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Blogging Vs List Building

More people are realizing that blogging is one of the greatest ways to kick-start your own online business. It requires low start up costs. It can build an impressive and loyal readership over time and once you monetize your blog it can also bring in a decent income that will keep on coming even when you are offline sleeping, spending time with family or taking a holiday.

How to start a blog? You can use WordPress, Blogger, or another free site that hosts your blog for you; or alternatively you can set up your own blog under your own domain name.

If you want to make serious money from blogging, you must have complete control over your blog. The disadvantage of free blogging accounts is that you are bound by their terms and conditions and that usually includes not being able to actively promote anything. There are plenty of people who have established a blog only to have it removed without notice.

It will cost you as little as $ 20 to $ 30 to buy a domain name and set up a web server to host your blog, but the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Once you're ready to set your blog up you'll need to choose a good theme and layout for it. You might find one that relates to your choice of subject or even something you just like the look of. There are thousands of templates available for you to use, just do a simple search on Google and find one that best suits you.

The more important question is what you are going to blog about. Basically, you can blog about anything, but choose something you are passionate about. Do not forget, you are going to be writing along this topic a number of times in a week, and if you do not have the enthusiasm for it, that will show in your posts. Remember, no one likes to read something that is not from the heart.

Once you got your subject, you will have to start writing your blog posts. You'll get better results if you go for a post of at least 300 to 500 words to make a good post with more information on it.

From there you can start drawing people to your blog and even subscribers from your list to get to know you better. This helps you to take your relationship with your subscribers up another level of trust and draws them closer to you. You also will be able to converse with them through the use of the comments column.

This makes your online business far more personal, enjoyable and by far the most important, increases your sales! So start blogging today!

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Help Thy Client – Planning Your Email Marketing Strategy

The age old question that I hear time and time again from clients is, how often can I email my database? I have to admit, when I get this question, red flags go off. It's like a relationship in a Woody Allen movie. If you have to ask, then it probably means the romance is over. My response when asked this question is with another question.

Why and what are you emailing them?

If you have something valuable to say and share (TRULY valuable … not just to your bottom line, but to the benefit of your customers as well), then your customer database will listen. Most people forget, email was the first "social" digital marketing platform, in the fact that it was not always one sided. People could respond. A great way to think about your email marketing strategy is applying the same rules of a conversation (albeit a professional relationship … not a "lets-grab-a-few-beers-after-work relationship"). Here they are in no particular order:

Do not be pushy. Do not harass your database with an endless stream of your offers, especially if they have shown no expressed interest in those offers. That is not to say you can not spring an offer on them from time to time, but remember the "DVR" rule of marketing. If your customers can skip a commercial, they will.

Say it once. Repeating the same exact message over and over again makes you look desperate. Feel free to add urgency, but change up your tone, your message, the look, the feel. Something. Make it look fresh, even if the intent is the same.

Follow the Rules. SPAM (like the potted meat kind of Spam) is not only bad, it's illegal (okay, potted meat is not illegal). Learn the rules of engagement. How are you collecting your database? If you are scrabing the internet and scanning business cards that you picked up from your local pancake house, STOP. ICANN has rules that you can find and follow, but really skip down to the end. I can zip all this up for you pretty neatly under " Find a Way " …
Know your Audience. As in any endeavor when you are sending a message, you should never write to yourself. You are NOT the audience. Your audience has expectations, desires, needs, and indeed … breaking points. And they are not all the same, so shotgunning your message probably is not the best way to get the word out.

Monitor the health of your database. Your email database has vital signs that you should definitely track. Open rate, click rate, delivery rate, and opt out rate are the top four in my opinion. If any of these dip down, then you are going to want to review your message and possibly change your course of action. To belabor the "conversation" motif, a drop in open rate is like a crowd of people yawning during a speech you are delivering. You get the point.

Find a way. Some of you may have read the above points and thought to yourself, how the HELL do I do all of that. If you are sending emails out of Outlook (or Gmail, or Yahoo, or Hotmail, or your email hosting provider), you can not do all of this. And you can not do this because you should not be using those platforms for email marketing . To do all of this you need an email marketing platform that allows you to host / store your email database, segment that database, create email campaigns (via templates or uploaded custom designs), schedule delivery, tracking analytics, include opt outs, include " web versions "of your email, create and embed web forms, etc. Everything I just listed is standard for email marketing platforms.

Finding and using a professional email marketing platform will prevent you from breaking the rules (except of course you want to break them … which some of you do … you know who you are.).

