The Sweet Spot Of The Opt-In

This topic is something I see too often and have never addressed before. So, here it goes. It’s about the opt-in process and how much information you should ask for. So many people overlook this process and as a result the impact is a massive lost opportunity to consistently build their list.

In this article I share some of the reasons why determining the exact “sweet spot” of information to ask for from new subscribers will ultimately impact the size and quality of your list.

It boils down to this: the more information you ask for, the less number of people will opt-in. Yes, that is the formula. Ask for the farm and you’ll get squat. Ask for basically the least amount of information (email only) and you’ll be treating more people on your list like a number – not a person. That’s not very authentic.

So, how do you balance authenticity with quantity when it comes to the opt-in process? Let’s look at different options of what to ask for and review each.

Email

No personalization at all means your ability to reference even a first name in your email marketing is non-existent. I personally don’t love this approach at all based on this fact alone. I do get a lot of emails from people in the Internet Marketing niche that don’t use first name or personalization and I do feel it’s somewhat inauthentic. But, you’re only asking for email so you don’t have to worry about asking for too much and thinking people won’t opt-in as a result.

Name and Email

This is the most popular combination to ask for since it allows you to personalize your email marketing AND you’re not asking for anything else during the opt-in process. It’s clean and simple. But, please be sure to use the name in the email marketing and reference it in the actual email body to make it even more personalized and conversation-like.

Name; Phone Number and Email

This is where asking for too much information starts to impact your ability to consistently build your list. For example – asking for a phone number raises a red flag that translates to you calling me and trying to sell me something. Why else would you be asking for my phone number? I’ve not even subscribed or received your IFO yet and you’re asking for my phone number? A lot of people use this as an approach to build phone numbers for prospects to call about selling a product or program – but I’m sure as a result it will significantly impact their ability to build their list first. You’ve got to build the list and build the trust before you try to sell something.

Name; Phone Number; Physical Address and Email

You need to think strategy if you’re asking for their address. If you’re not doing any sort of direct mail marketing (like postcard or letters in the mail) than I don’t see why you’d need to ask for all of their shipping information. If your IFO is a physical item like a free audio CD – than of course it makes sense. But filling out all those address fields takes a long time for people and as a result – less number of people will take the time to do it and as a result not opt into your list. If you’re asking for their address, do your prospect a favor and spend 30 minutes to build the web form for state and country logic so the user will choose from a pre-defined list – not some free form text field where they can incorrectly type the state or country information and make it impossible to ever send them something.

Name; Phone Number; Physical Address; Personal Information and Email

By personal information here I mean other subscriber info that may well be extremely helpful and knowledgeable to have – but will massively impact your ability to consistently build your list. I once had a 6-question survey presented to me during the opt-in process BEFORE I even opted into a list and I ended up not bothering at all. And, I was pretty motivated to subscribe – but based on all this other information they were asking for – it became too much. Questions like what industry I’m in or what business I’m in or how many years I’ve been in business, etc. I mean this is not ALL about you – it has to be about ME. Trick: send a follow up email or survey AFTER someone has subscribed and you can ask some of these questions. But, don’t bang them over the head before they even have opted in.

So, let the balance for you be what you think is best. There is no magic formula here. Personally, I like name and email to start and then follow up by asking for the other information (phone, address, survey questions) only when I have a DIRECT purpose for using that information. I would never ask for all of this beforehand. Think about what you are willing to provide when you opt-in and use that as a rule of thumb for your own list. Again, we are often times our best case study as a prospect for our own niche or market.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
Take some time to consider the different options for the amount of opt-in information you’re asking new prospects to enter before they join your list. What works best in your market and what would YOU be willing to enter when you opt-in to a list? Develop a strategy for the right balance of information so you can ensure you’re authentically and personally connecting with the people on your list and you’re not overwhelming them at the same time. Interested in finding out more about the opt-in process and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.
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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Successful Product Launch Secrets

It’s a new year and if you’re like most other business owners – you’re planning out the year to launch your programs and/or products. Perhaps you have a new program you can’t wait to get out there – or a product that you’ve recently completed that you want to sell online to your list.

But, most people make the mistake of just popping it up on their website and hoping for the day when someone will buy. Not a great strategy. Don’t get me wrong – someone could buy – but it might take months before you make your first sale.

You’ve got to launch your product big-time to make more money and get more clients!

I’m in a Mastermind with Jeff Walker (creator of the Product Launch Formula), and we were chatting about product launches and what works these days when selling something online. Fabienne and I have also had some very successful product launches here at Client Attraction. So, I figured what better time to reveal some secrets for you to put into action immediately for your next product launch.

In this article I reveal 6 successful product launch strategies you can immediately use to bring in new income and convert prospects into clients.

Now, a product launch (or program) can be really anything you’re looking to sell online. Examples can be any of the following:

  • Bootcamp
  • Tele-class series
  • Event
  • Coaching program
  • Home study course
  • Etc…

Why a product launch? It’s better and more effective to sell something. The concept of a “launch” builds up momentum and creates frenzy towards what you’re offering. It’s easier than just putting your product on your site and hoping people will eventually come around and take it.

