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Getting The Opt-In: How to Build an Opt-In Email List

Aug 17, 2007
Are your running an online business and your wondering how to promote it? Building a list has got to be the single most important thing you can do to help build your home business. Generally speaking your opt-in list will provide the bulk of your website traffic so do not slack on this issue, this should be your primary focus.

Building an Opt-in email list used to be pretty easy. Now and days with spam at an all time high, people are reluctant to give out their email addresses. As marketers it is our job to offer them something so enticing that they will give us their email address. Its not enough to just have an enticing offer, you also need to establish some form of trust. How do you create trust on the internet and how do you create an enticing offer that the viewer cant refuse?

Lets start with the basics. You need a good autoresponder and you need a set of emails that has some good content. I recommend the Getresponse autoresponder, simply because they are hosted on a good server that has not been blacklisted by AOL, Yahoo or other large email providers and its free.

Now as far as email content goes, I recommend that you do your own research and write your own emails. Keep in mind that the only way to have a responsive opt-in list is to continually provide quality information which gives your subscribers results. If you are the person who absolutely despises writing and would prefer another option, you can go to ghostwriter and hire a freelance writer to draft up a set of emails for you to use. The ghostwriting service is very affordable and a great solution for those of you pressed with time.

I recommend having one primary full set of follow-up emails focused on a particular subject. For instance you might have an email campaign 'Home Business Tips' which sends an email a week and covers many different facets of home business promotion. This primary email campaign will be used in conjunction with another technique to attract the most new subscribers.

One of the most effective list building techniques is to make special 5 day email courses which addresses particular issues and then have that autoresponder courses loop into your primary autoresponder campaign. For instance you might have a 5 day course "5 Methods to increase your Opt-in subscribers" and every day you would send an email with one of the methods explained in detail. After the 5th day you would have an email telling the subscriber that they have been automatically entered into your "Home Business Tips" ezine. Be sure to let them know how to unsubscribe in case they are not interested, otherwise no response would imply that they are interested in receiving more information from you.

Now that you know how the back-end works we need to shift our focus on the front end, otherwise known as the 'Squeeze Page' or 'Splash Page'. This is the place where you send people with the promise of something, weather it just be the information within the email campaign, free software or some popular e-book. Whatever the enticement is you need a good 'Squeeze Page' to convince the visitor to give you his or her email address in exchange for the enticement.

A squeeze page design consist of 7 major components:

1. The question - this is where you ask the question that your 5 day course will answer.
2. The statement - this is where you state what the email course will do for them, in BIG RED LETTERS deliver the results of following your direction.
3. The Picture - this is where you gain the trust of your visitors, a picture is worth a thousand words and having your picture on your squeeze page will increase your chances of them opting in by almost %80. You should post a nice headshot of yourself with your signature right next to it. You should also type your name, profession and website next to the signature.
4. The List - this is where you list the benefits of your ecourse and the free stuff you are giving away. You might use bullets where you describe the free materials and maybe tell the visitor what they are worth in dollars. Be sure to bring attention to your action words and keywords by increasing the size and or changing the color (red works well).
5. The directions - here is where you tell the visitor what to do. Tell them how to fill in the form and state exactly what they will get by filling out he form.
6. The form - this is the form that will actually take their information and submit it to your autoresponder. Generally speaking the autoresponder you use will have a place where you can go get this form to place within the HTML of your website. See "Website Design Section" for more help on this subject.
7. The disclaimer - this is where you promise not to sell or give away the persons email address under no circumstance.
8. The testimonial (optional)- this is where you can post a customers testimonial about your email course and or your character and business practices.

Now that you have finished all of the setup your done, all that's left is getting people to your squeeze page. This can accomplish this by using direct email campaigns, solo ads, classifieds, traffic exchange programs, forums and many other techniques.
About the Author
Adam Beazley - The Web Marketeer

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