With the never ending algorithm changes at Google, relying on them to send visitors to your site isn’t a good business decision.
There are plenty of businesses who’ve ended up in trouble by believing there traffic would flow forever, only to find that one day, Google had removed them from their search results.
With no backup plan, you’re out of business.
By building a list of loyal subscribers, Google can be looked at as a bonus rather than a necessity.
With many people focusing their marketing efforts on the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, amongst others, they’re missing a trick.
With a list, you can promote any new content you’ve produced with the click of a mouse.
You’ve probably heard the often repeated saying “The money’s in the list”?
Well it’s true.
You need to take a long term view and attract as many followers as possible.
To collect people’s email addresses and manage how they’re handled requires some additional software. When building a list you need to abide by certain rules that cover sign-up, data security, sending messages and the ability people have to opt-out of receiving your emails.
I use a popular autoresponder called Aweber.
There are other well known equivalents like Getresponse, Constant Contact, MailChimp and Infusionsoft.
How do I get people to sign up to my email list?
Firstly you’ll need to add a way for them to sign up.
Your autoresponder will let you easily design opt-in forms to add to your website, these then send emails collected to whichever list you’ve specified.
You’ll see I have a form up there – top right, feel free to give it a go!
I also have one at the end of my ‘about me’ page which proves very useful.
Now people won’t just hand over their email address unless they can see an advantage in doing so.
They may be prepared to give you their details if you’re offering something of value in return, be it a free report or the chance to view an informative video. They may do it because they like what they’ve already seen and are interested in reading or watching future content you’re going to produce.
You can also send visitors to a ‘squeeze page’ on their way to any product you’re selling, harvesting their details in the process.
Just like the real world, building a relationship with people takes effort. You’ve got to engage with them on a regular basis. It’s just like life after school or college. Unless you keep in touch with your acquaintances, you slowly lose touch with them, until eventually too much time has passed. If you do meet them later in life, you find that you’ve really nothing to say.
When you’ve gone to all the trouble of building your list, don’t let it go to waste, you need to send regular updates.
As you send valuable information to your followers you help build your position as an authority in your market place.
Luckily you don’t need to write individual emails to each of your subscribers whilst trying to remember who’s received what.
The autoresponder does it all for you.
You create a series of emails and setup when you want them sending. The system lets you specify how many days after the first email to send the second and so on – the software even records who’s opened which ones.
You need to create a series of emails, start with enough for 4 – 5 weeks, 12 should be enough.
That way you can concentrate on getting new subscribers to your list.
Here’s another thing to note: Don’t try and sell to people in every other email – they’ll soon be unsubscribing and heading to pastures new. I’ve subscribed to some lists that just don’t get it. The one that sticks in my mind is a man called ‘Oliver’ – I’ve mentioned him before!
I didn’t unsubscribe just out of curiosity.
His emails still arrive in my junk folder, daily. And not just once, sometimes 7 times in a single day – never teaching me anything, just selling me the next big thing, always a new or better offer.
Where the hell he finds so many I have no idea!
The point here is simple- how can I take any of his offers seriously when 7 times a day he’s found me a better one.
If you’ve nothing of value to give, you’re best to keep quiet!
What about people using fake email addresses?
Yes, emails can be fake or people set up emails just to collect your free offer, however, most of them will be real. With the double opt-in system, where a subscriber has to confirm their email, you can be sure that the email used to sign up is working although you can’t stop people using a ‘throw away’ email for exactly this purpose.
If you produce interesting content and offer value to your audience, they’ll want to subscribe to your list and give you their real contact details.
This way you’ll naturally build a list of interested people, which is the whole point after all.
Best get list building..