You might have heard the term ‘the money is in the list’ or seen the pop ups requesting your email address on hundreds of websites throughout the internet (mine included) but have you ever wondered what it is all about?
From an online marketing perspective there are three main methods of promoting your business. One being Social media, which includes pages and adverts aimed at followers, would be followers via general campaigns, SEO (search engine optimization) which is all about getting your site high in the search engines and google adwords which are ads or banners located on websites which sort of follow you around the internet.
Occasionally these methods can fail, lets say you fall foul of Facebooks terms and conditions or cant pay your bill (goodbye ads/followers). Now let’s say Google updates its algorithm and your site which you’d paid to be marketed years back, now finds its ranking demolished as the old SEO tactics used are suddenly redundant, there goes that ranking. And finally, similar to the Facebook situation, you could fall foul of googles adwords and boom another ad stream wiped out.
Now lets be honest. The likelihood of all three going wrong at once is pretty much slim unless you go all out and deliberately sabotage your own marketing plan but, you are in the hands of companies you have no control of. Essentially your in the hands of Google and Facebook to provide your customers and keep them involved and on hand. Even instagram is owned and operated by Facebook.
But what if you could rely on a completely self controlled stream of customers and reach them directly in any situation regardless of the mood of Google and Facebook. Besides the obvious, having a connection to each individual customer in any situation can aid in another avenue of resale which is massively more effective than seeking out new customers time and time again.
The majority of your customers are most likely to be returning customers and a direct message can prove more personal which is good marketing.
The trick then is in the list!
Collecting an email list is seen as one of the Holy Grail’s of modern internet marketing and there are many creative ways to begin building your direct link to your customers and future customers. Consider it at least an insurance policy you can’t afford to not have.
The first thing to do is head over to a list provider, ideally you want one which is free and only charges you when you reach a large sum of emails collected (by which time you should be making a return on your list through your marketing strategy) – basically its free to start, win/win! I use Mail Chimp which has proved easy to install and setup. head over to mailchimp.com to begin setting up your list and campaign.
The next step is to get people to sign up to that list.
You can do this by offering a free product, be that an eBook or a list of strategies for your customer to explore. It may even be a free graphic/image if you’re in the creative field or an interview with an expert. Essentially you want them to want to sign your form to get your awesome FREE product. When this is complete you’ll send them to a thank you page, have an auto responding email welcome them to the list and then route them back to your site. You can even set it up so it automatically personalizes the email.
The list’s value is in having a group of followers who have opted in to what you have. You know the demographic to an extent because they wanted your free product which means they’ll most likely want more similar products you create later down the line and now they are familiar and welcomed to what you’re doing, like reoccurring customers they are more likely to purchase your goods. if your really good they’ll be chasing you for the next email update or product release.
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