The money is in the list. How many times have you run into this saying online? Chances are, if you read webmaster or affiliate marketing forums, you have hit on this saying more than a few times. In fact, many online marketers swear by this saying. The reality is that for every one hundred marketers that go through the time, effort, and bother of getting a domain name, setting up a landing page, taking out an autoresponder account at GetResponse or Aweber, only a handful make any money off their mailing list.
Most end up with very little for all the resources they invest in their list marketing business. What gives? Simple: Most of the people who try list marketing are going about it the wrong way. They think it is some sort of ‘set it and forget it’ ‘turnkey’ business. If you think this way, you are bound to lose money with list marketing. Seriously. If you want to actually make money with optin email marketing, you have to look at your project without a ‘cookie cutter’ or ‘money making template’ mentality. You have to be strategic and methodical. You have to create a customized solution to produce real mail marketing results. Consider the following tips for mailing list optimization.
Get a Clear Idea of what your Target Niche is and isn’t
Just because you have a pre-set notion of who your target audience is doesn’t mean you’re right. You’re merely guessing. You need to base your list on real, hard, facts. Study lists and landing pages that cater to your same niche. Join those lists. Figure out which sites link to them. Study the users of those sites. Are these people really your target audience? Or is your ideal target audience a sub-set of a larger audience? Know the difference. How do you know which target audience to go after? Figure out the likely buyers of the particular products you’ll be selling through your list. Without this information, you might find yourself barking up the wrong tree.. a lot!
Figure out where your Target Audience can be Found Online
Regardless of whether you’re selling left-handed monkey scratchers or one-eyed glasses or some other ‘specialty’ products or weird services, your audience already exists online. The problem is not determining the existence of a particular pool of potential buyers, but figuring out where they are online. You need to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and use Spyfu or some other keyword-based spying tool which websites cater to specific keywords that might be used by your target audience members. Use Google’s Adwords Media Planner to figure out the traffic volumes of certain sites. With these and other data points, you should be able to piece together a list of likely places where your target audience members can be found.
Build Squeeze Pages Based on Different Traffic Sources
Once you are clear regarding the different sites that cater to your target audience members, you can’t be lazy. Don’t use a ‘one size fits all’ approach and use the same landing page to capture leads from the traffic you’ll send from all these different sources. If you do, you will be wasting your hard-earned money on paid traffic. You would be buying visitors and dumping them onto pages that aren’t customized to convert users who come from different sources. Some sources would do well, many won’t. Don’t be lazy-create custom landing pages customized to the different places where your traffic is coming from.
Make sure you are Ready
Even if you create custom landing pages for the many different sources of your traffic, you need to make sure these pages are converting your traffic at an optimal level. Again, if you fail to test and customize, you will be wasting your hard-earned cash. Invest some time and money into split testing your squeeze page for each traffic source. Figure out which version for a particular traffic source converts the most visitors into list members. Make different versions of this ‘winning’ page and keep picking variations that produce the most conversions. Eventually, you’ll end up with a design that converts specific traffic sources’ traffic at very high levels. Do this for all the other landing pages for different traffic sources.
Don’t Rely on Freebies – Build Trust Instead
Instead of offering a free ebook or other digital goodie like almost every other list marketer, use information pages that get the reader excited. Eventually, lead them to a section where they have to opt in to get the specialized information. Called a ‘reverse opt-in’ page, this page gets lots of emails because you’ve gained the reader’s trust by the point they reach such a page.
Don’t Rely too Much on List Swap Services
There are many services where you run an ad advertising another mailing list. In return, they run your ad so people can join your list. You ‘swap’ each other’s opt-in list members through such an arrangement. The problem with this is that most of the list members who join such lists are list squatters who don’t buy anything. They merely join lots of lists to get freebies and they don’t do anything else afterward.
Send Real Updates NOT Spam
Now that you’ve built up your mailing list, don’t let all that time and effort go to waste by sending email after email composed solely of affiliate links. There are other more efficient ways of killing your list. Still, when you send ‘updates’ with affiliate links and little to no content, you’re killing your list. Get better results by sending real content updates based on the topics your list members signed up for. The more on point your content is, the more your list members trust you. The more they trust you, the more they’ll buy from you. It’s that simple. Don’t mess things up by sending garbage.
It is too easy to screw up email marketing. It is not a ‘turnkey business’ despite its high level of automation. You need to put in a lot of effort to make it produce the results you want. Keep the tips above in mind to start and operate your mail marketing business the right way.