List Building – Your Bread & Butter
“Bread and Butter!” That is what people say who are walking along and an obstacle
comes between them. They release one another’s hand and walk on either side of the
obstacle, then rejoin hands and say, “Bread and Butter”. It’s symbolic. Bread and butter
belong together.
Another way the term ‘Bread and Butter’ is used is to denote the main substance of an
enterprise. “That trick is his ‘Bread and Butter’ trick.” This means that it is the backbone
of his act and that he depends on it and relies on it regularly to sustain him.
Both interpretations of the term ‘Bread and Butter’ apply to list building and Internet
Marketing. You just can’t have one without the other. You can’t separate the two
because they belong together and, likewise; they are the sustaining part of an Internet
marketers business.
List building is the first, most important and most constant of all the tasks that
Internet marketers engage in. Their lists are their bread and butter and their lists and
their businesses belong together. Neither can exist without the other.
You won’t have to wander around the Internet very long before you will find people
saying that list building just isn’t important… and that it isn’t even necessary. Don’t you
believe one word of that hooey… and that is precisely what it is… hooey!
That is without a doubt the worst Internet marketing advice that is available anywhere
on the Internet… and there is lot of useless information out there. There is useless
information but the idea of not building a list is just downright dangerous advice to follow.
List building isn’t important… it is absolutely vital… it really is your bread and butter.
Without a list, you are simply without a business.
The CAN SPAM act of 2003 made is illegal to send bulk marketing emails without the
consent of the recipients. That is the law. The penalties for disobeying this law are
tough! You can be fined up to $11,000 per unsolicited marketing email that you
It wouldn’t take but one to do a lot of damage and if you send hundreds, you’ll never get
the fine paid off… at least not in just one lifetime. Do you NEED an opt-in list? YES! Your
list is your bread and butter.
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
Now, let’s discuss ways in which one can go about building that bread and butter opt-in
list. There are several ways that have been proven to be very effective list building
One way to build your bread and butter opt-in list is to write articles and submit them
to article banks.
If you weren’t blessed with any writing ability at all or if you simply do not have the time
to devote to writing articles, you can have articles written for you by ghostwriters or you
can join a PLR site and download articles that will just need some rewriting to prevent
them from being identified as duplicate content by search engine spiders. These articles
need to be no longer than 300 to 400 words and they need to be keyword rich. Your
resource box needs to include your name and a link to your website.
Another proven list building technique is to join and post to blogs and forums that are
dedicated to a topic that relates to the products and services that you sell.
You must be careful not to post blatant advertisements on these sites. That’s a big
no-no. You will need to post 3 to 5 times each and every week to these sites and you
sig tag on your posts needs to be your name and a link to your website.
Exchanging links with websites that sell products and services that are complimentary
to but not identical to the products and services that you sell is another way to build your
bread and butter list.
Now, some marketers do not believe in link exchanges. They object to the idea of two
way traffic and don’t think that a marketer should ever post a link that takes traffic away
from his or her website. The key word, however, is TWO way. A link exchange also
brings traffic to your website that you might not otherwise ever see and every person
who visits your website is a potential customer or, at the very least, a possible addition to
that bread and butter opt-in list.
Then there is paid advertising to consider for the purpose of list building.
A PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign is not free, of course, but if your list is greatly increased
because of it then it will be money that has been well spent. PPC campaigns are very
effective tools for list building… and more especially so if you can give something away
for free. People do love ‘free’. Free reports… free utilities… free E-Books… if it’s free, it
adds to your bread and butter opt-in list.
A very effective, maybe even the most effective, way to use paid advertising to build
your list is to advertise in E-zines that relate to the topic of your website and to the
products and services that you sell.
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
E-zine advertising is very targeted advertising that has proven to be effective as well as
cost effective. The people who will see your advertisement are the very people who are
most likely to buy the products or services that you sell and to join your opt-in list… and,
did I mention that it is cheap? You can usually get an advertisement in an E-zine for $30
or less.
The well established and savvy Internet marketers all know just how important list
building is. List building is at the top of their ‘to-do’ list every single day. List building is
never considered a side effect… it is the object of their attraction to every enterprise that
they consider undertaking. They know that their lists really are their bread and butter.
They fully understand that without their lists that they are without a business and you
should believe that with all your heart because it is true.
