Social Proof, Feeding Frenzy, Or The Mysterious X Factor

If you have spent more than 5 minutes exploring the world of Internet marketing someone has told you how important your ‘list’ is. This ‘list,’ of course, is your list of email addresses for people who have opted-in and given permission for you to send them emails.

You may also have heard that the majority of sales come from the 6th or 7th email you send to someone. It can be difficult, expensive, and nearly impossible to get someone to visit your site 7 times but, if you have their email, it is easy to send follow-up emails.

This article is not about email marketing strategies. (I have several e-books on the subject that you can download for free by signing up for my newsletter mailing list.) This article is about my recent experience trying to get people to sign-up for my list.

I Can’t Even Give Away Free E-Books!

I spend a lot of time and energy hunting down useful resources on the web. I have built up a collection of e-books that I think have valuable information in them and also give me resale/giveaway rights. All of the ‘Build Your List’ gurus tell you to create a squeeze page (a webpage whose sole purpose is to get visitors to give you their email address and sign-up for your mailing list.) They encourage giving away a free gift (like an e-book) as a thank-you for signing up. It is essentially a legal bribe! I decided to put my collection to work.
My squeeze page promised more than just one e-book, I opened the vault and gave access to everything I had. (See my sign-up page.) I promoted it through a Pay-Per-Click campaign and also through some traffic exchanges and other sources. The results, 1 sign-up – not very encouraging.

I tweaked the page, updating the copy and polishing up the graphics. I took advice from a couple of the advertising and copywriting e-books in my library and revised the body copy before trying another promotional run. Results – 3 sign-ups.

20 New Sign-ups In Less Than 7 Days

After a couple attempts, I let this whole idea slide for a while. And then I came across a promotion for the Viral Marketing Giveaway 2. The concept is simple, you sign-up as a Joint Venture partner and offer a free giveaway item to the effort. All of the partners then promote the giveaway and, as new members join and download the freebies, you get to gather new people for your mailing list. They land on your squeeze page and then sign-up. I joined the fun and sent people to exact same old squeeze page to get my freebies. There are over 35 pages of offers in the giveaway and mine landed near the end.

Within days I had added 20 new names to my list. Same squeeze page, but now they were signing up (and they had probably signed up for dozens of other offers before getting to mine.)

These giveaways seem to be popular right now. I have received invitations for 3 more in the past week:

I signed up for all of them and connected to the same squeeze page. The first went public last week (the other two are still gathering JV Partners as I write this.) My list has added more than 30 new subscribers.

Why All The New Mailing List Subscribers?

My offer, and the content of the squeeze page, has not changed. Why are people signing up now? I have a couple of guesses why this is happening.

Trusted Referrers – The giveaways are promoted by all of the JV partners sending messages to their lists. A known person is making the recommendation and essentially endorsing the whole thing. This kind of social proof that the operation is legitimate puts visitors in a trusting frame of mind before they get to my page. The copy on my site does not have to convince them to trust me, only that I have content they want.

Momentum – Once visitors start getting some free stuff they get into a feeding frenzy. They start siging up and downloading everything – my stuff is just in the pile with all of the others and the giveaway has created the momentum.

The X-Factor – Maybe there is some other factor that is motivating folks to sign up. If you have other ideas why people are more willing to sign up when my squeeze page is promoted through one of these giveaway sites, leave a comment with your ideas.

What Is The Quality Of The List?

So far the emails and names I have gathered seem okay. Very few people are giving obviously junkmail addresses and bogus names (there have been a few – ‘Pho Nee.’) I’ll have to make a few mailings to the list before I can determine how responsive it is, but my list is growing.

This list is made up of folks looking for online business and marketing opportunities. My current plans are to use it to recruit affiliates for some of the info products I am developing.

Andrew Seltz
The GoTo Guy!

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