While building your business, you will hear a lot about list building and how “the money is in your list“. The money is ONLY in the list if you have a relationship and a sufficient communication strategy with your audience. This strategy must include OTHER marketing elements so you give your audience a variety of touch points throughout your communication.
Building a list of customers or potential customers is very important because it provides you with names of people who are interested in your products and services. It is a well-known fact that it is about ten times easier to sell to a person who has already bought and trusts you than to get new customers. Yet, many business owners and marketing managers do not build a list and repeat the entire sales process every time they are offering a new product.
I have to be honest here and tell you that building your list is not as easy as it was about five years ago; The Internet has since got very crowded and most people are now a little reluctant to give their email address, or even less their physical address or phone number., UNLESS you give them something of value in return!
I must stress that building a list ISN’T about getting as many people on it as possible.It’s about getting quality people who are interested in you, your company and what you do.
Having people who are not interested in you, your company or what you do is wasting your time. So if you have to start with 20 people then so be it!
I can’t blame them as I have opted-out from various newsletters as the information given to me isn’t relevant or I just don’t read them, also I do not give my email address to everyone who asks me. I just don’t want to be bombarded by all those selling emails, which is why it is more important now to NOT sell and give as much value as I can.
Some successful marketers have understood that their happy customers can become their best “sneezers“. It’s easy to understand that if a person has enjoyed your product/service and loved it, he/she is the best person to then promote your product/service and promote it to their list and friends. This is the reason why most successful marketers who have great products offer a solid affiliate program to increase their sales. This is a win-win situation.
There are a number of ways to build your list:
- Asking the people you meet if they would like to receive your newsletter is a great start! By adding them without asking you may get unsubscribes straightaway
- Offering an opt-in on your web site is a very popular option at the moment. It’s called a “lead magnet“. This is where you give a special report or EBook, a subscription to your newsletter or some sort of checklist that your readers would find useful
- Posting on other people’s newsletter for either free or paying to do so; Remember this is about giving value NOT selling
- Press release or write articles/blogs that draw people back to your web site
- Design a specific a5/a6 flyer to be handed out during networking, speaking engagements about your special report or EBook
- Set-up a joint venture or an endorsed e-mailing with a person who has a good list and the same type of audience you would like to get in front of. It is not a question of stealing their list but rather getting your new partner to share you with their customers and clients as you will be able to give them value in a different way. As long as there isn’t a cross over within your businesses this should work a treat
- Participating in giveaways. You have to provide a good product/service and realise that the person who has subscribed to your list is just interested in FREE stuff so far.
- Participating in social bookmarking sites has the value to have people know you and they can sign-up to your list
- Gathering the names and emails of the people who bought products/services or how have asked for more information from you
- Adding a “tell-a-friend” script can greatly increase the size of your list
Buying an existing list is not something I recommend as most people on that list have not heard of you. If you think about it you only ever open an email from someone/a company/brand you recognise or because you have asked for more information. If you are going to buy lists ensure that they are of a specific target audience and your message is relevant to them and compelling enough for them to take action.
I’ve had a chat with Dan Harrison (the chap who created the Squeeze Page Toolkit), and he’s got an EBook that you might find really useful.
It’s an eBook called “The Busy Business Owners Guide to Building Your List in 78 Minutes (or less)”.
If you have other ways of building your list please comment below and let us know which you have found to be useful and effective!