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List building: To PAY or Not to PAY? That is the Question

When it comes to building a profitable commodity for your business such as an email list a few things need to be noted. You have your email list building (but time and effort intensive) methods for generating that list. There is also the opposite approach, where you fork over cash in an effort to reduce the time and effort required to build email lists for marketing. Both of these are great ideas and each of them work when effective methods are deployed to do the job. We’re going to cover a couple of these for each the paid and free email list building methods. No dribble, let’s cut to the chase shall we.

Email List Building 101 For The Freebie Seeker

Don’t let that term “freebie seeker” fool you, everyone wants to get free stuff wherever they can and building an entire email list for free is certainly no different. If you could build something up over time with the appropriate amount of effort and basically pay nothing for it and use it to make a living wouldn’t you do that thing? This describes freebie email list building and it’s very appealing for those of us who are just starting out.

There are so many ways to do this that your options are about as limited as your knowledge and imagination- which is to say pretty much there is no real limit. If you can think it, give it a try and see how it works. If it doesn’t work too well for you then you should try to tweak your efforts and give it another try and if it’s still no good then trash it and move on to a new method or idea. There are so many options that sticking to something that is just not working is probably doing nothing but wasting your time. You can always come back to unsuccessful ideas and give them another shot in the future once you perhaps have a better understanding of the market and can implement that strategy in a different way.

Two BIG Platforms to Help Build Your List

  1. Blogs

Starting a blog around your given niche is a big investment in both time and effort so using it to your full advantage is only smart. Here are a few ways to use a blog (be it your own or someone else’s) to build an email list.

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-Pop Ups: By offering your blog visitors something they might find valuable through a little pop-up box that shows up a few seconds after they visit your page you might find it helps grow your list. Now, there are different ways to do this be it popping up at the start after they’ve been on your site for only a few seconds, or you can make it an exit-pop up by having your offer show up right when they reach for that close button, or try backing out of your page. It’s been shown that each have their benefits and the only way to really find out which one will work best for you are to simply split test and go off your results. Use your blog as a free email list builder. 

-Opt-In Boxes: This is simple. Basically you would just have a little box which sits somewhere in your blog pages that says “sign up” for all intents and purposes. Of course you want to actually make this offer enticing and pleasing to the eye, while also doing your best to make it clearly visible but not an eye-sore. By doing this and having that reminder right there on the page at all times it’s got more exposure time which has been proven to help with improved results. A lot of the big time blogs around the Internet will actually implement both the exit-pop and the Opt-In bot to boost results a number of times over. The trick to making this work is offering your visitor something they actually want, it has to be of value because personal information is sacred to us and most people are not willing to hand over their email address for junk; make it worth their effort and trust.

-Guest Blogging: This one might sound a bit tricky and I’m not going to lie… it can be. But here is the thing about posting an article as a ‘guest blogger’ on someone else’s blog. It can get you traffic and traffic can convert to sigh-ups which will build your email list for free. How do you land a spot on someone else’s blog? This is something we’ll go much deeper into during next week’s post but for now here are a few simple tips to get you headed in the appropriate direction.

+ Figure out your goals for guest blogging: There are really only three main reasons to post on someone’s blog as a guest and they are to drive traffic, gain exposure for yourself as an authority, or build back-links to your own blog.

+ Go out there and find opportunities to post as a guest on other blogs: A few key factors you want to focus on for this to be a success are making sure the content on the other blog is closely related to the niche you will be posting for. You want to of course do this be sure that the audience who reads that blog will be interested in your own content and will then want to head back to your blog and see what it’s all about. It helps if the owner of the other blog is active and keeps their site up to date with fresh content. This can be daily postings, weekly, monthly, it doesn’t matter so long as it’s updated regularly. I will say that the more frequent the posting the better your chances of landing a spot due to the fact that blog requires more content on a regular basis.

+ Observe the golden ‘Pitch Best Practices’ while pitching yourself as a guest blogger: Simple things like reading the blog’s guidelines for guest bloggers (a lot of serious blogs do have guidelines for this posted somewhere, usually in the footer of the site) and personalizing your pitch email, tell them who you are and what you do and what you can do for them… not what you want out of them or what they can do for you; they don’t care about that. Provide a service for them and you shall receive your rewards for a job well done.

  1. Facebook & Other Social Media

Facebook is tricky when you’re just getting started because it’s such a giant platform with so many people it’s like… “where the heck do I get started?” but fear not, the beast is easy to tame when you understand how it works. A quick word of caution however before you proceed and that is Facebook is constantly changing and updating it’s terms of service and it’s a wise thing for you to review these very few months just to be sure you’re compliant with them. Facebook is a smart cookie and will not hesitate to smack the grin off your face if you try to pull one over on it. It seems like any time a loophole of some sort is discovered by those blackhat guys Facebook patches it up in a matter of weeks and then it’s gone. Don’t try to outsmart Facebook but instead work with it and you will be rewarded greatly!

Using Facebook to help you build an email list was covered more in depth with this article so if you wish to go read it after you’re done here then by all means go right ahead. But some solid tips to help get you started are as follows.

