Quick & Easy List Building

2 replies
Hey guys

I just got a question from one of the warriors about LB (list building) and thought it would be better to share the answers with everyone rather than simply reply to the PM. Thanks for getting in touch by the way Joe, I hope this helps you and anyone else that is new to IM (internet marketing).

Firstly, I'm no expert on LB. I've researched how alot of the successful guys approach the subject and integrated their best methods with my own knowledge of the web demographic.

So before we get into any tips and techniques, I'd like to impress something upon you to switch the way you think... repeat this as your mantra from now on!

"I WILL FOCUS ON LIST BUILDING AS THE MAIN AREA OF MY ONLINE BUSINESS TO GENERATE LEADS, THEN THE SALES WILL FOLLOW!"

So to put that into context...

If you currently spend your time chasing page impressions and monetising your traffic, you should focus on converting that traffic to opt-in subscribers.

If you currently spend money on buying PPC traffic from adwords trying to convert it into sales, you should focus on enticing them to join your list.

If you have a blog that gives away your opinions and knowledge for anyone to read, you should focus on encouraging visitors to join your list.

If you do affiliate marketing and make sales by pumping traffic to a sales page, you should modify your funnel to have leads go to your list rather than straight to the publisher signup page.

So lets repeat that mantra again...

"I WILL FOCUS ON LIST BUILDING AS THE MAIN AREA OF MY ONLINE BUSINESS TO GENERATE LEADS, THEN THE SALES WILL FOLLOW!"

What I'm trying to impress upon you, is that EVERYTHING you do should be about list building rather than doing it as a compliment to your online efforts or something you do occasionally.

So now for some fundamentals...

List building isnt just the process of putting a signup box on your website and collecting email addresses. If you previously viewed things that way, then I can understand why you wouldnt focus on LB but there are a few more tricks to the process. To be fair, the entire process should be called list management as building is only the first part. Managing the list of subscribers is where the real magic happens.


Now if you've never built a list before, then the first thing you need is a place to store your subscriber database. Here are a few of the more popular platforms:
  • aweber
  • icontact
  • constant contact
  • mailout.com
When I first started out, I actually used the list management software that came pre-installed on my web server. I recommend that you dont go that route to avoid potential pitfalls down the track like blacklisting and consumer complaints. Going with an online provider gives you double opt-in protection along with load balancing and spam prevention. I use aweber these days after reviewing many of the others and I simply love it. For about $50 each quarter it really is great value for money. But no matter which one you choose, just find something that suits your needs and budget. Once that is setup, you will have the ability to create a signup form to put on your website or blog.

In terms of web design and layout, you want to give your signup box (also called an opt-in box) prominence on the page. It should be above the fold, either in the center or right hand side, with highly visible colours that stand out from the rest of your page. So if your colour palette is mostly cool earthy tones, make your signup box with a thick dashed red border and orange background with a nice big submit button.

Now that you have the signup box embedded into your site and styled it to stand out to your readers, you want to give them a compelling reason to actually join your list. Think outside the square here, dont just put a boring headline that says "JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER" because that isnt enticing and it's actually quite vague because what on earth does a newsletter do for the reader?? So word the headline to be something specific and juicy, if your niche is investment have a headline that says "GET THE LATEST STOCK TIPS FREE" or "HEAR ABOUT MARKET MOVERS BEFORE THEY TAKE OFF WITH OUR EMAIL UPDATES".

The headline or a newsletter isnt simply enough to build a list, the best way is by giving people something valuable up front then ongoing content on a regular basis. So anything from an ebook or report, to a review or some consultation, to the chance of winning a new bike/tv/etc. Make it relevant to your niche of course, there's no point in offering a bonsai tree guide to your audience of motorbike enthusiasts. If your blog is about plasma TV's then put up a promotion that gives people the chance to win the latest multi control remote in exchange for their name and email address.

So is everyone following so far? If you've already encountered some terms that escape you then post a question below and dont be shy okay! Oh this might be a good time to repeat our mantra...

"I WILL FOCUS ON LIST BUILDING AS THE MAIN AREA OF MY ONLINE BUSINESS TO GENERATE LEADS, THEN THE SALES WILL FOLLOW!"

Okay lets take stock of where things are at so far:

1. Setup an account with a list management / email marketing provider
2. Create a list and signup box
3. Insert your signup box on your website
4. Have a juicy headline and something valuable as a giveaway

So get those parts done and you've got a good foundation setup to begin list building. Now lets talk about the next half of the process: LIST MANAGEMENT.

List management in my opinion is really the art of relationship management, or as Seth Godin and Jeff Bezos puts it 'relationship marketing. One of the most important things... actually make that THE MOST IMPORTANT THING about list management is that you DO NOT view your list as a bunch of sales prospects that you can simply bark at everytime you want to. Shift your way of thinking and view them as good friends (in that you shouldnt send hype and spam to your friends) and also see them as a list of paying clients that (so you provide clear and valuable advice all the time).

So with that in mind, you want to provide regular content to your list and expect nothing in return. So rather than send out hype and crap everyday saying 'you really cant do without this widget/product' or '5 tips to make you an instant millionaire' think about actual usable information that will benefit your readers. Some people like to broadcast to their list twice a week, others like to do it once a week. Different frequencies work better in certain situations, so I encourage you to research this area and choose what suits your audience best. You can either create a bunch of content and setup autoresponder emails that will send out automatically when you specify, or you can setup a schedule so that each Tuesday you write an email to your list, or you can simply send out things when you think of something useful. I like to do a combination of all these methods so that list members get autoresponders that are targetted to the niche, they get little snippets when I think of them and a regular monthly newsletter that has the latest info from that subject area. Oh and I have a ratio that is 5:1 which means that for every 5 pieces of free content/advise I giveaway I like to give 1 sales offer. That's a really nice balance which will get a healthy return and sales conversion rate from your readers

Dont hype things up, keep the tone friendly and personal. I have a gmail account setup that is used to subscribe to many types of newsletters so that I can keep an eye on how others are communicating with their lists. More often than not, I see broadcast emails from marketers that are just embarassing. They get all excited and turn into salesmen with ADD, touting their service or product with superlatives and animated copy. Quite simply, these marketers believe their own BS and think that their readers will lap up any rott that they email out. Generally speaking, people aren't stupid and they know instinctively when someone is trying to sell to them. Dont try to over sell, do the opposite and undersell! Make recommendations, with reasons you can backup, then encourage your readers to consider the purchase for their own motives.

You can be critical, but dont go off on a negative rant! What this means is that humans are suspicious of anyone that is ALWAYS positive, because people aren't that way 100% of the time. If you can review a product and include some constructive criticism with your list of benefits, your audience will see that you are genuine with your advice. This goes a long way towards building trust and the relationship which is so important to making money from a list.

In summary, the 2nd half of list management is about building trust and a relationship with your readers. Because once you have their trust, they will be far more receptive to your offerings!

From there, I encourage you to interact with your list. Actively survey them on what they want, things you can do better and perhaps suggestions they have for content. Your driving force should be about pleasing your list, finding out what they need most and then giving them exactly that. If you do all of these steps, then I ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE that you will be making good amounts of sales and online income. It's a much more productive method for making money than simply selling a product with a sales page.

Enjoy! Oh and if you enjoyed this then why not hit the thanks button just below
#building #easy #list #quick
  • Profile picture of the author Nicholas William
    hmmm. just one comment on this thread, I guess list building isnt that high on people's priority list. I wonder if it's under rated or just completely off the radar??
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    Words can't explain how excited I am with facebook advertising... I promise to share more in the new year! www.enicholas.com
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