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I’ve spent a lot of time reading BlogEngage.com lately, and it’s obvious that there are dozens of extremely helpful articles on search engine optimization, traffic generation, website design, social media marketing and a handful of other topics.

However, I think that a very crucial part of achieving success online hasn’t been covered entirely yet. I’m talking about email marketing and list building.

Everyone who’s into internet marketing knows the phrase that “the money is in the list”. If you have a subscriber list of thousands of people who’re all interested in the topic of your newsletter, all you have to do to make money is send out a short message, promoting an affiliate product for example. It won’t take more than 10 minutes, tops.

And now that we’re in this post-Google Panda and post-Google Penguin algorithm update world, I’d like to coin another phrase: “the traffic is in the list”.

Now that so many of us discovered that Google can take away our traffic and earnings literally overnight, it’s all the more important to have a source of traffic that’s 100% under our control.

And I think that’s exactly why email marketing is so important: if you do it right, it can provide you with all the traffic and money you need to achieve your goals online.

And since I didn’t find too many articles talking about starting a newsletter on Blog Engage, I decided to fill this gap by sharing with you my own 7 email marketing best practices.

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Note: In case you want to find an even more detailed guide, you can download for free Your A to Z Guide to Starting a Newsletter, which is an eBook I created to help newbies master everything about email marketing.

1. Start from The Very Beginning

The most important rule is to start your own newsletter as soon as you start your blog or website. Sure, at first not many people will subscribe, but with time they’ll add up, and the more subscribers you have on your list, the more money you’ll make and the more reliable your online business will be.

2. Put Subscription Boxes at Prominent Places

This tip is just as important as the first one. Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of making your subscription box difficult to find. You wouldn’t believe how many times I wanted to sign up for someone’s newsletter and couldn’t do it because they “hid” their subscription boxes.

Instead of making the same mistake, include a sign-up box at least at one of the following places:

On the right-hand column of your website

At the bottom of your posts

At the footer of your site

On your about page

On your homepage

This will ensure that you’ll have a high conversion rate and start earnings as soon as possible.

3. Incentivize People to Sign Up

Another very common mistake is not incentivizing people to subscribe to your list. With so many people and their dogs offering a newsletter, it’s no longer enough to promise free content. You have to give away something for free to convince people to sign up.

It can be anything from a free report to a more elaborate eBook. For instance, I offer my visitors 7 high-quality PDF guides and a free promotional VideoScribe in exchange for subscribing. You can imagine how high my conversion rate climbed after I implemented these incentives.

Bottom line: create some kind of product related to the topic of your site and turn it into a lead magnet.

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4. Implement a Pop-Up Subscription Box

“To use a popup or not to use a popup, that is the question.” At least that is the question that many people are struggling with. But you shouldn’t be one of them.

Sure, a popup window can be annoying, but it’s been proven thousands of times before that they are very effective at turning visitors into subscribers. Personally, I achieved a 300 percent increase in new subscriptions after I implemented a popup box, and some people report as high increases as 500 or 600 percent.

Besides, don’t listen to anyone who says you’ll lose credibility and people will hate you. Some of the most popular experts and bloggers use a popup window and they’re still treated with tons of respect.

So don’t think of it as a moral dilemma: get a tool like PopUp Domination and skyrocket your subscribers overnight!

5. Write Short Emails

Now that we discussed how to start a newsletter and how to get new subscribers, let’s talk about how to keep those subscribers.

The best email marketing practice here is to keep your emails short. People receive dozens of emails every day and they’re very busy. If they see that your messages are longer than 100-200 words, most of your subscribers won’t read your mails. If you want people to click on an affiliate link at the bottom of your mail or visit your site, this is a very bad thing.

So get to the point and keep your emails’ word count below 300 words at the maximum.

6. Don’t Use Images in Emails

Some email-providers can’t read anything other than text-based messages, so if you want to reach as many people as possible, don’t include images in your mails. Instead, communicate in plain text so that all your subscribers can consume your content.

7. Don’t Fall Into Others’ Spam Folders

And lastly, make sure your emails don’t end up in your subscribers’ spam folders. You can avoid being labeled as a spammer if you don’t use risky words in your subject lines or body text. Risky words are “rich”, “free”, “buy”, “promo”, “order” and other hyped up phrases.

Also, it’s a good idea to ask people to whitelist your domain name. Since most people use Gmail, you can send your subscribers to this page to help them whitelist you: http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60751

Get Started As Fast As You Can

Again, don’t forget the first tip: starting a newsletter from the very beginning.

These 7 email marketing best practices have helped me increase my subscriber base of hundreds of targeted people within just a few weeks. So if you get started today, you could have over a 1,000 loyal subscribers within 6 months. That’s almost enough to make a nice living online.

Also, if you have any other questions about email marketing or starting a newsletter, you can ask me in the comments below and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

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Image courtesy of digitalart, cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Steven Fabian

Hey everyone, my name is Steve, I’m the webmaster of Business Online Guidance, a website full of resources on how to make money online in legitimate ways. If you’re interested, you can follow me on twitter @eBizGuidance like my site on Facebook or subscribe to my YouTube channel. You can add me as a friend, stevenfabian

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