Best List-Building Strategies?

49 replies
I was previously in the IM niche for a decent amount of time and I was able to attract, on average, 1-3 leads/day (on good days,) but I have since moved on to found a Drumming company that offers online lessons, a forum, online magazine, etc.

I know how 'guru' many people on this forum can be when it comes to list-building, so I'm calling you guys all out!

Here's our magazine:
Flight Drummers Magazine

We've built a decent amount of traffic and I just opened our forum (which also pushed more leads, but what is a good way to build your list?

What do you guys do? Are videos on sidebars with optins below them effective? Popups? Optins in posts? just regular optins on the right?

Let me hear it from the WF team!

-Josh
#listbuilding #strategies
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Invest in a good squeeze page

    Offers something of real value to get people to join - it should be a multi-episode email course

    Send high-quality content to your list members to keep the engage level high
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    • Profile picture of the author adsassist
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Invest in a good squeeze page

      Offers something of real value to get people to join - it should be a multi-episode email course

      Send high-quality content to your list members to keep the engage level high
      This is exactly where you should start. Value is probably the most important part IMO.
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    • Profile picture of the author Njualem
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Invest in a good squeeze page

      Offers something of real value to get people to join - it should be a multi-episode email course

      Send high-quality content to your list members to keep the engage level high

      After setting up a good squeeze page offering a high quality content, invest in Solo Ads. The traffic you get from Solo Ads converts very high because they are "pre-sold", they come knowing what they will get. Is it easy to find Solo Ads for the "Drummer" niche? Of cause yes, you will be surprise to find a huge market out there. Just do the right research.

      Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author adsassist
    I would have an opt-in to the right. I all ways hatted the pop up opt-ins. Every time I see them the x gets clicked. Just my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author BocaKenK
    Banned
    I would do a popup. Get Popup Domination, after they opt-in, they won't see it anymore.

    Also, if they don't want to opt-in, they won't be asked to opt-in anymore, so it won't be an annoyance.

    Don't worry about it being too intrusive, because it's really not.

    ~Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Offer a free giveaway on the side of your site...

    The forum is a great idea...

    The best way to build a list would be to create a product and when people buy it they're added to your buyers list. A buyers list is extremely responsive in most cases.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronorr
    I could write a book on this after 12+ years of getting optins up to 500+ per day back in the day with ppc. The last 4 years what worked best for me was top 3 articles on google and SEO with my blog and also craigslist. I had 1800 signups within months with 52% opt-in rate because I sold it hard on craigslist and had 1000 live ads going at once.

    but this is such a long topic because although light box popup works the best out of all the split tests I've done it's more about the relationship before and after or either or with the email more than anything. You can do hype and get people excited for fake emails, but just provide articles and value and it's not even about the quantity. You can go to databaseemailer dot com they must be up to like 1/2 billion now with tons of info on everyone , email 1 million for $20 I hear. It's more about the long-term relationship and getting affiliates to help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author ltrain_riders
    When it comes to getting user interaction it's always best to test these things. People can tell you what works best for them. In your case, testing the locations and methods (pop-ups) to see what works best for your site is not hard. Drive traffic for a week doing one method, then change the method and test it for another week. You'll know for sure which one works the best!
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    Ask yourself, "What would make me want to sign up?" Most people have email boxes that are overloaded with crap and they want less, not more email. Make the offer something that they HAVE TO HAVE.
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    • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
      Originally Posted by Marhelper View Post

      Ask yourself, "What would make me want to sign up?" Most people have email boxes that are overloaded with crap and they want less, not more email. Make the offer something that they HAVE TO HAVE.
      Don't confuse the real world with the IM world.

      You would be really surprised at how differently people who aren't in IM think.
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  • Profile picture of the author rmolina88
    Have a one time offer after someone subscribes to get the free report.

    If someone buys, move them to a buyers only list.

    This way, you can weed out buyers from the freebie seekers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bob Stevenson
      Originally Posted by rmolina88 View Post

      Have a one time offer after someone subscribes to get the free report.

      If someone buys, move them to a buyers only list.

      This way, you can weed out buyers from the freebie seekers.

      What should we offer as we are not a product owner.
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      • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
        Originally Posted by Bob Stevenson View Post

        What should we offer as we are not a product owner.
        Many vendors will have a 'rebrandable' freebie for affiliates. If they don't you can easily make your own. Maybe rewrite a blog post or two into a PDF or something along those lines.

        Give them a 'taste' of really good info that is directly related to the product. Then the psychology is simple: I have given you a bit of great info for free. However, if you want a more 'in-depth' look at this subject I recommend...THE VENDOR.

