List building is like growing trees. You put the seed into the right soil, and it feeds with water and sunlight. Overtime it grows into a strong, juicy apple tree or plum, if you like.
In order to obtain the fruits (e.g. make money), you need to feed your mailing list with the right type of information and (hype-free) product offers. And the best way of doing this, is to know your audience.
It all starts with your squeeze page – the landing page your visitors reach. You have one chance to get their email address, or they’ll leave and never return.
If you’re split testing and tracking your site as I do, then you’ll notice how important it is to generate quality traffic and obtain the right type of visitor to your website. Skip this essential step, and your conversion rate (visitors turning into subscribers or leads) will drop significantly.
The reality is that most bloggers and product owners do NOT track their visitors, not to mention split testing different headlines and opt-in “call to action” variations. They should go back to the basics, and avoid skipping the important steps, or suffer the consequences…
What all site owners need is more traffic. What they don’t know though, is that most of the times, getting better and more targeted traffic will “automatically” boost conversion. That means you could get more leads by enhancing your content and promoting it on more relevant websites.
Guest posting is one method of doing content marketing for list building; along with blog commenting. In fact, contributing on other people’s sites is my favorite approach to getting your name out there – gaining exposure and building your mailing list.
Nobody says it’s easy, but it’s well worth the effort. In my mind, how you do it is more important than the method in itself.
The importance of a hyper targeted audience
Picture yourself entering a night club. There are packs of people, left, right and center. You can barely even see each other. There’s loud music going through and out of your ear. Smoke in the air… You know the experience.
You’re looking to get the attention of that cute looking girl dancing alone. You cannot make eye contact, as she is not that close to you, but you can probably scream her name (and she’ll hear you.)
The problem is that you don’t know her name, so you start yelling… “Hey, girl!” — over and over again… The thing is, your approach is not working… the one you aim to reach isn’t hearing you, but other girls are starting to respond.
Want to attract the right lead or the ideal subscriber?
Then you have to pre-qualify your audience. It all starts with the headline. Make it target audience oriented. Reach them by their name!
CampaignMonitor sells email marketing software for designers and their clients. Their headline is self-explicit and so powerful.
You might ask me: ok, but what happens if I pre-qualify my audience and lose everybody else who may have wanted to join my mailing list?
That’s a great question and the answer may even shock you. The reality is this: when you’re creating a dedicated page for your target audience, then you stand a high chance of building a mailing list of hyper targeted prospects, and make more sales as a result. This does NOT mean you’ll not attract other people, which might not be ideal for your bottom line or marketing campaigns by the way.
Don’t try to hit two rabbits with one stone. You might catch none. You better aim for the right one and increase your chance to succeed.
What is a Squeeze Page?
Some marketers confuse a squeeze page with a landing page. A squeeze page is a stand alone webpage (with no sidebar, no top menu, and no distractions) that its only aim is to promise something (access to a product or special item) in return for the visitors’ email address.
Squeeze pages are used for capturing visitors contact details, and building your mailing list.
A landing page is also a stand alone webpage (sometimes including a navigational menu or featuring a sidebar with testimonials) – its goal is to get the click or generate the sale (by directing visitors to the shopping cart or your “buy now” button).
Landing pages are used to convert traffic into clicks or sales. They’re mainly used by PPC affiliates and vendors split testing multiple offers and product prices.
Types of squeeze pages…
Whether you’re an affiliate marketer or sell your own product, you have to attract the right audience to your squeeze page BEFORE you get them to buy your product, or pre-sell any affiliate program.
Depending on your strategy, you’ll want to build different types of squeeze pages for different needs. Here are 5 of them, in no particular order:
Squeeze Page #1 – Ebook
John Chow loves the camera… His squeeze page offers the “The Ultimate Blog Profit Model” eBook. It teaches new bloggers to stop blogging for peanuts and instead, start building a business around their blog. Plus, it shares how John created a blog that, at the moment he was writing the book, made him $40k a month.
The real power of this page is the video and the graphical “Get Instant Access” call to action button. Readers don’t have to go right to the bottom of the page to see the sign-up box. It’s right there for them instead.
