Here are some hot list-building tips for you to grow your list and your business.
1. Offer an outstanding gift or bonus for subscriptions. Not too long ago, any kind of a free gift or bonus was more than enough to get subscribers. In fact, in many cases, no “bribe” was needed at all! But, as more and more marketers began to send emails and ezines, and as spam increased, prospects began to be more discerning about whom they gave their email address to.
To really be successful in your list-building efforts, you must offer an irresistible deal for subscribers. Sometimes, if people are interested enough in your topic, they will sign up for your ezine or course. But most of the time you must prove to subscribers that you are serious about creating a relationship with them. This means you must provide them with solid content at the beginning, not advertisements. In some cases, this may mean you must offer a free course AND a free report (or some other combination). But do whatever it takes to get that subscriber on your list.
2. Add more opt-in boxes in your sales letter or home page. The best case scenario would be to have your home page be dedicated to your opt-in list as a lead-capture page. But if you wont, or cant, do that, put your opt-in subscription box on your page as many times as you can. Ideally, you want it at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom. As your prospect reads your sales page, he or she may become more interested in your topic. Thus, the more times he or she sees your opt-in box, the greater the chance they will leave their email for you to communicate with them.
3. Build your list virally. Write a free report on a useful topic (making sure to put your website in the report), visit the forums, and offer to give your report to anyone who wants it. Marketers will take you up on your offer because good marketers are always looking for good content to share with their lists; they dont usually care where it comes from. When a marketer gives your report to their list, your website link will be viewed by many who read the report, and visited by many.
If you follow these tips, your list will grow and will become like gold for you.
Sometimes I am asked questions that are brilliant in their simplicity. I consider them brilliant because they open a door to understanding that I may not have thought to explore or articulate before.
For instance I have always said that list building is an important concept in email marketing, but I was asked the question, “How important is list building?”
At first glance it would be easy to say, “It’s really important.” However, that expression simply provides a vague portent of doom if the client fails to build their list in a comprehensive way.
Let me paint a picture for you.
You have developed an online business using products derived from a supplier that your immediate contacts are raving about. As you apply list building techniques more and more email addresses are added to your database.
There may come a time when the supplier of the products you sell goes out of business. If you have developed your entire business on one specific product you may come to believe your business has come to an end or that you need to start a new business from scratch.
If, however, you can develop two or more product lines sold under one business umbrella then something wonderful can happen when a supplier goes the way of the dodo bird.
This is the point where your email list becomes more important than the products you are no longer able to sell.
If you have built your list organically and the individuals represented by that list have discovered a trust in you then the occasional shift in product lines can often be viewed as a greater service to the customers.
Do you see what has happened? The list building becomes more important to the success of your overall business than the product lines you carry.
At some point the customers develop a trust in you and your ability to provide quality products and service. It is even possible to have an occasional revolving door when it comes to product lines and still hold on to most of your list.
When you are able to establish trust with a large list you gain greater flexibility in product lines and business opportunities because most of the list will remain interested in your business even if they don’t take advantage of every offer you send.
This scenario is impossible to duplicate with rented lists. Admittedly this process can take time to develop, but it holds the greatest promise for long-term email marketing.
We’ve all hear about, read about or even been subjected to some of the amazing ‘free’ offers on the web. You know the kind where they offer an all expense paid trip to the Caribbean – all you have to do is click the link. You can get caught in an endless maze of offers and promises. In the end you click away from the site because you realize you rarely get anything for free and this tactic requires recruiting and an ultimate purchase from someone and then the endless stream of emails begin to arrive.
This tactic has had an amazing impact on list building. Netrepreneurs have found thousands of unsuspecting subscribers through the use of this tactic.
While we may not like the offer of a free lunch that really carries a significant price tag, there is a way for the average online business to use free gifts to build their lists.
For instance, if you have an online potpourri shop you could provide a form your customers can fill out to receive a free sample of one of your potpourri scents. In this scenario they provide their name as well as a physical and email address.
If you make sure the ‘FREE’ section indicates there is no cost or obligation you will likely receive several requests for whatever free product sample you are offering and you have added names to your list in a way that may be more cost effective than other means.
This same concept is being used effectively when customers wish to access exclusive information. If you can provide a compelling body of information in the form of a report of ebook you might make it available to site membership. The proviso would be that the membership is free. Many will sign up for the information and assist you in your list building objectives.
The same concept can be applied to downloads of specific site only information, screensavers, video and audio. Each of these signups can further your ability to grow your list for additional marketing strategies.
In spite of the fact that consumers have been burned by ‘free’ gifts there are still many who are willing to see if there really are free gifts to be had. When you can prove that there really is value in exchange for their contact information they may find a level of trust that has them coming back for more.
