How to Build an E-mail List First you will need to sign up to an autoresponder service: dlhmmm, GetResponse, iContact and FusionHQ are all recommended. This will allow you to collect e-mail addresses and then to follow up automatically with an autoresponder, or to mail them when you want. You then need to build a squeeze page. Your squeeze page has one purpose only? To get people to give you their e-mail address. That?s it. Nothing else. In order to have people give you their e-mail address, you need to entice them with something. You have to offer them something valuable enough that they?re happy to type in their e-mail address. You could give them a free video, e-book or report. Your ?bribe? doesn?t have to be fancy. Often the most powerful offers are the simplest ones. The easy way to ensure people opt-in is to use curiosity. Tell people that you have information to share that will benefit them. Make the information so enticing that they can?t help but wonder what it is. There is a lot of debate over using an e-mail only form, or asking for name and e-mail. From what I have seen, e-mail only will build a bigger list. However? Testing has shown you can get higher open rates and conversions when your e-mails use a person?s first name. You can?t do this if you don?t have it. Also, it is hypothesized that if someone is not willing to enter their first name, chances are they will not be as targeted or as willing to enter credit card details when you ask for the sale. Therefore, personally I always request a first name. Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing How to Build an E-mail List First you will need to sign up to an autoresponder service: dlwmmm. com/aweber, dlwmmm.com/getresponse, dlwmmm.com/icontact and dlwmmm.com/fusionhq are all recommended. This will allow you to collect e-mail addresses and then to follow up automatically with an autoresponder, or to mail them when you want. You then need to build a squeeze page. Your squeeze page has one purpose only? To get people to give you their e-mail address. That?s it. Nothing else. In order to have people give you their e-mail address, you need to entice them with something. You have to offer them something valuable enough that they?re happy to type in their e-mail address. You could give them a free video, e-book or report. Your ?bribe? doesn?t have to be fancy. Often the most powerful offers are the simplest ones. The easy way to ensure people opt-in is to use curiosity. Tell people that you have information to share that will benefit them. Make the information so enticing that they can?t help but wonder what it is. There is a lot of debate over using an e-mail only form, or asking for name and e-mail. From what I have seen, e-mail only will build a bigger list. However? Testing has shown you can get higher open rates and conversions when your e-mails use a person?s first name. You can?t do this if you don?t have it. Also, it is hypothesized that if someone is not willing to enter their first name, chances are they will not be as targeted or as willing to enter credit card details when you ask for the sale. Therefore, personally I always request a first name. Why a Relationship with Your List Makes You More Money Traffic equals money. (Or to put it another way, no traffic means no money). The better relationship you have with your list, the more frequently people will open your e-mails. And the more people that read your e-mails, the more people go to your site (and so will buy from you). When you recommend someone else?s product, they?re more likely to act on your recommendation if they like and trust you. Even if you have an offline product or service there are ways to use this to your advantage. A restaurant could e-mail its customers to let them know there is a 25% special that evening, and a free dinner for the first person who comes to ask. This type of promotion could be used spontaneously to generate customers on a slow evening. 3 Tips to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your List The very first e-mail your potential customers receive from you sets the tone of your relationship. Once someone has opted in, they should instantly receive a ?welcome e-mail? from your autoresponder. Keep your first e-mail short and sweet. No one wants to read a long e-mail that looks like it?s going to be painful to read. The purpose of your first e-mail is for you to be remembered. Do this by connecting with each subscriber personally. One trick is to ask them to click on a link that takes them to a video on your blog telling your story. Make sure to give something of value away for free too. This will build a stronger emotional response, as well as an incentive to go and watch the video in the first place. The stronger you can personally connect with your list, the stronger the response rate in the future is going to be. It?s important you come across as a ?real? person and not a slick marketer. Here are three great tips to ensure your list loves you? 1. Stand Out from the Crowd When you are different, you will be remembered. This doesn?t mean you go out and invent a crazy personality. Simply let who you are show through. Be transparent, and be real. If you?re lumped in with many other people because you?re perceived as the same as others, you won?t be remembered. Your e-mails have to be personal, and come from you. Never use swipe copy (i.e. copy given to you from other marketers to promote their products) in your e-mails. You can borrow ideas and general concepts, but your e-mails must be your own thoughts and words. Don?t worry if you are not a star copywriter. Write as if you were writing to a friend. Say what you want to say. Being honest will earn you respect. 