I hope by now you have at last got the message; you won't get anywhere without an opt-in list. You've read numerous articles and read so many success stories of other people (never you!) creating a fortune with opt-in lists that you finally accept that you will have to get one of your own. Then the usual thing happens, after all you've read and digested about creating opt-in lists, and having followed all the expert advice to the letter you still can't seem to make a profit.
To add insult to injury, you are probably losing money. You may have hired ghost writers at $50 a time, or incurred some other expenses. Even if you have managed to get a big list, only a very small percentage of your list will ever actually buy something from you, so you're still losing money. You'll soon realize that very quickly when you see your income and expense figures.
So what did you do wrong? Why do others always seem to succeed and you always seem to fail? The most common mistake people make is that they dive in straight away, with no planning. You choose a niche which from your keyword research seems to be quite popular and which looks likely to earn you some money. It doesn't always follow. Just because you emailed people in your list doesn't mean they are all going to instantly take you up on your very fair offer.
But don't give up quite yet, for those who have started an opt-in list but are still not making any money. You can resurrect your doomed venture.
Here are three quick and easy ways to build a profitable opt-in list.
1) First, get your customers to trust you and your products. Write some articles first, to establish your credibility in your chosen niche before you start to think about getting your opt-in list. Write about the topic you have chosen, and put in the links back to your site. Post in forums specific to your sphere of knowledge first to gain insight about what members want, and then and target those needs. Look for posts like "How do I….."
Join other forums as well. Provide lots of help and suggestions. Don't blatantly advertise your site, or affiliate programs, just have a discreet link in your signature. Remember the search engines will pick up these links, which will help your site PR. When you feel that people trust you by the replies to your posts, then you will be able to start your opt-in list. You can build your base with other forum users, especially if you are seen to have been helping others. You can ask them to join your list, but it would be better to give them some incentives, like free stuff, or half price software.
The fact of the matter is that the cash will only flow when the customers and subscribers believe you and trust you. They want a product or service that is seen as being good value. They won't buy something just based on your reputation, value for money is still their prime consideration .
2) Find a product or service that people want and think they need. Although you may not have known anything about the product when you started, if you provide a service or a product that you have researched well, you can have the confidence to sell it.
While it is true that you should sell something that you have interest in, it is also true that there may not be many people who are as interested as you, especially if you decide to sell something that is not popular. This is where your keyword research will pay off. If you have done your research well, you will know that there is a need for your product, and you should see the profits start to roll in. You should also provide your subscribers with promotional material like banners and text links that they can use and spread the word around. You then ask them to join your list by asking them if they wish to keep up with all your future products.
3) Make friends with other users of opt-in lists. This is really beneficial, especially if it is someone who has already launched a successful opt-in list. Ask them for their advice, what would they do differently now. While there are many articles available for you on the internet, you can't beat getting a first hand account from someone who has already been there and done it.
While different situations may occur for different people, the general concept still applies. There are many pitfalls to avoid and these people should be able to tell you what they are. This is your work on building relationships and helping others in forums will start to pay off.
Building a profitable opt-in list won't happen overnight. There are many plans to make, and a fair bit of work and to do. You must offer people an incentive to sign up to your list, and also make a promise that they will not get bombarded with sales letters. You need to maintain the quality of your list, by periodically weeding out the dead end email addresses. Keep your list organized and manageable, and make sure that your subscribers are happy and satisfied.
©Peter Phillips 2007