Learn How To Not Screw Up Your List Building
Ok, “bin’ der dun dat”… so here is your chance to NOT make the same mistakes I did while I learned how to build good quality lists and keep the subscribers happy, content and best of all… staying on the list!
Below is a list of my Top Ten Biggest Blunders that I’ve made over the past 3-4 yrs of list building… read’em and weep people (or at least learn from them, OK?):
- Using My Own Hosting & Domain as My List Server
Wow… this is #1 because of just how much damage it can do to your reputation, your bank account and your future progress. DO NOT EVER use your own hosting, your own domain name or a script you found or set up on your hosting to act as your list server/autoreponder… PERIOD! I’d list off the 1000 reasons you don’t do this but here are the top ones- getting your hosting shut down, losing your domain name, having your name and brand besmirched, getting accused of spamming, possible fines/lawsuits… should I go on? A Terrible Idea… Don’t Do It!
- Not Using a Professional Autoresponder
There are oodles of free, ad sponsored or low cost autoresponders out there but in reality, using some of them is like shooting your self in the foot and then trying to run the 100 yd dash. That is going to slow you down immensely. Poor deliver-ability spam complaints, lack of features, bad reputations are all some of the pit falls you could endure. Let me put it this way… would you open your brick and mortar store on main street with a cardboard sign you got your uncle to paint up… same idea with a cheap or free autoresponder. Instead look at getting a Free Test Drive with Aweber (The Cadillac) here – Clk2it.com/AweberAR or a Free Trial with GetResponse (The Buick) here – Clk2it.com/GetResponseAR I use both of these and rely on the dependability, trustworthiness, professionalism and quality of their deliver-ability and looks.
- Buying Some Goofy “Guaranteed To Work” Squeeze Page
This is also a biggie that I found out the hard way. There are a whack of great deals on instant or DFY (DoneForYou) squeeze pages but please be careful and do your due diligence. If you are going to buy one, get one that you see has at least a 40% or greater conversion rate PROVEN. Things do change and styles and layouts do tend to evolve so always look for a clean, uncluttered, professional, no-gimmicks and especially PROVEN look & layout.
- Using either NO or a Crappy Link Cloaker/Trackers
One thing about list building… it changes constantly with the time, seasons, the niche group and the topics of the day. In order to stay in front of those curves you need to be constantly analyzing and watching your progress when ever you send out information, offers or just making contact. You can’t analyse if you don’t track and you can’t track with free, cheap or poorly written cloaking/tracking tools. You maybe don’t need the top of the line one at the start but you do need one that is reliable, isn’t going to get your emails spam flagged and is going to be accurate. Stay tuned as I’ll share a couple of affordable and reliable ones you can run off your own domain very soon.
- Not Analyzing, Testing, Refining The Results
As stated above, you can’t stay abreast of changes in the industry or the whim of the internet or what works and doesn’t if you don’t analyse your results. Testing a new change in your subject line, a new way of wording your squeeze page copy or simply what URLs are being clicked is a vital part of your business. You can do some excellent split testing simply with Google’s webmaster tools (more on that later). These can give you invaluable data which can be used to refine and improve your click-through results, your sales results or your opening results. Keep good data and continue to improve and tweak your success rates.
- Not Emailing Often/Keeping In Touch
When I first got going I kept thinking to myself, “I don’t want to be annoying or a pest” and only wanted to email once or twice a week. It is a proven fact that emailing almost every day just plain works… AS LONG as you are providing excellent quality info along with a smattering of offers you won’t go wrong. Sending just a tidal wave of offers is sure to get your subscribers leaving like a heard of lemmings. Keeping your name/brand in front of their eyes on a consistent and constant basis is the only way to make you known and remembered.
- Feeding The Wrong Information & Products
Please constantly remind yourself just WHY your subscribers have joined you and signed up… You brought them here via a freebie or gift that they were obviously looking for or were interested in so stay on topic when you email them for the most part. Don’t try to sell refrigerators to the Inuit… and don’t try to cram dog care info down the throat of someone interested in social media marketing. Supply your list with pertinent info based on why they are there and offer them high quality, reasonably priced offers that are relative or related to what they were originally interested in.
- Using Bad Subject Lines/Same Subject Lines
This actually should probably be #2 on the list as it is a pretty critical item that you must get right or you’ll drop your open-rate like a lead balloon. Test, test, test and one of the easiest ways to figure out what to use is to look at the ones YOU open… do they ask a question, do they intrigue you, do they make you inquisitive, do they make wild & crazy statements. Emulate your favorite successful sender and follow their lead.
- Not Developing K-L-T/Being Impersonal
Every business needs this on and offline and yours is no different. People (your subscribers) need to Know-Like-Trust you before they are going to hand over any of their hard earned cash. You need to A) develop a relationship so they actually KNOW what you stand for and the type of person you are and B) create a trust… you aren’t going to be successful without helping THEM become successful. It has to be a symbiotic relationship where your success begets theirs and vice versa. Don’t be scared to let them in to your personal life a bit… heck I knew when a marketer’s baby was born, I heard when one of them lost their laptop at a seminar, I listened to them talk about moving to a bigger home, getting the flu or watching the Super Bowl, etc. etc. Let them in to your life a bit and allow yourself to be personal with them… realize that they are almost friends not just a source of income.
- Continually Adding New Members
You absolutely MUST continue to add new people… it is normal and standard to have people leave your list almost daily. Everyone has their own agenda, their own needs and once that agenda or need is met or takes them somewhere else you can’t become worried, upset or have your feelings hurt. It is a fact of life… move on… continually add to the group and replenish the funnel. Your goal should be to spend up to $25 or your profits on increasing your list each month.
Now I am sure there are probably 100 other goof-ups, mistakes and dumb things a person can do to sabotage your list building success but here is the general consensus and something that I have proven to myself over and over again … Don’t Cut Corners! Especially when it comes to something that is your soul means of interfacing with your customer/subscriber/client. Do it right or don’t do it!
Thoughts… comments… ?