What is List Building?
As a new Internet marketer, you may have heard that the key to your moneymaking success lies in list building — and this is the truth. In order for any Internet marketer to be truly successful in running his or her online business, they first need to build an extensive list of contacts. These contacts may not always be first-time customers, but building relationships with them is critical.
Why? One of the largest expenses for businesses is drawing in customers and turning them into sales. It takes time, effort, and money to draw in your customers, have them purchase an item from you, and never come back. If the customer comes in, but doesn’t buy anything, then it’s a hit to your bottom line. List building allows you to collect a large number of people with minimal effort, so you can sell to the same people repeatedly. Listing building establishes relationships, so you can reach out to your subscribers again and again, until they convert into paying, and hopefully returning customers.
As a new Internet marketer, the most important thing you need to learn is that you must build a list. While there are several parts to building a successful online business, list building is the single most important aspect, as it is a major driver of income—and what makes money for you while you sleep. The idea is that once you have your list built, you can send out an email to the list promoting a new product or service, and see sales shortly after. You can literally make money in your sleep by adding the promotional emails into an auto-responder series. An auto-responder automatically sends out emails to subscribers at predetermined intervals based on their initial sign up date.
As a marketer, you have the option to create and sell your own products, or to work as an affiliate for other products. There are pros and cons to both approaches. As someone who creates their own products, you have the option to really search the market and the competition and offer something you know will be valuable. However, this means you will have to invest time, effort, and possibly money into the product creation. As someone who is an affiliate for other products, you will be in competition with other affiliates, and you will only get a portion of the sales price. No matter which path you choose, list building is still an integral part of your success.
Setting up your auto-responders will take a bit of time and effort in the beginning, but once they’re finished, you can leave them on autopilot. As long as you check from time to time to make sure your links are still working, you’re good to go. Now that you understand the importance of building an email list, let’s get on to the practical action steps you need to take to get it running for your business.
Practical Action Steps
Subscriber Opt-In Offers
It is important to acknowledge that you should have something of value to your target audience to provide to them for free, in exchange for subscribing to your list. Otherwise, they won’t have incentive to do so in the first place, and you will have a hard time building your list. This can be some as simple as a short e-book, or a recording, or a video that relates to your product or service, and helps the user to solve a problem.
Creating Your Opt-In Offer a.k.a. Bait
While this stage will take some time, just like setting up the list and auto-responder emails, it is also something you can “set and forget” and check on periodically to make sure the information is current and all links are functional.
I call this your “bait” because essentially, that’s what it is. You’re baiting people into subscribing to your list, with something of value to them, in hopes that they will become a paying customer later. Here are a few options for bait:
- Video/Audio recording
- Short course to teach something of value your readers are interested in
- A periodic newsletter filled with important and pertinent information for your readers.
Here’s the thing about bait that you need to remember: while you’re giving it away for free, it has to be worthy of being paid for. It has to be good. If your readers don’t find it valuable, then they have no reason to stick around —and they can unsubscribe at any time. People are constantly flooded with junk email, so these days they tend to be incredibly careful of who they provide their email address to. The fact that they’re considering opting in to receive your emails is a good sign that they find you trustworthy, and you need to treat them with respect by giving them something that they’re not going to get anywhere else.
If you don’t grasp this and do well with it, you’re shooting yourself in the foot, because this is a key component to your success with Internet marketing, because it is critical to the success of your list building. Your opt-in offer needs to be good to not only entice people to join the list, but to keep them on it. It needs to: capture their attention, convince them that they want/need it, look appealing, be easy to obtain, and deliver on its promise.
To Create or Not Create: That is the Question
At this stage, you have a few options. You can create your opt-in offer yourself, or pay to have it outsourced. Depending on your skills and budget, it may be best to outsource it. There are plenty of people out there willing to help you! Freelancers are available for hire through a variety of marketplaces such as:
- Warrior Forum
You could also source a private label rights product, or PLR and make changes to it to make it your own. It needs to at least look unique, because if there are other marketers out there promoting the same product, you suddenly lose your edge and appeal. You don’t have to do much to it—just changing the name, cover, and a bit of the content works.
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