The other day, a subscriber emailed me. He shared that he had a website that he thought was greatly designed, gave enough information, and was relevant; but he was not getting much subscribers.
He was depressed because he knows any internet business is built on lists. A long chat later, I promised to write him an email with some tips on how to get more people to opt in, so that his list can keep growing. Some of them are shared here:
List Building Tip #1: Ask Yourself, “Why Would Someone Want to Opt In?”
Virtually every site you visit today has an opt-in form. But what is it that will make someone want to opt in? Consider that from a potential opt-in’s point of view, if they give you their name and email address, it’s another email to fill up their inbox.
With the current global information overload, who wants one more email in their inbox that they could do without?
To differentiate yourself, you need to make the reader a compelling promise. You can start with a free report or e-book containing useful information. Then in 2 or 3 lines, explain to them what they will receive after they opt in. It should be value adding and directly helpful to the reader.
List Building Tip #2: Be Creative with the Opt-In Itself.
Other than being creative in just copy, you need to be creative in the way you ask people to sign into your list. Let’s take an example. You’re an affiliate marketer for a book that finally reveals who killed John F Kennedy.
At the opt-in page, say something interesting. Something like: Get closer everyday to knowing who killed JFK – 21 steps to the world’s biggest secret. Sign up now” will get you more opt-ins than just “sign up here for more on the JFK murder.”
List Building Tip #3: Put an Opt-In Form on All Your Webpages.
For each webpage related to the product, put an opt-in form. It makes it easier for the reader. Make it such that if the thought even crosses their mind for a second, they are able to immediately see the opt-in form enticing them to sign up.
List Building Tip #4: Use Yahoo! Answers and Forums.
There are numerous forums on the internet where people have problems that they need answers for and cannot seem to get them from anywhere.
This is a perfect chance for you to entice them with your free product – get in there, track conversations and get talking. You’ll need to narrow down to something that has to do with the particular product you are trying to build a list for.
Create a list of search words, and when you land on the page, enter those search words one by one. They will lead you to threads where people are having the particular discussions you’re looking for.
Get talking and subtly mention your free product to those who might need it. People are less hostile to free products as opposed to paid ones.
List Building Tip #5: Post in Forum Marketplaces.
There are forums on the internet that are set up to assist internet marketers. They are a meeting point, a marketplace so to speak. People can exchange information, sell, buy and promote.
A good example would the “WSO (Warrior Special Offers)” and “Warrior Products & Services” Section at warriorforum.com. Another would be the “Buy, Sell or Trade” Section at digitalpoint.com.
When you post your offers, make sure to play by the rules – one violation could get your account suspended permanently on that forum. Participate in conversations as well; you will learn plenty since they are a place where like-minded people meet.
These forums are a great way to advertise your products and get people to opt in. And if your product is really good, you might even be able to get referrals.
List Building Tip #6: Run a Contest.
This is not one that you’ll see often. Just as in the real world, when people want their products to get noticed, a contest can lead to great numbers in opt-ins.
Make it fun and simple, and then make sure that the prize on offer is something useful and valuable. It may cost you a bit, but it will be worth the list numbers that you are likely to generate.
List Building Tip #7: Offer Discounts.
This is a great way to build a buyers list, which obviously is a much more responsive list than regular subscribers.
Create a squeeze page and indicate that by joining your list, they can get discounts on a variety of products that are not available to the public.
If you’re promoting affiliate products, you will need to coordinate with your merchant about setting up occasional promos. Even if you’re selling at a lower price, you might end up with more profits since the quantity of sales you generate could offset the discounted amount.
List Building Tip #8: Use Industry Magazines and Websites.
They are a form of media and are always looking for content to pass on to their members. The way to do this is to make it a story – make sure that whatever you give them to publish contains 3 key things: it shows a problem, the hurdles to overcoming the problem, and how it was eventually overcome.
At the very end, when you are talking about how the problem was overcome, subtly mention your product’s part in solving it. And that they could get your product for free (in exchange for their emails).
Industry magazines tend to be a trusted source – a sort of a watchdog. It’s likely that it will lead to people investigating your product through your website.
List Building Tip #9: Track Your Opt-Ins.
If you want to know where to focus your efforts, it’s important to know where most opt-ins are coming from. If you’re using various methods, add a little tab that allows an opt-in to say where they heard about your product. The numbers will tell you where to focus your efforts.
From where you get your most opt-ins, spend time to understand better how it works, and then invest energy and/or money there. You might just double or triple the number of opt-ins.
List Building Tip #10: Point Your Readers to the Right Place.
Most people build links and back links that point to their sales page. Don’t! Point your readers to your opt-in page. Your sales page is all good – but long and full of information about your product.
A reader may get there and their minds may wander. Catch them at the first available opportunity – send them directly to the opt-in page. We are already assuming that your opt-in page has the “bribes” and all the advantages that they would get from opting in. Once they are done opting in, you can then re-direct them to your sales page so that they can learn more.
How you craft the re-direction will be important too. Don’t be bland. Use a clever line like “Now that you have opted in to learn the secrets of creating a killer list, go back to (your website link) to learn even more about the value of a great list to your internet business”. That’s more likely to get them back on your sales page than “Click here to go back to the Home Page”.