        If the info you've given them is good, they will trust the recommendation and buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author danbcaut
      Originally Posted by rmolina88 View Post

      Have a one time offer after someone subscribes to get the free report.

      If someone buys, move them to a buyers only list.

      This way, you can weed out buyers from the freebie seekers.
      That is old "wisdom" that is often repeated but has never quite worked for me.

      I've never been quick to toss the freebie seekers out with the baby and the bathwater.

      My experience over the last 13 years .....

      The people seeking freebies today often do become buyers a few weeks or months down the road.

      In the obverse, the guy who bought a $10 ebook and my OTO today, is not instantly "qualified" as someone who will continue to buy.

      The point is, people's situations change. It's unfair to them and to my bottom line to cast them into specific roles as "buyers" and "freebie seekers."

      Wishing all the best
      Dan B. Cauthron
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  • Profile picture of the author joshcoffy
    Thanks everyone! I love how I can post something on here and get such positive feedback.

    You guys all rock. We've run solo ads, Facebook ppc, google ppc, etc., but I think we should first have a FREE product. we have $15/month memberships and we slowly sign people up, but we need a free product.

    You guys are the bomb. Have you had any luck with solo ads?

    -Josh
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    • Profile picture of the author GlenH
      It's tougher than ever before to convince visitors to optin to your 'conventional' squeeze page'

      Typically this is what happens...

      A visitor comes to your 'squeeze page'. They see a hyped-up spiel from you trying to convince them that you've got this fr*ee whatever on offer that will change their lives.

      But to get hold of it, you're asking them to give you their personal details.

      Think about the whole psychology of that for a minute from the prospects point of view....

      You're asking a complete stranger, who has just landed on your 'squeeze page', to give you their valuable contact details in exchange for a free whatever.

      What would they do that?

      You haven't given them one reason to trust you.

      So now that visitor who's landed on your 'squeeze page', is confronted with two choices.

      1. They'll trust you, and they'll give blindly you their personnel details in exchange for you giving them whatever it is you're offering.
      OR

      2. They'll think ... 'hey....this person could be this biggest con-artist and spammer on the net, why should I give them my name and email - If I do, I'll most likely be bombard with spam for the rest of life'....

      And then they'll just click away from your page, never to be seen again.

      The fact is that not only are the visitors to your site more net savvy than ever before, but they're also more security conscious about giving out their personal details than ever before, and so you're seeing more and more prospects choosing to click off your page.


      So what can do you about it, how can you stop losing all these visitors clicking away from your 'squeeze pages'?

      It's simple really.......You have to outsmart them!

      So I turned the whole 'squeeze page' strategy upside down!

      With my strategy, there is no optin form on my 'squeeze page'.

      Anyone who comes to my squeeze page, can download my free reports, no strings attached, no optin required. Nothing.

      By doing this I have done what I promised,....I've let the visitor download my 'free whatever' no strings attached.

      And by that one simple act, I have straight away, implanted a sense of trust their minds, because I did what I said I would do.

      Now here's my twist to that.....

      My visitor has downloaded my free report.

      They open my PDF report, and straight away they see an optin form with customized message from me thanking them for downloading my report. There is an optin form embedded to that PDF, and so the visitor now has to give their name and email (or just email) before the PDF will open for them to read. Once they complete the optin, they can then read the whole report

      If they don't complete the optin form, they don't get to read the free report.

      It's a subtle change in the whole approach to 'squeeze pages' and building a list.

      This is an example of an optin window the visitor will see when they first open my PDF.








      If the only name capture strategy you're using is the typical 'squeeze page' approach, then you're missing out on so much.

      You generate traffic to your site using many different strategies. Right?

      Well, it's the same with building your list......you must be using as many different strategies as possible to build your list as you can.

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      • Profile picture of the author ltrain_riders
        Originally Posted by GlenH View Post

        It's tougher than ever before to convince visitors to optin to your 'conventional' squeeze page'

        Typically this is what happens...

        A visitor comes to your 'squeeze page'. They see a hyped-up spiel from you trying to convince them that you've got this fr*ee whatever on offer that will change their lives.

        But to get hold of it, you're asking them to give you their personal details.

        Think about the whole psychology of that for a minute from the prospects point of view....

        You're asking a complete stranger, who has just landed on your 'squeeze page', to give you their valuable contact details in exchange for a free whatever.

        What would they do that?

        You haven't given them one reason to trust you.

        So now that visitor who's landed on your 'squeeze page', is confronted with two choices.

