Guest Post by Brian Edmondson
Rumplestiltskin is a crafty kind of imp found in old children’s fairy tales.
One night he came to a girl who was threatened by the king. She had to spin straw into gold or be locked in a dungeon forever.
And she had one night to do it.
The girl was beside herself. She couldn’t spin straw into gold on the spinning wheel that was provided. Humans can’t do that. But imps… can (at least one named Rumplestiltskin).
So, the story goes that Rumplestiltskin made the girl a bargain. He would spin the straw into gold if she gave him her necklace. And he did. Her life was spared. And the girl learned some good lessons along the way. You’ll have to read the story to see what most of them are.
But one of the big ones is that humans can’t do things like turn straw into gold and if they can the price is usually too high and too precious.
There is actually a good way to spin straw into gold. And I’ve been using this particular method since I first started my internet marketing business.
It’s simple and easy to execute as long as you have a site you own and a traffic source for the site. This simple secret is all about building a following using email.
It all starts with the email form.
An email form allows you to gather the name and addresses of people who visit your site. I have them on every site I own and they are responsible for a large majority of my income. I’m going to explain to you why they work so well and then I’m going to show you how to get one on your own site.
Why gathering emails works.
When people visit your site they are there for a few minutes and then BOOM they are gone. It happens quickly and you may never see them again.
But when you have an email sign up form on your site you get to contact your visitor over and over again. Sometimes when I suggest this to people they freak out - because they don’t know what they will send to their list.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Send your list notices about your best content
- Send your list notices about new and exciting products that they might be interested in. (this works really well on sites that sell physical affiliate products)
- Write to your list with discounts on products that you offer
- Write an informational series that educates, informs and educates about your subject matter – kind of like this article.
Having a form on your site lets you reconnect with visitors again and again. And you get to sell to them again and again. President Obama used this strategy in the 2012 Presidential Campaign to raise over $690 million dollars. It was the most anyone has ever raised in a digital campaign effort and no matter what you think of him politically, he was very good at using email marketing.
Many site owners also send their lists newsletters and then rent the list out to advertisers on occasion. This is another great way to make money.
There are so many possibilities when you can reach your customers over and over again, that not having an email form on your site means you are missing a huge opportunity to turn straw into gold.
How do you get an email form on your site?
The easiest way is to use a subscription based service. Most people when they are starting out use Aweber. Aweber is inexpensive, works great, and has great email deliverability. There are services that are free to start, but I’ve never seen one that works really well.
When you open an Aweber account they have a form builder on the inside. If you don’t know how to use it call customer service. They are great people, and will answer your questions.
Once you design the form you can just use a bit of code, put it in a text widget if you are using WordPress, and it will appear on your site and be all hooked up to Aweber and ready to go.
How do you get people to sign up for your list?
There are lots of ways to do this, but I’ve found the easiest and most effective (by far) is to offer a free report. If you have a site about toy trains you could offer a report on how to create a toy train set up.
A site I know of that sells surfboards has people sign up for a “guided tour” type of report that shows them how to decide on the right board, and what kind of shape of board they will need for their particular skill level.
Think about the questions that people ask you and answer them in a report.
Then get a nice cover made – fiverr.com has some great graphics people that do covers for $5 – and use that as a representation of what they’ll be getting.
Enticing people this way will get you far more people on your list, which means lots more marketing opportunities.
By putting an email form on your site you enable yourself to really spin straw into gold. Most of the time my lists out earn my site earnings by many fold. And the best part is that it only gets better in time.
If you keep adding people to your list and keep in touch with them, you will develop a true business asset. Something that you own and that no one can take away from you.
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