Everyone needs traffic no matter what kind of business they’re running online.
Free Traffic Option #1
The starting position is free – organic traffic from the search engines. This requires some knowledge of SEO so that you can rank your site and pages on Page 1 (preferably) of Google for a number of keywords and get traffic this way.
The problem is that it takes time to master SEO, a number of the tools required are not free, Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms so if you rank well today, you may not tomorrow.
And then there are your competitors, whatever your niche, that are also trying to rank their sites and pages. If they do a better job at SEO than you do, then your sites and pages start dropping in rank.
It’s like that old trick of trying to keep a number of plates spinning on sticks – you’re constantly hopping from one thing to another, trying to shore up the weak points.
This was how I drove traffic for years. It’s time intensive and there are no guarantees you’ll get the results you want.
In those days, I had an optin form on the sidebar of my blogs, hoping that some of the passing traffic would sign up to my mailing list.
Free Traffic Option #2
Then I started adding Safelists into the equation. These are sites where members send each other offers. Since everyone’s agreed to receive mails from other members, there’s no issue with these emails being considered as spam.
Sending emails requires credits. You can earn these for free by reading other members’ emails. There’s also usually a way to shortcut this by buying credits.
Many of these Safelist sites also allow you to post banners and/or text ads using your credits and you can send Solo Ads too, though you usually have to pay for these.
I’d heard good things about Safelists. They’re a captive audience of people looking for Biz Opps and news about internet marketing.
But there are thousands of Safelist sites with varying numbers of members, from a few hundred to tens of thousands.
Managing more than a handful of these sites becomes quite onerous.
I sent emails and placed ads for my capture (opt-in) pages on these sites.
Recently a new tool was released that promised to make working with multiple Safelists much less time consuming. That tool was Fast Traffic Bot.
So I bought it to try it out.
The idea behind it is that you create a two new gmail accounts that you use with Safelist sites (you don’t want to use your primary email address because it will get inundated with tens of thousands of emails very quickly) and the software then accesses your email account and reads the emails in your Inbox for you on autopilot.
Each time an email is read, you earn credits from the sending Safelist.
So you can build up credits to use without having to put in the time needed to read emails yourself.
However, some Safelists use captchas which require direct human intervention before credits for reading an email will be awarded. This is not something Fast Traffic Bot can do for you. You can however, buy credits from captcha services so that people who work for those services will type in the captcha codes for you as Fast Traffic Bot runs.
This is not an option I used myself.
One of the Safelists I signed up to runs a monthly contest. The top 4 users who read the most emails win $10 and a bunch of credits. The next 6 most active users win $5 and a smaller number of credits.
The first time I entered the competition, I came in 3rd place. That $10 paid for an upgrade to Silver membership in the Safelist which also got me 500 free leads and 1 free Solo Ad.
My plan was do do this every month so I’d continue getting these additional benefits.
Evidently, many other Fast Traffic Bot users had the same idea. And I haven’t even made it into the Top 50 users in the last 2 months!
Fast Traffic Bot runs on your PC, and I don’t have my PC on 24 hours a day as some other users appear to.
So it looks like there’s quite a few Fast Traffic Bot users out there.
And the downside of this is that whatever offers I’m sending out through the Safelists are likely being mostly read by other Bots and not by people. It would explain why the number of views/reads are pretty good but actual take up of offers is practically zero.
I’ve spent about 3 months now trying to drive traffic from Safelists and, to be honest, I’m less than thrilled with the results.
Fast Traffic Bot may have actually ruined Safelists as a place to get decent, interested traffic.
That said, I’ve only signed up to about 20 Safelists (you still need to manually log into each of them to create and post emails). There are thousands of them out there and I’m sure the less popular or less well-known ones have not been infiltrated by Fast Traffic Bot users. I just don’t have the time to hunt them down.
Free List Building Option #1
Any internet and affiliate marketer should be creating capture pages to build their lists.
However, it’s a bit of a pain having to learn yet another discipline (list building) and there are costs involved in paying for an autoresponder.
You also need some software to create your capture pages if you don’t know how to code one in HTML.
One free capture page system I’ve been trying has been getting subscribers. As with anything, you still have to promote your capture page link the good old ways, but the capture page is 100% free.
That makes it a great starting point for anyone new to list building who doesn’t want to pay additional startup costs.
Once someone signs up, they are redirected to an offer of your choice, be that your website, video, service or affiliate offer.
Free List Building Option #2
Using an autoresponder gives you huge flexibility in how your build your lists. However, they are paid services, with escalating costs the more subscribers you have.
MailChimp have a free autoresponder plan for those starting out in list building. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month for ZERO cost.
With that number of subscribers, you should be making some money from your list, enough to cover the cost of upgrading to a paid plan to allow you to add more than 2,000 subscribers.
