Don’t you hate when this happens?:
You see well-done sales letter or slick and pretty sales video… It’s WORKING. You’re reading or watching, you’re into it, and then BAM – you’re distracted with an Opt-In Form.
WHY OH WHY would the seller do that? They’re driving traffic to a place where they’re trying to close the sale, right?
They’re making their case, overcoming objections, they’re selling to me… Aaaaaand then, they give me the option to NOT BUY??
They’re suddenly showing me bunch of good copy to get me to stop thinking about spending any money with them, but instead join on up and start getting FREE STUFF. Sigh.
Ya know, maybe spending money on that product wasn’t such a good idea anyway. I mean, think about it – if you’re GOOD at getting opt ins with this scheme, you’re actually doing it at the expense of PAYING customers.
Repeat after me: A Confused MIND says NO!
So Have ONE GOAL and ONE GOAL ONLY on your landing pages. This is a rookie mistake, and I see WAY too many veterans doing it, too.
Look, after 9 years of Inteweb marketing, I’ve made mistakes like this – we ALL have.
But I’ve also tripped over a couple of spiffy tricks I’ve used to build a list of happy and responsive subscribers. And I’m talking six-figures worth of subscribers.
So rather than dwell on mistakes, here are a few of the higher points I think will save you a lot of pain in building your own lists up. If that’s cool with you.
1. When you’re marketing, you’re either creating relationships or closing a sale. That’s it.
If you try to do BOTH, you end up giving the potential customer a parachute to jump out of your carefully crafted pitch, or you send them mixed messages because you now feel compelled to get them to join your list if they don’t buy.
That ain’t gonna work, son (or cuzin, or boss, or daughter).
Here’s my advice. At the beginning, you’re only getting 2 kinds of leads: Cold Traffic (They don’t know you at all) or Endorsed Traffic (Someone referred them, but this if your first “official” introduction).
For these people you need to concentrate on creating a RELATIONSHIP before you try to sell them ANYTHING.
Do you ask someone for money the first time you meet them? I try not to.
The fact is, asking someone to do business with you the very first time you meet has a very small chance of success – that’s why most online businesses have the abysmal close rate of 1%.
Instead, you get to know that person and show them what you’re all about.
All of the sudden, you’ve got a connection, AND NOW the relationship can evolv to a place of trust. From there, it’s SO MUCH EASIER to start to “Talk Business”.
And THAT’S WHY list building is so powerful – because the first time you meet a potential customer, all you really need to do is eliminate the risk in order to create a relationship with them.
So, how to do you eliminate risk? First things first – let’s define “Risk” in our market. Risk is generally a condition where a person is in a position to LOSE something if they engage with another person.
When someone first “meets” you online, they don’t know if you’re for real, or if you’re a waste of time, effort, money, air, etc.
So, how do we eliminate risk and create a relationship that could lead to a TRANSACTION of VALUE down the road?
Picture this: Pretend that you’re a visitor to an page where you can get a free-report and all you have to do is give your email address to get that free-report.
Most online sellers try to create juicy “Opt-In Compensation” (Where the visitor gets something for opting-in) that is very similar to the problems that their PRODUCT SOLVES.
And this is WRONG.
Here’s what I would do – I made this phrase up about a year ago – it even got re-tweeted a couple of times:
2. OFFER Value without Expectation of Compensation.
Pretty catchy, eh?
I’m talking about reaching as broadly as you can into your chosen niche and giving away FREE content that solves the basic, general problems for those prospects.
Don’t give away a free chapter of your e-book, or a free trial of your e-course… Those things put the burden on THEM to prove to themselves that you’re worth buying from. It’s like giving them a job to do that has no compensation.
Instead of giving them WORK, just PROVE to them that you’re worth buying from by solving their pressing problems for them the very first time they meet you, AND ONLY ask for an opt-in in exchange.
Don’t even bring up that you sell anything at all at this point.
In fact, you should deliberately be trying to help people who may not be potential customers of your specific product AT ALL. That might seem counter-intuitive, but think of it like this:
3. Free Line Content Should Solve the BIG Problems in Your Niche
Remember, the reason we’re building a list is so we can make lots of offers to lots of people. We don’t want a list that’s so targeted that they only have that one single problem in common, right?
Because once we sell them that one thing, we’re done. Unless you sell something people need refills on, that list is not very valuable to YOU, much less to any potential JV Partners.
Let me give you an industry-specific example: Weight Loss.
There’s really only 3 main reasons people are overweight.
1) Bad Diet
2) Lack of Exercise
3) Health Related Issues
So, while your product might address an exercise program for busy professionals or “Easy Healthy Cooking on a Budget” or even more specific “How to Exercise When You’re Debilitated”…
Your product is still only addressing ONE of those 3 reasons which means that you’re NOT talking to the other 2/3rds of the market. But WHY NOT address the entire market with your free-line?
Then, once you have a relationship, offer your product to a segment of those subs who are INTERESTED. Everyone else who ISN’T interested is FINE in the meantime, because they got free solutions from you. They are in the black, and you have proven to be a NO-RISK interaction.
So NOW you still have room to address that other 2/3rds of the market in future products, or JV promotions, etc. from INSIDE the comfort of your own list. You don’t have to go out and re-build new targeted traffic.
If you’re the person with a course on Exercise for the Debilitated, you’re going to be much more able to make JV deals with other folks if you have a list that has a broader interest in similar, related products, too.
And when that JV mails for you, he’s not just going to mail to HIS segment of people interested in the narrow focus of your product… If your free line content has BROAD value, he’ll send to ALL his prospects.
Overall, solving the big, general problems your niche has in common will get you the MOST traffic. And the goodwill you gain will allow you to build a valuable relationship that you can leverage and profit from in the future.
That’s with your own products, as an affiliate, as an ad publisher – you essentially now have an audience that you can TEST new revenue streams and products with.
4. Expanding Their World Automatically Complicates It
Let me give you one last example with my own product, Video Boss. I didn’t go after ONLY the hard core video heads with my marketing and free line content.
I went after ALL internet marketers, and I wanted to prove the value of adding video to your mix. SOME of those people will get WAY into video and are going to NEED Video Boss.
Some people are going to use that free line content and it’s going to pull back the curtain on a whole new business/hobby - if they LOVE video, I’ve just expanded their world, and they will need a guide.
But the ones that don’t… They’ll stick around because I provided a solution – a way to get more customers – that they may or may not use specifically.
But they know that this guy Andy Jenkins has good solutions! So when I talk about a problem that they DO have (like – gosh, I don’t know… List Building?), I’ve already got my foot in the door.
Think back to the first time you EVER MET or HEARD of Andy Jenkins… Chances are, it wasn’t because I was selling you something.
And if I was, I probably had something you could get FOR FREE without ANY expectation of a sale… But of course, NOT on the same page.
So of ALL the ways you could go broader with your OWN free line content, leave me a comment to tell me how you will apply this in your own list-building efforts.
Hope that helps, and have a great weekend!
P.S. Even if you haven’t started building a list yet, let me know what you think of this by leaving a comment below. Or just read below to see the people who will tell me I’m wrong.