How To Get Targeted Twitter Followers

You’ve probably already jumped onto the Twitter wagon by now but may be struggling with how to get a decent amount of followers.

There are a lot of services out there that promise to deliver hundreds or even thousands of followers to your account, but are those followers targeted?

Are they real people who are interested in your business? Are they going to stop and read your tweets and click on links you share with them?

You probably already know the answer.

Get more twitter followers

Twitter followers are just like any other leads or prospects.

If they are interested in what you have to say or sell, then your conversion or subscriber rates will be high.

If they are just a group of random people who have never heard of you before then your conversion and subscriber rates will be dismal.

Twitter should be used not as a megaphone to shout to random passers-by, but as a soap box you use to address your loyal fans.

So how do you get targeted followers?

The easiest way is by reaching out to people in the ways that you normally do, but then adding a call to action for them to follow you on Twitter.

If you have an email list, a blog, or a Facebook fan page then you can use it to announce your Twitter profile and start gathering followers.

These people are already following you in one medium so it should be easy to nudge them into another.

You’ll find that they will often jump at the chance to follow you in as many channels as they can.

If you are a regular member of a forum for your particular niche, then it’s a good idea to add your Twitter information to your forum profile and, if the forum allows it, your forum signature.

Every time you make a valuable contribution to the forum, people will see you Twitter link and may choose to follow you.

This method puts your Twitter profile page right in front of people you want to target the most: people who already know who you are and who are highly interested in your niche.

Forums are where the most hardcore members of any niche hang out, so getting one of them as a follower gives you a highly targeted lead.

Another great strategy of course is to just use your Twitter feed responsibly. Don’t tweet every last thing you do, only use your tweets to share something useful.

This gives you a good chance of getting a “re-tweet”.

A re-tweet is simply when one of your followers shares your tweet with his followers. This instantly increases your exposure and gives you a good chance of picking up more followers.

As with everything else, the more you give the more you will get.

Attract followers by making your twitter feed something people will WANT to follow.

Everyone has a twitter account now, so adding you to their list is nothing new or special anymore. You have to earn their following and keep earning it tweet after tweet.

Try using your feed mostly to distribute “exclusive” free tips or links to free, funny and/or helpful stuff you find.

This is a great way to build follower loyalty AND to get re-tweets.

Naturally, the same thing goes for all type of social media like Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn etc.

The more value you can put out there, the more people will “like” your stuff and share it.

Stuart StirlingTo your success,

Stu Sensei

Follow Me on Twitter

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p.s. Have any other great ideas for catching and keeping loyal, targeted Twitter followers? Share them in the comments section.

Double Vs. Single Opt-In Subscribers: Which is Better?

Hello again friend! Today we are going to talk about gathering email addresses… or what is commonly referred to as list building – one of my favorite topics.

As you are aware, a mailing list full of happy subscribers is a powerful marketing tool that can pay off big over and over again.

But you can’t just go out and harvest every email you run across and start sending email at it.You have to build your list naturally and obtain valid, verifiable email addresses.

When someone agrees to let you send them email, they are “opting-in” to your list. You have their permission to send them as much email as you want (within reason).

You get them to opt-in by providing a page where they can provide their email in order to join your list. This page is commonly referred to as a “squeeze page”.

Now, when someone fills out your opt-in form on your squeeze page, they go into your list database in autoresponder system. I use Aweber but there are dozens out there.

When setting up your list in your AR, you’re given the option to choose whether you want subscribers to confirm their subscription – making them a double-opt-in or not…

(or at least I know that Aweber has this option.. not too sure about other Autoresponder systems however.)

So when you come to this point, you have to make a decision – should I build a double or single opt-in list?

Just to clarify… a single opt-in means once the person has entered an email address, it is on the list.. no confirmation process.

A double opt-in subscriber is one who has entered their email into the opt-in form AND confirmed their email address by clicking on the confirmation link which was sent to their email address.

I can see why single opt-in would be appealing to some marketers but in my honest opinion, single opt-in is risky today because there are a whole lot of people on the Internet who love to fill out squeeze pages with fake email addresses.

Then there are robots that go about spamming every web page they find (including squeeze pages), and then the users who quickly forget they signed up for your list and then accuse you of being a spammer.

Basically, a single-optin list is going to get clogged with junk. The numbers might be impressive, but you won’t know how many of those email addresses are actually valid.

Another thing is that you don’t want to be paying for the junk leads as most Autoresponders charge you by volume.

