Episode #76 Introduction To List Building


Title:    Introduction to List Building – Episode #76

Date:   July 7, 2015

Why having a list is essential and how to use that list to maximize marketing efforts

There is an entire industry out there whose sole function is to provide lists.

Why? Because customers are the lifeblood of your company.

Just because you have a list, does that automatically mean you’re going to make a ton of money?

No.  You need to start developing a relationship with those potential prospects to turn them into your eventual customers.

In the ‘traditional’ business world, you have sales people call that list, email that list, or visit that list with the goal of turning those individuals into customers.

In the online marketplace, it’s much the same except that we’re using a lot more technology to accomplish the same goals.

Your Website

Central to building this relationship with your customers is your website.

This is your “store-front”.

But, ‘just’ creating a website doesn’t mean your potential customers are going to flock to you and start buying.

Realistically, you have to think of it this way:  Your website is one of the many millions out there.

So, you need to figure out how to draw customers to your site, keep them engaged and keep developing that relationship.

The way most businesses do this is by driving specific types of traffic to their site.

Examples:  SEO, PPC (pay-per-click ads), banner ads, etc.

Once you get them to your site, you need to start developing that relationship right then and there.   How do we do that?

By providing them with something of value.

You are going to make them an offer to exchange their contact information for something of value.

Providing Value

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how good your content is, or how pretty your site is.  The customer does not care.  They want to see what’s in it for them.

They are going to make a decision right then and there if there’s anything of interest to them. That’s where your “something of value” comes in.

Oftentimes, these are offers for free reports, e-books, software, trial memberships, free + shipping offers, free DVD’s or some other content.

What you offer as this valuable item really depends on your market.

Some markets really like free reports.  Some like tangible items like DVD’s.  Some really like software.

Likewise, what information and how much you collect about your potential customers depends on the market as well.

The internet market is getting very savvy to these free offers, so it’s becoming more difficult to ask the customer a lot of questions before providing them with value.

This is mainly because after the customer has provided their e-mail address to get something of value they realize that what they have received in exchange doesn’t have any true value.  It was not worth them giving out their contact information.

It may be that the most you’re going to be able to ask the customer to provide is their first name and email address.

Many websites now are just asking for email addresses as the first step to get them onto your mailing list so that you can follow up with another contact with an offer to buy something or to receive something else of value for free in exchange for more information.

Developing and Utilizing Your List

Having these email lists are great but that’s not where it stops.

From the point of getting them onto the initial list, you need to start developing that relationship with them.

And, you need to start finding out what type of prospect that they are.

Are they a freebie-seeker?

Are they genuinely someone who is interested in your niche, your product but they are not really a potential buyer?

Or, are they truly that targeted customer that you’re looking for?

Identifying who these real potential customers are is the next part of developing your list.

Having a ton of names on a list doesn’t necessarily guarantee a lot of sales.

Not everyone who visits your site is going to sign up for the email list and not everyone who signs up for the list is ever going to buy something from you.

That’s why you need to prequalify these customers as soon as you get them on your mailing list.

Once they sign up for your e-mail list, you then follow up with another email, with another offer to take them to the next level.

Continue to make those offers until the customer stops buying.

A ‘rabid’ buyer is the buyer that we really want and we want to have enough offers to continue to develop that relationship with them by providing them more and more options at higher and higher values and price-points.

If they don’t buy something from your first follow-up offer, maybe you come back and offer them something else for free but in exchange for that, you look for them to provide more information about themselves.

In the “off-line” world, more often than not, when you first visit a customer,  they don’t buy on the first meeting.  So, don’t expect a first-time customer to your site (and email list) to buy something the first time either.

It’s going to take you sending multiple emails with multiple offers and you will slowly get a percentage of your list that you turn into buying customers.

So, what do you need to start building this online list of customers?

Your website.

It really needs to be specific.  You may not want to send your customer to your main website.  You may want to drive that traffic to your opt-in (or landing) page where all they see is that specific offer and the box to opt-in.  They either opt-in or they go away.

If you have too many things for them to do, the prospective customer will ultimately get confused and just not do anything.


Your Auto-Responder

Once your customer “opts-in”, you need that information collected by your auto-responder so you can make contact with them at a later date.

An auto-responder is just software, or you can purchase it as a service, that takes the information from your website, puts it into a database, and then provides a lot of tools for you to develop that relationship with your customers.

An auto-responder makes it very easy for you to follow up with your customers.  You can even sub-divide your customer lists based on their responses to different offers that you have sent to them.

There are several different auto-responder software options out there priced at varying levels.  The 2 that Anthony uses are:

www.getresponse.com and www.aweber.com.

Tips and Techniques

One of the best ways to get someone to sign up for an initial offer is to not drive them to an offer in the first place.

So many people make the mistake of sending out emails that say “Sign up for this”  or “Come buy this”.

People do NOT like to be sold to.

Making a direct offer in a front-end campaign is not usually very successful.

Instead, send them an email and tell them a story.    Teach them something.   Give them real-life examples of problems and solutions.

Then, in the footer, leave a link to an additional article or resource, and in that process, that’s where you’ll make them an offer to click on something to get more information.

When you’re building your list of potential customers, know that all potential customers are not created equal.

You do not treat one of your ‘rabid’ buyers in the same way as you would treat someone who has not purchased anything from you yet and vice versa.

You need to make sure that you’re developing the relationship in the proportion of where those customers are at on the buying scale.


Opt In Lists, Double Opt-In Lists and Opt-Out Lists

An Opt-in List

Simply refers to those potential customers who have taken the option to provide their contact information and given you permission to contact them by email.

Double Opt-In  (required by many auto-responders)

This means that you must send your potential customer, once they have given their initial information, an email stating something like “You have just subscribed to my email list.  Is this you?  Did you really want to do this?”

It’s only after they have gone to that confirmation link that they would then actually be added to your list.

The good news:   most of the customers who do this truly understand that they are now going to be receiving emails from you and are not going to be complaining.

The bad news:  It does add an additional hurdle because many of the customers who initially wanted to get your free offer will not now click that confirmation link and will not ‘officially’ be added to your list so you will lose a percentage of those potential customers.

That’s why a lot of marketers will now only do single-option opt-in’s  (i.e. skipping the double opt-in confirmation) but then you do run the risk of having them complain so you really need to decide what level you’re comfortable with.


Essentially, this is an “unsubscribe”.

It actually adds them to another list though of people that have opted out.

If you try to send them an email, the auto-responder will not permit it.

This can work pretty well unless they change their mind (or had made a mistake) and try to re-subscribe.

Their contact info is on the new list but it never comes off the Opt-Out list in the auto-responder.

But, you definitely need to have the opt-out function because you don’t want to send them emails if they don’t want them.


Closing Thoughts

You only want to be sending email to those who want to get it.

Not just because it’s the right thing to do but it’s also the profitable thing to do.

It will cost you time and money to send out emails to people who never intend to buy.

If you have a question for Anthony, head over to www.anthonyflatt.com and leave him a voicemail message to have a chance to have your question featured on this show.

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