Every super-affiliate has a powerful opt-in list they can send their affiliate marketing promotions to. And every other affiliate wants to achieve that same level of affiliate marketing success. So it’s obvious that effective affiliate marketing has to include several successful list-building campaigns, preferably running simultaneously to ring forward the income horizon from your lists.

But full-time affiliate marketers are relatively rare – even most super-affiliates have their own products to market too, or are running membership sites or affiliate coaching and mentoring programs. Some of us are involved in all aspects of the above. And since affiliate marketing is the easiest and least expensive way of starting a business online, the bulk of all affiliate marketers are newbies – some of whom still aren’t even aware that building your targeted opt-in list is one of the cornerstones in the foundation of every successful affiliate marketing business. In an earlier post I refered to affiliates not building a list as The Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistake Of All, and from the comments left by the affiliates who read the post you’ll see every one of the agrees.

There are a number of ways to build your opt-in list as an affiliate, and you should be using as many of them as your wallet and time availability will allow you to. That doesn’t mean go deep in debt to build your list – there’s no need to. Start with the free resources proven to build lists, then use the money as it comes in to try some of the more expensive methods – but keep your free list-building activities going on throughout, since there’s never a good reason to turn down free targeted traffic or free targeted opt-ins – even at the top of the affiliate marketing game, we still love them all! 🙂

Over the next few days the Captain is going to bring you a number of ways to build your affiliate lists, so be sure to bookmark this blog and return regularly, or better yet subscribe to the Captain Affiliate RSS feed if you have a feed reader you use. Some will be free methods, some will have a price attached – but all are tested and true methods of building your opt-in lists. Use as many of them as you can, and stay with them – you’ll see your lists growing daily and along with them, your affiliate marketing commissions.

For today, the Captain wants to point you to two necessary pieces of software – neither is free, but both are very reliable and powerful. First up is your professional autoresponders – the software that keeps track of the people on your list, and sends them your e-zine or e-course each time. Obviously you can’t send out 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 e-mails in a day manually, so professional autoresponders are a must.

Your choice of autoresponders is critical – avoid the free services like the plague! Either they tack other people’s ads on top of your mailings, like the big places do with their free accounts, or they are small-fry who will eventually go broke and your list will disappear right along with their system. I recommend Hosting4Marketers.com, the service I use for over 80% of our daily mailing.

Why them? Because they’re the most reasonable of the pro services, and give the most bang for your buck. For about $20 a month you get hosting for up to a dozen small sites (You’ll see why you need this in future list-building posts), unlimited pro autoresponders, and even an affiliate program of your own should you decide to sell your own products later on. And your rate doesn’t rise as your list grows, like it does at the services that only give you the autoresponders.

The second piece of software you need is a way to capture subscribers when you send people to your affiliate links. This software is called the Power List Pro, and it lives up to it’s name… Not only does it give you a number of popups you can use on your own site, but you can use them on other people’s sites too, believe it or not.

Here, let me show you… Here’s a link to one of my friend Liz Tomey’s sites – don’t worry, it opens in a new window. See my opt-in form at the top-right of this blog? Now follow this link and wait a couple of seconds to see what happens – then close that window and c’mon back to read on. Here’s the link: Proof That It Works.

Pretty nifty, eh? So now you can be building your own list each time you promote an affiliate link – how sweet is that? So arm yourself with those two tools – your Hosting4Marketers.com account and your copy of the Power List Pro software, and play around with both til you get the hang of them.

Tomorrow I’ll start showing you EXACTLY what strategies to use to build tightly-targeted, highly profitable affiliate marketing lists – see you then!

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Affiliate Marketing? If so, are you making the biggest affiliate marketing mistake of them all?

We all know that going the affiliate marketing route is one of the easiest and most lucrative ways to make money online, and it can continue to add a large percentage of our income for as long as we’re working online. But most affiliates, even the big dogs, could be making a lot more money from affiliate marketing than they are, due to this one big mistake…

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Most affiliate marketers fail to add a steady stream of highly-targeted action-taking prospects to their opt-in lists! Think about it for a moment – you place your affiliate links in a lot of places – on your sites, your blogs, in articles you distribute around the Internet, even on your accounts at LinkedIn, Twitter, MyBlogLog, Technorati, YouTube, etc.

Hopefully a lot of people click those links for you and buy the product you’re recommending – but then what? They’re gone, whether they bought or not – and in most cases you have no idea who they were or how to contact them again. Opportunity lost…

But what if instead, when people clicked those lnks, YOUR pop-up opt-in form showed up over the merchant’s site? Now obviously not everyone is going to opt-in, as with any site, but every one who does is a bonus for you – someone who already clicked one of your links and took action – what could be more targeted than that? 🙂

Now, if you’re new to Affiliate marketing that may seem a bit complicated – so let me show you what I mean. One of my favorite programs to promote to new affiliate marketers is 5 Day Cash Machines by Liz Tomey. Not just becase Liz & Jamie are close friends, but because she actually shows how she took a complete newbie and had her building a list and makng money her first 5 days online – pretty impressive, right?

But more important, look what happens when you go to the site through our link: Liz Tomey’s 5 Day Cash Machines! Go ahead – click that link, let the page draw in and wait a few seconds… Violla! Our pop-in form, light-boxed over Liz’s site!

Pretty cool, eh? Easy to see how this one makes you more money quickly, since you’re getting new signups from the same affiliate marketing efforts you’re putting in now – and keeps the merchant’s page open throughout the process. If I were to tweak the page the signup form takes you to, I’m sure I could monetize it more heavily too!

And it’s all done with push-button simplicity using the Power List Pro software – as you’ll see on that page, it’ll even create simple pop-ins for you if you’re not familiar with the process. It even has a function to create list-building JVs with other marketers – but you’ll have to read about that on the site, as it’s outside the scope of this article.

Now before you rush off to download and start using Power List Pro, let me explain when you WOULDN’T want to use it…

Most obviously, you wouldn’t use it to send links to your existing e-zine readers – why distract them with a popup when they’re already on your list? You want to use this on your blogs, sites and social media exposures, to move some of your followers there onto your lists, right?

Secondly, stick to products being sold through services like ClickBank when you’re using this software. More experienced affiliate marketers and web designers will recognize this as an advanced system of framing, meaning the person stays on YOUR site while viewing the merchant’s salespage. Once the buyer reaches ClickBank they get bounced out of the frame – but by then they’ve been cookied with your link and it’s too late for them to change it.

On the other hand, affiliate systems that work with PayPal and similar systems cookie the visitor as soon as they get to the salespage – being in a frame stops that from happening, as it becomes a ‘3rd party cookie’ since it’s not being delivered by the site they’re actually on. When they progress from there, they hit PayPal still in your frame, and the order won’t even process, never mind get credited to your account.

It’s important to note that this is true of ALL link cloaking that uses frames – save it just for ClickBank and use a simple PHP redirect for the others. So don’t let that stop you from using this powerful list builder – just remember to only use it for ClickBank links.

As I said above, there are more list-building functions to >Power List Pro than what I’ve covered here, but this is the most important use for affiliate marketing. Check out the other features listed on the site too, but be sure to download Power List Pro now & make it a daily part of your affiliate marketing strategies – and watch your opt-in list – and profits – skyrocket!

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