There’s a lot of information out there for beginning marketers who want to build a list, and not all of it is good. As someone who has been doing email marketing since 1997, I thought for today’s edition of the Friday Five I would share a few of my favorite tips that every budding list builder should know.
Tip #1 – Your Opt-in Gift Should Be Something People Would Pay For
It’s standard practice these days to give a gift to people in exchange for their email address. And there’s a lot of junk that gets offered up as a must-have freebie.
To get the best results on your opt-ins, make sure your free gift is something that people would be willing to pay for. You’ll be giving them something useful, and it will work to improve your conversions, as well as your integrity with your subscribers.
To really cement your expert status in the eyes of your new subscribers, you can use the content upgrade method to give them exactly what they’re looking for based on the blog post or page they signed up from.
Tip #2 – Use a dedicated autoresponder provider
Using a dedicated autoresponder provider gives you a better chance at having your emails delivered. I’ve used Aweber as my autoresponder of choice for years, and have recently started testing Drip as well.
Tip #3 – Simplify your opt-in page
Your opt-in page (often referred to as a landing page or a squeeze page) should be set up so that visitors have only two choices when they land on it — opt-in or leave.
The best way to do this is to use a blank page template and get rid of any extra headers, footers, menus, and sidebars. To be most effective there should be nothing on the page except your sales text or video and the signup form.
Tip #4 – Simply your signup form too
By keeping everything simple you give visitors less decision points where they can choose to leave. Having only the email field on the signup form takes away the need for a subscriber to jump through hoops and provide tons of extra information. This has been proven time and again to increase conversions as the more information you ask for on a first meeting (which is what the landing page really is), the less likely they are to actually opt-in to claim the gift you are offering.
Tip #5 – Start now
I read a quote the other day that said something like “the best way to make a task seem hard is to put off doing it”. It’s easy to do that with list building because there are many points along the way that will give you pause to stop and wonder what you’re doing. Creating the free offer, learning how to use your autoresponder, even crafting your email messages can all be sticking points.
But, the number one mistake you can make in having an online business is not building a list from day one. So don’t put it off any longer.
And remember, I’m only an email away if you have questions.
Bonus Tip – Nurture your new subscribers before you sell to them
It’s tempting, once you start growing your list, to hammer them with sales pitches right from day one.
Don’t do it!
Take the time for the first few messages to nurture your list, and get them used to what to expect from you. Give them quality content first, and then introduces resources and products to them.
Of course, this advice depends on the purpose of your list. If you’re offering a resource list or a deal type list where the whole object is to share good resources and great deals, then people will expect the sales emails and be upset if you don’t provide them with deals to take advantage of.
This all goes back to knowing your audience and your reasons for wanting to build your list in the first place. Once you have those two pieces in place, these tips will help to get you started to building a list that you can build relationships with.