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Ask Suzen: How Do I Build Lists of Thousands?

like a fine bottle of wine, growing your "list" can't be rushed

Last week Matt S. emailed me asking:

Suzen, I know this is your thing lately, but really, it's hard to grow a list. Not many people want to opt-in to my newsletter. What else can I do online to get more folks to read my blog (and buy my books)? 

I know Matt. We would all like to have a potential pool of 10,000. As a matter of fact, I'm in a 90-day challenge myself to get to a qualified list of 10,000 with a group of people. I'll keep you posted on how we're doing; it's a pretty hefty goal, but you never know. I like to reach high.

One thing I have learned that has really been effective — and created huge results for a few of the seminar leaders I'm learning from and who have done this before me — is the idea of partnering up with someone who targets the same market that you do, but who is NOT a competitor. This is a joint venture and can be a win-win for everyone. The skinny on that is to partner with someone who also sells to readers... someone in your sphere of influence, who has a big list of their own. you then make an arrangement for them to offer your product or services to their list, through an email THEY write, basically endorsing you and your product. You can even write the letter for them to send out yourself, making it really easy for them, and then they send it out to their trusting fans with a link to your website or your shopping cart.

They are an affiliate partner. Every book (product/service, etc.) that sells through their link — and this is easily tracked by software set up for this — they get a percentage of, and usually a pretty high percentage of. You want it to be worth their while. After all they are endorsing you and your product, which can be a big risk for them if the book isn't — pick one: good, shipped on time, misrepresented, etc. You get it. They are putting their trust in you that you are going to be delivering a quality product because it reflects back on them and their reputation.

Now let's say you reach out to 10 more affiliates with large and good lists and ask them to do the same thing... think about how your list has now grown. This is a pretty common technique that's being done on the internet more and more often. And it works!

Also, big elephant in the room: I'm sure you're aware as a book seller (are you a book dealer?) that as long as you are not a Connecticut resident — there are a few other states that have been affected as well; not sure which — Amazon.com is one of the best affiliate sites out there, due to their massive SEO and traffic, so be sure to have your books on there as well. For more details or if you need help with a joint venture like this, don't hesitate to contact me. And I'll keep you posted on how my 10,000 challenge is going!

Get Found, Get Heard, Get Crackin'!

Mindy Kannon CHHC June 29, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Suzen, I want to learn to write a better "call to action" My conversion rate on my newsletters and my website is not as great as I would like it to be. Help! Mindy Kannon
Suzen Pettit June 29, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Hi Mindy, Great question...and you're not alone. It's one thing getting traffic to your website, an another thing entirely converting that traffic to work with you. Two things you want to make sure you're doing if you aren't already is to make sure you don't have a lot of distracting content on your home page that draws peoples attention away from what you want them to do there. MAke the call to action VERY OBVIOUS...(in a non obnoxious way). The other important component is to have an opt-in right on the home page with an offer that your target market cannot resist- something easy that they can download, or sign up for immediately without a lot of hassle. Now you have their email info and can begin to establish a deeper relationship with them over time. .With their permission you can deliver high quality content and offers- they are already interested in your services or they wouldn't have visited your site, or gone 1 step further and signed up for your ________. It may not be a quick conversion, but you've now solidified a good relationship and will build on that. Current stats on these kinds of conversions are at about 65% over time. Patience, quality and consistency...it's a winning formula for conversions... Good luck!

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