“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” – Dan Rather
In the world of direct marketing, a one to two percent conversion rate is standard. In other words, if you have a list of 100 subscribers to your newsletter and you send them a sales letter selling a product (whether it is your own product or an affiliate’s), you can expect one or two people out of your 100 to buy.
Let’s say your vision of “success” is $500 in sales per week from your newsletter list. If you have 2,000 people on your list, one way to hit that number would be to send them one sales letter per week selling a $25 product. (Assuming a one percent conversion rate, one percent of 2,000 is 20, 20 x $25 per sale = $500 = success!)
But in the world of Internet marketing, that doesn’t happen. You can’t assume that 100 percent of your e-mails will be delivered … and you can’t assume that more than 50 percent of those that are delivered will be opened and read. So, in reality, you’d need at least 4,000 people on your e-mail list (if not 6,000 or more!) to reach that same $500 goal. (By the way, a good way to increase your e-mail delivery rate and track your e-mail stats is with Aweber.com.)
How do you get more people on your e-mail list to make it easier to hit your sales goals? Here are 11 ways:
- Give away a free report to “bribe” visitors to your website to provide you with their name and e-mail address. For example, on my TurbulenceTraining.com website, I offer a free report called “The Dark Side of Cardio.” A good title and a high-perceived value for your report will increase the number of visitors willing to trade their name and e-mail address for it.
- Get affiliates to drive traffic to your site. For example, twice a year I run a three-day promotion on my website offering additional bonuses for my fat-loss package. And I contact affiliates weeks in advance to give them sales copy that they can send to their lists. In return for a 51 percent affiliate commission, it is not difficult to line up hundreds of affiliates willing to send you traffic. (Even if some of the visitors they send your way don’t end up buying immediately, many will sign up for your free report and add their names to your list.)
- Start a blog and post informative content for your target market. This will draw traffic through search engines and links from other blogs. Once you start building traffic to your blog, add a sign-up box for your e-newsletter. You can start a blog for free at Blogger.com.
- Create a joint venture with a company that complements your own. Joint ventures work very well. I have a blog on MensHealth.com that promotes a joint-venture transformation program. (What’s the biggest name you can think of to approach for a joint venture? Aim high! )
- Create an e-book containing links back to your site, and allow everyone who downloads it to pass it around. I recently allowed hundreds of fitness trainers to give away an old workout program that includes links back to my sales and sign-up pages. This is a win-win situation, because it gives the trainers a freebie to use to encourage sign-ups to their own sites. Plus, most of them signed up to be affiliates for my products, which is sending even more traffic to my websites.
- If you aren’t on Youtube yet, get started immediately. Put together a short video clip and post it on Youtube with your website address watermarked across it. That way, everyone who views the video becomes a potential visitor to your site. The more interesting you can make your video, the more people will see it. Clips that get the most views are usually funny, controversial, or heartwarming, and make viewers want to forward them to other people.
- Arrange for a free teleseminar and host a one-hour interview with another expert. (You can use FreeConferenceCall.com to set up the call.) Get the expert to promote the teleseminar to his or her list, and build a sign-up page where people who want to access it give you their e-mail address in exchange for the teleseminar phone number and code.
- Use standard PR strategies to get your website featured in the paper or on a local TV station. Make sure you get a confirmation from the reporter that your website name will be featured in the story or on the screen. But understand that only a small percentage of people who see an “offline” promotion will make the effort to track you down online.
- Submit content-rich articles to online article directories likeEzineArticles.com. This can be a valuable source of traffic for your website AND a great way for joint-venture and affiliate partners to find out about your site and products.
- Spend a weekend mastering the basics of Google AdWords. Learn how to use catchy pay-per-click ads to bring traffic and potential sign-ups to your site. Of utmost importance is writing a good headline for your ad.
- Visit related online message boards and forums. These can be good places to start building traffic to your site, but (unless they’re extremely busy) you’ll probably tap out their potential quickly. Simply post relevant content and leave a link back to your website in your signature.
Look outside your industry for opportunities to promote yourself and your website. For example, writing articles for Early to Rise has taken me outside my regular health-and-fitness environment. Look for similar crossover opportunities, and you’ll have access to a previously untapped audience.
Use all of the above methods to build your e-mail list – and be patient. A list with thousands of e-mail addresses on it doesn’t happen overnight.
[Ed. Note: Besides being a master Internet marketer, Craig Ballantyne is a world-renowned Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Check out his Turbulence Training for Fat Loss system - and get a look at his marketing techniques - on his website.]