Internet marketing and list building are two subjects I have
been exploring for over 10 years now. With each passing day
I realize how much I still have to learn about these two
inexhaustible areas of web marketing. While I have fulfilled
my main ambition of working full-time on the net, I have not
as yet achieved my goal of reaching 100,000 subscribers.
When I first started, my goal was getting 1,000 subscribers
which I quickly passed, then it was 10,000 which was much harder
to reach… getting to 100,000 will take much more time
and effort but I believe I will get there eventually.
Maybe that number is a bit foolish, mainly because I learned
long ago it is not the size of your list that counts,
but how responsive it is. Still, it helps to have a goal
set for yourself… and a 100k subscriber list is not
an unreachable number especially when you’re talking
about the Internet. There are probably more than a few
pimply faced teenagers out there who have gotten triple
that number of subscribers just by placing some silly videos
When I first started online marketing I kept hearing the
so-called gurus shouting “The Money Is In Your List!” Up
until that time the only list that meant anything to me
was probably my grocery list. However, as I quickly
became familiar with web marketing, list building became
one of my key goals.
Mainly because list building is one of the vital elements to
your Internet marketing success. It can play an important role
in increasing your sales, getting repeat targeted traffic to
your sites and a perfect vehicle for branding your product
or company. Moreover, your list can be a primary source of
business relationships which will help you build your online
business since these contacts can be the cornerstones
of your online marketing.
Many marketers make the mistake that list building is all
about sales and forget that your list is much more than just
for monetary gain. It can be the basis for a whole wealth
of ideas and interaction that goes well beyond how many sales
you can squeeze out of your list. The really savvy marketers
use their lists for market research, product development
and treat their lists as a knowledge resource they can tap into,
time and time again.
Your list building can also be the foundation of your own
vibrant online community. A community that’s interactive
and a great source of both ideas and business contacts.
Probably the best example of this type of community building
would be those communities that spring up through the
social networking media sites… Twitter would be a
good example of this type of list building.
Invisible List Building
In studying and using lists over the years, some things have
really surprised me. As an affiliate marketer I quickly
realized most of my list building was invisible! This happened
when I was fairly new at the marketing game, I had trouble
with one of my site’s webhost and I had to move the whole
site to a different server and my site was down for several
days… but the strange thing was my online sales from
this site still kept coming even though my site was down.
I was totally puzzled (I can be rather slow sometimes!) until
I realized or rather learnt the marketing power of cookies.
Almost all of the affiliate programs I was promoting on my site
were using cookies to mark the traffic or clicks coming from
my site as my referrals. If anyone of these referrals made
a purchase in the next 30, 60, 90 or more days – I would get
credit for the sale.
My site was down, but because I had a whole list of cookied
buyers lined up to purchase these affiliate products, my
sales still kept coming. I was fairly new at this web stuff
then and this was a real eye-opener for me. I started joining
those affiliate programs that gave me the longest time-frame
with their cookies. Most are around 30 days but there are quite
a few that will give 365 days. Some affiliate programs such
as Ken Evoy’s Site Build It and Marlon Sanders’s products
even give you a life-time cookie.
In affiliate marketing using these “cookies” to build up hundreds
of lists of “invisible customers” can be a very effective marketing
strategy. You might not see these lists, but they’re quietly working
for you in the background, bringing in sales even if your site is
down or even when you have stopped a particular campaign.
Of course, the key here again, is how targeted is your marketing.
You could have a million cookied customers lined up but if they
have no real interest in your product – they won’t turn into buying
customers. You must get the potential customer who has shown
an interest in your product, onto your invisible cookie list.
That’s why ranking high in organic search results for your chosen
keywords plays a vital role in how much you earn online, especially
if you’re into affiliate marketing. Going the PPC (Pay Per Click)
route can also work but the profit margins are much closer.
Nor should you ignore building an actual opt-in list of
customers to your autoresponder system in this whole process.
Many marketers also try to “cookie” their actual opt-in lists
as soon as possible in order to boost their sales. Your invisible
cookie lists can work in conjunction with your so-called real lists.
Along those same lines, one of my most effective marketing
strategies is to use “micro” list building which is building
hundreds of small lists of customers for each affiliate
product that I promote. In the process of building these
lists of potential customers, my first goal is to get
these customers “cookied” with my affiliate ID. Then
no matter if they buy directly from you or from some
other link on the web; you still get credit for the
Another effective marketing technique to use with your
lists is to promote a whole group of related brand name
products and MAKE SURE you cookie your list with ALL these
different products so that no matter which one they eventually
choose to purchase, you will still get credit for the sale.
This way as a marketer you can come across as a neutral
third party pointing out the benefits and disadvantages
of each product rather than a pushy salesperson pushing
one product at your list. Nobody likes a pushy salesperson,
so be a sneaky friend instead.
Don’t ignore the effectiveness of these cookies or invisible
lists in your online marketing. Used properly they can
increase your sales dramatically. You can have hundreds
of these invisible cookied lists working for you on the
web. When you get down to the actual numbers, a list
of 100,000 subscribers can pale in comparison. So next time
anyone mentions list building to you, just remember you
can always go incognito!
The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous
niche sites. If you want to learn how to make your online
marketing much more effective by building your lists try here:
Or you can try our popular: list building ecourse
Copyright 2006 Titus Hoskins.