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Build Your Mailing List Or Die!
Is having a mailing list really all that important?
You bet it is. Without a mailing list you are at the mercy of the search engines and their ever changing regulations. Don't get me wrong, doing your SEO is vital to your business but it's not the end of the story.
If you don't have a mailing list, your online business, once it gets off the ground, will eventually die. You can not sustain business without a customer base. Online or offline, repeat customers are the backbone of any business. It's even more important online because the competition is greater and they probably have a list.
Your list is your best form of advertisement. The people who are on your list have been to your site and have an interest in your topic. You will have to remind them on a regular basis that your site is a place they like to visit.
Don't bookmarks and favorites lists work the same way?
Not even close.
What happens when you get information about the most exciting piece of software ever created? You join the affiliate program to promote the software and add a link to your website Now you have to hope someone will find it and click on it. Of course, there is a lot of other information on your website so the likely hood of every one who comes to your site seeing that fantastic offer is pretty slim.
Let's go even one step further. Lets say the super software is very cheap right now but the price is going up in a week. Now you add this information to your website and have to remember to go back and change it in a week to reflect the new price. If you forget to do this, you are going to get a lot of angry emails when your visitors buy the software and pay a lot more than you were advertising.
OK, do you can see where you are going to have problems actually getting any sales from the super software?
Now, let's go back to the first moment you heard about the super software and the fantastic price. You join the affiliate program and immediately send a notice about this great offer out to your list.
The people on your list get an email. They open the email and see one offer. A super special offer with an unbeatable price. They don't see any other interesting information that may distract them. They see your offer and nothing else. They are totally focused on what you have presented to them. You tell them that this offer has a special price and they will have to act fast or pay more later.
Out of all the people who open your email, how many do you think are going to see this offer? 100% right? Of course. There isn't anything else to see. You have just raised your profit potential by a huge margin.
Can you see how you are losing money by only having your website and not having a list? It's pretty obvious isn't it? So, we're all in agreement, you do need a list.
How do you get this list?
First I want to tell you what you don't do. You don't go out and buy a safe list from some email address collector. These people don't want your email and you will be reported for spamming. You will have to build your list from people who are interested in your business.
Ask yourself this... who is interested in what you have to offer? The people who come to your website right? Yes! These people found your website by either doing a search in the search engines or were told about you from another site or a friend. In any case, they came to your site because you have the type of information that they are interested in.
While they are there, offer them the opportunity to join your mailing list. Have a sign up form on every page in a very prominent place. Tell your visitors that you will send them valuable information when it is available in exchange for their name and email address.
Some people think you should offer a free incentive to get people to join your list. There is a lot of controversy on this subject. You will have to decide what is right for you.
The only thing I offer people for joining my lists is future information and offers. The people who join most of my lists know I am going to try to sell them something so when they see an email from me, they aren't surprised when I ask them to get their credit card.
Be honest right from the start. Don't make your list joiners think they are on a list of freebies if you are planning on selling them products. They will quit the list as soon as you send your first offer. Trying to trick people to join your list will leave you with a bunch of angry subscribers and no sales.
If your website looks professional and you have valid information on your site, people will want to hear from you again. They will gladly join your list so they won't miss the great information you have to offer.
Treat your business like a business, not a scam, and you will prosper.
Now go build your list before you lose any more money.
This article was posted on March 08, 2006