Marketing strategies like list building requires planning, hard work and a strategy - However, the long-term benefits are tremendous!
I’ll tell you why I believe a customer or email list is important. I’ve related this story once before, but it bears repeating. I once worked a summer for an Internet marketer that was doing very well for himself.
Wow, what an eye opener.
(If you would like to read a more detailed account of that story, click on this link: The Lessons I learned from an Internet Marketing Millionaire.)
One day, while I was working on his hundreds of websites, we got into a conversation about what made him so successful in his Internet marketing endeavors.
He basically told me what I had already heard a hundred times in other places, but it bears repeating.
|The List is Gold!|
“The money is in the list. Your list is absolute gold. If you learn one thing from me, remember, the list is gold!” (Emphasis added.)
So, I guess you could draw from that conversation that a list is kind of important. I mean, when someone successful leaves a hint like that you might not want to ignore it.
You Need to Have a List Building Strategy
However, building a list is not easy. Just like anything else in business, you have got to have a plan and then execute it. This is probably going to be the most important part of your overall marketing plan, and you need to focus on working it daily.
In order to make this as simple as possible, we will take this step by step. This will also help you implement this strategy as quickly as possible.
Just keep in mind what Edison said, “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Step 1 Determine your target audience. If you don’t know who your niche audience is, you’re going to have a very rough time writing messages or a series of emails to them that they can relate to. Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.
So, if you don’t have a niche market you’re targeting, then you need to sit down
and decide what niche you are going to operate in. If you
have absolutely no idea how to do this, there are loads of resources on the
Internet to help you do this research.
|Choose your target audience wisely!|
Step 2 Determine your email marketing objectives. Once you know, love and understand who your target market is, you can then decide what you’re going to do with your campaign. Here are some questions that you may want to consider in your list building strategy:
- Do you want to just connect with an audience on a regular basis?
- Are you going to raise awareness of your product and brand?
- Are you going to dazzle your audience with your vast subject knowledge in an effort to be seen as an authority?
- Or, are you merely going to sell your product or service to your audience right out of the starting gate?
These are questions you need to answer before you begin to actually build your list. Once you have a plan for communicating with your prospects or audience, you will have a much easier time planning your email subjects and content.
Step 3 Set up a tracking system for your campaign. Once you begin your email campaign, you’ll want to have a way to see how many people are opening your mail and how many of them are clicking on the links you are providing them.
Most of the email services online will have features like this that are built in. The best ones are: AWeber, Constant Contact, and MailChimp. These are the three I have used in the past, but of course, there are a slew of others out there.
Tip: In my opinion, I would go with a cheaper company initially so that I could learn the ropes of email marketing first. Then, if you really stick with this strategy and move forward, you can then transfer your email addresses to a more high powered and expensive company. If you are starting your business the dirt-cheap method, you can always use a free auto responder for a while like SendFree.
Once you have a mailing list that is starting to grow rather quickly, you can migrate your list over to a paid system. SendFree doesn't have any tracking or other services with their free version, but you can always upgrade later, if you wish.
These services offer all sorts of tracking for email campaigns, especially Aweber, which is the premier email service on the Internet today. However, you will probably pay more for these bells and whistles than you would with other companies.
Step 4 Build a worthy landing page.
In case you don’t know, a landing page is the page your readers will go to once they click your email link, ad link or link in a blog or website post. One of the big mistake most people make is that they have people go to their home page.
The page you should be sending them to should be the page that you reference in your email campaign, blog post or other link. The landing page needs to be relevant to the email that you are sending the prospect or reader from.
If you send an email to a reader about a blog post that you've written, just make sure that the link you feed your readers goes to the relevant post you've written.
What is the purpose of your landing page?
Is the purpose of your landing page to get someone to buy a product? Is it to just collect an email address? Do you want people to download an app from your site?
Who is your audience?
This is a question that you should have answered well before this. You need to know your niche market and how to cater to their needs. You should know what type of lingo they are attracted to and how they are going to relate to your style of writing and marketing message.
Where did my readers come from?
The best hedge against building a different page for each different place your prospects come from is to make sure your offer and email sign up are prominent on all of your pages.
If you want to see a really good example of this take a look at the Boost Blog Traffic site. http://boostblogtraffic.com/ Every time you land on this site, the first thing that you’ll see is their opt-in box making you an offer that is rather irresistible.
|Booyaahh! Boost Blog Traffic's Site |
Asks you to sign up at the top of every page.