There are hundreds of them (though admittedly only dozen that are worth it). Some are geared specifically toward certain market verticals (like e-commerce or hospitality or spas), some are "small business", some are "fortune 500 only" type products. My recommendation (you did want my recommendation, right?) Would be MailChimp. It's a "one-size fits all" platform that has a number of really cool integrations.

At the end of the day, you want to check functionality, pricing, and INTEGRATIONS before you make your choice. I'm big on integrations. You want your email marketing platform to communicate with as many of the other tools that you currently use as possible.

Remember. Work Smart. Not Hard.

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Email Marketing Tips and Secrets

Email marketing can be a great way to get the word out about your product or company. If done right good email marketing should be about the reader not the publisher, and should be aimed at a well targeted audience. You need an audience that is actually interested in what you have to offer. This can be done most affectively through an opt-in email list. This can be you own email list that you have built or someone else's targeted email list in your niche.

The best way to achieve good results with email marketing is publishing you own ezine or newsletter on a regular basis. Be careful how often you email your list as to often can have a negative affect as your list may get tired of constant emails. If your newsletter installation are to far apart your prospect's may forget you.

Your email newsletters success will depend on the quality and how relevant your newsletter content is to your opt-in list. The newsletter should be highly reflective of your business and website. If your business is internet marketing then your newsletter content should reflect this.

Your email newsletter should be written from your customers prospective, what they need from you. After all it only make sense, if you look after your customer you will be looking after your business better.

Making sure your email is structured properly is very important, reader need to see what you see.This means testing your email for all email applications and browsers. Getting feedback from your email list is another great way of finding out if the newsletter is providing what the customer wants and can alert you to something you may be doing wrong. This will help you improve your newsletter to better serve your customers.

Your email list should alway be an opt-in list were your customer's have requested to receive email's and information. You should also make sure that everyone who receives your email can easily opt-out of your list if they wish, this should be marked clearly in every email and newsletter you send. Always keep on top of your list and Eliminate those who have unsubscribed from your database.

Your newsletter's and emails should be well designed as this represent you and your company.customers will determine a lot about your company and products from the way you represent yourself. Relevant links to your website is always recommended to provide those most interested the opportunity to learn more.

Monitoring is a significant part of email marketing you want to keep track of how many opened your email? How many clicked through to your website? This is crucial information so you can make adjustments and enhance your newsletter to be more productive part of your marketing strategy, particularly over the long term.

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Email Marketing Frequency – How Should I Submit My Emails?

The frequency of emailing contacts is a question you'll see appear regularly. And true to form, the final answer is never the same between two organizations. Over time, different people have promoted different golden rules around this topic which more reflected their personal desires than that of any empirical evidence. For example, some individuals would state that more than one email per calendar month to a prospect was a bad thing, while others would say this was not enough.

From our perspective there is no dogmatic rule regarding email frequency, but quite a lot of advice floating around tends to forget the most fundamental part of email marketing; it must carry a value to the recipient. It follows there that the frequency for sending out mails depends on the type of message being sent and the quality of the content. For example, a company e-newsletter should be adhere to a strict calendar date of release (just like a newspaper or magazine) but a news release about an aspect of the organization, or a promotional pitch can be sent at any time. Now this may like complete commons sense but it's surprising how many people tie themselves in knots over this.

A good first step to take is to draw up the different types of emails you may be likely to use to promote or communicate your organization to others. This will most commonly result in a list of between one and 5 types, from which you can then plot the regularity of each type, or merge / drop them during this stage as you realize that they are not needed after all.

Do not forget that at this stage you are making the basic assumption that people would be interested in reading mails from you. Well, if you have something to say that is both relevant and of value then you're on quite safe ground. But do not go overboard. Remember, you're making a commitment of time and resource, so ask yourself this question; will we be able to comfortably produce a newsletter six months from now based on the frequency we have set ourselves? Will we have the content to publish one, or will we be being struggling? If you're at all unsure then reduce the frequency. It's hugely important to pace your work and not over-extend yourself. Email marketing should be an important weapon in your plans but do not let it become the cuckoo that throws all your other plans out the nest.

Drawing up the types of emails you would send leads to a great opportunity – ask your contacts what they want! It's good practice to ask contacts to subscribe via a list of the emails available from your company the regularity that they are sent out. It means the recipient can make a choice on what they want to get – there before creating a better online relationship between you and them. Developing credibility and trust is hugely important in email marketing, and taking this route will bring better results.

