List-Building Methods

This is easily one of the more important parts of list building, as much as I hate to say one method is more important than the next. On talking to the people on my list and my associates, when I asked them what the hardest thing was to do for them relating to online marketing when they first got started, it was to build a list.

I reckon the reason behind this is that list building is drummed into us as one of the biggest aspects of online marketing, which is true. Your list will form the basis of your marketing ventures from now and into the future. Unfortunately, while there is a good side to this for the people that get it right, for those that get it wrong (which I should note I also did when I first started out) it can become quite an expensive affair.

Quality over Quantity

The reason is that there are so many list building services offered out there to consider. If you head on over to a search engine, and do a search for list building methods, you’ll be attacked by all sorts of products and services, most of them I hate to say it, don’t work. Some of us fell for in the early years for the so-called “100k mailing list by the end of the week” type of service. What you’ll find however, is that buying leads and all that fluff aren’t so important. You know why? I can tell you that with a mere five thousand people on your list, if you follow this guide, and take it slow and steady, you’ll find that you out do most of the 20k lists out there, because your list is of better quality. We don’t want a huge list of fifty thousand freebie-seekers, or fifty thousand people that are there and are not targeted, or people that have even been paid or bribed in some way by a lead generation company or some such business to join your list. All you’ll find yourself doing is sending mails out to thousands upon thousands of people that never respond to you, at a great cost to you and your pocket, but to the gains of whoever you paid for these leads.

I should say at this point that there are people out there who do make their livings through unsolicited email, numbers over quantity. They choose servers in other countries that do not have anti spam laws, or are not restrictive in any way, and send out millions upon millions of mails, and certain they make money. This is not online marketing and not to be considered ethical. It does not build a stable business base for your future, and it gives those of us with legit lists a terrible name. It just makes our lives more difficult than they need to be because of these unethical marketers. If this is the form of information you are searching for, you won’t find it here. We’re looking at real business.

Getting Started

Ok so the first thing I want to talk to you about is getting started. The number one thing I’ve seen over the years, from the friends that came and went, and those that didn’t make it, and even from those that did in the early days was that they were put off in the beginning. You know the story, and in fact, may have experienced or are experiencing this yourself right now, the ‘I only have a thousand people on my list’ syndrome, where it all isn’t quite happening fast enough.

Let me put your mind at rest. Done properly, with a suitable solid product, and joint venturing and making some new contacts through a single website, a single product not even directly aimed at increasing your list size or quality can put you up two, three, five, and even ten thousand subscribers inside a few months. I’ve seen it, and I’ve experienced it. We’ll talk more about this in a moment, however first I prefer to be certain that you recognize that numbers do not matter.

So what if you only have five hundred people on your list, when all of those 500 people know you, trust you, know your products, and most of them either bought from you before or see you as more than a random nobody sending them e-mail. I’d pick that 500 person list over a random low quality, purchased leads or whatever list consisting of 10,000 people any day. Whatever you do, don’t get disheartened by low numbers. Numbers mean nothing, it’s how you interact with them and how they respond to you that matters.

And on that note, there’s something else I want to get out to you right now, if you’ve done this before, or have thought about doing it, or haven’t done it yet, listen up, because it’s amazing how many people I speak to, asking how their list building is going, and they say to me oh yeah, I only had three, four, five hundred on it, so I ditched it and started again. They weren’t responding to me anyway. How to make them respond to you is a different report altogether. But please, do not start ditching lists like this to get organized again.

Throwing Out Prospects Doesn’t Get You Organized

The bottom line is stop beginning again. If you have done so before, it would possibly be too late to revive your old subscribers without being reported or attacked, if you are thinking about it, do not do it. Five hundred people is a gold mine on its own. Take notice and fix your organization and your situation before beginning something new, or you may simply find yourself in the above situation and wasting the last few weeks, or even months in extreme cases of your promotions time and budget. (I’m nevertheless amazed at how many in reality throw prospects away).

Am I Building My List by Doing This?

Next up, this is a great starting block to help you on your way to building your list as one of your main resources. Am I building my list by doing this? Ask yourself this question every time you carry out a task. In fact, you should really be asking yourself if what you’re doing is helping you build one of your five primary resources. If it’s not, then you shouldn’t be doing it because it’s likely you’re wasting your time and your money at the same time.

Always think in terms of your list. When you ask affiliates to promote your site, are you gathering the leads that the affiliates send to you for your personal list? When you are discussing joint ventures, whether they’re long-term or short term, are you thinking about whether it will benefit your list? Heck even when you are mailing your very own list, or contacting your affiliates, or placing an e-zine ad, or dealing with PPC search engines, are you increasing your leads, is your list getting larger and being packed with quality subscribers? Lead generation trumps immediate profit each and every single time. Never lose sight of that.

