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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stop Selling Directly to Customers – Build a List

Today, I want to share with you one of the biggest mistakes
affiliates make. I want to share this with you so you wont make the
same mistake:

The one major mistake many affiliates make is not setting up a
list. Affiliates will often send traffic that they generated to
affiliate links, rather than a list. When they do this, they are
unknowingly making a bet that visitor will buy on first contact.
Unfortunately, this is generally not the case. Visitors often need
to be warmed up to a product - through the course of multiple
visits and additional information - before they are willing to
purchase from a person or a business. This is where building a list
comes into play.

By building a list, affiliates can fix this problem. Additionally,
they can retain traffic, warm it up, and then direct it to
different purchases in the future. This means that it isn't a
one-shot deal: instead, they can attempt to sell the same person
multiple products over the course of time.

Now, in order to do this successfully, the affiliate in question
must purchase the necessary tools. I personally suggest using
Aweber for the actual autoresponder service.

Check it out here:

Aweber is relatively inexpensive ($20/mo.) and comes with a
formidable range of services, including spam checkers and macros.
Best of all, it is whitelisted by many email clients and boasts a
delivery rate of 99%. This service will not only manage your list,
but it will also help you build it. It includes free tools that
allow you to create web forms, pop-ups, and hover-ins - all of
which can be used to increase your opt-in rate.

Now, in addition to purchasing the autoresponder service, you will
need to setup your own site if you do not already own one. If you
already own a related site, you can simply add your opt in form to
a page on your existing site. If not, I suggest purchasing a cheap
domain and hosting service and using this to host your list forms.

I use Hostgator for my hosting and you can check them out here:


Once you have your site and your autoresponder setup, there are
only two steps left: the first is building a course of some sort
that is related to the affiliate products you will sell; and the
second is creating an opt-in form that converts.

The first part is relatively easy. Start by determining your topic
and then outline it over the course of five to seven days. Remember
that everything should be written as if you are talking to a
person, rather than as if you were writing a formal article.

If you don't feel comfortable writing these articles yourself, you
can always hire a ghostwriter at elance.com for $5-15
per issue, depending on the size.

Once you have created your autoresponder series, you will want to
feed it into your autoresponder, setup advertisements in the text
for the affiliate product you are planning to sell, and then create
an opt-in form for your list.

The last part - setting up an opt-in form - is quite important.
Strangely, this is something marketers often neglect. They spend
the time to create a good course, weave in affiliate links so they
don't look too obvious, set the send off dates on all of the
emails. . . and then fail to create an opt-in page that will convert.

So here's a little information on how to make your opt-in page

First of all, keep in mind that the sole purpose of an opt-in page
is simply to collect opt-ins. Don't splatter that page with Google
Adsense ads. Don't include a navigational menu that visitors can
use to browse your site. All of these things are bad because they
detract from your primary purpose - your "most wanted response" --
which is to get visitors to opt-in to your list.

I personally suggest that you create what is called a "squeeze
page." The purpose of a squeeze page is to do exactly what I said
was important in the above paragraph: to "squeeze" new visitors for
their names and email addresses. Here's a few things an effective
squeeze page should include:

1. A professional graphic header. That's right: don't cheap out on
the graphics. Hire someone who doesn't make blurry headers using
horrible templates. You might have to slap down a horrifying $10,
but it will be worth it. I promise.

2. A strong headline. Before you tell someone to opt-in to your
list, you have to reach out and GRAB their attention with a large
font, red headline. Make your headline CLEAR and COMPELLING. Do not
use complex sentence constructions. Do not fill it with fluff. But
do make strong, quantifiable claims...

3. Compact, compelling text that is no longer than two paragraphs.
You aren't selling them a car or a house. All you're doing is
basically saying "Hey! Here's a really, really, really good reason
to opt in to my list. Did I mention my list was free? Opt in now,
please." So absolutely blow them away in those two paragraphs, but
do no more. Additionally, consider giving them a free report for
joining your list - which they can download as soon as they opt-in.
This is a good incentive and it will push them to join.

4. A call to action. This is where you tell readers to stop kicking
the tires and opt in. Explain how their future could depend on it.

5. Your signature. If any signature is included with the opt-in
list, it will immediately gain credibility. People want to see a
signature, so write yours down, scan it; and add it to your squeeze
page. You can either scan in your signature or use the following
tool: http://www.vletter.com/.

6. A no spam clause. Simply tell them - in a few words - that you
will not spam them and you will not sell their information. This is
very important. Telling them that will make them far more likely to

Once you have setup your opt-in form, the only remaining step is to
drive various traffic sources to your opt-in list, collect their
email addresses - and then wait for the commissions to roll in.

Thank you for reading this series. Please look out for the next

To Your Success,
Pawel Reszka


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