Building an IM list from scratch

by sideserver 13 replies
Hello folks!

I'm kind of in a unique situation here where I have my own product (and a great one at that - /shameless plug) but I'm still lacking a sizable mailing list to bring to the table for my side of the bargain for JVs.

I've done a few experiments with PPC, but my experience with Adwords -> squeeze page has been pretty bad. For starters, the CPC cost is, as I'm sure many of you are well aware, sky-high for IM-related niches. Even with bids as high as 80 cents to a dollar, I still only get a few clicks per day.

I was thinking of trying article marketing on a large scale next. Outsourcing massive amounts of articles and then distributing them to hundreds of article directories using isnare or article marketer.

But what would you more experienced folk recommend for building an IM list? Specifically, what worked for you guys during the initial stage?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #building #list #scratch
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Keith
    For one, I would forget about your list vs a potential partners list, and instead start thinking about what you might be able to offer that someone else in you niche might not have (or have easily) to give to their list.

    You say you have a great product. What did you do to make the product so great? Can you show list-owners how to make a product great like yours in exchange for a mailing to their lists?

    The barter system works just as well here as anywhere else.
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  • A lot of people pay $1.00 or so roughly per subscriber, and still make tons of money doing so. Obviously the lower the better, but don't count out adwords just yet.

    You may need to strengthen your sales process to squeeze more money per visitor.

    Large scale article marketing can also work, but requires patience, and usually outsourcing if you are busy, which can be a pain.

    Try both, but give up on neither!
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  • Profile picture of the author SpicyRobby
    Hi David,

    Posting in a related forum and using your signature to lure in opt-ins is an invaluable traffic-driving machine.

    Similarly you can use YahooAnswers!

    Nothing works better than chatting with people who're interested in the topic!

    Rgds,

    Robert
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    • Profile picture of the author Fabian Tan
      David, from my personal experience, I earn about $2.50 per subscriber every 3 months, so I can afford to pay $2.00 per subscriber or more and still turn in a profit. Of course, the ideal is to pay lesser than that, but don't be afraid of paying more to get a subscriber if you can do it. I've learned that's the trick to really scaling up list building.

      One of my friends makes more than $8 per month per opt-in through trial offers, so he really goes all out and spends thousands every month on Adwords. Of course, that is out of reach for most of us but anyone can earn $2 per subscriber at least over 6 months.

      But I'm going off tangent. I started out using free list building techniques and they are still a big part of my game, so use those.

      Fabian
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      • Profile picture of the author Stanley Tang
        I started off with article marketing... basically submitted one article per day to ezinearticles. It got me my first 1000 subscribers. Then from then on, I began to leverage my relationships and started building my list with JVs.

        Regarding my niche sites, I focus more on word-of-mouth by providing real value.
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  • Profile picture of the author sideserver
    Thanks for all the responses guys, they've all been extremely helpful. I'll give article marketing a shot.

    3 more specific questions:

    1. With so many people doing article marketing (in the IM niche), you think it'd be oversaturated at this point. Are you seeing less traffic now from sites like ezinearticles than you did in the past?

    2. Do you post only to ezinearticles, or do you mass distributed them to hundreds of directories?

    3. How do you speed up and automate the process for maximum efficiency, assuming budget is not an issue?
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    • Profile picture of the author TomBuford
      Originally Posted by sideserver View Post

      Thanks for all the responses guys, they've all been extremely helpful. I'll give article marketing a shot.

      3 more specific questions:

      1. With so many people doing article marketing (in the IM niche), you think it'd be oversaturated at this point. Are you seeing less traffic now from sites like ezinearticles than you did in the past?
      Sideserver, what makes your product UNIQUE. Focus on that point in your articles and marketing. Make sure it doesn't sound like the same old song and dance and people will take that next step and opt-in to learn more.

      Also, approach several potential JV partners. Offer to hold a free-teleseminar and promote the product at the end and in the middle. Offer 75-100% commission for partners whose list can benefit from your product. Obviously, approach people who aren't competitors of yours. In exchange for the high commission you want to manage the registration page and have listeners sign up through your page...thus getting the opt-ins.

