Categories : List Building

Reviewed By Mark Salmon - Rating : 5.0

List Building Video Splashv2In this article I will discuss how to build your list of subscribers quickly and why this must be your absolute #1 priority as a business.

The business of internet marketing is about putting people onto lists, sending them emails and them clicking on the links in our emails, purchasing products and services that we recommend, in return for which we receive money/commissions.

The important thing is to focus on list building as your goal – the size and quality of your list is key to the size of your income and success.

Building a list is simply a question of maths.

It requires traffic/visitors to a your website or landing page to click on an offer (free or paid) to join your list and for you to then follow-up with them to develop a relationship and make offers.

The number and quality of subscribers you get onto your list depends upon a number of variables:

  • the volume and QUALITY of traffic i.e. how targeted it is for your offer
  • the conversion % of your landing page(s) (which can be increased by testing variables)
  • the quality of relationship that you develop in the follow-up process.

These are the key metrics that Ryan Deiss works on:

$1 per subscriber per month i.e. 1,000 subscribers = $1,000 per month

20% email open rate = 200 opens 30% Click Through Rate from his emails = 60 clicks

@$1EPC = $60 x 4 emails per week = $240 per week

There are 4 weeks in a month = $960 per month from a list of 1,000 subscribers

These metrics give you a guideline to work to.  In practice, the numbers will vary from niche to niche and marketer to marketer so they are merely a useful ‘rule of thumb’

So how do we get, say, 1,000 subscribers?

We first need to offer ‘something’ to a subscriber in return for their email address – either free or paid.  The offer needs to be relevant to the reason they visited your web page.

(Having a free offer is not an essential pre-requisite for list building – you might simply have a squeeze page with a headline that piques the visitors curiosity and then redirects them straight to the sales page of an affiliate offer e.g. ‘This guy generated 1,000 subscribers in 2 hours at zero cost – register to find out how’ – as soon as the visitor opts in they are redirected to a sales page with that headline to their main offer.)

If we make a good squeeze page, we could convert perhaps 30%/40%/50% or more of our targeted traffic to subscribers (compared to perhaps only 5-10% if the offer is a good paid one to warm targeted traffic.)

Most marketers choose to make a free offer and then immediately follow this up with one or more paid offers in a sales funnel, supported by a follow-up email marketing campaign to maximise conversions.

Another popular tactic in the internet marketing niche is to make free and paid offers via the Warrior Special Offers Forum, which naturally has a lot of people looking for information in that niche.  This can be supported by affiliate traffic i.e. affiliates drive traffic to your offer in return for a commission.

If you are driving traffic to your blog, the number of subscribers may depend upon:

  • the quality of your content
  • whether you are asking for their email address frequently throughout your blog – sidebar, in page, footer, header, in content links, exit etc
  • what you are offering in return for their email address
  • the quality of the traffic to your website i.e. how targeted it is

Conversion %

Conversion percentages are driven by a number of factors:

  • how targeted your traffic is
  • the relationship and emotions, you can create with that traffic
  • the quality of the offer
  • how much information you ask for at optin – you will get better conversions asking just for an email address than asking for more complete details like name, address and telephone number (although leads that do give this information may be more qualified and therefore more likely to convert to a sale.)
  • the clarity of your offer i.e. no confusion.
  • the quality of your copywriting – why it’s important (the hook), what it does for them (benefits), how they can do it and where they can get it NOW!
  • the optin mechanics and how frequently you ask for the optin – pop-overs, two-step optins, exit popups, page load speed etc
  • the size and quality of your sales funnel – you can increase conversions by making a variety of different offers in your sales funnel.  (I include your follow-up email marketing as being a part of your sales funnel strategy.)
  • testing and tweaking your offer pages with A/B or multivariate testing.

Defining Your Target

Throughout this post I mention the need for ‘targeted’ traffic.  This means that you must have some understanding of:

  1. who you are targeting – demographics, newbies/intermediate advanced etc
  2. where you can get these people from e.g. Facebook advertising, solo ads, Warrior Forum, etc   If you cannot identify where to get targeted traffic from then you have a problem and may need to reassess your entire list building strategy.
  3. why your offer is attractive to them – does it entertain, educate or solve a problem for them?