Here are my six strategies:

Planning
You’ve got to plan ahead. You can’t just haphazardly decide to launch something and have it all magically fall into place. You need to plan ahead across all levels. Your audience – are they ripe for it? Would they want it? Have you been offering too much or too little and where does this launch fit into the rest of your planned offerings? Your communication – the dates you plan for sending emails, launching your product on your website, dates for communication to JV partners to support your launch, etc. You need to select a “launch” date and then work backward from there to plan out all the various communications you require.

Support
Without support – the launch won’t be a success. And, I mean support from ALL places. Joint ventures – ample support from JV partners or strategic alliances to help promote your launch will help build up momentum. Why? The more people who are aware of your launch will create even more anticipation. Affiliates – getting affiliates on board so they can plan ahead to notify their network of your launch and ensure it fits with their schedule. Team – can’t do it all alone. Between the promotion, planning, emails, website, product creation, etc., it takes more than just you. Get some help from your team (even if temporary help) to make it all happen. Family/friends – tell them about the launch so they can support you during what will be one of the busiest times of your business.

Anticipation
A successful launch is all about anticipation. Remember when the iPhone 4 came out from Apple and there was all this build up for months before they actually had it available for sale? That’s a killer launch tactic. You want to create the momentum of leading up to something – something really big. This creates buzz and anticipation from people who want to find out about your launch. Hint: for online product launches – it usually is a big build up to a tele-seminar or webinar where you announce your product – and finally make it available for sale. Reminding people constantly about the event date before it takes place is another strategy to create more build up and anticipation.

Creativity
You’ve got to be creative about what you’re launching. Let’s not forget the most important part of a launch is the content of what you’re actually selling. It’s got to be good stuff. But, what makes your product different? Why are people going to want it? Be creative with your marketing as part of the launch with everything from the angle/message for your tele-seminar to the videos you’re producing – it’s got to be different. Your sales page needs to be creative. How well can you present what you have?

Incentives
A launch is all about giving people a reason to buy. Additional bonuses, a strong call to action, reduced pricing, pricing payment plans, etc. These are all reasons that will help make the case for the product. You want to give people an offer they can’t refuse and using incentives is a key to trigger people from prospect to buyer. One incentive to consider is planning a preview call or webinar to showcase what you have to offer (what you’re launching.) I would never recommend launching a new product or program to your entire list. Not everyone would be interested. But, inviting people to a free call or webinar where you deliver good content and essentially “preview” what you have to offer – and giving them a really good offer at the end of the call – is a great way to launch your product and get immediate sales.

Scarcity
If you’re selling a product with limited copies or a program with limited spaces –being transparent about the limited availability will definitely increase your selling conversion. People aren’t compelled to buy if they know they can some around anytime to buy if you have unlimited copies or spots. But, if there is only a certain number available – they will take action. Now, you need to be honest here and not pretend to have 10 copies of something to sell when in reality you have 100. That’s not very authentic. If the offer is ending soon because the event starts on a certain date or a program begins on a certain date – you should leverage that and showcase it to prospects so they know they need to take action.

Follow some of thee strategies for your next product launch and you’ll be sure to increase sales and convert more prospects into buyers.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
What are your launch plans for 2011? Do you have a new product or program you’re ready to sell to your list? It’s not as easy as just putting it up on your website and hoping for sales. Map out 2-3 action steps to implement from each of my 6 launch strategies above to ensure you can effectively and efficiently launch your next product or program for the best results possible. Don’t be afraid to try something different and be creative. And, your content has got to be killer more than anything – so don’t overlook delivering an amazing value to your clients or customers!
Interested in finding out more about product launches and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.
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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Choose Your Call To Action Wisely

We all know the importance of using a call to action. It’s a critical online marketing strategy to drive traffic back to your site by inviting prospects to get your irresistible free offer (IFO) and join your list. But, do you know what type of call-to-action to use with all the different social networking and online sites out there?

Yes, it’s about adding value by contributing relevant and high-content information, but if you don’t have a clear strategy in place by using the right type of call-to-action to bring people back to your site to join your list, it really doesn’t matter.

I share some of the most common places where your prospects hang out – and how to drive them back to your site and join your email list by using the right type of call-to-action that is appropriate to each site.

Now, let’s look at some of the most common places where your prospects hang out online and which type of call-to-action type to use.

Blogs

Let’s first look at YOUR blog. Prospects are hanging out on your blog viewing your content and perhaps already subscribed to your feed but are not yet on your email list. With the posts you create on your blog, end them all with a strong call-to-action to opt-in in order to be notified of new posts or receive whatever your IFO is.

Your prospects also hang out on OTHER blogs relevant to your market or niche. Here you can comment and contribute content in the form of helpful and relevant information – with a light call-to-action back to your blog for more information. Notice the difference between the two call-to-action strategies depending on which blog you are referencing. On other blogs, keep the call-to-action light else it will feel like sales / pushy.

