How to Build a List to Turn Visitors into Buyers

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You must build a list to make money online. Building a list is the most important thing you can do to make money blogging. Email marketing is still the best online method for converting prospects into buyers.

Here's why: Very few people buy the first time they visit a website or blog. It may take 4 to 7 visits before your visitors buy from you.

Not building a list is the biggest mistake bloggers and businesses make

To win their trust and motivate your visitors to go back to your site, you need to stay in touch with your subscribers. The more frequently they hear from you and return to your site or blog, the more likely it is that they’ll buy your products and services.

But without getting their email address, you won’t be able to stay in touch with your prospects, and you will only have one chance at selling them. That’s why it’s so important to build an email list.

The big benefit of having a list is that you’ll have many opportunities to make repeat sales. That's how successful bloggers make money!

When you have an email list, you'll have a ready source of clients and customers. You have a captive audience to sell to.

Imagine that your readers are just waiting to buy from you each time you released a new product, course, or book!

Do you realize that you have to work a lot harder when you DON’T have a list? Wouldn’t it be much easier if you had a mailing list of potential clients?

There are 6 things you need to build a list:

6 Steps to build a list

  1. Get a website or blog.
  2. Provide an irresistible offer to motivate visitors to give you their email addresses.
  3. Get an email marketing system to automate the process.
  4. Set up an opt-in form to collect email addresses.
  5. Create a focused landing page.
  6. Send email messages to your subscribers.

I’ll go into more detail on each of those below.

1. Get a website or blog

If you don't have a website or blog yet, I highly recommend that you set up a website or blog first before even thinking about email marketing. 

When you have a website, you'll have many opportunities to build a list. You can put one or more opt-in forms in several places on your site. You can also create targeted landing pages.

To learn more about how to set up a blog, you can read my blog post, How to Set up a Money-Making Blog.

2. Provide an irresistible offer to motivate visitors to subscribe to your list

You need to motivate your visitors to give you their email addresses by offering them something they’re interested in.

Bribe them with a free gift. This can be a short free ebook, a report, an e-course, a mini-course, training videos, a consultation, a discount, a special offer, a content upgrade, a free trial, or a subscription to your newsletter that is related to the topic of your website.

Check out my Fill-in-The-Blanks Canva Templates you can use to easily create Checklists, Worksheets, To-Do Lists, and Lead Magnets to build your list.

By subscribing, the subscriber gives you permission to send them email messages. When you have their email address, you can follow up by sending them email messages, and newsletters, offer more valuable information to establish credibility, inform them of what’s new on your site, emphasize the benefits of using your products and services, and invite them to return to your site.

You have heard it before: “The money is in the list.” The money is in selling back-end products and getting repeat sales. And you can only do that if you get their email address.

Need ideas on what incentives to provide for your opt-ins? Read my blog post, 38 Opt-In Freebie Ideas to Grow Your Email List.

3. Get an email marketing service to automate your list building

An automated email marketing system is very powerful. Once it’s set up, it continues to work for you automatically and totally hands-off. It can literally make you money every single day.

Here are some of the benefits of autoresponders and email automation:

  • Collect leads and build your lists automatically.
  • Save time by automating your email marketing.
  • Automatically send follow-up messages to your prospects at the schedule you set (so you don’t forget to follow up on a regular basis).
  • Build trust and develop profitable relationships through consistent follow-up.
  • Increase your sales, conversions, and engagements without more effort.

How email automation systems work:

  • You use the autoresponder software to send email messages that will go out automatically when someone subscribes. You'll tell the system when you want the email messages to go out.
  • For example, you can set up 3 to 7+ welcome email messages. And when somebody subscribes to your list, they will get your email messages depending on what schedule or frequency you set.
  • You can set up your frequency however you want to. You can have your messages go out every other day or every day or even twice a day or every week. You can send the first email immediately; the second email two days later; and the third email three days later or four days later.
  • The autoresponder software generates and provides the code you'll use to create your opt-in form. You put your opt-in form on your web page or blog or landing page.
  • Visitors provide their email addresses through your opt-in form.
  • The software then captures your subscriber’s email address and builds your list automatically.
  • The subscriber then receives your pre-composed messages at a preset time frame you set up.

You can use autoresponders to automatically respond to email subscriptions, send a free report or other freebies upon request, send a series of newsletters, send follow-up messages, and send promotional messages.

Once you set up the autoresponder, it will automatically send out emails and will automatically build relationships with your subscribers.

What you'll need to build your list automatically:

  • You need an autoresponder or email automation software. Typically, you'll pay a monthly fee to use the software and access the software online. Some of the most popular email automation system providers today include ConvertKit, GetResponseAweber, and MailChimp. It's possible to buy software for a one-time fee but I don't recommend this for newbies.

If you are serious about internet marketing, you’ll want to pay for a quality, reliable email service provider. You don’t want to trust a free autoresponder for the important task of list building.

