Building a list is something you’ve probably heard is important, right? Everyone says, “The money is in the list.” And that’s very true.
Sure, you can get traffic many ways. There’s paid traffic, social media, SEO, video marketing… the list goes on. But all those traffic methods have one major thing in common—you’re depending on someone else for your traffic.
You can’t even count on a big social media following. Look at what happened to MySpace. People who had huge lists of followers on that platform suddenly found themselves scrambling to recover their tribe when everyone else migrated to other platforms like Facebook.
Speaking of Facebook, unfortunately you can’t count on them, either.
People spent a lot of money on ads just to get more fans onto their Facebook fan pages or into groups, only to discover they had to pay AGAIN to reach those followers they already paid for because Facebook stopped delivering their posts to their fans organically! Instead, only a tiny portion of the fans they already paid for would actually see their content unless they paid to “boost” it.
Building a list is a way of ensuring that no matter what happens, you have a source of traffic that cannot be taken away from you. You’ll have your own source of traffic that you can access and pull income from anytime.
And as long as you download your list (CSV) backups regularly and hold onto them, you will still have that list even if something happens to your current autoresponder service. You can just import it into another provider and you’re good to go!
In this special report, we’re going to take a look at some of the best ways to build a list in today’s marketing climate. We’ll cover powerful ways to get traffic, how to manage your list effectively, and maximize your outreach.
So, without further delay, let’s get started.
The first thing you’ll need, of course, is an autoresponder service. You may have one already, but if not, let’s discuss what you should look for in a provider, and which ones are the most popular.
The first criteria most people look for is price. It’s true that there are some providers that are free, but there are a couple of issues to consider when using a free service.
First of all, free providers are usually only free up to a certain number of subscribers. After that, some of them can be just as expensive as other providers, if not more so. Thus, it’s important to know exactly how much you’ll be charged once your account is no longer eligible to be free.
Second, the free providers are sometimes lacking in features compared to the more popular paid services, so you might later find that you’re missing some functionality that another provider could give you.
Third, some of the free services have a lower deliverability rate than some of the others, because they aren’t whitelisted by common ISPs like the big-name providers are. This means a lot of your emails could go into peoples’ spam boxes, making your emails essentially useless.
If you don’t mind any of these issues, free providers can be a great way to get started. You can always download your list and upload it to another provider later if you are unhappy with the one you choose.
A couple of the most popular free autoresponder providers are listed below:
Features are obviously another very important factor in choosing an autoresponder provider. In the beginning, you may not know which features you’d like to have, but eventually you might like to have some of the more advanced features like A/B/ split testing, advanced tracking, etc.
Some good features to look for:
- Attractive email templates that are easy to customize
- The ability to segment lists
- The ability to import and export lists
- Integration with social media or e-commerce platforms you use
- Spam scoring
- High deliverability
- Tracking and analytics built in
Ultimately, you’ll have to decide which features are most important to you in order to make sure a provider has all of the features you’re looking for.
Depending on which market you’re in, you may be concerned about being sure you’re complying with your provider’s terms of service. And some providers are much more lenient than others, especially when it comes to markets that are considered high-risk or taboo, such as adult entertainment, or anything related to alcohol, firearms, or drugs.
Even some erotic romance authors have had their accounts shut down by certain providers, and all they were doing was sending out emails about book releases.
So if you’re in a market that some people might have issues with, be sure you read the rules of a potential provider carefully before you sign up, and make sure their rules aren’t going to conflict with the purposes you need to use it for.
Here is a list of a few popular autoresponder services you can look into:
The most important factor of your email marketing campaign is, of course, getting subscribers. Without subscribers, everything else is useless.
A lot of guides you might have read on email marketing are probably still giving you old tactics that don’t work that well anymore, such as blogging and article marketing. Sure, those tactics can bring in some subscribers, but only if you’re doing it on a very large scale.
There are far more effective ways of building a list. In fact, some of them will not only get you a higher number of subscribers, but also more responsive subscribers—meaning they’re more likely to click links and potentially buy things.
Contests can be a great way to gain subscribers. Contests usually have some sort of entry requirement, such as submitting a drawing, poem, story, etc. Then there’s a prize given to the winner, or perhaps several winners.
People will gladly give their email address for a change at winning a prize, especially if the prize is related to the niche they are interested in.
Giveaways are similar to contests, except there’s usually no entry requirement. There may be a minor entry requirement, such as sharing on social media.
The prize doesn’t have to be anything too huge. Many people will enter a giveaway for something as small as a $20 gift card or even smaller if it’s related to the niche they are passionate about.
The most popular platform for hosting giveaways are:
Social media is a great way to connect with potential subscribers, but it requires consistent interaction and tribe-building in order to really connect with your target audience so you can convert that activity into a subscriber.
Some people may join your list just based on the content you share, but it’s a lot more likely that they’ll subscribe if you take the time to respond to their comments and interact with them. It will make them feel like they know you personally, and people typically respond well to this.
Remember that some social networks can be directly integrated with some of the major autoresponder services, which will make it a whole lot easier to gain subscribers from those sites.
Free with Shipping
Another fantastic way to build a list that helps you get potential buyers onto your list, not just subscribers, is the “free with shipping” deal.
