I read a lot of articles about lead generation, web marketing and so on. They all tend to say the same thing. You need to build an email list, so...
These articles subscribe to the theory that most people don't buy immediately. But they might accept a free report (autoresponder), or subscribe to a free email newsletter. As long as you collect their email address, you can continue to sell to them over and over and over again.
What these article never do is disclose the big flaw that sites right at the centre of email marketing.
I started testing the performance of email marketing back in 2005. I found I lost 5% of my subscribers every month. These were people who unsubscribed, or changed their email address and didn't bother to resubscribe.
What's more, I was getting bounce-backs from around 30% of the email addresses I mailed.
As disheartening as these figures were, they're nothing compared to the percentage of emails actually opened. Less than 2% of the people being emailed actually bothered to open it. And even fewer responded. It's not hard to imagine why this was...
Within a month of rigorously measuring the effectiveness email as a marketing medium, I closed my list and gave up on it. I was getting better results elsewhere.
If you're currently spending money on email marketing, I strongly recommend you take a long hard look at the results you're getting. In my view, there are far better Internet Marketing tools available.