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Go to virtually ANY online marketing seminar and I will guarantee you that a good portion of that seminar is going to be aimed at telling you to build and manage your own lists.



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List Building For Fun and Profit

If you've spent any time studying online marketing, chances are pretty good that you've come across a version of this phrase:

"The Profit Is In The List".

I wholeheartedly believe this. So do many prominent online marketers.

Want to know the secret behind Robert Allen's "Make $24,000 in 24 Hours" program? It's the list! He sends an offer to his lists and the money starts coming in.

Go to virtually ANY online marketing seminar and I will guarantee you that a good portion of that seminar is going to be aimed at telling you to build and manage your own lists.

Look at your own email inbox. My bet is that you are subscribed to many lists. I know I sure am.

The folks that own those lists know that their profits are tied directly to how well they do two things:

Build their subscriber lists.
Manage their subscriber lists.

An absolute "must-have" tool for any serious online marketer is an AutoResponder.

A good AutoResponder will help you build, manage, and profit from your lists for years to come.

Used properly, your AutoResponder becomes your own personal online "ATM". You can send targeted offers to your lists over and over again and watch the profits come in.

This article is intended to help you push past the veil of list building and give you the simple steps you can start taking today to build your lists for fun and profits:

Step 1: Get an AutoResponder (of course).

My Recommendation is the TrafficWave.net AutoResponder system.

Why?

You can manage unlimited campaigns (build as many lists as you like).
Each campaign can have unlimited subscribers (build your lists as big as you like).
You can easily create, send, and track your letters (know what's working and what isn't).
Send letters in plain text or HTML (keep it simple or make it fancy. It's your call).

You can even try it out for free for the next 30 days at http://www.trafficwave.net/

Step 2: Start building your subcriber lists.

Here are a few simple strategies that I personally use to build my own lists:

Subscription Forms: Make sure you have subscription forms on all of your web pages. Seriously... put them on ALL of your web pages. No matter where a visitor goes on your site, they should be presented with the opportunity to request information from you by filling out your subscription form.

Capture Pages: Sometimes known as splash pages or squeeze pages, these are simple web pages with a compelling presentation and a subscription form so you can capture visitors' information in to your AutoResponder. Even if youi don't have your own web site, you can use capture pages to start collecting subscriber information.

Of course, both of these options require that you have traffic to your site. There are many many ways to get traffic to your site. Your methods will be determined by your available time and budget but here are the methods I personally use:

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PPC/Keyword advertising on Google
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Basically, you decide how much you are willing to spend to bring a targeted visitor to your web site. When they are searching for keywords related to your particular offer, that's a pretty good prospect. You don't have to use the most expensive or competitive keywords. Be creative. What are some other less common words visitors might search for to find products or services like yours?

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Traffic Exchanges (TE's)
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Don't expect to get flooded with a million visitors but many TE's offer a way for you to essentially trade some screen time. You visit a few sites and in exchange, your site is displayed to other members of the TE. Using a capture page here is a good idea. These folks are clicking through sites to earn "credits" so your capture page needs to capture their attention to get them to stop for a moment and pay attention.

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FFA Lead Generation Pages
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Like Traffic Exchanges, an FFA Page is not something that is going to flood your site with a ton of visitors but when used properly, FFA Pages can help bring you some good traffic. "FFA" means "Free For All" and the basic idea is that advertisers can place a free text/link ad to your FFA Page in exchange for agreeing to receive your ad. They get to add a single line of text and you get to send a full blown text ad to them. (Believe me... you get the better deal). These advertisers are typically submitting to hundreds or even thousands of FFA pages like yours so they are going to get a LOT of ads. Be creative in your subject line because again... you need to capture their attention with your offer.

Tips for success: Do not use your primary email address at all in relation to any FFA Page. You are going to get a LOT of email. Personally, I just use a free yahoo account. I check on it every few days by logging in, scanning the subject lines, and then doing a mass delete.

(Your AutoResponder account includes an FFA Page at no additional charge)

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Ezine Advertising
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Seek out Ezines that target your market and buy ads with them. This is a great way to focus on your specific market and attract high quality subscribers.

Recommended Resources:

http://www.ezine-dir.com/
http://www.ezinelisting.com/
http://ezines.nettop20.com/

These are great resources for locating Ezines in a variety of markets. Find the ones that are relevant to your offer and check out their advertising rates and policies. Depending on your budget, I recommend starting small and building your way up to larger ads and larger ezines. As always test and track for maximum efficiency.

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Classified Advertising
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There are a TON of classified advertising sites available online. The key here, as with any advertising, is to track your ads so you know which ones are bringing you results. Then repeat the ads that are working and drop the ones that aren't.

