List Building Archives

Today’s post is written by David Walker who runs a make money online blog and recently hosted a successful JV Giveaway. After adding over 3,000 subscribers to his mailing list in little over a week, David explains how to use giveaways effectively to build your own.

1. What is a Giveaway & Where to Find Them?

To put it simply, a giveaway is a time-limited, free membership website where marketers (known as contributors) submit their “gifts” (often a free info product) so that members who register can download them.

However, a member has to join a marketer’s mailing list in order to download the product they want, usually via a squeeze page.

Giveaways are traditionally promoted via “word of mouth” with a marketer sending a sign-up link to their mailing lists or posting them on their blog.

There is an updated giveaway list on this blog so make sure you bookmark it and check it often for details of new events to get involved in.

2. What You Need to Contribute

The barrier to entry is very low and all you need to participate as a contributor is a product to submit to the giveaway, an autoresponder and squeeze and thank you pages. Here I will go through each in turn.

a) A Free Product

In terms of personal branding and originality, it is more beneficial to offer a product you have created rather than a tired old product which you have resell/redistribution rights to but has done the rounds for months on end.

You can create a short PDF report which solves a specific problem and you can also add your own personal story, links to your blog and other affiliate products to personalise and monetise it at the same time.

If the thought of doing this terrifies you, then you could always take a Private Label Rights (PLR) product and thoroughly edit it to make it your own.

Your free product does not have to be a report – it could be an instructional video, an MP3 interview conducted with a fellow marketer, a software product or a script

b) An Autoresponder

This is what collects your prospect’s name and email address when they want to download your free product and also sends them the download link automatically – it’s a completely hands-off process!

There are several autoresponder services to choose from but I personally use Aweber.

c) Squeeze & Thank You Pages

You should create a very simple squeeze page which has your autoresponder opt-in form embedded into it and brief information about what your product is all about.

Similarly, rather than just emailing your new subscriber a direct link to the downloadable file, send them to a download page instead. You can put the download link on this page as well as some “unnanounced bonuses” – free downloads which have your affiliate link embedded so you earn commissions on any backend sales.

3. Identifying Quality Events

There could be 20 or even more giveaways running at any one time so identifying the quality events which attract large numbers of contributors and members will help you build your list a lot faster.

All giveaways have a “paid upgrade” option whereby you can enjoy a more prominent position for your gift within the download area in addition to other benefits, such as being able to submit more than one gift, upload banner adverts, text adverts or even a paid product for people to buy.

BUT, not all events are created equal and the majority are not worth your upgrade dollars!

By involving yourself in giveaways every month you will become an expert at sussing out the great events from the duds. You will notice the same people hosting events which pass by relatively unnoticed month after month and you will spot others who always put on a great giveaway.

Two of the big players when it comes to giveaways are Guido Nussbaum and Rodger Hyatt. An event backed by either of them is usually successful and worth the upgrade fee.

4. Promoting a Giveaway

The traffic (i.e. new contributors and members) arrive at the giveaway initially by the contributors promoting it to their lists and when the giveaway goes live, members are able to promote too.

However, new marketers may find themselves in a Catch 22 situation. They want to use the giveaway to build their list but they are unable to promote it.

Some events are not very “newbie friendly” and “downgrade” a contributor’s account to that of a member if no signups are recorded under their ID. This means the contributor’s gift is removed and they are unable to get any new subscribers.

Personally, I think this is unfair and giveaways should be about giving newcomers a helping hand. I know how difficult it is to build a list in the early stages and in my giveaway I had a “no downgrades for no promotion” policy, meaning your account would NOT be downgraded if no referrals were recorded.

Unfortunately, this policy is not used by the majority of giveaways so you will need to promote the event by other means if you don’t have a list at all. Hit up your contacts on Skype, use Twitter, Facebook, forum signatures and/or write a blog post about the event and hopefully you will get a couple of referrals to save your account from the dreaded downgrade.

5. The Next Step – Hosting Your Own Giveaway

Where you will really add numbers to your list is by hosting your own giveaway. By doing so you can add every contributor and member who registers to your list and when I did this myself, I added over 3,000 new subscribers!

I would not recommend a newbie hosts their own giveaway due to the technical requirements of installing a script such as Scott Cases’s Ultimate JV Giveaway or Guido Nussbaum’s Giveaway Manager.

But, if you are at a stage where you are confident of handling an installation and have made enough good contacts who will be happy to give you a leg-up and promote the giveaway then go for it! There is quite a bit of day-to-day work involved in setting up and maintaining the giveaway but it’s a lot of fun as well.

