A little something I whipped up for those online marketers...
For as long as direct marketing has existed, so have lists - lists of hundreds and thousands of people who will hopefully be interested in whatever it is that the list owner is trying to sell. Building a list of prospects for your business, whether it be an online or offline business. is essential, and thanks to the internet, it’s become easier than ever. Here’s what you need to know.
Using the internet to build a list is fairly simple. The most common recipe goes something like this:
• Offer something of value for free on your website
• Users sign up using their email addresses to access the freebie
• You get their email addresses, and market to them at a later stage
The first step would therefore be to create something of value that you can offer as the “prized freebie”. You may want to write a short eBook providing handy tips or information on your area of expertise, or maybe even put together a short course.
For example, if your company provides plumbing services, you may wish to compile a short eBook with handy plumbing tips – how to’s, and so forth. Think about what sort of information your target market would find handy, and then create it. If sitting down and writing scares the living daylight out of you, you have two options:
• Either hire a freelance writer to whip it up for you (you give him the “rough” information, and he processes it into a smooth reading, professional looking eBook) OR
• Have a look at what are called “Private Resale Rights” or “Master Resale Rights” products. These are pre-made eBooks, videos and other downloadable items that are designed exactly for this purpose. With any luck, you’ll be able to find something for a few Dollars (usually between $5 - $20) and save yourself the headache of trying to compile a masterpiece! You can usually also rebrand these products with your company logo and so forth.
Once you’ve got your product, you need to create a signup form on your website. The sign up form needs to capture the visitors’ details (name, email, etc), and then direct them to the download link. You can either ask your website designer to put this together for you, or you can use an automated service such as AWeber or ConstantContact for a more professional look. Be sure to place the signup form on every page (or at least the busiest pages) of your website to ensure maximum exposure.
The next step is, of course, to get some traffic to your website. You may find that you already have a lot of traffic to your site, but few enquiries are made as a result thereof. In this case, a freebie is ideal for capturing those “lost fish”. If you find that you simply don’t have enough traffic, it would be wise to consider some website promotion. A few options are:
• Search Engine Optimization
• Pay Per Click (Depending on your value per signup)
• Article Marketing (Great for businesses with an international market)
• Offline or Traditional Marketing
And there you have it – a simple start to list building. Remember that list building is an ongoing process and is not an over-night ticket to riches. Also, keep in mind that the quality of the leads on your list is critical – bigger is not necessarily better if the quality of the people on the list is poor.