If you really want to grow your list rather than see it decline, your content needs to be great. If you don’t start there, you’re just wasting your time because people will not stay on your list and you will be always looking for the next sucker who briefly comes in and maybe spends some money, but quickly leaves because you don’t give great value. I’m going to introduce you to lots of ways to get people on a list. Each method has lots of details on how to implement them successfully.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 058
Kick Start Cart – http://www.KickStartCart.com
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[01:46] Tom's introduction to List Building [03:53] Choosing a list hosting company [06:05] Signup forms [12:48] Lead magnets [14:22] Ways to get subscribers [21:58] Sponsor message [22:58] Advertising to get subscribers [24:32] Brick and mortar stores [25:29] Miscellaneous tips [26:42] Bonus tip
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
KickStart Cart – http://www.kickstartcart.com/
Great Internet Marketing Training – https://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com/
Exit Splash – http://exitsplash.com/
Sumo Me – https://sumo.com/
OptIn Monster – https://optinmonster.com/
OptIn Monster video 1 – https://youtu.be/bWHm_vUq_Yk
OptIn Monster video 2 – https://youtu.be/jbP9C9bQtv4
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Shopping Carts – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/10-shopping-carts/
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Episode 058 List Building The old saying is the “Gold is in the List” In this episode I’m going to tell you how to find all that gold.
Episode 057 Carol McManus formerly known as the “Linked In Lady” is a long-time radio and podcast host and someone who chucked the corporate world to live the life as an entrepreneur.
Today's sponsor is the distance learning school The Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia. Don't even think about retraining yourself or sending your kids to college until you check out our webinar on higher education. I don't want you wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars and putting yourself and your kids under crushing debt. We'll have the webinar in the show notes at screwthecommute.com
You want the good news or the bad news. The Bad news is that according to HubSpot
Your email marketing database degrades by about 22.5% every year.
Your contacts' email addresses could change as they move from one company to another, they could just decide to opt-out of your email communication, or maybe they finally decided to abandon that old AOL email address
If you don’t want that to happen and you really want to grow your list rather than see it decline, first of all your content needs to be great. If you don’t start there, you’re just wasting your time because people will not stay on your list and you will be always looking for the next sucker who briefly comes in and maybe spends some money, but quickly leaves because you don’t give great value.
Also, no matter how great your content, people won’t stay if you force them to sift through things they don’t care about to find what they do care about. Whenever possible you should segment people so they only see and hear about things that interest them. I understand you can’t always do this, but you should always try. If you have multiple topics, you should have multiple lists and do whatever you can to keep them separate.
Although me and people like me still make the bulk of their money from email, we now have Facebook messenger lists, text lists, mail lists and telephone lists. In this episode I’ll be concentrating on email lists.
I’m going to introduce you to lots of ways to get people on a list. Each method has lots of details on how to implement them successfully. You’ll have to research the methods you like, or join my mentor program and we’ll help you out.
CHOOSING A LIST HOSTING COMPANY
The first thing you have to do is to get ready to receive and capture someone who wants to sign up for your email list. Of course, I’m biased because I’ve been using and promoting KickStartCart for about 16 years. This is an entire shopping cart system which combines your shopping and customer functions with your email broadcast and autoresponder functions. This is really important so you don’t have multiple lists all over the place which causes you to send duplicate emails to people which makes them mad.
How do I know? Because I’m forced into this situation regularly because I had 150,000 subscribers on various lists long before KickStartCart was invented. So, yes, you do get duplicates from me sometimes but with my high volume of subscribers and sales, it hasn’t affected me too much.
I completely covered shopping cart systems in episode 10 so you might want to check that one out for all the details you need to know about shopping cart / email systems.
