Here’s a special interview with website conversion expert Dan Lok on how to quickly build a profitable email list.
Allan: Dan, thanks for sharing your insights with us today. Most people starting a business express an interest in list building. Tell our readers, in your experience, what are the top three ways to grow your list?
Dan: Thank you Allan. I’ll tell you what I think the top three ways are to build a list. Here is my opinion, ranked in order of priority.
First, set up a name squeeze page. That sole purpose of the name squeeze page is to capture their names and emails. Period. And it’s a forced opt-in. That means they can’t see the rest of the site or have access to the sales page unless they give you their names and emails. And you have to SELL the opt-in. Use good copywriting techniques, strong benefit-driven headlines to entice people to join your list. If your visitors are not even interested enough to give you their email addresses, guess what? They are not gonna buy from you. You can see an example of a name squeeze page here – Instant Web Profits System.
Next, offer them a mini-course. A mini-course is nothing more than a series of content-rich email “courses” that teaches your prospects information related to your target market. Let’s say you’re selling an ebook on dog training. The mini-course could be sample chapters extracted from your ebook. So your subscribers are getting a taste of your main product. The key to the mini-course model is there must be a call to action in EACH email you sent them. Motivate your visitors to take advantage of your offer. Ask for the order. You can send them an email for 5 consecutive days or 7 consecutive days.
Lastly, write articles and submit them to websites and directories. Allow other publishers to reprint your articles at their site, in their ebooks … etc. Write a 4 to 6 link killer “resource box” at the end of your article. If the readers like your content, they will click on the link, go to your site and join your list. You can use a software program like Article Announcer to submit your articles.
Do you have a favorite tool you use to make running your list easier?
I use 1shoppingcart.com because I prefer to have my affiliate program, database and everything in ONE place. Makes running the business easier.
If you’re looking for just an autoresponder, I’d recommend Aweber. Not only is the service itself exceptional, they stay on top of spam filters and make absolutely certain that they’re not banned by any of the major ISPs. Aweber has one of the highest deliverabilities among autoresponders.
What things should newbie list builders be focusing on first?
Building the relationship with your prospects. Provide solid content for your subscribers. People buy from people who they like and trust.
Because of the short attention span of browsers online, you should try to sell them while they’re “in heat” of the moment. That means the first 10 days they opt-in. And you have to be in front of them all the time. Don’t be afraid to email your lists more often if you have something valuable to say.
Don’t just email once a month. They won’t remember WHO YOU ARE. I recommend 52 contacts a year. That means your subscribers should hear from you at least 52 times a year! That could be a combination of emails, direct mails, voice broadcast, fax broadcast and phone calls, etc.
And don’t be afraid to inject some personality in your emails. Be different. Say something provocative sometimes. Have an opinion. Don’t be afraid to be controversial. Offend a few people here and there. It’s okay. You’re not here for everybody. You’re just here for somebody.
Like I said to all my protégés, if you’re not offending somebody, you’re not marketing aggressively enough.
What’s one thing you should NOT do when building your list?
A reputation takes a long time to build, but only a few seconds to destroy. Never violate the trust between you and your subscribers. That means don’t make offers just to make a quick bucks or your JV partner offers high commissions.
Make sure you’re endorsing something that is good and will benefit your subscribers. Offer only products that will make a difference in their lives. Never, ever, ever sell crap.
I NEVER endorse anything that I have NOT thoroughly reviewed or personally tested. I am surprised how many list owners will support a product that they don’t even understand just to make a few dollars. To me, that’s just stupid. Because once you destroy that trust, your subscribers will never buy from you nor buy anything you endorse.
What is the most important thing you have learned since you started building your opt-in list?
It’s quality of the list, not the quantity. Don’t be impressed when someone says, “I have 50,000 people on my list. I have 100,000 people on my list.” That doesn’t mean spit. How many people you have in your list has nothing to do with how much profit you extract from the list. I’ve seen ezines with 100,000 subscribers who barely get any response to an offer they send. I’ve seen other ones with 2,000 that have incredible response rates.
When I first started, I made a 6-figure annual income from a list of fewer than 5,000. Take away all my subscribers and leave me with my top customers list. My income will pretty much stay the same.
I constantly qualify my subscribers. I purposely encourage tire kickers and freebie junkies to get off my list. I believe in carefully selecting my subscribers. If someone in my database don’t want to hear from me, don’t want my content and are not gonna buy anything from me, why would I want them on my list?
Any last words of wisdom?
You have to understand email is nothing more than a medium to communicate with your prospects and customers. A lot of marketers build their entire online businesses using email. Big mistake.
With spam filters and all the other email issues, you don’t want to just capture their names and emails. You need a plan B. You need to capture their snail mail addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers. Full contact information. Offer your prospects something free that you have to MAIL to them. I do it with a FREE CD. Once I capture their snail mail addresses, now I can direct mail them. I can market to them using a different medium.
It’s called multi-dimensional marketing. We don’t have time to get into it now. Maybe we can discuss it in more details in the future. For now, just remember, it’s no longer enough to just capture your prospect’s emails.
Thanks, Dan. Truly worthwhile and direct information.
My pleasure, as always. Thanks again!
Who is Dan Lok?
A former college dropout, Dan Lok transformed himself from a grocery bagger in a local supermarket to a multi-millionaire. Today, Dan is one of the most sought-after business mentors on the Web, as well as a best-selling author. His reputation includes his title as the World’s #1 Website Conversion Expert. Dan’s affiliate program provides you with solid opportunities to earn massive affiliate income. Check it out at: Turnkey Affiliate Program.