If you intend to make money online one of the first things you should do is start to build an email list. If you have not yet heard the saying ‘the money is in the list’ then you have had your eyes and ears shut, it is probably the first thing all internet marketers will tell you.
When you have an email list of people who are seriously interested in your websites niche then you can promote to them similar products and generate money. The bigger the list the more earning potential you have. If your list is made up from highly targeted people who are interested in the same niche as your website then you again increase the chances of selling them relevant products. So it is important that you try and build an email list of people who are only interested in your niche. So how do you do that?
Creating an email list is a simple process really; you give away something of value in exchange for a person’s email address. The idea is simple; convincing the stranger to hand over the email address is the hardest part. To get your site visitor to hand over the details you need to give them something of real value. Here are five of the best freebies you can use to generate leads for your email list.
Free Reports/eBooks – For years people were giving away free reports & eBooks, at one point it seemed everyone was giving away a free report, they became pretty thin and useless. Many were re hashed material found in hundreds of other reports or simple off the shelf reports made from PLR content. PLR means Private Label Rights; you buy the content and can then re use it as your own or as you please.
Reports and eBooks can be written by outsourcing the work to writers on sites like Elance or Odesk.com for reasonable prices. Ideally you want to create the best eBook you can crammed full of useful information that makes it worth the lead handing over their email details. The bigger and the better is the way forward.
Free Video/ Video Series – This is an excellent give away, if you know something that people will find helpful like SEO then you can create a video or a series of videos that are very easy to make and then offer them as a freebie in exchange for email details.
Screencast video tutorials are made by using software like Camtasia, this is pretty expensive but there are free online software like ScreenCast-O-Matic.com that allows you to create 15 minutes of free video.
Normally 15 minutes is long enough for video tutorials, you could record a long one in two parts and use free software like Windows Movie Maker to stitch the two halves together to make a longer video if required or for the incredible price of $15 you can use the full version of ScreenCast-O-Matic that allows you to record longer videos and edit them in the editing suite.
Sales Page Templates/Themes -This is another popular freebie, if you have created a sales page that converts well like Zac Johnson did with his CPA sales pages you can give away the HTML template with images and headlines that can be easily edited with free HTML editing software like NVU.
If you haven’t been using any sales pages yourself you can always pay someone to create some based on other popular pages and give them away or even have a WordPress child Theme modified to your own specification and give that away for free in exchange for name and email details.
Sales pages, templates and Themes help the newbie to get started; do you think people would not give you their email details to take you up on that helpful offer?
5-7 Day eCourse/Online Course – This is similar to the video course and can in fact use video tutorials as part of the course. For this you offer a short trading course over a set period of 5 or 7 days and you send the new sign up an email with a new part of the course.
The email can contain the course material or you can set the course material on pages on your website and then each email will contain the link to the next part online allowing the new subscriber to study the next section.
There are for’s and against’s with both methods, I personally prefer to have the course online and send the new subscriber to the online pages, you can do so much more on a website page than you can within an email. It is more acceptable to put more content on your website than cramming it all into an email and you can add affiliate offers to the online page easier.
Competition – This one is a really good one but also a very tricky one to pull off, you create a competition like ‘Win a Free Website’ where people who want to try and win have to hand over their email details to enter.
The prize has to be chosen carefully, if you offer an iPad as a prize but your website is about healthy eating, it is very possible that your email list will have people on it who are not interested in your website content and only entered to try and win an iPad. These people will cost you money by being on your list and you will not make any money from them. So it is advised that you carefully pick a prize that is congruent with your website niche and content.
I know I don’t have to tell you but people like quality and value so the better the free product is the greater chance you have of getting people’s emails. Most websites run a newsletter which is a free weekly series of tips, ideas and advice.
People have been known to sign up to newsletters with ease because they do not feel like they were bribed, it could be worth offering your free eBook or video series as a ‘Thank You’ for people signing up to your newsletter, this way it feels like a bonus and not a bribe, people like that.
Internet marketing has developed many ingenious techniques to manipulate people into handing over their names and email addresses and this has in turn created a lot of cynical people. With marketers promising the world then giving away poor quality freebies after they received the email, it can leave a sour taste in the sign ups mouth, but getting an email address by a non bribed sign up and giving them a quality thank you gift can have a very powerful effect on them. That is something I think you should consider while you are developing your free gift.
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