How To Build a List Using a Squeeze Page and Autoresponder
List building is an important resource in internet marketing. A well-maintained list in a popular niche can be close to a "set and forget" source of income, once you have made the initial investment of setting it up.
This article is a simple how-to guide to building a list using a squeeze page and an autoresponder.
What You Need
Two resources are required to successfully build your list:
- A website.
- An autoresponder.
Getting a Website
You must have a website. You do not have to have a fancy domain, but it certainly helps if you do your keyword research and buy a domain which contains some of the main keywords of the product you are promoting. There are tons of cheap domain and hosting providers out there. Just pick one of the cheapest to start with. Get a hosting site which supports PHP and MySQL, then you are ready to build your site.
Getting an Autoresponder
An autoresponder is the software which collects and stores the names and email addresses which makes up your list, and allows you to setup a follow-up series of mails and create broadcast mails. The autoresponder should also contain features for tracking and statistics, and it should automatically handle unsubscriptions and bounces (undeliverable mails). Some webhosting providers offer integrated autoresponder features, but your best bet is to go with dedicated autoresponder providers.
Overview of the Website Structure
The website needs three pages:
- A squeeze page.
- A confirmation page.
- A thank-you page.
Creating the Squeeze Page
Creating the Confirmation Page
This is the page that you redirect subscribers to, when they have submitted their information. Use this page to remind them to verify their subscription by clicking on the link provided in the confirmation e-mail that the auto-responder sends. This is particularly important when using double-opt-in, otherwise you may loose many potential subscribers. Tell the visitors clearly that they will only get the benefits if they confirm. You may want to offer the signup form again on this page, just in case the visitor made some mistake entering the email on the squeeze page.
Creating the Thank-You Page
This is the page that you send your subscriber to, when he has confirmed his subscription by clicking the link in the e-mail. This is where you can offer the free bonus and / or redirect to the product you are promoting (using a cloaked affiliate link).
Setting up the Autoresponder
There are three main tasks involved in setting up the autoresponder:
- Create the list.
- Making the signup form.
- Write a few follow-up mails.
Creating the List
Decide on a name for your list and pick the options you need. An important option is to choose double-opt-in, as that will ensure that your subscribers are real and interested people. When you create the list, you also write standard stuff like a signature and various tracking etc. You also set the URL for the thank-you (or confirmation success) page here.
Making the Signup Form
Your autoresponder software typically has features to create signup forms of various kinds, such as pop-ups, pop-ins, pop-unders, some that bounce in and whatever. You can experiment with those later. Start with a plain and simple signup form that just requests for a name and email address. Create a slight sense of urgency by labeling the signup button something like "YES, Give Me Instant Access Now!". Do not spend much time on the signup form. Finally generate the signup form HTML code and copy / paste it into the squeeze page.
Writing the Follow-Up Mails
You need at least one follow-up mail, which is the "welcome mail". There you greet your new subscriber with a warm welcome and introduce yourself and the service you intend to provide to your members. First impressions count, so make a good one! If you promised a free bonus or time-limited offer, you should give the links in the welcome email, so the subscriber immediately gets the first benefit of subscribing.
If you intend to use the list mostly for ongoing news and fresh offers and other active promotion, then you do not need more follow-up mails. However, if you want to make an almost "set-and-forget" cash machine, then you need to write a series of follow-up mails. These are scheduled to be sent automatically by the autoresponder at fixed intervals after the initial subscription. There are many ways to structure a series, but a good way is to focus on the different groups you may have within your keyword list and create a mail in the series for each group. See your autoresponder FAQ for more suggestions.
Other Autoresponder Tasks
Later, when you have some subscribers on your list, you can send broadcast messages with news, offers and other promotional material. However, you need to be careful not to abuse your list by spamming it with unrelated things or multiple times a day. People will tire of it and unsubscribe or worse will report you as a spammer!
You should use the autoresponder tracking and statistics features and continuously test and rework your squeeze page to be sure it is optimized and gets you as many signups and conversions as possible.
Okay, now you have setup your squeeze page and autoresponder. How do you get traffic to the squeeze page? There are two primary ways to do that:
- Using Google AdWords or other Pay-Per-Click sites.
- By writing articles.
Using Google Adwords
A certain way to get traffic to your squeeze page is to pay for it. With Google AdWords you put up a list of keywords related to the product you are promoting and write several tiny ads which you design to attract visitors to your squeeze page. Each click on your ads has a price which depends on how many factors, such as how much competition there is on the keyword and the relevancy of the keyword to your squeeze page (VERY important to mention your keywords on the squeeze page).
An effective way to send free traffic to your squeeze page is to write some articles related to the main keywords of the product you are promoting and submitting them to the top eZine article sites. Include links in your articles which point to your squeeze page. The great thing about writing articles is that they will just keep on sending you traffic as search engines pick up the articles and even more if other people start linking to it from their sites. You can even put them on your own site and stick some Google AdSense on the pages and earn a little (or a lot if you are clever) extra.
Other Ways to Get Traffic
Similar to the article writing method, you can also blog about the subject matter, or post messages on relevant forums. Again be sure to include links which point to the squeeze page.
Just do it!
Now you know how it is done. Not much to it, really. You just have to get started and then continue until it's done, and then you are well on your way to building a list for fun or profit.