Author: Ross Dalangin
Tip #1 – Create a well-crafted lead capture page. The primary function of a lead capture page is for collecting the names, email addresses, and other information about your audience/site’s visitors. So, you must have on your lead capture page information about your offer of a solution to your prospects’ problems to give them a reason to sign up/opt-in. Make it simple: use a headline, some bullet points about what you are offering, your autoresponder opt-in form, and the important points of your privacy statement. You can also use your lead capture page to introduce yourself and your brand.
Tip #3 – Use an autoresponder service. An autoresponder is basically a piece of software (or a service) that enables you to send/broadcast emails to the people in your list automatically. All you need to do is to create/compose your messages and set the dates when you want the autoresponder to send them out to your list. Additionally, autoresponders lets you easily set up an opt-in form on your lead capture page. A great example of an autoresponder is Aweber.
Tip #4 – Write the copy for your lead capture page with your prospects’ point of view in mind. Keep in mind that it’s far easier to convince people when you are in agreement with their train of thought than it is to force them to see it your way.
Tip #5 – Don’t make it difficult for your prospects. Deciding on whether or not they should entrust you with their email address is already hard enough. So, if they do give you their email address, give them what they asked for right away.
Tip #6 – Give away something of value. It could be a report, an ebook, a video clip, an audio recording, whatever, so long as it’s not trash. Make it something that people will love you for.
Tip #7 – Provide a preview of what people will receive once they sign up to your list. Remember what was mentioned earlier about “targeted and qualified” lists? This should reduce your chances of getting people who will sign up to your list “by mistake”.
Tip #8 – Make sure you have a confirmation/thank you page. This is where your subscribers will be redirected after they submitted their personal/contact information through your autoresponder form. As such, your thank you page will be the first experience your subscribers will have after signing up. So take this opportunity to make a (good) first impression on your subscribers or to build on the one you made when they first came to your site. Aside from thanking your subscribers for signing up, clearly explain to them what just happened, what happens next, and what (if anything) they need to do. You can also use your confirmation/thank you page to engage your subscribers with other conversion possibilities like a newsletter signup, an RSS feed, white paper download, etc.
Tip #9 – Provide an easy way out. As much as we want the people in our list to stay in our list forever, it is a must that they are provided with a way to opt-out. People who are wary of joining may not join at all if they don’t see a way out. You can actually gain people’s trust just by showing them that you are not there to trap them.
Gaining People’s Trust
Tip #10 – Don’t sell (at least not while trying to get people to sign up to your list). Keep in mind that people don’t like being sold to unless they are in a buying mood. And when they’re in a buying mood, they don’t need anyone to convince them to buy whatever it is that they’ve set their eyes on. So, instead of telling people to buy your products, think of ways to spark their interest in your product. You can create videos or articles showing how your product is made or how it has helped people’s lives.
Tip #11 – Be yourself. Many companies, as well as individuals, tend to project a perfect image of themselves wherever they appear believing that they will earn more trust from that. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is corporate marketing talk doesn’t earn trust. In lieu of that, connect with your audience by setting up a personal ‘company’ blog and write your blog entries in your own words. Be transparent about what you’re talking about. Encourage your readers to leave their comments.
Tip #12 – Show your audience/subscribers that you care and that you understand their needs. Reply to all the emails you receive from your audience/subscribers. Check out forums (even those that aren’t your own), as well as social networking sites, and respond to the issues raised about you/your company/your products. Make a site dedicated to hearing feedback and addressing all of your audience’s issues.
Tip #13 – Be an expert in your field. Gain trust by establishing credibility in your industry. Write and submit articles (relevant to your industry) to article directories/submission sites like Amazines, Ezine Articles, and Idea Marketers. Show your audience that you know what you are talking about.
Tip #14 – Be true to your customers. There’s a very good chance that your audience/subscribers/customers will recommend you to other people if they’re happy with you. So, be honest and transparent. If you want to hype up your products and services, make sure to provide guarantees. And make sure that there’s consistency in the service you provide.
Tip #15 – Create your own social networking site. There are online services that let you create your very own social networking site around any topic you want. Having such a website will enable you to pass on information to your members with ease and it can put a personal face on your company/business. Some examples of these services are SocialGo and Ning.
Tip #16 – Exchange links with similar sites – Having a link on a site that’s in a similar niche/subject/topic as yours, especially the popular ones, can gain you people’s trust.
Tip #17 – Get your site/lead-generation page to rank high in the search engine results pages (SERP). In short, optimize your site for the search engines (SEO). If you can’t do it on your own, find/hire someone who can. Here’s my high converting lead generation page ==> http://rossgifts.com. Check it out to see why.