Something I really want to show you now, and that’s how the people with established personal lists of their own customers are pure gold. You’ll want to give them whatever it takes to get access to them, even if it’s just an ad or two sent by them on your behalf. Imagine how awesome would it be to be able to wake up in the morning with a new product, put it together and immediately have an instant and free promotion tool at your disposal where your product reaches not only top affiliates, but at the same time people who are willing to part with their cash.

If they’re not willing to spend on your products, then quite frankly you should not want them on your list. A way to make sure that the people on your list do indeed part with their money for peoples products is to get your contacts from other private lists through simple joint ventures that enable you to take parts of their list away and add it yours, a simple ad swap for example, or joint venture that sends their list to your product/follow-up system, or even better; through endorsement. Joint venturing at it’s most basic, but at it’s most powerful.

Professionalism Revisited

So, moving on, how seriously do you take building your own list of contacts that you can use as a very powerful bargaining tool and to grab free sales from whenever you launch a new product? If you’ve been around for any length of time, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve been told list building is more important than making sales, or even the other way around in some cases, sales being more important than building your list.

The first quote you probably heard from some of the more experienced marketers out there, is how building your list is all important and how it’s the be all and end all of your marketing. This is probably why a lot of people get downhearted and quit, they believe that because their list isn’t growing fast enough, they won’t succeed. This is simply not true. We’ve got all those other juicy resources to build and compliment each other, affiliates, customers, Jv’s, long term customers and of course your list.

The second quote gives me the giggles. It’s typical marketer stuff, where someone sets up a free site with popups all over, trying to show us all that they know everything there is to know about marketing (I don’t think anyone knows everything there is to know about marketing). The general trend of these types of sites is to try and persuade you that the people earning big incomes from marketing aren’t telling the truth, or don’t know what they’re doing. This is where you’ll generally be told that sales are the most important thing a marketer can aim for as a result of marketing efforts. Totally wrong, but, I wander.

Where Your Most Effective List Comes From

The problem with both of the above statements, is that while the second is a totally strange conclusion to come to and is totally incorrect, and the first statement is somewhat true to an extent, it still doesn’t give you the whole story. Where do the best parts of your list come from? Leads? Nah, e-zine ads? Nope. Free subscription boxes? Nope again, it’s your customers, the people who buy from you. Think about this, if you’ve made a sale before, where is that customer now? Are they on your list, or did you let them escape? It is imperative that you get these people to join and get on your list by any means necessary. The important ones that have bought from you before, and most likely will again if you don’t discard them or forget about them in a hurry. So this is where the fun part starts.

You’ll notice that everything I talk about links into building the other four main resources along with it, and this is no exception or coincidence. How about making sales, and taking money for a subscription system or a website for the simple aim of building your resources, in this case, your list (although probably the other four along with it too).

Now here’s something I see quite often from the top marketers, that you could most likely overlook if you haven’t bought into these products or got involved before. Take this opportunity to think for a moment. If you could set up a product with the sole intent of building your resources, what would it be? At this point I’d expect replies associated with giving free stuff away, tell-a-friend scripts, and some sort of mass e-book library give away like we see all too often nowadays. Boring!

The Ultimate Tried & Tested List Builder

How about doing something a little out there, that everyone seems to miss because they don’t get any immediate cash rewards? How about setting up a single sale product, or a membership website with the sole intent of building your resources, but not a free one? A website for the sole purpose of generating no profit, or very little. Sounds strange huh? On the surface of it, I can see how I’d be getting funny looks, and do indeed get funny looks when talking about this subject. Think for a moment though.

Remember again, we talked about pulling all your resources together, and the five main resources that will join together to make you money? I’ll take one example here, using an affiliate system as home base. Up goes your website, up goes your high commission affiliate program (abnormally high that is, I’m talking 80% and upwards) then out go your JV’s which you’re also giving 100% commissions. What’s the point you might ask? Well, whilst Mr. Joe Nobody is out there with his site, and from the start trying to make cash by selling stuff people through search engines and e-zines and the like, you’ve just set up a huge circle of resource building goodness.

People are attracted by your amazing affiliate program. Once you have people attracted by your affiliate program, out comes the numbers of affiliate promoting for you. And already, you’ve got people doing the work for you, although granted you’re not getting paid directly. Don’t forget though that these guys promoting will not only build your customers, your long term customers, and your list at the same time, but they’ve just become your resource themselves adding to your affiliates that will stay with you and promote your future products.

