One of the worst mistakes I ever made in my online business was waiting too long to start building a mailing list. My next biggest mistake was waiting too long to start using it right.

For several years, I gave away a free version of one of my products without capturing email addresses. Thousands of copies were downloaded. And thousands of opportunities to follow up and sell the paid version were lost.

Eventually, I created an AWeber account and set up several mailing lists. For the most part, I just used them to announce product upgrades. People using my free products would hear about all the juicy features getting added to the paid version, so that helped drive more sales.

I also made sales by telling free-version users when I was about to increase the price of the paid version, or when I was having a sale.

"Dime sales" worked well to bring in bursts of income, and it was fun getting emails from people who were really excited about getting a great deal on a product they hadn't been able to afford before.

But even though my mailing lists were bringing in more money, I'd never figured out how to really use them well, which brings me to the main point of this post.

Last month, Jason Leister asked Ben Settle 5 questions. Here's one of them:

4. What's one mistake that you see business builders making online and what should they do instead?

Not mailing their lists regularly and OFTEN.

I email my list each week day (give or take) and the increase in sales has been night and day. If you have an email list, and you aren't mailing it at LEAST once per week (3 or 5 times per week is ideal) you are leaving all kinds of money on the table.

I'd always known that I needed to communicate with my subscribers more often if I wanted to have any kind of relationship with them, but I didn't want to be just another marketer pestering people with affiliate promotions every day.

The way I finally turned the corner and started mailing daily was by finding a way to get ideas to blog about daily, which is by using a tool I created called SEO Content Factory.

Once you're blogging daily (or 3 times a week or whatever), you can use AWeber's "blog broadcast" feature to automatically mail your list each time you post. And if you're posting useful content, as you should be, your emails will be the kind your subscribers want to read.

In Jason's interview, Ben went on to mention my next challenge:

Another mistake (that kind of piggy backs off not mailing enough) is mailing the right kind of info. Most people do too much teaching and not nearly enough selling. Teachers don't make jack squat in our society, sales people do. On the other hand, you have everyone else only sending out blatant sales pitches which will do nothing but get you deleted or ignored.

If someone wants to be successful online, simply learn the ins and outs of doing email.

Are posts like this the right balance (useful content with links to my products and/or affiliate links?) Let me know what you think in the comments. I'll work on it some more too and let you know what I learn.

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