The more focused and defined your market is, and the more you understand it, the more likely it is that you can make an offer to appeal to that particular market.  It is difficult to get good conversions by trying to appeal to everyone.

Earnings Per Click

This is an important metric for all internet marketers.  Affiliates may not mail your offer to their lists if they cannot earn $1 or $1.50 per click minimum on average from your offer.

If you are offering only 50% commission, the affiliate only gets $0.50 per click which may not be sufficient for them to mail their list.  You can rectify that by offering 100% commission on the basis that you may be able to earn commissions either from the offers made in the immediate sales funnel or from email marketing.

Earnings per click = sales revenue, divided by the number clicks or unique visitors to the sales page i.e. if sales revenue is $2,000 from 2,000 unique visitors that is $1 per click.

If you want to make a profit, the cost per click (CPC) needs to be lower than the earnings per click (EPC).

When you know your EPC, you also know how much you can afford to pay for traffic.  Traffic does not become a problem when you can achieve higher EPC’s than your competitors because it means you can afford to pay more for your traffic.

If you are offering your products through a sales platform like JVZoo or Warrior Plus then your metrics (other than CPC) are calculated for you and it is easy to monitor your conversions and EPC.  Alternatively you can use Google Analytics or paid services like MyClickBoss, Hypertracker, Adtrackz Gold, Quality Click Control etc.

The Purpose of Creating Your Own Products

When you create your own products, as opposed to just being an affiliate marketer, it puts you in the position of:

  • earning 100% from sales that you generate from your own traffic sources as well as building your list
  • you have potential for affiliate marketers to drive traffic to your product offer to generate profits and build your list
  • you control the terms of the offer – price, period of the offer, quantity offered etc
  • you have an asset you can leverage to grow your business further e.g. offer your product as an affiliate bonus to get more people on your list

If you do not have a product, then you need to master traffic generation so that you can earn a commission from other peoples products.

Ultimately, the best traffic strategy is to build your own list and then send them emails that direct them to whatever offer you wish.  With your own list you have an asset that you can readily turn into cash.

Sources of Traffic

There are many sources of potential traffic but here are some of the most popular:

  • affiliate traffic i.e. other marketers drive traffic to your offer in return for a commission
  • forum traffic e.g. WSO or signature link in forum comments
  • list traffic – if you have an existing list you can email them to send them to your new offer
  • solo ads – drive solo ad traffic to a free offer then offer your paid product as an upsell
  • Facebook Ads – highly targeted – or other PPC traffic
  • banner advertising on niche websites
  • media buys – you can buy traffic from many media sites
  • ad swaps – I’ll mail for your offer if you mail for mine
  • adding your product as a bonus to another marketers download page or membership area – the buyer has to opt in to your list to get the bonus
  • video marketing – a lot of marketers do ‘launch jacking’ by ranking their videos for new product launches.
  • blog traffic
  • social media traffic
  • and so on…

If your product has a good EPC, you will find that traffic is relatively easy to attract or acquire.

You are Running A Business

In internet marketing it is easy to forget that you are running a business and that your ability to generate sales and profit is what will ultimately keep you in business.

This being the case, you need to run your business as a business i.e. monitor, tweak, tune and know your numbers – traffic volume by source, CPC, conversion %’s, EPC’s, # on your list, email open rates and click through rates, sales revenue, costs and profit.

Once you know your numbers, then you need to work on strategies for improving your numbers.  If you can master the mindset of running your business by the numbers, then you will be well positioned to build your list of subscribers fast.


Mark Salmon is an internet marketing consultant. Mark creates digital information products about starting and building an online business. Prior to starting his online business, Mark was a corporate banker based in the UK, then ran a business consultancy for around 8 years before deciding that his future was internet marketing. You can connect with Mark at: Mark's Google Plus Page Mark's Facebook Fan Page Mark's YouTube Channel Mark's Blog

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