See how you went from a seemingly totally unprofitable idea that most would throw out the window immediately, to an all singing all dancing resource builder. Cool huh? Who’d have thought paying people to promote something that you’re not making a profit from would be such a powerful method of marketing.

Now even though it’s pretty easy to come up with such a site, something I’d like to touch on here before moving on is your site itself, and specifically how you’re gathering your contacts (or not gathering at is seems some prefer strangely enough). How about those lovely intrusive sticky out things that pop up at you and make a clinking noise when you land on a website. I don’t know about you, but quite often I click off if I see one of them. How about the old dirty popups that attack me when I forget to enable my blockers after downloading an update? They just don’t work anymore, and if they’re not doing their job, there’s absolutely no reason for them.

Be Careful Not To Interrupt Your Sales Process

The one thing I will say to you is don’t interrupt your sales process at all if it can be helped. This is especially true when you’re selling a product to make a profit, and you don’t want a couple of distracting popup windows to upset your customers. There’s plenty of other ways that this can be done.

Maximizing Subscriptions Without Losing Sales

There’s plenty of ideas out there, such as the in a hurry system we talked about earlier, where you have a separate subscription for either at the top of the page and preferably down the side of the sales letter that offers people the chance to subscribe to your list, either through conventional means, offering something for the signup, or even through pop unders, which although I’m not a fan of, they’re better than popups that detract from your sales letter.

You can also offer your visitors the chance to receive the sales letter in a split format through follow-up if they don’t particularly have the time to read the whole thing straight up. Any of these methods beats the conventional, due to the fact that you’re not interrupting the sales process. If you feel you’re losing out on subscribers you can always create a product purely for resource building like we mentioned above. The only time I’d consider sales to be more important than placing a subscription box in front of your visitors and potential subscribers, and this is when you’re selling a high ticket item. I’m talking $250 upwards, because to be honest, if you’re selling something at this price, the people seeing the product should already have you on their trusted list, and you should already have them on one of your lists or as part as your resources, whether it be your affiliates, customers, long term customers, your mailing list or even your joint venture prospects.

Non-Profit Resource Building

Moving on from this, and developing the non profit resource building ideas, there’s another way to look at this too, the first of two being to sacrifice a profit for resource building. Now ideally, you’ll want to build all your resources at the same time. However when this is not possible through a specific circumstance joint venture for example, if you get the choice of sales over resources, don’t do it, resources over sales every time, unless you’ve set out to sell a high ticket item.

Remember, like we talked about earlier, and I’m going to say again and again until every single person reading this dreams about it, where do the most powerful resources lie? JVs, other people’s lists, people that have already spent money and are willing to spend more, the best affiliates, the best buyers, the best customers, all on other peoples lists already. You’ve no need to go searching for new blood when others have done the work for you. Scored a JV with a good list owner? Nice job. You better make sure you gather them as leads over sales, because you may not get another chance to sink your teeth into this particular valuable gold mine.

The second option relating to sacrificing profit for resources is through e-zine ads. Oh yep, I have no doubt they still work, and there’s plenty of good well read publications out there that aren’t there just to provide another source of advertising for us all. Subscribe to a few and see what they’re about before even thinking about sending ads to them. When you know your target market is contained within, get out there and start hitting the e-zines through paid solo ads (generally the only ones that seem to work) with the sole intention of building your list.

I’ve seen some great examples of people actually selling a product, but placing a kind of entry page, to request information prior to them being able to read your sales letter. Whilst this doesn’t immediately interrupt a sales process already in motion, it can hurt profits if you’re not selling a lower price item, again with the intention of building resources. If you’re not one heck of a copywriter that can persuade people to move on and fill in details with the minimal of information about you, get practicing and tracking or stick with alternative less risky methods. On a random note, I saw a website the other that day that featured these entry pages but with no lead generation forms. What’s worse is the website owner’s affiliates are promoting these pages! So much scope and potential wasted through a minor oversight. Don’t do it.

Well, that brings us to the end of “Email List Management 101”. However, there is one last series of videos to complete the “List Building 3.0” training. This final series consist of Advanced list building strategies and additional tips on list building. This is exactly what you are going to learn:

  • * Creating high converting follow-ups
  • * Split testing emails.
  • * Using poles to increase opt-ins.
  • * Optimizing confirmation emails.
  • * And re sending unopened emails.
  • * We’ll talk do’s and don’ts
  • * Premium tools and services to consider
  • * Shocking case studies.
  • * And frequently asked questions.

Watch “List Building 3.0 Advanced strategies & Tips” right away!

Finally, I would like to invite you to Join “Wise Members” where you can find a low cost membership site with high quality products that you can download, rebrand, and sell as your very own. Don’t miss this chance!

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