2. Don?t Sell Anything in Your First Few E-mails After someone has opted-in to receive the freebie you?ve promised them, they are a brand new lead. Do not pitch to them straight away. If you do, keep it to a very soft sell?more a ?just letting you know what else I have? approach. The first few e-mails you send them will determine their buying future with you. And when you treat your potential customers well in the beginning, they?ll return the loyalty and buy from you in the future. Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing There is no set number of e-mails to send before you start promoting products. But the more free, valuable information you send them, the more trust you build up. Even when you do sell, try to frame it in the form of education. (Think infomercials.) As a yardstick, wait until at least the 3rd or even 5th e-mail until you start recommending your product. And even then try to make two thirds of your mail valuable content without any selling. You can always plan in advance. Craft your e-mails to provide education that will lead the reader in the direction of your next product or promotion. Remember that good marketing removes the need for you to sell. 3. Segregate Your List Put those who buy from you on a separate list and take the time to build a strong relationship with these customers. Make this part of your list feel special. They are, and they need to know it. It?s true that the majority of your sales will come from a small amount of people. And it?s easier to sell to someone who has already bought from you, than to someone who hasn?t. So look after and treat those who have bought from you before with a lot of respect. Really listen to what they truly want. They are your most valuable customers and you want to contact them only when necessary. If you do have to do a reciprocal mailing with someone, do not mail this part of your list. Only mail them when the offer is excellent and of really high value. How to Boost Traffic to Your Squeeze Page: 2 Quick Ways The more traffic you can attract to your squeeze page, the more people you can pull into your sales funnel; therefore, the more money you can make. Here are two quick ways to increase the traffic to your squeeze page. 1. Affiliates If you just have a squeeze page and nothing else, the average affiliate won?t bother sending traffic to your squeeze page. This is because there is no incentive for them. But when you have a OTO (which is a valuable and related up-sell to one of your products or services) where you give affiliates a commission for sending people to your squeeze page, they will be happy to promote your offer. There?s plenty of potential to build a strong list (and make some sales) from your OTO, via affiliates alone. 2. E-mail and Ad Swaps Type your niche into Google and scour the websites to see which website owners are also trying to build an e-mail list. You?ll see the familiar optin box on their website. Contact the website owner and explain that you potentially have the same customer base (as your product is related) and ask if they are interested in sending people to your squeeze page. In return you?ll do the same for them. Once you have a small list, you can increase the numbers quickly by doing an ad swap. You offer to send your list to someone else?s opt-in page, and they?ll do the same for you in return. You may lose some subscribers in the process, because you?re essentially asking them to opt-in to someone else?s list. But if you do it right you Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing will be sending them to free content, so the majority of your list will benefit and won?t mind. This can be a great, low cost way to get started. Just don?t expect people with big lists to do this, and certainly not when you have almost no list. Start small and build up. We will devote an entire section of this book later on to driving traffic. While getting customers to your site is one of the most important things you can do, it is also where most people give up. Squeeze Page Example (Converts at 55%) A respectable conversion rate for a squeeze page would be 15-20 percent. But dlwmmm.com/.TheRealTrafficSecret.com is an example of a squeeze page that converts total traffic at 55%. (George Brown owns this site.) This squeeze page works for nine main reasons. Let?s take a closer look? 1. Highly Targeted Benefit George?s squeeze page is aimed at internet marketer?s who want to increase the amount of traffic to their websites. The benefit of a free video is quite clear and highly valuable to this market. 