What you absolutely don’t want to do is try to send broadcast emails through your website’s email. For instance, I would never in a million years try to send a broadcast email to 100,000 people from firstname.lastname@example.org That might look like where it’s coming from, but that’s not the system that handles it. It’s not my website host server at all. Yes, I might send a one-time more personal email for 5 or 6 people from that address, but NEVER a broadcast to lots of people. First, many of your web host servers are set to maybe send oh I don’t know maybe 25 emails max at one time. This is just crazy. Don’t even attempt it. Do it right.
SIGN UP FORMS
The next thing you have to consider is the sign up or Opt In form for your list and where people will see it.
Your list hosting company will give you a form to put on your website or blog. Usually there is some level of customization of the look and feel of the form. For fancier signup forms, they usually take the code of your list hosting company’s form and use it in the fancy form. Basically, the fancy form is what the visitor sees and once they fill it out, the email address goes to your list hosting company….in my case KickStartCart.
If you have a blog with a sidebar, typically you see signup forms there. Although with the advent of more sophisticated software and plugins you can see giant signup forms across the top and/or bottom of sites or right in the middle of a page with a signup form that spans the entire width of the site.
You also see signup forms on Squeeze pages or reverse squeeze pages. A squeeze page is a page whose sole purpose is to get an opt in. The first style that was around for a long time and you still see them today had very little content or maybe a short video encouraging you to opt in. A reverse squeeze page still has the same purpose to get you to sign up but has a lot more content on it that in itself is helpful to the visitor. Reverse squeeze pages came around when regular squeeze pages became less effective because they didn’t show enough value to get someone to give up their contact info.
Another very common signup form is a pop up. You are most likely to see a dynamic HTML pop up. Dynamic HTML Popups are actually part of the webpage you are viewing and not a separate window even though they look like one. All you need to know about this is that they are unblockable by current browser standards.
When I say “dynamic”, I mean they can be really dynamic and do lots of attention-grabbing things. They can slide in from one side and slide out from the other. They can spin in. They can follow you down the page as you scroll. They can even spin in like an airplane propeller.
You can set a delay so they don’t appear until a person has scrolled a certain amount down the page or been on the page for a certain length of time. Some are even triggered by “exit intent” i.e. you move your mouse toward the top of the page like you were going to click to leave and boom, the pop-up fires. That’s called “exit intent”.
I try to include lots of benefits in my forms. In the old days people would sign up for just about anything. Nowadays you have to almost pay them to sign up for your free email newsletter. Here’s some things you might see on one of my forms getting you to sign up for my public speaking tips.
Be the hit of your next presentation and get paid for it too.
Killer tips and tricks. Be the envy of your colleagues,
600 pages of back issues, be great every time you speak, have them rolling in the aisles, etc.
We hate spam as much as you do. We won’t spam you to death.
Another decision you have to make is whether to make people confirm their subscription to your stuff. Whenever possible I use single opt in, but I’m always ready to turn on double opt in. Let me explain these terms and tell you the pros and cons of each.
Single opt in means a person can put their email address in your form and it automatically gets put on your list. The advantage of this is that they get on the list for sure and don’t have to worry about getting a confirmation email and clicking a link in it. The disadvantage to this is that robots can easily put fake emails on your list and people can harass others by putting someone else’s address in the box. This gets you spam complaints because the person getting your emails didn’t really put their email address on your list. Someone else that doesn’t like them did. Double opt in means they have to click a link in a confirmation email to get on your list. The advantage of this is that you know the person really wants on your list and they took the time and effort to click the link to get on your list. The disadvantage of double opt in is that many times the confirmation email doesn’t get through or they forget to click on it and they don’t actually make it on your list.
Captcha – This is the pain in the neck thing where they have some weird looking letters and numbers you have to type into a box before your opt in or form is accepted. Sometimes you have to click on a bunch of pictures which is a big pain in the neck and sometimes you just have to click in a box that says, “I am not a robot.” Although this is a pain in the neck it is pretty darn effective in stopping fake signups and spam stuff of all kinds on your site.
