Author: Len Thurmond

This is the first in a series of articles in which I will be offering my opinion on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Profitable List Building”.

There are two basic processes involved in Profitable List Building. The actual Gathering of names and email addresses, and the Conversion of those names to ones that are worth having.

Each of these can (and WILL) be broken down into subcategories. And I will try to deal with them all in an order I feel makes sense … At least to me ;o)

Both these processes are equally important, but in my opinion, the second is by far the MOST important, because it has been proven time and again that you can make a LOT of money from a small list, if that list is targeted and responsive to YOU!

But let’s start with the first process … The actual Gathering of names.

To build a list of any kind, you need three things …

1) A Site to Gather the names …

2) Traffic …

3) A COMPELLING reason for them to give you their name and email address in the first place

Now the traffic part is pretty easy and we’ll get into that in a future article, but it needs to be said that you don’t just need “traffic”, you need “Tightly Targeted and HUNGRY Traffic” if you want to have any hope at all of making any money from your new list anytime in the near future.

In the old days (about 5 years ago, which by Internet standards is a LIFETIME) we used to buy Co-Registration lists and work them. It was a process of buying lists of people who had asked for more information on a somewhat targeted although relatively generic subject.

These names were gathered from high traffic sites like popular search engines (Yahoo, Alta Vista, etc.) and many other types of sites that for one reason or another get a LOT of generic traffic.

When they landed on one of those sites, the visitors were presented with a list of generic “Niches” with the option to chose the ones they are interested in to receive more information on those subjects, and the lists of those people who Opted In to receive more info, were then sold (usually in lots of thousands) to people like you and me who were trying to build lists in particular niches.

Working Co-Reg Lists worked OK then, and still work today. But the truth is that it is a WHOLE lot more work than it is worth.

The first problem with Co-Reg lists is that they do not know YOU at all, and never asked “YOU” to contact them at all.

This creates a situation where inevitably you get reported by at least one (usually MANY) of the people on the list you bought as a spammer. And in today’s climate, that can shut your business down, or at the very least cause you a LOT of trouble proving you did nothing wrong, and fighting the “Powers that Be” to get your sites and email address off their “Blacklists” that keep you from getting your emails through to ANYONE!

The second problem is that even if they do not get pissed off and report you to the “Spam Cops”, the VAST majority of the people on those lists will NOT be buyers. The majority are just looking for free information on a subject that MIGHT be remotely related to what you have to offer, but usually are not in the market for more than freebies.

So you might as well just cross those people off your list right off the bat as they are doing nothing but using your resources and inflating the size of your list. They will most likely NEVER be customers and it will take a lot of time and energy to convert even the few that might.

You have to remember that it’s much easier to sell a German Shepherd to someone who holds up their hand and says they are looking to buy one, than to someone you handed a leaflet about Pets to on the street. The fact that they took the leaflet does NOT mean they are interested in buying your German Shepherd, or any other dog for that matter. They MIGHT be CAT people!

The third and maybe most important problem it that of time vs. results

Since your new list does not know you at all when you first contact them, you have to go through the long and tedious process of first convincing them to even stay ON your list, and then over a long period of time, gaining their respect to a point where they might actually trust you enough buy something from you.

This is hard enough with people who know who you are ahead of time and have held up their hand saying they are looking to buy and are at least INTERESTED in more information about your “German Shepherd”.

It is almost impossible with people who don’t know you at all, and never asked you personally to contact them in the first place!

And in the end, if you can convert even 1% of the Co-Reg list you bought to people who know, like and trust you … You Are Doing VERY Well!

And even if you are happy with those results, as I said, it’s a TIME issue.

It will take you FIVE times as long to win over a small percentage of a cold (Co-Reg List) crowd, as it will to win over one who says “I’m interested in what you have to offer”, and gave you permission to contact them.

So all in all, MY advice is to stay away from Co-Registartion Lists!

They TRULY ARE more trouble than they are worth!

This may come as a bit of a surprise to some of you that have known me for a long time, as I used to be a BIG promoter of the Co-Reg List building Techniques. I did quite well with them at the turn of the millennium and have written many articles on the subject over the years.

But times change, and I have learned through PAINFUL personal experience, the thoughts and facts that I have just given you above. And there are FAR easier ways to build Targeted and Responsive lists today.

And the truth is, about two years ago, I was forced to “DUMP” a list of almost 200,000 names that I had been working for years, because it was more trouble than it was worth!

So in the end I just deleted the whole thing, started over and now have a list less than 10% the size that makes me TEN times the money.

So the moral is … the money IS in the list to be sure, but it’s NOT the size of your list that counts, it’s the “QUALITY” of your list that you need to be concerned with.

And THAT my friend is ALL up to YOU!

In my next article, we’ll talk a bit about the BEST way to gather names that can make you a fortune, in the fastest way possible.


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Len Thurmond has been marketing on the Internet since 1995, and is one of the best known authors and newsletter publishers in the Internet World Today.

Through his highly acclaimed Newsletter, his many Seminar and Tele-seminars speaking engagements, and his coaching programs, he has helped thousands of now successful Entrepreneurs find their niche, and make it profitable.

To read more of Len’s Marketing Articles visit his blog at

As always, feel free to use this or any of my articles on your sites. Just be SURE to include the Resource Box at the bottom of this Article ;o)



This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 at 8:25 am and is filed under Article Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Comments so far

  1. Don Mundell on September 10, 2008 8:06 am

    Thanks for the article, Len. I anxiously await your other list building posts.

  2. promosyon on September 27, 2008 3:20 am

    I follow you always, this post is excellent.

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