Which is better to invest in, CPA or Listbuilding?

by ryedog
63 replies
Are there any informed or experienced folks here that can share whether investing in CPA or list building gives the best ROI? Thanks in advance.
#cpa #invest #listbuilding
  • Profile picture of the author AnnaMolly
    There is not one that is better than the other. It all depends on what you revolve your business around. You can also use them both at the same time.

    Building a list is lasting and should be done first in my opinion. You can just promote CPA offers to your list if you wanted. It is very flexible.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by AnnaMolly View Post

      There is not one that is better than the other. It all depends on what you revolve your business around. You can also use them both at the same time.

      Building a list is lasting and should be done first in my opinion. You can just promote CPA offers to your list if you wanted. It is very flexible.
      Thanks for the reply !

      If I collected a list from traffic sent to CPA offers, would the list be considered a buyers list?
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      • Profile picture of the author cborgrx
        Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

        Thanks for the reply !

        If I collected a list from traffic sent to CPA offers, would the list be considered a buyers list?
        I am not a CPA expert but I have dabbled in it a bit. The people who are going to be leaving their email address or performing some other action will be going onto the list of the vendor that you are an affiliate for. I don't see how you will capture their info because it is not your squeeze page?
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        • Profile picture of the author ryedog
          Originally Posted by cborgrx View Post

          I am not a CPA expert but I have dabbled in it a bit. The people who are going to be leaving their email address or performing some other action will be going onto the list of the vendor that you are an affiliate for. I don't see how you will capture their info because it is not your squeeze page?
          I can see where having a squeeze page in front of an email submit cpa offer could lower conversions on the cpa offer, but aren't there other types of cpa offers this could be done with?
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          • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
            Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

            I can see where having a squeeze page in front of an email submit cpa offer could lower conversions on the cpa offer, but aren't there other types of cpa offers this could be done with?
            How do you know it could lower conversions on the cpa offer unless you've actually tested it?

            The benefit of doing this is that you have the lead to market more offers to. By not doing it you give the lead to the advertiser who owns the offer, and that's it.

            You can't market to that lead anymore.

            If all you care about is ROI, then do it.
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            • Profile picture of the author ryedog
              Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

              How do you know it could lower conversions on the cpa offer unless you've actually tested it?

              The benefit of doing this is that you have the lead to market more offers to. By not doing it you give the lead to the advertiser who owns the offer, and that's it.

              You can't market to that lead anymore.

              If all you care about is ROI, then do it.
              I see your point. My assumption really has no value. The results of testing is what really matters. It's the shortcut taker in me that jumps to assumptions. Foolish I know!
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              • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
                Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

                I see your point. My assumption really has no value. The results of testing is what really matters. It's the shortcut taker in me that jumps to assumptions. Foolish I know!
                When it comes to traffic and conversions - never make assumptions

                When you get a lot more experience, you will be able to take some shortcuts - but not many.
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                • Profile picture of the author ryedog
                  Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

                  When it comes to traffic and conversions - never make assumptions

                  When you get a lot more experience, you will be able to take some shortcuts - but not many.
                  I know you are right! Thanks
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            • Profile picture of the author smjconet
              Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

              How do you know it could lower conversions on the cpa offer unless you've actually tested it?

              The benefit of doing this is that you have the lead to market more offers to. By not doing it you give the lead to the advertiser who owns the offer, and that's it.

              You can't market to that lead anymore.

              If all you care about is ROI, then do it.
              Yeah, agreed I can think of a great way to get the email address before sending them on to the CPA offer.

              Just create a short compelling video in the area they are seeking answers for and then put up a squeeze page promising them to send it to thier inbox. Then collect their email address and after you get the email address, redirect them to another page that thanks them and tells them the video access is being sent to their inbox, but while they wait for it, here is an offer that will solve the bigger problem they're having. Then redirect to the CPA.

              PS, when they get the video from their email, have it answer some of the questions, but for the main problem, again pitch the CPA offer.

              I can think of many other strategies as well. I agree, never never leave without attempting to get an email address.
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              • Profile picture of the author ryedog
                Originally Posted by smjconet View Post

                Yeah, agreed I can think of a great way to get the email address before sending them on to the CPA offer.

                Just create a short compelling video in the area they are seeking answers for and then put up a squeeze page promising them to send it to thier inbox. Then collect their email address and after you get the email address, redirect them to another page that thanks them and tells them the video access is being sent to their inbox, but while they wait for it, here is an offer that will solve the bigger problem they're having. Then redirect to the CPA.

