One often overlooked strategy for list building is to step outside of your immediate market, and get known in new verticals. Take for example, my list building advice: it works for bloggers, but it can also work for photographers, dentists, and jewelry designers. I’ve been able to repurpose my content and do short focused bursts of list building in these different markets.
The vital part of this strategy is that you must provide valuable free information. You can’t just send them sales offers all the time. You must also position yourself as an expert in your niche and show the reader how you are different and better than your competitors. You can let your personality come through here, which will also set you apart from other companies in the same or similar niches.
A gauntlet could be three emails, five, 10… Whatever works or your niche and business. Figure out what’s best for you through testing. Once they’ve gone through the gauntlet, your leads are added to your regular email list. You should have a consistent schedule, sending around the same time, usually daily (though you may opt for a less frequent schedule).
Buffer – This one is the simplest and most practical for the purposes of promoting content since it will automatically try to share the content you pop into its feed to your social profiles at the most relevant time, maximizing exposure. The main downside they scaled back on their free plan so now you’re limited to connecting 2 or 3 social media profiles before they required you to upgrade. Regardless, it’s still very affordable and worth the $20 per month they charge.
If that’s not enough to convince you to toss interstitials in the bin and never look back, there’s also the fact that users report these interactions as among their most-hated advertising practices (defined as ‘modals’ in this study by the Nielsen Norman Group). On a one to seven scale, modals (interstitials) landed at 5.82 for desktop users and 5.89 for mobile users, beating even autoplaying videos without skip for most-dreaded advertising type.
It’s important to note that you won’t be collecting names or sending out emails by hand, one email at a time. You’d soon be overwhelmed by the volume! You can use systems like Constant Contact, Get Response, AWeber, and Campaign Monitor to manage your email lists and broadcast your emails. Systems like this can also track leads, opt-in rates, sales, open rates, click-through rates and other important stats.
The best part of the platform is it has a free version which one can use to run your own ads with credits from reading and rating ads. The free way to start is to use the ads surfing as a way to learn how to write good ad copy (headline less than 25 characters plus a message less than 60 characters) and good landing pages. Just follow what the 5 star ad writers do and build that into your free credit ads – keep doing this over and over until you are ready to go Pro. I use the paid Pro version at $19.95 a month which gives me 10 Pro ads which I can deploy without needing credits. Any credits I collect are applied to Credit ads that I run as well.
You could have an ad or post on Facebook, a pay-per-click ad, a banner ad, a video on YouTube…. Whatever it is, you’ll have a compelling message that, hopefully, convinces the prospect to click your link to get more information. It often helps to include a limited-time offer of some sort, to create urgency. You should include a link on whatever type of ad you use.
When I think about the brands I like best, like J. Crew, Spotify, and SoulCycle, I know I’m not a loyal brand advocate because of their products alone. I can get cheaper clothes, music, and groceries from plenty of other places. Ultimately, I’m a brand advocate because I believe in what they promote and I feel invested in their stories, like SoulCycle’s: “We aspire to inspire. We inhale intention and exhale expectation.” I relate to their brand messaging.
To get people to sign-up in the first place, you need to grab their attention and make it worth their while to sign up. Many website offer "FREE" information or products to people who sign-up with their mailing lists. This technique will work if you offer the website visitors something that is of "value" to them. Value has to go hand-in-hand with promotional materials within your emails. No one wants to be bombarded with sales pitches every time they open an email from you, so don't bother even sending out such emails. The best way to promote your product is to provide information that relates to your product, then add a few sentences that make reference to your product and how it can help with the reader achieve something.
Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.
Aweber seems quite expensive comparatively speaking, especially to those who are just starting out as beginners. From what i have read and the general impression that I get from the many members in the community, is that not everyone is so fortunate and able to afford an Autoresponder such as Aweber. There are the lesser expensive ones and then there are the free ones. I have an interest in one paricular free Autoresponder named Listwire. From the reviews that I have read, Listwire comes up trumps and its pretty reiable.. Can I suggest that for us beginners, rather to start with something like Listwire and once you get the hang of things, to then invest in a paid Autoresponder? Will appreciate feedbacks. Thanks.
I found that building a buyer’s list and not a freebie seeker’s list made all the difference in the world of being online part-time as a hobby, to going full-time which I love. It allows me the freedom to take my family members to doctor’s appointment or meet my sister for lunch, when I want to. It’s a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing! I shared some of your images on my Pinterest profile =). Kristie
Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.