List building is something you have to implement as soon as you possibly can. There are many successful internet marketers out there who have shared some of their history, and about how they got started in this whole business. Their names often feature in press releases, and they have bio pages and interviews scattered all over the internet. These make fascinating reading for whenever you have some spare time, as you can find some gems of knowledge in every single one of them.
There is one phrase that stands out, that they nearly all mention:
“I wish I had started email list building earlier”
Many of these marketers are earning millions of dollars per year, and most of them started out small, probably affiliate marketing, i.e. selling other people’s products for commission. When these people consistently say something over and over again, seriously we need to pay attention.
There seems to be a common trend among people who are just getting started in internet marketing, to begin promoting products and trying to make some sales. Very often they completely overlook list building, or else put it off until a later stage (often because of the costs involved).
That’s a mistake, a BIG mistake.
They may make some sales, and they may not. The statistics say that over 95% of them will not. For those 95%, they will either quit completely, or continue on failing. Without a list of email subscribers, there is very little to fall back on.
Many people think that email list building is becoming a thing of the past and getting outdated, well that’s another mistake. Do not think that social networking can replace email, for one very good reason, that is deliverability. Emails are proven to reach their target audience at a much higher delivery rate than any other method.
As I stated in the title, do NOT put it off.
What you will need: Let us look at the tools that will be required for list building automation. An email auto-responder is essential. What this is, is special software that allows you to handle a large database of subscribers. Some of the key features of an auto-responder are:
- Easily allows you to capture and store names and email addresses
- Provide hundreds of ready-made forms that you can use on your website
- Straightforward methods of customising forms
- Send mails at any time, to groups or to everyone
- Schedule mails for certain dates and times
- Pre-load multiple messages which are sent out at set intervals
- And lots of other features
There are lots of different companies to choose from, but for anybody involved in internet marketing the two top choices are Aweber and GetResponse. These are the ones recommended by most people. The two are fairly similar, the main differences are as follows: Aweber is slightly more expensive, has extra features, has a great blog packed with up-to-date information; GetResponse is slightly cheaper, with slightly less features. Both companies offer a trial membership. Both companies also use a sliding scale of fees, where your subscription fee rises as the size of your list grows.
Trying to decide which one to choose? The best advice I can give is, go with the one that you know you can and will be able to afford. You can’t really change your mind once you have built up some subscribers, because you can’t just transfer lists between these programs. Instead, people always must “opt” in to your desired mailing list.
How they work: This article will not be covering the finer points of how to use your auto-responder. The summary is this: you start by creating a list, then you create one or more opt-in forms for this list. Each opt-in form has its own associated ‘snippet’ of html or Java code, and you just copy this code snippet into your website, into the sidebar or wherever you choose.
How to get people to opt in: Here you have some thinking to do. The usual method is to offer an incentive, a small bribe. The familiar method of offering a free report just does not work so much any more. You need to make sure that you are offering something of value. Try to think of something that will really be useful to your visitors, maybe some software or an ebook.
If you do not have anything of that nature, consider buying something along with a licence that allows you to give it away for free. This is called PLR (Private Label Rights). You can find lots of PLR material online, decent quality and very cheap too, just search for it.
You might also be able to come up with some other ideas by thinking about it and looking around at list building techniques on other websites. Maybe offer a free wall-chart or planner, something that they can get printed and hang on the wall. Free courses and trial memberships of some sites are also popular.
Some people will subscribe to your list just so they can get your give-away, then immediately unsubscribe. Nothing much you can do about it.
Once you have a list: Just remember the most important thing is that they are real people just like you. Treat them the same way you would expect to be treated yourself. Offer good value and don’t flood them with promotional emails.
One last point about list building, one that you might not have thought of: it will impose a structure to your methods and will make you focus more on an overall strategy. What I mean by that is the following, instead of just putting up random sales pages for various items, you will have to think about it a little bit more. That’s a good thing too, forcing you to consider your long-term strategy.
P.S. You are invited to sign up for my free email newsletter and get regular emails with lots of top information just like this sent directly to your inbox. You can read some more about it here List Building. Just enter your name and email address. Your privacy is always assured!
P.P.S. All subscribers will receive a free copy of my ebook on email list building strategies.
Filed Under: List Building