                PS, when they get the video from their email, have it answer some of the questions, but for the main problem, again pitch the CPA offer.

                I can think of many other strategies as well. I agree, never never leave without attempting to get an email address.
                That's a great idea!! Thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author NatesMarketing
    This is actually a good question.

    List building is more about building a reputation and community.

    CPA is more about paying for traffic that converts at less than you spend.

    What sounds better to you? CPA is never ending - offers will come and go. Ads will come and go. Landing pages will come and go. It will be a never ending series of testing, modifying, testing more.

    List building is never ending - you must constantly be there to help folks out, be an authority, be relative, test conversions, etc.

    They're two fairly different approaches - and it's more about what fits you best. Do you like math and creativity (CPA) or writing and creativity (list building)?
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by NatesMarketing View Post

      This is actually a good question.

      List building is more about building a reputation and community.

      CPA is more about paying for traffic that converts at less than you spend.

      What sounds better to you? CPA is never ending - offers will come and go. Ads will come and go. Landing pages will come and go. It will be a never ending series of testing, modifying, testing more.

      List building is never ending - you must constantly be there to help folks out, be an authority, be relative, test conversions, etc.

      They're two fairly different approaches - and it's more about what fits you best. Do you like math and creativity (CPA) or writing and creativity (list building)?
      Wow, great things to consider. Thanks for your insights!
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  • Profile picture of the author tristatemedia
    you will be very sorry if you do not do list building. i dumped everything and started buildin g my list....well worth it
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by tristatemedia View Post

      you will be very sorry if you do not do list building. i dumped everything and started buildin g my list....well worth it
      I know what you mean. The list can be good roi over the long term, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author CashMoneyOnline
    Banned
    CPA is very Risky ...your better off Building a list and having excess money and then going into CPA.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by CashMoneyOnline View Post

      CPA is very Risky ...your better off Building a list and having excess money and then going into CPA.
      I agree, CPA is risky and requires a considerable amount of time in research, monitoring, adjustments and cash to put a profitable campaign together. Where as list building can be a long term asset if developed and nurtured correctly. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Horacioplus
    I usually promote CPA offers and at the same time build my list.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by Horacioplus View Post

      I usually promote CPA offers and at the same time build my list.
      Do you just throw a squeeze page in front of the cpa lander?
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      • Profile picture of the author heavysm
        Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

        Do you just throw a squeeze page in front of the cpa lander?
        This is what I've seen some do already, though I'm not sure how well it converts (i hardly touch cpa offers).

        BUT there is nothing preventing you from promoting decent cpa offers to your list once it is built.

        Just keep in mind that if the cpa offer looks like crap to you it will most likely look the same to your subscribers.

        So, to answer you, in this case i would say list building comes first then search for relevant offers (in this case cpa) for your market then promote those to your list.
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        • Profile picture of the author ryedog
          Originally Posted by heavysm View Post

          This is what I've seen some do already, though I'm not sure how well it converts (i hardly touch cpa offers).

          BUT there is nothing preventing you from promoting decent cpa offers to your list once it is built.

          Just keep in mind that if the cpa offer looks like crap to you it will most likely look the same to your subscribers.

          So, to answer you, in this case i would say list building comes first then search for relevant offers (in this case cpa) for your market then promote those to your list.
          Thanks heavysm. A good straight forward plan
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      • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
        Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

        Are there any informed or experienced folks here that can share whether investing in CPA or list building gives the best ROI? Thanks in advance.
        Well, list building can be helped with paid advertising, so it depends
        but I've done both, and have made the move to list building.

        it's actually not even close, per person.
        but then again, there are guys that swear by cpa
        (the biggest here at the WF use list building to teach their cpa methods
        so they combine both.

        Cheers
        Chris
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        • Profile picture of the author ryedog
          Originally Posted by ChrisWrok View Post

          Well, list building can be helped with paid advertising, so it depends
          but I've done both, and have made the move to list building.

          it's actually not even close, per person.
          but then again, there are guys that swear by cpa
          (the biggest here at the WF use list building to teach their cpa methods
          so they combine both.

          Cheers
          Chris
          Sounds like list building is the wise choice of seasoned IM'ers. Thanks ChrisWrok
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I gotta go with list building. The conversion rate of my email newsletter is re-donkulous right now lol. CPA is what it is. You want long lasting targeted traffic and sales... stick to list building. But if you don't believe me, test both out for yourself, run a real and thorough test, and based on your findings... go with the one that you feel most comfortable with - and the one that makes you the most money.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      I gotta go with list building. The conversion rate of my email newsletter is re-donkulous right now lol. CPA is what it is. You want long lasting targeted traffic and sales... stick to list building. But if you don't believe me, test both out for yourself, run a real and thorough test, and based on your findings... go with the one that you feel most comfortable with - and the one that makes you the most money.
      Thanks Randall, You must have a devoted following and be a trusted advisor if you are getting re-donkulous results!
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    I do both and love them both.

