Building an email list is essential to ensuring your long-term success in Internet marketing and is the first step to lead generation. The reason is simple. The majority of people who visit your website will not make a purchase immediately, no matter how fancy you website design or how compelling your sales copy. But just because they donâ€™t buy from you now doesnâ€™t mean they will not buy later. List building ensures that you will capture these visitors as leads, allowing you to maintain constant contact with them. You will then be able to build a relationship with them. You will also be able to promote more products to your leads and turn them into customers later. To start capturing leads and building a list, youâ€™ll need to get these components ready: a squeeze page, an autoresponder and a free gift. 1) Squeeze Page A squeeze page is the first web page your visitors see when they click on your URL link. Also known as a landing page, it is a clean and simple page with one objective in mind: to encourage your visitors to opt in to your email list. Thatâ€™s why it shouldnâ€™t be too complicated and cluttered with unnecessary elements that distract them from taking that single action. Your squeeze page should therefore consist of only a few essential elements. The first is a strong and compelling headline that leads your visitor to want to find out more about what you have to offer. The second element can be either text in bullet points or a short video. Whichever form you adopt, either one should sell the benefits of your offer and why they should opt in to receive it. The third element is your opt-in offer comprising a picture of your free offer, a call to action line and an opt-in form. What youâ€™ll encourage them to do is to fill in their name and email address in the opt-in form to download their free gift. 2) Autoresponder An autoresponder is a web service that helps you manage your email list efficiently. You can use it to create the opt-in form for embedding into your squeeze page. With this opt-in form, anyone who fills in their name and email address will automatically be added to your email list. Another way an autoresponder can help you with email management is by automating the sending out of your emails. Youâ€™ll be able to schedule a whole series of emails to be sent out at regular intervals to your entire email list, saving you a lot of time and hard work. 3) Free Gift As an incentive for your visitors to give you their name and email address, you can offer them a free gift in exchange. This can be a free ebook or a video course which should be of a high perceived value to your subscribers. This will encourage them to opt in more willingly. The above three elements form the basic components of building a list. List building is however just the start of your lead generation effort. Just as important is traffic generation which I’ll cover in other articles.