Thursday, December 23, 2010

Building Your List

November 7, 2010 by Jackie Ulmer  
Filed under Direct Sales

Focus on building a targeted list of prospective customers and business partners. Do this and your business will head to straight to the top, with more business than you can imagine.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, if you are truly in business, you need a list. PERIOD!

Your doesn’t count; are not the same; although many of these might be on your list, you want to own your own email list.

It’s the heart and soul of your business.

This is not spam, this is “permission-based marketing.” These people have submitted their name and email address, and maybe more, on a form on your website or blog, requesting to hear from you, and giving you permission to contact them. It’s like a fan base, in a way!

A great list, treated like gold, equals a lot of money; business partners; ongoing customers, etc.

Without a list, it’s very hard, if not impossible to be truly successful in your business. People who don’t have a list or who don’t know how to monetize their list, are not going to have the success they desire. A list is a great step in growing a relationship with people. They get to know you through the content and value you share.

I want to make a very key point here – your list needs to be targeted; having a bunch of people sign up who do nothing but delete your message when it comes in is not going to move you forward. And, you need to be very relationship based.

What does “relationship based” mean? You need to come from a place of authenticity; providing tons of value and content, much of which does not make you a dime, monetarily. However, it can create a fortune for you in the back end.

You need a list for a number of reasons and one is: people rarely buy anything from you on the first contact, and unless you have a way of following up with them, you’re literally leaving thousands, potentially millions of dollars on the table, over time.

There is no limit to the wealth you can create by developing a quality list of people interested in you and your message; building a relationship with them over time, and then offering high quality products that are appropriate to their needs. You must guard and respect your list though. No one wants to be “sold to” constantly. It has to be a solid mix.

There are three key pieces you need to start building a high quality list:

The first thing you need is a super high quality, enticing, valuable free bribe. You need to offer your prospective client something that will make them anxious and happy to hand over their name and email address.

The second thing you need is an email management system (typically called an auto-responder) that is going to automate this whole process and make it a snap for you to manage.

The third thing you’re going to need is an “opt in” or “subscribe” box on your website or blog.

So, for the first thing, your high quality bribe, or “free report” will entice them to sign up for your newsletter, and will be promoted on your web site. This free report must provide something of value, and also information on you and how to find out more about what you do. And, do this subtly, not a big “pitch fest!”

Second, the auto-responder; this is what automates the process and you’ll want to incorporate them into your business plan and web site from the very beginning.

If you don’t know what an Auto-responder is, here is the definition -

An Auto-responder is a fax-on-demand by email. It is a computer program, stored in cyberspace that automatically returns a pre-written message to anyone who submits an email to a specific Internet email address. Transmission happens almost simultaneously. ARs are used for sales letters, training, follow up, product information and newsletters.

Third, the opt in box must be on your site. You create this “webform” through the auto-responder system you use. There is a tutorial and it’s not super techie. (I did it, ha!)

At the side right of the page is an example of our opt-in form:

You can see that our “bribe” is the report – Laying Your Social Media Marketing Groundwork . Everyone these days wants to know “where to start and what to do!”

So, those are the basics to list building. You can get started building your list and setting up your free report and webform by grabbing your auto-responder now. Here is my recommendation:

There are great tutorials and a super responsive help desk staff.

Think about the power in combining your Social Media Marketing Strategy with driving people back to your blog or website; where they can opt in to hear more from you!

Couple of final thoughts –

1. Protect Your List – don’t spam them constantly with Get Rich Quick, Secret Formula Affiliate Programs where they can easily see you are out to make a buck. NOTHING wrong with affiliate programs and promoting them. Hey, share the knowledge of good stuff, for sure. But, make sure you own it, use it and would recommend it with no compensation whatsoever.

2. It’s Quality, not just Quantity. Yes, a large list is great, but only if it is targeted and interested in what you have to say. A list of 200 who absorb your every word is much more powerful than 2000 who delete you message. You’ll likely never sell a Hamburger to a Vegetarian, right?

3. Be consistent – they don’t need to hear from you every day; but you want to keep your name and content out there. Otherwise, you won’t be perceived as someone of value.

So, those are the secrets. It’s not difficult. You don’t have to be an expert, you just need to be genuinely interested and committed. And, seriously, you must have a passion for online marketing. Not everyone does, and that is okay. But to have true success online, you have to be almost “maniac, obsessive” over learning and taking action online.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a !