How To Build an Opt-In List and Profit from It 

 January 15, 2021

By  Jim Daniels

This week I released the 2021 version of my annual Affiliate Marketer’s Master Swipe file.

And while chatting with a few of my customers, it reminded me just how many never take the step of actively growing an email list of their own.

But email marketing is the missing piece of the Internet marketing puzzle for countless marketers.

No matter what your plan is for making money online, email marketing needs to be a top priority.

Sure, it will take a little time to setup, but it is crucial to your long term success and survival online.

A responsive email list will create a solid foundation that your business can stand on for as long as email itself survives. You could take away all your traffic, but if you have a responsive email list, your business could still survive.

Think about that for a minute and hopefully you’ll see the importance of growing your own email list.

So let’s talk about setting up that important component in your online business today.

While most of the Internet marketing strategies I recommend are completely free or close to it, email marketing is the one thing you need spend a little money on. (Besides a domain name and web hosting.)

In order to do email marketing effectively, you’ll need a web-based list management tool. Also called an autoresponder service, this tool will help you grow, manage, broadcast and get emails through to your list.

In my opinion, Aweber is the best at all of those tasks. That is the service I use and recommend.

I have used many in the past, and while Getresponse is also very good, as are a few others, Aweber is still my personal favorite. What you need to look for in an autoresponder is high delivery rates and easy to use features.

Lots of marketers say Aweber is too expensive, but it is actually now completely free for up to 500 subscribers, so there’s no excuse not to set up an account. That’s a bargain compared to how much income your list can bring you every month.

While the cost of an autoresponder service goes up as you get more and more subscribers, keep in mind that by the time you surpass 500 you’ll likely be making plenty of money to afford it anyway.

Hopefully you understand the importance of having a list and why Aweber is the service to go with. Now let’s talk about how to set it up.

I won’t go into details of using Aweber itself, there are plenty of Aweber training videos at their site to teach you autoresponder setup and how to use their service. What I want to talk about are strategies for implementing it at a WordPress site.

First of all, most people miss the boat with Aweber and other related . They create an opt-in form, put it in one place on their site and then plan to broadcast to subscribers after their list grows. This is NOT how a smart web marketer uses email marketing.

Here are the steps the top marketers take…

Step 1: Get an Aweber account.

You can get a free trial here:  Aweber Free Trial

Then watch the Aweber training videos and set up your first list.

Note: If you struggle with getting opt-in forms set up, this expert can help you for $10.

Step 2: Write a series of email messages for your follow up campaign.

This is a step that way too many people skip altogether, but I consider it the most important step of all!

Remember, email marketing means growing relationships one at a time. You do that with email follow ups that build rapport with subscribers by offering them helpful tips, asking them to email you back if they have questions, and only very occasionally sending them to an affiliate link or other monetized link that earns you money.

Skip this step at your own peril.

Once you have your series written, plug the messages into your followup campaign so your subscribers get a message every 3-4 days for a month or so. Again, don’t make them all marketing messages with affiliate links. Make sure at least half of the messages simply contain helpful info and your offer to help them as needed.

Step 3: Get Subscribers.

You do this by strategically placing your opt-in form at your web property in multiple locations.

Once your list is set up and your follow up campaign is in place, it’s time to start getting subscribers. Too many people miss the boat here too. In fact, I’ve been quite guilty of this myself.

The fact is, one small signup form on your site will get you only a tiny number of subscribers compared to when you place your signup form at multiple locations. These locations should include…

a. Immediately after each post

b. On a dedicated squeeze page detailing the benefits of signing up

c. As a check box when they comment

d. On an entry or exit pop-up

Note: There are lots of free WordPress plugins that can help you get opt-ins, to save time and get your signup forms in all the right places.

Oh, and as far as what information to ask for in your signup forms, here’s the inside scoop…

You should ask for first name and email address only. If you want to simplify things further you can ask for email address only, which does increase signups slightly, however you lose the ability to personalize your follow-up emails, which I feel is important.

SUPER-CHARGE Your List Growth

OK, now that you know how to set things up, let’s talk about how to grow that list faster.

1. Offer An Ebook or Software

You can get lots of opt-ins by offering an irresistible ebook for software such as a WordPress plugin for free. You don’t even have to create the giveaway yourself. Just grab an ebook or plugin with plr rights! Here’s a PLR site I use to grab products with full giveaway rights in just about any niche.

You’ll also need a “virtual ecover” made with your URL and name on it so the giveaway is customized to you. You can order an eCover for $5 and in a few days you’ll have a complete giveaway ready to go to work getting you new subscribers.

2. Get a PAID product onto a marketplace and tied to your autoresponder

This one is my personal favorite.

You write a short report for your niche and sell it for say, five or ten bucks at JVZoo, WarriorPlus or Clickbank. When it is done you schedule a launch and start recruiting affiliates. If you pay affiliates 75% on the front end you’ll get some people to promote it for you. (You can post your launch for free at muncheye.com and get lots of affiliates.)

When you add a product to JVZoo or to WarriorPlus, or even Clickbank, make sure you create a new aweber “customer” list and connect that list to the product so customers are automatically subscribed. (That’s an option in the product setup area of each of those platforms.) Now you’ll be growing a CUSTOMER list which is the best opt-in list you can have! 😉

Your customer list should be single opt-in, and not require confirmation from the subscriber. That’s because the person has just bought something from you. All you have to do is contact aweber and request single opt-in for your customer list and they will be happy to set that up for you.

Another way to get affiliates is to visit launch contest leader-boards at places like JVZoo and WarriorPlus and ask some of the top affiliates if they’ll mail for you. Heck, even if you have to offer them 100% of the profits on your front end product, do it! You can make money on upgrades or future launches to your new list. The key here is to grow your list for the future!

Making Money From Your List

Your follow-ups will grow a relationship with your opt-in subscribers. You can strengthen that relationship by sending out an email newsletter every week or two as well. When people get lots of free, useful content they will open your emails more often.

You can even sell some products and services via your follow ups and your newsletters. But your real bread and butter will be your list broadcasts.

Once your list size surpasses 50 or so subscribers, I suggest you start sending broadcast emails recommending top products and services in your niche. Just be sure you personally try the products and services before you recommend them. A few bad recommendations can hurt your credibility, so you need to be very selective about what you recommend.

And don’t just send one email then move on. You should plan a multi-email promotion for every week or two. Send an early bird deal, an FAQ email, a “how to use the product” email and a deal ending email. That’s 4X the chance of making sales.

Get personal in your emails and make them different than what the product vendor offers its affiliates.

If you are in the Internet marketing how-to niche, here are all my top promotional emails from the last year. You can use them as your own and simply insert your own affiliate link. 😉

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About Jim

I gave up a life of jobs in 1996. Since then I've been earning a living online. I write books, create software, license info-products, affiliate marketing, build membership sites, design websites and more. I prefer this over my old lifestyle of getting up early, commuting to work, coming home to have a few hours for my family and living for the weekends. Now every day is a weekend. I work when I want and answer to no boss.

  • Clifford Dean says:

    Great article as usual and so easy to follow

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