08 July 2008

Lists - The Online Marketer's Treasure

Everyone talks about his or her `optin' lists. It's their treasure. They are always looking for new and innovative ways to build their lists to keep visitors coming to their sites continuously. They offer various things to the prospective customer like free reports, ebooks, software, memberships, services etc. just to get their email address and other identifiable information.

But What is a "list" or your list? This is the marketing term used for the list of emails or leads that is accumulated over a period of time. Building your List is very important to your online marketing. Building your List is the process of creating a group of individuals online who are interested in the same niche that your web site relates around. Is it really that important? It's very important, as a matter of fact , to the uninitiated it is the foundation of an online business. Many website owners sell products or services on their site with the expectation that a visitor has their credit card in hand just dying to stumble on their site and buy something. They feel that if enough traffic comes to the site then they'll make some sales. This does happen but the real fortune is in the follow up. How then do you build your list?

First a word about the actual mechanics of list building. In order to capture a lead you need to have an opt-in box or lead capture page often called a squeeze page. There are many ways to do this through countless software programs or through sites that cater to marketers. Most marketers prefer the latter. These are paid services that you sign up and pay for and they supply the code that creates the capture box. The most popular by far are Aweber and Getresponse. These web companies are primarily autoresponder services which is another big part of marketing to your list.

The best way to attract a list is to offer value in the form of content and information and offer it for free. All businesses do this. Think about coupons and discount offers that restaurants offer. This gets you in the joint in the first place. Well with online marketing people are hungry for new information and fresh content and will gladly trade their email to find out something they want to know. This is where you come in. You set up your lead capture page on your existing website or blog and offer something of interest like a downloadable ebook or newsletter that is related to your subject area of marketing. You keep offering fresh content periodically then when you offer something for them to buy, they are much more likely to purchase.

This method builds a trusting relationship and if you treat your list right you create a bond with your list for the future of your marketing. This is the opposite of spam because your list has actually opted in to what you have and they always have the option to opt out. You can build a list quickly or take your time but how fast and how big should not be the main concern. If you continue to offer useful information the members of your list will remain loyal and over time your list will get larger and larger. Of course, there will be some drop offs but that is normal. This is the exact method big time gurus build their million dollar empires on.

What if you don't have a website? Well, there are even services that provide an all-in-one service; capture box, landing page, and autoresponder all together. This is great if you are just starting out or if you just want to test the waters.

What do I offer for free and how? For starters I would compose a small report or a newsletter that relates to your subject area. Or you could just buy the giveaway rights or master resale rights to a downloadable product and offer that in exchange for the visitors email. This is when the autoresponder comes in. Once the person enters there email they are now in your data base. They will initially get a welcome email, then the item that they were promised, then follow up messages from you determined by you. There is much debate as to the frequency of autoresponder messages and this is entirely up to you and how agressive you want to be. You just want to make sure you continue offering value no matter how often and you certain don't want to correspond to little.

The beauty of marketing this way is that once you learn how to do it and set it up as you want, it practically runs by itself. But it's important to stay current and stay in tune with the needs and desires of your list as you move on. There are many methods to market and advertise and they all have their place. Some are better and faster than others, some are expensive and some are free. They all have their function as some even compliment the other. It's the building and nurturing of your list, though, as a marketer that will determine the longevity and degree of your online marketing success.

Building an active opt-in list can be difficult or easy when you know how. Building a list is essential to get the most out of the traffic you get each day. Forming profitable opt-in list won't happen overnight, but it will happen. Building a high-quality, robust and responsive mailing list is hard work. Not to mention time consuming. However, you can choose to use the easiest way of list-building by clicking here and you can rest assured that your online business will take a new turn - 100% guaranteed!

It is essential to keep following up with people who might be interested in what you are offering. Only when you have a growing list can you facilitate your users to visit your site. It grabs their attention and takes them to those areas of the site that are of particular value to them. Take action now and start building your free opt-in list today!