Monthly Archives: November 2016

List Building for Easier Life and Business

If you own or are thinking to own a business online or offline, I suggest you read along. This is something that interests you. If you are not using the principles of “List Building”, you are making your business a lot harder than what it should be.

If you have or haven’t heard of this term, I will tell you exactly in the following paragraphs.

The first thing I did was to jump into Google and make a search on “List Building Definition”. However, not to my surprise, nothing relevant came up!

Seriously, I couldn’t believe it! A key process, probably the only process that matters the most when it comes to online marketing does not have a clear definition. It is pretty much named everywhere amongst Internet Marketers! No wonder why everyone is so confused.

So, given I didn’t find what I was looking for, I changed my search to “What is list building”. Somehow, I got a definition from Wikipedia. Although it is not a reliable source, Wikipedia is a good starting point. Here’s what I found:

“(List builder) A list builder, also known as a dual list, dual list box, disjoint list box, list shuttle, shuttle, swap list and two sided multi-select is a graphical user interface element in which a user can select a set of text values by moving values between two list boxes… ” (You can read the rest if you want on Wikipedia? HINT: This is not List Building)

Well, I wasn’t any closer to getting the definition that I needed, but on this same search I found an article from Derek Halpern that definitely helps on understanding why everyone must do it. The article basically tells you that if you are not doing list building, you are an idiot. By the end of this article, you can draw your own conclusion about this statement.

It also somewhat told me what to do but it didn’t tell me what List Building really is, so I decided to explain it myself. To make it very clear, let’s dissect the concept in two parts: List and Building.

List

In the internet marketing jargon, it refers to a list of prospects that you can contact multiple times until they unsubscribe from that particular list. The components of this list are email addresses that people entered on a form.

Building

As its definition, building refers to the act of making something. In this case, we are referring to the list. Building is the process of getting email addresses into the list.

Converting visitors/users/seekers into subscribers and followers is the essence of building a list. The user/visitor has 100% control on their decision to opt-in or out to that list. Normally, users / visitors will enter their email address in exchange for a gift or give away.

After reading several paragraphs, you might already have an idea on you head of what list building is, but give me the chance to give you a better definition.

“List Building is the process of getting people to enter their email address into a form strategically placed on your website normally in exchange for a gift.”

Now you know what list building is. We are getting there, but you still need to know an acceptable reason why you need to know this.

The list is an asset and probably the most important asset for you business.

Why do you need to do List Building?

Let me give you an example. Imagine you go to a restaurant, you have dinner, you pay, and you leave. How many times do they ask you if you want to leave your personal details or your email address?

Not many, right? This is a clear example of people getting list building wrong. It’s exactly the same process for people to come to your website and leave.

Read carefully and with understanding. When you leave the restaurant, chances are they may come back if there is a good service, the food is good, and it has a good environment. You may even recommend the restaurant to your friends.

Now, everything is fine so far, and then the restaurant owner must be pleased because there would be the chance of them to return (if they did all the above right).

Think about it. After you leave, the restaurant owner has no way to contact you later on, follow up with a survey, send you an offer, or a simple thank you card. Can you see the problem here?

If you can’t see anything wrong, it’s fine. I am actually here to tell you what is terribly wrong here and how you can get it right. After this, you may start enjoying having more returning customers and visitors on your online or offline business.

Now looking at the statistics, it is six times harder to please new customers than loyal customers (BizGrader.com). How can you create loyal customers? Getting them to sign up a form with their email address. Yes, exactly.

Using the principles of list building, you will not just please more customers with less effort, but also spend less money on your overall marketing efforts. This is proven and in the case of restaurants where only email subscribers purchased 17% more than those who were not on their email list (Forrester Research).

Simply imagine, if this is the case of a restaurant that has a minimum online presence, what would this do to your online based business?

Can you see now what was wrong with our example? When a visitor come to your website/business and you don’t have a way for them to leave their details, they will leave and you will have no way to contact them EVER again.

This is why I was saying that The List is an asset. List Building is the only way for you to follow-up and create a connection with your audience and customers.

Now you know why List Building is critical for your business. Before I tell you how to implement its principles, let me add something to our previous list building definition:

“List Building is the process of getting people to enter their email address into a form strategically placed on your website normally in exchange of a gift with the aim of building a loyal customer base, add value and sell products with less effort.”

Your email subscribers list is an asset for your offline or online business. Why? it contains the list of previous customer and potential customers that you can contact in a matter of minutes (if not seconds) directly to their email inbox.

If you are already doing an online business, but haven’t started your list, I hope you are convinced now of beginning the process. If you are an offline business, I suggest you think about this as well.

If you have something to think about before getting started, you definitely didn’t understand the concept. I would encourage you to read this post again before proceeding to the next paragraphs.

