You have probably heard that expression before. Especially if you have an online business, follow any online marketer/expert, or just know how the marketplace works now in May, 2015.

No, I’m not talking about your to-do list. Nor am I talking about your grocery list. I’m not even talking about a Top 10 list of any kind.

What am I talking about, some of you ask.

I am talking about your email list.

That magical, often revenue-generating list of people who have expressed an interest in what you do. They tend to be your fans, followers, and prospects. The people you most want to help and hopefully, need to be helped by you.

If you’re an accountant, your list may be made up of small businesses, individuals who need their taxes done, and/or those looking for more tax deductions. If you’re a coach or consultant like me, your list should be made up of people (or organizations) with the very problem(s) you solve through your coaching or consulting. Maybe that’s professionals in the job market. Maybe it’s small businesses looking to grow their revenue. Perhaps, it’s someone needing help with social media. Or it could be local businesses needing help with their websites.

Whoever you most want to attract, you should be collecting email addresses (at the least…you can also collect names and phone numbers if you like) for them in a systematic way, so you can communicate with and market to them in a systematic way.

This is how you can leverage your time and efforts. As opposed to always trying to reach a potential customer one-on-one, you can communicate with a group of people. As your list grows, this can become a very large group of people. Would you rather tell just 1-2 people about a sale you’re having during Memorial Day weekend, or tell 500 people at once? You can do that via email (same thing applies to phone texting…we’ll talk about mobile marketing which is growing like crazy).

The thing is, you need an effective email marketing provider to help you make this automatic and predictable. That’s called a system.

I am not talking about sending emails to the gazillion contacts you have between Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail. That may be a start, but I suspect many of those people include your friends and family. Unless those folks are also interested in your products and services, they do not need to be on your business email list.

There are several email marketing providers out there such as Aweber, Constant Contact, and Mail Chimp. I use Aweber and have been pleased with their service. One thing, I especially like about Aweber is their LIVE customer service. Yes, you can actually speak to a person…another human being…a voice you can actually hear. I can tell you this is a wonderful thing when you have questions.

You can test drive Aweber free for the 1st 30 days, then it’s just $19/month to get started. You can check it out here.

Now if you’re wondering how to attract people onto your list, I can help. That is something I consult on, i.e. creating irresistible incentives (typically freebies) to get people to sign up on your list. Let me know if you have questions on that.

If you do not already have a systematic email list, commit to creating one sooner rather than later. This is something most 6, 7+ figure entrepreneurs – both online and offline – will tell you they regret not doing earlier on in their business. Do it now. Otherwise 6-12 months from now, you’ll be kicking yourself. And your competitor will be reaping the benefits from clients that should have been yours!