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How to Build a List Online & Offline in 2008

By Jimmy Vee

emaillist.jpgMy new friend Tom from Ohio, sent me a question yesterday that I thought was very relevant and should be of interest to anyone reading this blog, so I am going to share it with you. Some may think that his question is an internet marketing question but it has application far beyond that. This question is a customer attraction question and the answer has application to any business niche, industry or product/service category. Here’s Tom’s question… “What’s the true trick in building a list? I am all ebooked out. People are almost afraid to subscribe to anything nowadays.” Here’s my response to Tom. Tom, List building is the holy grail of the whole thing, isn't it? Many “gurus” (which we don’t proclaim to be) like to gloss over it. The real trick isn't ebooks (bait pieces) or anything like that (although that is part of it). The real trick is getting your site IN THE FLOW of relevant of traffic. Not all traffic is good traffic. Traffic that doesn't opt in for your bait piece isn't the right traffic. They are not opting in because they aren’t interested in your topic or there’s nothing unique or timely enough about your offer. The first step is to know exactly who—very specifically—you are trying to reach. Then, find places to advertise to tap into that traffic. Notice I said advertise. Most people won’t tell you this ugly truth but the best traffic (and any real quantity of traffic) is most often bought. You can sometimes find ways to tap into that traffic for free (like joint venture opportunities) but I find that difficult for multiple reasons. But it can be done and depending on your niche, positioning skills, connections and offer with varying degrees of difficulty. Here are some thoughts on getting people to opt in these days. First, as mentioned above, having the right traffic flow makes this a lot more efficient. It's not enough to just have something to give them. Although that is a big first step. Today, you need to create exactly what your prospect wants and to kick it up a notch; you can tie your written material, video, or audio into a very timely subject (pop culture, news, human interest, benefits). Remember, the key is to tap into the conversation that is already going on inside the prospect/visitors' head. If you do that, they will opt in. For example, we just recently wrote a 17 page report for one of the industries we consult with as a bait piece and the topic was something like, 2008 Survival Guide: How To Thrive Despite Tough Times And A Pending Recession.   Tom, thanks for asking the question. It was a good one.