Tip #18 – Leverage the virality of video sharing sites. YouTube, Metacafe, Break, there’s a bunch of them out there. Create interesting and informative videos for/about your niche/market and post them on your YouTube channel on a regular basis. Make sure to include the link to your squeeze/opt-in page in your video post.
Tip #19 – Respond through video. YouTube, along with other video sharing sites and some social networking sites allow you to post video response/comments. Posting video response/comments allows you to piggy back on the popularity of the video you are responding to/commenting on. In addition, video comments have the capability to catch people’s attention more than text-based comments.
Tip #20 – Make your presence known on social networking sites – If you have an account on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, make sure to mention about your products/services/offers (complete with the link to your squeeze/opt-in page) in your profile. If not, you can always signup for an account with all the social networking sites out there, preferably using a username and avatar that brands your business or you as a person, whichever it is that you want to promote.
Tip #21 – Create a blog on various free blogging platforms – Blogger/Blogspot, WordPress.com, LiveJournal, there’s a bunch of them out there. Fill them up regularly with new blog entries and don’t forget to include a link to your lead capture page. You can also set up an opt-in form on your blogs.
Tip #22 – Make the most out of your blogs’ RSS feed. If you publish useful/interesting content on your blog, there’s a very good chance that your readers will want to subscribe to your blog and probably even syndicate your posts on their site. And there’s no better way for them to do either of those than through your blog’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. Just don’t forget to include a link to your lead-generation page in your blog posts. More importantly, make your posts interesting and useful.
Tip #23 – Submit your blog(s) to blog directories. This will help you in building a following, readership, and revenue. Some examples of blog directories are Best of the Web Blogs, Technorati, and Blog Catalog.
Tip #24 – Comment on other people’s blog – Especially those that are in a similar or related niche to yours. You can also comment on those that are in a different niche so long as you stay relevant to the conversation. Just don’t link drop and run. Like I said, make your comments relevant to either the running discussion or the main blog entry.
Tip #25 – Do a guest post on other people’s blog – Some bloggers welcome guest bloggers. Try to look for them and offer to write an entry or two for their blog. The key here is relevance and quality content. Write an entry that will be useful and interesting to the readers of the blog you are writing for.
Tip #26 – Create a podcast. A podcast is a series of digital audio or video files released episodically online and downloaded through web syndication. Podcasting is actually very similar to blogging, except that you use audio/video to get your message across instead of the written word. And just like blogging, podcasting also utilizes RSS. (Screenshot courtesy of StackExchange.)
Tip #27 – Participate in forums. Join forums that are related to your niche and start participating in the discussions. Wherever permitted, include the link to your lead capture page in your forum sig file.
Tip #28 – Do some pay-per-click advertising. Google AdWords, Microsoft AdCenter, Facebook, just to name a few popular ones. PPC can get you instant and highly targeted traffic.
Tip #29 – Cost-per-action (CPA)/cost-per-lead (CPL) advertising. CPA is a paid advertising model where you (the advertiser) pay only whenever a person successfully performs your prescribed action.
Tip #30 – Advertise on ezines. Almost all ezines accept ads from third parties. If you don’t know what ezines are, these are online newsletters that website owners use to send updates, news and new promotions to their site’s visitors. You can place an ad for your website, product, or service in various ezines.
Tip #31 – Submit press releases to PR sites – If your site is new, you can write a press release about its launching and submit it to various PR sites. The thing about PR sites is that they will distribute your press release to various online news outlets. So, this is a really good way to get free inbound links to your site/lead-generation page. In addition, this can also help your site/page rank in the search engine results pages. Examples of PR sites are PRWeb and PRLeap.
Tip #32 – Create your Squidoo Lenses and HubPages – these two Web 2.0 sites are pretty hot these days. They allow you to create mini-sites or one-page sites on their “real estate” where you can link back to your site(s) or your lead-generation page.
Tip #33 – Harness the power of free online classifieds. The thing about people responding to classified ads are not just “leads” per se, rather they’re people who actually need what you have to offer. So, promote your site on online classifieds services such as Craiglist and OLX, and make sure to include the link to your lead-generation page in your ad.
Tip #34 – Join traffic exchange sites. A Traffic Exchange (also known as Hit Exchange) lets you receive exposure for your own web site, banner ads, and even text links by viewing the sites and ads of other people. However, since you’re after real people visiting your site, you may want to stay away from Auto Surf Traffic Exchanges. Additionally, paid exchanges generally produce better results than the free exchanges.
