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What is rule number one to internet marketing? Never, ever forget- the money is in the list.
Here in the industry, the A-listers are the ones with the largest email addresses on their database, and mind you, the can range to a hundred thousand emails. Imagine you have that kind of number (or even just a portion of it) and then try to think of all the profitable possibilities of just sending an email blast to those people? That’s exactly why the big internet marketers refer to their email lists as their personal ATM machine. Sounds exciting right?
But yeah, I’m assuming while reading this, you’re just starting out with a few handful sign-ups (or just beginning to collect them). If you’ve just begun your journey to internet marketing (email marketing to be exact), then let me lay out to you a few basic foundations that’ll serve as your guidelines to efficient list building.
Get a Reputable AND Secure Email Provider
This is very important (I am actually tempted to write this in caps lock). You see, in an effort to maximize scarce resources (your capital), most budding internet marketers are bit tight on letting their money out and investing in good email providers (which may come with a hefty price). Guys, I realize money is a big concern, but if you’re putting in line the very tool you are using for your marketing, then you might wanna rethink before handing out your money to some random providers that charge cheap.
I’ve already heard countless stories on internet marketers building an impressive list and then all of a sudden losing it because of technical problems (or worse) a sudden disappearance of the email provider company. Imagine all that hard work and source of future profit too going down the drain.
My advice? NEVER take risks. Go for the trusted and secure ones like Aweber or MailChimp (Sean’s using MailChimp!). If you study these companies closely, you’ll actually see how they give you a good run for your money. You are after all paying for quality, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if it doesn’t come cheap.
Target Niches and Create Catch Page
If you’re purely an internet marketer, then you’re strategy lies in being able to target niches by creating mini-sites or catch pages designed to entice people to sign up. There’s been much focusing building blog empires on different niches and using them as list-collecting pages. This is an exhaustive process, but there’s higher possibility for it to pay off (literally and figuratively) in the long run. My tip though is to focus on 1-3 niches at a time first. I mean, don’t spread yourself too thin all over a lot of niches. At least give some effort by concentrating for a few at a time.
However, if you’re a blogger or a specialist and want to use an email list to further your reach to your audience, then it’ll be a lot easier since you’d only need to convince your pre-existing readers to sign up your email list. This can be done usually through giving out free reports or special items as rewards if they sign up.
Use the principle of exclusivity to entice people. If the ones who’ve joined your newsletters keep on receiving exclusive or premium items than just your regular blog reader, then that’s something that could compel people to jump in too.
Keep Pumping Traffic Through Social Media and Advertising
Of course you need people. Of course you need to get the word out. Advertising is a bit tricky and most people building a list is reluctant to do this. If you do however, the best strategy is to focus on niches that has free offers like fashion, gadgets etc. You can, for example, do pay-per-click advertising and direct clicks on landing pages that has free offers (because people click on this) and then offer the free item through an email sign up and viola, you got the address.
If you’re more of a social media person, here’s the tip: never promote your list directly. I mean, you’re obviously crazy if you tweet something like “sign up in my newsletter”! Because:
a. people won’t and
b. they are not interested if that’s all you have to say
Instead, try to be more discreet by say, promoting a free item that’ll lead to your list sign up form. Free ebooks, reports, tutorials, coupon codes- you can absolutely use anything.
To wrap it up, the approach may be a bit different depending on how you’d use an email list. If you’re into the real internet marketing biz, you’re absolutely free to go anywhere in any niche and capture people. But if you’re specializing, well at least you can concentrate your efforts into a specific list. Either way, you must always prioritize on choosing a quality email service provider. It’s going to be the core of your business so might as well invest in the best (rather than possible regret in the future). That and promote, promote, promote in every possible way (advertising and social media are just some of the methods you can start with).
P.S. Check out Ryan Haley’s Email List Building Ebook!