        1. They'll trust you, and they'll give blindly you their personnel details in exchange for you giving them whatever it is you're offering.
        OR

        2. They'll think ... 'hey....this person could be this biggest con-artist and spammer on the net, why should I give them my name and email - If I do, I'll most likely be bombard with spam for the rest of life'....

        And then they'll just click away from your page, never to be seen again.

        The fact is that not only are the visitors to your site more net savvy than ever before, but they're also more security conscious about giving out their personal details than ever before, and so you're seeing more and more prospects choosing to click off your page.


        So what can do you about it, how can you stop losing all these visitors clicking away from your 'squeeze pages'?

        It's simple really.......You have to outsmart them!

        So I turned the whole 'squeeze page' strategy upside down!

        With my strategy, there is no optin form on my 'squeeze page'.

        Anyone who comes to my squeeze page, can download my free reports, no strings attached, no optin required. Nothing.

        By doing this I have done what I promised,....I've let the visitor download my 'free whatever' no strings attached.

        And by that one simple act, I have straight away, implanted a sense of trust their minds, because I did what I said I would do.

        Now here's my twist to that.....

        My visitor has downloaded my free report.

        They open my PDF report, and straight away they see an optin form with customized message from me thanking them for downloading my report. There is an optin form embedded to that PDF, and so the visitor now has to give their name and email (or just email) before the PDF will open for them to read. Once they complete the optin, they can then read the whole report

        If they don't complete the optin form, they don't get to read the free report.

        It's a subtle change in the whole approach to 'squeeze pages' and building a list.

        This is an example of an optin window the visitor will see when they first open my PDF.








        If the only name capture strategy you're using is the typical 'squeeze page' approach, then you're missing out on so much.

        You generate traffic to your site using many different strategies. Right?

        Well, it's the same with building your list......you must be using as many different strategies as possible to build your list as you can.



        That's brilliant! I had no idea you could put JavaScript code in a PDF. Is that something you coded yourself or downloaded? Do you have any stats on opt-ins per download doing it this way?
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        • Profile picture of the author GlenH
          [DELETED]
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          • Profile picture of the author masterjani
            Originally Posted by GlenH View Post

            I ran a test for 6 months using the strategy, and my optins rate increased over that time by 147% .

            Read the results HERE
            That was another nice way to get the leads, mostly i use popup on the page loading and put exit popup to capture the leads so far. This one is new.

            Are you using any software to do this?
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            • Profile picture of the author GlenH
              [DELETED]
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            • Profile picture of the author GlenH
              Originally Posted by masterjani View Post

              That was another nice way to get the leads, mostly i use popup on the page loading and put exit popup to capture the leads so far. This one is new.

              Are you using any software to do this?
              This is way better that conventional opening or exit popups.

              Readers don't expect to see this, and I have found no one using this strategy.

              Go figure :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author danbcaut
    The old rule still applies:

    "Give them a headache and then offer them an aspirin."

    If I don't realize that I have a problem, whatever you offer, regardless of
    how "valuable" you think it is, will become only more crap to clutter up my
    life and/or my hard drive.

    Other than that, little sign up boxes in the sidebars generally go unnoticed.

    A top-fold billboarded opt-in form always works best for me.


    Wishing all the best
    Dan B. Cauthron
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  • Profile picture of the author GlenH
    Originally Posted by leliahawkins31 View Post

    I already used the strategy of popping up message before and after closing the page, but I noticed some of the viewers don't like that kind of strategies "they HATES".

    well, as soon as your site is an eye captured then for the viewers then go for it.
    No...you have the ideas wrong...

    It's not your standard popup in a web page...it's actually embedded INSIDE the PDF ebook itself.

    That a massive difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author RachelLily
    Just keep it simple. We live in a convenience and efficiency loving society. As such, all of your efforts in creating quality content and well-thought-out freebies won't be nearly as effective as they could be if you make the registration process lengthy or complicated. Don't require unnecessary information for sign-up. Asking for name and email is enough. You will have much higher resistance when requesting mailing address, phone number or any other irrelevant information. Also, make sure the "subscribe" button is clearly designated and, above all, properly functioning.
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  • Profile picture of the author daveaball
    You definitley need a squeeze page, I have a post that was published a few days ago and its 10 marketers discussing there top list building tips, heres the link, enjoy
    List Building | Dave Ball Online
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  • Profile picture of the author Stripe
    Use a good squeeze page and give something of real value to you site visitors.

    For example, if you want to build a list of people interested in weight loss, use a squeeze page to give away a 3 week healthy & delicious meal plan.

    Put some work into it and make it valuable to your perspective or future list member.
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  • Profile picture of the author wlasikiewicz
    That's for your info.