Just be aware that MailChimp don’t like lists built in the affiliate/internet marketing niche. They’ll close you down when they find out you’ve created such a list. They’re a great option otherwise and have no such policy or limitation on other niches.
Paid Traffic Option #1
As much as I hated to admit it, I finally decided that paid traffic was the way to go.
It shortcuts all the problems associated with free traffic. The quality of leads is higher and they’ve been pre-qualified to one degree or another so that you’re getting leads for people looking for online opportunities rather than passers by.
The first paid site I signed up with was Rapid List Maker. They have 3 plans, the cheapest of which is $10 per month. That gets you 5 pre-qualified leads from the USA each day (so 150 per month).
That means each lead costs about $0.07.
I found the leads to be responsive to my offers, though that responsiveness did vary depending on the offer I presented. This variability will apply no matter what paid service you use.
So this was a very good starting option.
Paid Traffic Option #2
Another way to buy leads is to buy a set amount from a vendor. This means you can buy leads as and when you want rather than being tied into a monthly plan.
They have a huge number of vendors selling leads rather than being a single organization you buy leads from.
This lets you buy small numbers of leads from a variety of vendors so that you can find the ones that provide the best leads for your niche and offers.
The cheapest leads I’ve found on Udimi are for $0.35 each, so 5x the cost of the leads at Rapid List Maker.
Prices go up to $0.95 per lead from some vendors who provide the best pre-qualified leads from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Vendors routinely over deliver on orders. On a recent transaction, I ordered 100 leads from a vendor who was offering a cut-price deal on his leads (down to $0.35 per lead from $0.44). I paid $35.00 for the order.
I was sent 165 leads. 15 of these were dud (reported as such in the back office), so I got 150 real leads. That’s a 50% over-delivery.
That puts the actual cost of each lead at $0.23 ($35.00 / 150).
Of those leads, 55 (37%) actually signed up for my mailing list.
So the cost of each signup was $0.63 ($35.00 / 55).
I’ve had better and worse results with other vendors when promoting different offers. So some trial and error is required to match your offer to the best vendor.
But, nevertheless, the quality of the leads is very good.
Paid Traffic Option #3
The third option for paid traffic I’ve been doing is one I thought was pretty dead – advertising in the classified section of newspapers.
Old-style offline marketing indeed.
Here’s how it works…
You sign up with the ad-placing service and pick 3 out of 10 circulation zones in the USA where your ad will be seen.
The company places generic “Work From Home” and “Make Money Online” style ads in newspapers in those zones.
Each ad has one of 128 web addresses, owned by the company, in it. These are easy to remember and type domain names.
When someone enters that web address into their browser, the company’s system randomly redirects the visitor to one of its member’s offers (which could be your offer).
You are guaranteed to get at least 200 visitors per day to your offer. How well your offer does is then down to how well you present it and how enticing it is to the visitor.
I’m seeing click-through rates 25-40% on my offer though actual take-up of the offer is lower as you wouldn’t expect everyone who clicks on your offer to buy it.
I am promoting a product here rather than my mailing list.
You can change your offer at any time so you’re not locked into promoting one thing for an entire month.
You can also change your 3 circulation zones every 7 days to see which areas of the USA respond best to your offer.
There is only one company offering a service like this.
The lowest cost plan is $60 per month.
For that you get 200-250 visitors per day to your offer. That’s 6,000-7,500 leads per month. That means each lead costs $0.008 to $0.01 each.
Those are about the least expensive leads you’re going to get!
The quickest way to drive traffic is to pay for it. I wish it weren’t the case but it is.
You need to look at this as a business expense. However, you’re likely to make back multiples of your lead costs in direct sales of products or services but especially if you get them on a mailing list where you can present them with multiple offers over time.
Naturally, never spend more than you can afford to. Bootstrap your way up from zero or low cost leads (like Rapid List Maker) to the more expensive and better qualified leads.
Reinvest your profits into your business to increase your rate of growth.
Do it right and you’ reach the stage where you can start paying yourself from the profits.
If you’ve any questions, comments of suggestions, leave ’em below…
Resources I Use (Roundup)
Rapid List Maker – 150 leads per month for $10
Udimi – order top quality leads as and when you want
Newspaper Ads – target 6,000-7,500 people per month offline
Profit Builder – a WordPress plugin that allows you to create a huge variety of optin (and other) pages.
Commission Gorilla – The tool I use for creating my bonus pages (I’m offering several bonuses at that link)
PerkZilla – The tool I use to incentivize visitors to share my website on social media and with friends, in turn “vouching” for me and getting me more sign ups (I’m offering several bonuses at that link)
Related Resources (Heard they’re good but don’t use them myself)
Filed under: List Building