List Building is a process in which you gather names and e-mail addresses of those visitors who come to your website so that you can develop a relationship with them and market to them over and over again. These aren’t just any visitors; these are people who come to your website or blog looking for the information or help that you offer. They look at you as an authority in your niche, they take your advice, and they want more. This is the kind of list you want – a responsive list.
How to start building an e-mail list of targeted subscribers
With list building, your goal is to collect the email addresses of those who have a problem that you can solve for them. In order to get a visitor to sign up, it’s good to offer something of value – an exchange, if you will. For their name, you will give them a product that they find valuable, such as a free weight loss report or e-book if you are in the weight loss niche. Offer something of real value, not junk that will set on the visitor’s hard drive and never be read.
You may be wondering just how you get those targeted visitors to your sign-up page to begin with; some of the best ways to accomplish this are through article marketing, blogging, and social networking. With articles, it’s a smart move to link directly to your “squeeze” page instead of a random page on your site. You want to capture the attention of your visitor, make them want to sign up to your list – so make the offer as appealing as you possibly can.
Most of the Internet marketers fail because they don’t practice list building
It’s sad but true; only about 3 to 5% of those who attempt marketing a product on the Internet build a successful business. What’s the difference between those who fail and those who succeed? Building a list – plain and simple.
When you build a list, you are building a relationship with a group of people with a problem or dilemma that you can help them solve. Through information offered on your site and the e-mails you send regularly, you are essentially growing and nurturing the trust of your subscribers. If you have given away a free e-book or report and your subscriber finds it helpful or useful, they are much more likely to make a purchase from you than someone who randomly visits your site.
Those on your list are people you can market to over and over, for months or years to come depending on your niche. When you find a new product or create one of your own that is in the same niche, you can market that new product to your list.
Once you have cultivated a list of thousands of targeted subscribers, you have income at your disposal nearly any time you like. Send out an incredible offer, and you’re likely to make a few sales. List building is an absolutely essential marketing strategy you need in your arsenal if you are to be successful.
Email List Building Ideology (Some Important Points)
If you’ve ever wanted some tried and true methods for building your list, you’ll want to bookmark this page immediately.
- If you don’t have a newsletter yet, start one. People always want to learn more about their topic of interest.
- Add a subscription form to every page of your website.
- Make it quick and easy for your visitors to sign up. A first name and email address is all you need initially.
- Be clear, persuasive and honest as to what your subscribers will receive and why your visitor will gain by subscribing.
- Tell them how often they can expect to receive your newsletter or other emails. Do not inundate them.
- Link to a sample issue before they sign up, so they have an example of what you provide your subscribers.
- Archive your past newsletters and make them available on your website. (Bonus: This also produces additional organic search traffic!)
- Don’t be afraid to link to other websites or recommend other good newsletters. Your subscribers will love it and the recommended sites / newsletters may even return the favor and recommend your newsletter!
- Joint venture with other newsletter publishers and mention each other’s publications.
- Create an ebook and offer it free as an incentive to subscribe.
- Create an informative PDF report on your business topic. Only a few pages of useful content are needed for a report.
- Start with your immediate contact list and generate buzz to draw visitors to your site and subscribers to your newsletter.
- Offer a product discount for purchasers who subscribe to your newsletter.
- Give away useful software or web-based tools to subscribers. If you’re not a programmer, hire one through RentACoder or Elance
- Conduct a webinar (a web-based seminar) for which your visitors must register. On the registration form, get permission to send them future mailings.
- Mention your newsletter during your webinar and provide a subscription link. This will give those who haven’t opted-in an additional chance to do so.
- Ask your subscribers to tell their friends about your newsletter.
- Add a link or button on your website and newsletter taking them to a “Tell-A-Friend” form, where they can invite 3-5 of their friends.
- Allow others to reprint your newsletter as long as the content and links aren’t modified and your bio box is intact.
- Add a “Subscribe” button, or a link to the subscription page, in every issue. Then, if your newsletter gets forwarded, the new recipient can sign up.
- Optimize your website for search engine rankings. If you think SEO means “search engine optimism” instead of “search engine optimization”, check out SEObook.com by Aaron Wall.
- If your newsletter or campaign is newsworth, submit a publicity release at services such as PRWeb or BusinessWire. You might get a surge of new subscribers, as well as a number of inbound links.
- Make your email marketing campaign “newsy”. Run a controversial survey and turn the results into a story. Then let the world know about it and get free exposure.
- Include Opt-In information on Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Ask permission to communicate valuable info via email newsletters and promotions.
- Create a squeeze page designed solely to capture new subscribers.
- Find hundreds or even thousands of relevant keywords with services like Wordtracker,and then promote your squeeze page using PPC(pay-per-click) advertising, such as Google Adwords, Yahoo Sponsored Search, MSN adCenter, and more.
- Track the effectiveness of your advertising and test changes with services like HyperTracker. Keep the best – scrap the rest. Always keep testing.
- Spice up your squeeze page with a pre-recorded audio message to tell your visitors why they should subscribe. Record it yourself or write a script and hire a voice talent to do it.
- Add video to your squeeze page. Not only can you speak to your prospective subscribers, but even point where the subscription form is located on your webpage!
- Incorporate social proof through testimonials on your squeeze page (written, audio, or even video!)
- Remind double opt-in subscribers to watch their email for your confirmation link and ask them to be sure to click it to confirm.