    Squeeze pages can be complex or they can be very simple. As long as the design is clean and your info is in a readable order then your on to a winner..
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    contact some product owners in your niche and ask if you can buy a solo ad from them. This way you know the traffic will be lazer targeted and also a lot of them may be buyers

    for free traffic, set up a blog for your niche/market and then build the content up over time and you will start to attract free traffic and a loyal following as long as your content is good, this is a great way to build your business/list all for free but it does not happen overnight

    paul
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Besides boosting capture rate, buld a strong relationship with your list members. Have THEM be your biggest cheerleaders.
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  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    What I do is say "sign up for my list to get notified of a new free royalty free song".

    So basically offer the promise of something free, valuable and re-occurring.

    For you I would do something like:

    "Sign to get notified of our top drum technique of the month video."
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  • Profile picture of the author mayagh
    A free giveaway with a Squeeze page for optin!
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    A squeeze page might not be the best solution for this site. Often they are not. You might get more subscribers but then they don't open your emails, click your links or give a sh*t about you so it's useless.

    Smaller and more responsive lists who have opted in because they like you and your content is better.
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  • Profile picture of the author TravisO
    Advertise on craigslist and on the most popular listing websites. That's one of the best way to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I'm mostly a free marketer, but any kind of effective advertising i can use i spend money on (like a forum signature image). To build my list, i use a variety of different marketing strategies (mostly free), and i do some light PPC advertising.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Why don't you spend money on building your list?
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    I have begun turning my back on the whole 'offer them a freebie' angle. People are looking for information so I focus now on giving them a 3 stage information release. First 2 stages are free and accessible. The 3rd is still free but they have to optin for a free lesson series. My guru on WF's advice leads me to this. The free lesson series is what upsells them to the PURE LIST. The PURE LIST is where the money is IMHO
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    • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      I have begun turning my back on the whole 'offer them a freebie' angle. People are looking for information so I focus now on giving them a 3 stage information release. First 2 stages are free and accessible. The 3rd is still free but they have to optin for a free lesson series. My guru on WF's advice leads me to this. The free lesson series is what upsells them to the PURE LIST. The PURE LIST is where the money is IMHO
      This can be really good. A content funnel where they get 'X' parts free and then when they go to access the next part ask them to opt in to receive it. When people have gone through a few different stages they feel more inclined to give up their email address to get the rest of it than they would if you just sent them straight to an opt in page.
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  • Profile picture of the author ozanK
    Do like Frank Kern: give your audience some valuable content upfront. Show them you're the real deal... and then simply tell them "if you wanna learn more, then here's my VIP newsletters".

    Don't force anything (like the regular squeeze). Make 'em come by themselves after they note you are making a genuine effort to help them out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jenna619
    I would create a product and sell it as a WSO that way you have a cool buyers list and can make money for years to come...U can also buy solos and build your list that way too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mormo
      You could offer free coaching then just dump your leads on to your list and try and sell stuff to them. That's what a guy did to me recently.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frosy
    I think a mini course is best. I built a coure back 2009 delivered each day over 10 days. It was simple marketing tips in presentation format screen captured using Camtasia.

    That one course built me thousands of leads continuously.

    I just revamped the entire course and now it's me talking to camera with white board.
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  • Their are alot of good ways that people have already said, so I want repeat. That you have too do is test, test, test, and see what's work best for you. It's just that simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    lots of great into in here.

    Where I have done insanely well is....

    1) PPC facebook <> fan page <> optin list.

    2) Media buys <> optin list <> funnell <> high end products <> coaching.

    both are fun and very profitable for me. Once you set them up properly, you just have to drive as much traffic as you can.

    A bit of testing, but they work very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomerep
    Solo Ads! This is one of the most effective strategy which can literally builds and grows your subscribers on your mailing list daily. The only disadvantage in using this method is that it typically cost much and these are bought on a per solo ad basis. So if you don't have much budget to invest, this might not be the best option for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
      Originally Posted by TravisO View Post

      Well at least you build traffics. Not that bad though. :-)
      Traffic is pointless if it doesn't convert.

      Originally Posted by tomerep View Post

      Solo Ads! This is one of the most effective strategy which can literally builds and grows your subscribers on your mailing list daily. The only disadvantage in using this method is that it typically cost much and these are bought on a per solo ad basis. So if you don't have much budget to invest, this might not be the best option for you.
      Solos might grow your list quickly but the subscribers are mostly junk who are on dozens of lists and get swapped around from one to the next, usually freebie seekers. Why do you think the person selling solo ads is so willing to let other people get access to them?
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