Quick Guide to Building an Opt-In List

In the first stage, you have identified a target audience. Let’s start with dog owners. Let’s put a number of 3,000 dog owners that will be targeted in three different media. Obviously, there are far more than 3,000 dog owners out there, but we’ll be conservative.

The home page should be optimized so people can it on the search engines. A great place to learn more about search engine placement is Robin Nobles’ and Susan O’neil’s “Maximize Website Traffic: Build Web site Traffic Fast and Free by Optimizing Search Engine Placement” (1), or book, “Search Engine Positioning: Grow Your Web Site Traffic by Achieving Top 10 Search Engine Rankings” (2).

Again, let’s assume that the average monthly visitors to each place are 1,000 people with a click-through response rate of 1%, so that each location yields 10 prospects, for a total of 30.

Stage 3 Here’s where time is leveraged. An autoresponder is nothing more than a sophisticated email address. Think of it as an automated electronic employee, working 24/7. At predetermined times, the autoresponder automatically sends out preformatted messages to people that have responded to ads, search engine inquiries, e-zine placements, web site articles, referrals, etc.

Let’s say the advertisement is for a free canine-related newsletter. If the respondent replies, they’ll 2 also receive a free report on the care and feeding of miniature, small, medium and large breed dogs. When they click, the autoresponder automatically sends the report as an email.

Stage 4 One of two things also happens. The first might be that a web form pops up immediately to collect their name address, telephone, email address and other qualifying information. A form is essentially an electronic version of a piece of paper where information is gathered.

The second possibility is that the respondent is redirected to another content rich web site apart from yours. This is a “softer” direct approach because they discovered a great information packed site to come back to.

Stage 5 The autoresponder collects, stores and puts every name that is submitted into a database. That database then contains an opt-in list of names of likeminded people, in this case dog owners.

The autoresponder also keeps track of when messages have been sent out and when to send any follow up messages. Usually it takes somewhere between 7 to 10 communications with a prospective client before the prospect will buy. That’s what the autoresponder does with those preformatted messages.

The first message is the free report. Then, it can be set to send out another message in, say 3 days, then 5 days, then 2 days, then 7 days. This technique is what called the “regular irregular” basis. In other words, don’t make the delivery of the message an expected event. It’s that follow up that will generate profits.

Send out 3 informational messages to 1 “soft-sell” message. The “soft-sell” message is primarily informational, but sprinkled lightly inside the message is some promotional content. 3 messages about the grooming habits of various breeds has been sent. The 4th message may also be about grooming, but it suggests a site where they can go to get grooming tools. Maybe that’s your site or an affiliate’s. It’s a soft sell and educates as well.

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