Tip #35 – Bookmark your site/page on social bookmarking sites. Digg, Delicious, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. These are just a few of the sites that you can use to bookmark your page/site.
Tip #36 – Post your free ebook/report/software on torrent sites. If you don’t know what Torrent sites are, these are sites that let people search for files (or torrents) that they can download/obtain from other people. Think of it as another distribution channel for your free offerings.
Tip #37 – Make use of Q&A sites – Yahoo Answers, AskVille, AnswerBag… look for unanswered questions that falls under your niche/category and answer them the best way you can (i.e., helpful information). Include your link in your answer not as a signature but rather as part of your answer. If you can’t find any unanswered questions relating to your niche, create one of your own. You can answer your own question but make sure you do it on a different computer and with a different identity so as not to raise any suspicion.
Tip #38 – Submit your site to Web directories –Yahoo! Directory, DMOZ there’s a bunch of them out there. In fact, there are hundreds if not thousands of them. Just look for them online. You don’t have to submit to all the directories that you can find. Just submit your site to the ones that are related to your subject matter/business (niche).
Tip #39 – Submit slide presentations and PDFs to content authority sites. Some examples of these sites are Scribd, Slideshare, and Docstoc.
Maintaining Your List
Tip #40 – Keep an eye out for unsuccessful sends. Mark/delete the email addresses that don’t seem to work (failed sends due to a full inbox, invalid email address, abandoned/deleted email addresses). This is important if you want to keep an accurate statistics and records as to how many are actually receiving your mail.
Tip #41 – Do not include pornographic, controversial, and other offensive content in your newsletters. This should keep you out of trouble. For your own good, stick to the nature of your site and business.
Tip #42 – Make your promotional materials interesting and fun. Give enough reason for people to want to stay on your mailing list. Be creative. Be original. And be relevant.
Tip #43 – Find out what people in your niche are interested in. This will keep you one step ahead of your readers and probably even your competitors. Be your subscribers’ bearer of new tidings. Make your subscribers eager to receive what you are sending them.
Tip #44 – Segment your list and send them the most targeted and relevant emails possible. You can segregate them into groups like regulars/frequent buyers, people who haven’t bought from you in a while, people who have never bought from you, etc. You can also segregate them based on their location, gender, etc.
Tip #45 – Don’t let your subscribers forget you. With the amount of emails that people are receiving these days, not to mention the spam messages that manage to get past the filters, it’s very easy for your subscribers to forget all about you. So, try your best to keep that from happening. The best way to do this is to reward them from time to time—reports, ebooks, etc. And make sure that the materials/rewards that you send them are full of great quality content.
Tip #46 – Don’t waste your subscribers’ time. Make your subscribers feel that you are adding value to their lives. Don’t just tell them that, make them to really feel that. Again, the key here is great, valuable content.
Tip #47 – Whenever applicable, educate your customers/subscribers about the products they purchased from you. Proactively share your expertise and knowledge through post-purchase email communication. Alert them each time you release an update. Provide them with supplementary materials. This should enable you to secure your customers’ confidence.
Tip #48 – Gauge your subscribers’ satisfaction. Keep track of your list’s opt-out rate. Find out what people are saying about you or your products online and off. Respond immediately to all the (positive and negative) feedback you receive. And improve on the things that need improvement.
Tip #49 – Distribute flyers. Old as this method may be, they can still be quite effective in getting people to your site.
Tip #50 – Use QR Code and 2d Barcode. Print them on your business cards, flyers, posters, car sticker or any printed matter you can put them on. QR codes allow mobile Web users to go to your site/lead-generation page simply by taking a picture of the QR code using their camera phone. (Image courtesy of Boise State University.)
Tip #51 – Become a sponsor. Sponsor a band performance, a public event, or anything that will put your brand in front of people.
Tip #52 – Radio advertisements. This might take a little more work to put together but, if done right, this can get you large amounts of high quality traffic.
Tip #53 – Newspaper/magazine advertisements. Placing an ad in a quality magazine/newspaper in your city or region is a sure fire way to get targeted traffic to your product or service.
Tip #54 – Never spam your subscribers. Nobody likes to be spammed and nobody likes spammers, not even the spammers themselves. Just bear that in mind.
Tip #55 – Avoid pop-ups as much as possible. You’re probably aware of the fact that many people are annoyed by them. You’re also probably aware that there are pop-up blockers. So, pop-ups are generally not so good an idea. (Screenshot courtesy of DailyBlogTips.)
Tip #56 – Do not flood your subscribers with too much information. Remember, too much of anything (even the good stuff) is never good.
Tip #57 – Never buy email lists from other people. The only thing you’re really buying when you buy an email list is a massive headache.