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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Part 2 - How to Build Your Mailing List at Little to No Cost

(I recommend you go back to Read Part 1 of this article before starting this one if you haven't already.)

How to build your opt-in mailing list for little to no cost

If you have a business website, landing page, Blog and/or Facebook page, each should have a sign-up form requesting name and email address installed.  If you do not know how to add a sign-up form, there are plug-ins and apps available for Wordpress sites, Blogs and Facebook pages.  Many web hosts also offer these plug-ins.  AWeber also offers opt-in form templates.  You can also use a form host service like Wufoo which does not require knowing how to write any code.  If you want someone to handle the creation and installation of your custom opt-in form, consider using a provider from Fiverr.  All services are available at a base cost of just $5 and a wealth of web design, coding and other talents abound on the site.  Keep a watch here as well as I will be posting how to go about selecting and installing opt-in forms on Facebook, Blogger and WordPress in later posts.

Using a pop-up opt-in form to build your email subscriber list

You can boost your opt-in subscription rate by also installing a pop-up opt-in form on your website, landing page or blog.  If you have a WordPress site or landing page, many plug-ins are available that will create a pop-up opt-in form for you.  In fact, WordPress offers hundreds if not thousands of plug-ins, many free of charge.  It is more difficult to find opt-in form plug-ins for Blogger but they do exist.

There are also universal opt-in pop-up forms that will work with most websites, landing pages, email services, etc.  One such service is Pippity.  The service also hosts your form starting at $49 a year for one website.  Although there is a cost, you can create your form in mere minutes on the site.  Of course, once again, you can always hire someone from to create, customize and install your opt-in pop-up form for you at a cost starting at just $5.

There are a number of key spots where you should consider installing your opt-in form.  These include:

1.  Dedicated Landing Page:  This is a standalone, one page website designed for the sole purpose of collecting email opt-in subscribers, or could me a page dedicated to this purpose on your website.  You can link to this page in your Facebook and AdWords advertisements (this would be the page ad readers click through to), your email and forum signatures, your social media profiles or author bios, or anywhere else you have content online.  By offering a free download of some sort, such as a how-to report or e-book, you can dramatically increase your sign-ups.  You can also segment your subscribers for micro-target purposes based on the topic of the information product they downloaded.  Here is an example of a pop-up opt-in form that hovers over the landing page developed for my how-to e-book, "List Broker Riches."

Note that this opt-in form pre-populates the to field if the visitor is signed into Facebook.  If not, they can fill-in their email address in the field below .  This pop-up opt-in form was created with a Wordpress plug-in called Opt-inPop.  Note one of the the free offers:

2.  Sidebar or Under Posts:  If your Blog has a sidebar (side menu), this is also a great place for an opt-in form.  Blog posts can drive organic search traffic which essentially turns each of them into a landing page.  As such, you’ll want to optimize each piece of content with your opt-in.  Below is an example of an opt-in form installed in a right hand sidebar.

Notice that both is opt-in form and the one above offer a free digital product download.  The top one offers a free e-book and the one immediately above offers a free software product.  Another great strategy is to install a link to your opt-in form below each and ever one of your Blog posts. 

3.  Headers and Footers: Many visitors to your site may want to get a quick sense of your site, perhaps bookmarking it to delve into later.  By having a simple opt-in form in your header and/or footer, you make it easy for them sign-up before they leave the page.  Here is an effective design of an opt-in form embedded in a website header.  Notice the call to action graphics on either side of the simple form:

Here is an example of a simple opt-in form in the footer section of a web page:

This example from is also very well-designed as it embeds a free offer in the footer area as an incentive for opting-in.

Now you need to drive traffic to your opt-in forms.  Here are two ways you can do this that will cost you nothing at all!

The first method is through a joint venture marketing arrangement with one or more established Internet Marketers.  This is where the other party sends your marketing message out to their opt-in email list in exchange for a percent of the sales proceeds generated by the e-blast.  This arrangement typically involves a 50/50 revenue share and may even provide the list owner with 100% of the sales proceeds.  The latter is more common when the email is being sent to a large list and/or by a recognized name ("guru") in the Internet Marketing Industry.  But why would you be willing to give up all the profits to the other party?  

The reason is simple.  What you are after are the opt-ins that YOU get as a result.  While your joint venturer takes the profits from the e-blast to their list, you keep 100% of the profits from all future e-blasts to your new opt-ins.

Where do you find Internet Marketers to joint venture with?

If you are already subscribed to any Internet Marketer's opt-in lists or blogs, just contact them privately and see if they'd be willing to do a joint venture e-blast to their list for you.  If you are just getting started and don't have any contacts like this, start signing up for the opt-in offers on Internet Marketer's websites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc.  You can easily find them by Googling virtually any Internet Marketing topic.  Two other places you can find them are on Clickbank as this is a popular site where Internet Marketers promote and offer their digital products to affiliate marketers.  Another great resource is the Marketing Warrior's forum.  In fact, I highly recommend both for anyone looking to sell a product or service online.  You can register for the Warrior's forum for free with additional services offered for a fee.  Under the free membership, you can post questions.  Clickbank is also free to join as a buyer or to look around the site.  

If you're reluctant to share any of your profits, you can negotiate a similar relationship with one of the members of AdSwap.  This site enables you to do exactly what it sounds like -- that is to swap ads with another member.  They agree to send your email Ad to their list and you agree to send their email Ad  to your list.  If you are just getting started and do not yet have a list, try negotiating to send their Ad out once you have an agreed upon number of subscribers you can send to.  One strategy is to look for AdSwap members with small lists of 500, 100 or even 50 subscribers.  Then try to negotiate a swap with four or 5 members with lists in this size range.  Then keep repeating this process and you will build up your list in no time.

I would urge you to use all of the opt-in list building techniques I have discussed in this post.  Without spending any money on Facebook or AdSense advertising, both of which I recommend when you can afford it, you should be able to quickly build your own sizable opt-in email list.