Facebook

There are millions of your prospects and potential leads hanging out on Facebook. I see so many people using Facebook without a clear strategy in place to build their list. In the same way as blogs, you want to add value and contribute to the conversation (social media outlets like Facebook are for engaging in relationships and conversations) by commenting and contributing relevant content and information. You can do this in two places. Facebook profiles and Facebook fanpages. Prospects are hanging out on your profile via your news feed and looking at the content you have to share on your fanpage. Be sure to mix up the content and information you have to share by giving them both a medium call-to-action (not too strong like on your blog and not too light like on other blogs) back to your site to receive more tips and information from your email list.

YouTube

As Facebook is increasingly popular for users as a search engine tool, as is YouTube. People these days are just as likely to search for video content on YouTube as they do search for regular content via Google. When posting your videos on YouTube, be sure to include your URL / website in the description of the video so your subscribers can go back to your site and see more videos or find out more information. I suggest doing this using a strong call-to-action to drive them back to your site.

LinkedIn

You want to give the connections you have on LinkedIn a lot of valuable content and relevant information to position yourself as a subject matter expert in your community. As a result, always provide a medium call-to-action back to your site.

Twitter

If there is one place I would suggest a very light call-to-action, it would be Twitter. Twitter is an online conversation with your marketplace about the value and information you have to offer. You would seem overly pushy if you were constantly giving a strong call-to-action with every “tweet” you provided. As a result, I would recommend only giving a very light call-to-action and only when it will clearly provide a link between the tweet/content you provide and the additional information you have to share back on your site.

Podcasts

I don’t have any personal experience of using my own podcast for list building but I do see how it can be used as an effective strategy to drive your listeners back to your list to join your list. At the end of an audio podcast, it’s important to have a strong call-to-action to invite listeners back to your site to sign up and receive more information by joining your list.

At the end of the day it’s just as important to have a clear and consistent call-to-action strategy in place for all the different places where your prospects hang out and how to strategically drive them back to your site to join your list.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

You Must Convert In All The Right Places

In my last article I talked about the importance of writing compelling email subject lines that will help get you clients by having your subscribers open more of your emails. It’s really the very first step as part of an overall and ongoing conversion process with your list. After a prospect decides to take your IFO (irresistible free offer) and join your list, the conversion process is nowhere near complete. It’s actually just beginning.

Throughout the life cycle of the people on your list, there are countless opportunities for bettering your conversion. By bettering your conversion, you have a higher likelihood of converting more prospects to clients, clients to buyers and buyers into raving fans.

Let’s take a look at some categories where conversion is KEY and how you can improve your online conversion:

Email

As previously mentioned, the email subject is the first indicator of how well your emails will convert by the showing the % of people that are opening and reading your emails. This conversion is known as the “open-rate”. The actual email body – the images, text, URL’S and overall message in your email, convert your email readers into website visitors – by clicking through to your website, sales page or landing page. This conversion is known as the email “click-through-rate”.

Website

Throughout your website, there are numerous factors that influence your overall conversion. And by website conversion it could be how many people sign up for your free teleseminar (i.e. on a landing page) or how many people order your IFO (i.e. on a squeeze page). Both of these conversions are known as “opt-in-rate” and indicate the % of people who visit that page and opt-in to your list.

For more general websites (such as a sales page) there is first and foremost the headline. The headline has to speak to the visitor and grab their attention. It’s usually at the top of the sales page in big and bold letters. Think of it this way – the headline is to a sales page what the email subject is to email. If it’s not interesting or compelling – it won’t necessarily convert and visitors won’t continue in the process.

Next is the sub headline – not as visible as the main headline but in many ways just important.

The actual sales copy gets the most attention and is the overall driving factor that will help conversion. There are so many elements of writing compelling sales copy (I will cover them all in a future post).

Then, you have testimonials – critical for demonstrating the social proof of your product or service and will help converting the skeptics and those wondering if this really works and could it really work for them.

Lastly, there are other minor factors but those can influence overall conversion. These are mostly semantic like format (video vs. text), graphics and images, color, font type, etc.

All of these factors impact the “conversion” rate of your website – what % of visitors who visit ultimately buy.

Now come the actual elements of your product or service that will impact your conversion. The most obvious is price. Priced too high – and people will click away and look elsewhere. Priced too low – you might get a low conversion based on people not feeling the value for your product or service since the price is too low.

The options for payment have a big impact on the conversion. Do you offer an incentive for clients to pay in full? What payment plans do you offer in terms of monthly plans and for how many months?

What about a guarantee? Do you have one in place to help address the objections of those who want to buy but feel more comfortable there is a guarantee? Does it include a refund policy and if so, for how long and what conditions apply? These will also ultimately affect the overall conversion of your product or service.

At the end of the day, you want to address as many of these factors in the most authentic way possible in order to best increase your conversion in all of your online marketing efforts. By authentic I mean the following:

  • Doing things in integrity
  • Building a mutual long term goodwill with your list
  • Becoming their problem solver
  • Giving them good value
  • It’s about the ”feel good”

Focus on these and it will most likely not only help your conversion but your overall authentic internet marketing!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.