An Introduction To List Building By List Academy
Returning to the basics every once in a while is a very good thing. In this post I will covering one of the basic concepts that a beginning affiliate marketer needs to master: list building. Even if you are already making money from affiliate marketing, revisiting the basics can provide you with a fresh perspective so that you can take your business up another level. You need to learn how to crawl before you can run!
So in this article we will specifically be taking a close look at list building. How many times has it been said that “the money is in the list.” You will understand exactly why this has been said millions of times before after reading this post.
What Is List Building?
In the most basic terms, list building is a process used to collect the email addresses and names of individuals in your niche. You are basically trying to build up an email list of potential customers and existing customers who you can email to on a regular basis.
Two major things are needed for building your list:
A lead capture/email marketing service (also called an autoresponder). This service will store your list details securely, and then let you send out emails. One good example of an excellent email marketing service is Fluttermail. You can try this service for only $1 here. It is very user friendly.
An opt-in form/squeeze page on your website. You are sure to have run across an opt-in form or squeeze page before. If you have ever run across a form that asked you to fill out your email address and name in exchange for a free report, eBook, newsletter or some other free incentive, then you will already be reasonably familiar with this idea.
How Does The List Building Process Work?
Here is how the list building process works at it’s most basic level:
- The first thing you do is sign up for an autoresponder/email marketing service, like Fluttermail.
- Next, create a squeeze page or opt-in form and put it on your website.
- Outsource or create a free report, e-course or eBook to offer as an incentive for individuals to sign up for your email list.
- Once you have their contact information, you can send them product offers, news, articles and updates.
So I hope that reassured any fears you may have had about email marketing being really complicated. It is actually quite easy.
Why Should You Build A List?
It is true that having a list isn’t necessary for making money online. Mark Ling, creator of AffiloBlueprint, says he doesn’t always build a list for each niche he gets into, particularly if it is a time sensitive niche. However, he also says that in the niches where he does build a list, he always makes a larger profit.
The main reason to build a list is it helps to minimize your chances of losing sales, while at the same time increasing your chances to make repeat sales. For example, a visitor lands on your website, reads one of your products reviews, and then leaves the site; there isn’t any guarantee that the person will return and buy from you. Unless you’re targeting high buyer intent keywords (for example, “Buy ABC Widget”), it can be very hard to convert cold traffic with just one chance of making a sale.
What if instead of trying to just sell to the visitor via your affiliate link on your website, you could entice them to sign up to be on your email list. You offer a free report that relates to the product you are promoting, and they start to trust you and think of you as someone who provides good information. Then you send a couple more informational emails containing soft pre-sells to decrease buying resistance. Then you finally email a killer sale pitch that practically forces your reads to want to buy… and you make the sale! However, it doesn’t end there. Now that you have made a sale, now you can repeat this same process to promote a different product.
When you have an email list, it’s basically easier to make that first sale in addition to being simple to also make repeat sales!
Another reason for the popularity of email lists is they provide your affiliate marketing business with a lot of longevity. When you rely on traffic to your site solely for making affiliate sales, if your traffic dries up for some reason, then your income does as well. However, if in the process you have built a large email list, then you will still have plenty of prospective customers that can make money for you until your traffic level recovers.
It really is a no-brainer to build an list. So if you haven’t started to yet, you need to start taking action now! Remember you can try out Fluttermail for only $1 (and it is very easy to use), so you really don’t have any excuse for not getting started right away.
List Building Tips
Once you have your autoresponder set up, then what? The following are a few basic list building tips you can use:
Create a high converting squeeze page. It is essential if you want to build a list, and will most likely provide the most subscribers for your list. You need to have a clear squeeze page that features a solid headline and focuses on selling the benefits of the free report, eBook or e-course that you are using as an incentive.
Add an opt-form at the end of each article that is on your website. Having a discreet opt-in form (a small squeeze page basically, that can be embedded in an article) has the potentially of generating a high number of subscribers for your list, particularly articles that receive a lot of traffic.
Don’t try to sell in each email you send out. It can be tempting to try to “sell, sell, sell” in every email. However, this can result in many unsubscribes from you list, sending your profits plummeting.
What you should focus on instead is providing more information, while adding in soft pre-sells for any email without a hard sell in it. The strategy I like to use is dividing my emails up into thirds: one third of my emails are hard sells and the other two thirds are completely informative with a small amount of pre-selling.
Be sure to comply with all laws that are relevant. When it comes to list building and email marketing, it is critical to comply to all pertinent laws, and in particular the CAN-SPAM Act. If you don’t comply, serious penalties can be applied, so be sure you do everything strictly by the book. No decent email marketing service is going to let you get around the CAN-SPAM Act. However, it still pays to be thoroughly informed on the laws.
Send extra freebies to your subscribers as a surprise. Every once in a while, I’ll send little gifts to my subscribers, like a free report, eBook or exclusive article. It helps to build trust. That way when you are trying to make a sale, your profits will sky rocket. Keep in mind that it is easy to find PLR products that relate to your niche that you can use as a giveaway or you can outsource something cheap and simple. A little can go a long way!
Now that you know how powerful list building can be, it’s time for you to get started building your list. Sign up for a Fluttermail account for just one dollar, and then start working on adding opt-in forms and squeeze pages to your website. If you want to build a profitable and lasting affiliate marketing business, then list building is critical.