If you want to place an opt-in on the sales page, do it at the top of the page or preferably down the side of the sales letter. In both cases place it on the side. Avoid any obstructions from the sales material.
Note – On sales page do not use pop-up windows (the window that appears on the top of the browser) or pop-under windows (the window that appears behind the browser). They both will turn the attention of the visitor.
You can also offer your visitors the chance to receive the sales letter in a split format through follow-up if they don't particularly have the time to read the whole thing straight up.
Any of these methods beats the conventional way, due to the fact that you are not interrupting the sales process.
It is always advisable to offer a download of a free e-book, free report, trial version of the software, etc. in subscription form. It is an incentive that people appreciate.
If you feel you are losing out on subscribers you can always create a product purely for resource building like I mentioned above.
Now on the other hand - the only time I would consider sales to be more important than putting up subscription box in front of your visitors and potential subscribers is when you are selling a high ticket item. I am talking here $250 upwards. When you are selling something at that price, the people seeing the product should already have you on their trusted list, and you should already have them on your most precious list or as part as your resources, whether they are your affiliates, long term customers, or even your joint venture prospects.
Note - When subscribers join your email list and confirm, they will start receiving emails on a regular basis (as set in your campaign). Some subscribers will not expect that, so to avoid subscribers’ frustrations provide them with information about a) how many emails you will send, and b) how often you will be sending emails to them. Providing that, you will set subscribers’ expectations. The frequency of sending will be determined by your campaign strategy.
Nonprofit Resource Building
Let’s talk about developing a nonprofit resource building idea - sacrifice a profit for resource building.
Ideally, you would want to build all your resources at the same time. However, when this is not possible through a specific circumstance (joint venture for example), and if you get the choice of sales over resources, my advice is - don't do it. In my opinion and my experience, always should be resources over sales, unless you've set out to sell a high ticket item to your long term customers (as mentioned in the previous section).
Remember, like we talked about earlier, and I'm going to say it again and again until every single person reading this understands it - where do the most powerful resources lie? Joint venture, other people’s lists, people that have already bought from you and are willing to buy again, the best affiliates, the best customers?
You have no need to go searching for new blood when others have done the work for you. When you get a joint venture (JV) partner with a good list and few top affiliates with a good list too you did a great job.
You better make sure you gather them as leads over sales, because you may not get another chance to sink your teeth into this particular valuable resource.
The second option relating to sacrificing profit for resources is through e-zine ads. I have no doubt they still work, and there's plenty of good well read publications out there that aren't there just to provide another source of advertising for us. You just have to find them and carefully evaluate them.
Subscribe to a few and see what they are about before even thinking about sending ads to them. When you know that your targeted market is contained within, get out there and start hitting the e-zines through paid solo ads (generally the only ones that seem to work) with the sole intention of building your list. As I said earlier, evaluate them carefully.
I have seen some examples of people actually selling a product, but placing a kind of the entry page, a questionnaire that asks for information prior to visitors’ being able to read their sales letter. Well, I am not fun of this method, but since this doesn't immediately interrupt a sales process already in motion, it can hurt profits if you are not selling a lower price item. Again, this is with the intention of building resources. If you are not one heck of a copywriter that can persuade people to move on and fill in the details with the minimal available information about you, stick with less risky methods.
Personal Affiliate List
A personal affiliate list is pretty much the same as the Personal Mixed Content list (discussed in Email List Maintenance section). But this time, you are not sending tips, hints, advices, or content, but affiliate ready ads, instructions, guidelines, strategy models, affiliate ready promo material for programs/products that you promote yourself and of course your own products.
This is different from an ad list because here all the products that are promoted are yours. The content that is provided here is in the form of instructions, guidelines for affiliates and affiliate ready ads, so that your affiliates have all-in-one package and can start promoting you immediately.
This has a great profit potential for all types of marketers, especially those who sell digital products (e-books, videos, courses, software, web elements, music, etc.). For those marketing entrepreneurs who sell physical products the way of doing things are a bit different and affiliates’ margins are much lower than in case of digital products.
If you ask yourself how possibly affiliates keep their subscribers interested when all they are doing is sending ads, don’t worry. Each affiliate, especially experienced ones, have their techniques and also big, segmented subscriber lists. They don’t promote your product to everybody - they promote it just to those that are interested in that niche.
Besides, it is advisable to include a series of at least 7 promos emails with rest of material that you send to your affiliates. Who knows better your product then you? If you are not good in writing sales letter, try outsourcing.
Well, your job is not done yet. You still have to promote your own products to your subscribers list, which will not take much time, but, at the same time, you are aiming to not just get sign-ups, but also to grab some extra affiliates to join your affiliate program and promote for you.
This is probably the best example that shows that to make a profit, you don't have to concentrate on instant sales, and making sales yourself. In fact, in this case, it's far more profitable to be promoting for affiliates and let them promote you on their lists.
Let say a few more words about affiliate program. Imagine that your list consists of twenty other people exactly like you that have lists on their own of people they promote to, either for sales or for more affiliates. When your ad goes out, you are likely to get a certain amount of sales, depending on your list quality and also on the number of your affiliates and their quality. So now you are in a position to promote, not just your own list, but to twenty more lists. Isn’t that great option?
If you have been in online marketing for some time, you know that multi level system also exist. Depending on what kind of product you sell, if you are interested in programs with more than one level you can find it (two, tree, even more levels). Well, that is another topic. I just wanted to demonstrate here, how this type of list works.
Personal List - Ad Content
If you already have built a circle of people that trust you, they are pleased to know what you are doing. They sit on your list, and watch you. They watch how you handle situations, how you prosper, what moves you make, how you organize things, how you prioritize things, what software you use, what you promote, how you promote, etc.
