3 Ways to Build Your Email List

The death of email marketing has been greatly exaggerated.

It is still the biggest driver of sales from all the websites I’m involved with. That’s right. It is pushing more sales for clients online than all the other techniques (including all the hoopla over Web 2.0, blogging, and social media).

With all the messages hitting us every day, sometimes it is good to revisit the basics. We simply forget. How do I know? I PERSONALLY forget at times.

Please understand. I’m not putting down any other methods at all. I’m simply stating the fact that time spent on building your list, your relationship with your list, and offers to your list is still some of the best spent time you have in your business. If you allow yourself to be distracted by the other bells and whistles, it’s going to cut your income.

Again don’t think I’m putting down other forms of promotion. I’m not. They ALL make great tools…especially for building your list. For example right now, one of my top 3 ways to build my list is this blog (and all the promotion that goes into a blog).

But what I have neglected a little lately is the concentrate on my email list including both content and promotional emails designed exclusively for them.

Remember this…
The money still isn’t in the list alone.
The money is in a relationship with your list.

Here’s the funny thing. I’ve been examining how my time is spent. In terms of time spent, emails sent directly to list members is some of the most productive time. Next place is time spent on improving Adwords campaigns (in case you’ve wondered why I’ve talked about Adwords a lot lately). Then time spent on product development and coaching comes in next.

Time I’ve spent in social media is on the lower end of the scale which is why whatever can be outsourced there has been outsourced.

For promoting your list, there are a LOT of strategies you can use. I cover numerous ways to build your list in my Email Mastery course.

Here are 3 of the top ways I’m building my lists right now (yes, that is lists plural not singular list):

1. PPC

I’m loving PPC because it eliminates all argument. You can generate traffic quickly. You can test ads, landing pages, keywords, etc. It boils down to the cold numbers. How much are you paying per subscriber to your lists? How much of that money are you earning back form the immediate promotion after someone signs up for the list?

The best case scenario of course which I have on a couple of campaigns is when the immediate sales right after email sign-up put you back at break even or in a slight profit. In other words, you’re earning money WHILE building a list. Other times it is taking me a couple of months to make the leads profit (through follow-up and sales).

I GUARANTEE I will be prioritizing more time towards PPC next year on the list building front. One of the beauties here for me is there are no trades or deals you’re making. Sometimes with JVs and affiliates there is a quid pro quo expected. If your promote my product for an affiliate commission, you expect me to do the same. Well what if I’m not comfortable promoting your product for whatever reason? Issues occur. PPC doesn’t have that coming up.

2. Affiliates

Affiliates can end up building your lists. On many of my sales pages I run popovers to build the lists or create an opt-in form in the sales page itself. If you’re using an affiliate tracking system like Netofficetoolbox (or others out there), you can automatically track affiliate referrals and pay them commissions. It could be on that product or even another product you sell. They still get paid (although no affiliate tracking system is 100% perfect).

Even though you’re sharing a portion of your profits from all these leads, they are still some of the top leads you can have in your business. They responded to someone else’s endorsement of you so automatically have a higher level relationship when they come in. If I compared the two, these leads are often worth 2 to 4 times what the PPC ones are (although that is an estimate from experience not a straight test result).

3. Blogging

There are a LOT of advantages of blogging…one of which is the number of email leads being produced through the blog. It’s easier to rank on the search engines through blog. Plus you’ll find it easier to generate traffic from other blogs as well with this format.

You will not see me quit blogging at any time, although you will see me moving this blog to another location in 2009. Some of the strategies that work well here with list building are that “What Would Seth Godin Do” plugin which offers my list at the bottom of each post for your first 3 visits. You see a subscribe box on the right side of the blog. In addition I’ve tested the popover which will be tested again to show up a limited number of times to generate more email subscribers.

Which Methods Are You Using To Build Your List?

Which methods are you using to build your lists? As I said, I do have other methods in place, but currently these are the 3 strongest list building methods running for me personally. Other methods that are very effective include Youtube videos, article writing, offline advertising, and list trade mailings (where you mail for someone elses list in exchange for them mailing for yours).

Whatever methods you’re using, keep concentrating on those lists. Keep building them and your relationship with your subscribers. No matter what other “exciting breakthroughs” we see, your relationship with an email is STILL where the money is at.

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