The client always wants to know his or her needs are being taken seriously, be sure to treat those customers with the respect they deserve. The results may amaze and astound.
Use pop up windows to get peoples’ attention. There are several types of pop up windows available to you with varying degrees of effectiveness. Some of the most effective pop ups are called hovering ads. They are difficult to block, and they will get your visitors attention. Unfortunately, some unethical advertisers have given pop ups a bad name. Don’t let that stop you from utilizing one, but make sure you don’t abuse the technology.
Co-registration might be the fastest ways to grow your list. By collaborating related but non-competing businesses, you can multiply the speed of your list building process. For example, a dog grooming business might collaborate with a veterinary, sharing each other’s databases. Several related but non-competing businesses might develop a newsletter they could make available to their shared list. Everyone would benefit because the content would be great and the workload would be more manageable.
Getting your visitors involved through a contest can be an effective list builder. The contest details are published throughout your website, but only subscribers are allowed entry. The contest could be for anything that interests your customers. The best contests have brand enhancing value for the company and entertainment value for the website visitor.
Contact your previous clients and ask them to sign up. It is an often ignore but powerful technique. Explain your customers that you are building a list of satisfied customers to improve your business. People that have bought from you before are already interested in your company. While you contact them to sign up, ask them for feedback about your company.
Create a membership area within your site. In the special area for your subscribers, you can provide additional resources not available to unsubscribed visitors. Your content has to be excellent. Your visitors have to believe they are getting real value when they sign up. Emphasize the value of the membership such as $29.00 value per month. To justify the value, maintain and update your content constantly.
Use an auto-responder solution that works. Apply the right technology to guarantee best results. Aweber is an auto-responder service that costs only $20.00 per month. An auto-responder service will automate most of the mundane tasks of maintaining your list. A professional auto responder can provide you with statistics to examine the effectiveness of your campaigns. The appropriate auto-responder solution must be an integral part of your building strategy.
Spam And Your List
Building and maintaining communication with your list requires e-mail. Take the following steps to avoid being labeled as a spammer:
* Comply with the CAN-SPAM law
* Don’t purchase e-mail lists, build your own
* Keep records of subscribe requests
* Avoid spam trigger words such as free, earn $, discount, etc
Requiring double opt-in is a great way to avoid being labeled as a spammer. Double opt-in requires your subscriber to opt-in twice. First, they opt-in when they complete the online sign up form. Second, they confirm their subscription through a link that has been e-mailed to them. Double opt-in protects you and your visitors.
One of the keys to online business is effective list building. This may seem like a simple process, but for any business owner that has tried to develop a list they know that list building is a necessary, but difficult process.
One of the first knee-jerk reactions business owners may experience is to purchase a third party list of email subscribers while others may rent a list. The evidence for success (or lack thereof) is in the number of recipients who consider your email an intrusion or worse yet, spam.
You may ultimately find a few receptive customers, but for the most part this approach feels a bit like those dinner calls from telemarketers.
One of the fallacies of online marketing is that in order to be most effective you need to have a very large list. The truth is you can have a relatively small list of recipients if they are highly motivated. These individuals enjoy receiving your email and you make sure what you have to send is quality material.
Dont look at the size of your email list as the litmus test for your success in business. I would much rather have a small organically grown list filled with individuals who love what I have to offer and are inclined to come back often than a larger list of individuals who simply hit delete when they se my email.
I would much rather have these customers email me with positive feedback instead of those who express great anger that they receive the emails at all.
By developing your own opt-in email system for list building you improve the chances that those who do sign up are likely to be converted from prospect to customer. It may be best to leave shot-in-the-dark email marketing methods behind.
Give your site visitors every reason to sign up. Its not a bad idea to give them more than one reason. You can develop free downloads or extra knowledge-based content available with sign up. You might even go so far as to provide a sample email or ezine for prospects to look at so they can get a feel for the type of information you will be sending.
Keep your content laser focused. While you may have diversified interests, chances are pretty good your customer signed up because you stated (or implied) that you would be providing content, information and opportunities associated with a particular product or topic. Dont disappoint your customers or prospects with information that is out of focus.
List building is an important way to gain and keep valued customers, treat your list building efforts as the development of long term friendships. Seek to serve the customer first and theyll likely be first to come back for more.
The process of list building may best be defined as a worldwide Rolodex. You have information to share, but it’s hard to let people know about it if your ‘Rolodex’ is empty.
List building is the process of gathering email addresses for the purpose of sending information, offers and other marketing information to clients and potential customers.
It might be tempting to gather all the email addresses you have in your email account and place them on a list to receive your information. You might also think that purchasing an email list from an online source might help you build your list, but there is a much greater likelihood that you will be reported as a spammer if the recipients don’t know you and isn’t thrilled to receive email from you.
