Before we begin, it is important to understand that you will need an email marketing autoresponder to use the information you are about to read. If you are still looking for an email marketing autoresponder, I highly recommend our service here at TrafficWave.net. You will enjoy outstanding deliverability, simple set up, and a low flat-rate monthly fee. Even better: you can start absolutely free with our 30 Day Free Trial.
Once you have set up your campaigns and followup letters, and either created capture pages or added capture forms to your web site or blog, it’s time to actually start building those lists. This is where we simply focus on driving traffic to our capture pages, blog, web site, etc…
I have included a snapshot of a 60 day chart showing daily subscription requests for one of the many email marketing campaigns I personally manage. The green lines represent the number of double opt-in confirmed subscribers I received for that day. These are people that filled out one of my capture forms, either on a blog, web site, or capture page and then CONFIRMED that they wanted my information.
I show you this to provide a level of verification that I am building my lists by using the methods you are about to see.
Your own results and the speed at which you build your lists will be determined by a number of factors including how well you set up your capture pages, how well you implement each of these strategies, how much traffic you drive to your capture pages or blog, etc…
So let’s get started on learning the exact methods I use to build my own lists. It will be your call to determine which of these methods you use and how deep you are committed to these strategies for building your own lists. Some of these strategies may not be suited to your particular industry. Think of this as a starting point which may lead you to even more options for driving traffic to your capture pages and sites.
Social Media: (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc… ) There is no debate that social media is an effective way to drive traffic. Why? Because people can be found on Social Media sites. But you want to be sure you use this strategy effectively. Want to be ignored on social media sites? Start slamming ads all over the place without contributing any real value to the conversations. Remember: The term is “social media”. The key is to not just slam ads all over the place. The key is to actually interact with people in a meaningful way. I try to remind myself to think like I just walked in to a local restaurant, networking group, bar, party, etc… and interact like a real human being. Participate in the conversations!
Sure, I will post some ads on my own wall from time to time. And those ads are typically focused on trying to solve a problem. But I also intentionally look for conversations that are interesting to me and/or related to the solution I can help with. When I find those conversations, I actually participate in the conversation. I don’t just post an ad with a link. Sometimes, I won’t add a link at all to my replies. If you are adding to the conversation in a meaningful way, people will want to learn more about you so they will check your profile where they will find out more about you, what you do, and how you might be able to help. This is the best place to put a link to your site or capture page.
Social Media is not a “quick fix” for traffic generation. Handled properly, over time, you will begin to build your credibility and you will find that people begin reaching out to you for answers on how you can help them.
Traffic Exchanges: There are two ways to use traffic exchanges. One method is where you agree to view web sites from other advertisers in exchange for having your web site displayed to other members on the same traffic exchange. The other method is to buy traffic. Either way, your web site gets seen.
If you don’t have the budget, you may want to do the trade to earn “credits” until you build an advertising budget. When I first got started with traffic exchanges, I used this free method. These days, I purchase traffic on a variety of traffic exchanges on the internet.
Each traffic exchange has its own offers and methods. It can be well worth the time required to learn about each traffic exchange and use them to your benefit. Testing is a good process to follow. Just getting exposures is really pointless. You want exposures that put your offer in front of potential prospects. So you will want to determine whether your prospects are the kind of people that may be using or visiting the sites found on the traffic exchange.
Discussion Forums: This is another very strong method for driving targeted traffic but, like social media, there is a right way and a wrong way. The first step is to do a search on Google or any search engine for discussion forums and groups related to your market. If you are selling fishing gear, you might search for “Fishing Forum” or “Fishing Newsgroups”.
As you find discussion groups related to your market place, take the time to learn the rules of the forum. Each one is different. Violating the rules can get your account terminated pretty quickly.
The key here is to get involved with the discussions. Build your credibility and your reputation. Most forums allow you to set up what they call a “Signature” which will typically include a link to your web site or blog. So when you are participating in the discussions, people who are interested in learning more about you will click your link to view your profile and may visit your web site where they can fill out your capture form to learn more about your offer.
Is this a fast solution? Absolutely not. Over time, if you manage your activity well and contribute real value to the conversations, you can expect to generate high quality targeted visitors to your capture form or blog. So it can be well worth the time.
Paid Visitors: In addition to the many free methods we are covering here, I also use a number of paid methods for traffic generation. The key is to TEST with small packages and when you get the sort of conversion you are looking for, THEN ramp up to larger traffic packages. I see a lot of people buy big traffic packages without testing first. If they get lucky, things work out fine. But that’s not how it goes for most advertisers. Start with a small package. Test the results. Change your chapter page layout, copy, headline, etc… and test some more. When you start seeing conversions (people subscribing to your lists), move in to bigger packages but CONTINUE TESTING and TRACKING! TrafficWave.net offers a guaranteed visitors system that gives you a quick way to test with small packages and ramp up as you go.
Classified Ads: When you find a web site that is focused on delivering content in your target market, it is a good idea to consider advertising on that web site. As an example, if you are in the financial planning business and you find a web site or blog that is targeting that group, check with them about advertising on their site. If you are selling construction tools, it may make sense to advertise on sites that are providing content to contractors, or DIY enthusiasts. If you are involved with network marketing, it would be a good idea to run some ads on sites that are attracting that sort of visitor.
Advertising on blogs and sites that have your target market engaged is a good idea because you can simply get your ad content put in front of people that are at least involved with or interested in the sort of products or services you sell.
A quick search on any search engine will make it very easy to find blogs, sites, and classified ad options for your target market.
Free or Fee?
A lot of these options are free and many will include options for you to pay a fee for advanced promotion options or just more exposure. Which should you choose? The simplest and potentially smartest approach is to start with the free options. When you see results, you should see sales which makes it more logical for you to spend some advertising monty to get bigger/faster results, right?
When I started with online marketing back in the year 2000, I had zero advertising budget. I spent an incredible number of hours clicking links in traffic exchanges, participating in discussion forums, talking with Facebook groups and friends, working on banner exchanges, etc.. As business grew, I started putting money in to paid options which naturally caused our results to start coming faster.
If you have no advertising budget, starting with the free stuff is going to be the way to go. But do it with a goal. Set aside at least a portion of your sales for some paid advertising options.
If you do have an advertising budget, start small. Test your results and increase your ad spend when you see the results you are looking for.
Here is another resource that show you 28 Ways To Build Your Lists.