Previously, we have thoroughly dealt with all of the methods through which you can build an opt-in page and ensure that it converts. Regrettably, while this is an important first step in the list building process, it is not sufficient in itself. If you want to build a large, responsive list, you will also need an effective means for driving traffic to your opt-in or squeeze page.
In this post, I’m going to cover popular and successful strategies you can employ to drive traffic to your opt-in page, where they will then be converted into subscribers.
Technique 1: Frequent Forums
No matter what niche you sell in, it’s always a good idea to spend some time interacting with your target buyer group. One of the top ways to do this is to frequent forums; and to spend some time discovering and understanding what your customer base wants and what they’re talking about.
Perhaps the most useful benefit of frequenting forums is that you can contribute to the discussion directly and can visibly demonstrate your expertise by being a valuable contributor to discussions.
If you prove to be a helpful member of a particular forum, there’s a excellent chance that members will find you interesting and may be interested in the particular products you sell and services you offer. Creating a signature for your profile offers a great outlet through which you can capitalize on this.
If you’re not familiar with the forums in your particular niche, you can check the following place to get an exhaustive list of all of the relevant sites: Big-Boards, or Forum Sites List. Of course, the more forums you can participate on, the better. However, you must manage your time. It’s always a good idea to periodically think about how much time you’re spending on forums to evaluate whether it is too much or too little.
Technique 2: Driving Traffic Using Twitter
Despite what many believe, Twitter isn’t only for people who want to hear about what celebrities had for lunch or what simple thing they might be currently thinking about. Rather, it’s a micro-blogging medium that is highly viral, fosters and promotes discussion between many parties simultaneously, and is purposely restricted to short posts.
As a list builder, you can use Twitter to seek out high-quality prospects—and then drive them to your opt-in list. So how can you use Twitter for this end? It’s simple. Just follow these steps…
Action 1: Create Your Account
Start by going to www.twitter.com and setting up an account. You’ll need to create a username and a brief bio. The bio is where you’ll want to include a link to your opt-in list. Other than that, you will want to limit the amount of references you make to your business.
Action 2: Follow, Follow, Follow
Once you’ve setup your account, the next step is to start ―following people. The optimum way to do this is to search for people who are talking about stuff in your niche. From there, check out the profile and then click ―follow if you believe the person will be a good prospect.
After you’ve opted to ―follow someone, they will have the choice of following you back or not. If they don’t follow you back after a while, you may want to consider dropping them.
Action 3: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet
As you build up your base of followers, you will want to start tweeting, too. The key to being successful here is that you must tweet things of value. If you’re in Weight-Loss, you could tweet relevant news about Weight-Loss or daily tips or something equivalent.
If your approach is too obviously commercial and non-social, many will ignore your tweets and choose not to follow you. To the contrary, if you offer something of value, people will gain an interest in what you’re saying and consider reading your opt-in pitch when they check out your profile. Review this article on Birds of a Feather.
If you follow those steps, you’ll soon have a constant stream of new followers, which will convert into a stream of opt-ins, which will convert into buyers.
Technique 3: Blogging
Another valuable way to drive traffic to your opt-in page is to set up a blog. You can even do this on the same site by using the WordPress Plugin mentioned earlier. There are many benefits of owning a blog—all of which will help you as a list builder.
The first advantage of blogs is that they are relatively easy to optimize for search engines. This is especially true if you use the WordPress Plugin, which will automatically optimize your blog for search engines. Bear in mind: the more traffic you have coming to your blog, the more people you can funnel into your list through your opt-in page.
Another benefit of a blog is that they provide you with a place where you can post short updates about your site and business. Particularly, using a blog means that you can directly post about a new product you’ll be giving away for free; and you can tell readers how they can obtain it by opting in to your list.
If you decide to use a blog as part of your traffic generation campaign, you will want to invest some time in determining what other blogs are large and well-followed in your niche. If you can usefully contribute to those blogs and provide a backlink to your own in a signature, this will provide an excellent means of obtaining inexpensive traffic.
Technique 4: AdWords
Once you’ve optimized for search engine traffic and have built a large base of followers on Twitter, it’s always a good idea to consider some paid methods of traffic generation, too. Among these methods, the best and most targeted is probably a Google AdWords campaign; it is the granddaddy of contextual advertising. You can also consider several alternatives including Microsoft AdCenter or Chitika …there are hundreds available, but I would stay with the larger networks.
If you haven’t used a Google AdWords campaign so far, one of the best features of using AdWords (and other CPC advertising services) is that you can create ads, get them well-circulated almost instantaneously, and only pay when someone actually clicks on them (not just when they view them). Here’s a short break-down of what’s involved in a Google AdWords campaign:
Action1: Create Your First AdWords Campaign
Start by going to Google AdWords and set up an account. Next, select a name for your campaign, select the countries in which your ad can be viewed, and setup a maximum cost-per click (CPC) and daily budget.
The first part is self-explanatory. Simply pick a campaign name that makes sense to you. The second part requires deciding what countries you believe will be most profitable. In general, you’ll want to pick the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia at a minimum.
For the third step, I highly suggest you enter a daily budget, but then select ―enter bids manually. This will allow you to pick the cost-per-click for individual keywords, rather than selecting the same CPC for every keyword used in the campaign.
On the next page, you’ll be asked to fill in your ad, your keywords, and your maximum CPC for each keyword. Start by picking your keywords. You can do this by clicking on the link that says, ―Help me choose effective keywords.