Building an organic list can take time, but you stand a better chance of actually connecting with a receptive audience.
You may find that list building is best achieved by providing site visitors with information gathering forms. An autoreponder can often manage the automated distribution of the information they seek, but the customer information is gathered and can be used to invite them to participate in redeeming money saving offers from you. Some forms include an ‘already highlighted’ box that indicates the individual wishes to receive future e-offers. The premise behind this is many customers do not look at every field in the form and may not uncheck the box when submitting their information.
No matter the method you use to gather names in your list building process make sure to honor requests to unsubscribe. If you manage the list manually make sure to remove the name quickly or risk a report of spam.
One way to grow your list is to make sure the information you deliver is targeted, above average and something the client will look forward to receiving. The content could be information or it could be a simple sales flyer, but by staying on target you will be more likely to connect with your client.
Don’t abuse your list by sending them a significant volume of email. Carefully plan each mailing and make sure it is strongly related to your core objectives. If you send too much – too often you may be perceived as only slightly better than those incredibly annoying forwards that we all delete from our email files.
List building is a proven method of devising solid contacts for online marketing, but make sure to avoid spamming techniques the reputation of your online firm may be at stake.
No matter how good your product is or how much you have to offer, it wont be of much use unless you have in front of you a ready group of people who are already interested in your stream of business. Whether you are a novice in the internet business or a pro, one thing you cannot survive without in this industry is a good mailing list.
When I tried my hand at internet business a couple of years ago, my first product was an ebook. I tried everything in my power to make it a good product. The content was comprehensive, the banners were theme-related and everything, from the text to the tables included was done by me with precision.
The next step came of marketing the product. I wrote several articles about my subject and posted them in various article directories, contacted joint-venture partners and searched for affiliate programs. Even then in the end, I did not make as much profit of it as I could have made.
What went wrong? The answer is that time I did not have a mailing list as such with me. I did not have a group of interested people to whom I could introduce my products to and thats where the importance of having a good mailing list comes in. Let us run through some basic yet key advantages of having a mailing list, which every internet business owner swears by.
Your mailing list is your instant profit ticket, provided you have developed a good relation with them by giving them good targeted information every time. Whenever you want to launch your new product, you already have potential customers in the form of your list to which you can introduce your product and get instant sales.
Also when you regularly write to your subscribers, you develop a trust in them, which is very important because only when they trust you will they be willing to give you their hard earned money to gain valuable information. And to maintain this trust it is very important for us as internet business owners to provide our list with genuine and useful information. Ask yourself the question, would you buy this product? If the answer is yes, then most probably the answer will be yes for your list too.
Now let us look at some good ways of building your targeted list.
There is a concept called ad-swapping. Its very simple. What you do is find other ezine producers who are promoting a similar product to yours, and approach them. You strike a deal with them where in you put their ezine ad in your newsletter and they put your ezine ad in theirs. That way you both get instant bulk subscribers and that too targeted ones. In case you dont have any subscribers to start with, you can offer your product to an ezine publisher in return for advertising your ezine in his newsletter.
One very easy way of getting targeted traffic is to promote your ezine in ezine directories. Just submit your ezine in one the ezine directories with an impressive description of your ezine.
Another very sure of way of increasing your list is by submitting articles related to your product in article directories. Remember that it is not advertising. You need to put in useful and informative extracts about your subject, form it into a good article and post it in various article directories. Over time many people who are interested in the subject will read your article, and if the information is useful, they will click on your link in the resource box to know more about it and thats when you can tell them to sign up to your newsletter.
You can also create a blog about your product and place your opt in form on it. You might need to market your blog first so as to drive traffic to it.
One of the ways, which has helped me a lot in gaining a good number of subscribers, is participating in a Give-Away Event. All it is, is a group of internet marketers participate in this event. They each offer a free gift on a website and in order for people to get the free gift, they need to join their email list. Its a very simple way by which you can gain a huge amount of opt-ins to your list. You have to keep a lookout for these events. Sign up to some good newsletters, and the owner will inform you if there is any give-away event that you can participate in.
These are just a few ways in which you can steadily increase the amount of people in your list and thereby progress in the number of sales you are making.
A discussion of why search engine optimization is not enough and how you can maximize your sales by using it in tandem with a good list-building campaign.
SEO brings customers who have been led to you by mathematics. List-building brings you people who have already expressed interest in subscribing to your informational products or who have already expressed interest in buying your products and services. These are true targeted buyers that you can rely on to revisit your site just because you interest them. You can use SEO to bring these buyers to your site but in the end SEO can’t compete with these humans who don’t care about how you spell things, how many photographs or flash banners you have on your site and if you have a lot of indexed links.