Lessons we can learn:
- Offering an eBook that comes from your direct personal experience in the industry is an essential trust gaining method (and authority building technique) that most people overlook.
- Video builds trust with your site visitors because they see you’re real and don’t hide behind the computer like most of the so called “gurus”.
- Your call to action needs to stand out. Split test different elements, and you should experience higher conversions with graphics.
Squeeze Page #2 – E course
OnlineIncomeTeacher.com offers a free 7-part course delivered by email on the topic of “starting a blog”. The squeeze page features 4 particular elements that most marketers are completely missing or overlooking:
1. Ecovers (a graphical representation of the ecourse offer)
2. Testimonials (comments from satisfied ecourse readers)
3. Added bonuses (free weekly newsletter offering the latest blogging tips and website tutorials.)
4. Social media integration (see bottom of the page.)
Lessons we can learn:
- Ecovers are known to boost conversion (if done professionally by graphic artists), and not by amateurs.
- Testimonials from other readers prove your course is worth the investment (subscription, attention and consumption.)
- Including an added bonus (a second gift item or newsletter with additional tips and strategies on the main topic) will almost always increase subscriptions. You might also want to have a third gift on the thank-you page. This method increases the double opt-in confirmation rate, as some people joining the list might have “sign-up remorse” and not want to confirm their subscription. Offering an extra bonus will make them re-consider.
- Social media will play a major role in the next few years for content marketing and relationships building. Make sure you include Twitter and Facebook links/buttons that help take your squeeze page viral on the web.
Squeeze Page #3 – Newsletter
The team at CopyBlogger run a free marketing newsletter for smart people. Brian Clark (founder) understands the principle of follow-up and how important it is to keep contact with leads, thus he’s not only offering a regular newsletter, but also a 20-part eCourse. You can get all that with a valid email address.
Lessons we can learn:
- Newsletters are ideal for staying in touch with your subscribers and customers because they are sent on a regular basis (e.g. you could schedule your newsletter to go out daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
- If you run a newsletter, you can profit by renting ad space (classifieds, solos, and so on) to relevant sponsors, or you can reserve the ad spot for your own affiliate promos and products.
- Give your newsletter a relevant title. Long gone are the days when you could insert “Free Newsletter” and have hordes of people opt in. Get inventive! Coin a specific name for your newsletter. Brian named his: “Internet Marketing for Smart People”.
Squeeze Page #4 – Product Discount
Dave Navarro is known for building squeeze pages that attract buyers interested in his product launches. If you prefer early bird discounts, you can pre-order his stuff at 50%-75% OFF of the regular price.
That’s the mission of TheLaunchCoach squeeze page.
What’s interesting is that he’s only asking for the email address. I know the strategy. Doing so allows him to build a bigger list. Asking for the name will decrease your conversion a bit because less people will feel confident about giving you (somebody they don’t know yet, or not quite well) their personal name. Most people are used to leaving their email address only.
Lessons we can learn:
- Creating a straight “buyers” list is something unheard of. Dave is already doing it. People love discounts. If you build good trust, they’ll part with their hard earned money and pre-order your stuff.
- The more fields your opt-in form requires to be filled, the less subscribers you’ll be getting. Ask less and get more leads kick in!
Squeeze Page #5 – Product Reviews
For an example, check out this site.
The idea is simple: offer a subscription for free weekly “product reviews”.
There aren’t many people out there making their newsletter “review” orientated, so that’s where you could tap into and take the web by storm. Obviously, there are stand alone blogs reviewing info products (and real items) on a regular basis. What you want to do though, is to apply this model with email marketing. Think beyond the norm!
Lessons we can learn:
- Once a week you can review a product, a service or a tool that ties in with your niche topic or industry.
- Promote products in which you believe in, and/or have personally tried yourself.
- Share in depth insights and step by step instructions on how to best use the product and get the most out of it. Inspect all the other reviews on the product, and make yours stands out.
If you find weekly reviews to be a daunting task, then write one or two (in depth) product analysis per month. You can still generate passive income and residual profit from your list building effort.