Another great question came in regarding building your email list. I’ve mentioned this many times before including in last week’s article about building a steady and reliable income from your online business, as the email list is key to that.
“My biggest problem is creating a following… building an email list and turning that into paying customers. I would bet that is almost everyone’s problem.”
In order to build an email list you need to have two things.
1) Optin Offer
And of course these can be broken down into many parts. Let’s start with the first one.
An optin offer can come in many forms. The idea is you want people to sign up to your email list. In order for them to do that you’re going to need to offer them something in exchange. In the early days of the internet you could simply offer your email newsletter and people would subscribe as getting email was a novelty. Remember AOL’s “You’ve Got Mail” phrase. How annoying would that be today?
What you offer can vary wildly. The basic idea is you want to offer something so good that people have to get it. Not only should your offer be compelling, but whatever your offer should be quality stuff.
If you have a great squeeze page but when they get your download or whatever it is and its crap they’re not likely to stick around or become customers. But if you have something great that helps the person immediately than they’re likely to think “If they’re giving this away for free, how awesome is what they’re selling going to be?”
As for where this offer is it can be in many places.
- Squeeze page
- Blog sidebar
- Exit Pops
The squeeze page is generally going to convert best because it is designed to give a person two options. Signup or leave. With more options people get distracted and do other things.
Of course, what you use will depend on your business and how your funnels and marketing works. Depending on these factors you may be using all of these optins on different pages and websites.
Notice to the right on the sidebar here on LoganChristopher.com that there is an optin offer for not one but five free reports. If you’ve read these you know they’re short but have great information in them that you can put into use right away. (Hint: since people can’t tell the quality of your information from the outside, quantity can take its place, plus it allows you to have more hooks, any one of which may interest a prospect.)
Your offer can be tested and tweaked to get better responses. For instance over at SuperManHerbs.com I ran a split test to see what worked better, a 15% off coupon which was our control, or a Free Report about herbalism. All that was changed was the wording on the optin box and in fact people got both after they signed up. The coupon won by almost a 2 to 1 margin.
Start with whatever you can. Something that I tell my coaching clients is to create your optin offer as if it is a paid product. Make it that good and you’re likely to get some great fans on your email list and then turning these into paying customers shouldn’t be too hard.
Of course there is much more to this topic but this is enough to get started with.
And here’s the key the best optin offer won’t work if no one is going to it. Thus you need to move onto the second part of the equation.
There are lots of ways to get traffic to your website. In the beginning I suggest you pick one to start with and work on that until it works. Some are better than others and they all have different benefits and drawbacks to them.
The problem many people seem to have is they think people are just going to show up in droves to their website just by putting it up. It doesn’t work that way! You have to GET people to come to your website.
As a basic breakdown we can split traffic into paid and non-paid means. Here is a partial list of different ways to get the traffic coming to your site.
- Google PPC
- MSN PPC
- Facebook PPC
- Direct Ad Buys
*While affiliates are paid the best part is you typically only pay after they make a sale, so you’re only paying out of profits that come in, rather than up front. Getting high-quality affiliates is often the quickest route to success if you do it right.
- Social Media
- Guest Articles
- Word of Mouth
Lots of people flock to the non-paid methods because you put no money on the line. (That’s not exactly true because you can pay for these services as well like hiring an SEO company to build your rankings, but it can be done for free, by investing in your time.) But the truth is these are a lot slower to work and you have less control in many ways than with paid advertising.
Remember to pick ONE and learn all you can about it and take action DOING it until it works. What will work best for you will depend on your market, what you like to do and the online business model you’re doing.
And if you do this right you will get regular streams of traffic which will convert into optins which will convert into customers. Its quite simple in theory but can be tough in execution as there are many steps along the way where you can screw it up.
Of course once you have the email list and customers there is much you can do from there but that’s a topic for another time.