So you’ve got your autoresponder set up. Maybe you’ve got some follow-ups. You’ve got an opt-in form on a page; maybe it’s in the wrong kind of page; maybe you have it on a sales letter, in which case you should probably take it off. But there are ways to get it right. So if you have an opt-in form on a sales letter you might want to have it on as a squeeze page, so that you get somebody to opt-in for a bribe and then send them to the sales letter. And that way if you have the opt-in page on a separate page than the sales letter, then if you get an affiliate to send traffic your way you can just skip the squeeze page so that he is not working to build your list. Because affiliates hate that; affiliates want to build their own list and then send traffic to your sales letter; and if it makes a sale then they make money, but they don’t want to just send traffic blindly to your newsletter and expect it to pay off in the end.
So how do you build a list? How do you keep your subscribers on your list? And how do you keep coming up with new content? Well, my favorite way of coming up with new content is probably the simplest way possible. You have a newsletter with 7 tips. So you think of a common problem that people have in your niche, and if you can’t think of a problem you go around on forums and you ask your existing lists if they have a problem with something. And you describe 7 ways to tackle a certain problem. Now it might be a 7-step way to get past something or just 7 things that they can do that they can look at all 7 things. If they aren’t doing any of them they just pick one thing out of the 7 and then apply it.
So right here when I’m telling you about list-building, maybe I could describe 7 things you need to do with list-building; like don’t put your opt-in form on a sales letter, and then I could say it’s one of the tips. If you have an opt-in form on a sales letter, remove it and move it to a squeeze page, or at the very least make it so that if affiliates send traffic to your sales letter, hide the opt-in box because affiliates don’t like to build somebody else’s list.
And maybe you can buy some private label rights stuff and improve it for quick follow-ups. So a lot of private label rights stuff is written as articles or it’s written as kind of trying to be an encyclopedia. So if you took that same information and turned it into a set of steps, or into a set of tips, then those will make some really nice and quick follow-ups. And usually with PLR I can take apart the content and add the tips, but if you’re not good at that at least just look at the ideas and extract 7 ideas out of a bunch of private label content and rewrite it as some quick tips. So your e-mails don’t have to be article-length; they don’t have to be a whole page; they can be just half a page or a quarter of a page.
So those can be some quick follow-ups, or you could take those tips and compile them into a report. And a report can be just five pages or ten pages; it doesn’t have to be super long, but make sure it’s less than say 20 pages because if you get past 20 pages you’re getting more into e-book territory. And then you write a mini sales letter written for the report so you can just list the best benefits and list a few headlines explaining the most important stuff and then give them an opt-in box. So you’re treating it as a sales letter even though it’s free, but you act as if it’s a paid thing and they get convinced with all these different benefit points, and when they get to the bottom they’re like, “Wow, I thought this was a paid thing, but it’s totally free. Now I’m definitely going to opt-in.”
So that’s one way to build a list. You write a sales letter just selling your newsletter getting them to opt-in. You take 7 tips to handle something and you either use it as a bribe to get them to opt-in, you give them the report after they’ve signed up, or you make some quick follow-ups or you can get both. Maybe you can choose 14 tips and give the first 7 tips immediately as a report and the next 7 tips as follow-ups.
Second Half Articles
Something else you can do is have your second half of articles. So let’s say you write a bunch of articles or you outsource it, you can write basically two articles. So your real articles are the things that explain the what and the why of something, but then your how articles are the ones that you use as follow-ups.
So let’s say you were talking about how to get your child to read within the first two years. And you explain what it means to get your child to read in the first two years; basically what’s involved, what tools you use, and why you get them to read in the first two years. So you tell them how they can skip a grade or learn more so they’ll end up getting better test scores so they’ll get into a good college, but then the follow-ups and the videos explain the step-by-step stuff.
So you can go into a little bit of detail and explain what’s involved and what materials you use and who uses this and things like that and convince them why they should do it, but then you say if you want to know how to do it, if you want to know the system, then you need to opt-in. And then you need to get into the e-mail follow-ups or the videos and so on.
