Thanks to David Newton from Entrepreneurs Sydney for this article.
by Nikki Cooper
Your Biggest Asset Is Your List!
In old technology it’s called a database. This asset is an extremely valuable piece of “business real estate.” Have you heard the catchphrase “the Money Is In the List” It is more true now that it has ever been. The potential for profit is enormous and most owners don’t know how to followup with prospects and clients. They don’t know how to offer higher priced products to their paying clients. Smart enough to have a website? Smart enough to receive emails? If you have never heard of the concept of an autoresponder.. don’t worry. Most other smart people haven’t either, otherwise they would be doing so!
Each lead can be worth between 50 cents and $2.50 each. If you are not using an autoresponder you are leaving a lot of cash on the table.
If you capture 2000 targeted people on your list, and get extra sales… could that help your bottom line?
Your mission is to help your customers take their money out of their wallets and spend it on your business. That’s Commerce!
In this article I am going to outline the first and most important tool for any business owner, large or small in today’s competitive market.
As we are already aware by now, the website must be seen as the central point for any online or offline business. It makes little difference whether the particular business characteristics required the implementation of a more traditional website or with a blog format. One of the most sure-fire ways to grow any online business is to ensure that anyone who visits the website is given plenty of opportunity and reason to provide his or her contact details whenever possible. This is challenging for any business owner as people are reluctant to give away private information. It can be done though!
- Organically growing a contact list using an opt-in form prominently located on the website. It is here you must give the customer a reason for a customer to leave this personal information. If there is a compelling reason to sign up for a value delivered, a new addition to the list will occur. If the offer is not useful, the form will be ignored.
- Always ensure there is a strong and direct call to action. You want the consumer to understand what he/she needs to do clearly .
Email Marketing, as a category, consists of providing digital information that is valuable to the visitor. In return they provide their e-mail address. There is an (implicit) agreement to accept further mailings with this form.
If the information “bribe” is not seen as useful, few will bother to leave their name. Whole industries have grown up developing the tools and the knowledge needed to enter a casual surfer into the sales funnel that produces a targeted name and e-mail address on the list for further marketing activity.
The standard bricks and mortar physical business is often not in the habit of giving away valuable product in return for contact details. In traditional business, a targeted list is not an important thing… online it is everything.
Direct Mailings and other sales pieces are sent to a surrounding area in a blanket style, no targeting is used. In the event that there is a list that has been developed by the company, most often it is simply because the consumer signed up for something in the store.
These names and e-mails are not necessarily directly related. In the grocery store, it is well known that giving away a small sample of a new product helps to immediately increase the sales dramatically of the actual product being offered. The online list is developed for much longer time frames and actual relationship building.
The carrot dangled needs to be so compelling to a visitor, that it makes him/her sign up on a web form to get it. The call to action must be very clear. It must continue to be so enticing long enough that the person is willing to click a second (confirmation) link to declare they did in fact ask for it. This is termed double-Opt-In.
The double opt-in procedure is a very important part of any list building activity.
It is much easier to provide a digitized piece in some file format to be downloaded to the recipient. If the product carried by your client lends itself to being digitized -such as music, this is easy. Otherwise much care and attention must be given to developing a “freebie” in the form of an e-course, e-book or Free Report.
In many other cases the creation of an electronic product may not be compatible with the store’s products or services. It is then time to be creative and develop an alternative to a free report that will be seen to be valuable to the customer.
Of course one way to offer a physical product is by offering a significant discount in the form of an e-certificate or coupon (to be honored on the store premises) that the customer can receive for subscribing (opting in) to the mailing list. Please note, it should only be available by obtaining it through the Autoresponder process.
The overriding concept of any online campaign is to under-promise and heavily over-deliver to the consumer whatever has been offered. Make it a pleasure to receive the message series. Make them see a tangible benefit and have them looking forward to the next message in their mailbox. There are many other creative ways to get a consumer to hand over his valuable contact data.
Always remember, you must trade high-perceived value for a very useful commodity, a verified e-mail address. More and more, people are realizing the importance of that contact and demanding that extraordinary worth is offered to obtain it. They are being swamped on a daily basis with unwanted mail, make every piece stand out and create value for them to read and act.
The best way to exploit a list is to develop a set of responses to be delivered to the customer as a timed series. A set of messages sent on a defined schedule automatically is the defined role of an Autoresponder. This may be the most important marketing tool ever created for the internet advertiser.
It is certainly the most powerful; since it delivers a crafted series of messages directly to a live e-mail box at predefined times after it is started. It is very important to understand that each individual on the list will have the same series delivered to their mailbox at the specified interval between each one. But the delivery will be on an individual basis, depending on when they sign up, one person could just be starting the series while others are in the middle and some have finished.
There are a broad range of autoresponder services and programs available. If you excel at programming, they can be uploaded as a script and used at little or no cost. It is much better to outsource this vital component to an expert in the field. There are many available, all you need to do is a google search. You could always go to an outsourcing site like www.elance.com or www.fiverr.com. These sites are invaluable for the business owner and save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Have you heard of Aweber? This is one of the most highly respected and recommended autoresponder services. A large number of internet marketers and business owners use Aweber. Their service and support is second to none and they are constantly changing and updating. I have used aweber now for over 3 years in all my business endeavours.
If you are not using an autoresponder in your marketing it is vital to start as soon as possible. For an example of how an autoresponder works.. you can go to my site: https://www.facebook.com/elitespeakerevents and you will see how effective this marketing tool can be for your business.
Nikki Cooper – Webinar Host
Internet Success Coach
I am an internet success coach. My business is helping small business owners develop a marketing system that delivers clients to them on a regular basis. Let me ask you something… What is the most valuable asset in your business? The building? The employees? Your cutting edge product?
Need assistance getting your contacts into a reliable, automated email system, so that you can build a communication process for your customers and contacts. Contact us today for more information.