Mailing List 101: How to Make Your Blog Visitors Check Back Repeatedly

Sometimes getting traffic to your new blog is no big deal. One-time traffic, I mean.

A single guest post on an authority blog in your niche can bring 1,000 new visitors to your blog within 3 days. A single helpful post of yours that hits the Nairaland home page can generate 1,500 new visits within 2 days. And a single Facebook or Twitter update containing a link to your blog can generate over 1,000 new visits within one week. It could be that easy.

Similarly, paid ads on Nairaland and high-traffic blogs in your niche can send thousands of new visitors to your blog. Getting traffic could be that straightforward.

But the sad part is, such spikes in traffic are usually short-lived. After just one or two days—or maybe a week at most—the whole thing dies down. And your blog is back to its low-traffic self. All those thousands of new visitors have landed on your blog, read the stuff that attracted them, and left for good—forever in most cases.

You don’t want that.

What you want is consistent traffic.

You want your blog to attract hundreds to thousands of visits consistently—with minimal effort on your part.

Well, the truth is, you can easily achieve that by setting up what is called an “email list” (also called mailing list or newsletter) right from the start.

An email list is simply a collection of emails. And by setting up one, you’ll be able to capture the email addresses of some of your visitors with the aim of communicating with them and sending them to your blog to read your subsequent posts.

So, rather than attracting visitors and then losing them forever, you’d be able to retain some of them with an email list.

repeat visitors

Now, let me bring a familiar example:

Remember the first time you landed on my blog, Web Income Plus? You loved the content, no doubt. But it wasn’t because you loved the content that you’ve visited my blog many times after that. It’s because you were attracted to my free e-book (How to Make Money Online in Nigeria), and you downloaded it, thereby joining my email list.  If you hadn’t joined my list, you would probably have forgotten about the blog by now—just like many other visitors who didn’t bother joining my list.

In addition, after joining my list, you started receiving email notifications each time I publish a new post on my blog. That way, both my name and that of my blog became registered on your mind. You became more and more convinced about my expertise. And you trusted me the more. Without my email list, I couldn’t have achieved all that.

How an email list works

As I stated earlier, an email list is simply a collection of email addresses. But collecting emails into your list isn’t as simple as it sounds. You need to put up a mailing list subscription form through which interested visitors will voluntarily opt in to your mailing list. Note that it is illegal to add people’s emails to your list without their consent (that’s spam!).

Now, the huge challenge is that most people will not readily give you their email addresses, especially now that spamming is common. So, simply putting up a mailing list subscription form might not be enough to convince people to opt in to your list.

To overcome the challenge, you need to offer what is called an “ethical bribe”. This is an incentive that is attractive enough to compel visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. It could be an e-book or video containing information that most of your visitors will deem valuable and will be eager to have.

So, if you promise to deliver a free e-book or e-course to anyone who subscribes to your mailing list, many of your visitors will be compelled to opt in to your list because they don’t want to miss out on the freebie. But then, your freebie must be very compelling.

With time your email list will grow gradually as more and more people opt in. The rate at which new people will join your list depends on your traffic volume and your ethical bribe—how irresistible it is.

7 Reasons why you must have an email list

1. Personal and private communication

Email allows you to land your message directly into your subscriber’s inbox, without any external factors limiting your reach. This helps you to build a one-on-one relationship with your subscribers.

Your subscribers can read your message privately because it’s not on a public wall or timeline. And they can ask you questions directly with confidence. Many people are not comfortable with asking questions on forums and social media.

2. Targeted recipients

By subscribing to your mailing list, your subscribers have already indicated their interest in learning more from you.  And they’ve given you the consent to send them stuff. This means they will most likely click to read any email you send to them. And they will take any action request—whether it’s to read your latest blog post or buy a product or service that you recommend.

As you send more and more emails to your subscribers and study their feedback patterns, you’ll be able to understand what they like and deliver more of it to them.

3. Consistent and repeat traffic

Even if you’re not getting traffic from any other source, your email list subscribers will always be there to read your blog posts. If you have a mailing list of 2,000 subscribers, and each of your emails get a 10% open rate, that means about 200 subscribers will read your email.

So, sending a message to such a list notifying them of your new blog post will drive 200 visitors to that blog post. And that’s cool. The more your subscribers, the more traffic you’ll send to your blog posts.

I understand that SEO, if done well, can also bring traffic consistently. Yes, that’s true. But most visitors won’t come back again unless you capture them with a mailing list. SEO brings consistent traffic, but not repeat traffic—which is what you need to build trust.

NOTE: Don’t ever expect 100% open rates for your emails. Some subscribers will only get your ethical bribe and never read your subsequent messages. Some will read your emails at first, but will stop later.

4. Higher chances of being read

In terms of probability of being read, email trumps social media and other blog promotion methods. The average Facebook or Twitter user receives hundreds of updates daily, so chances are high that a message sent to your followers on those channels will get buried in the heap or pushed down the feed even before they get to see it.

Not so with email. The average email user receives less 10 or less emails daily. So, your email will most likely be seen and read.

5. Increased trust

Since email communication is one-on-one, it helps you to build a relationship with your subscribers quickly. The more they receive valuable emails from you, the more they’ll trust you. And what happens when you succeed in building trust? Whatever you offer for sale, sells like wild!

6. Automation

Virtually everything about managing a mailing list is automated. You can automatically deliver your free e-book or e-course to a new subscriber. You can send an email to thousands of subscribers with the click of a button. You can even automatically add each subscriber’s name to the email, so it appears to them as if you mailed them personally. And you can schedule series of emails for future delivery.

