I have been browsing through a lot of questions on this forum for the past few days, and not only are some people finding it hard to build lists (often by overcomplicating things), but some people still aren't building them at all –
The old 'Wow, that looks really cool, I'm gonna implement that some time' approach does not work. 'Some time' never comes. But 'now' is already here. Quit procrastinating, guys!
Saying that, having focus is a huge part of working for yourself, because you have nobody poking you with a stick, telling you what to do, and all these different WSO's and tactics can be very distracting. So if you're in the middle of a different project, don't distract yourself with list-building just yet, because completing 1 project is better than starting 100. But make sure you make list-building your next priority.
Okay, so now that we have that out of the way, let's get to the list building tactics!
First of all, there are some pre-requisites for building an email list. So before you learn how to build an email list, you should get good at these:
You need to have chosen a profitable niche. The reason for this is that building an email list is not just about making a page to capture leads and sending traffic to it. Building a profitable email list, which I'm sure is the kind that you want is about selecting a profitable niche and driving targeted traffic to it.
Let's get back to basics – The simple formula for making money as a marketer is:
1.Finding a group of people with a need (these people are your target market – The 'right' people to market to).
2.Creating/Finding a solution to that need.
3.Presenting that solution to your target market.
If your market are 'buyers', then once you start implementing step 3, you will start making money. But in order to do that, you have to know where to find the people in your market -
Make them come to you.
Get inside the head of your target market. What kind of keywords do they use? What kinds of forums do they hang out on? What appeals to them? Do they like freebies (- always a yes)? Do they spend much time on social networks? - And these are just A FEW of the questions that you need to be asking yourself.
So now, I'm going to begin breaking down step 3 of the above process, because once you build a list of people from your target market, 'presenting' solutions goes from having to do:
4.Social Media Marketing
And many others...
Sending out an email.
I'm sure most of you already know this, but I'm making it very clear for those of you who didn't.
What I'm about to say now may baffle some of the marketers reading this post, but I'm sure many of you will COMPLETELY agree...
What we're going to do now is learn to help people, and take advantage of some of the laws of human nature...
When I say 'Presenting the solution to your target market'...
What do you think of? Do you think of selling them a product/service to fix their problem?
Sometime, that is what it means, but when it comes to list building... At least in many cases, it's GIVING them the solution to their problems, or at least a huge part of it.
FREE? But then why would they want to buy anything from me?
Your aim will be to entice the person into entering their name and email address to get the solution to their problems. To do this, you will need to build a squeeze page. This page will offer your user a free piece of information that will help them to fix their problem. This is often given in the form of a free report.
Now here's where it gets interesting. Even if you give someone all the information that they need in order to fix their problem – At least one of two things will happen -
The law of reciprocation will kick in:
When you do something to help someone, especially if it's big, they will want to give something back. They will feel closer to you, and over time, you will be able to build an effective relationship using your autoresponder, and personally replying to their emails where possible. People who you have relationships with TRUST you... And therefore, they will trust your recommendations (your affiliate/product offers).
Hunger for knowledge will kick in:
If you don't believe it... Take a look at yourself. Many of the people reading this post have already been told a million times how to build an email list... Yet, here you are. Even if people have been told over and over again, most people want their hand held, to be taught step by step, or learn something new that might help them to do things easier, or faster.
This means that as you continue to send your targeted list free valuable information, along with paid offers, they will be receptive, provided you offer them good content, and that you picked the right niche in the first place.
So now... Here is the step by step process of building a list.
I'm not sure I can go into too much detail on here, because I've already written over two pages, but if you want any more detail, feel free to PM me.
Step 1: Choose a profitable niche.
This can take hours, or even days of market research. However, with the internet, this has been made much easier. Remember the list from earlier? Well... There's a shortcut to completing the first two steps in 1 go... But still, take your time with this.
Usually, you would have to brainstorm or survey or collect information on people in order to find a need (step 1). You would also need to do some research to find out if the people in that target market were actually 'buyers'... And then you would need to find/create a solution to that need (step 2).
But with clickbank, there are tons of products to browse through in various niches. And if the gravity is high on a product, you know that the people in the niche are buyers. This way, you can complete both steps 1 and 2 in a fairly short amount of time.
Step 2a: Build a lead capture page.
