If you run an online business then you need a simple and efficient way to stay in contact with your customers and potential customers. One of the greatest tools at your disposal is a mailing list but more than that, you can use an autoresponder that schedules mail and delivers it to your mailing list at pre-defined intervals saving you the hassle but freeing you to deliver important content, valuable updates, insightful information and marketing materials to your list.
Building Relationships for Long Term Success
One of the primary advantages is that you are constantly in the mind of prospective clients and paid customers alike. Being memorable and delivering useful, valuable content will help you build a powerful relationship with your target market and more importantly trust. Trust in business is a very powerful thing indeed and with an autoresponder delivering pre-loaded valuable content over a period of time you specify automates much of that relationship building process. I am sure you are already on many mailing lists and receive regular mails from other marketing companies and “Personalities” in the marketing world who have cultivated a relationship with you over time. Either by delivering automated content or sending you periodical offers and content manually. Either way, I am sure there are some mails you can’t help checking out because you trust the source and some you just plain ignore. Building a mailing list should be an essential part of your marketing strategy and will provide you with many opportunities to build more income for your business, ignore this at your peril.
So what kind of profit can you realize from your list? Well, let’s take a very brief case study. Say you have a list of 20,000 people and you have built a relationship with this list over time, delivering useful and relevant content and not having every mail blasting them with sales literature and trying to sell something. In other words, you have built up a level of trust and value in the eyes of your mailing list. Now, you mail out a recommendation for a product that you feel with also give them value if they apply it. This product, if they purchase it, pays you $40 in commissions. Even with a very low conversion of only 1% (most mailings convert much higher than that) on an email (leveraging that trust) that means 200 people out of your total mailing list will purchase. 200 orders at $40 commission means $8000 in your pocket for that one mailing. Now assume a 5% conversion, that’s $40,000 in commissions. Now imagine you have 5% conversions on a 100,000 member mailing list. That’s an amazing $200,000 for that one mailing. Now, admittedly your mileage may vary dramatically and building a large mailing list of responsive members is an art form in itself. If you are creating a mailing list then there is going to be a proportion of people who are “tire kickers” and a proportion of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. Luckily we can separate these and maximize your potential profit…
The Mail Funnel
If you have been in marketing for any length of time you may have heard of the “Sales Funnel”, well this is the actual seperation point, it happens with your mailing list. Most people start off with a “General” mailing list which all new subscribers join. Then, when a member of that list purchases a product that we promote they are automatically promoted to a new list of actual buyers.
Many autoresponder services allow us to move members from one list to another at time of purchase so that we can do this. This essentially allows us to separate people we know as “Buyers” so we can promote more often to them and maybe even promote higher price tag items. If they purchase these items at a higher value, we move them to a “High Level Buyers” list and promote even higher value items. By filtering the members of your list in this way you really stream line and optimize your list for potential profit.
There are many good services that can host, manage and deliver your emails. The two main ones are GetResponse and AWeber. My personal preference is GetResponse as they have provided excellent deliver-ability over the years but AWeber also does provide an excellent service. Each of these systems allows you to control and track responses to your mailing as well as allowing you to migrate subscribers from one list to another based on rules you create.
The reason you should consider using a 3rd party delivery service is that they have ensured that they adhere to the anti-spam laws and are on as many whitelists as they can be on to ensure maximum deliver-ability of your messages to your customers. If you try and do this yourself, you will most likely find that your mails are discarded or over time, end up on some spam blocking lists and that can be disastrous for your business.
Building a List with Special Offers and Incentives
Well that’s all the basic theory, but how do you build a mailing list and get people to sign up. There are several ways you can do this and here are a few common methods you can apply:
The FREE Report
Many marketers create a simple report that they give away some valuable information for free but to access this you need to sign up and joining the mailing list. You make the offer as enticing as you can and put this one small hurdle in their way, all they have to do is enter a name and email address and it will be sent to them immediately upon confirmation of their email address (most mailing systems use double opt-in). This method is very effective, especially on high traffic sites but you get a very mixed bag of members.
This is another tactic that works to build long term trust. If you provide long term value you build a reputation and rapport with your mailing list. Essentially you create a series of emails about a subject relative to your market and promote this as an FREE E-Course which is available upon signup. This is a very popular technique especially where there is a need to learn a lot of information and you are able to pre-educate your mailing list for free and then cultivate the advanced knowledge and value you have provided into a sales channel later on.
The FREE Gift
As with the method mentioned above, this method is very effective but does create a lot of “Tire Kickers”. As with above you offer a free gift in order to obtain their name and email address. However, one thing to note, if you are offering a free gift or sample of something that is a physical product that costs you money, be careful. I had a client who told me a story about how they had tried this sytem giving away a 25c sample of a skin care product that cost 50c to ship out.
They did this for genuine lead generation. The problem was one or two of the “Freebie” sites out there picked up on this offer and posted it on their website. They had a flood of requests for free samples with over 8000 signups but each lead cost them 75c costing them over $6000. Now if these were all highly qualified leads that would be great, but these were the ultimate tire kickers who really did not care about the product and just wanted a freebie. So be careful with this option and ideally use something that does not cost you anything like a digital download, etc, as there are delivery or product charges.
This method works particularly well on eCommerce stores where you have popular products. For example you can present a “Get 10% Off Your First Order” and have the prospective customer sign up on your mailing list to get that discount coupon. This is a phenomenal way to build traffic as you are presenting a targeted prospective customer with an incentive to actually buy as well as capturing their email information for later promotion.
Another method that works very well with ecommerce stores is exclusive “Newsletter Only” promotions. Essentially you let the potential customer know that you regularly put out special offers out to your mailing list with discount coupons, product discounts and exclusive non-published special offers to your mailing list and that they “need to join now before they miss out!”. This can actually be combined with the “discount coupon” method mentioned above for a very powerful combo indeed.
The Ultimate Email Profit Stream – Building a List of 100% Buyers
The largest problem with list building is separating the “Tire Kickers” from the buyers and this is the age old problem for all marketers. Now, this is not as large a problem for eCommerce store owners as they can convert every paid customer over to an email list. However, for most online business owners as well as some eCommerce stores, this is not always easy. Building a list of buyers from the start, without any filtering, gives you a highly profitable list to market to and your conversions will be through the roof.
On some lists I have built with nothing but buyers I have had conversions over 10%. If you want to find out more about creating a list of only buyers you may want to check out this review I did recently of Michael Rassmusens’ “Get More Buyers”, which he created a while ago. These are the very same tactics I use to explode my mailing lists and you can do so to: Click Here for More Info>>