    Also use CPA offers to offset my cost to acquire my leads in some of the niches I play in.

    Built a list of 400K for free in about 10 months although I used paid traffic.

    I will say, as many eluded to, once you have the list you can keep using it to produce revenue...

    ...whereas just doing affiliate marketing (whether it be CPA or pay per sale), you're really just operating on margins and ROI is your sole focus. With that being said, depending on your niche and traffic sources, expect conversion rates of 1% or less.

    What that means if all you're doing is just linking to affiliate offers without building a list is that 99% or more of your traffic is totally wasted, but you won't mind if you can make more than you spend.

    Really all depends on what you want.

    People are making boatloads of money doing both.

    Really all depends on what you want and what you're comfortable with.
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    • Profile picture of the author hardworker2013
      Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

      I do both and love them both.

      Also use CPA offers to offset my cost to acquire my leads in some of the niches I play in.

      Built a list of 400K for free in about 10 months although I used paid traffic.

      I will say, as many eluded to, once you have the list you can keep using it to produce revenue...

      ...whereas just doing affiliate marketing (whether it be CPA or pay per sale), you're really just operating on margins and ROI is your sole focus. With that being said, depending on your niche and traffic sources, expect conversion rates of 1% or less.

      What that means if all you're doing is just linking to affiliate offers without building a list is that 99% or more of your traffic is totally wasted, but you won't mind if you can make more than you spend.

      Really all depends on what you want.

      People are making boatloads of money doing both.

      Really all depends on what you want and what you're comfortable with.
      Wow!!! Built a list of 400K in 10 months? That sounds unbelievable! Are you selling
      solo ads to this big list?
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      • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
        Originally Posted by hardworker2013 View Post

        Wow!!! Built a list of 400K in 10 months? That sounds unbelievable! Are you selling
        solo ads to this big list?
        Sometimes I do, but it's not my primary source of revenue from this list, and when I do I'm very selective.

        Most of the time I sell to brokers because they buy in volume.

        Much easier to deal with a handful of people who buy in volume than a hundred people who buy a few hundred or thousand clicks every once in a while.
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    • Profile picture of the author wmwm300
      Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

      I do both and love them both.

      Also use CPA offers to offset my cost to acquire my leads in some of the niches I play in.

      Built a list of 400K for free in about 10 months although I used paid traffic.

      I will say, as many eluded to, once you have the list you can keep using it to produce revenue...

      ...whereas just doing affiliate marketing (whether it be CPA or pay per sale), you're really just operating on margins and ROI is your sole focus. With that being said, depending on your niche and traffic sources, expect conversion rates of 1% or less.

      What that means if all you're doing is just linking to affiliate offers without building a list is that 99% or more of your traffic is totally wasted, but you won't mind if you can make more than you spend.

      Really all depends on what you want.

      People are making boatloads of money doing both.

      Really all depends on what you want and what you're comfortable with.
      Can u share with us how u built this huge list?
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      • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
        Originally Posted by wmwm300 View Post

        Can u share with us how u built this huge list?
        Spent lots of money on paid traffic
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  • Profile picture of the author rihan123
    I rather do cpa with list building.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by rihan123 View Post

      I rather do cpa with list building.
      Building a list from CPA markrting?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Ray
    Personally I would build a list first before I started CPA offers. You could then use your list to promote offers such as CPA.

    Just makes sense to me to do it that way.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by DennisRay View Post

      Personally I would build a list first before I started CPA offers. You could then use your list to promote offers such as CPA.

      Just makes sense to me to do it that way.
      A pre-built pinpoint targeted audience to market to certainly would be ideal! Thanks DennisRay
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  • Profile picture of the author TonyAG
    Build your list ASAP.

    Once you have a big list, you'll very rarely have to pay to advertise.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by TonyAG View Post

      Build your list ASAP.