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
Leveraging on Joint Ventures
When Internet marketers hear the term, ‘Joint Venture’ they will immediately begin to
drool… maybe ever to slightly… but they are certainly drooling.
New marketers dream of getting that first lucrative Joint Venture deal under their belts
(and into their bank accounts). Well-seasoned Internet marketers always have both ears
and both eyes wide open searching for their next Joint Venture opportunity.
Everybody wants a Joint Venture for the very simple reason that they are lucrative… and
‘lucrative’ is an understatement.
The first, most important and most on-going task of every Internet marketer is to build
an opt-in list.
There are basically three kinds of lists and all of them are not created equally.
First there are lists that are bought… these are just about worthless.
Second there are lists of potential customers. Potential customer lists are valuable
because they are lists of people who have opted in to a mailing list and may well buy
something at some point but they haven’t as yet.
The third kind of list is the ‘paid customers list’. The paid customers list is the one that
is very, very, very valuable. This is a list of people who have actually bought a product or
service. They have already proven that they will spend money. Most importantly, the
paid customer list is one of the factors that potential Joint Venture partners will base their
decision of whether to Joint Venture with you or not will base their decision upon.
So… building a paid customer list is the number one task for an Internet marketer. In
order to build a paid customer list, you may well have to give something away. One of
the best ways to build a paid customer list is to offer a product that is relatively
inexpensive… say one that will sell for $9.95 or even $19.95… to Joint Venture partners
and allow them to keep all of the profits from the sale. That’s right. Give them 100% of
the profit… the whole $9.95 or $19.95 that the product sells for.
What you get is a long paid customer list which will turn out to be a lot more valuable
than the $5 or $10 dollars per sale that you would have made. That paid customer list is
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
like your own private gold mine. It can be used to leverage future Joint Venture deals
that will add a lot of money to your bottom line.
Another method that can be used to build that valuable paid customer list is to have two
membership sites… one free and one paid.
You can then offer Joint Venture partners the opportunity to give away free
memberships and an opportunity to gain a commission when anyone that they send the
offer of a free membership chooses to upgrade to a paid membership. You can structure
this offer as a one-time payment for an up-grade or as an ongoing commission on the
price of the monthly subscription.
By using either of the above discussed methods for your first Joint Venture deals you will
have built a paid customers list and you will also managed to create some serious
credibility for yourself. Both are assets that are beyond placing a value upon. This is the
formula for success:
Paid customer list + Credibility = Success
Whatever method you choose to employ, the bottom line is that what you need the very
most in order to get a profitable Joint Venture deal is a long paid customer list and some
credibility. There are no substitutes for either.
Make no mistake here. Credibility is equally important to a paid customer list.
Credibility is achieved by becoming a recognized authority in a niche. The paid customer
list adds greatly to your credibility but you need to work hard at building credibility by
writing and marketing articles, posting to blogs and forums, etc. Building credibility on
the Internet isn’t easy and it takes some time. There aren’t any shortcuts.
With a paid customer list and credibility you will then be in a position to leverage the best
and most profitable Joint Venture partnership agreements that are possible. Always
remember that adding to your paid customer list is one of the factors that you want to
insure when you enter into any Joint Venture agreement.
Now, armed with a paid customer list and credibility, your next move is to find ways to
make your potential Joint Venture partners willing, even eager, to help you. Contrary to
what appears to be common sense, your best Joint Venture partners are those who, up
to this point, you have considered your main competitors.
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
No, I’m not kidding. These are the Internet marketers who are most closely associated
with your customer base. The names and email addresses on their lists are the ones
that you want on your list.
Let’s say that you sell ‘whatsits’… you and several other marketers are in the ‘whatsits’
selling business. If you can come up with a product that will make selling ‘whatsits’
easier or explain how customers can get the best use out of a ‘whatsit’ then you can
approach your most fierce competitors and turn them into your most valuable Joint
Venture partners. They will eagerly assist you in promoting your new ‘whatsit enabler’
product… for a commission, of course.
A product that will make people feel better, look better or solve a problem for them is
a product that potential Joint Venture partners will embrace and then they will be eager
to help you sell it.
Additionally, you must always offer generous commissions and ample support to all of
your Joint Venture partners. This is never a place to cut corners or get greedy and you
credibility is always on the line.
If you have made a name for yourself in your niche (gained credibility) and you
have a product that Joint Venture partners know will make them look good to their
lists (even your most fierce competitors), there is no limit to the help they will be
willing to provide for you as a Joint Venture partner!
