In order to make money online, you need potential customers. And the best potential customers will be those on your email list, because:
- If you stay in touch with them, they get to know and trust you. They see that you have knowledge that they need
- You can contact them at any time by sending them an email and you pretty much know they’ll get it
By contrast, if you post a notice on social media, a good percentage of people won’t see it. Do you see all the items that the people you follow post? And many of the people who follow you don’t really know much about you, so they’re less likely to buy from you.
So you need to grow your list
But has your list stayed small for a long time? If you aren’t actively growing it, it might even be shrinking as people change email addresses.
And if you aren’t contact them regularly, you’re definitely losing people. If you have a list that you are ignoring, see my important blog post, “Don’t ignore your list!”
The fastest ways to grow your list are either expensive (ads) or complicated (events with affiliate partners). But if you aren’t up to those methods yet, here are 3 easy and free ways to grow a small list in the next 30 days.
1) Do a guest blog post
Doing a guest blog post isn’t hard. The hardest part is actually finding someone to guest blog for. So I’m going to make it easy for you. I invite you to send me a guest blog post and I’ll work with you to make it solid enough for me to publish. In general, here are the steps you need to take.
Look for blogs that write for your target market. Actually, you should know them already as part of keeping up with your field. If you don’t, do a search for the topic you cover and the word “blog.”
Here’s an easy way to find them. Go to Alltop.com and find your category. Here you see that I clicked the letter “I” and found Internet Marketing. There are lots of topics, so you might find several that you can use.
When you find a category that fits your business, click it and you’ll see lots and lots of blogs listed. Alltop uses their RSS feed to display them. In fact, you’ll find my blog there as well! (Yay! — see the screenshot below) Click the ones that seem relevant, scroll through the last 10 posts and see if there are any guest posts.
Of course, you can ask people you already know if you can write them a blog post. Be ready to accept a guest post from from them as well.
But before you ask, do your research. Read the blog posts carefully because you’ll want to write a post that provides the same type and quality of information, directed at the same target market as existing posts.
Then come up with a suggested topic and contact the blogger. I know that this takes some courage and be ready to get both a “no, thanks” reply and no reply at all. But when you do get a yes, it will be a great victory!
Be sure to promise to promote your blog post and ask if the blogger will do the same. After all, that’s the whole point.
2) Trade free download mentions in newsletters
This isn’t done as often as it should be, in my opinion. I think people are hesitant to tout other people, but they shouldn’t be. Start by offering to mention someone else’s free download in your newsletter and ask if they’ll do the same. Work with people whose list you’re on or that you know in some way. You’re not likely to get a yes answer from someone who doesn’t know you.
Make sure you’re comfortable promoting the other person’s download first. You figure that out by reading it. There’s no way out of that.
Once there’s agreement, if necessary, you ask the other person to sign up for your newsletter or simply email that person the download. Then agree on dates and do it. Usually you’ll be sending your people to the other person’s squeeze page (and vice versa) but it could be the home page or another page.
Note: It’s possible to use an affiliate link when you refer people. Then they get cookied and if they buy something later, you’ll get a commission. If you think this is an option, sign up for the other person’s affiliate program and ask the other person to sign up for yours.
3) Do a free 1/2-hour webinar
If you’re hesitant to do a webinar, get over it. You need to do webinars to grow your list. There are 2 ways to do this for free that I know of — using Google+ Hangouts on Air and Zoom’s free option (which gives you up to 25 people and 40 minutes). Actually, you can use a 30-day trial of GoToWebinar or other webinar service.
Here are the steps:
- Come up with a high-value topic that will attract a lot of people and be prepared to give away a lot of free information, including a free download.
- Pick a date and webinar service. If necessary, schedule the webinar with the service.
- If the service doesn’t have a registration feature, set up a registration page on your website with an opt-in form. This form should start a new list, so that you can keep these people separate from your main list. Be sure to test that this works before you start promoting! Somewhere it should say that people will also get a free subscription to your newsletter. Use single opt-in; otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of people.
- Start a promotional campaign. Send out at least 3 emails, lots of social media posts, including on your main timelines. Don’t forget Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Tell your friends and colleagues and ask them to promote it for you. Send people to the webinar registration page, whether inside the webinar service or on your website. Don’t worry if you get more people registered than you have room for–only 30%-50% will actually attend and you can always email them with the link to the recording afterward.
- Practice doing the webinar.
- Do the webinar, being sure to record it. Get on at least 15 minutes in advance to test your audio and chat with people. If you promised a free download, give attendees the URL in the chat window–post it online first.
- Post the recording on a page on your website. If you registered people on your website, you can put it on that page.
- If you used the webinar registration service, export the list of people who registered into a new list in your email service. Send out an email to the people who registered (whether they attended or not), telling them where the recording is.
- From now on, include this new list of people in your newsletters!