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Aug 8th, 2008 Comments: 0

9 Proven List Building Techniques

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Mailing Lists are simply a collection of your subscribers / prospects e-mail address and other details, such as their names etc.

They’re created so that you have instant access to potential customers, readers for your articles and ezines, and fans who can help you with future projects.

Creating an e-mail list is , in theory, quite simple. You just ask people for their details. But in practice that’s rarely enough. Here’s some techniques that have proven to work:

1. Use an autoresponder. You can create e-mail lists without one, including manually adding requests to a hand-built list (unbelievably, once done this way!). But why bother? Today’s autoresponders automate the entire process. They manage your contacts, manage unsubscribe requests, allow simple broadcasts, send out pre-made messages to a schedule, and much more.

You can install a script at your own site, such as “Autoresponse 3″ or you can use a third-party solution. The former means you have more control, and the second path may help with e-mail delivery since companies such as aWeber and Getresponse forge ties with the likes of Yahoo Mail to ensure your messages are received.

2. Use a bribe. If you have a form on your website asking for a prospects details, offering a gift in exchange for the information will help urge them to complete it. The gift needn’t be expensive to yourself: digital goods such as ebooks are often used. E-courses make especially good bribes since the material is provided over time, to the e-mail address, ensuring your subscriber stays with you at least in the short term and surely long enough to make an impression :)

3. Use a squeeze page. This is an e-mail request form that is in reality a front-end to the main website. In other words, you cannot access the site until you enter your details. In effect the entire site itself is the bribe.

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4. Use your existing subscribers. A “tell a friend” script asks your existing visitors and subscribers to recommend other people who may like your site. And it’s common to provide even more bribes for those who enter, say, 3 or more addresses.

5. Using points systems. Similiar to tell-a-friend, some sites offer points that can be exchanged for goods or even cash. There have been several big promotions that have offered, say, 5c or 50c per subscriber that has joined from a recommendation. Sometimes a competition can help create a buzz as people try to outdo each other.

6. Creating a community. Offer a members area, password protected, at your site. People will of course have to register to join. Forums are also increasingly popular and can double as the members area on their own. Again, registration is needed to participate.

7. A site with a subscriber form and a reason to subscribe is of course just half the battle. You also need people to find the site, which is where promotion comes in. Try AdWords… buy purchasing low costs ads you can funnel visitors to your signup area.

8. Joint Ventures are also a great way to leverage your efforts. You can form partnerships direct with other publishers and agree to recommend each others lists, or you can use third party systems that will show various lists, including yours, across a network of sites. You of course also carry these services at your own site. Examples include: Listfire, ListdotCom.com, and many more.

9. Go wide: Ensure you have your forms across many, if not all ,your pages. Perhaps a main form on your front page, and a simple one-line “email and name” form on other pages in the header or footer.

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