      Once you have a big list, you'll very rarely have to pay to advertise.
      That is a HUGE plus!
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  • Profile picture of the author naidyphoon
    My biggest regret is not building a list from the beginning. HUGE mistake. Definitely build a list first, there are many benefits associated with doing so.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by naidyphoon View Post

      My biggest regret is not building a list from the beginning. HUGE mistake. Definitely build a list first, there are many benefits associated with doing so.
      I agree that building a list is important, but I think the list needs to be leads that have proven their interest by purchasing in the niche. Finding and getting them signed up takes a time and financial investment, which is why I am asking about roi. Thank you for sharing your experience naidyphoon
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  • Profile picture of the author Mcfoxr
    I dont think one is better than the other. It is relative. There are some people that make a living through cpa marketing alone and carved a niche for themselves while some invest their time and energy into list building solely.

    Everything depends on your choice and what you want.

    As for me, I am into both but at the ration of 75%Listbuilding and 25%CPA.

    I have an optin form on my sites and at times set up page solely for collecting leads. Another approach I also adopted for my cpa marketing is I also build a list with my cpa campaigns as well. After opting in, the subscriber is then funneled to my cpa offer thereby killing two birds with one stone.

    Hope this helps
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by talktotop View Post

      I dont think one is better than the other. It is relative. There are some people that make a living through cpa marketing alone and carved a niche for themselves while some invest their time and energy into list building solely.

      Everything depends on your choice and what you want.

      As for me, I am into both but at the ration of 75%Listbuilding and 25%CPA.

      I have an optin form on my sites and at times set up page solely for collecting leads. Another approach I also adopted for my cpa marketing is I also build a list with my cpa campaigns as well. After opting in, the subscriber is then funneled to my cpa offer thereby killing two birds with one stone.

      Hope this helps
      I really like the idea of combining the two into one method. Seems like a natural. Thanks talktotop
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  • Profile picture of the author jfalxr
    I'm not an experience ones but I do totally go with building a list first..

    Then find some cpa/ppl program that provides tools for their affiliates.. Banners works very well for me.. I created a landing download page which I can monetized with cpa..

    You then can follow-ups to promote cpa and make some fresh cash..
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by jfalxr View Post

      I'm not an experience ones but I do totally go with building a list first..

      Then find some cpa/ppl program that provides tools for their affiliates.. Banners works very well for me.. I created a landing download page which I can monetized with cpa..

      You then can follow-ups to promote cpa and make some fresh cash..
      Thanks. That's the great deal about having a targeted list, marketing to already interested customers. Maybe making it a little difficult to determine short term roi.
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  • Profile picture of the author ToTz
    if you ask me, then first tell me.. whats your investment capacity.. if its small. go for cpa. this is my advice
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by ToTz View Post

      if you ask me, then first tell me.. whats your investment capacity.. if its small. go for cpa. this is my advice
      So building a list will take a big investment?
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  • Profile picture of the author loftloft
    This is a no brainer but list buildling wins hands down. You can sell again and again to the list if you build a good relationship and get them to trust you. I made $2,000 in a month just sending out 3 emails spaced promoting just one offer.

    I wasn't even focusing on selling anything to my list. I run 3 businesses on the side. And because the affiliate manager raised my commission I thought ok let me try sending my list and email. So I sent them the same emails the manager gave me and thats it, I made small pocket change.

    Go for list building!
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by loftloft View Post

      This is a no brainer but list buildling wins hands down. You can sell again and again to the list if you build a good relationship and get them to trust you. I made $2,000 in a month just sending out 3 emails spaced promoting just one offer.

      I wasn't even focusing on selling anything to my list. I run 3 businesses on the side. And because the affiliate manager raised my commission I thought ok let me try sending my list and email. So I sent them the same emails the manager gave me and thats it, I made small pocket change.

      Go for list building!
      Sounds like the definitive answer! and the majority seem to agree. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
    Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

    Thanks for the reply !

    If I collected a list from traffic sent to CPA offers, would the list be considered a buyers list?
    in short, no
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by ChrisWrok View Post

      in short, no
      Would they be targeted leads? They have shown interest, right?
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      • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
        Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

        Would they be targeted leads? They have shown interest, right?
        In short, yes...but cpa targeted leads are usually done with free offers
        so a freebie list is quite different than a buyer's list

        a freebie seeker could be a kid or someone without a paypal accout or credit cards

        but a buyer is just that, a buyer
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
    Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

    I can see where having a squeeze page in front of an email submit cpa offer could lower conversions on the cpa offer, but aren't there other types of cpa offers this could be done with?
    a lot of internet marketers do this as it is...
    offer them something of value for doing it...
    and don't give them another option to by-pass your optin

    Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

    Do you just throw a squeeze page in front of the cpa lander?
    yep. A pit stop,
    you collect their info, in return they receive a free report, and redirect them to the cpa offer

    Have a good one!
    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by ChrisWrok View Post

      a lot of internet marketers do this as it is...
      offer them something of value for doing it...
      and don't give them another option to by-pass your optin


      yep. A pit stop,
      you collect their info, in return they receive a free report, and redirect them to the cpa offer

      Have a good one!
      Chris
      I wonder if there are any stats on converting freebie seekers to buyers. I suppose a lot depends on a marketers skill level.
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      • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
        Originally Posted by ryedog View Post

        I wonder if there are any stats on converting freebie seekers to buyers. I suppose a lot depends on a marketers skill level.
        I'm not sure where you would find such stats, but each individual marketer may know his or her own stats.