So that’s another good way that I use to build a list is I just have these articles. And many people when they have the resource box on the bottom of the article where they can put in a URL, they’ll send it to their main page. I do that most of the time when I just don’t know where else to send the traffic, but if you use the second half of the article thing you could send them directly to a blog post that explains the other half or directly to a squeeze page or a sales letter for the newsletter that explains how they can get the other half. So doing the part 1 and part 2 of articles really helps to move the free line and give people a little bit of info first, so that you can get credibility and so they can get the law of reciprocity thing going. So they feel like they’ve taken something from you; now they need to give back to get the rest.
Use An Event
You can use an event to build your list. So let’s say you’re going to offer a webinar or a free video. Don’t just put the video online. Announce a few days ahead of time that you’re going to put the video online, but only for one or two days; or you’re going have the webinar, but it’s only going to be a live webinar and if you want the recording you have to sign up; and if you want the link to dial in to the webinar you have to sign up.
And then you can do things like get affiliates to promote or you can do things like submit to the news sites or just any other way of getting traffic like forum marketing or some paid advertising or something. And this really works if you offer instant bonuses because people are opting in; they get a bribe immediately, and if you can relate it so that they’ll be prepared for the webinar, so it relates directly to what’s being taught in the webinar, that’s even better.
I’ve done this before where I launched a e-class, and I made a couple of bonus products. I taught people a little bit about making a product and a little bit about marketing using a list just to get them ready for the e-class. And it wasn’t required for them to watch these extra videos to be ready for the e-class, but it really helped.
Create Free Classes
Or you could offer free consultation like you can say, “I’m going to review five sales letters, and I will critique them and record videos and show you what I would change on them, but the catch is you have to be on my list to ask about it.” So then you can promote it that way and get people to opt-in to get access to some kind of free consultation. Or you could do some one-on-one stuff. So instead of saying I’ll only offer five slots, I will give 30 minutes of time, I’ll give you a 30 minute interview with me for anyone who asks, and I’ll just schedule you in. And then that’s win-win for you because then if you record it, you’ve got a bunch of instant interviews and you’ve got different people interviewing you on a bunch of subjects and that sells a lot better than if you’re just saying, “I talked for an hour about these subjects.” You can say I’ve got 12 different people to e-mail me for half an hour each about the things that were holding them up. So you learn a lot from me and you learn about what other people are dealing with.
So you can do the two different types of consultation – either an unlimited consultation where you just schedule people in, and even if you only want to devote 30 minutes a day to that, and if you have to schedule someone in a month in advance, if everyone else has chosen slots that’s no big deal as long as you just devote that 30 minutes a day. Or you can do the first line offs where you say, “I’m only going to offer five slots. You need to get in right now.”
Another way to build a list is the squeeze page. So I’ve told this story a couple times. One time I had just a simple website where I showed some of my PHP tutorials and I had links to my paid products and a way to sign up to my newsletter but then one day a guy links to my page and he linked to it from a very high traffic forum on the front page and the amount of traffic it got for me, I got like one new opt-in per minute. And he only left it up for five or six hours, but I kept getting consistently one opt-in per minute. And I freaked out and I was like, “I’ve suddenly got all this traffic coming to my page and I’m wasting it because I have too many things to click on and the opt-in box isn’t prominent enough.” So I went in really quickly and tweaked stuff so that when they first landed on the page the opt-in box was huge; it was impossible to ignore; and the subscribe button was huge, and I think I increased it more to one opt-in every 45 seconds before he took it down.
But I just wasn’t – when I thought that no one was looking then I didn’t really care, but when suddenly all this traffic was coming in which I didn’t know if it would be coming in forever and obviously he removed it after a few hours, so I didn’t know how – I just felt like I was wasting all this traffic and I panicked. So if you’re going to think about it when you get all this traffic why not think about it when you first put it up and get it right the first time and just have these rules in your head for if I was sending a bunch of traffic this way what would I do differently.
So maybe you would make the opt-in form impossible to ignore; you’d put in a video pointing to the opt-in form; or a headline pointing to the opt-in form; or having all the sales letter point to the giant opt-in form. But the key is, just like with the free newsletter you act as if you are selling them something but it’s free; all they have to do is opt-in.