I wrote a blog post, giving 10 reasons why my giveaway was successful and recorded a short “behind the scenes” video to show you the subscriber numbers, traffic and also earnings you can expect to achieve from hosting your own event.



My Goals For Success In 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010


We’ll start off by wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s hard to believe but yes, it’s 2010 and I wonder how many of you have made New Years resolutions. I used to make new resolutions every year but that’s when I was much younger. Now I figure I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m entitled to have a few vices so no more resolutions for me. Besides let’s face it, most of us have blown it by the end of January.

Okay, now for the reason I’m writing this post today. As I was sipping on my coffee looking out the window at the snow falling (again) I paid a visit to a few blogs of people I know and they have already posted their goals for 2010. Congrats to those of you who have done so and best of luck reaching those goals.

When I woke up this morning I had no intentions of posting my goals for this year because I haven’t even thought about it. For crying out loud, it’s only Jan 2. I haven’t even had time to reflect on what happened last year.

Okay, give me 30 seconds.

Done.

Well that didn’t take long, but I didn’t need much time to figure out what went wrong in 2009.

It’s simple.

Even though I had some success it wasn’t quite what I had expected. I simply didn’t do what I set out to do.

I’m going to liken last years experience to a horse race.

Out of the gate I came out strong as I just finished Alex Jeffreys Coaching Program and was all fired up and ready to knock em’ dead. As I approached the first turn I was still going strong.

Coming out of the first turn onto the backstretch is when I noticed I was starting to falter.

I was losing my focus.

Halfway down the backstretch my legs started cramping and thought I was going to pull up lame but I kept on pushing.

As I started into the stretch turn I had worked out the cramps and regained my full stride again.

I had my focus back and was ready to finish the year with a bang.

Coming out of the stretch turn my legs felt it again and I turned wide almost into the outside rail.

Starting to lose focus again.

Going down the stretch I started to pull up again and was falling back in the field.

At the wire I had completely lost it and spit the bit.

I’ve completely lost focus now and was going in a different direction.

I want to start out the new year with blinkers on to block out any distractions and keep me focusing straight ahead.

With that being said I’m going mention a few of my goals for this year but as I mentioned in the beginning of this post I haven’t even given it a thought yet but these are what I came up with as I was writing.

  • My list is just over 1,000 subscribers now and I’d like to hit 10,000 subscribers by year end. I’m aiming high. If you want to do an adswap let me know in your comment.
  • My traffic has always been in spurts so I’d like to have a substantial increase in steady traffic to my blog.
  • I’m really going out on a limb here as I haven’t created my first product yet. But this year I’d like to create one new product each quarter.
  • Sometimes I go through long stretches without posting to my blog so this year’s goal is to write one post a week.

These aren’t all my goals as I told you I hadn’t given it any thought until now. But these are the four things that give me the most trouble. To some this may not seem like a lot but to me this is going to be a ton of work. If I can pull this off any other goals that I set for myself should take care of themselves.

Well that’s all for now. I’ll see you at the Race Track early in 2011.

BTW, if you want to put down your goals you’ve set for 2010 here in your comment please feel free to do so.

Later,
Jeff Sargent

For the longest time I kept hearing about JV Giveaways and how great they were to help build your list. I had joined many as a member and downloaded plenty of great free products but I never really considered joining as a gift contributor (JV Partner).

I had the product and the squeeze page already and was using them to build my list but it was at a snails pace. So what was holding me back from becoming a JV Partner.

“Intimidation”.

That’s it. I was just afraid to sign up to one of these giveaways because I didn’t really know how. Sure I had been shown by someone but pieces were left out and I was afraid to jump in and make a fool of myself by screwing it all up. What are they going to do if I do screw it up, throw me off the Internet. HAH!

Boy, what a dumb mistake that was. Now I try to join every JV Giveaway that comes around and my list is growing by leaps and bounds. This is still a learning process as not all JV Giveaways are created equal, but I will get it as time goes on.

You just can’t be afraid to do things because you’re afraid of screwing up. Hell, I screw up everyday and I’m still here.

Anyhow, I know how hard it was for me to get started and I don’t want you to go through the same thing so I made up this video to show you exactly what you need to do step-by-step to enter a gift in a JV Giveaway Event.

How To Enter A Giveaway

You will see in the video how to find out about upcoming JV Giveaway Events but just in case you miss it or don’t have time to watch it, you can visit The Giveaway Broadcaster and see a good list of Giveaways that are live or coming up soon.

