A popular Internet battle cry states that “the money is in your
list”. It’s true that you can make a lot of money by building a
list of opt-in subscribers.
Establishing trust with those subscribers and sending those
subscribers special offers promoting your products.
But you must do it correctly. Here’s a few tips that will help you
get the most bang for your buck out of your list-building activities:
1.Collect Only Relevant Information
While requesting a visitor to sign up, collect information that is
relevant to your business. A recent study lamented that most of the
corporate probing was unnecessary, given that most companies never
act on the information they extract from their customers. It is crucial
that you know exactly what you intend to do with the information
you’re going to collect. Moreover, you should also be able to prove to
your visitors that information you would be collecting from them is
actually vital for your business.
2.Don’t Make Your Customers Repeat Information
Most customers don’t mind telling their banks the ages of their
children if they think the bank will use the information to help them
sort through the myriad of college savings plans or make them aware
of estate planning issues. But nothing irritates customers more than
having to repeat the same information to each channel as if it’s the
first time they've ever heard the information. This is especially true
in the case of email lists on websites.
3.Focus Your List
We’ve discussed the importance of focusing or targeting
customers earlier as well. Current customers are the most important
email addresses to collect, much more so than prospects. They’ll be
more receptive to your communications and likely to respond, since
they’re familiar with your company and its products. Don’t waste your
time running campaigns that attract a high number of visitors who
have no interest in your products or services.
4.Special Offers and Discounts
Special offers like coupons and discounts are classic direct
marketing techniques that translate extremely well to email. In order
for an offer to be effective, it must provide something of real value to
the recipient. Minimal discounts are not enough to get the reader’s
attention; you have to offer something of substance. Of course, don’t
discount lower than your profit on the transaction. Having a time limit
on discounted offers is also very important in order for the call to
action to work effectively.
Apart from using the Internet, there are also ways you can use
your marketing efforts in the real world to help build your email lists.
From your local chamber of commerce, to specialized industry
groups, the meetings of many organizations are great opportunities to
make contact with new people. You are exchanging business cards
with interested prospects or possible referral sources, so make sure
that you send appropriate email communications to these people. Start
with a personal email recapping your conversation with them, and ask
them if they would like to be added to your monthly email list. Don't
just start sending a barrage of email to every person that you come in
contact with. Make sure that the person indicated their interest in what
you have to offer first, or your contact will become quickly unwanted.
Whether you have a booth, are one of the presenters, or are
simply attending a trade show, you have an excellent potential
opportunity similar to networking events, but on a much greater scale.
Organizing the follow-ups to people you actually spoke to yourself then
adding the person to your personal contact list is a given.
The general information requests gathered by associates at your
booth can be handled in a similar way. Lastly, you may have organized
a giveaway or contest to gather more leads at the show. These people
are frequently less interested in what you have to say, and more
interested in whatever they might be getting or winning. As a result,
it may require secondary contact to obtain the permission to add them
to your regular communications. In general, hitting
with a "hard sell" is not usually effective. contest winners
Organizing informational seminars is a great way to build a
healthy relationship with prospects and potential referrers. One
effective technique is to have advance registration and to ask
permission to send regular emails at that time. This way, even if the
person is not able to attend the seminar, you still have an opportunity
to stay in touch with them. After all, they were interested enough to
register for the seminar.
Concerts, parties, art openings, or any other occasion that gathers
people together provide an opportunity to build your email address
lists. Having a registration or check-in location, or associates with
clipboards working the room are just two ways to make contact. In the
case of events, it is a good idea to offer some kind of incentive to
boost signups. However, make sure that the person can only receive
the incentive via email. This way, you will improve the quality and
accuracy of the lists you are collecting.
8.Post Cards/Direct Mail
When a company has an existing database of postal addresses,
direct mail may be the best way to get the email addresses of your
existing customers and prospects. Again, offering an incentive always
helps stimulate a greater response and is particularly effective when
there is a pre-existing relationship. This helps increase the typical
response rate of converting postal address recipients to email
recipients. Publish a specific website address on your mailing to direct
people to a landing page with the list signup form on your site.
Eugenijus Sakalauskas publisher
"List Building Newsletter"
Subscribe to my exclusive 12 lessons e-Course
" Every Business Needs Opt-In Email Marketing "
and learn how to start building your own optin list