      Some more savvy marketers won't want you to have that much access to their list, but there are plenty out there who will be fine with it. JV's are a great way to build a list quickly. They have the list, but you have the product.

      Hope that helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
      Article Marketer is a big part of the picture here if you intend to use article marketing to build a mailing list. At $33/month for unlimited articles, it's an incredible deal. I'm not affiliated in any way with them, but that's how I'd do it at your stage of the game.

      Regarding how you get people to opt-in, you might want to do a split test and build two lists simultaneously. Send some traffic to a squeeze page with a sign-up offering a free product (ebook, whatever) in exchange for their name and email. Send other traffic to a sales page and collect contact info of those who pay for the product.

      Lots of experts will tell you that a list of former paying customers is worth a lot more to you in the long run than one composed of freebie getters. Of course, you'll grow the freebie list a lot faster and bigger, but 100 former customers might put more money in your pocket than 1,000 freebie getters.

      Test it.

      Either way, article marketing is a great way to get a list built. Just be careful because there is a law of diminishing returns at play. For example, the amount of traffic you get from 10 articles all going live at the same time at EzineArticles will not be anywhere near 10X the traffic you get from a single article going live at one time. You're essentially competing against yourself if you go beyond about 3 or 4 per day. I try to hit 2 or 3. That's why a service like Article Marketer is vital. Spreads your single article out all over the place, creating lots of traffic funnels instead of a bottleneck at one or two locations from the same article. Good luck with it!

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author TomBuford
        Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

        Article Marketer is a big part of the picture here if you intend to use article marketing to build a mailing list. At $33/month for unlimited articles, it's an incredible deal. I'm not affiliated in any way with them, but that's how I'd do it at your stage of the game.

        Regarding how you get people to opt-in, you might want to do a split test and build two lists simultaneously. Send some traffic to a squeeze page with a sign-up offering a free product (ebook, whatever) in exchange for their name and email. Send other traffic to a sales page and collect contact info of those who pay for the product.

        Lots of experts will tell you that a list of former paying customers is worth a lot more to you in the long run than one composed of freebie getters. Of course, you'll grow the freebie list a lot faster and bigger, but 100 former customers might put more money in your pocket than 1,000 freebie getters.

        Test it.

        Either way, article marketing is a great way to get a list built. Just be careful because there is a law of diminishing returns at play. For example, the amount of traffic you get from 10 articles all going live at the same time at EzineArticles will not be anywhere near 10X the traffic you get from a single article going live at one time. You're essentially competing against yourself if you go beyond about 3 or 4 per day. I try to hit 2 or 3. That's why a service like Article Marketer is vital. Spreads your single article out all over the place, creating lots of traffic funnels instead of a bottleneck at one or two locations from the same article. Good luck with it!

        John
        Great response. Haven't used Article Marketer yet. Checking them out now.

        Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author sideserver
    That's awesome advice, John. Thanks for the heads up about the diminishing returns part, didn't think of that.

    But that brings me to another question, then. Would it be more effective to have 5 different accounts under different pen names post 1 article daily, or 5 articles under 1 account daily?
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    • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
      Originally Posted by sideserver View Post

      But that brings me to another question, then. Would it be more effective to have 5 different accounts under different pen names post 1 article daily, or 5 articles under 1 account daily?
      Well, if you aren't already at the Platinum Level at EZA, then at first I'd not worry much about the traffic from articles. Just get enough approved under each pen name to be at that level. Then your articles get approved faster (usually 2-3 days) and you can submit all you want.

      Then having 5 different pen names will expand your operations, definitely. I don't have the time to write more than a few articles a day (at most), so it's not really an issue in my case, but if I was going to do more I'd add some pen names and get them to Platinum asap.

      However, while the author names will be different, you're still going to have 5 articles all coming online on the same day (most of the time). So while the "competing with yourself" problem should be diminished, it's still there to some extent. Bottom line, I'd go with the 5 pen names and 1 article each scheme, but I don't know if it will help all that much to mitigate the traffic problem. My gut feeling is that it would help at least somewhat.

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    if you're only getting a few clicks a day, somethings not right.. what's your CTR?
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    -Jason

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