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.

The History of Listed Building’s Guidelines

Not only this, many feel historic buildings also add a feeling of quality to our towns, villages and countryside as they are a staple piece of history.

There are a number of ways we can protect heritage assets to ensure they are passed onto future generations for their enjoyment. One way is by legal protection through national designation: all assets which have this appear on the National Heritage List for England.

In England, the English Heritage Association is designated to assess the building in order to accept an application for a building to become listed. However The Minister has overpowering discretion to whether to accept or reject an application.

What are the guidelines?

Over the past 50 years the criteria has changed dramatically, with the list being very strict in the Victorian era, however, despite the post war developments, many buildings have managed to survive from that era, more so than any other periods of time. The guidelines state that a building must have:

• Architectural interest: buildings of importance because of their examples of design, decoration and craftsmanship
• Historic interest: buildings which illustrate an aspect of the nation’s social, economic, cultural or military history
• Craftsmanship: They could be an early example of a specific building type with a pioneering form of construction
• Group value: buildings that form part of an architectural ensemble, such as squares, terraces or model villages
• Historic association: buildings that demonstrate close historical association with nationally important people or events

Don’t panic if you can’t relate any of these to your property. In broad terms, buildings that are eligible for listed status are broken down more easily into these categories:

• All buildings that are built before 1700 that survive in anything like their original condition, not necessarily faultless
• It includes most buildings built between the era of 1700-1840, although selection is necessary
• Properties constructed between 1840 and 1914, but only if the building in question is of definite quality and character; the selection is intended to include the major works of all principal architects
• Anything that is constructed between 1914 and 1939 as they select buildings of high quality or historic interest
• However, there are a very limited number of exceptional buildings built after 1939 that make it onto the list, although they tend to be at least ten years old, and in most cases more than 30 years old

What’s your grade?

Now the terms of grading are often thrown around by those who own these properties.

A Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, often considered to be the most globally important as there are only 2.5% of all listed buildings, making them rare and exclusive. An example is St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol which attracts thousands of visitors a year to her pews in order for people to see the intricate architecture.

The difference between that and a Grade II* is very little, however, these building are of particular importance and are more than a special interest. This comprises of just over 5.5% of all listed buildings; Hammersmith Bridge, London was declared a Grade II*.

Finally a Grade II is the most commonly found type of listing as it accounts for 92% of all listed buildings, these are nationally important and are of special interest, with it most likely being a grade of listing for a home owner; Radar Training Station, Lancs, is well known for being Grade II listed.

How does it affect what I can do to my building?

This is what puts many people off buying a listed property; Chinese whispers have made it so that you are unable to do anything to a building once listed, this is not true! By listing a building it is an identification of the building that it should be marked and celebrated for having exceptional architecture, this is not to freeze the building in time, but simply that you must apply for planning consent in order to make any changes to that building which may affect its special interest. Listed buildings can and are altered, extended and sometimes even demolished; this means your local authority will make the decision regarding your proposal. Generally the external appearance of the building must be preserved using original materials. Sash windows for example, with their wonderful sash weight mechanism, must be replaced with timber sashes that contain no plastic elements.

Is my building listed?

You can search The National Heritage List for England to search for listed buildings in your area and print copies of individual entries. However if you want to research your house, then try looking on the heritage gateway site as sometimes searching can be tricky. If in doubt then visit your local planning department (most references will be held in your local library) for a complete list of buildings.

How can I get a building listed?

Unfortunately it not that easy! Firstly you need to fill out an application form the English Heritage website. It will have all the necessary boxes to be ticked; however, if you are a bit old fashioned then you can write a letter to them, you must include:

• Make sure you summarise your research on the building – i.e. locals library, records or online
• Explain why the building is of listable quality- not just your point of view, ensure you are being impartial
• Attach all of the necessary information about the building; what the building is, when it was built, who designed it, if anyone famous lived there? Was the design revolutionary? Or was the building a setting for a major historical event?

Don’t lose hope if you are struggling to find all the information that you want. The building may still be listable, but the better case you can produce to the English Heritage Association the more likely it is that the building will become listed.