Facebook Marketing

-Join Groups Related To Your Niche: By doing this you will not only have access to a bunch of people who are interested in what your blog is about but it will also get you more general exposure and that can help raise your status as an authority in  your respective niche. When joining these groups it’s a good idea to follow a few guidelines and they are:

+ Make sure the group is active & not dead: I don’t think I need to tell you how important it is to find active groups with plenty of activity. There are so many groups on Facebook, a lot of them might even have large numbers of members… but the group it’s self is dead in the water. This won’t help you very much so just check the posting dates, when comments are made and stuff like that to be sure things are up to date and not super old and stale.

+ Do NOT spam groups with links of any kind or self-promotions: They hate this and a lot of groups have overly stressed administrators who will not hesitate to kick you out and ban you from the group. Instead, what you want to do is just become an active participant and when the opportunity arises (of if you get good at it you can create your own) then post links back to your blog which feature helpful information that is on topic within the group at that time.

+ Create your own groups: Yeah, you can do this too and I would highly suggest you do. Making your own Facebook group can be a very useful tool, almost like creating an email list but it’s hosted on Facebook and it’s interactive among the entire list / group. The one thing I’d suggest here is to name your group with keywords in mind. If you have an idea for a group about wood working then name your group with a targeted keyword related to wood working. This will help people find your group as often times people look for groups by searching for keywords.

-Create A Facebook Page Or Interact With Other Pages: There are so many Facebook pages that already exist; it’s easy to post some nifty content to these pages in the form of a reply or comment and then see a bit of traffic back to your own page come back to you from it. Just like the groups you will need to proceed with caution when doing this but if you are responsible you can throw a bunch of posts up all over different pages with some sort of interesting or amusing remark and a percentage of people will actually look you up to find out more about you. This is where creating your own page comes into effect. It’s possible to make your own Facebook page and then go around commenting as your page so when people look you up they will be directed back to your page which will expose them to your own content and lead to potential traffic back to your blog and more email sign-ups.

Email List Building 101 For The Paid Advertiser

  1. Solo Ads

Here’s what you need to know about buying clicks through solo-ads… it’s risky. Yes, I’m telling you right now that you should be prepared to ‘invest’ in plenty of trial runs with various solo ad providers to find out which one’s offer good traffic and which ones are junk. Unfortunately there is a lot of junk out there and you will no doubt feel discouraged if you’ve never purchased a run off someone else’s list and it turns out to be a total bust.

The plus side to this is that if and when you actually do find reputable and quality providers you’ll make all that lost money back and so much more. That’s the way this whole marketing thing works, you weed out the losers as cheaply and quickly as possible and double down with the winners to recoup losses and gain massive profits!

There is a Facebook group based on solo-ad reviews by real customers (one of many I’m sure) but I’ve had so much luck with this one that I don’t feel the need to track others down… here it is, join it and take a look at the reviews to get you started in the right direction:

Now, don’t just go jumping in head first simply because you see a glowing review posted by someone on this group. For all you know that could be an endorsed review or posted by a fake account meant strictly to mislead you into buying solo ads. Now that you’re thoroughly scared it’s time to say that you can also find a lot of really great solo ad providers off this group. Just look into the people mentioned and do your due diligence.

Here are a few more resources for you to look into when considering solo ads for building your email lists: – this is by far considered to be one of the most popular sources for solo ads and solo ad reviews by actual customers. Again, you don’t want to just jump in full-blast. Buy the smallest amount possible when dealing with brand new providers you’ve never worked with before, test out what they have to offer and see how it works out for you. If it goes well then ramp up and take off! – this is for those of us who are a bit more established or have more money to play with. It’s a more expensive option than Udimi but it can also often times yield higher results. I would recommend bookmarking this or adding it to your resource list so you have it for later once you’re more established if you aren’t already. – here is a great resource if you’re looking for place you can buy high quality email leads for a reasonable price. This is a bit more on the premium side as well but if you have the means then you may wish to give them a shot. – I’m sure a lot of people who read this will be familiar with the warrior forum and it’s classified ads section. This link points back to that specific section where you can browse the list on that site for solo ad providers who you may wish to strike a deal with. A lot of these providers have contact emails and Skype names you can add to your own contacts and then get in touch with them later. You may even be able to work out a special deal in a lot of cases provided your bargaining skills are up to par and they see you as a serious buyer down the line.

  1. Facebook Paid Advertising

This is an option for those who are a bit more serious about building their lists and have at least a small budget to spend on doing so. By running paid advertising back to your own lead pages (provided they are compliant with Facebook’s own T.O.S.) it is possible to build lists in the hundreds and even thousands for a fraction of what you’d spend anywhere else. I did say possible however, so keep this in mind as Facebook advertising can be tricky if you don’t know what you are doing and you can lose your shirt if you’re not careful.


Email list building is one of the hottest topics online for making money. We have developed a complete 5 phase listbuilding training course inside our members area that covers EVERYTHING about setting up a succesful list building business, including setting up your squeeze pages, auto-responders, email follow ups tracking optimization, getting boatloads of traffic and much more!  If you want to check out that 5 Phase Listbuilding Blueprint as well as all of our other in depth courses please visit: Affiliate Marketing Training

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