Building a List: Do New Marketers Really Have To?

8 replies
Many people contact me who have already created an ebook or other info product and have its sales page already published to the web. Of course they all have the same problem - Traffic.

Most thought it was a build-it-and-they-will-come process. In all situations I have seen, the new marketer has "put the cart before the horse" to be sure.

If you have created an eBook or information product and want to market it, in almost all cases you will first need a core and established website (or a great squeeze page strategy) with which to attract traffic and generate leads with. Only in rare situations can a sales pages stand on its own with just paid traffic or other traffic generating methods. This is especially true in the larger areas so many beginners tend to work in.

Use your core site as a way to attract traffic, introduce yourself to the world, establish trust, and most of all, as a lead generation tool. Success usually only comes after the marketer's mindset changes from "sell, sell, sell" to making lead generation his or her prime focus.

Sales pages should not be designed as lead generation tools. Therefore, the marketer who neglects building a core site (or at least squeeze pages) in order to build a list has left a mammoth hole in his or her marketing system.

Remember, it is about 10 times easier to get a lead than a sale with a first-time visitor. And then it is also about 10 times easier to make sales to an established list of targeted leads vs. making sales to the first time visitors.
#build a list #building #building a list #how to build a list #list #list building #marketers
  • Profile picture of the author twright
    Steve, good points. New people to IM do not make this connection and are caught up in the race to make money. Establishing some sort of credibility to sell a product is helpful.

    On the Building a list note: Occasionally I use my forum mass email function to distribute news and upcoming events.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wade Watson
      I appreciate your bringing up this topic, Steve. I've been putting together my first affiliate site aimed at a physical product niche and I've been struggling with how much emphasis to put on opt-in. Since the product is a fairly simple object, people generally just buy it and use it instead of reading a free report or an email subscription on it. I suppose with products like this, it's best to concentrate on designing a site to sell directly and keep list-building secondary. I know there's serious online money in direct affiliate sales of physical products, just as there is for more list-friendly products. I'm experimenting with both.

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      • Profile picture of the author steveweber
        Hi Wade,

        Is there any chance you could make further sales to the buyers of your product? For example, up-sales or sales of related products? If so, a list could be very valuable to you. In fact, it is a very rare situation when a list would not prove profitable for any niche or product.
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        • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
          Very true Steve. In fact, anyone asking such a question displays an ignorance of marketing in general and direct marketing specifically.

          It's the same 2-step process taught in mail order and other direct marketing: generate an interested lead first and THEN make the sale. So the model looks like this:

          Traffic > Opt-in for free goodie (report, audio, etc.) > Sale

          People are overwhelmed with marketing messages, easily distracted and they have 100 decisions to make every morning before 9 AM. 99% of your first-time visitors are just going to visit, browse a little and thenclick away from your site. And then you've lost them forever. Unless.... you capture their name and contact information and follow up.

          It's important to capture their name and e-mail address (along with their phone # and physical mailing address if possible) so that you can follow up with an e-zine (e-mail newsletter) or whatever. I think it was the Direct Marketing Association who reported that a prospect receive 7-9 "touches" from a company before they will buy.

          People are easily distracted (they forget about you) and they're very skeptical (if they don't know you, they believe about 10% of what you say).

          It varies a little and if you or your company was referred then you'll need fewer "touches" to make that sale. But people rarely buy the first time they see you/hear you.

          "You can't market here. This is a marketing discussion forum!"
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  • Profile picture of the author CCCAffiliate
    Hello Steve.

    Good call.

    I just launched my website and I am in the process of making a few sales a day, but more importantly building my list which is currently at 610.

    E-Mail marketing is HUGE and I believe should be the prime focus in most cases
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    • Profile picture of the author steveweber
      Yes, and it is also a liberating feeling when one realizes his or her main job as a marketer is to generate targeted leads. Because it is so much easier, it tends to "feel" like the pressure is off for having to make sales.

      Then (and fortunately) that mindset actually leads to more sales...pretty cool!
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      • Profile picture of the author Wade Watson
        Yes, Steve, I'll certainly aim for some opt-ins. And yes, Michelle, I do plead ignorance and lots of it. It just seemed to me that with a site set up to market many types of physical products, such as through Amazon or eBay affiliate programs, etc., your site might have to be designed primarily toward getting the visitor to the link, rather than to the opt-in box. I guess you could focus on building a list about a blender or a tire tool, but I think most buyers of such products like to buy and forget. I suppose I need to look around at a few more examples of how affiliate sites are done.

        Anyway, I'm in the experimenting stage and appreciate such advice as you folks are offering here.

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        • Profile picture of the author Nightengale

          My post wasn't directed at you. Sorry if it seemed it was.

          List-building should ALWAYS be an ongoing part of the process. However, you're right about WHERE in the process to put it. If you're selling a commodity like a blender or whatever, then using a 2-step process (opt-in > sale) may not be necessary. You start off with the sale (1-step). Simply collecting their name and e-mail should still be part of the process. Then you can e-mail them about items related to their initial purchase. In this case, the opt-in happens at the same time as the purchase. The rest of the process (e-mailing them with tips and other offers) is still the same.

          For higher-priced goods and services (especially intangible services), a two-step process is still the best bet.

          "You can't market here. This is a marketing discussion forum!"
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