Little Known Viral List Building Trick Multiplies Your Subscriber Base

Are you building a list? If yes, great! If not, why not?

In fact, if you don’t build a list, regardless the marketing strategy you’re following, you’re nuts. Why?

Because -and that’s the main reason for list building- you want to establish and continue a personal and eventually profitable relationship between you and the person interested in your list topic(s).

Please read that again. Emphasis is on ‘establish’ and ‘continue’.
In other words, you need to be in close contact with your targeted audience. Because apparently you know something they don’t and they just LOVE to learn from you.

Viral List Building
Photo Credit: ButterflySha

Establish is difficult, Continue is even harder. I could elaborate on this, but it’s not what I want to convey in this post (hang on, that great viral list building trick is coming!). Besides, there are great list building experts who can tell you exactly how to build huge lists. Paul Myers is one of them. His Ebook ‘The Amazing List Machine’ is excellent! No fluff, no filler, just over 70 pages with high value content. Check it out.

I presume you use a confirmation procedure while building your list (a.k.a. double opt-in). It’s the only safe way to build a list.
In that case, the subscriber to your list is a special person for you. After all, she requested and confirmed to receive email messages from you about a specific topic at specific times.

That implies that you have to know and specify what exactly they will receive (topics) and when (frequency). If you don’t have a specific frequency, tell them, so they know!

That also implies that it’s best for you to know exactly what you want to achieve with your list.That’s where lots of people fail. After -finally- deciding to build a list, they just start.

Take Caroline Middlebrook for instance.
Caroline wants to build a list and she’s preparing a Stumble Upon E-course for it. That’s great and I’m sure many people will sign up there.

she’s not sure what she wants to do with her list.

That’s not good.
Because eventually she will want to monetize that list. She doesn’t have a product yet and there aren’t any suitable affiliate programs to promote with that topic. So what to do? Should she only give away free content?

Maybe, but …

… let’s surprise her with this great viral list building method.
While she can’t monetize her list for the moment, she can set another goal where she still can profit from her list building efforts and at the same time build a huge list and even satisfy her subscribers and build a great relationship with them too.

Here’s how this viral list building trick works.

First, she signs up with a reputable list management service, like Aweber which I highly recommend.

Next, she creates her sign up form. Easy to do with the instructions given at Aweber. Obviously that form will contain at least an email address and maybe a name.
But she should include at least one other field…

…in Caroline’s case: a Stumble Upon account name!
Since she’s going to write an e-course about Stumble Upon her list building goal for the moment will be to add as many Stumble friends as possible.

That field should be a hidden one (not visible in the form) and the default value should be her SU account name. That value is added to the database in her Aweber account (in a variable like SUname) and she can use that data in her messages!!!

Because in her E-course, she can include her Stumble Upon link in several messages like this:


where the Aweber system replaces {SUname} by the stored value (=Carolines account name).

Are you with me this far?
All she did until now was setting up a form using a variable containing her account name instead of a direct link to, but the end result in her messages was the same.

Now here’s what she does to go viral

…she can offer her great E-course to others, for instance to me so I can please my visitors by providing her E-course.

“But why” I hear you ask,
“WHY should I send my visitors over to HER E-course?”


…she simply offers HER form to me and allows me to REPLACE her SU-account name in the hidden field by MINE. Now, when someone subscribes through my form, in the message series they are referred to MY Stumble Upon account and they become MY friends.
All I have to do is put up the form and promote it.

Are you beginning to see the beauty of this viral list building technique?

So far, here’s what we have now:

  1. Lots of satisfied subscribers as they can take a high value free E-course and learn a lot
  2. Satisfied Case, because I’m providing an excellent course to my visitors WITHOUT lifting a finger (except promotion) PLUS I get many friends added to my SU account.
  3. Very satisfied Caroline, because she builds her list much faster than she can do alone PLUS … read on…

list building joint venture
OF COURSE she can offer her course to others too, which only increases her subscriber base. It’s a simple and very easy form of list building joint venture! Heck, she can even include her offer in her message series!

And OF COURSE she can add other hidden fields for other Social Bookmarking sites (which she mentions in her messages) and have all subscribers add her there too.

And OF COURSE, if appropriate, she can include an occasional link (NOT to be replaced) to an affiliate program like for instance Aweber to promote that and earn recurring commissions. Thus she can still monetize her list.

And finally, if she includes more social bookmarking fields, she can easily broaden her list building topic (provided she explicitly mentions that in her sign up form or messages) to Web2.0 issues. And isn’t that a topic that can be monetized?

There you have it. My viral list building trick.
What’s you take? Interesting?
Post your comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Little Known Viral List Building Trick Multiplies Your Subscriber Base

  1. I love it! Thanks Case, that’s a really good technique that I certainly never would have thought of myself hand I’m so glad you wrote this before I built my opt-in page so I can implement this technique.

  2. Case Stevens says:

    YES! I knew you would be in for a twist!

  3. Lisa says:

    Outstanding! Thank you for the fantastic viral tip Case. Thank you very much for sharing that with us. I like the way you explained it. You made a very easy to understand for those of that have always wondered what you do with those extra fields you find in your autoresponder
    😉 😉

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