If you've been doing internet marketing for some time, I'm sure you've already heard the phrase "money is in the list." And, in fact, this statement is very true.
Well... maybe it's not 100% true. I would rather repeat Pat Flynn and say that, "The money isn't the list itself. It's what you do with it."
Today you shouldn't be asking yourself whether you should build your email list. The real issue is this: how to build my email list quickly and effectively.
It's no secret that an email list is one of the most profitable sources of online income today. If you know what you're doing, then you can send one email to your list of subscribers and make a lot of money in a short period of time.
Some internet marketers will tell you that email marketing is dead, but this seems to be their own marketing gimmick.
Many people check their mailboxes every day, even a few times a day, so there is still a huge financial potential in a correctly built and maintained list of subscribers.
Apart from financial gains, there is another very strong reason to build an email list.
What I mean is that even if for some reason you lost your websites one day, or maybe your YouTube channel, or if your Facebook and Twitter accounts would be closed, you would still have your list of subscribers and it would be easier for you to rebuild your business.
It would be much easier then starting from scratch.
Let's come back to the core question of this post: how to build my email list and try to answer it.
To begin, you need to start collecting email addresses. It's as simple as that.
Here's how you can start the collection process.
Opt-in Boxes and Pop-ups
The first thing you need to do is to place opt-in boxes in different locations on your website.
The most popular option are sidebar opt-ins, although it is said that they are not as effective as they were in the past.
Visitors have become a little bit "blind" to this kind of opt-in form. Nevertheless you will find them on almost every site.
Another important spot where your should install your opt-in box is at the end of each blog post. Why? Because if somebody reads your post to the end, it is also very likely that they will be interested in something else that you have to offer.
For example: if somebody reads your post about WordPress themes and at the end of it you offer a free premium WordPress theme for everyone who opt-ins, it is very possible that such a person will decide to leave their email address.
Why does this work? Because you're offering value.
If someone must give you their personal information [an email address is personal information], then you're not offering something for free. Offering a free theme or other perk based on the content of your blog post gives readers a chance to consider "buying" something with their information.
Put one at the top of the page. For this purpose you can use Hello Bar. It's a very popular opt-in form hanging out at the top of the page reminding each visitor to leave their email address.
You can also place opt-ins within the footer of your blog. This works similarly to the opt-in box placed at the bottom of each post, but tends to work even better.
Why does it work better?
Because nobody needs to read the post or scroll down to the bottom of the post to see it. Once somebody visits a website, they will instantly see this opt-in form sitting at the bottom of the page.
Some bloggers place an opt-in box or just a link to the opt-in box in the body of the article between paragraphs.
Pop-ups create an interruption which may or may not work.
Generally people do not like pop-ups because let's be honest: they are annoying.
They are also highly effective and many bloggers still take advantage of them because they force the visitor to make a decision regarding the opt-in process.
Pop-ups can appear at different times.
On website page load (immediately or 5, 10, 15, etc. seconds later).
When the mouse leaves the browser viewport.
When the visitor scrolls down to the bottom of the page.
When the visitor selects an object, such as an image, within a post.
When the visitor wants to leave the page for any reason.
Of course you can always create a landing page and place a link to such a page somewhere on your site, with a good location being in the main navigation menu.
The landing pages do not need to be elaborate or complex. Simple landing pages work quite well.
Tip: Don't ask for too much information in your opt-in forms.
Having an individual's first name and their email is enough. If you start asking for a telephone number and a second [or last] name, your opt-in rate will significantly decrease because this increases the amount of information that must be provided for a "sale".
Many internet marketers require only an email; they don't even ask for a name. People don't have the time and they get discouraged quickly - keep that in mind.
Find an Autoresponder
In order to automate the process of communicating with your subscribers, you need to have a machine called an autoresponder.
It allows you to send emails to your email marketing list without you sitting in front of a computer full-time.
You could plan to send out a newsletter to your list on Sunday at 10am even though at this time you may be away on a trip somewhere. Your autoresponder will do the job of sending emails for you according to your settings.