These are the reasons why most marketers today, including myself are using “double opt-in” subscription for their email lists.

In a double opt-in list, someone submits their email address and then has to confirm it or verify it to complete the subscription.

Once this happens you have proof that they gave you their email address and confirmed it so their is no risk of being accused as a spammer.

Double-optin Subscribers are better!But more importantly, they showed their willingness to be on your list by going through an “extra hoop”.

This is great because it means they are willing to take action – even if it is just clicking a link – which shows they’re interested in knowing more about you and your business.

Exactly the people you want to have on your list!

The downside is that this extra hoop can drastically reduce the number of confirmed opt-ins.

I have found that a good portion (up to half) of your subscribers will never be confirmed!

But you have to wonder…. did they enter their real email address in the first place? Are they actually real people?

Admittedly, many real people do not leave their email client open when surfing the web. So they may give you their email address and not see your confirmation request until the next day. It can take a day or two for some to remember to confirm their subscription.

Others will not remember they even went to your web site and submitted their email so they will just delete the email and you never hear from them again.

Today everyone loves to cry “spam!” when any sort of email that tries to sell them something shows up in their inbox.

The only sure fire way to protect yourself from being blacklisted as a spammer is to have proof that the email you sent was authorized by them when they joined your list.

If you chose the “double opt-in” method then you have this proof, otherwise you might be in trouble.

So obviously I am on the side of the double opt in list.

I would rather have 1 person who willingly agreed to receive my newsletter than 100 who have no idea why my email just landed in their inbox. In this litigious society, you can never be too careful.

Stuart StirlingStu Sensei

p.s. How about you? Are you building a double or single opt-in list? Leave your comment!

 

What is a Reverse Squeeze Page?

I am sure that all of you are familiar with the ‘traditional squeeze page’ and how important it is to grow your subscriber list.

You are probably also familiar with giving away incentives in exchange for people signing up for your list.

But are you familiar with what is known as the “reverse” squeeze page?

In many traditional list building strategies, you tell the customer that if he will give you his email address then you will send him a free report, eBook, or let him into a trial membership of your service. This incentive has been a powerful way to build lists in years past but its luster may be fading.

Today’s customers have become jaded thanks to a lot of “special gifts” that turned out to be nothing more than the oldest PLR on the Internet, or a “secret report” that was not a secret at all.

So how then can we build trust with our customers and get them to sign up to our lists?

The answer is the Reverse Squeeze Page.

This simple technique takes the original incentivized squeeze page tactic and turns it on its head by providing the incentive BEFORE asking for the opt-in.

For instance, anyone who visits your web page would be able to download a special report without having to sign up for your list.

However in your report, near the end or any other strategic position, you ask the user to sign up to your email list.

For software products, you give them the software and then provide a sign up prompt after they have used the software for a while to ‘register’ their copy.

Doesn’t this mean that a lot of people are going to get your gift for free and never sign up for your list?

Yes it does, but you what are you really losing?

The type of people who would take your special report and then never sign up for your list are probably the type who are going to unsubscribe right after downloading your ebook or software anyway.

These are  also the same people likely to never read your emails or take action on any of  your suggestions or purchase your offers, so using this “reverse squeeze page” technique  dramatically increases the quality of your subscribers.

The ones who DO sign up for your list after already reading or using your product are extremely motivated qualified prospects.

Not only have they signed up for your list, they willingly did so after being exposed to your product. How could you beat that?

This type of list building blows traditional methods out of the water, even if the number of subscribers may be lower. Your list will be full of people truly interested in YOU and not just someone trying to score a free gift.

The concept really isn’t all that new if you think about. Back in the late 80’s when computers started popping up in everyone’s home “shareware” started appearing on computer bulletin board systems around the country.

Shareware software was a feature or time limited version of the full program that could then later be upgraded to the commercial version for a fee. Video games like DOOM and Quake and applications like PKZIP all got their start this way and became major franchises.

Stuart StirlingStu Sensei

So what do you think of the “reverse squeeze page” method? See how it is effective to build a hot prospect list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

How To Make Predictable Income Online

With a regular 9 to 5 job, you know how much money you’re going to walk away with at the end of every week or every month.

With doing business online, whether it’s selling products or services, it’s a little harder to predict your income because you get paid when your customers buy – there is no boss to pay you a set amount. You are your own boss!

I don’t know about you, but that kind of thing is a little worrisome to me. Especially when I have a family to feed.