And even consider making that free report cost $7 so that you can at least pay for advertising because a lot of these impulse buy people, if you convince them enough to get something they would rather pay $7 instead of get it for free and sometimes the paid stuff is even better, because if something is free people will be thinking, “Well, what’s the catch? What are you going to do with my e-mail address?” But if it costs even a little bit of money people won’t think twice about it. And if somebody pays something, they’ll be more likely to actually use it because they paid that amount of money even if it’s only $7, they paid $7 and they want to at least read it to get one or two ideas to make that $7 worthwhile.
So maybe you don’t even want to give away a freebie. Maybe you want to have a low ticket item to get people to buy and then you get them on a list afterwards.
Use Someone Else’s Thank You Page
Something else you can do is place your opt-in box on somebody else’s thank you page because so many people will just leave their thank you page empty or they’ll have the download link and that’s it. They won’t be selling anything else. So if you have a friend who sells almost the exact same thing you do or you have some really good marketing contacts you could get them to place your opt-in code on their thank you pages.
So you might just go to them and say, “Is it OK if you place my opt-in code on your thank you page?” And they might say no, and then you can say, “Well, I’ve made this exclusive freebie just for the purchases of your product. Nobody can get it anywhere else and I designed it just for your buyers, so I want to give them a bonus. I want to list it as an exclusive freebie just for the purchasers of your product.”
And if they still say no then you can say, “If you put this on your thank you page, I’ll set up an affiliate link for you so that if they end up buying from that free report into something paid then I’ll give you 50 percent.” Or you can even make it a paid thing, make it an affiliate link so that after they get a sale they send affiliate traffic your way. And if they still say no you can say, “OK, I’ll pay you 50 bucks a month if you put this on your page. And if it’s profitable for me we’ll keep doing it, but if not then no hard feelings.”
And if they still say no you can even try an unsubscription ad. You can ask them if it’s possible for them to edit their unsubscribe page so if somebody’s on their list and they click unsubscribe, that’s going to go to waste anyway. So you could say, “Can I put my opt-in code on your unsubscribe page?” with an ad saying, “you just unsubscribed from this guy’s newsletter and here’s the reasons why you should opt-in to mine.
So that’s another way to build a list is from either thank you page ads or unsubscription ads from some other people.
Another way is from giveaways. So a giveaway is where lots of people take their free products and put them together in a huge bundle and then other people sign up. And they sign up to the giveaway itself, but then to get each and every bonus product they have to sign up to each person’s list. So if 100 people apply for this giveaway and put their products in this giveaway then every time somebody signs up they’ll sign up to just the giveaway page and then hopefully to each of those 100 participants because they want to get their products they have to offer. And it’s not the best traffic and it’s a lot of traffic from collectors and freebie seekers, but it’s better than nothing. And if you have the right follow-ups and send them the right offers and you weed out all of the tire kickers, then you can be left with a decent list.
And it’s one of the things where you need to tweak it so you need to put an opt-in form before the download for sure just so you can get them on a list. And then before they hit the download, you hit them with one upsell and two upsells and three upsells maybe because that’s the only way you’re going to extract any kind of money from that kind of traffic; you hit them with a lot of upsells and so they see something they like. And then even after they get that download, you could hit them with even more upsells.
So they go over to the download and you say, “Would you want to get this?” They say no. “Would you want to get this smaller thing?” They say no. “Want to get this even smaller thing?” They say no. They get the freebie. Then on that page where they get the freebie you say, “By the way would you like this other thing as well?” after they’ve downloaded the thing. So after two or three tries you let them download the thing that they wanted, but then you hit them with some other offer and if they say no to that you hit them with a smaller offer and so on. Because when you’re selling to bad traffic you need to hit them hard and weed them out.
You can also create software that requires an opt-in before the first use built into the software. So software works the best for giveaways and what’s really cool about this, which I didn’t know at first, was that some software allows you to re-brand it with your affiliate link. I think it was RoboForm will let you re-brand the software with your affiliate link so you can give a way RoboForm, which you didn’t even make and you don’t have to support or anything but if somebody upgrades from the trial version of RoboForm to the full version you get a commission.