Enjoy the video and please leave comments here.

til next time…

List Building Super Tips To Super Charge Your List

Most online entrepreneurs believe that a website is all that is required to succeed. It’s true that a website gives you an identity on the Internet, makes you approachable to your potential clients, and eventually, becomes a source of income. However, there’s a multitude of sites on the Internet, and the probability of your website getting lost in this jumble is quite high. This is where list building becomes obligatory.

A list of valid email addresses allows you to make people aware of the presence of your website. Additionally, it becomes easy for you to interact and educate the members of your list. Constant interaction is essential for building an enduring relationship, which in turn ensures unlimited sales and profits. Here are a few super tips to super charge your list speedily.

  • Offer a trouble-shooting product
    People are always on the lookout for products and services that can alleviate all their troubles. How about creating such trouble-shooting products? For this, you should first choose an interesting topic. Thereafter, you should conduct extensive research to acquire as much knowledge about the chosen topic as possible. Answers.com, Google and Yahoo! Answers are some reputable places to find reliable and relevant data on everything under the sun.

    Once, you know the topic inside out, it becomes relatively easy to build a product that is capable of weeding out the root cause of sufferings. Apart from creating a problem-solving product, you can also join some affiliate program and promote an equally good affiliate product.
    Your product can be anything, a piece of information, a gadget, a course or a plan of action. Just make sure that it is exceptionally good and extremely effective. People want nothing but the best, and if you are able to provide them that they will happily join your list.

  • Brand yourself as an expert
    Why do you prefer to go to an experienced doctor? Simply because you consider him to be an expert in his field and therefore you trust him blindly. Words like trust, faith and confidence are crucial with respect to internet marketing and list building. Hence, promote yourself as an expert. Make your subscribers believe that you have the requisite proficiency to handle and cure their problems. The moment your prospect starts considering you his expert counselor, trust comes to the fore and the foundation of a lifelong relationship is laid.

    There are several ways to brand yourself as an expert. Foremost among them are article writing. Write articles on topics that are closely related to your business and submit them to article directories. Do introduce yourself and add a link to your website or squeeze page in the bio box. Forums and discussion boards also provide you a golden opportunity to project yourself as an expert. Don’t forget to insert your signature and link to your site in all the comments that you make.

    Another wholesome way to build-up the reputation of an expert is getting your products reviewed. Encourage people to use your products by giving them some freebies like exemplary ebooks, mind-boggling e-courses, superlative software, etc. In return, request the users to give you a testimony. Post all the testimonials on your website to enhance your ‘expert’ status.

  • Make other opt-in list owners your friends
    Even today, experience is the best teacher. For this reason, try to take in as much as possible from other successful list owners. Make them your friends, and discuss with them all the issues pertaining to list building. Don’t hesitate to take their help whenever you find yourself stuck in a tough spot.
    In addition to help and advice, you can also take advantage of their lists. Some feasible list-building techniques that you can try with your fellow list owners are:

    1. Cross-registration, where your ad will be displayed on the thank-you mail of your fellow list-owner and vice versa.
    2. Joint ventures, which allow both of you to promote one product and then split the profits.
    3. Co-registration, where your ad appears in the list of choices given to the subscriber to select.
    4. Ad-swapping, where both of you can swap ads that appear in the content websites like blogs, catalogs, newsletters, etc.

One thing to remember is that you cannot build your list overnight. List building is an intricate, unending process that requires tons of hard work, patience and dedication.

Don’t rely upon one technique, instead select a number of methods and use them repeatedly and persistently. After a few weeks of consistent work, subscribers will certainly start pouring in.

til next time…

5 Unique List Building Tips

Studies reveal that almost 90% of the visitors to any squeeze page are merely curious onlookers. They neither have any interest in your subscription nor do they have any intention to buy your products. They are basically casual browsers, who have reached your site searching for something else. No matter what the studies say, I believe that every visitor to a squeeze page is a potential subscriber. You just need to work a little harder to convert these bystanders into your patrons.

Keep in mind that the first impression is the last impression. Hence, spare no effort to make your squeeze page mesmerizing, interesting and entertaining. The excellence of your squeeze page should compel the visitor to stop, navigate and subscribe before leaving. Here are 5 invaluable methods to make your squeeze page out of the ordinary. Use anyone of them to make sure that your list grows speedily and consistently.

Survey
A survey is principally a comprehensive view about some topic of interest. By adding a survey, you not only spice up your squeeze page, but you also get a chance to read the mindset of the people visiting your site. Make sure that the topic of your survey is closely related to your newsletter. Try to make it controversial to generate interest. Last, but not the least, ask your readers to email you their opinions.