If you are ready, keep on reading because the following paragraphs will tell you how to do list building. You can start enjoying more free time to focus on other parts of your business instead of doing the hard sell and chasing customers.

How to Get Started on List Building

Start from day one. However, if you have been online or you have an online business and you have not yet started, you don’t need to worry. You can start in a matter of minutes. All you need is to understand the system required to do this.

To build your list, you simply need an Email Autoresponder service.

As I mentioned before, the emails are captured in a list using a form. Once captured, they are stored in a database from which you will be able to send emails with a few clicks.

An email autoresponder service will provide you all the necessary tools to create and maintain your list, form creation, email list storage, and send emails at any time to all your contacts.

There are multiple service providers out there that provide a similar service. The difference normally comes down to the cost and possible integrations that you would want to use.

I personally use Aweber. This autoresponder provides satisfying service and tools. It is very easy to integrate with your website and other systems.

Aweber is easily scalable. It grows with your business and you can create unlimited lists. Though, I would suggest you start with one list and then start creating sublists. Afterwards, use them to segment your market as per your business requires. You can also separate loyal customers from prospects or by products.

Of course, you desire to know what’s going on with the emails you are sending out. You want to receive feedbacks on what is working and what is not. Keep an eye on two main statistics — open rates and clickthrough rates.

I know it sounds complicated, but in simple words, List Building means watching how many people open your emails, read your message, and how many people click on links that you send on those messages.

There are few more statistics that you will want to watch but these two give you an overview.

Looking at statistics will allow you to understand your customer and make changes. This increases your engagement and creates of your list a raving fan list.

If the concept of email autoresponder services still seems a bit abstract, you can watch this video it will make it a lot simpler.

Now that you understand this concept, there is one last thing that you need to understand. This is what makes the whole list building concept so powerful.

As the name states with the email autoresponder services, you can create emails that are automatically sent to your subscribers. On other words, you will be able to maintain a close relationship with your customer/prospect in Autopilot.

You can send offers in Autopilot! (How do you think all those internet millionaires make money?)

Best of all, you can do all this while working hard for your business or even while you are relaxing on the beach.

If this doesn’t excite you to get started, you are missing a lot!

Your business will suffer if you don’t do list building. Let me sum up. The REAL definition of list building is:

“List Building is the process of getting people to enter their email address into a form strategically placed on your website normally in exchange of a gift. We do this with the aim of building a loyal customer base, add value and sell products with less effort. List building is possible by the use of tools such an email Autoresponder system which allows the process to happen in Autopilot (while you are in the beach).”

List Building is Quality Not Quantity

List Building is the first, most important and constant task of all Internet marketers. List Building is more of a science than anything else. Businesses have been collecting contact information about their prospects and customers for decades. Marketing Lists are all about building relationships and trust with your prospects so they feel comfortable doing business with you. That’s the reason why most traditional marketers fail. Traditional marketers use the “shove it in your face till they buy or run” approach. Building a list takes a consistent effort in order to be successful.

Lead generation involves gathering information on qualified consumers interested in your particular product or service. In the end, isn’t about generating more traffic. It’s about generating quality leads that drive sales. Lead generation is about finding people who are ready to say yes.

The first step in successful list building is to begin with the end in mind. A list of customers who are potentially interested is the core in any customer base. List building is not about getting them to your website or getting them to call you, or to buy something right away. List building should be renamed relationship building. Building relationships with people is the key to a sound future for your enterprise. Building relationships by responding in a timely fashion and providing feedback, builds the foundation for your ability to engage them and eventually add them to your client list. It is important to nurture relationships and retain existing customers. Building these human relationships with your list is the key to the future of your business.

Building your business requires you to become a progressive and resourceful leader. Do this by learning what your customers want, and providing it to them. Helping consumers who are interested in your products to actually find them is extremely important. Building a list requires many tactics working together. The correct combination can build your list at a rapid pace. List size is not as important as the conversion rates and return you get from the list. Building a list is an ongoing project.

A good responsive list takes a lot of hard work and effort but the rewards are worth it. A list gives you opportunity to sell them on future products that you recommend to them. List Building takes care of those who did not buy first time round. Email List Building ensures that you do not have to keep looking for fresh traffic to send to a website each time you have a new product to promote. Free giveaways are one of the most effective list building methods.

Internet marketing is becoming more competitive every week. New people are constantly rushing into the market in hopes of online wealth and a dream lifestyle. Thousands of new voices clamoring for attention. If you have built a responsive list, you are already miles ahead of the new entrants into the field. Building a responsive list doesn’t need to be scary. In fact to build one that is responsive, can actually be fun for you and also fun for your readers. Building a successful opt-in list doesn’t happen in a moment. Building trust from subscribers is the hard part.

