It’s not a secret that list building is the key to success. If you want to secure yourself and become immune to massive Google shifts or not depend on a paid traffic source then building an email list is a must.
All the big time marketers you know have one thing in common – They build lists of prospects and buyers. If you rely solely on paid traffic or SEO then sooner or later your income will stop eventually. Different laws get passed all the time that could affect your paid campaigns and organic traffic is not reliable anymore as it used to be.
If you are not building a list you will definitely kick yourself in the future for missing out.
There are many benefits that come with a large responsive email list. Obviously you can email affiliate promotions and earn commissions from sales made, but you can also leverage that list in many different ways.
For example, by promoting other people’s stuff you can get them to reciprocate back. I actually don’t like the “you scratch my back I scratch yours” approach but if you do it once in a while with a person you trust then it’s definitely worth doing (of course only if the value is there for your subscribers).
Another way to leverage your list is to launch your own products and services. If you can send a few thousand clicks to a landing page you can quickly gain advantage over your competitors, because some of your customers will become affiliates. The more affiliates you have the more traffic you get.
Traffic affects search engine rankings, so if you email your subscribers about your new post on your blog you can boost its rankings in the serps.
Some publishers sell advertising to their lists. For example, Arcamax sells solo ads to their subscribers. Their main business model is built around email marketing.
Also, if you have a responsive subscriber base more people will take you seriously which opens up many different opportunities for growth.
So how can you start building a list quickly and efficiently?
Well, the first thing you should do is to create something of value that people want. Nowadays, you need something that truly stands out though. Some PLR rehashed ebook is not going to cut it. You must create something that people would be willing to pay money for, but instead of charging for it you give it away for free. I think that’s the best and only way to ensure you get quality leads.
Once you create your value proposition then it’s time to work on the landing page that asks for email address and delivers the product upon confirmation.
You need an autoresponder service to do this right. I recommend Aweber because they have proven to be the best in the business. The most important thing you need to pay attention to when choosing an autoresponder service is their deliverability rate. Aweber does an awesome job with that and their basic account option comes with many great features to get you started. You can start your trial here for $1
So let’s talk about the steps to set up your list building campaign in more detail.
Step 1. Create your value proposition – Like I said, you need to create something that people would happily pay money for. It could be a video course, well written and helpful report, or even software tool.
I think software products are best to give away to build large email lists, especially if you can automate a tedious task that takes a lot of time to complete.
If you are on a low budget then you might not be able to develop software tools, but you can still produce something valuable. Just creating some simple PowerPoint videos using Camtasia Studio can turn into a valuable product .
You can knock out your product in one weekend if you put your mind to it. Take some time to research your niche though before creating anything. You want to make sure that you are solving a problem that your potential future customer might have.
Step 2. Create your landing page (funnel) – There are 2 strategies to getting your landing page set up. You can build a simple squeeze page or what I call a squeeze-blog.
Squeeze page is nothing more than a 1 page site with a headline, benefits, clear call to action, and the autoresponder form that asks for email address. (Great for solo ads)
Squeeze-blog on the other hand has more substance to it. Its main purpose is still to get the lead but it has more content around the main landing page.
The main benefit of using a squeeze-blog over a simple optin page is that you can use it to get additional traffic from Google by getting it ranked for your target keywords.
So basically, you want to develop about 5-10 original content pages and build the entire thing based on WordPress.
I would definitely use my main keyword in the domain name for a squeeze-blog to get a small boost in the serps.
Here is how to structure it: Your homepage should have a little bit more content than an optin page but still only enough to get good conversion rates. Your individual posts should have an optin form under each post as well in case someone lands on that particular page from search engines. Insert a text banner that links to your homepage from the sidebar to funnel people to your main page. They might browse around your site and read the content before opting in to get what you offer, so giving them a visible option to go back to the homepage is important. Make it social and add your face to it.
To be honest, you should use both strategies. If you are going to buy solo ads then obviously you just want to send them to a simple optin page where they can either fill out the form or leave.
Getting traffic to get leads
You need traffic for all this to actually work. There is absolutely no way around it. There are only 2 ways to get traffic – Pay for it or get it for free.
Here are some tips on how to promote your pages.
1. Guest Posting – This strategy works extremely well with squeeze-blogs. Reason being is that you will acquire backlinks this way, which will help you rank for your target key terms. Guest posting is a white-hat SEO method because you get an editorial link.
What I would do is distribute at least 1 guest post per week to relevant authority blogs and websites. In your author bio you should link to your squeeze-blog and nothing else. You are going after the lead remember?
Guest posting will also drive traffic to your site from these blogs and the SEO part is actually just a bonus.
Write your guest posts strategically. Many authority blogs have serious firepower and can rank almost instantly for highly competitive terms. So if you write your content strategically you can drive a nice steady stream of visitors to your page totally hands-free.
After about 3 months you will be generating tens or possibly even hundreds of leads daily like clockwork and your email list will just keep growing automatically.
2. Buy solo ads – I like this strategy because it gets instant results. You simply pay for a solo ad to be mailed out to someone else’s list. If the person has a big subscriber base and your email copy is well written you can receive thousands of visitors overnight.
There are many places to buy solo ads. I have already mentioned one (Arcamax) but you can easily find other places yourself.
It is easier in my opinion to find solo ad sellers in the internet marketing space than in other niche markets, but if you know how to find and pin point successful businesses with good responsive lists (and there is a strategy for that) then you can do it in any market you choose.
Always make sure to split test your optin pages. This is in fact very important especially if you buy solo mailings, because even a simple change in how you word your headline could increase conversions by 10% or more (and that’s HUGE).
By the way, read this post on how to make money while buying solo ads.
3. Social media traffic – I suck at social media to be honest, but I am starting to feel the heat and notice how important it really is.
You can pay for social media traffic (which is what I would do because I am lazy) or you can also get it for free if you know how to get things go viral or make people share your stuff with others.
If you want to buy it you can use Facebook Ads. Forget Adwords at this point, because they just hate anything that remotely looks or smells like affiliate marketing.
To use Facebook Ads you need to know how to target people by interests and demographics. It’s not as easy as it seems though. You will need some capital for testing purposes to get data first. Your first few campaigns might not produce the ROI you are aiming for.
If you don’t have the money to do it then don’t!
I would model other successful people to get free social media traffic. One example I can give you is John Maxwell. He runs a website where you can sign up for his “Minute With Maxwell” free video coaching.
If you go check out his website you will quickly notice how powerful his setup is. Every page is a squeeze page where the product is John himself.
He uses FB comments to get viral traffic from Facebook. The more people comment the more traffic and leads he gets. Pretty powerful list building machine if you ask me.
Anyway, so that’s about it for this post. I just gave you a solid blueprint that cannot fail if you actually put some effort to it.
Don’t wait and start building your list!