If you're serious about internet marketing you should consider using one of the best autoresponders available on the market - here you have 4 options. If not now, then definitely in the future when you're ready to increase the influence of your website.
Personally I'm using GetResponse.
Another popular option is Aweber.
Check out the payment plans of these two autoresponders and decide which one would be more suitable for your needs.
Having an autoresponder, a few opt-in boxes on your site, and a pop-up is not everything. You also need to have a compelling lead magnet - otherwise who will opt-in?
Lead magnets are your value propositions you're offering to your visitors. This is your specific offer of something to somebody for their email address. You give me your email and I give you my video training.
Lead magnets can be very different. It can be a music track, a photo, a video training, an ebook. or a short report/guide. As long as it is seen valuable to your visitors, it will work.
If you think that a long ebook or a two-week course on your niche subject materials are great lead magnets... well, then you're wrong. Ebooks and courses still work, but it's better to offer something short and specific.
Remember the goldfish rule. Humans have short attention spans today.
Something that can be consumed in a matter of 5-15 minutes is going to be more attractive than a long-term offer. That is why a short report on a specific subject is better than a 50-page ebook.
People are looking for solutions to their problems. They want answers.
It should have an almost immediate effect and require very little effort on the visitor's part to implement. Who wants to read a 50-page ebook? Think about it. Your "bribe" should be short and to the point!
You Need Traffic
Now that your opt-in boxes and pop-ups are in place and your lead magnet is ready, it's time to drive some traffic to your site.
This can be done in several different ways.
One thing that you will always need, however, to be successful online is really good content on your site.
There are close to two million blog posts published every 24 hours. If you want to break through this multitude of information, you need to know what you're doing.
By this I mean that publishing your blog post, even if it was the best blog post on the given subject in the whole Internet, is not enough. You also need to promote it!
If you start promoting your posts, they will be noticed by more people and as a result you will drive more traffic to them.
You can promote your posts for free on different social media channels, forums, blogs, or you can pay for traffic by buying an ad on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, or by using Outbrain.
Once you start getting visitors to your site what can you do to turn them into subscribers?
Sometimes you don't have to do anything. If they land on your site and see your lead magnet is attractive to them, then they will opt-in themselves.
In return, you will be happy by seeing how your email list is growing on autopilot.
If this doesn't happen, you can utilize a technique called a content upgrade.
Say you have a post about 15 ways to make money online.
At the end of the post, instead of a call to action which encourages the reader to start making money online on their own, you write this: "If you want to read about my 3 extra ways of making money online, please leave your email address and I'll send you my exclusive pdf report straight to your inbox."
If someone was reading your post about 15 ways of making money online, it's very likely that he/she will opt-in just to learn about your three extra ways to make money on the Internet, especially if they are your best tactics.
Yet there is still plenty of value in the 15 tactics you've already shared. You leave the choice in the visitor's hands. They can choose to use the existing value... or they can opt-in for a "premium" experience.
In the PDF report you can include the same 15 ways of making money online that you mentioned in the article on your website and then add three more at the end, or just add those three extra ways to make money online alone.
This is why a content upgrade is a highly effective technique of collecting email addresses on your website. The problem is that it is usually time consuming (although it doesn't have to be so), especially if you want your PDF report to look professional.
Of course a content upgrade doesn't have to be in the form of a written text. It can be anything that adds some additional value to the post you've published on your blog. It can be a video, or some short report.
One more example, if you create a blog post on how to write a press release, as a content upgrade you can offer a list of the best free (or paid) press release distribution services.
If you're curious about how to build your email list, those 11 tips above should be of some help to you.
You don't have to use all of them at once.
Pick one or two techniques and implement them. If they work for you - awesome! If not, then try out something else.
If you want to make money online, building your list of subscribers should be one of your main goals.
Some internet marketers don't even use social sharing buttons because they don't want to distract their visitors with them.
On their sites you will find only opt-in forms.
The bottom line is this: your expertise, the value of your lead magnet, and the structure of your content all combine with the user experience your website provides to generate interest in your opt-in options.