List Building From Scratch Introduction – Your List = Your Asset You might wonder why it’s a good idea to build a list. After all, it probably seems like a lot of work to find prospects, get them to accept emails from you, and find new things to send out to them on a regular basis. You might also think it will take a lot of hard work to get people to buy. You know that you can’t just send them low-grade content and expect them to buy simply because you sent them an email. And if you think these things, you’re right: building a list is very hard. And making sales from lists is also hard. It takes time and it takes attention to detail to do things right. And this is exactly why many marketers never do it. But that is their mistake. You aren’t going to make that same mistake. Building a list and marketing to it is one of the most profitable things you can do in IM; and this guide is going to show you how to do exactly how to go about it. So why is building an email list a good idea? There are many reasons, but these five are probably the most important: i. Building lists allows you to reduce the cost of acquiring new customers. Contrary to what you might think, it is much, much cheaper (on a unique-sale basis) to presell and pitch to one person until she buys than it is to pitch to different people until one of them buys. ii. Building lists allows you to maximize the profit that you generate per customer.
List Building From Scratch iii. Having a list means that you can participate in major launch events. Next time there’s a big launch, you can benefit by being one of the first affiliates to offer the product. iv. Having a list allows you to test your copy. With a captive audience, you can run controlled experiments to test your copy’s conversion rate before you pay to send the same advertisement out to a larger audience. v. Having a list allows you to bring more to the table in future joint venture partnerships. Rather than simply offering to do part of the product-creation work, you can now offer to market the completed product to your list. For these five reasons and many, many others, list building is one of the most profitable things you can do as an Internet marketer. Not only will it help you to monetize your current sites better, but it will also open up new avenues for partnership and marketing. With that said, let’s get started. The Bare Essentials – What You’ll Need to Get Started List building requires attention to detail, careful thought, and, most importantly, action. So, if you think the early stages of list building are boring and seemingly unproductive, don’t give up. It takes time and effort, but you have to keep at it if you ever want to see progress. So let’s start with the dry, boring stuff. What are the bare essential tasks that you’ll need to complete before you can start making money with your List Building From Scratch list? f0
There are roughly 3 things you’ll need to do before you can get to the “fun” parts of list building. Purchase a Domain and Get Hosting Before you can do anything else, you’ll need a working website. In short, this means purchasing a domain, purchasing hosting services, and using a page-builder to create your website. When it comes to this, the best place to start is probably by determining the theme and URL for your website. The Theme Start by thinking about what niche your site will focus on. A good rule of thumb is to keep things narrow. For instance, if you’re thinking about creating a niche site that markets retail products through affiliate links, drill down further and consider focusing only on one type of product, such as fishing gear. If you grow out of your niche in the future, you can always create another site or expand your current site. But for now, keep things narrow to avoid confusing your visitors. The URL Once you’ve settled on a theme, you’ll want to come up with potential URLs for your site, since your first choice may already be taken. In the past, marketers used to select URLs that were actually the key phrase they were targeting (but with a dash between each word); however, if you plan to create memorable, credible business, you will want to avoid this and opt for a URL that is short and that visitors will remember. Write Down Your Ideas Before you move to the next step, write everything down.
Take careful notes about the theme you wanted and the specific URLs that you believe will fit well with your business model and niche. Once you’ve done this, you can continue on to the next step. Comparison Shop for Your Domain and Hosting Many hosting services will also allow you to purchase your domain when you purchase hosting. In general, this isn’t a bad idea. It will make it easier to manage all information related to your site. One good place to start on your search is www.findmyhosting.com. This site lists an exhaustive break-down of 10 popular hosting services, which includes important details, such as: · The monthly price · The setup fee · Whether the domain registration is included at no additional cost · Whether you can setup email accounts through the domain · The plugins and features that come with the hosting service · Whether or not the hosting comes with a website building tool Spend some time comparing hosts and determine which hosting service will work best for your particular needs. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re new to Internet business, you’ll want to look primarily at three items: 1. The “UpTime Guarantee,” which will give you a rough idea of whether a particular host has problems keeping sites up. 2. The price, as well as the various deals offered for locking in a 6- month or 12-month contract.