AKA a 'squeeze page'... The sole purpose of this page is to 'convert' as many visitors as possible into leads. A lead/subscriber is someone who 'opts-in' to join your mailing list.
These pages consist of 3 main components:
1.The lead capture form. The boxes that collect the first name and email address of the visitor (or just email address sometimes), with a submission button. This adds them to your mailing list, which should be connected with your autoresponder service.
2.The 'lead bait' image/introduction. This is the free gift that you will give to people once they sign up.
3.Benefits – This is essentially the advert for the benefits that your subscribers will get. This can be in the form of a bullet pointed list, a video, or both.
Marketing 101: You always sell benefits, not features. This means that you tell people how the features will HELP them, rather than what the features are.
E.g. 'This new phone is wi-fi enabled' is a feature.
'Browse the internet anywhere' is a benefit.
There are loads of places you can go to get free squeeze page templates that can be easily edited in dreamweaver of MS FrontPage. If you need any help finding one, PM me.
Step 2b: Setting up your autoresponder
I have called this step '2b' because you can't really have a lead capture page with nowhere for the leads to be stored once they are captured. You will want them to be stored in an autoresponder email list.
An autoresponder is a system that automatically messages your leads, based on the date and time that they signed up. For example, let's say you set up 3 messages, one to be sent on 'day1', one for 'day2' and one for 'week1'... The first message will be sent on the day that the lead signed up, the second will be sent one day after they sign up, and the third will be sent a week after signing up. This means that you can send out affiliate promotions on a regular basis, without having to repeat the work. Once you have set up a long autoresponder series, you won't really need to touch it again for a while, unless you want to, (which you probably should).
This is not all that's possible. You can also send out 'burst' emails, which is where it can send to everyone in your database at the same time, no matter where they are in your autoresponder series.
The most widely used autoresponder services are aweber and getresponse. There are some free ones if you want to save money, and you can host them yourself. This can be a good idea when you're just starting out, but as your list gets bigger, I would recommend that you use aweber.
Your autoresponder is what gives you freedom, and stops you from having to send emails all day, so that you can use your time more productively.
Step 3: Get a website for your squeeze page
Websites are not as expensive as they used to be. You can get a .info domain name for less than a couple dollars, a .com for about $10, and you can get web hosting for $5 per month.
Your squeeze page does not have to be all that your website consists of, but it should be on the home page. This stops people for being distracted, and trying to get to your home page for more info – Because they're already on it. Their choice is to either sign up or leave.
Step 4: Begin driving traffic to your squeeze page
I'm not going to go into this one in too much depth in this post, because there are so many traffic-generating tips on this forum.
Sig marketing – Advertise your squeeze page in your forum signatures.
Article marketing – Advertise your squeeze page in the 'Author Bio' of your articles.
SEO – It is harder to get squeeze pages ranked on google, because they tend to be pretty short, so it is harder to optimise them with keywords. However, it isn't impossible to get them ranked at all, especially if you use backlinks. However, it makes more sense to create a 'blog squeeze', as blogs rank better. A 'blog squeeze' is when you have an opt-in form as a widget in the sidebar of your blog.
Social Media Marketing – Use social networks such as facebook and twitter to drive traffic to your web site.
Step 5: Start training your list
This means sorting out your autoresponder series, so that you get the right balance between simply giving them value, and sending them offers.
This is quite a controversial subject, because nobody really knows the PERFECT way of 'training' your list. By 'training', I mean making your list more receptive to your offers. If you only send them offers, you may seem selfish, and they won't want to give anything to you. But on the flip-side, if you only send them free value, when you are ready to send them an offer, they won't be used to it, and this will also lower conversion rates, and the general profitability of your list.
Personally, I would recommend that you send emails that contain useful tips, hints and value, with an embedded offer. This way, your subscriber always gets something of value when they read your emails, and whether or not they accept the offer is completely their choice. This way, they always feel that you are helping them, and they will be used to receiving offers from you.
Once your list starts growing, it's your job to make sure it KEEPS growing, and the more work you put in, the better you will do as time goes on. If you put in the work, your lead generation will become passive, and you can watch your business grow organically. But before this can be done, you really need to take action. Good luck, warriors!
If you have any questions, reply to the thread or PM me.