The next question is what information should you ask for? Here’s your rule of thumb. The less you ask for, the more people that will sign up. You may ask for more information if you want to hyper qualify a person before they get on the list. Some companies do this because they do phone or snail mail follow-up and don’t want to waste resources calling and mailing people who are just tire kickers. So, they ask for more information.
The next topic is lead magnets. This is a term for a freebie or incentive that someone will get for giving you their contact information. These can be pdf files, audio files, videos, articles, white papers, checklists, blueprints, free trials and less frequently consultations, and free coaching sessions, or anything that would be of interest to your target audience.
If you have programming capabilities or access to online tools, you could give them away in exchange for the person’s contact info.
The way it works in most cases is the person puts in their contact information and then immediately gets the lead magnet. If you are using double opt in, you may have them wait until after they have confirmed their emails address. When you’re doing double opt in it’s best to remind the person they won’t get their promised freebie until they click the link in their confirmation email. You do this after they hit the submit button by redirecting them to a page that gives them the reminder. Also, this page is a good place to show them how to “whitelist” your email address and which email address they need to whitelist. Whitelist means you are telling your email program, that a certain email is not spam and you definitely want to see it in your inbox.
WAYS TO GET SUBSCRIBERS
Now that you’ve got your list hosting company in place and you’ve got your signup forms, we can talk about how to get people to your form.
The first and most obvious is to encourage or incentivize or basically bribe any current subscribers you have to share and forward your emails to get their friends and followers to sign up. If you don’t have anyone yet, beg your friends and relatives to get the ball rolling for you and get on your list.
Another simple way is to put a simple mention in the signature file of your regular emails. Signature files normally have your name and contact information. You could add an advertisement for your newsletter so when you are doing regular correspondence with people they will see you have a newsletter. You could write something as simple as in your signature file “Sign up for Great Speaking Ezine” along with a link to the signup page and your phone number.
Now I’m going to give you a bunch of different ways to get people to your form. They are in no particular order.
1. Viral contests are a great way to get people opt in. The viral part is that if they share the contest on their social media and on their email lists, they get a bunch more chances to win if someone else opts in to the contest through their link. So, that’s’ a great way to build people up fast.
2 Next Facebook biz page button
3 Cross promote with other people on social media, i.e. they put your signup on their page and you put their signup on your page and you help each other out.
4 Cross Promote with other list owners Beware advertising in or writing for other lists to get subscribers because they could spam people and then you are in this spam email and that can cause you trouble.
5 YouTube Traffic Driving Videos YouTube is great for driving traffic to your website. I’ve got a formula for shooting YouTube traffic driving videos. Here’s an example of one, “Hi it’s Tom here and I know you are looking for internet marketing tips. Well you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been selling on the commercial Internet since there was a commercial Internet around 1994 and I hit multimillionaire status around the year 2000 so I just might know a few things that could help your business. Here’s a great tip for you (then I would give them a tip) for more great tips like this and to download a 20 page full color learning brochure visit https://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com If you like this video please give it a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel and click the little bell to get notification of when I upload my next video.“ OK. That’s the basic formula. If you go back and listen to this, you can break it down into “intro”, “a little bit of credibility”, “a tip”, “a specific lead magnet giveaway”, “spell out your website” and so forth. So that’s the traffic driving formula for YouTube. You just change the keywords and the tip and you can crank out lots of these.
Always base your videos on a keyword and say the keyword in the video because YouTube uses voice recognition to help rank your videos. Check out keyword research in episode 1 and it was the first episode of “Screw the Commute” podcast because it’s the number one mistake when people try to go online. So, go back and listen to episode #1.
6 YouTube Channel end cards “Subscribe with Email”. This shows at the end of the video and can take them to other videos plus encourage them to subscribe.
7 Blog and guest blog – On your own blog you can put an opt in in the middle of a blog post…not only on the side bar. You get a link back to you as payment for your guest blog post. Another thing you can do is create subscriber only content. You can have a blog post anyone can see, but if they want the advanced version, they have to opt in for it.