Polls
Poll is a good way to investigate the behavior of the buyer. Moreover, it helps to break the ice and start a conversation. Create an interesting poll related to your business, and add it on your squeeze page. At a later date, you can even transform the poll results into an article for your newsletter.

Questionnaire
Questionnaire is an ideal way to awaken the visitor’s hidden desires. Include questions that stimulate the reader to think about the things missing in his life. Furthermore, your questionnaire, on the one hand, should stir the soul of the reader and, on the other hand, should encourage him to share his innermost thoughts and problems with you. When a person opens up, it becomes easily to communicate with him, and a questionnaire can help you in this direction.

E-Course
There are so many things that people, in general, plan to do to make their lives better. Sometimes shortage of time, and at other times paucity of funds prevents them from fulfilling their dreams. By including some interesting e-courses, you can give such enthusiasts an opportunity to fulfill their desires. Out of the numerous e-courses available on the Internet, select only those that are related to your newsletter.

For instance, if your newsletter is about health care, then a weight-loss e-course would be much more relevant than a language e-course. In order to persuade your prospects to sign-up, give out the e-course either at a highly subsidized price or absolutely free of cost.

How-to-Guides
People are always in search for information that has the power to weed-out all the problems from their lives. By including a good how-to-guide in your squeeze page, you can attract the casual onlooker’s attention instantly, and even convince him to join your opt-in list. Remember, to ensure that your how-to-guide revolves around the topic of your newsletter.

til next time…

Top 10 List Building Techniques

When it comes to list building, there is no right way or wrong way. There are only tips, suggestions, rules and strategies. However, the irony is that none of the enlisted methods guarantee good results. On the basis of my experience, I can confidently say that list building is a perfectly scientific method, where you have to understand, follow and repeat a set of techniques. These list building techniques are neither conceptual nor magical. They are absolutely real, and if followed sincerely, they yield real results. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s take a look at them.

  1. Start a Reciprocal Process
    Whenever someone gives you something you really need, you feel greatly indebted. This strong sense of obligation persuades you to repay that helpful person. In social psychology, this phenomenon is called reciprocity, and we can use it in our list building efforts. You can start the reciprocal process by offering your prospective subscribers a free ebook or a free report or some valuable ‘how-to’ information. If the gift is good, the recipient would naturally develop a sense of obligation, and would repay you by becoming a member of your list.
  2. Exceed the Expectations
    How do you feel when you purchase a product and you get more than you had expected? You simply feel great. Let your subscribers also get the same feeling. By over delivering, you can solidify the relationship with your subscribers as well as compel them to spread the word about you. Free viral marketing means more subscribers and a bigger list. There are so many ways to exceed the expectations. For instance, you can buy master resale rights of an ebook or a digital product. Give it away to your subscribers free of cost. Don’t worry; you will recover the cost price as soon as your list reaches a commendable size.
  3. Arouse Urgency
    When something valuable to us is available in limited amount, then we panic like anything, and spare no effort to grab it immediately. Both scarcity of time and quantity generate results. Hence, messages as “It’s free for first 50 people who subscribe” or “Offer available only up till 5:00 PM, so sign up now before they are gone” work equally well. Make sure that the gift you are offering is a good one, and strictly stick to the deadlines.
  4. Give a Convincing Reason
    Studies have shown that by giving a convincing reason, you can double the probability of a person joining your list. However, only valid and believable reasons have the capability to increase the response rate. Therefore, work hard to build a credible reason.
  5. Numbers Count
    Messages like “4,697 Subscribers in One Month and Still Counting” attract attention instantly. Such messages do two things; first, immediately arouse positive thoughts about you in the reader’s mind, and second, persuade the reader to subscribe.
  6. Show-off Your Expertise
    Plaques, awards and testimonials serve to establish you as an expert in your field, and people simply love to get advice from an expert. In your sales letter and squeeze page, remember to insert all the praises you have received up till now. Boast your expertise as much as you can. This will generate trust and persuade people to join your email list.
  7. Top-class Endorsements Make a Difference
    Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on celebrities who endorse their products. You neither need celebrities nor multi-million dollar deals. All you need is a respectable person who is happy being your subscriber. People who are well known and respected in your field of interest are also celebrities, and your prospective subscribers would readily believe their words. So try to get good words from them. Now, how do you do that? Simple, give them a free sample or membership and get their testimonials.
  8. Make Comparisons
    These days, people hardly have time to analyze, decipher or even think. Hence, it is essential to make everything obvious. By making comparisons, you can help people realize the true value of your subscription and thereby convince them to join your list.
  9. Dig up Similar Interests
    People usually prefer to interact with like-minded individuals. Thus, try to dig-up some similar interests between you and your prospective subscriber. The moment a person identifies with you, he will join your list.
  10. Emotional Persuasion is Necessary
    When all the other methods fail, then emotional persuasion works. You just have to uncover the personal desires of your prospect and make his want his need. A compelling sales letter would do wonders in this case. However, remember not to irritate the reader else you would loose the person forever.

