List Building – Actionable Steps You Can Take Today
By: Karen Pattock
With all the talk out there about list building you would think that every business owner would be building one. But that isn’t the case. Many business owners don’t understand or believe in the value of list building.
Let’s talk about what list building really is. It’s the process of collecting names and email addresses from people that are in your target market. Typically the new subscriber will give you their name and email address in exchange for some type of report or guide that contains information that they will find valuable. The quality or value of that information is extremely important. We will talk more about that in a minute.
First let’s talk about how you collect and store the names and email addresses that you are receiving. It’s my highest recommendation that you use an email management provider. It’s not a good idea to just store them within your personal email account. It’s not professional and will become extremely burdensome very quickly as your list grows.
My two favorite email management providers are AWeber and Constant Contact. I have personally used both and find them to be extremely user-friendly and the customer service support is outstanding.
When using an email management provider you will have the option to create separate lists, which is important. This option is beneficial because it allows for easy identification for future mailings. You may not always want to send everyone on your list the same email. In other words, it gives you options.
Now let’s talk about the quality of your offer. How many times have you given your name and email address in exchange for a report or guide that you thought was going to valuable and once you received it you were extremely disappointed? It happens all the time. When putting together your offer you need to make sure that it is of high quality and value. Always remember that someone is giving you his or her name and email address in exchange for it.
You can increase the value of your offer by researching your target market and understanding exactly what their pain points are. Get familiar with the problems that they are having and determine how you can solve those problems.
You can do this research by asking questions to the people on your social media list. For example, post a question on your Facebook page or on Twitter. You can also post questions within groups that you are a member of on Facebook or LinkedIn. Another great resource is SurveyMonkey.com. You can create professional looking surveys through this free service. It’s really easy to use and your survey can be posted in all of the areas I mentioned above.
Once you start gathering responses you will begin to understand your target market’s most pressing problems. It’s at that point you can begin to design your very valuable free offer. You can create a video, a PDF report or an audio. You can even use a combination, whatever you feel most comfortable creating. When you are in your creative process remember that this is often someone’s first exposure to you. Put the time and effort into your offer so that it makes a great first impression.
Once you have your free offer completed you can begin to market it in different places. This becomes your list building effort. Now you will post the link to that free offer in the groups where you asked the questions. You should post it regularly on your Facebook page also. You can even promote it through a Facebook ad. The object is to post it regularly in places where your target market is hanging out.
Now remember, you must set up an account with an email management service provider before you do anything else. You must be ready to start collecting contact information as soon as your free offer has been posted. As you move forward in your business you will be able to offer new products, services and free offers to your exclusive list of followers through regular email mailings.
Keeping your email list informed isn’t just about you… it’s about them too! Making sure they know what you have to offer is the best way to stay front and center in their mind and will make you THE “go-to resource” for them when they need help.
That last point transitions me into the last topic that I want to talk about today. I want to make sure that you understand the importance of WHY list building is so important to your business.
List building is appropriate to online and offline businesses. How many times have you been checking out at a store and they ask you for your email address? That’s because they know the importance of list building. When someone has previously shown an interest in your product or service, whether it’s online or offline, those are the people you want to build a relationship with going forward. Even my local dentist does list building so he can let me know about products and specials.
Once someone purchases from you the likelihood that they will purchase again goes way up. That’s why it’s so important to send out regular mailings to your list to let them know what you’re up to and what you have going on.
So don’t wait any longer. Get going on these things as soon as possible –
1) Make a decision on an email management service provider so you can begin to collect names and email addresses.
2) Do your research so you can create a highly valuable free offer.
3) Build relationship with your followers through regular email communication. It builds trust and places you in a position to be the “go-to resource” that they’ve been looking for.
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