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
Invest Regularly in Advertising
Those who choose to make their living by sailing on the rough and tumble sea of Internet
marketing are, by nature, confident, self-assured people who well understand that
investment in many things is a necessity for survival.
They invest in themselves by learning all they can about the products and services in
their niche market. They invest their time, their effort, their energy, and, yes, their money
in order to achieve success. You are obviously one of those brave souls.
The one investment that every Internet marketer must invest in regularly in order to
achieve success is advertising. The old saying, ‘Advertising Pays’ is as true today as it
was when those words were first uttered by a long forgotten marketer of years gone by.
It really does pay to advertise. You stand to gain more by advertising than what the
advertising costs. That is always a given.
When we talk about advertising and Internet marketing, we are speaking of advertising
by a variety of methods that include both free and paid for advertising. All of the methods
that we will discuss here are effective ways to advertise.
Some of them will require only an investment of time while others will include an
investment of money, as well. Advertising, however, is essential. Advertising should be
at the top of the ‘to-do’ list of every Internet marketer every day of the week.
First, let’s discuss paid-for advertising. The fact is you are going to have to invest some
money in advertising your product, your service, your website or, even, your free
membership website if you are to have any success at all on the Internet. The Internet is
a huge place. There are millions of websites. You are going to have to tell people where
to find you in this enormous world of the Internet.
When people are surfing the Internet looking for a particular product, service or just
information, they always start that search by plugging the key words about their search
into a search engine. Search engines are like keys that open the door to information
about where to go on the Internet to find what is being searched for and you (your
product, your service or your website) will need to be on the other side of that door when
it is opened.
This is where PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising comes in. Your advertising budget needs
to include a certain amount for PPC advertising. You can set a budget with search
engines and limit the amount you will pay each day for PPC advertising. Set that limit as
high as you can to begin with and then increase it as you soon as possible.
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
Another very effective method of paid advertising is to take out advertisements in Ezines that are related to the products and services that you sell. There are thousands of
people who regularly receive E-zines in their inboxes about subjects that are near and
dear to their hearts.
Most E-zine subscribers actually read the E-zines that they subscribe to and if you have
an advertisement in it, they will see it. Advertising in E-zines is a very effective, as well
as, cost effective way to advertise.
Usually you can place advertisements in E-zines that have a very large subscriber list for
$30 or less per mailing. The beautiful part is that you are advertising directly to your best
Now, let’s discuss some ways in which to advertise that don’t cost any money. Paying
for advertising doesn’t take much time but free advertising requires a time investment.
You will always pay something for advertising… either money or time both of which are
in short supply when you are an Internet marketer.
These free advertising methods that we will discuss are possibly even more valuable
than the paid for ones that we have discussed before because they will not only
advertise your product, service or website but, in addition, they will help to build your
visibility and your credibility in your niche market.
The first method of free advertising is to write articles and E-Books then submit them to
article banks and E-Book repositories for other website owners or E-zine publishers to
download and use for free. Articles should never be longer than 300 to 400 words and EBooks don’t need to be longer that 10 to 12 pages.
When you submit an article or an E-Book, you need to include a resource box that
includes your name and a link to your website. A link to your website should be on every
page of an E-Book. Articles and E-Books need to have attention getting titles that
contain key words and the articles and E-Books themselves need to be key-word rich.
The second method of free advertising is to join and post to blogs and forums that are
dedicated to topics which relate to the products and services that you sell. Be aware that
posting to blogs and forums takes time… and a lot of it. You will probably spend at least
one hour per day posting to three or four blogs or forums.
This is, however, time that is well spent. Your signature tag that will be included at the
bottom of every post you make should contain your name and a link to your website.
This accomplishes three important things: (1) it is advertising for you, (2) it is building
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
credibility for you, and (3) it is adding links for search engine spiders to count, thereby,
raising your PageRank in the search engines.
Link exchanges with other Internet businesses who sell products or services that are
complimentary to but not identical to the products and services that you sell can be a
very effective way in which to advertise, as well.
Link exchange partners should have a PageRank at least as high as yours and
preferably higher. You can find link exchange partners in several ways. You can go to
link exchange websites and find them there or you can simply plug key words into a
search engine and locate them yourself.