8 Co Registration Co-registration is when someone is registering or buying something and they are offered a sign up for something from another company. An example would be company “A” is signing someone up to “their” newsletter and when they sign up company “A”, gives them a chance to sign up for company “B” which could be YOU. If they do, company “B” pays company “A” a certain amount of money. I think I paid like 15 cents in the old days. It’s probably more than that now.
The reason co registration is very effective is because the person is already in the mindset of giving permission because they just did it for company “A”.
Make sure there are no pre-checked boxes. This is called “Opt Out” which means people have to uncheck the box if they don’t want your offer. This is considered spammy. Also, you will get lots of spam complaints if people didn’t notice the box they had to uncheck. They didn’t really mean to sign up for your list and you will hear about it from them. You still have to pay company “A” so don’t do business with a co-registration company who pre-checks the box.
If you do use co-registration make sure you follow up with the lead quickly. Remember they weren’t really expecting to sign up with some other company and may have done it on a whim. If you wait too long to email them, they may entirely forget they signed up and complain you are spamming them. It’s a good idea to keep track of where they signed up and the time and date stamp and IP address. In case anyone really complains, you will have evidence they actually signed themselves up.
Just make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company so they don’t give you terrible or fake subscribers.
And the last one I’ll mention here is that some email services have a “Text to Join” option which means you can sign up with your email through text. I don’t see too much of that.
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Now let’s talk a little bit about advertising for subscribers. You can advertise lots of places
And lots more places, but that list can keep you busy for a long time. You have to really watch your numbers when advertising for subscribers. You need to know the maximum you can spend to get a subscriber and still be profitable in the long run. After you get some numbers in your business you can calculate the lifetime value of a customer. I’ll probably do another episode later about lifetime customer values.
WHEN YOU ARE IN PERSON
Tradeshows, signage, freebies/leadmagnets, more info
Meetups that you organize, signup form. You have to be careful you can’t be too blatant at meetups or you’ll get your account shut down. Make sure you give great value at the event and keep the self-promotion really low key.
Collect in your Brick and Mortar store, “brick and mortar” means it’s a physical location not just an online business. Use signage, easels with your signup link, messenger codes which are circular, and maybe QR codes if you have a more techie audience. They never caught on much because in most cases you need to install a
QR code reader app on your phone. If you use a messenger code, make sure you put the instructions next to it to tell people what to do. If they’re on messenger, which most people with a Facebook account are, they won’t have to download anything. That was kinda the downfall of QR codes and why they didn’t catch on. You had to download a reader to use them.
Here’s some more misc. tips.
Use more interesting signup buttons like “Get Your Stuff” instead of “submit” or “Gimme my stuff” or “Let me In” or something like that.
Welcome letters in linked in groups can contain link to a squeeze page or signup form for a freebie
I’ll just give you some programs to check out.
Here’s an older program that I’m pretty sure still works
Leftover from Email marketing Episode 034
Here’s a bonus tip that I didn’t get to in Episode 034 email marketing. Make sure you go back and listen to that so you know how to sell to all the people you bring in with the techniques in this episode.
Give Occasional free gifts with no opt in. This gets great distribution without people having to give up their email address until you’ve proven yourself to have good info. You could put the opt in in the freebie so if they really like the freebie they can go and opt in from the freebie.
There are many more advanced ways to get targeted opt ins that are too complicated for this episode, but most people haven’t even done a portion of what I talked about today so get busy implementing and build that list.
Next Episode 059 Brian Fleming The Blown-Up Guy He was actually blown up twice in the war. His story of overcoming adversity is just crazy so don’t miss it. And remember to watch the higher education webinar at screwthecommute.com
Join my distance learning school: https://www.IMTCVA.org
Join the mentor program PLUS get a FREE Scholarship to the School: https://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com