        Personally, now I create and promote my own products and services
        so everyone that gets on my list is either a buyer
        or someone that has visited my website and wants more information about purchasing

        I DO offer free products to people on my list,
        but not to get them on the list.

        that's just me tho!

        Have a good one!
        Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author tristatemedia
    list building................list building......list building.
    sorry, did i say list building. do not be at the mercy of google. control your own destiny
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    • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
      Originally Posted by tristatemedia View Post

      do not be at the mercy of google. control your own destiny
      I get what you're saying and I agree, but many people including RyeDog most likely do not and will not get it.

      Google has nothing to do with list building or CPA

      You can do both in big numbers without ever getting a single visitor from Google.

      Both are powerful. There are CPA marketers making more in a day without building a list than most full time marketers in this forum do in a month - or a year for that matter.

      They have traffic down to such a science that they can repeat what they do day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out without ever capturing a single lead.

      List building is great and probably best for someone just getting their feet wet, but it isn't necessarily better than CPA.

      It really all depends on what you want, your marketing skill level and what not.

      In my humble opinion and based on my personal experience, finding a way to marry them both is a great way to go about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryedog
      Originally Posted by tristatemedia View Post

      list building................list building......list building.
      sorry, did i say list building. do not be at the mercy of google. control your own destiny
      LOL ! Great advice, Google is to fickle to build a strategy around.
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  • Profile picture of the author monster24
    Totally agree with last post ...Listbuilding, Listbuilding, Listbuilding !!

    Offer a high quality product for free -> Sign them up and build your list -> build a relationship with your subscribers -> Promote CPA's with high return. This concept made me $30K with one site in 12 months, flipped it for another $20K. So $50K all up in one year with one site. Highly profitable.
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalnews
    list building is my first option.
    If you are able to build a list of buyers, you will be on your way to make money.
    list building is also a long term business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jsngangom
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    • Profile picture of the author paulch65
      Comparing list building to CPA is like comparing a car to fuel...

      What I think you meant was list building vs. direct linking to cpa offers.

      I think a lot of the affilate networks don't like you doing direct linking. As it's not the best way to frame the offer e.g. sign up to my list and get free info and trials etc vs. sign up to this 30 day free trial etc. People are more likely to opt-in to your list ----- which means you can continuously remarket to the (e.g. daily deals) so it's a win win for you and the network.

      Plus you can take advantage of remarketing pixels to a greater degree via inserting it into the email html.

      The model I think is the best is:

      1. Squeeze page --- could be either a lead magnet such as a free ebook/report/how-to guide.
      2a. This redirects to a thank-you page that contains amazon affiliate/cpa offers.
      2b. Or it offers them a free gift etc after completing the survey ---- which is a CPA offer ----- although likely to be a low paying out on.

      This way you can get the best of both worlds.

      I've got a tonne of landing page template that can just be messed around what does this, or you could use Leadpages or just outsource it on odesk for around $100.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    You want to invest in promoting affiliate programs that can pay you residual income each and every month. That way, you can have repeat business from older customers.

    With CPA, you get paid ONCE and that's it.
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  • Profile picture of the author JessUBotNinja
    These are two very different approaches. List building is more of a long-term route... building relationships and report. This is how you bring in the reoccurring money and can couple this with affiliate marketing. List building seems to be one of the building blocks of IM. That being said, it is not easy work.
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  • Profile picture of the author LuckyIMer
    I would go and focus on both, if done right, then together they would be very effective.
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  • Profile picture of the author lonerwold1
    Great but confusing answers, how can CPA need small investment while you have to PPC to drive traffic to your offers ??
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    • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
      Originally Posted by lonerwold1 View Post

      Great but confusing answers, how can CPA need small investment while you have to PPC to drive traffic to your offers ??
      I think that is what they meant

      some people who run a cpa campaign,
      use PPC to get the people there
      so you would need n investment or budget.

      some other people post for free in social media
      or write articles and submit them to large article directories to gain their traffic
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