As an online business owner you know how important it is to build your list in order to have a ready pool of clients, potential clients, and customers who are interested in your business and your services/programs. But as a list owner you also have a responsibility to those people on your list to treat them well and build a relationship with them – it’s known as creating the like, know, and trust factor – and is crucial for sustaining a long-term business.

People will only work with those people who they like, know, and trust.

So, once you have started to get people onto your list, the next step is to build your relationship them and develop the like, know, and trust factor. Let me share with you my top 7 ways to do just that:

1. Publish when you say you will. It’s so important that you do exactly what you say you will when you say you will. The number one way list owners sabotage their own list-building efforts is by not publishing either when they said they will, or by not publishing on a regular basis. I recently had a phone call with one of my clients who hadn’t published her ezine on a regular basis over the past few months and she commented to me that she had seen a substantial decline in the click-thru open rates of her newsletter. This is just one of the side effects of not publishing on a regular basis – your audience will forget about you and are not eager to open your emails when they land in their inbox.

2. Be respectful of your subscribers’ time. Do not bombard your subscribers with emails – be respectful of their time and realize that they too probably receive hundreds of emails a day. Unless you’re currently promoting your latest program/product, in which case you may need to be in touch with your subscribers on a more regular basis, once a week is an ideal mix of staying in touch with your subscribers without bombarding them with emails. There’s nothing more of a turn off to a subscriber than when they receive constant emails from the list owner. As soon as someone starts emailing me on a daily basis (unless I’ve signed up for a daily e-course and I know that I am going to be receiving a daily email from them) I hit that unsubscribe button faster than you can say ‘unsubscribe’. I know that internet marketers state that you need to be in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis – but is daily really necessary?

3. Subscribers have signed up to learn more about YOU and YOUR business. Too often these days I receive emails from list owners promoting other peoples’ programs/products/services and, although I am aware of the strategy behind this, I really don’t want to know about the same program/product/service from four different list owners – and is it really worth upsetting your subscribers just to make a quick buck from using your affiliate link? Keep solo mailings for other peoples’ promotions to a minimum – you can even create a special ‘Recommends’ section in your own newsletter for these types of promotions. That way you can still be part of the joint venture opportunity but without upsetting your subscribers by sending out dozens of solo mailings. Remember, a subscriber has signed up to your list because they want to hear from YOU and you solve a problem for them.

4. Share some personal information. Let your subscribers get to know YOU as well by sharing a little bit of personal information or some photos about what’s happening in your life – just one or two sentences in each edition is all you need! Your subscribers will relate much better to you once they get to know the *real* you. You become a person to them rather than a faceless business owner and become someone whom they can relate to. This goes a long way in building the like, know, and trust factor.

5. Make your ezine a quick 30-second read. This leads me back to point 2 above. If you can make your ezine information-packed but in a format that is every easy on the eye and therefore can quickly be scanned by your reader, you are being mindful of their time and they will look forward to reading your newsletter each time. They know that they’re not going to have to wade through a ton of information just to get to the juicy bits!

6. Don’t overload your subscribers with too many calls to action. Some ezine publishers feel they have to include links to every single one of their products/programs/services in their newsletter and by doing so they completely confuse their reader who doesn’t know what to do or which link they’re supposed to click on – so what happens? Nothing! Your reader will not click on any of your links because they’re confused – and a confused mind always says no. Keep it simple in your newsletter – just offer one call to action in each edition.

7. Engage with your readers. If they’ve taken the time to respond to one of your articles by emailing you directly, email them back – even if it’s just a ‘thank you I’m glad you enjoyed the article’ type of email. This type of correspondence goes a long way to building a relationship with your subscriber because you are acknowledging the time they have taken out of their day to send you that email.

And one final point that I’d like to make, and this is the most important point, at the end of every email address is a real person. Always keep this in mind when preparing your newsletter and/or broadcasts and you will go a long way to building your relationship with your subscribers.

(c) 2009 Tracey Lawton

Author's Bio: 

Office organization expert, Tracey Lawton, teaches professional speakers, coaches, and authors how to create the essential online marketing and office organization systems needed to operate an efficient, organized, and profitable business. Learn how YOU can create an efficient and organized office in 7 EASY steps, and receive free how-to articles at