The site builder and plugins offered. I recommend looking for a site that offers the WordPress Plugin (which is fairly standard) and Fantastico. These two items will greatly simplify the site-creation process. And there you have it. You’re now ready to purchase a domain and hosting services. Once you’re done with that, we can move on to the next step—creating your site. Create a Marketable Website Before you even think about marketing your website, you’ll want to first spend the time to create a site that will sell itself well. It’s not critical that this site be flawless and expensive to build, but if you want it
to close sales, then you should put in the time to make sure it is attractive and will convert visitors into subscribers. A good place to start is by obtaining a WYSIWYG editor. This will allow you to make changes to your site without learning a language like HTML. Additionally, it will allow you to make your site attractive and able to convert—even if you could never code such a website yourself. Now, when it comes to getting a WYSIWYG editor, you have a number of options. If you’re able to pay upfront in order to make your life easier down the line, you may want to purchase something like XSitePro: http://www.xsitepro.com XSitePro is a favorite among Internet marketers for many reasons. Not only will it allow you to build an attractive site, but it will also allow you to tweak the site in order to optimize it for search engine traffic. If you don’t have the money to purchase XSitePro (or a different WYSIWYG editor), you still have a vast array of free editors you may use for the site. The categories of editors below are just a small sample of what you have available: 1. WordPress Themes. Most hosting services will now allow you to install WordPress on your site by simply clicking a button on your hosting control panel. Once you do this, you can simply login your WordPress administrative panel and use it to create an appropriate theme for your website. 2. Fantastico Plugins. If your hosting service offers Fantastico, you can use this to search for an appropriate WYSIWYG for your site. You will have a large variety of choices in terms of the capabilities of the various programs and the usability of their interfaces. 3. Open Source WYSIWYG editors. If you’re not interested in using WordPress or a Fantastico Plugin, you can select from one of the many open source editors. You can find one here http://www.openwebware.com/ and http://www.kompozer.net/ and http://netobjects.com/html/essentials.html. There are many others available. Ultimately, the final decision will be a matter of taste. But at a minimum, you will want to select something that has a usable interface and allows you to easily manipulate your site, so that you can make it appear professional and fit the theme you’ve constructed in your own mind. As far as the visual component of site building goes, there’s considerable debate over what way is best for sales when it comes to structuring a site; however, most agree that using the color blue on your site will induce visitors to stay longer on average. Most also agree that using red will slightly elevate their blood pressure and induce them to make decisions quickly. Setup an Autoresponder Account Whatever else you do with your site, you will also use it to build lists (which is why you’re reading this guide). This means you’ll need an autoresponder. An autoresponder is a tool that will allow you to create mailing lists, manage member subscriptions, avoid spam complaints, and test and track campaign results.
Autoresponders are invaluable tools for all list owners; and as a new list- builder, you will want to become intimately familiar with how they work. Let’s start with the basics. Selecting an Autoresponder Service When it comes to selecting an autoresponder service, you have several choices. I personally recommend that you select http://www.aweber.com. However, there are many other good options, including http://www.getresponse.com. If you select Aweber, you can simply follow these steps to create your list: 1. Start by clicking “do this step” under “Enter a List Name.” 2. Fill in the list name, list description, and any other required information. 3. Create the list and then begin editing the confirmation email. When you first create the list, your confirmation email will say something generic. You should change this to say something reflective of your business. 4. If you have a sequence of presales or follow up emails, add each of these to the sequence for your new list, paying careful attention to the amount of days between each email. Once you’ve finished setting up your autoresponder, you’ll want to use Aweber to generate a form that you can use to capture information from visitors. At a minimum, you’ll want your form to capture email addresses. You may also want it to capture first names, so that you can use a macro to insert names into email subject lines. Summary So far you’ve created your website theme, selected an appropriate URL, purchased a domain name and hosting, selected a WYSIWYG editor, and picked an autoresponder service. You’ve also created your first list, updated the subscription confirmation email, and created a form for your website. You’ve made a lot of progress so far, but you’ve still only covered the “bare essentials”—as the title of the chapter suggests. This means you’ll need to do a lot more before you can expect to have a profitable list. So what’s next? It’s time to create your squeeze page. What is a Squeeze Page? In the previous section, you created your first list. You may have even created an email sequence for your subscribers. It’s now time to create a squeeze page to put on your website. So what’s a squeeze page? In short, it’s just a tool you’ll use to get prospective buyers to give you their email addresses. To be more specific, it’s a specific type of opt-in page. There are several things that characterize a good squeeze page. Yours should contain these items: 1. It should give visitors no other option than to either a) subscribe to your list; or b) exit the site. This will prevent them from wandering about your site aimlessly—and then leaving eventually. 2. It should be very, very brief. If your squeeze contains more than 2 short paragraphs of text, you should seriously consider reducing it further. 3. It should explicitly and truthfully state what visitors can expect from your list. 4. It should carefully and visibly state that you do not like spam and will never spam your list members or sell their email addresses to a third party.
It must clearly communicate that a membership to your list is completely free and will offer great rewards in the form of high- quality content and timely announcements of important events. 6. It must include an opt-in form that visitors can see without excessive scrolling. This means that visitors will know that they have the option to opt-in, even without going through all of the text. 7. It should include your signature and possibly a thumbnail photo of you. 8. It must be visually appealing. And there you have it: eight simple rules to follow whenever you create a squeeze page. However, as you will find out, these items aren’t necessarily a recipe for success. Rather, they’re simply the minimum conditions you must satisfy if you want to have a viable squeeze page that has the potential to capture leads. Make Your Squeeze Page
Convert Now that you’ve satisfied the basic requirements for success, it is time to hone in you the specifics. To do this, we will simply look at some examples and identify what makes them good. Example #1: Not surprisingly, one of the top paid results returned for “Internet marketing” is the successful site, PrWeb.com: http://www.prweb.com/pr/get-started.php . Simply knowing that this is a top paid result means that the advertiser is paying a lot for the slot; and has also probably spending a lot of time and money to test the format they use. As you can see from the squeeze page, it sparingly uses text—and when it does, it uses bullet points to convey specific benefits. Additionally, it is attractive and provides an opt-in form in a place that is immediately visible. Combined, all of these items make for a successful squeeze page. Example #2: Another good example of a high-quality squeeze page can be found here: http://www.budgetlandingpage.com/. It’s not surprising that this is a good squeeze page, since that is what the company does to generate revenue. Nonetheless, it is a useful example of a good squeeze page.
Follow these examples above and you are sure to build high quality backlinks!
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