Now, if this is the case, any ad you send them will be welcome and they will be interested to look at that. As we all, who trust and know somebody will feel that what that person is sending is profitable, or might be profitable. Here I am talking about mixed content ads (not strictly related to interest of the subscriber. I discuss this in guide “Email List Maintenance” - see section Personal Mixed Content List.
If you are not well known to your list already, then sending just outside ads without much content might seem like a simple ad list to your subscribers, and might result in a loss of interest and loss of subscribers. So, be careful.
My advice is simple. Even though the work load is low, you don't really need to perform any other list maintenance aside from your standard product creation, and of course searching for new products to create, it’s probably better to exclude sending outside ads to your personal list until you are established, or have a good base of people on your list that know you, trust you, and know how good you are in your niche. Of course, sending ads about your own product, in the subscriber’s area of interest is welcome.
There is another alternative, and it involves getting yourself known through joint ventures and through other people’s lists. In this case, if people start migrating to your list, you won't have to worry about them leaving because they are intrigued with your offerings.
When you are using this type of list, make one hundred percent sure that it's right for your business, your status with subscribers, and the type of promotion you want to carry out.
You will also find out do your subscribers know you already, or they haven’t at least heard of you. If they don’t know you, they will be gone fast from your list for the simple reason - they don't understand what you are offering to them with your mailings.
Note – You need to know your subscribers and they need to know you.
This is most definitely a great list type, and does work well. There are many marketers out there that utilize this list so effectively. Every single one of them, however, was either established already when started using outside ads in this list’s type in their marketing efforts, or got established really quickly through recognition and other people’s lists. As you can see it's a tough balance to make, but once you've got it, this can be a great profit method.
Once you've got a good base of people with similar interests, however, you are going to do well with your promotions through your personal email list. Be very careful when using this list type, because if you don't have the right contacts, or the right name/expertise/trust setup, it won't work.
Advertisement List (Ad List)
An ad list is generally a list that you build to send outside ads without any useful content at all. This is the easiest and fastest method of list maintenance/building of all. Despite a major problem with un-subscription rates, and the challenge of getting people to subscribe in the first place, it is still widely used, solely for income from ad sales.
For me, ad list is totally amateur marketers’ club activity.
Take every example that we have talked about, and everything that I've shown you so far here and in the Email List Maintenance guide - from relationship building, to useful content creation, from your reputation to personal mixed content lists – well if you use this method, it’s like you throw all your efforts and trust of your subscribers through the window.
So, you may wonder why this is even reviewed here if it's so terrible. Well, the reason for me to do so is to show you what your list can turn into if you are not careful about managing it or if you get careless.
If things get out of hand, and your email list turns into an ad list, you have had it. Aside from short-term cash you are going to bring in through selling ads, it doesn't even compare to what you can earn by selling your own products, partnering in joint ventures, or promoting other peoples’ programs.
So what do you get from an advertisement list? Well, you get ads. That’s about all. The thing is - all you are doing here is getting a bunch of people together on a big list, saying 'forget the relationships, forget the trust, forget reputation, forget JV partners, forget my own products, forget useful content, etc.’ my aim is to get the biggest list so I can sell ads for the highest price.
Despite my apparent lack of enthusiasm for this type of list, some people do still seem to insist that this is the best way to earn fast cash. Maybe this is the best option for you if you don’t know how to create your own product, or you don’t know how much money is in affiliate promotions (when done correctly), or just you don’t have the time.
If you are running this kind of list right now, or if you did it in the past, don't be offended, just let it be known that it is not, by far, the best way to make money from your list.
Now let’s talk briefly about list segmentation. I don’t know how you gather your subscribers and I don’t know do you use few opt-in forms with different free gifts for same email list. If that is the case, you should separate those subscribers into few different lists guided by their specific interest.
All those subscribers shouldn’t be on the same list when you send mailings. For example, people interested in and sign-up with you for the software program in the design category, probably will not be interested in, let say, software in the construction category that some other subscribers from your same list signed up. All those different interest groups have to be separated and receive mails in their own interest area.
Otherwise, they lose the reason why they subscribed in the first place, and you will probably, in the end, lose subscribers. In some cases, it’s not that they are not interested in what you are sending to them, it’s just that they don’t have a clue what you are talking about.
Another reason for doing this is your tracking and testing. We already talked in several key areas about how important tracking and testing actually is using your list as kind of a market research tool (see also “Email List Maintenance” section).
Don't be afraid to split your lists up and have two or three smaller ones related to different markets or different areas. This is something that has to be done, and the extra work and maintenance is worth it by far when you look at the possibilities and the clear research data you can gain from each targeted list individually.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with introducing one list to the other with related topics and inviting them to join if they are interested. Just don't randomly mold them into one though, or you will confuse people.
Note – Don’t put all your subscribers with different interests in the same list and hope that the right people will read what you send them.
A Few Final Points
When speaking about your own personal list, don’t forget the personal touch. Remember your subscribers on holidays - email them few words and send a card. Those are simple things that make people remember. Be personal, but professional, and this will not only be relevant to your business, but more importantly, to your reputation.
Whatever you do, do it professionally and in detail. Take all aspects into consideration before you start working on it. Don’t offer anything to your subscribers that you know little about. Make a research, learn about it and then talk/write about it and offer it. There are many examples on the market today when people sell something they don’t know nothing about. That can only hurt your reputation and trust.
All that was presented here is an introduction to the topic and I hope I reached you and showed you upsides and downsides of the subjects we discussed. You can use one method or make a combination, all depend on what is best for your business, not just now, but in the future too. Once you choose the path, it will not be easy to change.
Start building your list, and think of years to come. Forge relationships, build trust and reputation. There is no right or wrong answer when you ask yourself what to do – all depends on your business and your personality.