List Building 101: The Best Source of Traffic

To build a list you need to have a website, on which you have a lead capture form you (you got from an autoresponder) on what is called the “Landing Page”. This page is where you’ll be sending your visitors to see your offer and subscribe to your list in order to receive it.

Building a website, copy writing, and designing a landing page is not rocket science, but if you have the money to outsource it (or just out task it) go for it. The hours, or days, that you will spend on doing this is much better used in finding markets and designing list building machines … let someone else worry about the technical stuff.

Once you have a “list building machine” you need to start sending people to the landing page. Most of the time you’ll hear people, including myself, talking about PPC, banners, social media, SEO … etc. Those are great sources for the long run, but you want thousands of people to sign up to your list now, then add some more using the above sources of traffic.

Here is what the “gurus” do, and works like charm every time:

Joint venture with people who already have lists and give them a good percentage of what you are charging for entering your list (whether on the front or the back end).

To do that go to Google and search for your niche. You’ll find websites that have lead capture forms. This means they are building lists. Send them emails requesting a joint venture: they send their list emails about your offer and in return you give them 75-100% of the immediate revenue when they take action.

This way you’ll have an army of list owners sending you the most responsive people on their lists for free. You pay them the money that they will make you, and only when you get paid that money.

If you do it right, like having them create a buzz for you a week or two in advance before your site goes live, then let them all know in advance that the offer will be available in a specific time window … if you do it this way you’ll get flooded with new members signing up to your list in a matter of hours.

Owning this list, and managing it the right way (by building trust and emotional attachment with your subscribers) is your gate to have money knocking your door asking you to take it.

By owning a huge responsive list you get other webmasters and list builders to contact you and ask you to do just the same as you did to build your list. Do that in different niches, like one niche every month, and in one year you’ll have 12 virtual ATM machines that only cost you hosting and autoresponder fees.

How does that sound? Please share your thoughts and concerns by leaving a comment below.

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List Building 101: Strategic List Building

After you decide what are you going to do with your list for at least 1 year ahead, and pick your tools (hosting and autoresponder) it’s time to put a strategy for the list building process.

In this post I’ll assume this is your first list to build, so I’ll start from scratch.

A good strategy for list building is based on what you want to do with the list. If your goal is to use it for direct email marketing then you want a list of people who read your emails and click your links. To get your list members to do that you need to train them on it.

Here is how:

Say you want to do direct email marketing in the “weight loss before wedding” niche. You want to target women who are over weight and about to get married. Your first step is to find out where they hand around. Search for wedding related terms on Alexa and pick the websites with the lowest Alexa rank. Take their urls and check the visitors demographics using quantcast.com. From Quantcast.com you can get the age group, education, and level of income of the visitors of these websites.

Now you have two options:

  1. Advertise for your landing page on these websites, or
  2. Advertise anywhere else targeting the same demographic data.

You can do both. What I would do is to advertise on these top ranking websites in the wedding niche. The traffic will be very targeted. Then I would expand my campaign to target the same demographics using other advertising media.

If advertising on those website is out of my reach I would use other advertising methods to target the same demographics (gender, age, income, education, singles, with or without kids …).

After your decide on the source of traffic it’s time to write everything you’ll send them over the next year. Using the same example, this bride would be interested in losing weight and maintain that level. You’ll need to prepare at least one article per week in addition to the initial download that they’ll receive once they sign up to your list.

In the autoresponder settings, provide the download link to the initial “weight loss before wedding” pdf file (or videos or whatever media you have chosen to deliver your valuable information) in the first email that goes out upon opting in.

Then post the articles on your website (or blog) in the full format, and set up your autoresponder to send out a teaser about each article and a link to the article page.

Here is why you should do it this way:

The pdf file (or the initial download) has to go immediately after signing up. It can not be delivered on the form of an email course because a bride is not going to delay her wedding until she receives the whole series. Urgency is good, it means there is an emotional factor that pushes towards responding to your recommendations.

The rest of the emails will contain a teaser only, and to know the rest of the article they have to click on the link. This is how you TRAIN your list members on clicking your links.

If you can get your prospect to sign up just to receive the email course your chances of having your emails read are bigger.

Also keep this piece of information in mind:

Always provide valuable free content, even when you are promoting something.

The valuable content will keep your list members attached to your newsletter, and will build your credibility as an authority in your niche. This credibility is the difference between a highly responsive list and a useless one.

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Affiliate Marketing 101: Direct Linking

Direct linking is to drive your traffic straight to the advertiser’s landing page. Years ago this was the only form of affiliate marketing, but with the increasing number of affiliate marketers and the fierce competition on buying the keywords that convert into sales/leads for the advertiser direct linking has become a thing from the past. Or has it?

One of the biggest names in affiliate marketing has been direct linking for the past 5 years. This guy makes millions of dollars every year from affiliate marketing, all without bothering himself with building websites.

This super affiliate also uses buffer websites when he needs to, like when buying traffic from Google Adwords. And he’s been happy with his results, until he met with another dynamic affiliate marketer who kept trying to convince him to build lead capture pages, lists, and relationship with his potential buyers.

Now it’s becoming confusing, let’s refer to the direct linker with G. and for the relationship builder with R.

G. resisted R.’s suggestion for a while on the basis of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”, and that whenever a loop is involved the conversion drops. A year later he tried it in one of the niches and to his surprise, in the matter of a few months he’s built a list that makes him $400 every time he sends out an email. Given the nature of this niche, $400/email promoting CPA lead generation offers, that’s pretty good.

It’s true that any looping or buffering drops the conversion in most cases (unless you’re a good copywriter). But that’s only on the front end. By building a list and building a positive relationship with your subscribers you are building an “on-demand cash machine”.

G. and R. are not fictional, they are affiliate marketing millionaires who I learned from over the past 3 years.

Now let’s talk about you for a while. Should YOU be direct linking?

The answer is: absolutely. Let’s think strategically for a minute:

If you are just starting, or say, if I am going to restart in affiliate marketing here is what I would do: I would pick some offers in different niches and build direct linking campaigns on Yahoo. The advantage of using Yahoo PPC traffic is that it’s not that expensive, and Yahoo doesn’t penalize me for direct linking like Google. The offers that start converting are probably in good niches. I would then start testing other offers in the same niche also by direct linking. If they keep converting then I am in a lucrative market.

From my PPC conversion tracking I would know what keywords are converting into buyers and I start building a website around those keywords. This will serve two purposes:

  1. Focused SEO efforts so that I start generating converting traffic from organic search results for free, and
  2. Get higher quality score on Google Adwords when I buy traffic to this site.

Then I would continue testing new keywords and offers to optimize this campaign while testing other niches the same way I did with the first one.

So direct linking is not dead. It works, and if not profitable at least you get data to build a profitable campaign around.

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