The money’s in the list. How many times have you heard that? Know why? It’s true. You see it all the time, both online and off. Offline businesses gather your details via schemes such as loyalty cards and prize draws, while online businesses integrate opt in forms into their sites, enticing you to enter your details in return for a free giveaway. If you’re to succeed in business it’s essential that you to know how to build a list of prospects.
What is Email marketing?
List building is one of the most important aspects of your business. Just think about it for a minute. A popular form of internet marketing is affiliate marketing. The affiliate drives traffic to the product owners site. When a sale takes place the product owner captures the, now customers, details. The affiliate receives a commission, but he only receives it once. The next time the product owner makes an offer to his customers he does so directly, via email marketing. While the affiliate is back to square one, the list owner is growing his business.
This strategy of building a mailing list with the intention of developing a relationship with these prospects and then sending them various offers via email is known as email marketing.
How to Build a Mailing List
To entice someone to give you their email address, and possibly other personal information, you have to do two things,
- Offer them a valuable gift, relevant to both their needs and your ultimate, paid, offerings
- Get them to the website where this offer is being made
The first decision you have to make is deciding what your free offer will be. This could be a free report, ebook, interview, video, piece of software, the list is endless. You can either produce the product yourself, outsource its production or purchase a ready made product. If you do the later, make sure the product comes with giveaway rights.
The next decision you have to make is how to drive traffic to what internet marketers call a squeeze or landing page, but is in reality a lead generation page. This is a webpage that gives the visitor only one choice of action to take – enter their details or leave the page. If you pay for traffic, there’s obviously a cost involved, but the upside is the speed in which you’ll receive the traffic. If you’re targeting organic, free, traffic it’s likely to take longer to build your list, at least until you’ve established yourself and developed some high converting traffic strategies.
If you can match your offer to your visitors needs, not only are you likely to get a higher lead conversion rate, i.e. the number of people who submit their details as a percentage of the number of people who visit your site, but you’ll also find it easier to convert those prospects to customers. Whatever you do, don’t offer junk just because you’re not charging. If it’s poor quality, your prospects may well think it’s representative of you, so don’t be surprised if your unsubscribe rate soars. Alternatively, they could, off course, simply decline to open your e-mails. However, if your product’s great, they may well look out for your next e-mail.
Managing Your Mailing List
The lead generation page works in tandem with an autoresponder. Your autoresponder is like a virtual secretary. It’s a software package which stores your mailing list and allows you to efficiently manage your email marketing campaigns. Both paid and free services are available, but given the importance of its role, this is one area where you don’t want to be penny pinching. Paid services generally have higher delivery rates and although they require a monthly subscription, need not be expensive. One of the best services is offered by aWeber. You can sign up for their trial period for just $1. Other reputable autoresponder services are offered by companies such as Get Response and iContact.
Within your autoresponder, you can write a sequence of emails which will be delivered to your subscribers over a given period of time. The advantages of this include,
- Gives you the ability to manage thousands of prospects/customers
- You’re able to automatically and immediately communicate with your prospects, regardless of what time it is in both your and their part of the world. So if they subscribe while you’re asleep, a message will still be sent.
- Provides a method with which you can build rapport with your prospects. Over time as they grow to know, like and trust you, they may convert from prospects to customers.
- Allows you to promote your goods and services consistently and to all of your prospects. This means that the one off writing of an e-mail to promote one product could be selling that product for years to come.
Additional features within your autoresponder should allow you to both segment your list, so that you can send more targeted promotions, and send one off emails, for example when you wish to promote a special offer.
You also have the opportunity to start making money from your list immediately. Upon sign up, you could present them with a one time offer. Although they’re probably not in a buying frame of mind, if your upsell is closely linked to the original offer, you just might persuade them to buy.
So, what are you waiting for? Start building that list.
Over To You: Are you building a list? Which autoresponder do you use? How do you drive traffic to your squeeze page?