- Start a free blog with WordPress or Blogger. It’s another way to communicate with your visitors and nicely complements your email marketing and list building.
- Add your newsletter subscription form to every page of your blog.
- Research similar websites and newsletters with Google Blog Search or Technorati. Post relevant, helpful comments with a trackback to your blog or squeeze page.
- Keep your blog readers notified of new posts when they sign up for updates. This has a 3-prong benefit: build your email list, maintain relationships with your readers, and get more traffic to your blog.
- Use a responsible co-registration list-building service like Get Subscribers
- Perform a cross-registration campaign with other newsletter owners by adding a link/banner to the other newsletter on the confirmation page. Subscribers won’t see it until after they’ve joined your list.
- Advertise in ezines and other newsletters. Use a directory like Ezine-Dir to find newsletters reaching your target audience.
- Submit your newsletter to ezine and newsletter directories.
- Promote your newsletter / promotional emails in industry directories and websites.
- Sponsor other people’s contests and get exposure for your newsletter. Give away freebies that don’t cost you money.
- Submit articles to Article Directories like GoArticles, SubmitYourArticle or EzineArticles. Include a bio box at the bottom with a link to your website or the email address to be added instantly.
- Visit discussion boards, forums, Yahoo! Answers and similar sites to provide helpful answers, while including a link to your newsletter subscription page in your sigfile.
- Add your newsletter sign-up link to your email signature.
- Promote sign-ups in Confirmation and Transaction emails.
- Include an opt-in link on customers’ credit card receipts.
- Add an opt-in message to Warranty and Product Registration Cards.
- Use sign-up message on all Invoices.
- Network at trade shows and conventions. When exchanging business cards, ask permission to send them your newsletter / report. If they say “no”, write an “X” on the back of their card. Otherwise, add them to your list.
- Hand out sign-up forms promoting your newsletter when speaking to groups or at seminars.
- Make it easy for your audience to subscribe by including a link to your newsletter subscription page on the footer of your PowerPoint or webinar presentations.
- Look for ways to collect email addresses if you are a brick & mortar business.
- Display opt-in forms at the Cash Register to receive weekly discounts, etc.
- Advertise email promotions on Product Shipping Boxes, Packing Slips and Direct Mail Cards, with links to your site.
- Offer customers a VIP or loyalty program for signing up for your list.
- Request employees use an email signature such as “Subscribe to the Company X Email Newsletter”.
- Call Center and Sales Employees can ask customers and prospects if they’d like to receive newsletters or promotional emails and get their information by phone.
- Encourage email subscriptions by printing on Direct Mail, Catalogs, and all Print Ads.
- If you have a physical mailing list from your offline business, send a postcard to your customers, offering a special for opting-in to your email newsletter.
- Study each offline advertising piece with the thought of integrating a list building component into it.
- Collect email address at each point of contact with customers and prospects.
- Get more traffic to your website. Even if your opt-in percentage doesn’t change, this will automatically result in more subscribers.
The Importance of Email List Building Strategies
As a blogger and internet entrepreneur one of your first major projects is to employ some email list building strategies. You need to build trust and establish relationships beyond the comments section of your blog.
There will come a time when you will want to sell some products or services, affiliate products or even better, sell your own things that you’ve created of developed. You will not suddenly introduce yourself and say “buy my stuff”, that certainly is not cool.
Many bloggers learn this the hard way by wasting away time and not starting this as early as possible, in effect passing up potential friendships, customers and future profits.
New bloggers tend to spend too much time on the design aspect of their blogs when the fact of the matter is this; the design is incomplete without some form of opt-in box for you to begin the process of building a subscriber list.
It can take a considerable amount of time to build a really decent size list so the sooner you can get started (like day one) the better.
Why you need a list
Being online today is all about networking and building relationships. As I’ve said, It is difficult to build these relationships without some form of continual contact. You need a method of reaching out to the people and one of the best methods is through email.
Relationships are built on trust and let’s face it, people are skeptical of others online that they really do not know or have not interacted with for some period of time. People have to get to get to know you and find out what you are about and what you represent. They want to know if they connect with you or vice-versa.
The continual contact via email allows your subscribers to get to know you on a more personal level. Now when I say continual contact, I do not mean that you are going to land in your readers’ inboxes daily and be a pain in the wazoo. But staying in touch and providing valuable information and helpful content at intervals that keeps them engaged while not being overbearing is a great strategy.
Much like yourself, your readers are busy people who may not have had an opportunity to come back to your blog for a while. An email from you with your latest posts, a newsletter or some valuable information about something that can help them solve a problem or otherwise benefit them will remind them about you and your blog. Otherwise, you may be forgotten. Think long-term on this and how it can benefit you and your readers by sharing the online experience.
This is very important so do not underestimate the power of having an email list.
Here is another example:
Let’s say that a blogging friend of yours has a really hot product to sell. He or she taps you to help them with the launch of the product and establishes you as an affiliate where you get 50% of every sale that you make.
Now who are you going to sell anything to without a list?
Remember, no list, no relationships and no trust established = no sales. You have missed out on a golden opportunity to make some cash without even having a product.
On the other hand, letting your list know about this fine quality product would have yielded you some sales because you are considered a trusted friend to your readers. Not everyone will buy, but some who have a need surely will.
Hope it Helps You!