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
New Wave: Give Away Events
There is one thing that has to be said about Internet marketers. They are advertising
innovators. Internet marketers simply tossed out all of the written-in-stone advertising
policies of brick and mortar advertisers and devised new and effective ways to reach
their potential customers.
The Internet itself changed the way that people buy things. People no longer have to get
dressed, drive into town, find a parking place, stand in line or wear out their shoe leather
searching for the products and services that they want. Three cheers for the Internet!
Internet marketers devised ways in which to reach their customer base that were
unheard of in the brick and mortar world of advertising and now these giants of
innovation have come up with yet another method that defies all of the principles of
advertising that have been established over the years.
This new and innovative marketing technique that I’m talking about is called a “give
away event” or a “Joint Venture give away event”
Can you imagine a group of brick and mortar stores getting together and agreeing to
give free ‘stuff’ to one another’s customers? I can’t either. It isn’t likely that Sears is
going to give something free to JC Penny customers, is it? Brick and mortar stores
wouldn’t even dream of giving something free to stores that are not in competition with
them. JC Penny would never give something free to customers of an automotive store
even though JC Penny doesn’t sell automotive supplies. It just isn’t done in the brick and
mortar world. But it IS done on the Internet.
When this marketing technique first came on the Internet, the Joint Venture give away
was done only between October and mid-December to try to take advantage of the
holiday shopping season but now the Joint Venture give away happens all year long.
The idea here is that people are more than one-dimensional. People who are deeply into
Internet marketing, for example, also have spouses, kids, dogs, cats, like to ski or buy
boats. People who are avid fishermen may also be interested in getting the best interest
rate on their savings or learning to play a guitar. People may belong to one mailing list
that reflects their main interest but that doesn’t mean that they are not interested in other
products or services.
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
The fact that people are more than one-dimensional was noted by innovating Internet
marketers. They devised a plan to take full advantage of the varying interests of people
by putting together the now famous Joint Venture give away.
A Joint Venture give away is usually limited to a specific number of partners. Each
partner offers a free gift which is almost always digital and downloaded from his website.
These free gifts are usually E-Books, special reports or utilities that are valuable in some
Once a Joint Venture give away is organized, every participating partner sends the
entire list of free gifts to the members of his mailing list. Those who sell Internet
marketing E-Books on their websites will send offers for E-Books about ski vacations
and guitar lessons to the members of their list. Those who sell ski equipment will,
likewise, send free gift offers for Internet marketing E-Books to their lists.
Every partner advertises the free gifts offered by themselves as well as every other
member of the Joint Venture give away and each and every partner in the Joint Venture
give away has the opportunity to build his or her list.
As I said before, when the Joint Venture give away was first conceived of it was usually
limited to the holiday shopping season but that is no longer the case. The fact is that it
has proven to be such an effective list building opportunity that there is almost always a
Joint Venture give away or two or three going on at all times of the year now. That
number is growing by leaps and bounds as marketers realize the value.
The phenomenal success of the Joint Venture give away begs the questions, how does
one put together a successful Joint Venture give away or find one to join?
The answer to finding one to join is really rather simple. You just do a search for ‘Joint
Venture give away’ using your favorite search engine and you will find more than a few.
Choosing which Joint Venture give away to join can be a little tougher. Remember that
you are going to be required to send all of the offers in a joint give away package to all of
the members of your list. You want to be sure that the offers are ones that your
members will not find objectionable so you need to know who the other participants will
be and what they will be offering as free gifts.
Creating your own Joint Venture give away is probably the better option. It is fairly
simple to put together a Joint Venture give away but it will require a good deal of hard
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List Building Strategies That Really Work
work. Rather than advertising for Joint Venture partners to participate in your Joint
Venture give away, seek out each partner individually and limit the number.
For example: if you are selling Internet Marketing How-to books, you might choose two
or three other marketers who sell similar products. Then you might want to look for other
marketers who sell products that are totally unrelated to your niche like a marketer who
sells fishing supplies and one who sells guitar lessons, for example. Make you Joint
Venture give away as versatile as you possibly can.
People really do have many dimensions. They are interested in many different things
and those who belong to one mailing list may very well be interested in belonging to
another mailing list or even buying the products and services that they find through a
Joint Venture give away.
Internet marketers are always looking for new and innovative ways to build their lists and
advertise themselves and their products and services. The Joint Venture give away is
only the latest way that they have found. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
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