It’s a good idea to at least skim Google’s directions on how to select keywords. In contrast to many advertising services, Google provides a tremendous amount of useful information on using AdWords correctly, so take advantage of the free resources. Once you’ve skimmed over Google’s directions, take a look at the keyword selection tool by clicking ―Keyword Tool. Using this tool, you can generate a substantial amount of potential keywords for your campaign. The best part is that Google will return a full break-down of the amount of traffic and advertising competition connected with each keyword.
In general, you’ll want to look for keywords that receive a bunch of searches on Google, but don’t have a lot of competition. This means you’ll be able to obtain one of the top advertising spots without bidding much.
When you’re finished compiling keywords (by clicking the ―add link every time you see a possibly relevant keyword), download them in Excel format and then return to page where you enter your keywords and ad copy.
Select the ―enter spreadsheet mode and copy-and-paste your keywords into the spreadsheet provided. For each keyword, enter a maximum amount that you are willing to pay.
Once you’re done with this phase, all that remains is creating your first ad. Start by entering your URL and displayed URL as requested. If the actual link to the opt-in page is long, then consider using something shorter in the display URL box. For instance, if the page relates to golf, you could simply use www.yoursite.com/golf.
Now, when it comes to writing ads, there are several actions you can take to make your ads convert better. I’ve listed just a few of them below:
1. Use words in your ad that are also contained in many of the keywords you’ve bid on. If your site is about lowering your golf handicap, then many of your keywords may contain ―golf handicap. If you use this keyword in your ad, it will show up bolded when people search for it. This will position your ad apart from others.
2. Make specific and precise claims. For example, if you’re selling an IM product that has helped people to make as much as $500/wk, then state this specifically. Don’t just say, ―Increase your income. State, ―increase your income by as much as $500/wk.
3. Capitalize all words other than prepositions. Many AdWords experts advise that this will always convert better.
4. Use the word free. After all, you’re giving something away for free in order to get people to join your list. You may as well state it in your headline, so that people know this instantly.
Once you’ve completed your first ad, you’re nearly done with the first step. With a few button clicks, you’ll be ready to run your first ad.
Action 2: Test and Track
I won’t get into this too deeply, but one thing you absolutely must do if you want to use AdWords and other CPC advertisement effectively is to test and track your results.
Without examining your results, you have absolutely no method of determining whether or not your ad is converting well. You very well could be pulling in two or three times as much traffic each day at half the cost, but since you didn’t bother to test alternatives, you have no way of knowing whether this is possible.
If you’re new to the idea of tracking and testing, there are 4 fundamentally important things you should keep in mind whenever you perform an experiment:
1. Don’t confuse your results by making too many changes at once. If you want to test which headline converts better, only change the headline and nothing else. If you change other elements, you cannot be sure which change caused the increase (or decrease) in the click-through rate.
2. If you’re testing two different headlines, create two identical opt-in pages with the only difference being the opt-in form. This will allow you to not only determine how the change affected your clickthrough rate (by looking at AdWords statistics), but also whether there was any difference in the quality of the visitors sent to your site (by looking at your AWeber and site statistics).
3. It is basic marketing to test your ads by having them rotate, rather than displaying one on a certain day—and another on a different day. This will make certain that your results aren’t simply a product of when you showed each ad. Rather, your ads will be displayed to roughly the same demographic group.
4. Collect a large enough sample to draw valid inferences. In general, if your ads have only received a few views and click-throughs, this won’t be a sufficient predictor of how they will perform in the long term. Allow at least two days of observation before you draw any conclusions.
Having said that, we’ll conclude this subsection on AdWords. If you feel you need more in-depth information, you should first explore the documentation AdWords provides. There’s a tremendous amount of information available and the best part is that it is completely free.
Technique 5: Social Media – Other
We discussed Twitter, blogging, and forum-posting earlier. But there are many other forms of social media through which you can generate traffic. I chose Twitter because it is (in my opinion) the simplest to get you started. So, I won’t cover the remaining exhaustively, but to name a few: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Squidoo, provide excellent mediums through which you can locate potential list members and pitch to them indirectly. I might suggest you check out some Free resources: Biggest Facebook Marketing Mistakes and Fatal LinkedIn Marketing Mistakes LinkedIn…these are Free and can add great value. Inevitable Social Media is also a good read; when it comes to social media, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
- You’re dealing with people—not bots. Keep this in mind when creating profiles on social media sites and interacting with prospects. The better you’re able to minimize intrusive sales pitches and instead focus on creating enjoyable content and engaging in mutually beneficial interactions, the better you’ll be able to attract list members.
- Generate very, very large friends’ lists. The more people who can follow your feed or check your profile, the better. Furthermore, as you add more people, you gain the possibility of more people mentioning or referring your business to members of their own networks.
- Avoid violating ToS agreements and tarnishing your reputation. This goes back to the first bullet. If you violate a ToS agreement or trash your reputation, someone may report you and your account could get banned. This means you’ll completely lose your investment and will need to start over elsewhere.
Overall, these social media outlets provide another means by which you may expose your list to wide variety of potential subscribers. Use them in conjunction with the suggestions I’ve made and you should experience success over time.
Summary – Getting Subscribers
No matter how high-quality your opt-in page is, it won’t matter if no one else sees it. And it also won’t matter if only un-targeted; low-quality traffic lands there. This leaves you with a problem: you have to figure out how to drive a great deal of high-quality traffic to your site.
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can do this. The ways I’ve listed are by no means exhaustive, but for many, these channels are all they have needed in order to build large, successful, profitable lists. In Part V, I’ll give you shorter descriptions of the many, many options you have.
Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with Jerry on Google+.