As a marketer you either hate the thought of list building or you love it.
As a consumer you either welcome being on lists or you do everything to avoid being on a list.
Either way the root cause is the same… perception.
People think that email lists are created for one reason and one reason only to sell products. With this slight generalization I am referring to 90% of marketers and probably nearer 100% of consumers.
But that perception is wrong, an email list is a way of building a relationship, at least that is the way it should be. Unfortunately most marketers are convinced that a list is just a way to sell products day after day.
If you get on a list like this then do what I do (unless I am deliberately watching a marketers processes!) UN- SUB-SCRIBE.
Email lists are very powerful tools, If I wanted to make a extra $20,000 this month I could do it with quite easily by emailing my lists every couple of days with a different offer.
The trouble is that I would probably lose quite a few subscribers and would need to replace them by aggressively building my list, this then becomes a vicious circle and is the main reason that email marketing has such a bad name.
There is a different way and it’s not as profitable in the short term but it does bring long term rewards.
Why You Should Build A List
Firstly lets look at why you should build a list, Google Sucks , no really it does, one day you’ll have a site ranking well and earning you money the next the traffic dries up and you are back to square one.
With a list of subscribers you can bypass these fluctuations in google, the subscribers you pick up while you are ranking highly in google are still there after the traffic dries up.
Take this post for example, even if google doesn’t index it I know that it’s going to go out to the 2000 or so subscribers to this blog via the automated blog broadcast I have set up.
How powerful is that?
I can also email my other lists and direct them to this post, once again a potential readership of 8000 without relying on google.
I talked a few weeks ago about why you should build a personal blog even if you are just starting out on your online journey. If you add a list building element to your blog you can start to build a relationship with your subscribers and as long as you are honest and transparent with them they’ll stick with you for a long time.
Part of that relationship building process is opening yourself up to them and letting them know about you and your values. It doesn’t involve trying to sell OPP (Other Peoples Products) at every opportunity.
How to Build a List
Building a list is simple. You need 3 things..
An Autoresponder such as Aweber, or Get Response (I personally prefer Aweber)
A Form with which you can capture the email addresses (provided by your autoresponder)
A series of emails with which you communicate.
It can help to offer a “bribe” to get people to sign up a guide you’ve written or a video series. As you can see I don’t do that, thats not to say I don’t give my subscribers “bribes” , I do, but I don’t want them to sign up just because I am going to give them something.
I want them to sign up because they want to read my posts and get the information I offer.
This way I get fewer signups but I do get higher open rates.
This is also why i’ve stopped using pop ups, I used one for a while offering a book I have listed on amazon for free rather than the $12 it costs. However although it increased signups I never really felt happy with using pop ups so I stopped using them.
How To Communicate with Your Subscribers
This is the bit most people get wrong, generally marketers can resist selling so they are immediately on the offensive trying to sell a product.
Don’t do this.
Your one and only job when you get a subscriber is to ensure that they stay a subscriber. You do this by building a relationship and getting them to know like and trust you. Then and only then should you try to sell them anything.
Lets get something straight – there is nothing wrong with selling something that’s good and offers value and that your subscribers will find useful. What is wrong is offering products for sale just to make a quick buck.
Resist the urge!
It makes much more sense to create products that your customers want rather than to promote products that other people have created that don’t address the needs of your customers.
I’ve seen the same marketer offer his list 4 similar products from 4 different marketers in 2 weeks because he believed that “They Only Like Traffic Generating Products”
I really can’t understand that mentality, If I thought my subscribers were that deluded to believe that traffic generation was the only thing that worked i’d create a free product to show them the error of their ways not try to sell them more products about traffic generation!
Be honest and upfront with your subscribers if you believe a product is going to be useful to them then show them why make sure they know what they are getting before they buy. If you don’t think it will be useful then don’t promote it.
Also make sure that your subscribers get the best possible offer on your products if you create them.
When I created “ A Fresh Approach to Affiliate Marketing” and “List Building Debunked” I made sure that my subscribers not only got to see the Part 1 before the release but I also used a dime sale and made sure my subscribers knew the second it went live so they could buy it at the lowest possible price.
Finally, the one last piece of advice I can give you is… Know why you are building a list.
Leave a comment and let me know about what you think about the post (and don’t for get to share the post…thank you!).