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The Idiot-Proof Way To Build Your Email List

List building; it’s central to online marketing success. If you’re leaving it somewhat to chance let’s lay out, in simple terms, the strategies that are proven winners.

My last article for Tweak Your Biz discussed strategies to get the most use out of the content you have created. Reuse and recycle are great principles for the natural environment and they should also be applied to your business’ online environment.

In today’s “lesson” we’re going to reverse some steps I outlined. I talked about taking a huge subject, breaking it down into smaller topics for white papers and then breaking those down even further into individual blogs.

The Idiot-Proof Way To Build Your Email List

Now let’s take those blogs and editorially “sew” a few of them together to create one of those previously mentioned white papers as a PDF. With your shiny new white paper in hand, you’re ready to start your list building effort, which has two aspects:

  1. Getting your website ready, and
  2. Driving traffic to the correct page on your website.

Working Under the Hood

To get your site ready to seriously build your list you need an opt-in page combined with an auto-responder. People sign up (opt-in) to receive your great white paper – and be included on your email list – and the auto-responder sends out the white paper.

The actual design of the opt-in page is critical. It’s a landing page. It needs to state in simple and compelling terms why your white paper is the best thing since the invention of the wheel and make entering an email address simple. If you can’t pull off a simple design yourself, hire a pro who will have it done by the time you finish reading this article.

If you have a WordPress site, there are several plugins that you can use to create the code for the opt-in page. As you browse them, you’ll notice that most tout how they are compatible with email services such as Aweber, Constant Contact, and MailChimp, and this brings us to the next “technical” step.

Some of these plugins will also “send” the content to the user, or refer the user back to a download page. When they are compatible with a commercial email service, they make it easy for you to continue your engagement via newsletters, additional white papers, and offers.

If you don’t have a WordPress site, all of the email services provide code you can use to create your sign-up form on your landing page.

Working in the Wild

Now let’s leave the comfort of the coding environment and go out into the Internet wilderness and figure out ways to drive leads to your free white paper opt-in landing page. There are four basic options:

  1. Promote your white paper through content on your site,
  2. Promote your white paper through social media,
  3. Purchase ads, and
  4. Publish guest blogs on quality websites.

You should be employing the first two tactics already. I shouldn’t have to say anything, except keep the promotion of your white paper within the framework of offering value. If users see you as only a self-promoter, they will disengage with you.

AdWords or similar programs can be a decent way to attract prospects. If you’re in a highly competitive arena, it could be too expensive, however. Consider advertising in a popular email newsletter in a related market sector. You can get your offer in front of some highly qualified prospects using that technique.

Perhaps the most cost-efficient way is to write some guest blogs for other websites. All it costs you is your time and if you aren’t a great writer, hire a freelancer to create the content.

Take an afternoon to research websites and gather contact email addresses. Note what kinds of guest blogs have been previously published and work up a proposal letter. Send it out to as many sites as possible. All you need is one or two places to get started.

In the biographical section of your guest blog, mention your white paper and provide a link to the opt-in page.

Follow these steps and your email list will grow and as your list grows, your revenue should follow.

Images: ”Mailing ListShutterstock.com

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of small business marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing and social media. When she’s not publishing a weekly newsletter to educate small businesses on the vast importance of building up their web presence, she likes to keep her finger on the pulse of the latest small business products, services, apps and other reviews. She also keeps tabs on the foremost events for small business owners to attend. Megan spends much of her time building partnerships and establishing new relationships on behalf of ChamberofCommerce.com. With a strong suit for managing business partnerships and developing partner relations, she often cultivates topics around the partnerships she’s established by reviewing and highlighting what makes each business unique. She prides herself on keeping up with the diverse variety of services each business specializes in to spotlight new offerings. With her extensive repertoire, Megan regularly contributes to a growing number of publications, like Business.com, Disability.gov, Vistaprint, Yext, Infusionsoft, among many others. She can be reached at [email protected] http://www.chamberofcommerce.com

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Comments
  • Thanks for yet another great post Megan. As you say your email list is very important for your marketing campaign. I look forward to your next post




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