Thursday, May 31, 2007

What is list building?

Imagine this……You have a website and business is booming. You are getting a lot of visitors and making a lot of sales. Everything is going really well. You feel content that you are experiencing success. WRONG!

Pretty soon your business will level out. And, once you peak, there is a real danger that you are about to begin a descent. DON’T let this happen. If you want your business to be a continued success and grow, then make the most of your website visitors to grow your business.

Right now you have hundreds, or even thousands of visitors. But who are they? Imagine if you had information about your visitors. What if you could contact them and promote your products and develop relationships? Well, you CAN do this and you NEED to do this to make yourself a success.

Having access to a customer list is like having a captive market and a customer focus group rolled into one. The possibilities are almost endless. But isn’t this is just a pipe dream for most businesses?

No! The good news is you can achieve this all by list building!

And guess what? IT’S EASY!

You can start from anywhere – or nowhere. If you currently have a list of thousands customers or you have no list at all you can very quickly build up a list as large as you want.

Think about your own website. Look at your statistics. You’ll be amazed at how few of your visitors are actually converted into sales. Experienced Internet entrepreneurs estimate that 98% will visit and leave your site without buying anything.

List building is the answer to your poor conversion rate.

But how can YOU do this?

Well the e-mail marketers mantra is:

“The fortune is in the follow up.”

No one has made a million dollars by relying on the 2% of sales they get from people stumbling onto their site. The real money is getting those one-time visitors to opt-in to your list and then persuading them to buy with your list marketing campaign.

However, this isn’t a formula for overnight success. List building can take time. But so what? If you really want success from your Internet business then it’s definitely worth the wait.

Everywhere you go you are bombarded with advertisements. Brand giants like Coca-Cola seem to be everywhere. Why? Because experts believe that the average person needs to see an advert for a product or service 27 times before they are persuaded to buy it. The same principle applies to your list marketing campaign.

Everyone on the list is a potential customer – and most of them will buy from you IF you market it to them in the right way.

People take different lengths of time to reach a decision. Some people might buy from you the first time you e-mail them. Some will need seven e-mails. Other will need 100 messages before they are persuaded to part with their money. That is understandable.

People don’t just throw money about and your potential customers need to be courted. But it is worth the effort – even if it takes two years for someone to take the bait, they will eventually. By asking someone to spend money on your site you are asking them to make a commitment to your site: you have to show them that you are equally committed by embarking on a long term list marketing campaign.

Sound hard? Well, it isn’t. Sure it takes time, desire and effort, but what worthwhile endeavour doesn’t?

In fact, list building is very simple!

It just involves creating a database of names and email addresses. But it opens up a whole world of new marketing possibilities that can change your business forever.

Building a list will turn you from just another small Internet business into a powerful Internet marketer. Even lists with only 200 names can make money – imagine how much money a list with 10,000 names can make!

And all you need is an email newsletter and list of email addresses. That’s all it takes to get started. Obviously there is hard work involved, but the start is simple! So where do you start?

Advertise your newsletter on your site. Try and hook people in. For example, your site sells bakery products: promise a new recipe every week in your newsletter. People will opt-in to your list.

That means they have given you permission to send them a newsletter with a baking recipe every week. You're just getting their trust, so don’t abuse it. Only send them information relevant to what they have agreed to receive or you could lose their trust instantly.

SPAM mail is the key to destroying your list! DON’T send people poor or irrelevant information.

The Internet has great possibilities, but trust can be hard to generate.

When you work in a local shop, people can trust you from knowing and seeing you each day. One thing the Internet lacks is that personal relationship between businesses and customers.

By building your list you CAN create that relationship. It doesn’t matter if you are sending a newsletter to 5 people or 5000 people: you must make the newsletter as personal as possible. Who would you buy a television from? A company that you have no knowledge of, or a business that you have been receiving e-mails from every week for six months? You’d probably choose the latter. Personal relationships with your customers are priceless.

Let’s look at a six step business model for your website:

1. People visit your website

2. People sign up for opt-in list

3. You email those people promoting a product

4. The recipients visit your site and make a purchase

5. You then offer the customer a special offer

6. The customer is taken to a ‘thank you’ with instructions about claiming the special offer

It all sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, it sounds simple because it IS simple. But it’s only simple if you put time and effort into building your list and developing a relationship with your customer.

Thankfully, there are ways to take a good deal of the hard work out of list building. Most web hosts, for example, will allow you to create an auto responder for your site. The best auto responders to use are sequential auto responders. Say, for example, that in a seven-week period you want to send seven different emails to your subscribers.

A sequential auto responder would work like this:

Week 1 – Send Message One

Week 2 – Send Message Two

Week 3 – Send Message Three

And so on until week seven. All you need to do is load your email messages into the system and then set the time intervals. That’s ALL you need to do. And, if you’ve judged your marketing campaign correctly, you can just sit back and watch the money roll in!

But how do you build your list?

Well, the easiest way to begin to build a list is to set up a squeeze page. A squeeze page is a page on your website designed for the simple purpose of capturing email addresses from potential customers.

But people aren’t just going to sign up are they? Well, maybe not – so offer them a bribe (albeit an ethical one).

An ethical bribe might be something like a free e-book or a special edition of your newsletter. When someone signs up on your squeeze page they are immediately sent what you have promised them. Another member of your list is hooked for life.

The squeeze page can be the first step in building that lucrative personal relationship with customers. So it’s a really good idea to include a photograph – even a video – of yourself on your squeeze page. Let the customer know who you are.

The personal relationship is very important!

OK, so you don’t think you need a list because your business is doing great? Well, think again. None of us like to think about failure, but it can happen at any time. List building prevents this.

Building a list safeguards against failure.

You might not feel like it’s worth the effort now, but you will wish you had done it earlier when your product suddenly goes out of fashion. Your market dominance disappears and you are left with nothing.

Well, you won’t be left with nothing – you will have your list. That list is the key to keeping your business alive when things start to go wrong. When you start a new business or product you will have something that most start up businesses can only dream of: a unique personal relationship with 1000’s of potential customers.

So list building is an important feature of any successful business, whether you are doing well right now or not!

Yes, you have to work and it does take some time and effort. Creating a successful list marketing campaign takes some trial and error, analysing your newsletter’s effectiveness and having the patience to build a relationship with the members of your list.

But list building is worth the investment of both time and effort.

Most web millionaires have earned their money through judicious use of list marketing campaigns. That success does NOT lie. So, be proactive and take heed of these techniques. Whether you are a success or not, these techniques WILL help you.

It really is quite simple and the benefits are huge. You might like to start by setting yourself a target: how about leaving two hours of everyday aside for adding five new names to your list? Do that for two months and you will be amazed how few names you actually need to make your list profitable. And if you are making a profit from a small list then how much money will you make from a larger list?

Well, if you want to find out – see you next time!

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1 comment:

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