Building email lists fast

At a recent newsletter publishers conference in London, a speaker from the USA explained how long b2b letters were outpulling short letters.

This kind of subscriptions marketing advice could multiply revenue for the average business publisher, so here is a great example of how to combine long copy with ruthless email-capture techniques.

The technique will work for both business and consumer websites.

Here’s a long letter for an internet marketing book:

Ghel internet marketing letter

The owner of the site, Derek Gehl doesn’t simply put that copy up on his site and hope for the best. First, he built a big list of email opt-in prospects and then sends out regular email promotions like the one here:

Peter, here are my email ‘trade secrets’

That email contains the link that takes the visitor to the long letter above.

Mr Gehl claims to have made more than $291,000 in just 30 days. To see how he makes his money and how he collected a claimed 45,000 names in the same period we took a look at his website here:

Here is how it works (and it’s not all obvious what the bits are that make the money):

The site is aimed at start-ups and others who want to know how to market their website.

Unlike many sites, The Internet Marketing Centre doesn’t just carry a single sign-up form somewhere at the top of the home page.

Instead the home page is full of enticing copy in small boxes offering further information. When you click on one of the boxes, a long letter appears, then an opt-in form pops up (illustrated at the top of this page).

The Derek Gehl method captures most email names and addresses with these pop-ups. Those readers of our marketing newsletter Subscriptions Strategy will know how to use pop-ups to do the same. Other readers would be wrong to assume that pop-ups in general are no longer effective because they annoy.

But what happens next? After the pop-up disappears, the reader is treated to a strong long letter. There is lots of yellow ink! These letters sell products at various pricing levels such as:

Derek Gehl has taken email capture to its limit here. I have not found any other publisher who is so relentless.

Offering a free download or further information in exchange for a name and address is something few publishers do, so it’s worth trying.

Judging the quality of names
The vital next step, of course, is to see how responsive those email names are. How many of your auto responder messages are opened? What percentage click through to your landing page? And most importantly: how many people buy?

One can get lost in all the claims made by Internet marketing experts. Traffic, unique visitors and all the key measurement percentages can take up a lot of time to set up and analyse.

But the only measure worth its salt is the number of buyers you get.


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