I should tell you that Boost Blog Traffic is an excellent resource site with some of the best blogging tips I have ever read. Just outstanding!
In a blog, you can easily create an about me page as well as a home page. I would have a way for these individuals to sign up or join your email list on all of these pages.
With a blog post, you can easily make it so that your opt-in box appears on every post. This would be most advantageous and would save you a lot of time. (Unless you are selling multiple products, then you are going to need a way to have a different sales page for all of the different items.
|Red Bull has an interesting, yet clear call to|
action on their Facebook page.
Step 5 Write a clear call to action (CTA). When people come to your landing page, you have to assume that they are reading and comprehending on an 8th Grade level. So, you’ll want to make sure that your call to action as clear as possible and that they’ll know exactly what to do. Use large, bold text when you tell them what to do, too.
You can also use arrows, different colors and a host of other indicators that will direct your prospects to take the desired action that you want. Just remember, the simpler you make things, the more people you’ll have signing up to your website.
Step 6 Use advertising copy to get prospects to take action. If you have absolutely no idea how to write ad copy for your landing page, you may want to consider hiring an ad copy specialist to get the job done. A good copywriter will create a powerful headline for you, that will draw in your readers in and influence them to take immediate action.
Step 7 Minimize the number of fields to fill out. Make sure that you minimize the number of fields that are needed to get a person to sign up. Unless you are asking them for ordering information, you really don’t need to collect home address and phone numbers. Most web savvy marketers just ask for email addresses because their sales funnels are designed to sell bigger ticket items later on down the marketing road.
Step 8 Offer them something for signing up. If you are just starting out,you can offer a free report on a subject that people are passionate about in your niche for signing up to your email list. The report doesn’t have to be more than a few pages long, and you can knock one of these out relatively fast in a weekend. Once that is complete, you can begin working on bigger and better things like 20 to 50 page eBooks. Once you have an eBook completed, you can then offer that for signing up to your list as well as the free report.
TIP: The more things you can offer someone, the better the chances are that people will sign up to your mailing list. I know a copywriter that offers 10 free eBooks for signing up to his email list. The eBooks aren't flimsy either, I remember one of them had at least 100 pages of high-impact information in it alone!
So the more you have to offer, the easier it will be to reel in email addresses!
Step 9 Project a professional appearance. You don’t want a flash site, but you need to have a site that professionally projects what it is that you do. Once again, using the dirt cheap start up method I’m so fond of, you can easily get a very simple and elegant design from a freelancer on a site like Fiverr.
When you’re starting out it is always best to start out as cheap as you can, with something simple. This particular blog started out on Blogger and at some point it’s going to be migrated over to WordPress.
Even though I know a little about long-tailed keywords and all that other SEO junk, I’ve read repeatedly that having a regular blog (not a free one) with a regular .com will work wonders for your rankings. Plus having a professional appearance is important too.
Step 10 Produce incredible content. The natural inclination of almost all entrepreneur newbies is to gloss over blog posts and web pages. You need to adopt the mindset that people are going to reference and read what you’re producing. If they are going to spend time reading your material, then you need to try to make it the best that you can.
Many times I've seen the question asked, “How many words should I write?” I've seen all sorts of answers for that, but as my research concludes, that large, well-written, 2000 + word posts do the best. Yeah, that’s a lot of work, but if you want something bad enough, you’ll do it.
TIP: One other thing, try to start with the end in mind. Remember that you are building a reputation, brand, and persona that will be with you a long time.
I recently watched a series of interesting Youtube videos on marketing that a young entrepreneur was producing. Obviously, he was trying to appeal to a younger, hipper audience, because his theme was marijuana based. He had some dope-head kind of theme, logo, etc.
Even though I liked his video and advice, I can’t help thinking that he was setting himself up for failure further down the road with his business. Once he gets older and decides to take his business real serious, he may have a hard time shedding that old image.
At any rate, you need to choose your path carefully, because you don’t want to be changing horses in a middle of a stream. If you start gaining a particular following, you’ll want to keep it in place for as long as you can. So, keep in mind that you’re going to have to live whatever you create.
Contact Me with Your Thoughts
If you have any thoughts, ideas or rants you’d like to share about the subject of list building, please leave them in the comment section along with your URL or contact information. I haven’t turned anyone down yet.
To your Success!
Mark “Elmo” Ellis
“When it Comes to High-Response Copy – I’ve Got Your Back!”