There’s no excuse not to have an email list. In fact, you don’t even need your own product or service before starting a targeted list. All you need is an autoresponder and an opt-in form somewhere on the web.
Once you create your own product or service, you’ll be quite happy that you have your list in place. At that point, you’ll already have readers who are interested in what you have to say. In fact, it will make it easier to sell things when the time comes because a relationship will already be developed.
The Key is to get a targeted list of folks who trust you, love your products and see you as an expert in your field. Then, your chances of success skyrocket and the sky is the limit.
Quick Tip #1: Get Them to Opt-In
Always offer quality content for free on your site, that’s right, gratis. You want your subscribers to be confident of the quality of your content so give ’em the good stuff. That way, when you offer your tribe some paid content, they will accept that your offering is worth their time & money.
Here are a few ideas to encourage visitors to enter their information and sign up for your list.
- A Short Report addressing a pain point – 7-10 pages in length
- A Short eCourse – 5 to 7 days. Provide great information and follow up.
- A Short Audio or Video – Make it unique and over-deliver by including transcripts for those who prefer to read content.
Make sure your free content is of high quality! Such high quality that your subscriber would be willing to pay for it instead of receiving it free.
Remember, not everyone on your list will be interested in buying your stuff immediately, they may not trust you yet. There are tire-kickers and collectors that just want to get your free information. No worries, that’s ok – the day may come when they need something you’ve got and they’ll know where to go. Plus, if you’ve built a relationship with them, they’re more likely to recommend you to others – growing your list even more.
[thrive_text_block color=”green” headline=”Bonus Tip”]Bonus Tip: Use A Tripwire. This trick will help you separate the buyers from the content collectors.[/thrive_text_block]
Create a short report for your list. Offer your readers the report at a low price (no more than $5 or $10, I’ve used a $1 tripwire before). The folks who see the value in your offering will gladly spend a few dollars. Encourage your new customers to opt-in for lifetime updates.
Now, segment the new customers from your leads, the freebie takers. Don’t worry if you can’t do the segmenting. Check with your autoresponder service, they can help you with the segmentation. The great value in the tripwire method is that you end up with a list of paying customers who aren’t afraid to reward you with a share of their wallet — that’s where the real money is, a tribe of paying customers.
Quick Tip #2: Make it Easy
An opt-in form gives you the opportunity to convert one-time visitors into long term relationships through follow-up emails and interaction. With that in mind, place your opt-in form on every page of your website so your readers have the opportunity to sign up without having to search for it.
Where can you put your opt-in form (these are just a few)?
- Pop-up or Pop-over forms hovering over your site. These can be full screen or partial screen and they are difficult to miss.
- Widget Bar Opt-in forms near the top. These are subtle and passive but are available to all visitors.
- Links. Place a link in the footer of every page of your site that directs visitors to an opt-in page.
Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you should test to see which one converts best on your site.
Don’t forget to create a strong call to action in the opt-in form text – tell your subscribers what to expect and what to do next. Detailed instructions on how to check their email and click on the enclosed link to make sure they receive their freebie is always a good idea.
Quick Tip #3: Drive Targeted Traffic
You have an opt-in form, you have an offer and now you need traffic. The best offer means nothing if no one visits your site to see it.
There are many ways to drive people to your site and using a variety of them will help you achieve the best results. Here are a few traffic ideas to get you started:
- Article Marketing – Share your articles on article directories. Make sure your author bio includes a strong call to action and a link to your site. Use keywords in your articles to make them easier to find by the search engines.
- Leveraging Social Networks – Did you know there are over 700 bookmarking and social networking sites on the Internet right now? Twitter and Facebook might be the most popular, but don’t count out sites like Mix or Digg.
The point is you should be creating relationships through these sites so don’t go in with your sales spiel guns shooting your links all over the place. Build relationships, create your bio and occasionally share a link or special offer to your site.
- Blog Posts – If your website doesn’t have a blog create one and share quality information or recommendations in your posts.
- Blog Comments – Make meaningful, relevant comments that provide good information (not just links to your site) on other blogs. Don’t comment just for the sake of commenting and don’t be afraid to comment on the blogs of your competitors. Competition is good and most realize the power of working together so while you’re helping with comments, you’ll build a relationship with them too.
- Giveaways & Contests –Create traffic by hosting a giveaway or contest. Each has its own merits and you can work with other website owners to create traffic for everyone. For example, get 3 or 4 site owners with services or products they’re willing to donate. Those site owners each get to give away the “package” of 3 – 4 items. You can have your readers participate (which is always good) by visiting all of the sites and leaving comments or whatever you’d like them to do. Be creative but make it fun and easy.
- Link Love Posts – Write a “round-up” post where you travel the Internet looking for great articles on your topic. Provide links to the articles on your site. Don’t forget to add your commentary and make it more valuable for your readers. Share the link to your post with the people you’ve linked to as a courtesy.
- Guest Posts – Offer to write guest posts on complementary sites. Everyone is looking for fresh content. Especially, if it’s good quality and they don’t have to write it. You can find places that accept guest posts by doing a search or you can simply email your friends and competing site owners and make the offer to write a post. What do you get in return for your hard work? A short bio/author resource box at the end of your post with your keywords and links back to your site.
- Interviews – Find places to share your information via teleseminars, podcasts or email interviews. Often, these will provide you with the ability to get your name and URL out to many people, not already on your list, at one time.
- Contributors – Look for people to contribute guest posts on your blog for fresh content with an eye to providing quality information to your readers. People are often willing to write a guest post for you as long as they can link back to their own site or product.
- Brandable Reports – Look for products you can recommend (or create your own) that have brandable reports as a marketing tool. You can give away these special reports that include your own affiliate links making the benefits two-fold. You have content for your readers and the possibility of making money through affiliate sales.
The Key = Find out what your target market is searching for and Give It To Them.
Quick Tip #4: Test, Test, Test
No matter how you drive traffic to your site, you must test to see which offers convert and which are a waste of time. You want to turn visitors into list members AND you want to convert members of your list into buyers. But, the only way you’ll know what’s working best is to test.
You need to start at the beginning and get it done! Get your good stuff out there and then test the heck out of it! Tweak & test again.
Now that you have the steps necessary to get your list started, growing your list should be a bit easier. Focus your efforts on designing a great offer, making your opt-in form easy to find and getting targeted traffic to your site so that your reader’s eyeballs see that opt-in form. Then, choose a few of the strategies to get traffic and see which ones work best for you. Heck, use as many different methods to get targeted traffic to your site as you are able. Remember to test and tweak your efforts until you get the best possible results…Then test again. There is always room for improvement.
I hope you enjoyed reading these tips on list building, more importantly, put them into action. If you want a great tool to help your list building efforts, check out the Thrive Leads plugin for WordPress. I use it on all my sites and I highly recommend the plugin. Click the graphic below and find out how you can build your mailing list faster than ever before.