Here’s another phrase you’ll grow sick of: The money is in the list. You might get weary of hearing it, but it’s smacking you in the face because it’s true First of all, let’s answer the question, “What is a list?”

A list in Internet marketing terms is a database of contact information for your prospects. So if you have a product or promote products about gardening and I sign up for your list, I’m a prospect that you can market to repeatedly until I unsubscribe.

So why is building a list so important? Let’s say you start off as an affiliate marketer. You find a niche you truly enjoy and you start working what you’ve learned into some traffic for your affiliate links.

Over a period of say 30 days, you funnel 5,000 prospects from the net – who are interested in your niche – straight through your affiliate link sales page.

They even buy – yea! You’ve made a 50% commission with a 2% conversion rate. That means 2 out of every 100 people you sent bought the product, and your share was $26.00 (as an example). You earned a cool $2,600 this month – good for you!

But you’re leaving money on the table. Those 100 people who bought from your 5,000 clicks? They’re now on the product owner’s list, not yours. So what he’s going to do is send them more offers over the coming weeks.

They are proven buyers. Over the next 30 days, those buyers fork over some more money for products that complement the original one they bought. That money goes to the product owner, not you – because you passed on building a list the first time around.

A better way to build an Internet marketing business is to start with a list from day one. Before you let a single person slip through your link without capturing their name and email address, have your system set up to build a list.

You can have unlimited lists for different niches using a simple tool like Aweber or GetResponse. Every day you can log in and see how many people have signed up, and you can create automated messages to send out to help convert your list into more sales.

Why should the product owner get to cash in on that person again and again when you’re the one who brought her the customer in the first place? Stake claim to each prospect and leverage your relationship with her for future sales and commissions.