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I signed up for MailChimp and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

Building a list is really important and any serious affiliate/internet marketer and laptop entrepreneur will tell you this. Building a list lets you access a large number of highly targeted people’s inboxes whenever you feel like it. It’s essentially one of the most important yet simple tools in a laptop entrepreneur’s arsenal. Having and building a list lets you control the traffic to your website or product.

I recently upgraded my membership at MailChimp, a website that allows you to design and send email marketing campaigns, from a free membership to a paid one. It wasn’t that I was exceeding their free account’s limitations, I just wanted the features paid members get like the auto-responder every time someone signs up.

I sent my first email after upgrading my membership on MailChimp and almost immediately I got an email welcoming me and letting me know I was eligible for a free t-shirt.

mailchimp shirt

I like MailChimp. I know there’s a lot of other websites out there that do mostly the same thing such as Aweber and Getresponse but I’ve become so used to how cleanly MailChimp is laid out, not to mention how easily it integrates into WordPress, that I decided to just stick with it.

When I started writing Fiverr Success, I knew that an email list would be a great way to reach out to potential readers as well as provide them great free content with the hopes that they would wind up buying my book if they liked what I was saying. If someone was going to land on my page but have no intentions of buying my book, I would at least like to convert them somehow. So, this is where a mailing list comes in.

The visitor quickly and easily provides their email to me (thanks to MailChimp’s easily form generators for WordPress) in exchange for free weekly information. This is what I promised on my site. That’s the first key point I’d like to make when building your list: you need to offer something.

Most people will not give up their email for nothing. You need to make a trade. The more creative you are or the more you’re willing to offer for free, the more likely this trade will happen. What you trade depends on what you’re trying to sell. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Weekly newsletter with tips/tricks/strategies
  • Free chapter/preview of book
  • Free e-book/report related to your product/service
  • Coupon/discount to your product/service
  • Free trial of service or subscription

After you collect those emails another important thing is to not spam and promise not to spam. This isn’t just an ethical thing and I’m not about to get on my high-horse. I’m talking about not scaring off users in your list. If you bombard your users constantly with stuff they mostly did not sign up for, they will head for the hills and unsubscribe to your list as fast as they subscribed.

How do you sell to your list? You need to make the marketing emails look like the content emails. I design my emails so that when I send out a promotion looking for a few sales from my list, I make the email look like every other email I sent out before, that contained free content. Your emails need to be seamless. You want to encourage more opens by not throwing off subscribers with a too salesy email subject. It should encourage the user to open the email, where you have your pitch, creating the best possible chance of converting into a sale.

It’s not as difficult as it sounds though. Selling to your subscribers is a lot easier than selling to cold traffic. You will earn a lot more per click if your traffic is from your list subscribers than from cold traffic. People also buy from people they know and trust. If you can build credibility and build yourself as an expert or knowledgeable in your field, it will be an easier sale. Provide your subscribers with free reports, articles, videos and interviews in your niche. But don’t make it the driest material they’ll read all week. Insert your personality into your list and be entertaining and have fun with it. If it’s boring to read, it won’t matter what you’re saying or offering.

I would suggest always having 3 links in your emails to increase the clickthrough rate of your emails. Put one link in the introduction, the next in the body and the last in the close of your email.

Lastly, send emails often. Keep your readers engaged and then once in a while throw in a promotional offer or an affiliate offer that you think would be relevant to your list and that would convert well. If you can email your list everyday, go for it, as long as you’re bringing something of value to their inbox that they’ll keep coming back and opening your emails and hopefully taking a look at your promotions whenever you send them.

Published in Entrepreneurship Personal

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