List Building For Smart People (How To Build An Email List In 2013)

If you’re new to the Marketing Show and want to grow your email list and build an audience of loyal buyers, then you’ve definitely come to the right place…

Welcome!

We created this List Building Resource Guide for you. You’ll get seven short but actionable steps that will grow your email list (and your business) even larger than you thought possible this year.

If you’re already part of the Marketing Show Family, then join me for a live landing page event here — Where you’ll discover how we tripled our revenue in the last 12 months.

List Building 101 Resource Guide  – 7 Steps To Increasing Your List Building Efforts In 2013

 

Step 1: Getting focused, and setting THE priority

The first step to increasing your subscriber base is getting focused, and setting an end result.

As simple as it sounds, this is one of the biggest areas of opportunity for entrepreneurs. It’s like a sniper trying to improve their accuracy without setting up a target.

Getting as many opt-ins as possible isn’t a goal you can measurably attack.

  • How many opt-ins do you specifically want?
  • When do you want the opt-ins by?
  • How much money or time can you invest in accomplishing your goal?
  • What are the consequences for not achieving your goal?

Keep refining your goals until you understand every variable at play, and then you can start making the adjustments needed to hit the target every time.

The Ultimate Priority

Your ultimate priority is to increase the amount of value your business provides to a specific audience, and that’s how you will create a loyal fan base that consistently buys from you.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.” – Albert Einstein (he’s one smart dude!)

If you try to increase sales without increasing value, then you’ll be yet another snake-oil marketer. – Tweet This

Step 2: Take Action

Don’t wait around until you feel the graphics are perfect, the copy is perfect, the sales funnel is perfect, the follow-up campaign is perfect, and the offer is perfect before you launch something.

Marketing TIP: The only “perfect marketing plan” is the plan that involves action. – Tweet This

Action produces results, which can be scientifically analyzed and tweaked to increase the results of your marketing campaign (ROI).

Until you have data to back up your marketing, then all you are doing is guessing — not testing. – Tweet This

Step 3: Setting Up Your Lead Capture Pages (i.e. Your Landing Pages)

To be able to start testing and collecting raw data, all you really need (at the bare minimum) is:

  1. a landing page (we use LeadPages™)
  2. analytics (we use Clicky and Google Analytics)
  3. a traffic source (see below).

If you need a lead capture page, then here are some free resources for you:

Note: I don’t believe that having an “Opt-In Bribe” is absolutely vital for you to start building your email list.

Please don’t think I’m saying that you should never use an opt-in bribe.

… nothing could be further from the truth!

I just don’t believe that having an opt-in bribe should be a replacement for creating exceptional content that really helps people.

Listen to this Episode of the Marketing Show for further explanation:

Opt-In Bribes People Actually Want (the days of the “FREE Ebook” are numbered)

Step 4: Getting Traffic and Building Your Email List the Right Way

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs (I believe) are the countless “Million and One Traffic Strategies” products currently in the marketplace.

I believe this is the wrong approach, and too much information will cripple you from taking action.

Every source of traffic needs its own landing page, and requires a specific strategy for producing a positive ROI.

Examples:

PPC traffic has its own set of guidelines, rules, and strategies that work for the PPC audience. You’re touching “cold” traffic, meaning even the copy, follow-up series, and sales funnel will differ from targeting blog readers or newsletter subscribers.

Converting YouTube viewers into customers will take a completely different approach from marketing with joint venture (JV) traffic.

So my advice is to decide on one traffic source (and only one traffic source) that you will start with first, and then focus your efforts on establishing a positive ROI with that specific traffic source before expanding your traffic strategy.

Get this Free Web Traffic 101 Course Here.

If your business uses video marketing, then you may want to check this out:

Easy, Hands-Off Way to Skyrocket Views of your YouTube Video

And if you’re just getting started, then check out:

How To Drive Traffic and Create Sales Without Using An Email List

Step 5: Split Testing, and Building Your Sales Funnel

Now that you have data, it’s time to start focusing on split-testing and building your sales funnel.

(A/B) Split testing is one of the easiest ways to double your opt-in rates overnight, as you can see in these episodes of the Marketing Show:

After you have set up a split test, it’s time to focus on your sales funnel.

In a perfect world, your funnel would never end, and interested, loyal clients would never run out of ways to continually deepen their relationship with your business (which means continual revenue).

Check this podcast: “And then what?” – The Never Ending Sales Funnel

Step 6: Plugging the Holes, and Expanding

Now this step is where the rubber meets the road.

Did you meet your goal?

If not, then we have some questions to answer…

  • Where’s the hole at?
  • Is it the offer?
  • The traffic source?
  • What went wrong?

Here’s how we find out:

Let’s dive into the data, and see if we can get some clarity on what’s going on. The metric I look at (other than opt-in rate, conversion rate, earnings-per-click, and overall sales generated) when I’m launching a new campaign is the time the visitor spent on the site.

This will tell me if it’s the offer or the traffic source I need to start tweaking first.

If people are spending a nice period of time on your site, but they’re just not converting like you want, then this is a great sign.

Why?

This means your traffic source is delivering people who are interested in your product, but something is preventing them from converting to a buyer (or at least a subscriber to your newsletter).

This is when you should split-test the headline, then the body copy, and lastly try modifying the actual offer (e.g., adding bonuses, free trials, etc…).

BUT, if your bounce rate is high, then that’s an indicator that your content is to blame, or that your content isn’t a good match for your traffic source.

You could try to split-test headlines and/or copy in this case (to try and grab and hold their interest), but chances are (depending on the severity of the bounce rate) you might just be barking up the wrong tree with this traffic medium.

I would also recommend checking out this post on:

How To Calculate The Value Of An Email Subscriber

Step 7: Rinse and Repeat!

Now that you’ve gone through this entire process, keep repeating the process. Keep “rinsing and repeating” until you achieve a positive ROI with your primary traffic source.

Once you’ve maximized your current traffic source, then simply expand to the next one.

… and then the next one after that, and then the next one after…

I hope you enjoyed and will share this List Building 101 Resource Guide!

  • Marcos

    Wow! that was an amazing tutorial and post. I have seen a lot of a expensive courses that offer less information than this post!

    Here are some other analytics techniques I use.

    The first one is segment your data by using number of visits. Don’t expect your first time visitors behave the same as your old time visitors.

    If a first time visitor, look at your sales page or other offer and don’t convert, well ok maybe he is not an impulsive buyer or doesn’t know enough from you before investing 10 little payments of 2500$ in your latest miracle course. On the other hand, if someone is reading your 50 feet long sales page for the 10th time and he still not buying, than what is holding him? The price point? the benefit? , etc.

    Here is another example why segment is important: Do you think I care if someone that is already in my list didn’t subscribe to my list…again? Hell no! So with segment, I can filter out my list members and focus on the real targets.

    The second trick is to look at your exit page and funnel abandonment. I agree with you, bounced rate is a great metric, and you should use it, but it works only for one page visit. So when a visitor enter your blog, read your post, click on a link, see your squeeze page and decide to leave, your squeeze page bounce rate will be 0%. On the other hand, your squeeze page will be flagged as the exit page. Exit pages are a great way to discover the places where your website failed to engage your visitor to the next steps.

    Keep up the good work, and thanks for this amazing (and free!) content!

    • Jason

      Thanks a lot Marcos!

  • This post is the kind of value that creates more out-ins. Thanks, Clay, for this amazing resource.

    • Jason

      Hey! Thanks Slee and Topher for the kind remarks 🙂

  • Great post! What would be really helpful is a lesson on doing A/B split testing using LeadPages.

    • Jason

      Thanks Andy! I’m working on it 🙂