I would like to offer a little advice for newbies, on the much hackneyed subject of list building. I don't for a minute deny the importance of a list, whether you are an affiliate or have your own products. But I get a little fed up when marketers and gurus try to push newbies into "building your list" right from the start, as if that were the be all and end all, when they still don't have a clue. :confused: Big mistake, I think.
They never tell you that it is worse than useless to have a list if you are at a loss as to what to DO with it, how to use subject lines, how to provide interesting content, how to pace, how and when to market to your readers, or, to put it a better way, how to provide them with exactly what they need, when they need it, and how to LET THEM KNOW you are doing that --so that a decent percentage of them might actually want to give you some money.
In my humble opinion, learning how to handle and monetize a list is much more important and much harder than learning how to build one. Yet that subject is all too often neglected. But here's the good part: we all have List Monetization 101 right in front of us for FREE.
Yes indeed - with reasonable observational skills and a little discipline, there is one very fast effective way to acquire that knowledge: simply to subscribe to other people's lists every chance you get (you are well advised to open a new separate email account for this) and STUDY them until your eyeballs are popping out and rolling around on the floor -- NOT so you get sucked into buying all their products - you've got to exercise some steely self-control here and remind yourself that persuasion is what they do - so leave that Paypal button alone.
Don't get me wrong. If you find yourself itching to buy, that's GREAT - only instead of pushing that order button, STOP, and go back, retrace and try figure out exactly what that marketer did to get you to that state.
Equally, if you find yourself bored to death and wanting to unsubscribe, do so by all means, but not before making a note or two about what made you feel that way, so you can avoid those pitfalls too.
The truth is, that you have before you as many "live case studies" as you could wish for, illustrating in real time how to (or how not to) use a list as a marketing tool.
Here are some specific things to look out for in your analysis.
As you skim your inbox, notice which subject lines make you WANT to open the email. This is crucial. In fact you should open up a text file or Word doc and start making a list of these.
Then, within the body of the email, see which techniques make you want to click on their links, and why. After all, a link is just a link - it's the way it is brought to your attention that counts. Have they used humour? Urgency? Fear? Bribery? Have they earned your trust over time? Or......?
So now you've clicked - but then what - does the destination sustain your interest? Increase it, even? If not, why not?
How are you treated when you first join the list? Are you made to feel special, or important? Does the experience feel personal, or impersonal. Do you feel enticed to continue? Are you getting VALUE?
You get the idea.
After a few days or weeks of this - it varies with the individual - you should have found some definite role models to emulate - successful marketers whose style you can relate to. You will then be much better prepared for your listbuilding, because you should be be raring to go.
Let me know if you find this useful, or if you disagree with any of it!