List Building – How to Build a List
Building an online mailing list is critical to your success as an internet marketer. The mailing list you build is one of the, if not the, most valuable thing you own online – far more valuable than your web site or any web real estate you own. You see, if you lose everything online, your web site, your products, anything, if you have your list of contacts you can start over literally the next day with a new web site and continue to earn an income online.
So, how do you do it?
1) You must decide what your list niche is going to be. I think this is incredibly important. You want to be very specialized here. For example, I maintain two lists, one for people just getting started online, and one for people who are learning to build lists online. For testing purposes, if I send both the lists an offer about list building, the people who opted in to the list building list outbuy the folks on the other list 3:1. And the same is true in the reverse direction. So what that means is, if you want to make money, you have to segment your list and mail them offers and information that is specifically targeted to them. For example, if you sell dog and cat toys, have two lists, one for dog people and one for cat people. Don’t lump them all into one list for pet people. The more segmented your list, the higher your response rate at the opt in point, the higher your retention on the list, and the more money you will make per subscriber.
2) You must create a squeeze page designed specifically for each niche list. A squeeze page is a web page with an autoresponder opt in form on it that visitors use to subscribe to your mailing list. Each niche list must have its own squeeze page. Using the pet example above, one squeeze page would have a headline like this ‘Teach your dog 2 new tricks a day for a month, guaranteed’. The other would be something like this ‘Cat tricks for cat lovers – New toys every cat will love’. Visitors will opt in to the correct list for their needs. Take a look at my own squeeze pages. The links are in the bio section at the end of this article. Notice that they are each geared towards a different segment of basically the same market. Visitors can choose which list to subscribe to based on their needs. Then there are some that subscribe to both, and get two email sequences from me – one about getting started online, the other about growing a list.
3) You must drive traffic to your squeeze page. Traffic is the hardest part of the equation, although if you have never created a web page before, creating that squeeze page in step 2) will feel pretty tough. But once you have that up and running, traffic is where you will spend most of your time and energy. You see, no matter how good your squeeze page is, if no one sees it, you will not be building a list at all.
There are many ways to drive traffic to your web site, such as ezine advertising, article promotion, specialized safelist mailings, PPC (like Google Adwords), and others. What I have found most effective for me is writing short articles just like this and submitting them to article directories just like the one you are reading this on. Article writing and promotion is definitely time consuming, but the bulk of my subscribers come from these articles, and they are the highest-profit subscribers I get. Be careful with AdWords – you can get a lot of subscribers in a hurry, but they don’t tend to buy as much up front. This is a problem if you are spending a lot more money getting them than they are buying from you. Always remember your purpose when you are working. If you are online to make money, and you know that list building fits into that, don’t become so consumed with list building that you stop making money. List building will make you money, but you must remember that making money is your purpose. It is too easy to lose focus and continue paying for subscribers who will never buy. If you can take the time to write for an hour a day, your best bet is to write and submit articles.