Episode #77 List Building 101

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AUTO-RESPONDERS

Auto-Responders are the backbone of any business that uses email marketing.

They save an enormous amount of time and money by automating the entire process of ongoing email  communication with your customers.

The software is programmed with your specific requirements.

Once you have set-up the necessary parameters (i.e. which type of email goes to who, how often they’re sent, etc.), it just happens automatically. 

You can get as creative as you want with these parameters. 

They help you stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act by making sure you don’t send the wrong kind of emails out and you don’t send them to the wrong people. (see the end of the notes for more information on the CAN-SPAM Act, A Compliance Guide for Business)

Be careful when buying any kind of list because oftentimes there are emails on there that are designed to specifically look for those that are not following the CAN-SPAM Act.

If you violate those, you could find yourself out of business as well as being fined for each individual email that you send out that violates the law.

Auto-Responders can be used to send out generalized blast emails to your entire list or individually-triggered emails that are only sent to those on your list who have taken specific actions on other emails you’ve sent out.

Auto-Responders can schedule email delivery from days to even years ahead.

They can automatically manage your list for you by moving customers to different lists based on their actions when responding (or not) to your previous emails.

If you’re collecting the customers’ names, the Auto-Responder can actually send the email using the first name.  They can also include a greeting that is appropriate for the season.

They also give you an extensive ability to track statistics about your emails.

Which are opened?  Which are viewed?

The sophistication of these programs can go so far as to tell how you long someone was on the email before they clicked away.

 

The Importance of Sending Out Regular Emails

People get 100’s of emails a day now, which are mostly unsolicited and some are outright spam.

For your email to stand out,  not only do you need a great title and great content, but you also have to have a send frequency that will cut through your customer’s other emails and grab their attention.

 

With Much Power Comes Much Responsibility

If you just blast out crappy emails you’re going to upset your customers, they are going to unsubscribe, and even worse, they could turn you in as being a spammer or they’re going to complain.

That’s going to limit your ability to be successful and could get your account blocked/shut-off or could get you blacklisted on email platforms such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

You need to make sure that you have something valuable to say, that your emails contain good content, and that they are something your customers and subscribers are going to WANT to receive.

 

What Auto-Responder Do You Want To Use?

You need to determine how you are going to use your list(s) in your business, sales and marketing plans.

There are some at each end of the spectrum in sophistication and cost and there are many that fall somewhere in between both ends.

In addition to the capabilities of the auto-responder, there are other things that you should       consider as well.

Performance-if you purchase from a very small provider, is their service as responsive as others?

Customer Support-do they have 24/7 support? Are they quickly responsive?

Cost Per Features ratios.

Billing Methods-do they bill you for active subscribers or by the volume of emails you send out.  Do they charge you for having multiple lists?  Do they allow you to import other lists?  Do they allow you to do single opt-in or double opt-in?

Whenever possible get someone who’s already experienced and successful at setting up an Auto-Responder to help you.

 

Now That Your Auto-Responder Is Set Up

Once you have it set up you have to figure out how you’re going to get the customer to give you their email.

More often than not, you’re going to have to offer the customer something of value in exchange for giving you their email/contact information.   This is called a Value Exchange.

What a lot of people use for that Value Exchange is e-books.

A lot of novice and newbie marketers make the mistake of throwing together an e-book really quickly just to have a hook to get people’s email addresses (and they can move on to trying to sell them something later) but here’s the fallacy in that:

That e-book is going to be the first thing that your potential customer gets from you and that is going to be their impression of you.

You need to take your BEST content and use that instead so that the impression your customer has of you is extremely high and that your content is extremely valuable, so that their expectation is that they will get more and even better  quality and value when you ask them to actually purchase something.

If you don’t want to actually write the e-book, you can outsource the entire process.

You can outsource the research, the content, even the cover.  If you want it published on Amazon Kindle, you can outsource that as well.

Don’t let a lack of interest in writing an e-book deter you from having one for your customers as a value exchange for lead generation.

In your e-book, don’t just include your great content.

Include your name, your website, and different links to assorted resources.

Make sure you have your name and website on every single page and you produce your e-book in a PDF and set it to be un-editable.  That way, if someone “hijacks” it and starts posting it all around the web, it ends up being a viral marketing tool for you because it has your name and address on every single page and the links to your offers on every single page that they could not remove.

Another Value Exchange Option is a valuable article or report

It doesn’t work as well in internet marketing because it’s been so over-used, but in the financial arenas and other higher-end markets, it’s still used.

These are usually 6 or 7 page reports that give you insights on what’s going on in the industry and they usually sell these for a lot of money.    If they are offered as a value exchange item for an email address, it’s likely someone will take that opportunity.

Access to your blog content

Not just the blog itself but an update to everything you publish on it as well as specialty content that is not included in your blog.

E-Courses

An audio or video course that is delivered to them via email or a webinar that they can access.

 

Squeeze Pages

Also called Landing Pages or Opt-in Pages.  It is basically just a page that is advertising your valuable content in exchange for their email.

They should only have one purpose.  Their sole job is to collect an email address.

There shouldn’t be any other menus or options or other “things to do” on this particular page.

Less is More.  You really want to drive home the point that you have this thing of value that you’ll give it them in exchange for their email address.

That’s all.  The more you tell them, the more likely it is that they are going to get confused and go away without taking action.

 

How To Advertise Your Squeeze Page

You can create a free report that is a subsection of your free e-book and post it out freely on the internet with links to your squeeze page.

You can post an article and put it in the article directories that have similar content. Post it with a link back to your squeeze page for your free e-book offer.

Put a link to your e-book in your signature line for all of the forums that you visit.

  • You can include a link to your squeeze page in all of your Facebook posts and forum posts.
  • You can Tweet out your free offer. 
  • You could run a classified ad on the free classified pages.
  • You can work with other businesses and offer your free report or free e-book as a gift to their customers. 
  • You could run contests and coupons in exchange for people signing up.
  • You could run a banner ad on someone’s website. You could exchange banner ads with another marketer.
  • You can do PPC advertising for your free offer and/or you can do Google AdWords
  • You could have pop-up, pop-under and pop-exit ads on your website for your free offer. 
  • You can also do link exchanges with another website/marketer. 
  • You could go into a Joint Venture with someone to cross-promote your free e-book.
  • You could host a webinar with free training and at the end of the show tell the attendees where they can get your free offer. 

If our e-book is based on something particularly newsworthy, you could do a press release with a link to your free offer in the signature line.

 

Participating on Facebook and In Forums

You don’t want to blindly post your ad into Facebook and Forum posts.

You will catch a lot of flak for doing that from the other participants and Facebook could give you a hard time for your marketing practices.

For these to be effective, you really need to participate in the forums and/or on Facebook, including posting comments, providing value, answering questions and helping people.

You need to participate at a level where you build a rapport with people in these groups, so this is something else you may want to consider outsourcing.   Get yourself a Virtual Admin that does this on your behalf.

 

 

For the Compliance Guide for Businesses and the CAN-SPAM Act, see

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

And, remember, you can send Anthony any questions via his email at Anthony@anthonyflatt.com or leave him a voice mail via his website at www.anthonyflatt.com.

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