List building can be exciting, frustrating, fun and painstaking all at the same time but once the first few subscribers appear it is extraordinary how the whole process gains momentum. Lead generation is paramount to sales success. List building takes the guess work out of marketing. List building is the key to your Internet Marketing success.

List Building – Is it Still Relevant on Today’s Web?

Years ago, when I first started in online marketing, all the rage was something called “list building”. I immediately jumped on this subject and started gathering every list building technique one could possibly imagine. It very quickly became one of my most favorite areas of Internet marketing to explore; so much so, that when I reached my first goal of getting 1000 subscribers, I was so pleased with myself, I even wrote an eBook on list building.

But that was then, this is now.

Since that time, online marketing and even the web itself, has changed tremendously. And we are not talking about small changes or minor adjustments here – the web has fundamentally changed from the core up. People simply use the web in a different way than they used it 10 years ago. It has become so much more of a user-friendly place, so much so, that marketing on this friendlier web has become a whole new ballgame.

The question remains: is list building still relevant on today’s web?

The answer is still a solid “YES”, but the “WAY” lists are built have almost changed completely. Not too long ago, traditional list building meant you slapped some sign-ups forms (provided by your web host or an autoresponder service) onto your web pages and you were in business. Subscribers who signed up to your list or newsletter, would receive follow-up emails from you or your site.

Anyone could do it since it was so straightforward and so simple, almost to the point of being idiot-proof. However, the underlying key to building a successful list was gaining loyalty and forming a lasting relationship with your subscriber. Successful online marketers and list builders will tell you, this was really the hardest part. Communicating effectively with your subscribers over a long period of time is extremely difficult to do and
does require gaining some skills, especially in the copy writing area.

So what has changed the list building process?

In a couple of words, three to be precise: social networking sites. These social networking programs and sites have completely changed how lists are built on the web. Actually, these social network sites such as FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube… have made list building as easy as taking your next breath. List building is integrated into these programs so seamlessly, many users are unaware they are actually building a list.

Simply by using these social networking sites any webmaster or marketer can build a list of contacts or subscribers. Call them friends, fans or followers – they are your subscribers and you can easily reach them with your next posting, tweet or video. There are countless teenagers on many of these social networks who have subscribers that number in the 100’s of thousands, even in the millions. And the rate at which they build their list of subscribers, would put many a seasoned marketer to shame.

There are several reasons why this new way of list building is much more effective than traditional list building methods. First, building your list of contacts is fully integrated into these network programs, often it is the main goal or purpose of the program. Seeing how many followers you can get on Twitter has become a world-wide sport – just go ask Ashton Kutcher!

However, from a marketing perspective, using these programs eliminates one of the major drawbacks of marketing on the web – spam. Actually, contacting your list by email is becoming troublesome, even with double opt-in, many of your emails never get through to your legit subscribers because they are blocked by spam-filters and Internet service providers. Using these social programs is a way of contacting your subscribers without the whole issue of spam being considered at all.

Perhaps, an even more important reason to use these social media sites to build your list, has to do with the tricky problem of establishing relationships with your subscribers. These sites make it much more easier to build that long-lasting relationship with your contacts. In the case of YouTube, it can simply mean making a video and talking directly to your subscribers. Communication is direct and immediate. In most cases, there’s no need to acquire additional skills or techniques. Besides, in most of these social network sites, the communication is often more effective because it’s just not one-way, your subscribers can easily communicate back with you.

Same goes for Twitter, which has become the list building tool of choice for many webmasters and online marketers. Twitter is an excellent medium for building your list. It can be used effectively to get your message out to thousands of like-minded followers and have that message spread rapidly around the web. Marketers are now taking advantage of such a system to market online, but be aware abusing this program will get you banned especially if you just use it to send spam. Like any type of marketing on the web, you shouldn’t have any problems if you keep all your communications/interactions real and human.

Another element of these programs which can’t be denied, they are all free. Anyone can use these social network sites to quickly build their list or lists without having to worry about paying for it. Actually, in the case of YouTube, you can become a partner and earn revenue from Google AdSense while building your list.

There’s also no denying these social network sites have changed not only list building, but how we use the web. These programs have a “pooling effect” on all web activity, gathering like-minded individuals into or around certain “pools” on the Internet. These concentrated pools of people can be formed around a certain topic or even around a certain person. These are excellent areas in which to carry out your list-building activities and your online marketing efforts since they provide very targeted prospects. Ones you can easily contact and communicate with by using these social networking sites.

While the old traditional email list should not be forgotten, list building, as we know it, has been changed forever by the introduction of these social networking programs. And as these network sites become more and more popular, they will play an even greater role in all your list building efforts. A role that can’t be ignored or dismissed, especially if you want your list building to be truly effective.