But I have found that there is a way to have predictable online income streams.

And that predictability comes with my subscriber and customer email list.

You probably know how email marketing works – you write a promo email containing an “offer” of some sort and send it to your list.

Then sit back and wait for the sales to pour in!

Basically, that’s exactly how it works – and it pretty much works every time like clockwork.

It does depends on variables like the offer, the sales page conversions and how good my email copy is but usually I can predict exactly how much I will make from each email.

But overall, email marketing is predictable because the number of my subscribers is the constant (also constantly increasing) which means I can predict how many people will open my email, how many will click and how many will buy.

For me, having a list to send offers to whenever I want is the best way to make money, that’s why I really recommend you start building a list too.

In mine and partner James Brown’s new Sniper List Building course, we teach you the steps to building an effective list building system and the techniques to building a responsive list fast.

With a (growing) and profitable email list of your own, you can feel assurance in your marketing with predictable income, and our course will show you how to get there.

Your partner in success,

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

p.s. Are you building a list? If not, what is holding you back? Please leave your comments below.

How To Lower Your Unsubscribe Rate

I’m sure everyone who has a list has experienced seeing their once happy, loyal subscribers unsubscribe. As a list owner too, it’s not fun to see them go.

It mainly hurts because subscribers equal money. For the most part, the bigger your list, the more money you can potentially make when you email out an offer, so losing subscribers is like losing money that you could have made.

But when we get down to it, everyone is going to have unsubscribers. It’s a part of having a list. We can’t stop unsubscribers, but we can help reduce the unsubscribe rate.

I bet you’ve wondered why people unsubscribe and come up with a few possible reasons. Here are some questions you might ask yourself when you see your subscribers leave your list, but are they the real reasons?

Truths Or Myths?

Do I Send Too Many Emails?

Yes, I would have to say that this is probably the #1 reason for people unsubscribing and why I unsubscribe from other’s lists – I just don’t want to get that many emails from them. If you notice a large number drop every time you blast an email, you could try spreading out the times between mailings.

There isn’t a rule to go by because every niche is different. In the MMO niche, I think that more than 3 a week is too many. Everyday is pushing on the borderline of spam.

Do I Sell Too Much?

Contrary to popular belief, sending too many promotional emails is not a big reason for people unsubscribing.

Of course, 100% promotional emails one after the other is not good, but readers expect to be sold too. In fact, tests have revealed that sending too much free stuff and no offers to buy anything will kill a list. People love to see what’s for sale, which is great news for us email marketers.

I would say I send a ratio of 80% promotional and 20% free content. This seems to work for me. The funny thing is, people will unsubscribe even when I send free stuff. So, no, sending too many promos is not a big concern.

Are My Emails Boring or Unrelated?

This is the 2nd biggest reason for people unsubscribing. If the reader isn’t getting any value out of your emails, they will want out. Understand that their time and inbox space is valuable so they only want stuff that will help them.

Some ways to keep emails interesting are to share your personality, let then in on your private life a bit, keep them up to date on a goal you have set, throw in a random (but related) link to a cool story or video you found etc. Mix up the style of writing too, mix up the lengths… send some short and some long, greet and sign off in a different way each time, etc.

Did I Make A Good First Impression?

You may or may not have thought about this before, but it is actually a very, very important factor to keeping a loyal readership. The first time contact with your subscriber can be a big deciding factor to whether your readers will like you and want to read your emails.

I read in a forum thread recently that one marketer experienced drastically lower unsubscribe rates when he started using a video of him talking to his new subscriber on his ‘thankyou’ page.

So, first impressions do count. If you notice that people unsubscribe a lot right after they sign up, then you might want work on a better first impression.

I hope these little tips help you keep your subscribers happy an keep unsubscribes to a minimum. A happy list means a happy and wealthy marketer.

If you have any other methods you’ve used or have heard about to lower your unsubscribe rate, please leave them in your comment below.

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

How To Make Money Giving Away Free Stuff

FREE! It’s the most powerful word in advertising.

But logically, it doesn’t make sense that you can actually make money giving away free stuff.

To newcomers to internet marketing, this concept may confuse them and lead them to ask the question, “If it’s free, how do you make money?”

To seasoned marketers, we know the power that lies in the “free” marketing concept to make a lot of money, while giving our customers exactly what they want.

Just about everywhere you turn, there is someone offering a free membership, a free report, free advertising, free trial and so on.