Or you could create software yourself that requires people to give their name and e-mail address before they use the software. Then put it on giveaway sites and sell master resale rights to the software to make it viral. And what you’re doing is it just spreads and spreads, and other people resell it but every time somebody buys from another person and has to sign up, they fill in their name and e-mail address and that goes over to your list. So you’re building a list of other people’s buyers. It’s kind of similar to the thank you page co-registration, but this is built into the software itself so you don’t have to ask anyone to do this. It just spreads, and they do the selling for you.
Pay Per Click Traffic
What about building a list using pay-per-click traffic? That works if you have the landing page super duper optimized and split-tested. So you start off with a little bit of traffic to get it to work and then you turn up the juice. I tried it years ago and I ended up spending like 50 bucks to get a list of 50 people and they weren’t very responsive. I think I got a couple sales out of it and broke even, but it only works well for non-competitive niches. So it doesn’t work well for things like internet marketing or dating because there’s just so many people already using pay-per-click stuff. The bid price you pay is going to be so high it’s not going to be worth it even if you convert like 50 percent.
So you’ve got to tweak it and you’ve got to have a strong offer and adjust everything so the pay-per-click bid is just barely under the average visitor value. So the visitor value is on average, if someone comes to your site how much do you make? So if you have a $20 e-book and the sales letter converts at 10 percent or if people first opt-in and eventually they buy, then at some point that becomes 10 percent. So on average when somebody comes to your landing page, 10 percent of those people will convert into buyers. That means that every time somebody comes to your site, they’re worth $2. So that means that you can bid for your pay-per-click $1.50 or $1.75, and if your visitor value is like 50 cents, maybe you should bid 30 cents or 40 cents.
But if you track stuff like that and you figure out what your average visitor value is then you can have your bid just barely under that so then you can get say a second place or a third place ad and still make money and not guess; because most of the pay-per-click competition you have are going to be people who guess or who throw way too much money at the problem.
So that’s how you get people on your list but what do you once they actually are on your list? What I like to do is after the sale, give them 12 monthly resources.
12 Clever Links
All you need are 12 clever links to keep them on your list. So every month you can say, “Since you bought this product on a very specific niche I thought you might like,” and you give them a link in that niche. And you say, “By the way I have this other product,” so you say, “Here’s this resource because you bought this first thing, so go to this one link; and by the way I also have this other book which you haven’t bought which you might like.”
So how do you find those awesome links? You go to forums and you can link either to the forum posts themselves or maybe people will talk on forums and link to things. You can go to Digg.com and sort by most diggs and show not just the front page stories but all the stories; or if somebody posts a news item or if there’s a cool video or something or a cool resource. I like to give the top 10 stuff. So if I’m selling a PHP product then someone might list the top ten PHP scripts; or if I’m selling a copywriting product I might link people to the top ten best copywriting headlines to get ideas for the swipe file or something. But you just find 12 – between 6 to 12 clever links and just schedule them in your follow-up series so that they appear a month apart and now you have 12 monthly resources.
You can also do a refund preventer. And if a product sells very well, I will take a percentage of the profits and buy a resale rights or private label rights product in that niche. And then I’ll add that to the follow-up series as a surprise bonus. And either I will re-purpose it, so if the PLR allows me to cut it up and use it as a paid e-course – that’s the language I used when I asked them – I asked, “Can I make it a paid e-course?” Then I will add them as follow-ups after the sale because that’s the same thing. They’re paying for something. They’re really paying for the original product but they’re paying some money and they get the information over e-mail over time.
Or if I have to keep it as a product I’ll just make it a surprise bonus. I’ll say, “Because you bought from me 20 days ago here is this extra product that I think might help you out for free just because you bought this one thing from me.” This keeps them on the list longer especially if you tell them what’s coming. So you might get them on the list and say, “After 20 days you get this. After 40 days you get this. After 60 days you get this. After 80 days you’ll get this.” So if the refund window is 60 days, then if that bonus after 80 days is really, really, really good, then the chances that they refund after 60 days are much lower. Some people will still do it, but it will go a long way toward preventing your refunds and from reducing buyer’s remorse.
