Saturday, January 31, 2009

How to use Twitter to grow your email list


I have not yet tried to grow my email list with Twitter. I've thought about it but never took any action. Here is a guest post by Donna Gunter about this subject. Read and employ.


List Building: 7 Steps to Grow Your Email List With Twitter

Author: Donna Gunter

Copyright (c) 2008 OnlineBizU.com

Twitter is a microblogging platform that has taken the business world by storm, 140 characters per post. The purpose of Twitter is to post short updates (not to exceed 140 characters) about what you're doing at the moment, read the updates of others whom you're following (in a non-stalker way), and comment and reply on what they're doing.

All kinds of applications have been developed for Twitter, and I've discovered that people either love to tweet (i.e. submit a Twitter post) or the whole concept drives them crazy. I admit that seeing all the tweets exchanged among those I follow can be overwhelming (like being in a big instant message universe where everyone can see everyone else's messages), but I am having success in getting to know my fellow Twitter peeps and in getting the word out about my business and in growing my list.

As I became accustomed to tweeting daily, I began to wonder if I was missing a key business marketing strategy in the process, and then a colleague told me about her strategy of sending a direct message, or DM (this is a private message goes directly to your Twitter pal via email and can't be seen by others) thanking them for following her, as well as a short introduction to her business. I thought that was a wonderful idea, began to implement that strategy, and saw results immediately.

Then I read a great post by Denise Wakeman of The Blog Squad on building your list with Twitter, and knew I had to incorporate this idea into my marketing strategy. Here's the steps I took to maximize my use of Twitter to grow my email list:

1. Create a Twitter account. Your Twitter ID can be your given name, or you may want to use your Twitter ID to brand yourself, i.e. OrganizingQueen. Just get the basics set up at this point. In the setup, check both options of "Email when someone starts following me" as well as "Email when I receive a new direct message."

2. Have a freebie to give away. You may want to create a unique electronic giveaway just for your Twitter followers, or you can use the same giveaway that you already use on your site. Once you've decided what to give away, create a squeeze page and insert sales copy and an opt-in form so that you can direct your Twitter followers to this page for them to join your list and receive your free giveaway. For tracking purposes, you may want to set up a unique page to see just how many subscribers join your list from this invitation.

3. Twitter bio: You have 160 characters to describe your business as a part of your Twitter bio. Describe yourself and your call to action. Here's a sample: "Houston Professional Organizer. Follow me for free ebook to learn how to clear your clutter in 30 days."

4. Set up TweetLater.com account and welcome message: The aspect of this service that you'll be using is the ability to send an automatic message to new followers, which you should turn on as a part of setting up your account. You can choose a public or direct (private) message. Choose to send the private message. This message is limited to 140 characters, as it's a tweet, so here's a sample along the same lines as the sample mentioned earlier: "Thx 4 following. Get free ebook to help clear clutter in 30 days @ ." I have also turned on the ability to automatically follow new followers.

6. Twitter email address. When you create your Twitter account, use an email address that is attached to an account or software that will enable you to forward all new follower notifications that you get from Twitter. My email software doesn't offer that forwarding capability, so I changed my Twitter email address to my Gmail address, and used the filter capability to create a Twitter label and to forward all of my follower notifications to my TweetLater.com account.

As a part of the account setup, TweetLater gives you the email address to which you forward those notifications as well as instructions on setting up your rules for your email forwarding. What happens when this is set up correctly is that anytime anyone decides to follow you in Twitter, they automatically get your direct email message to join your list without you having to do anything.

If needed, be sure and update your email address in your TweetLater account. You can also forward these messages manually to your TweetLater email address and achieve the same purpose. In order for this to work, the email address in your TweetLater account must match the email address in your Twitter account.

7. Test your setup. To ensure that this setup was working for me, I set up a "fake" Twitter account just for testing, using one of my free account email addresses. In my "fake" account, I found my "real" Twitter profile and clicked "Follow". Within minutes I got an email message that my "fake" account is following my "real" account, and then at my "fake" account email address, I received my TweetLater direct mail message about getting my free ebook, and a second email that my "real" account is following my "fake" account.

Twitter is a wonderful tool to help you add your Twitter followers to your list, which is one way you can create deeper relationships with your target market to help them get to know, like, and trust you. Start Twittering today and begin to experience amazing list growth!


About the Author:
Online Business Manager and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com . Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com

Greg Cryns
The Little Black Book of Home Party Plan Business Secrets
All About San Luis Obispo, California

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