7. Security

An email list gives you peace of mind as a netpreneur. If, for example, you lose your blog to hackers or something goes wrong elsewhere, you can rest assured that you can always reach out to your subscribers whenever you want. So, you can keep communicating with them via email until you get over the problem.

How to set up your mailing list

Now that you’ve understood what an email list is, how it works, and why it’s important, your next step is to learn how to set up your own mailing list.

How do you go about it?

Well, I have packaged all the steps involved in a detailed guide titled, “How to Set Up Your Mailing List for Free”. Click here for details on how to get/download your copy.


Now, your turn

Do you have any comments, questions, contributions, or criticisms? Feel free to use the comment box below. As usual, I’ll reply.

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Abass Toriola

I'm a seasoned freelance writer, internet marketing strategist, and online business coach. And I'm a university graduate, doctor-in-training, husband, and father.

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Updated: May 23, 2015 — 5:15 pm


Add a Comment
  1. hey friend, thanks for this great article. I am also a blogger but an upcoming one to be precise…….well, enjoyed your article and thought i should say so….please do well to visit my site i am open to reviews and suggestions on how i can increase the user experience on my site. thanks again.

    1. Roviarsguide,

      Your website looks really cool. And your niche, though competitive, is a fine one that will fetch you huge profits in the long term if you play your cards right.

      However, I noticed that there’s an article on how to treat acne. What’s that post doing on a blog about Internet marketing? Secondly, on your mailing list subscription form, the title reads, “Subscribe to get your free gift?” You need to specify the “free gift”. People are smarter!

      1. thanks for the timely feedback…i really appreciate it. And yes i am taking your advice and putting down that article and the catergory as a whole. Also i will work on the title of my mailing list subscription form. thanks and please i will still ask for your opinion on othre issues regarding my website…i hope thats ok with you…. thanks a million Abass.

  2. My mentor thank u so much for ur unended effort i found ur imformation very useful i read about ur AFFILIATE ACADEMY it is my hpe that the academy wil continue so that after graduate other wil became new students i am realy intrest in it i am a newbies and such i need sme extra time to be equiped with relevent information i was realy hapy about ur last post and i found that GUEST POST is my favourite site.AS I SAID EARLY THAT I AM A NEWBIES,howes my mentor i stil have a good news for u where u can make a second income can u publish this to me in ur website where other can sign up for free to help each other aNd became financial freedom i am sure u can make alot when u discover it by sign up and ask other to sign******* (link deliberately removed)

  3. Hi, Abass
    Nice post! You never cease to wow me. Meanwhile I am curious as to how you make money off your blog seeing that you do not have an AdSense running on this blog. Would you care to tell me how you do, Co’s I know you make money off this blog but I don’t seem toknow how. Also concerning d website you told me to amend, I am on it. Thanks Nonso

    1. Chukwunonso,

      Thanks for reading the post. It’s true that I don’t run Adsense ads on this blog. But I make money from the blog through other strategies: affiliate marketing, information marketing, and freelancing.

  4. Thanks for the post, adding email opt in is good traffic stratagy for any serious web master and blogger. Just like you rightly pointed out about adding a good incentive, without giving out ur valuable information or package, ur subscribers may decide to opt out from ur list anytime.

    1. Shedrach,

      Thanks for taking your time to read the post, and for your contribution.

  5. Hi Abass!

    Wonderful post as usual and I must say this: you are 100% correct with all the amazing issues you raised and thrashed. The money, it is said, is in the list and I also concur. However, I only concurred after a painful and bitter lesson.

    When I came online many years ago, I wondered why a list was praised (imagine!) To me, it made no sense and I conveniently ignored setting up one…till my loyal readers protested! It was only then that I set up a free Feedburner account (powered by Google) and started the process of burning feeds…funny enough, I only used Feedburner for what it was intended: New Post Notification. Needless to say, things moved poorly and eventually, my eyes cleared and I had to open up to the great reality that email capture was damn too essential to ignore…

    Today, my list runs in the thousands and I can authoritatively tell you that any blogger or info marketer who conveniently ignores his list is not only a joker…he/she is a very big one at that!

    So much for my epistle-like comments, I need to stop here and wait for your response…however, I must warn newbies that subscribers to a list trust the blogger/webmaster enough to offer their emails, usually for free. This trust must never be abused by spamming, sale of private details or any other unprofessional practices.

    As always, make the day great!

    Akaahan Terungwa


    Congratulations on your new info product…minds like yours make me smile whenever I’m online. Keep the pen flowing!

    1. Hello Akaahan,

      Thanks once again for a super awesome comment! You really drove home the point that a mailing list in indispensable for anyone who wants to succeed as a blogger. And I particularly appreciate the note of warning you added at the end of the email.

      Man, you rock always!

  6. Another Great Post just as I predicted. Having a Mailing List is so important to every blog and if done well, it will go a long way to make your blog stand out. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you once again Abass.
    Please how does one get good pictures/images for a blog post?

    1. Chide,

      I’d recommend All images there are free to use, and they require no attribution.

  8. Hi Abass,

    Nice post I must say on mailing list. I must confess that 90% of blogs I have visited repeatedly its because of being subscribed to their mailing list and getting constant updates from them. I will take ur advice head-on on the mailing listing. Thanks.

  9. How do I know my url

    1. Your URL is simply your website/blog address

  10. What a nice information you have outlined in simple and articulate manner. Have just added this mail list tool to the tools i will be investing on through before the end of the month happy you shared this with us.

  11. Mr abass I have being following your posts they are awesome and through one of your post one created a blog. Please I want you to review it

  12. Thank you Abass for all your wonderful posts. They have been of immense assistance to me. More grease to elbow.

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