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list building

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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list building

List Building 101: Theory and Mechanism

Last week I wrote about some list building facts and why anyone has anything to do with marketing on the Internet must build a list. This week I will explain how mailing lists are built. The information in this article are very basic, so if you are an advanced Internet marketer you might feel like you already know most of this.

The theory behind all list building mechanisms is the same as selling and trading: “You give something and get another thing in return”.

In list building you give your product, and you get the contact information of the receiver. You could also get some money as a price for what you are giving, and some times you just get the contact info.

Now I would like you to reflect upon the theory above and see how it applies to almost any thing you bought or downloaded on the Internet. All free reports, ebooks, software, and any downloadable material on the Internet requires that you “register” or “subscribe” or “opt in” to a list of some kind in order to access the download link (or activate the download).

And anything you buy requires that you submit a payment method that includes your contact information. Have you seen all of the “make money online” products on ClickBank? They are not there only to make money on the purchase itself, it’s more about building a list of proven buyers.This list will be used in the future for promoting high ticket products related to making money online ($2000 and up).

But building a list is not all about getting a huge number of people into your mailing list, it’s way beyond that.

If you sign up to a newsletter or a mailing list and for any reason you are not happy with what you are receiving, why would keep getting these emails? You’ll definitely opt out (unsubscribe) from that list. Right?

So, the other part of building a list is keeping your subscribers happy. Not only that will keep them longer in your list, it will also make them actually open and read your emails.

You don’t want a list of 1,000,000 subscribers who never open your emails!

And that’s why you need to plan for your list-building process at least 1 year ahead.

In the following articles I’ll write more about what to give your list, how to give it to them, and how to keep your subscribers happy. So stay tuned and come back often.

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list building

List Building 101: Facts

Whether you are an affiliate marketer or selling your own product you MUST be building a list. Your list is your biggest asset in this kind of business. There are no fliers that you can distribute in your neighborhood about new products or discounts. In the virtual world email is the way to communicate with your customers.

Say you have a review site and you are sending traffic to it. And say it converts at 2%. 98% of the traffic will come and go away forever without buying. And you either paid for this traffic or worked hard to drive it to your website with articles and SEO techniques.

But if you capture 40% of those visitors you are multiplying your chances of making a sale several magnitudes by following up with valuable content while recommending the product you are selling.

Also, your list is the source of traffic under your finger tip that no body can take from you. If you have been around in the Internet marketing world for a while you must have heard of the horror stories about Google unplugging the sources of income for tens of thousands of families by closing Adwords accounts of affiliate marketers without a warning or explanation.

And for SEO, when Google changes the algorithms all of your hard work will go down the toilet and you’ll have to start it all over after you figure out how to do it this time. Besides, some dirty competitors do reverse SEO to knock you out of your hard earned position or out of Google’s index in some cases.

So, whatever you do, make your highest priority is to capture your visitors into your mailing list, and start building a good relationship with them by sending them valuable content in each email you send to them.

That’s why money is in the list.

Even if you have a secret source of traffic that you guarantee will work for you like a clock without any interruption, imagine having 40% of your visitors every day opting in to your mailing list. If you do it right and build the healthy relationship with those visitors, you have an instant traffic machine whenever you need it.

Especially with launches, you don’t have the time to build a campaign for a launch that is due in a week or so. With your loyal list all what you need to do is to send out a series of emails and you are done.

Recently Gary Ambrose (a very respected Internet marketer who works only from home with his wife) suggested that in order to succeed with affiliate marketing you need to first have your own product. And the reason he says so is that you get to build a list of buyers in your niche who are more likely to respond to your affiliate promotions in the future.

Given that not every one can have their own products (a membership site as he suggested to be specific), a list that’s built by giving away free content is not necessarily of a lower quality than that built by selling your own product.

All what you need to start building a list my way is some quality content that you prepare by yourself, outsource, or buy it ready as a PLR or MRR; an autoresponder, and a hosting. Away from the cost of the content, the autoresponder and the hosting might cost you as low as $14.5/month. If you make $1 per subscriber every month then you only need 14 people in your list to be in profit. This is not a promise though. The more people you have in your list and the more valuable your content is the more likely you can profit from your list.

Another topic that is going to be covered in this series is how to monetize your list. Do this right and you’ll never let another day go without capturing your visitors information.

So hang around and stay tuned for the next installment of the List Building 101 series.

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