Marketing Basics for Growing Your Email List – The Importance of Targeting


Assuming you’ve got your blog set up, and your auto responder sequence ready to go; The next trick is to get people to your website.

(If you’re already lost and don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the my blog post 10 Email Marketing Best Practices for Affiliate Marketers then come back to this post afterwards)

Anyways – If your content is great, your opt-in form is prominent and you’re sending lots of people to your site every day, your list will grow.

But here’s where things get a bit more tricky. Because it’s actually not about building a massive list. Far more important than that is to build a highly targeted list. You need to make sure that your mailing list is filled with people who actually want to be there, who enjoy your content, and who might want to buy what you’re promoting.

This means you need to market your site, but you also need to market to the right people. (More on that later)



PPC is ‘Pay Per Click’ advertising. This means you’re paying only when someone clicks on your ads, which in turn means that a completely unsuccessful ad campaign doesn’t cost you anything.

The two main platforms for PPC advertising are Google AdWords (adverts which appear alongside Google searches) and Facebook Ads (adverts that are shown to specific Facebook users). The most important benefit of these though, is probably that they allow you to target your visitors very specifically.

On Google, you do this by carefully selecting your keywords. If you sell information about fitness, then you want people who are actively looking to get fit. The best way to find those people, is to place adds related to topics like ‘lose belly fat’ or ‘ebook on building muscle’. If you do this, then you’ll only be promoting yourself to people actively looking for information similar to that which you supply.

On Facebook meanwhile, you can do the same thing by targeting your viewers based on their hobbies, interests, gender, location etc. If your website is about wedding planning for instance, then you can ensure that your ads are only being shown to people who are engaged.

That will make sure your ads are targeted, but is it enough? You’re still paying several cents for each of your visitors and even more for each subscriber. Is a subscriber worth that much?

While estimates vary, it’s generally agreed that a subscriber is broadly worth about $1 per month. As long as you’re paying less than $1 per subscriber then, you should expect to see some ROI. But this will only happen if the list is targeted – it will only happen if the people who subscribe are likely to buy your products down the line.

That’s why you might choose to go even further in targeting your list. For instance, you could state outright in your ad that the list is to receive information about exciting new products. Now only people who are potentially interested in buying your products will sign up.

Likewise, if you have a squeeze page, you can focus this on a project that you’re currently working on – something you intend to sell in future. Then you can invite people to sign up if they’d like to learn more about the product. Again, you’re now paying for people who are actually interested in buying something – not just in reading your mailing. And that means ROI.

Thankfully, Facebook provides a tool that you can use alongside such a method called ‘CPA’. This is ‘cost per action’ and essentially means that you’re no longer paying per click, but paying per action. And in this case, that action is signing up to a mailing list.

Now you’ll only pay if someone actually subscribes and they will hopefully only subscribe if they’re interested in buying your product. This is why targeting is so important – it’s what ensures maximum ROI. You really shouldn’t even consider paying for your subscribers or you’re marketing unless you’re going to be using this level of targeting alongside your list building.

SEO and Social Media Marketing

social media marketing

Meanwhile, you can keep driving people to your site using SEO and social media marketing. Of course SEO is search engine optimization and revolves around adding lots of relevant content to your website, as well as generating lots of links on external websites.

Social media marketing means that you’re going to be posting comments, links, pictures etc. that your audience can appreciate – and this in turn will drive them to your website.

Getting someone to follow you on social media is a great step toward getting them to sign up to your mailing list. This way they are already subscribing to your content in one sense, so it’s a small push to encourage them to join your mailing list.

Again, that step is going to be motivated by the high quality content that you’ll keep adding to your site.

Make sure you post content to your website regularly (like I’m doing with this article) and that you do the same with your social media. Likewise, maintain a consistent branding across social media and your website, and be sure to link your website to your social media and vice versa.

You want to create as many ‘in roads’ as possible to help people discover your site, and thus your list.

Still hungry for more? Check out Inbox Blueprint 2.0, on April 18th, or Email Alchemy “Elite” in March!

Jeff Lenney

My Name is Jeff Lenney. I'm an Affiliate Marketer, and Search Engine Optimization Expert.