One of the biggest secrets that online marketers have is their email lists. Have you ever looked at those businesses that seem to do so well at selling online, and wondered how they do it?
The answer is email lists. You will find that companies that specialize in online marketing have built up huge email lists which they use as their prime marketing tool. Email lists are the figurative gold for any online business because they are the means by which the real gold (money) is acquired.
So what do I mean by an email list.
I should call it an opt-in email list because it contains email addresses of people who have agreed, or opted-in, to receive information from you.
But make sure that you don’t abuse your email list. The people who have opted in have done so because they want to receive things that will benefit them. Frequent adverts and promotions are definitely not on that list. Remember that, as well as opting-in, people can also opt-out, so you need to make sure that whatever information you send people will be of value to them.
It really isn’t easy to build up an email list, despite what some people may tell you. Remember that it needs to be a list of people who have an interest in your business, not simply a list of email addresses. In other words your list should be targeted at potential customers
Starting is the difficult part. You can start by adding your existing clients. The fact that they are already clients means that they will be receptive to receiving information from you.
Include a sign-up form on your website or blog articles. Offer people a bonus for signing up; a free eBook or free report for example. It’s difficult these days because lots of businesses do the same thing and people have become immune to it.
You need to be persistent. Don’t be put off if you don’t get a bunch of people signing up in the first month. Think yourself lucky if you get one. Keep going eventually the numbers will build up.
Ensure that everything you do is quality work. Get a professional looking website. Make sure that your blog posts are written well and contain content that will be interesting to people.
One way to be interesting is to be controversial. Don’t simply post boring information that people can find anywhere on the internet. Add value by stating your opinions. Do be put off if you get comments from people who disagree. See that as a positive in that people are reading your article and you’ve struck a chord,
Focus a large proportion of your marketing on building up your email list.
A big mistake with any website or blog is to focus on getting people to make an enquiry with you about a sale. Instead, focus your website on getting people to opt-in to your email list.
Then you can focus the rest of your marketing effort into promotions to the people on you your list. They are much warmer prospects because they’ve already demonstrated that they have an interest in you by signing up.
You need to keep constant contact with the people who’ve opted in to your list. Send a regular newsletter – at least every 2 weeks. Occasionally, and I mean occasionally, send promotions about new products or services that you offer. Don’t overdo this though. People will soon get tired and opt out if you constantly send them advertising emails. You can easily be seen as a spammer.
Give them a way to opt-out
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get your email removed from a list and finding that there is no obvious way to do so. Make sure that you include an opt-out link on every email that you send out to your list. The usual place to include this is at the end of the email.
A final word of warning
Do not, under any circumstance, be tempted to buy in an email list. There are people who will try to sell you lists. Many of these lists have been put together using unscrupulous methods.
For example, a spammer sends out email to list of invented emails most of which simply fail. Some, where the made up email addresses correspond to real email accounts, get through. Some of the people receiving them, respond. The spammer then knows that that email address is valid. He then adds that to an email list that he can sell. If you buy one of these lists, you may be getting a list of email address that are live, but you’ve got a list of people who have no particular interest in your business.
Email list are as valuable as gold for your business, but you will have to work hard to build up that value. Be persistent, don’t be impatient and you will find that your efforts will pay off in the end.