Here are some more content ideas for what to add to your list and what to add to your follow-up series.
You can resend your old list broadcasts every 90 days. So if you promote this one offer in September, so at the beginning of September, you can send them that offer again in December.
Or even better, you can take that piece of information you sent them and rewrite it; so you rewrite it as a checklist or a do’s-and-don’ts or a question and answer or as a how-to so that it doesn’t seem like they’re getting the same exact broadcast. You can turn your old articles or old e-book chapters into broadcasts. So I’ve taken stuff that was just some old ideas I had a few years ago, spent 60 seconds updating it for the current year, and people loved it. So broadcasts don’t have to be even a page long; they can be quick because that’s one thing that held me back a long time from adding follow-ups. I kept thinking, “Man, I going to have to have 7 follow-ups, and they each have to be like 3 pages long. That feels like I’m writing a whole new e-book.” No. Just give them 7 quick blurbs or 12 quick blurbs spaced a month apart.
So then once you’ve got all that follow-ups built in and you know what kinds of things you can broadcast them and what offers you can send them then just link to your squeeze pages from your blogs, from your articles, from your videos, and your forum signatures so you can get traffic onto those lists.
So what did we talk about today with advanced list building? Well the easiest type of newsletter to make is the 7 tips. So figure out 7 problems people have or a big problem and 7 ways to solve it and arrange them as follow-ups or as their own short reports.
You could have your second half of articles, so you have your articles where you explain the what and the why, but then you lead them to your sign up page or your blog or something where you explain the how, the step-by-step system.
You can schedule an event, like say you have a webinar and you say in order to get access to this webinar, which is free, you have to sign up using your name and e-mail address so that I can e-mail you telling you that the webinar is about to start.
You can create a squeeze page so that you have the opt-in form on a separate page; and all you have to do is have headlines and videos to make people look at this opt-in form and convince them to give up their name and e-mail address in exchange for some kind of tips or some kind of tutorials or some kind of service.
And you have that separate from your sales letter so that when affiliates send traffic that way, it’ll skip right over the squeeze page and go to the sales letter.
You can have co-registration thank you ads, so you contact people on a one to one basis. You contact one guy and you say – or maybe it’s somebody whose product you just bought and you can say, “On your thank you page, can you put my opt-in code so that I can give them an exclusive bonus only for your buyers?” Or if they don’t want to go with an opt-in code you can say, “Can you put in this affiliate link so that after people buy from you they can send traffic to me, and if they buy from me you’ll get credit?” Or can you put my opt-in code on your unsubscribe page because you’re going to lose that traffic anyway and I will convince them to get on my list instead.”
And you can join giveaways, so you take your report and put it into these giveaway sites and require an opt-in before download, so that’ll get some opt-ins. And you can even mess around with upsells and downsells to try to really get that freebie traffic to buy. Or even have master resale rights software in the giveaway so that you require a name and e-mail address before they even use the software. So even if somebody else sells it then that software dials back to you and subscribes to your list instead; so you’re building a list of other people’s buyers.
If you’ve got your landing page split-tested and have it converting very well, or even if you’re just willing to give up a bunch of money at first, you can use pay-per-click to quickly build a list of people.
And once you’ve got them on a list just think of 12 resources, 12 easy links from your bookmarks, from Digg, from forums, whatever; even the top Google search results, just stuff that saves them time; find these 12 URL’s and space it out a month apart and make some really quick follow-ups that say, “By the way, if you want to do this, go to this URL.”
And you can buy private label rights stuff or resale rights stuff and stagger it in your follow-up series as a refund preventer. So you give them bonuses at 15 days, maybe 30 days, 60 days, 90 days; but you just make sure that those bonuses after the refund window has closed are really, really good bonuses. This really works if you tell people what bonuses are coming because they will be less likely to refund if they know that if they stick around they get all this extra stuff.
And then you can re-broadcast the stuff that you’ve already sent to your list every 90 days. Either give them the exact same e-mail or rewrite it a little bit by changing it into a checklist, a do’s and don’ts, whatever.
That is how you build a list quickly and easily so I hope that you got maybe one or two list-building tips that you haven’t thought of or used in the past.