When I ask business owners if they market to their list, I get all kinds of responses. Some aren't sure what I mean. Many have a list of customers and prospects but admit they don't use it for marketing purposes.

Having your own mailing list—a group of customers and prospects—who know and trust you equips you with the number one marketing weapon on the Internet today.

But having a list is one thing. Knowing how to use it in a systematic way to generate profits is a whole other ball game. This second article in a four-part series examines how to build a list from the visitors to your site.


Building a List from Site Visitors

Your website is the best starting point for building your list. Visitors to your site have pre-qualified themselves. Something brought them to your website; maybe a search engine, perhaps an ad or a referral by a friend. Regardless, these are your prime prospects, and they want to know more about you and what you have to offer. These will be some of your best prospects and the most likely to ask for and respond to your follow-up efforts.

Here are seven ways to maximize your list sign ups from your existing website traffic regardless of how many visitors click onto your site.

1. Put a sign-up box on the top right hand side of your main web page. Although studies have apparently shown that this is the most effective location, I don't think right or left makes a big difference. (I'll save you the trouble of checking—mine's on the left!) Frankly, I think the key is making sure it's highly visible. And make sure the copy positioned near the sign-up box "sells" your visitors on the value they will receive for agreeing to be part of your list.

2. Add a sign-up box to every page of your website. Not everyone will jump at the chance to give you his e-mail address immediately, but you never know when a visitor will decide to sign up. Be sure they can do it from every page on your site.

3. Use a popup to greet your visitor to your site. Everybody hates popups—except smart marketers who know how effective they are at getting visitors to sign up for your e-zine or newsletter. Why do they work? When they are attractively designed and present a compelling offer, the visitor isn't offended. Remember, they are coming to your site because they chose to. Popup technology today allows you to create popup windows that can't be blocked by toolbars or browsers. Not only that, you control how often, where and when the popup will appear.

4. Use a popup when your visitor leaves your site. The idea here is to catch the prospect off-guard and give you one last opportunity to get him to exchange his e-mail address for your free information.

5. Add links to key points in your web copy where the reader can ask for your follow-up information. Most visitors to your site won't take action the first time. But that doesn't mean they won't eventually. The important thing is to give visitors every opportunity to join your list and increase the likelihood that they choose your practice. In a recent e-zine I wrote for a client, I embedded a few well-placed links that allowed the visitor to "click here for more information." When they click, a sign-up box opens and they can register.

6. Let the people who receive your follow-up information or e-zine sell the value. Using testimonials is a powerful (and highly profitable) way to establish your credibility, especially when they focus on the quality of your follow-up information. This gives visitors a feeling for the value they will get if they join your list.

7. Offer them something for signing up. In my sign-up box, I offer a five-page free report. Anyone who reads it will come away with a clear understanding of what goes into producing website content that leads to sales. And they receive my free e-zine, Real Deal Marketing, a weekly collection of tips for effective online marketing.

If you haven't been building your list because you weren't quite sure how to go about it, these seven list-building techniques will help you get started.


Mr. Black is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in direct-response online copywriting. He writes copy that generates online leads and sales for solo professionals and small companies, including web copy, e-zines and direct-mail sales letters. Learn more about how he can add value to your practice at gerryblackcopywriter.com, e-mail him at gerryblack@gerryblackcopywriter.com or phone him at (905) 716-7130.