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How To Build A List?

“How to build a list of people, if I do not have the funds to do this? I have tried some free advertising companies but nothing yet.” - Jay Rossi

If you are in the same situation as Jay, I hope this article can help you.

First thing first, stop dreaming!

Many marketers promote internet marketing as a lazy way to make money. To a certain extent, it is. But if you talk about list building, it’s definitely not a lazy way to make money.

If you think all you need is an opt-in form and people will flood into your list, you’ll be wondering why your list building effort is in vain.

First of all, you got to ask yourself the following questions:

- Is your sales letter powerful enough to get people’s attention?
- Is your offer appealing enough such that people bother to opt-in to get it?
- Is your sales letter convincing enough to get people to take immediate action?

If your answer is ‘no’ to any of the 3 questions, you should first brush up your copywriting and marketing skills, before even talking about where to get the traffic.

I hope I’m clear on this point.

Why free advertising doesn’t work?

I probably say this hundreds of times. The key in advertising is finding targeted traffic. So long as the traffic is targeted, it doesn’t matter whether the advertising is free or paid.

So instead of questioning yourself whether free advertising works, you should ask yourself whether the advertising traffic is targeted to your niche. If it is, the problem is not with the advertising media but with your skills in converting the traffic into your list.

So, how to build a list, if you do not have the funds to do it?

Well, there are many ways to build a list without having to spend a dime in advertising.

These ways include exchanging traffic with other marketers (provided that you have an initial list), building a list through your blog (provided that your blog is getting free traffic from the search engine), starting your own affiliate program (provided that you have access to a list of affiliates), as well as other standard free traffic strategies such as forum marketing, article marketing, traffic exchange networks, list building networks and social networking.

But instead of limiting your option to free traffic strategies, why not think of how you can earn back your advertising cost?

My preferred way, of course, is to use the MYOB list builder script that I’ve developed for my own use and given free to our LeadsLeap members. If you do not know what this script can do for you, you better check it out. At least you know what are the options available to you.

Don’t keep thinking of how to build a list for free or how you can get free traffic. Instead, think of how to design a good sales letter and a good marketing system, so that you can profit from your advertising effort. This was what I did when I first started marketing online without any resources (read the full story at My Best Kept Secrets To Increase Web Site Traffic From Scratch).

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    Comment by Niranjan Ranade
    2009-04-28 18:03:12

    That is very much true. I wish I would have known this 8 years ago. I am sure readers will benefit a lot from the above post. There are only 2 things that Internet Marketers need to focus about (most): Traffic and Conversion. Many folks forget the targeting part and hence loose sales. A strong sales copy is also important as already mentioned by Kenneth. Preselling is the key and fortune is in the followup :)

    Comment by Lynne Gordon
    2009-04-28 18:15:03


    When I was attempting to build a list and starting out with ZERO dollars, I did 2 things.

    First I found a really, really good ebook about list-building that I felt a lot of others might like to have. I then sent the offer to my meager list of 20 people and I earned a dollar for every person who downloaded the ebook. I may still have it if you would like to have a copy.

    Then I used the money I earned (and some additional advertising in traffic exchanges) to buy targeted traffic. I can give you the name of the company I used also.

    Today I receive free leads to my email from 2 different sources and I still make money on the back-end if any of those take the OTO.

    Because I sell a product that has nothing to do with online marketing, I have been able to build a pretty good list of people who are not my online competitors.

    An online marketer has to ’stoop to’ marketing to his competition sometimes just to get a leg up. There is no shame in that as long as you are adding value to their businesses.

    Let me know if I can help.


    Comment by Malaysian Economist
    2009-04-29 01:14:01

    Not many internet marketers (include myself) give serious attention to “buid a`list”. When you get experience with online business, then you find it is important to “build a list”. We ever heard that “money in/on the list”…yes sometimes it is true…Nevertheless Koh article is good start for new comers.

    Comment by Link Engine
    2009-04-29 10:21:57

    I have tested your MYOB List Builder Script, It’s work for me cause right now I have list even not big enough.

    But my problem is how to make my list to be my loyal customer, can you give me the right way.

    Thanks Kenneth.

    Comment by Jesus Moreno
    2009-04-30 14:19:41

    Hi Kenneth:

    During all years I’ve been struggling the internet marketing scenario, I’ve heard and read many times about the importance of having our own list. No doubt about this. Many of us haven’t been able to accomplish that because a number of reasons. And you put me to think besides about the quality of what we have to offer to every people invited to join our list. It’s something to work about from now on. Thanks.

    Jesus Moreno

    Comment by Jimisan
    2009-05-01 09:10:06

    Hi Kenneth,

    A very interesting article about list building. I agree with you that our sales letter has to be very compelling, appealing and convincing enough to attract signup. People are getting smart and surely they don’t want their mailbox to be bombarded with “junks” daily.

    Comment by LegitimatePTC
    2009-05-01 11:15:17

    If you have a powerful and persuasive sales letter, some people will definitely buy it - this is the law of averages.
    You got to think positive otherwise the battle is already lost before it is being fought.

    Comment by Terrance Charles
    2009-05-07 17:35:18

    Good post, that’s true. I especially like “sharing
    promotions” with other marketers with list. You can do it alone, but the quickest way to success is through joint venturing.

    And the second, blog traffic from natural SEO, I use this too. If you have money to put down, you can also learn google adwords and create couple squeeze pages to buil leads and backend OTO sales.

    Comment by John Harder
    2012-08-23 04:38:52

    Very good information on here on how to take steps to build a list. If you are interested in learning how some marketers get rich while others just get by. I have a great site to help in the understandings of list building.

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