.

    Well Done, Bertrand!! 5 Stars!

    Michael

  6. Bertrand,

    You are right on the mark with feedburner if you haven’t already got a list. I started with it and then got the Free version of [GWA] WordPress Autoresponder and then when I could afford the one-time cost for the Plug-in, I upgraded and now have a newsletter system on my WordPress sites.

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