List Building, The Cornerstone of Internet Marketing
You may have already heard the phrase “The Gold is in the List“. If you haven’t, don’t worry… not only will you, but you’ll start to grow tired of it! You may ALREADY be get tired of hearing it, but it’s the absolute truth! Let’s start by answering the basic question “What is a List?”
In online marketing terms, a “list” is your database of contact information of all your prospective buyers. Here’s an example: If you have a product or promote products about fitness and I sign up for your list, I am a prospect than you can choose to market to repeatedly until I unsubscribe from your “list”. This “list” is also know as a “optin list.”
Now that you understand what a list is, the next question that usually comes to mind is “Why do I need a list“? & What good is a list to ME?
Whether you are in direct sales, affiliate marketing, network marketing, or a major franchise or corporation joining the ranks of web 2.0… a list is critical for online business success. In fact, due to both spam and telecom regulations a list that has been opted into by your prospects may be the only thing protecting you from jail.
Why is list building the key to success? Let’s say you’re an network marketer and find a affiliate product you truly enjoy and want to use as part of your funded proposal. You first start to take everything you’ve learned and pull some traffic to your affiliate links. Over a period of say, 30 days, you funnel 5,000 prospects from the internet, who are interested in what you want to sell or promote, straight through your affiliate link to the product owner’s site.
But here’s the catch, without a list of your own, you’re leaving money on the table. Those 100 people who actually purchased from you with those 5,000 clicks? They become a part of the product owner’s list, not yours. So what the product owner is going to do is send them more offers in the upcoming weeks.
They have proven themselves to be buyers. In the next 30 days, those buyers purchase more from the product owner to complement the product they originally bought. You passed on building the list the first time around, and this money goes to the product owner – not you. The product owner is list building off of your back if you are not capturing that information first! Not only are you given them sales, but you’re also given them one of your biggest assets… proven buyers.
If you’re in network marketing, you’re blog actually serves as a buffer between your prospects and your network company. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it helps you to not only self-brand but ALSO keeps you out of trouble with MLMs that will not allow you to market with their name online. Once the individual has opted into your list, you can safely market “out of sight” in most cases and remain protected. You build the relationship on the front-end, the blog and save further marketing and phone number getting for the list marketing. So, just like list-building on paper with phone numbers, building an warm-market list online is the key to massive business growth.
Starting from day one, I advise building your list. Don’t let one single person slip through the cracks because you didn’t have your list in place! Make this a priority. Not just a priority – make it the KEY priority. Never lose sight of the fact that if your attention is not on list building, its not on your business. If your business isn’t growing at the rate you wish it was and if you’re wallet isn’t as full as you wish it was, odds are its because you have been focusing on busy-work instead of list building. While only 2 actions put money in the bank… marketing a link to an existing list… and calling an existing lead to sell or recruit them … both of these hinge on HAVING that list! Can you see where the bottleneck is?
Using a auto-responder like Aweber, which we’ll cover more later, you can have multiple lists for different niches and it will only cost you about 19.95 a month (they have a awesome free trial too!). Auto-responder software such as Aweber is critical to good list building. You can see log in every day to see how many people have signed up and created automated messages to send them to help boost your conversion rate into more sales.
One key to remember however is to never think of your social media connects (twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc) as your list. The minute you think of these social contacts as your list and begin marketing to them as though they were, is the minute your social media career goes down the drain. Social media contacts are individuals that you are still actively in the relationship-building phase with and have not yet entered your list/marketing funnel.
You brought the product owner the customer through your links and advertisements… you invested valuable time into building relationships with your readers… you should stake your claim to each prospect and leverage your relationship with him or her for future sales and commissions. So plan to start building an email list today!
If you know of anyone that may benefit from this information please share it! Tweets, Facebook shares and comments are appreciated! Have questions about why YOU need a list or questions about YOUR list? Still confused about all this list talk or have a success story about your list to share? Leave me a comment and lets share!