Basically, you find an interesting, but inexpensive product that would appeal to your target demographic. Then you put up a one-page sales page offering people the product for “free” with shipping, but you charge enough for shipping to cover both the shipping and the cost of the item.
The point is not to make a profit on the item. You’re breaking even, or even losing a small amount of money. But the cost of the item, after they pay the “shipping” charge, will be less than the average cost to obtain a subscriber through other methods.
So, find an item that costs you less than $3 or so, find out exactly how much shipping will be on the item, and charge enough to cover both. You can pay less for shipping if you choose small, lightweight items that will let you ship in an envelope instead of a box. The item should also have a high perceived value, because you want people to be excited about getting the item for “free”.
One great place to find items at an inexpensive price that you can resell is through AliExpress.
You’ll find a lot of items at wholesale prices here, many with free shipping, but be aware that they will take a long time to arrive from overseas. For this reason, it’s a good idea to buy a bunch upfront so that you can have them on hand to send out when people order so they don’t have to wait so long for shipping, however you can have them send the items directly to your buyers via drop shipping.
You may want to limit the offer to people in your home country, as shipping overseas will take a while and be prohibitively expensive.
Now let’s talk about some ways you can boost your subscriber base even more, through using special scripts and tactics.
Okay, I get it. People hate popups. But have you ever wondered why it seems like every website still uses them, even though their visitors seem to hate them so much?
Well, it’s because they work!
The fact is, popups can drastically increase the number of people who opt in to your list. Even a simple, generic looking popup can be remarkably effective.
There are tons of great plugins and scripts that will let you put popups containing an opt-in box on your website or blog, so pick one you like the look of and implement it right away!
People absolutely love giving their opinions, and Qualaroo will let you put a live survey on your website that lets people give their feedback. If you spend much time online, you’ve probably seen them in action.
You can actually turn Qualaroo directly into an opt-in magnet by creating a survey that says something like:
Would you like to sign up to our daily newsletter?
- Already joined
If they click yes, a box will pop up that allows them to enter their email address. It’s that simple, and you’d be surprised just how effective it can be!
Make It Obvious
Another killer tactic for increasing conversions on your opt-in page or form is to offer people a second option to subscribing it, but to word it in such a way that it makes people feel like not subscribing would be a ridiculous mistake.
Enter your email address to find out exactly now I made $37,056 in just 10 days!
And your second option could say:
No thanks, I already have too much money!
We all know that there are very few people in the world that actually believe they have too much money. The clear majority of people, no matter how wealthy they are, want more money. So clicking that second option just seems so absolutely ludicrous that entering their email address seems like the only appropriate choice.
Obviously, they could just close the popup or leave the page, but you’d be surprised just how many people will subscribed when faced with such a choice.
You can check out Qualaroo at:
Set & Forget System
Alright, now that we’ve talked about some different methods, it’s time to put it all together into a set-and-forget system that will let you build your list nearly on autopilot, even while you’re sleeping!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- An autoresponder service
- A domain name
- Web hosting
- A WordPress popup plugin
- A lead magnet
- An opt-in page
First, you need to choose an autoresponder service. You can use a free one such as Mailer Lite or MailChimp in the beginning, if you want. You can always migrate to a different company later.
Next, you need to set a domain name up on a web host in order to be able to put your opt-in page online.
You can get a domain name affordably at:
A good host that will make it easy to set up WordPress is:
They have affordable plans, and they have a software installer in their cPanel that makes it a cinch to install WordPress. They even have detailed instructions on how to do it. Plus, they have a wealth of additional tutorials, too.
Once you’ve installed WordPress, find a plugin by searching WordPress’s plugin database that will work with your chosen autoresponder service. Many providers have their own plugin, so try searching for it first. Otherwise, here are a few popular ones that work with many different providers.
Follow the instructions from your email provider and plugin to get integration completed, and make sure the form pops up correctly on your site.
Next, configure an autoresponder that sends an email with a link to your lead magnet as soon as someone subscribes. Be sure to upload the file, which should be a report based on an important topic related to your niche, to your server, and send yourself a test email to be certain the email works and that the link takes you to the file correctly.
Finally, create a permanent page on your WordPress blog that contains a squeeze page and opt-in form. Configure the popup so that it appears on other pages, but not this one so you don’t end up having two opt-in forms on the same page.
Once you have all of this done, you’re ready to start sending traffic to your squeeze page!
If you get stuck, check out HostGator’s tutorials, or check YouTube. There are videos available that will show you how to do pretty much anything you could imagine in an easy, step-by-step manner.
A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of building a list. They seem to think it’s too hard, or that no one cares what they have to say, or that it’s too expensive.
Thankfully, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think.
We’ve talked about how to choose the right autoresponder service for your purposes, some different ways to get more subscribers, and how to get started in a step-by-step fashion.
Hopefully you’ve learned a lot, but more importantly, I hope you’ll put what you’ve learned into practice. Having an email list will be incredibly beneficial, no matter what type of business you’re in.
The initial setup shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, and once your squeeze page is set up, you’ll be ready to pull in subscribers.
Once you have those subscribers, be sure to treat them well. A list that is nurtured carefully, given lots of quality content, and trained to buy is worth its weight in gold, and will be a source of income to you for years to come.
I wish you the best of luck!