Maximum Website Leverage

by : Michael Southon

What is the most important part of your online business? Many people would say: 'my website'. And that’s understandable – it’s the most visible part of an internet business.

But the real power in your online business is email. It’s the ability to reach your database of contacts at the click of a button. The efficiency of your email pipeline will determine how much money your business makes.

Your website is just a way of building your mailing list - by collecting the email addresses of your visitors.

In fact, we’re not talking about one list, but several. Here are the lists that I maintain – they’re all people who at one time or another have visited my websites:

  • people who have bought my products
  • people who have signed up to receive my articles
  • people who have joined my affiliate program
  • people who have signed up for my email course
  • people who have joined my newsletter

So why are these lists so important?

Because most of your visitors won't buy on the first contact. Statistics show that most people will need to see your message 7 times before they make a purchase. So if you're not collecting the email addresses of your visitors, you are losing out on a lot of sales.

But there is one list in particular that is like gold. It's your list of previous customers. These people are predisposed to buying from you. In fact, some businesses make 80% of their sales from previous customers.

All well and good - but what do I do with these lists?

Here are some ideas:

  • announce your latest product to your customer list
  • announce your latest product to your affiliates list
  • send your latest article to your articles list
  • announce your latest product in your newsletter
  • publish your latest article in your newsletter
  • announce 'related' products to your customer list
  • send your latest article to your affiliates list so they can use it to promote your products

For each list that you manage you will need (1) an autoresponder account or an autoresponder script and (2) a way of capturing your visitor's email address.

(1) Autoresponder Accounts

An autoresponder account gives you the ability to manage a list without installing software - it's all done on a remote website. Most autoresponder accounts will give you:

  • an email address for subscribing
  • an HTML form for subscribing
  • seven or more follow-up messages
  • a confirmation email to you every time someone joins
  • the ability to broadcast messages to your list
  • the ability to personalize your messages
  • database of your prospects
  • online stats

Here are some sites that offer autoresponder accounts:

Now, autoresponder accounts cost between $17 and $20 per month. And with most autoresponder services you can only manage one list per account. So if you are managing 5 lists, that quickly adds up to a hefty monthly bill.

But there are a few services that allow you to manage multiple lists with one account. Here are some of them:

(2) Capturing Email Addresses

The most popular way to get new subscribers to your list is a 'subscribe form' that pops up when your website loads. I get 25 to 30 new subscribers a day using this technique. The HTML code for the subscribe form usually comes with your autoresponder account.

Another way to invite visitors to join your list is an 'alert box'. An alert box is a small gray dialogue box that pops up when someone visits your website. It usually says something like: 'Please subscribe to my Newsletter. 5 Free eBooks when you join'. It's impossible to ignore an alert box - you have to either close it or click OK to continue.

Alert boxes have two advantages over subscribe forms. Firstly, there's no form to fill in, so it's much easier for people to join your list. People who have switched from a subscribe form to an alert box report 3 to 5 times as many subscribers.

Secondly, alert boxes capture only 'real' email addresses - the email address from the visitor's client browser. You end up with very few Hotmail and Yahoo addresses, which means you'll have a much more responsive list. For more information about alert boxes, visit:

So to sum up, use your website to build several optin mailing lists and you'll have a private audience of people you can market to over and over again - it's the key to running a successful online business.