If you are truly serious about making sales online you need to be thinking about creating your own targeted email list. Buying lists or sending blind emails is a waste of your time and money, not to mention sending emails to people that have not specifically requested them is a form of spamming.
A far more effective strategy is to create your own email list. It might take a little longer to build your list but those that sign up will be targeted and highly focused individuals interested in what you have to say and there's no better marketing position to be in
Getting started creating your own Targeted email list
Start by placing a simple opt-in form on your website or blog. Before you can create an opt-in form you will first need an autoresponder program to collect and manage your opt-ins. I use Aweber because it'sthe easiest and most cost effective application to use. Aweber will also create a web form for me that I can simply cut and paste into my website or blog. Once your web form is on your site you are ready to start accepting subscribers.
But let's back up a minute. People aren't just going to hand over their email address to you. They're going to need some incentive. That's where an enticing offer works its magic. But just any offer won't do. Depending on your niche you'll have to think about the one thing a visitor to your site would want the most. It should be something they won't think twice about giving you their email address for. Your offer should create curiosity and border on irresistible – an offer they can't refuse
But your offer has to go beyond sounding irresistible, it also has to provide value. You could grab the first thing you see on your favorite free e-book site and pitch it to your audience but that's not offering much in value and it won't do a thing for helping your audience understand what you are about. I suggest creating your own free offer.
If you are not a writer it's not hard to find quality private label rights (PLR) content. If you can't find what you need have it written for you, content writers are not expensive and the potential it has for bringing opt-ins will be well worth it.
Next you will need to create a PDF document of your content. This is actually the easy part. Download Openoffice.org, the download is free and it has a PDF creator that is super easy to use. Once you've downloaded Openoffice simply create your document and then click the 'Make PDF' button. That's it, you’re done! Now you have a PDF document that is ready for distribution.
If you are creating content using PLR be sure to customize it by adding your own personal viewpoint, ideas and tips but keep your document informative and non-salesy. Provide your readers with 'how to' tips and free links that will benefit them. Your PDF guide should be designed to provide useful information to your reader while building trust in you and your business. Be sure that each page of your document has your website address on it and sign off your document with your name and website as well.
Formatting your web form
Keep your web form simple. Ask for name and email address only. Asking for too much information discourages sign-ups. In as few words as possible describe your free offer that specifies a benefit. For example:
"Exclusive free guide for how to lose ten pounds in 5 days!" (benefit - fast weight loss)
"Hot off the press, new guide for how to train your dog in 3 days!" (benefit - fast training)
"Claim your free course "How to get more done in a lot less time!" (benefit – more time for you)
Subscriber Follow Up
Once a subscriber signs up, use your autoresponder to send them an immediate email thanking them for their subscription. Include in this email the link to your PDF guide. Also advise them of your intentions. If you will be sending them periodic tips or additional emails, be sure to disclose that. They may choose to opt out but if your free PDF is of value to them, chances are they won't.
Keep in mind that it's not the number, it's the quality of subscribers you have. Those that choose to opt-in because they like what they see on your website will be the most targeted meaning they're most likely to become customers.