But…what happens when the recipient wants to get the free thing?

They sign up!

In other words, they become a lead, a subscriber, a prospect, allowing the marketer to continue contacting them and lead them down the sales funnel.

The free stuff is just the bait – to get them in the door.

Giving away that freebie is NOT the end, it is just the beginning of the relationship between prospect and marketer.

After the freebie seeker has signed up, they’ll be placed in a database to contact in the future.

And in those future contacts, they’ll be shown offers to buy something, upgrade their membership or register their software. Sometimes an offer is made to the prospect right after they sign up!

And that’s where the money is made.

Leads are where it all starts. That’s why list building is so important. And the great thing about having those prospects on a list is that you can contact them over and over.

The thing to remember is that you need to provide value in your free stuff. Because your prospect will think, “Wow! If his free stuff is this good, his paid stuff must be frikkin awesome!”

I’ve got numerous websites where I give away really great info and services away for free…they’re lead collectors for me while they give the recipient what they want.

But, I know you might not have your own website or free offer to get people on your list.

If that’s the case, you can become an affiliate of and promote other websites which have good free offers and upsells which you can make commissions from.

The websites of mine which affiliates have had the most success promoting are

1) www.TurnkeyCashkits.com and

2) www.StartMyTraffic.com.

Both of these not only have great free offers you and your referrals will love, but also high-converting back-end offers which you can make money from when you refer a sale.

That is the key to getting this business model to work

1. An irresistible free front end offer,

2. A high-value upsell,

3. …and if you can throw in an affiliate program

like I have, your websites will take off because they make everyone (your affiliates, your prospects and you) happy. It’s a win-win-win!

To your success,

Stuart Stirling

5 Reasons Why People Won’t Subscribe To Your List

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve got a website, your auto-responder is filled with messages and you’re sending traffic, but no-one is subscribing to your list…

So, what’s the problem?

Note: If you don’t have the kind of list building system described above, you should get one…but one that converts…which I’ll show you how.

Every serious marketer is, or should be on the hunt for more subscribers.

Obviously, the more subscribers or leads you have the ability to contact, the more you can guide them down your sales funnel and turn then into paying customers.

That’s the ideal marketing system, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.

Here are some of the bigger reasons why people won’t join your list in the first place, which is the first step of the sales funnel…

1. Your ‘Bait’ is Not Juicy Enough

By bait, I mean your offer or ‘bribe’ is not desirable. This has to be the #1 killer of any list building campaign’s conversions. A lot of people think that if it’s free, everyone will want it. Not so. To get people’s attention, and their name and email it has to be something of high perceived value that they can’t get anywhere else.

For example, a free video, report or email course which reveals a little-known technique or “how to” training usually sparks interest which sucks your visitors in.

If it’s something they can actually use, like software or materials to save them time or money, it might even pull better.

2. Your Traffic Is Not Targeted

I talked about how important it is for high conversions to get targeted traffic.

1000 targeted visitors will always convert better than 1,000,000 non-targeted visitors.

3. They Don’t Know You From Adam

Credibility is so important for doing business online. If people don’t know you, then chances of them trusting you with their private contact details is slim.

The best way to get credibility is to share some proof that you are trust-able and what you have to share will actually help them.

You might share some good content with them before the need to optin. Video can be good for this, but if you don’t have video, share a short story in writing. Another great way is to get testimonials from your current subscribers/customers and show them on the optin page.

4. Your Copy Is Bland

Good copywriting is essential to pursuade your visitors to optin to your list. Copywriting is the power (or art) of selling with words. If your words are weak and uncompelling, it will show in your results.

The basic formula for a well copy written “offer” starts with a headline to attract attention, give them some teaser copy to educate them on what you have and how it will benefit them, and then explain what they have to do next to get it, also known as a “call to action”.

5. You’re Not Using A Squeeze Page

The best type of website to use for effective list building is by far a “squeeze page”.

If you’re not using a squeeze page, and using the typical “business” style website with a sidebar, banner graphics, articles and a little optin form in the corner, then don’t expect a high optin rate.

Squeeze pages work best because you are only giving your website vistor two options. Either they subscribe or they don’t.

List building is kind of like a science. There are formulas that work, and ones that don’t.

Hopefully now you have an idea on how to improve your subscriber rate, and if you’re not building a list yet, you’ll know how to do it well when you start.

To your success,

Stu “Sensei” Stirling