2. Casual Everything about George?s squeeze page is informal?from the clothes he is wearing, to his headline that?s just done using Word. He could easily have got professional graphics done and put more effort in with his appearance, but he?s deliberately chosen not to. This creates a casual and genuine atmosphere. For those watching the squeeze video, they will associate with George as they feel a connection with a ?real person?. As they let their guards down, trust is increased. You need to be careful with this approach though. Too casual can just appear unprofessional and sloppy. This can decrease trust and reduce conversions. Another point to consider is the price point you plan to sell at. George?s products are typically around the $77 mark. If his starting price point was at $1000 plus, chances are he would need to increase the quality of his presentation. 3. Curiosity and Logic Humans are curious by nature and are keen to find out about something they?re interested in. George uses curiosity when he promises to reveal a powerful traffic generation technique that most people don?t know about. People wonder what technique this could be and the only way to find out is to opt-in. You too must have something enticing on your squeeze page that will make people so curious they can?t wait to find out what the answer is. George caters to people?s logic as well, by saying how people can benefit from using the information he?s about to reveal. On your squeeze page, you must also let people know how the information you?re about to share will immediately benefit them. 4. Benefit is Easy to Access On George?s squeeze page all people have to do is enter their name and e-mail address and they get access to his video. They don?t have to double opt-in or read a long report. All they have to do is watch a video. This is manageable and easy for many people. It is not time consuming, nor difficult. Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing Make sure your benefit is appealing, and make it as easy as you can so everyone is excited to opt-in to receive your benefit. 5. Proof/Believability In George?s video, he shows proof. He shows the actual results of what the traffic generation technique he is about to reveal in the next video has already done for him. If you don?t have any proof to show on your squeeze page, that?s OK. But if you have some, show it. If not, consider using testimonials from either present customers or authorities in your niche. 6. Headline The purpose of a headline is to hook the prospect?s attention and promise them a benefit. George uses curiosity in his headline to hook his customers. He also immediately builds more curiosity by removing typical beliefs about which traffic generation method it might be, by saying, ?It?s Got Nothing to do With SEO, Pay per Click or Affiliates?. 7. Visual Guidance The purpose of your squeeze page is to encourage people to type in their name and e-mail address. So the layout of your squeeze page must direct people to do exactly that. George?s squeeze page is a great example of how nothing is distracting. He has used a clean layout with a large arrow to lead people where he wants them to go. Marketing incorporates both subconscious and conscious techniques and the arrow is a great example of this. At no point when you look at the page are you unsure where to go next. You start at the headline, are led to the video and then into the opt-in box. This is further enhanced by the use of the pure white template. This is tried and tested and will typically outperform anything else (even great design). 8. Clear Call to Action You cannot assume that people will know what to do. You have to firmly instruct people what to do, and what they can expect once they?ve completed the action you want them to take. On his squeeze page, George reminds everyone that the only way they can watch the video (that will reveal what is the traffic generation secret), is to enter their name and e-mail address. You must test which action phrase best works on your squeeze page for you. (The action phrase are the words on the button people press, once they?ve entered their name and e-mail address.) George uses ?Watch the Next Video?. ?Free Instant Access? has also been shown to work well. But there may be a different action phrase that converts better for you. Testing is key. 9. Reassurance About Privacy On George?s squeeze page he does a good job reassuring people who may be concerned about their privacy. No one wants to be spammed by you sharing their details with anyone else. So you must reassure people that you definitely won?t do this. Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing The Art of E-mail Copy E-mail marketing involves sending out regular e-mail sequences (using an autoresponder) to encourage your list to invest in your product or someone else?s product. Unfortunately it?s lucky if your e-mail even gets delivered properly, let alone read. Open rates these days are getting lower and lower. Your customers are bombarded with e-mails. Be aware that your customers may not just be on your list. This is particularly true if you are in the Internet Marketing niche in which case they?re probably on 20 other internet marketer?s lists too. This is why you always want to ensure the content you send them is unique. Play to Your Individual or Company Persona Either you or your company need to have a persona. Your customers are essentially trying to buy a ?piece of you? or your company, and not just your product. For example, Coca Cola has a persona of youth, fun and friends. When people buy a coke they are subconsciously buying into the company image (and hoping the effect of drinking coke will make them more youthful, fun and popular). There are plenty of other drinks to choose from. Apple too have marketed themselves very well in this regard. Apple products are seen as quality, stylish and trendy. They have made it the ?designer? choice. Truth is, there are many far better phones/computers/MP3 players than Apple, but people buy into the image to influence their buying choice. (For reference, I am typing this on a MacBook. I gave my iPhone away though as I needed something that worked better than it looked?a statement I know that will cause a lot of controversy.) Before your customers will buy your product or service, they need to be sold on you or your company first. In the online world, each marketer is looked at as a personality (in many cases celebrity). These ?characters? are the key reason why your customers buy. For example, Frank Kern deliberately plays the laid back surfer dude who lives the beach lifestyle. The target audience Frank Kern attracts dreams of having no worries about money. And you (or your company), have to create a persona that best matches the target audience you wish to have as your customers. How to Stand Out in Your Niche (no it?s not the USP) The unique selling point (USP) is a dying thing. Differentiating yourself from your competition by having a unique feature or benefit doesn?t work like it used to. Not to say you should not have a point of difference?you should. However, unless you have a product or service that is revolutionary, it?s hard to compete on a unique feature alone in today?s market. But you can compete when you add an emotional component to your product. Today you must differentiate your product or service based on emotions. If you could own one emotion in your customer?s experience with you, what would that emotion be? Is it seduction? Is it peace? Is it a sense of daring? It is security or perhaps prestige? Once you own an emotion and your customers associate you with that emotion, your e-mails will be much more powerful. Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing Incongruence We are attracted to things that are out of the ordinary. Things that stand out do grab our attention?things that are incongruent to our daily routine. We know our environment and how people are supposed to act. So when something radical happens we automatically tune in. If your e-mails are the same as everyone else?s and your e-mail is simply one in 30 e-mails from ?just another marketer?, your customers will ignore it. Incongruence works really well for PPC, AdWords, Twitter and offline marketing too. When you?re able to stand out, your click through rates will dramatically improve. For example, a headline such as ?Laziness is perhaps the most important quality when looking for a plumber?? is going to make people stop. It is counter intuitive. You could then go on to explain that laziness is the reason you ensure the job is done well the first time. You are too lazy to go back and fix what could be done properly the first time. Obviously in this example it would be a tongue-in-cheek headline. However, you are using incongruence to grab attention. How to be Naked with Your List Your personal stories, testimonials and insights you share with your customers in your e-mails must reveal the real you. Write a story about yourself?your struggles, headaches, and your triumphs. The more honest and ?naked? you reveal yourself to be, the higher your sales will be. Unmask yourself to your customers and don?t be afraid to show your vulnerability. E-mail can be a very cold medium, but when you expose yourself to your customers you can increase the intimacy. And once you do that, you can lead your customers where you want them to go. Write your e-mail as if you are writing to a close friend. Hold nothing back and write from your heart. When you share stories about yourself it can stir up strong emotions in your customers. It may mean a lot to them that you?ve identified with them. This is the success of Oprah and every chat show or gossip mag. People are interested in the lives of other people, and they want all the details. In the case of Oprah, it was her total honesty and openness about the real down and dirty aspects of her life that built her following. You?ll find the more you reveal of yourself, the more your customers will want to follow you. (If your customer has a short attention span, or you don?t like writing long e-mails, you can convert your story into a video. Just send them a short e-mail to direct them there.) The Secret Behind an Autoresponder Sequence You want to win over your customers with your autoresponder sequence. To do this, you need an overall theme?something really compelling. Sending one e-mail is not enough. But when you write a sequence of e-mails you have more time to build trust. And when more trust is built, you?ll enjoy more sales. So you can legitimately keep e-mailing your customers, set up your autoresponder series in the form of a mini e-course. You could make it a 5-part, 7-part or 9-part course which complements the product you are selling. This could be a product you?re selling yourself, or are promoting as an affiliate. In each e-mail, highlight at least one valuable benefit; and in each e-mail pitch the product you are promoting (yes you are allowed). Provide a link of where they can order your product. Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing When you send out a series of e-mails, you have more time (and an excuse) to build trust. You now have 5, 7 or 9 chances to sell your product. Research has shown that your customers are hottest by the third or fourth email. So provide links to your product throughout the course (and not only on the last e-mail). Just remember to keep it educational too. Even if your customer is not planning to buy your product, that they still find value in your e-mail. This will keep them reading, build trust and could eventually lead to a sale. It?s difficult to know which ?hook? or piece of information you give away will convince your customers. That?s why when you provide 5, 7 or 9 benefits, you can appeal to and capture more customers. Where and How Often to Insert Your URL? Where exactly should you place your URL for maximum conversions? And how many times should you insert it? Studies have shown the best place to insert your URL is in three places: 1. The first one or two lines within your e-mail. 2. In the body of your e-mail message. 3. In the PS line. Caution: While it won?t harm your conversions to insert your URL more than three times in different places, it can harm your deliverability. SPAM filters will delete your messages if there are too many links in one e-mail. What?s Your Signature Line? Most marketers do not differentiate how they sign off. Don?t join the masses and sign off with the usual ?to your success? or ?all the best?. These are boring. Use incongruence to your advantage and sign off uniquely. For example, copywriting expert Kenneth Yu uses: To Pulling Heartstrings and Pursestrings Kenneth Yu While list expert Tellman Knudson signs off: SHABAMBO! Tellman First though, you need to ensure your e-mail is read? 7 Subject Line Tips to Increase Your Open Rates 1. Scandal Unfortunately we as a human race are attracted to scandal, bloodshed and negativity. Take advantage of any current affairs and tie in the latest ?bad news? stories with your subject line. 2. (Use Brackets) Many marketers don?t use brackets. Putting in brackets teases us and makes us want to read what?s inside them. Many headlines that make it on dlwmmm.com/digg use brackets. Visit this site to get an idea what you could do too. 3. Being Incongruent When you normally send your e-mails in one particular style your customers will become accustomed to you being that way. So when you do something different to what you usually do, your customers will sit up and take notice. Just make sure you give a reason for the sudden style change, or it will just backfire and break rapport. Is the Money Still in the List? The Art of E-mail Marketing 4. Make it Snappy Many marketers write their e-mail subject lines following a sales letter headline formula. When everybody does this, your customer will lump them all together as more or less the same. However, when you use one or two short word subject lines, this jolts your customers out of what they?re used to seeing. Wake your customers up with a sharp, snappy couple of words. 5. ?The Truth About...? When you use ?The Truth About?.? subject lines, these convert well because your customer?s curiosity is aroused. They want to be in the ?know? and find out the inside gossip about a specific topic. For example, you can put, ?The Truth About SEO??, or ?The Truth About Massage Therapy?.?, or ?3 Truths about Pruning Roses?? Be specific about what your niche is about. 6. 2 Cheeky Shortcuts Thanks to Kenneth Yu for many of the tips about writing e-mail subject lines, but in particular for this simplest idea I have seen yet? Check out dlwmmm.com/crack This website has brilliant subject lines. Most of the articles these guys write end up on the front page of Digg. Their headlines are powerful and border on the insane! Type your niche into the search bar to get instant inspiration. When you use them in your own e-mails you?ll see a dramatic difference in your e-mail open rates. Visit dlwmmm.com/digg because the people at Digg write some of the most powerful headlines in the world. Take your niche and type it into Digg. What will come up are a whole bunch of successful headlines based around your niche. Be aware that the most successful articles will have more than 100 Diggs. (These headlines have huge social appeal and they work because the public voted on them.) 7. re When you put ?re? and then the subject line, it tricks your customers into thinking you are responding to an e-mail they?ve written to you. Although the open rates are high for this, don?t use this ?re? all the time. Your customers may get annoyed at you for tricking them and refuse to open your future e-mails.