When I first got into internet marketing – I didn’t really know what a “list” was. I knew there was money to be made, but I wasn’t really sure how. What I eventually came to realize was having a list was one of the best tools at a successful internet marketers disposal. While there are other ways to make money online – building a successful email list is one of the most tried and tested methods for success.
A common phrase in the internet marketing community is – “the money is in the list”. Some experts say your list could be worth as much as $1 per subscriber. We’re going to look at how to build your list effectively so that you can start making money online.
Let’s assume you know what a list is and you’ve got all the right software set up, along with a sequence of responses.
So, how do you get your first 100 email subscribers?
- Offer something valuable to your visitors
- Keep it clear what you want people to do on your site
- Keep all calls-to-action above the fold
- Reduce distractions on your site
- Test different landing pages and layouts
- Target active keywords
- Buy traffic
- Use a sticky widget
- Don’t ignore your menu bar
- Use the right exit and entry pop-ups
- About the author
Offer something valuable to your visitors
This is probably the best way to get more people on your list. Give something away for free. Make it good, or they’ll unsubscribe at the first opportunity. Many successful lists are built on giving away a valuable free report or other useful content.
I actually gave away an e-book that I had previously sold for around $20 – so it was good value to my visitors and easy to “pitch” to them. Tricking people into signing up with poor quality content is a bad mood. You might get a few subscribers to start with, but they won’t hang around. They’ll also be less likely to open your follow-up emails – making your listless effective.
Keep it clear what you want people to do on your site
Far too many sites confuse visitors by not being clear about what they want people to do next. Don’t be one of them. Getting people on your list should be your main priority, as it’s normally worth more money than trying to sell something when they first visit your page. You want people to sign up, so make it clear.
Keep all calls-to-action above the fold
This is similar to the last point. Your calls to action should be clear and ABOVE the fold. The more hoops you make people jump through (like, click here to continue reading) before they get to your opt-in, the more potential subscribers you’ll lose.
Reduce distractions on your site
Yes, I know you can make some extra cash with a few additional adverts on your site – but be careful. The more opportunities you give visitors to click away from your site, the less likely they’ll be to opt-in. A few additional cents in ad revenue is nothing compared to getting someone to sign up to your list, so limit the distractions.
Test different landing pages and layouts
You might think you know which layout converts the most visitors to subscribers – but you don’t know for sure until you’ve tested a few alternatives. Run a few A/B tests to really find out what layout works for you.
Target active keywords
Some keywords might be delivering the “wrong” sort of traffic to your site. I know I was too pre-occupied with getting as many visitors as possible that I was relying too heavily on keywords that got me lots of people looking for the wrong thing. More traffic isn’t always better if you’re getting visitors who are less likely to sign up to your list, and less likely to buy something when they do.
This one is a contentious issue in the internet marketing community. If you’re desperate for a few quick subscribers – you can always buy traffic. But be careful – spending money on the wrong sort of traffic can be costly and ineffective. Many people sell spots on poor-quality lists or provide worthless paid traffic. You need to make sure the traffic you’re buying comes from a good source and has good conversion rates.
Use a sticky widget
This is one simple trick that could actually see your conversion rates skyrocket. Most people use a sidebar with an opt-in widget as an effective way to get people to subscribe to your list. However, if this widget sits alongside a long blog post – it’s normally lost as the user scrolls down. With a sticky widget, you can make sure your opt-in panel stays on the page no matter how far your visitors scroll.
Often, your menu bar gets more clicks than anywhere else on your site. So don’t ignore it. Put links to your other landing pages and special offers right at the top, so people can get to them easily.
Use the right exit and entry pop-ups
Again, be careful with this. Too many misplaced pop-ups can put people off as much as it can convert people, but the right pop-up with the right offer can still be effective. A good one to use is the exit pop-up that offers a one-time-only special deal just before people leave your page. If they think that they might not get it again, you could get them on your list.
Hopefully, these steps should get you well on your way to your first 100 email subscribers. Try implementing them one by one to see your list grow.
Peter Ellington enjoys sharing his years of internet marketing experience with those new to the industry. He also likes to tutor those new to the business and writes for this blog.