til next time…

With the implementation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, permission-based list building has become a norm. For this reason, entrepreneurs spare no effort to make their email marketing campaign reliable, effective, lawful and profitable. However, one thing that most business owners tend to forget is that email marketing is not all about creating and delivering messages laden with invaluable information and attractive offers.

In fact, the entire purpose of an email marketing campaign is to perform the following tasks:

  • To project you as an expert in your field of business.
  • To create an environment of trust and confidence.
  • To persuade your prospects to join your list.
  • To help you to build a strong relationship with your subscribers.
  • Finally, to convince your patrons to buy your products or services.

When a sizable percentage of your subscriber base starts reading your emails and begin taking the desired actions, you should consider your email marketing campaign to be successful. The big question that comes to the fore at this point of time is how to determine whether the email has been opened or not. Well, there are several methods to gauge the success rate of an email marketing campaign. Let’s take a look at them.

Open Rate

Open rate is the ratio of the number of subscribers who open your email as a percentage of number of emails delivered. It is the most commonly used metric to measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. Apart from analyzing the interest level of the subscribers, open rate assesses the efficiency of “subject” line and “from” line, the overall relevance of your message, and the strength of your relationship with your subscribers.

Open rate is recorded by inserting a small piece of code in every email that is sent out. Whenever the subscriber opens the email, the code triggers the download of a tiny, invisible image from the sender’s server. Each download, which means that the email has been opened, is recorded to calculate the open rate.

There are a few instances when it is becomes impossible to record the open rates. Let’s try to find out what they are:

  • When you’re sending text-only messages
  • When your mail is automatically displayed in a preview pane
  • When your email client doesn’t download images in HTML messages
  • When the email bounces back

For the above reasons, it would be worthwhile not to take open rate as a hard and fast number.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who take the action prescribed in your email. The action can be anything from purchasing products and subscribing to your newsletter to acquiring new memberships and paying a visit to your website. Conversion rate greatly depends upon the interest level of the subscriber, which in its turn depends upon the attractiveness of the offer and ease of the process.

The interest level of the subscriber can be maximized by matching his needs at the right time, in the right place. Conversion rate can be easily computed by the means of online or offline software. You can also hire an expert to calculate the conversion rate of your email marketing campaign.

Click Through Rate

If you are sending text messages or if the email clients are regularly blocking the images in your HTML messages, then click through rate is the best method to measure the success rate of your email marketing campaign. Basically, click through rate is the percentage of subscribers who clicked one or more links in your emails divided by the total number of emails delivered. This metric clearly indicates that the interest of the subscriber is in the subject matter of your email.

The factors that drive the click through rate are as follows:

Value of the offer - People tend to weigh the value or benefit of the proposition before clicking the link. Hence, a strong, lucrative and compelling offer would certainly increase the response rate.

Audience desirability - Click through rate increases remarkably, if your offer amicably fulfills the current needs of your audience.

Suitable information - Click through rate is also affected by the kind of information you are providing in your emails. The appropriateness of information enhances the click through rates drastically.

Quality of the list - A high quality list means that all your subscribers are thoroughly interested in your offers, products and services. This in turn also means high click through rates. On the other hand, if you purchase a list or use a rented list, then its quality wouldn’t be that high and your click through rate would also be adversely affected.

Click-to-Open Rate

Click-to-open rate measures the number of unique clicks as a percentage of the number of emails actually opened. There is a slight difference between click through rate and click-to-open rate. In the former case, the number of emails delivered is taken into account, while in the latter case, the number of emails actually opened is accounted for. Click-to-open rate is considered to be a superlative diagnostic tool. It is capable of evaluating the following aspects of your message:

  • Effectiveness of email layout and design
  • Relevance of the contents
  • Attractiveness of the offers and incentives
  • Suitability of the links
  • Value of your brand

Additionally, this metric also allows you to weigh up the behavioral and demographic differences that can significantly affect your email marketing campaign.

til next time…