Free autoresponders like MailChimp’s free version will add advertising to your messages. You don’t want that if you want to make money blogging.

Some newbies think that they can start with a free autoresponder until they’ve made some money, and later switch to a better one. There are many disadvantages to doing this. It's time-consuming to change providers and set up your autoresponder messages at a different service. There will be a learning curve as each system works differently. And most importantly, when you import your list to a new email service provider, your subscribers may have to re-subscribe to the new service and you’ll lose subscribers.

If you’re not ready for a sophisticated automation system, you may want to use a system that lets you start with a basic plan that you can upgrade to more automation later.

Both ConvertKit and GetResponse offer different plans so you can start with a basic autoresponder plan and upgrade later to more automated segmentation.

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Autoresponders vs email marketing automation systems

Autoresponders automate the sending of email messages. An autoresponder can send a series of email messages, collect minimal data and track a few things like click-through and open rates.

Email marketing automation does everything autoresponders do and more. It can automate your entire email marketing process. Marketing automation can do different things based on set conditions, filters, and actions. 

Sophisticated email marketing automation systems like GetResponse and ConvertKit enable you to automate many elements of your email campaigns and send much more targeted messages. They can monitor every interaction a subscriber has with your site.

Automated segmentation

Some of today’s powerful email campaign builders such as GetResponse, ConvertKit, Ontraport, and Infusionsoft offer sophisticated automated segmentation.

Automated segmentation can automatically move subscribers from one funnel to the next based on their actions. A subscriber can be tagged by an action or event. You can then use the data from the tags to segment and send more targeted emails. And the system can do this automatically.

You can send relevant messages based on what your audience does.

For example, when someone subscribes from a form on a specific blog post, this action can be tagged with the post category. You can then add the subscriber to a complementary posts funnel and to a sales funnel for related products.

Another example is when someone purchases a specific product. Buyers can be added to complementary product funnels and to new funnels. This makes it easy to make additional offers based on what someone has already purchased.

Email marketing services that provide automated segmentation include GetResponse and ConvertKit.

Read my review of popular email marketing tools to find out which one is best suited for your needs.

4. Set up an opt-in form

Building a list of targeted prospects is one of the most powerful methods to make money with your site. You need an opt-in form to collect email addresses and build your list. ​Here are some ways to get your visitors to give you their email addresses and opt-in to your list.

  • Create an opt-in form
  • Put your opt-in form on your web or blog pages.
  • Use a pop-up. Make your opt-in form hover over your website when a visitor enters your site.
  • Use an exit pop-up.  When visitors are leaving your website, direct them to an exit page where they can subscribe. An exit page will increase your opt-ins and sales.
  • Create a focused opt-in page (also called a lead magnet page).

Your email marketing provider (e.g., AweberGetResponse, ConvertKit, and MailChimp) will provide opt-in templates and the code to capture people’s email addresses. It’s not difficult to set up an opt-in form but it does involve putting a bit of code on your site. So, if that scares you or you get frustrated with anything techy, just outsource this part to a virtual assistant or web designer.

OptinMonster is the best lead-generation software on the market. It allows you to create lightbox popups, floating bars, slide-in scroll trigger boxes, sidebar forms, after-post, and in-line forms while giving you the ability to A/B test, add page-level targeting, and much more. Check out OptinMonster here.

You can also design your own lead magnet pages with Canva templates. Bluchic provides great feminine-looking lead magnet templates. Check them out here.

Read my blog post on how to create a lead magnet page.

5. Create a focused lead magnet page

To grow your list quickly, you should drive most of your traffic to your lead magnet or opt-in page.

You can add short opt-in forms on your blog pages and in the sidebar of your blog. But to get your prospects’ attention, you also need an opt-in page that is targeted to your offer.

A landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically to market something. You will send traffic to your landing page to get people to opt into your offer.

An opt-in page is a landing page with an opt-in form. The purpose of your opt-in page is to entice your ideal customers to sign up for your list.

Your opt-in page must be compelling and focused on your ideal audience. It must include an attention-getting headline, have one clear message, and tell people to subscribe to your list. You'll want to mention the benefits of joining your list. And you can motivate them by giving them your freebie, discount, or another incentive.

There are several ways to create a landing page:

6. Write your email messages

In your first message (your welcome message), you will thank them for subscribing, introduce yourself and your blog, provide your freebie, and tell them what to expect when staying on your list. Read how to write a welcome message here.

You’ll want to write follow-up email messages to build rapport. And after building rapport, you can send some promotional messages in addition to providing good information.

See some of my resources to help you write your email messages and set up your email marketing funnels.

Are you struggling to build a list?

Unlock the Power of Effective List Building and Skyrocket Your Business Growth

  • Discover 32 actionable techniques to grow your email list fast!
  • Learn effective strategies to attract more subscribers.
  • Get more leads and sales and grow your business fast.
  • Have a ready source of customers waiting to buy from you.

Start growing your email list today!

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