When you build an opt-in list you are building potential sales. SEO can bring you leads but not necessarily sales. SEO is of course an absolutely crucial component of any website, especially one that is just starting out in business. However SEO works best when it is in a relationship with an opt in list.
Opt in lists are a free form of automatic marketing that is viral in nature as very often the people on your mailing list will also send your information to other interested parties who then in turn send news of your products to their friends.
Of course this only works if you have something of value to give on their site. You can do all of the SEO and list building that you want but nobody is going to buy from you unless the emails, e-course or newsletters you are sending out truly have something to offer. The bottom line SEO is not by nature a viral marketing mechanism but an opt in list is which is why it is important to put some kind of widget on your website that gathers email addresses for you. Having both functioning on your site will maximize your profits.
List building is not the most popular task for online business professionals, but it is considered to be a top priority in any strategic internet marketing arsenal. Online business owners who seek increased web site traffic understand the responsibility of building and maintaining a list that is dedicated to loyal customers and visitors. Knowing the intricacies of list building could produce a massive slate of paying customers who have been primed to enthusiastically purchase your product. The numerous recommendations for list building, which come from the top marketers in the industry, have fallen on deaf ears in some cases and these inexperienced marketers are made to suffer with their consequences. Building a sizable list can take several different channels and some are quite simple. In fact, list building can become a pleasurable chore under the best of circumstances and it is not necessarily a time consuming venture either.
The scrupulous list builder sometimes considers the option to buy targeted traffic. Google Adwords, combined with an opt-in web page, is a popular choice for some marketers. It is generally considered to be one of the quickest options for those who desire to build a list that is target-rich and readily accessible.
A similar method that online marketers may use is not only quick and easy, but is very expensive. Online brokers may be utilized to build an email list that can bring guaranteed web site traffic. However, there can be some challenges in using such a service. Keep in mind that some competitors will employ the same service and these lists will be targeted by their campaigns too. In essence, your targeted list is not an exclusive property that is used only by you. If you can reach an exclusive agreement with the broker, then it could be worth the effort.
List building is generally considered to be a task that is not enticing. In fact, some online marketers shun this important tool for online businesses. Seeking increased web site traffic should be the goal of every online professional and list building is an essential element of marketing arena. In an upcoming article, we will explore the less expensive alternatives to list building.
The lifeblood of any Internet marketer is their list. If you have an opt-in email list then you are sitting on piles of cash, if you properly use your list then your earning potential is very high.
As many people ask “How do I build a list?” the following points describes some of the best ways for building your email list.
1) Newsletter / E-zine
We are in the Information Age and so people are desperate for information. Everyone is so busy with their lives they don’t have time to find the information for themselves. Publish a newsletter in your niche that is full of valuable content and you will get people flocking to you to sign up.
People are hungry for information, so a free e-course will persuade people to part with their email address. Create at least a seven part course that is delivered every few days into their inbox. Of course, the e-course also subtly sells your product!
Write articles and distribute them to article directories. Include your newsletter sign up in the resource box and if you have provided good quality content, you will get the visitors who will sign up to learn more.
4) Free Books
A free e-book is an excellent way to build your list. It doesn’t have to be an epic tome, just valuable information that people will exchange their email address for. You can write one yourself or get one ghostwritten for you. Make sure though that it is information that your visitors will want to have, and make sure you have included links to your products and sites in the book. You can also include affiliate links to further maximise your earnings.
5) Free Membership Site
Creating a free membership site is an excellent way to get people’s email addresses. Offer valuable content for free but only to signed up members. You can then upsell them other products or other levels of membership with more products and more resources available to them.
6) Squeeze Page
A squeeze page is a pre-sales letter page where you capture a person’s email address before they move on to view your sales letter. This is reportedly very effective and you can also personalise the sales letter with their name or other details from the squeeze page.
Pop-up windows, particularly unique and different windows, can be very effective at persuading people to sign up for your newsletter. These can either pop up as the visitor enters your site, or when they leave, reminding them to sign up for more information.
8) Viral Marketing
Viral marketing is where you give away something of value that people want to pass to all their friends. It may be a video, a book, a game or anything similar. However, whatever it is, it has your web address in it so people can come and sign up to your newsletter and get more info.
9) Free Giveaways
A very popular new method of list building are the big Internet giveaways where lots of people submit products that are available for free in exchange for a newsletter sign up. These are excellent ways to rapidly build your list though be aware that freebie seekers may not make for the most responsive of lists.
10) Sign-up bonuses
Offer your visitors a bonus if they sign up for your newsletter, e.g. “20% off XYZ for readers” or a number of e-books or reports that will be of interest to them.
Using these 10 simple strategies you can build your list and then leverage their earning power.