Published: November 9, 2012
Edited: December 24, 2013
Many are asking themselves whether it's traffic directly directed towards sales pages that they should focus on or, luring visitors to subscribe to their lists...
Should you gather subscribers or should you aim at "earning a quick buck" - as they say in the e-business World...
Either way, you require a substantial number of well-targeted visitors. Only those who are really interested in your content, services, products will sign up for your list... the same targeted visitors will be your potential buyers.
Many business owners, especially those who are running small businesses consider that the profit should be ahead of memberships, despite the new trends pointing out to the importance of list building.
It's pleasant to drive sales up as fast as possible, regardless whether the buyers will become loyal or not. Some still believe that profit is more important.
In order to be able to sell again and again (ensuring long-term profitability), the respective website requires to attract traffic - new visitors every time (supposing that the site owner is focusing on sales rather than attracting members).
And, this is getting harder and harder as the web is growing larger every day, as PPC prices are rising (ROIs getting harder to achieve), attracting free organic traffic requires more effort and is getting more and more unpredictable and unstable (due to algorithmic changes, customized search and a constantly growing number of websites).
Generate sales/leads, potentially affiliate clicks on ads - this means focusing on a high CTR. If you are aiming at fast income...
The sign up rate measures the percentage of visitors who sign up for your list. Some use newsletters, others count Facebook fans, some sites have their own embedded membership system (accounts).
High CTR is required for driving sales up, but then it's most likely that you'll lose those visitors! Yes, you might have earned through AdSense ads, yes, they might have directly bought your own product, but then they'll simply exit your site and it's less likely that they'll become your loyal members or buyers...
So, why not "grab" members to your list?
This requires quite an effort. The list building platforms in general cost (AWeber takes roughly 200 $ a year for its newsletter system - the most popular list building system today). In addition you require a stream of targeted traffic.
Optimizing the opt-in pages for list building isn't an easy task. Then once "caught", the members have to be "fed" periodically with information. First of all, you'll have to build a relationship with them (slower process than selling), because if you try selling too much too often, they'll must probably unsubscribe (leave your list).
But, provided that you will have gathered a substantial number of members who are in touch with tour site, they will be more likely to buy from you than the newcomers.
Attracting members works well for large sites, niche sites, especially in certain fields of activity.
But to many it's a very slow process. And if few people manage a small site with modest traffic, then they might be thinking: "we'd rather make quick sales instead of slowly building a list and not making any money".
Small business owners are often "hoping for a miracle" and are slowly building their lists. But often the members (despite being enthusiastic) are not buying much or not even buying enough!
List subscribers are often only interested in free services, especially information. They tend to "forget" the site after a longer period of time.
Would you go for list building or generating income fast?
There is a third way: combining the two. Through certain channels you can drive visitors for quickly selling or generating affiliate leads, then other channels can serve as attractors for your opt-in page.