Targeted opt-in lists are the lifeblood of any affiliate marketing business. Three opt-in list factors will determine how successful your affiliate marketing campaigns are and determine your income potential online: the size of your list, how tightly-targeted the list is to your niche and how much you help your readers once they’ve opted in to receive your e-mails.

Today I’ll deal with certain aspects of the first two – the third needs a whole series of posts on its own. The size of your list and how targeted it is are very closely related, as both are dependent on HOW you build opt-in lists…

If you’ve been doing ANY affiliate marketing so far, you should already know the importance of setting up list-building funnels – at least one for each niche you’re marketing to. These funnels are a simple process: an opt-in page giving away a free gift – e-book, report, audio, video, software, etc. – a confirmation page letting people know they have to click a link in the e-mail they just received, and the landing page they download their gift from. From there it’s up to you to use a pre-written e-course or regular e-zine issues to help them more than you promised to to secure their signup.

Once that funnel is in place, get your free offer in front of as many targeted prospects as is affordably and ethically possible. One of my favorite methods of promoting my free gifts is in list-building giveaways – joint-venture events put together for exactly that reason. Each participant in the giveaway promotes the event, and gets to put their gift on the site for event visitors to see. Make sure you’re adding your gifts to giveaways that are aimed at the right prospects for you – for example, as I write this I’m in two events that are looking for partners/contributors:

Kerry Russell’s Internet Marketing Giveaway that runs from Tuesday May 28th to Tuesday June 11th, 2013, and…

Stephanie Mulac’s Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Giveaway that runs Thursday June 6th to Sunday June 30th 2013.

(Both are open to new partners now, and while you’re best to get in before the launch date, you can still join and add your product right up til the end of each event.)

In these two examples I’ll use the former to build our lists in the mainstream Internet marketing and affiliate marketing niches, while the latter will help build opt-in lists to go with our fitness and weight-loss web properties. This is what I meant by targeting your funnels – even though I’m a Certified Personal Trainer, giving out reports about weight loss or building muscle to the general marketing trade would do very little to help them – or me. Similarly, offering marketing or business-building reports to the general public looking for health and wellness help would mean very few signups for the time I’ve invested – they’re not going to care that I’m a Certified Master Business Success Coach or that I have about 40 years of business marketing experience since it doesn’t relate to what they need right now. Sure, there will be some crossover, but not enough to make it a worthwhile use of my time.

Obviously you’ll be promoting your opt-in pages in other ways – on your blogs, on social media, maybe using paid solo ads or doing ad swaps, etc. – and that’s the beauty of opt-in list building funnels: their versatility. Build each one once, then use a number of ways to drive targeted prospects to the page.

One thing that always amazes me when I discuss list-building giveaways is the number of people making negative comments about them. Many point out that one gets a lot fewer signups now from each event than they did 5 years ago… So what? It’s still a free way to add dozens, sometimes hundreds, of new subscribers to your lists. Some say it’s too much trouble – but that’s a cover for them being too lazy to succeed – if they had a funnel it takes 3 minutes to get your gift listed; if they don’t have a funnel they don’t have a list and won’t be succeeding until they do…

But the remark that always bothers me is “they just attract ‘freebie-seekers'”. When I hear that I drop the topic completely, because the person has just told me they’re strictly looking to make money, not looking to help people – and I have no interest in helping people who aren’t also helping others. Plus, of course, having driven online sales of over a million dollars, I know their assessment is not just wrong, but foolish. When you pay it forward helping others, it always comes back to you one way or another!

Will leave it there for today… If you’re reading this in time and are in the IM/MMO or health & fitness niches, use the links above to get into the current giveaways. If neither is your niche, search for ‘[niche] giveaway’, substituting in the niche you’re after. If there isn’t one, consider setting one up – you may be into virgin territory, which usually means great response to the first few events. In my next post I’ll show you how to make money from your list-building efforts, money you can use to put your list-building into top gear – see you then!

Doug Champigny - The Success Lifestylist
Doug Champigny, The Success Lifestylist, is a world-famous author, speaker and mentor who has been helping corporations, companies, retailers, entrepreneurs and other individuals and organizations to achieve true success for over 30 years so far...

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