List building is one of the single most valuable marketing activities but unfortunately it’s also one of the things that a lot of businesses aren’t using to its fullest – or don’t know how to use.
People will invest a lot more into social media or SEO typically, despite the fact that e-mail marketing is what most bloggers and gurus say makes them the most money. The problem is, a lot of us just don’t know how to go about it. Thus they make mistakes, and thus they don’t view email marketing as such an important part of their strategy.
Here are a few things to avoid then if you want to get the most from your list building:
Mistake Number One
Not using a professional autoresponder
An autoresponder is a tool for you to use online that allows you to quickly collect names and e-mail addresses, and automatically follow up with those specific individuals in any fashion that you want.
Normally when you are building an e-mail list, it is smart to give away a free report, audio or video, so when prospect subscribes to your list, they get something of value in return.
After the person signs up for your list, and downloads your free piece of content, the autoresponder can be set up before hand to automatically follow up with the individual educating them about whatever it is that you choose, in whatever way that you choose.
One of the most important steps you’ll ever take as an email marketer is in choosing to power your mailing lists by establishing an account with a professional autoresponder provider.
There are many different reasons why setting up a remotely hosted autoresponder account is important, including:
1) Increased Deliverability
There is no sense in spending time crafting a high quality broadcast or email if no one is able to receive it.
By setting up your mailing list with an experience autoresponder service team, you can rest assured that your emails will make it to their destination.
It’s their job to maximize deliverability rates and help you connect to your subscriber base quickly and easily.
Professional autoresponder providers typically offer a quick “email check” prior to sending out your email that will analyze your mailing and determine whether it’s likely to be filtered by anti-spam tools. This enables you to quickly edit your email so that it is far more likely to be processed into your recipient’s inbox.
2) Safeguarding Your Mailing Lists
Professional autoresponder providers offer frequent back-ups of your database, in the event it becomes corrupted or inaccessible.
This is extremely important, because the last thing you would want to do is spend the time and energy developing a massive list of subscribers, only to lose it all.
Your autoresponder service provider will also handle all requests to unsubscribe, helps you comply with CanSpam regulations and provides you with the ability to write as many newsletter messages as you wish, and set up the dates and times when you want them to be published.
This means that you can write all of your messages at once and have them trickle out to your subscribers on specific dates.
3) Important Features
If you are interested in maximizing your open rate and overall response rates, you need to utilize the different features available within your autoresponder account including your average open rate, opt-out rate, response rate and whether any complaints have been sent in regarding your recent mailing.
Keeping a pulse on your subscriber base and how well they response to your broadcasts will help you improve your mailings and tailor your campaigns so that they directly communicate with those who have subscribed to your lists.
You can review detailed statistics for your entire newsletter by logging into your autoresponder administration panel (most autoresponder services should offer enhanced features, some with the option to upgrade for access to advanced tools)
Mistake Number Two
Poorly structured squeeze page
One of the most important elements of a successful email marketing campaign begins with a well-constructed squeeze page (the page that encourages your visitors to give you their email address).
Your squeeze page is the ‘doorway’ into your email marketing system and if it fails to convert visitors into subscribers, you will struggle to build your lists. Your squeeze page needs to be very clean and simple.
You want people who visit your website to be given ONE option only; to subscribe to your newsletter or mailing list.
This means that you need to minimize any external links, and really emphasis your opt-in form.
You also want to limit the graphics that you use on your squeeze page, so that it loads quickly and doesn’t distract your visitor from your objective; getting them on your mailing list.
In order to create an effective squeeze page that encourages visitors into subscribing to your list, consider the different types of incentives that you can offer. When it comes to listing the benefits you need to be clear and concise.
Make sure they understand ‘what is in it for them’, and what you are offering that will assist them (remember, solve a problem, address an issue, offer a way to save time, money, relationships, etc.).
When creating the body content for your squeeze page, consider underlining, highlighting or colorizing important information so that you can draw attention to the areas of your squeeze page that you want your website visitors to pay special attention to.
Savvy marketers feature a “bribe” on their squeeze pages that provide a special offer in exchange for a visitor subscribing to their lists.
You could offer:
Free Sample Product
Free Video Guides
Free Sample Chapter (from a paid product)
Free e-Courses, Newsletter, Magazine
This a very effective method of building your list, however you need to make sure that whatever you decide to offer is directly targeted towards your niche market.