A quick search on Google for "Classified Advertising" will produce more options than you'll know what to do with. Narrow your search by adding relevant keywords such as "home based business classified advertising" or "automotive classified advertising" or "real estate advertising" etc...

Recommended Resource: If you are in the business opportunity field, meaning you are promoting a business opportunity or tools and services to promote business opportunities, I highly recommend The Online Ad Network at http://www.theonlineadnetwork.com as a great way to reach this highly profitable market niche.

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Discussion Forums
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A little diligent searching will produce discussion forums that are relevant to your market. By becoming a responsible and credible participant in these forums, you build your credibility. Some forums will let you post ads. Most do not. But by participating in the discussions in meaningful ways, you build credibility. Other readers can see your link in your discussion forum signature profile and visit your site to learn more. It may take a little time to build credibility. Be patient. Be wise. The long-term benefits can be priceless.

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Email Signature
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Most email programs on the planet have a Signature feature. Research yours and use it! Include a 2 or 3 line profile and include a link back to your web site. Hey... it's free advertising. Every time you reply to someone, your signature goes out with your email. That's another opportunity to invite visitors to your site.

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Article Marketing
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Take advantage of Article Marketing by writing relevant articles for your market. Articles don't have to be long and drawn out. Sometimes, it's better to create a short but informative article. This helps build your credibility online and gives you more opportunities to link back to your web site where visitors will find ... you guessed it ... your subscription form.

You may be reading this and thinking, "Does article marketing really work?"
Hint: You're reading my article now! (It works)

Recommended Resource: http://www.ideamarketers.com
This is a great resource for getting your articles published and widely available.

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Offline Advertising
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Any time you run print ads, create mailers, create business cards, etc... include your URL. Many times, when someone receives a direct mail piece, they immediately scan for a web site address so they can do some research. Most people today would much rather check out the offer online first.

Recommended Resource: http://www.nationwideclassifieds.com/usrpages/tssi.html
This web site offers great deals on newspaper and magazine advertising.

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Social Networking
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Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming more and more popular as networking tools. I have a lot of fun with both Twitter and Facebook. I'm able to reconnect with old friends, communicate with existing friends, etc... but the real power behind sites like these is found in your ability to build rapport and attract new business contacts.

There is a bit of an art to it, though. When I'm on any of the social networking sites, I like to act like I'm at an offline party like a cocktail party or mixer where people are all coming in to a big room and meeting one another.

Guys, you wouldn't just walk up to a beautiful woman you've never seen before and say, "Hi, I'm Bob. Would you marry me?", would you? No! Of course not.

Realize that if all you do on these social media sites is post links inviting people to view your offers, that's what you're going to look like to them. Your influence is going to dry up to virtually nothing and you won't get solid results.

Instead ... take your time. Get to know people. Let them get to know you a bit.

What I've found to be successful is that I engage in conversations where I have a common interest with someone. It might be music, basketball, travel, sushi, or any other topic I'm interested in and/or passionate about. Through that process, I meet people and we get to know one another. My profiles on these social sites have my links and I find that when I genuinely connect with people, they take a moment to check out my links. I've generated new leads and brought on new clients while using these social sites and I highly recommend them to anyone who is serious about building contacts and influence.

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Most Important: Get Started
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The most important advice I can give anyone is to simply get started doing something! Reading about these options won't do you any good unless you take some action and get started.

All of these ideas work for me and I use them all the time. Some methods I use daily; others weekly; and others just whenever I think of it. The most important thing for you to do is to simply get started.

The key is to get started. Pick just one or two items on this list that stand out to you or that fit within your budget. Be prepared to spend a little time learning and setting up your ads.

The basic flow, regardless of which advertising methods you use will be:

1) Promote Your Web Site or Capture Page.
2) Be Sure Your Web Site or Capture Page Has Your Subscription Form Easily Available.
3) Repeat 1.

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Additional Tips:
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Make sure your subscription forms are easily visible on your sites. Newspapers use the term "above the fold" to identify the area of a newspaper that is above the crease. This is where the eye usually goes first. On a web site, this term is being applied to mean the part of the web page that visitors can see without scrolling down.

To see an example of an above the fold placement for my own subscription form, visit http://www.trafficwave.net/

Notice how the form shows up toward the top of the page where it is easily seen.

Give visitors a compelling reason to subscribe to your list. Offer them something powerful, free, and motivating. Solve a problem. Ease their pain. Calm their fears.

If you already have traffic to your web site and you are generating sales, include an invitation to subscribe to your lists in the transaction confirmation emails you send.

Invite customers to subscribe to your lists when they are on your checkout screen.

TrafficWave.net Email Marketing