This steadily brings us round and back to the original question, and instead of making some rigid rules the better idea is to work within a framework framework and tighten it up during your planning. Our recommendations for the two most common types of emails are:

Newsletters. Small firms should consider either 6 or 12 per year. 2 or 3 is just too few, 4 is possible but the infrequency can mean recipients forget they asked for it in the first place. Large firms can consider a more frequent mailing campaign – right down to weekly if required – but readers can quickly tire of daily releases and the churn within your database can really overload you without devoting resources to managing your contacts.

Promotional emails. It does depend on the nature of the business but more than two per month will potentially test the patience of the recipient. Daily is really not a good idea!

Customer Surveys. Whilst getting customer feedback on services they have used can beuable, asking them to complete a question after every time they have used your firm will get ignored very quickly. Instead, restrict these to quarterly for better response rates and more even results. If you are planning a survey to capture more strategic information, or one that aims to discover opinions on your industry for example, then these are better done either annually or at most twice per year.

You will notice a common thread within this topic; getting the right email frequency is concerned with avoiding saturating the recipient. Achieve that and you are well on the way to having a successful email marketing plan.

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List Building Tips – The Dirty Little Secret of List Building For Internet Marketers

Many internet marketers have realized that having the list is the essential component to being a successful internet marketer. A study found that, most people are willing to purchase the product offered after 7 to 8 contact with seller. Can you see the point here? List is the ultimate tools to get in touch with the customer again.

But the thing is, building a list is not as easy as flipping hands. Many people has tried bulk their list over the years, hoping they will get thousands subscriber. Even after you have long list of emails, it does not guarantee you will get your paycheck.

The lie about the list building is the money is in the list. If the money is in the list, then everyone who own a big list will be making so much bucks. There are many Internet Marketers who own a big list who never make enough money for their family. Its obvious that having a big list of freebies seeker is completely useless. They will not even bother reading your newsletter or your offer. What they care is only your free articles or software.

But, the truth is in the list of prospective buyers who are willing to read your offer and eventually buy your product. These are people who are willing to whip their card and purchase the product you offer. I know that some internet marketer can make thousands of bucks by just sending an email to the list. They bulk their list with buyers, not the freebies-seeker. So, start your building your list of buyers as soon as possible.

All the best for YOU,

Rudy Yonatan

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List Building Pitfalls

Having a list builder is not a guarantee that your business revenue would shoot through the roof. There are many pitfalls that need to be avoided in list building, and identified below are some of the common mistakes businesses make in their list building processes.

1) Over reliance on technology

Many businesses are very much much on the technology they provided online. What does happen is that they repeat search parameters or they fail to review the output and end up sending the same email to the same address over and over again. Although this may seem to be using the technology for the business, this is not efficient use of the system for business ends.

2) Quantity over quality

The goal is to reach out to as may individuals as possible at the shortest possible time. This presents problems for the generator as there may be repeat work done. Also, the repetitive messages may be viewed as spam email that would lead to the blocking of your email. So go for quality instead by picking your spots on who to send out the information on your product and create new fundamental leads for your business.

3) No database management

This is often the problem of many businesses scrimping on services. The generated phone number or messages bought to be placed in a database to prevent repetition. If this is not done, no new leads are actually made by the generator and instead stale prospects are often repeated. So your business better has a system to review the work output of the machine to prevent repetitive tasks done.

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Email Marketing Strategy – This E-Mail Strategy Gets You New Customers Fast

Let's face it. Coming up with a fresh email marketing strategy is hard. We know sending emails can bring in a lot of business and create a buzz in just a mouse click. But we do not want to upset our prospects by sending out what might be considered email spam.

Even worse, we do not have the time to brainstorm the perfect email. It does not have to be that way. There's no need to miss out on the benefits of internet email marketing – just take advantage of this nifty email marketing strategy – the FAQ email.

The FAQ email takes zero thought to create. You simply record your prospect's frequently-asked questions, answer them and send an email to your prospect list.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your next FAQ email:

Group participation – Have everyone keep notes and write down every question asked by prospects and customers.

Once you get a few dozen questions, have someone type those questions into a computer.

What you're going to find is more than 8 out of 10 questions are going to make up about 10 questions.

Have your salesperson answer the questions – Next, it's time to answer these questions.

Do not have your bookkeeper answer these questions … you're going to bore your recipients.

Instead, have someone with a marketing or salesperson's mind craft each reply. Keep each answer short and stuffed with benefits and advantages.

Avoid using the word no. At the same time, do not put the happy face on everything. Admit if something you offer is not for everyone … you're going to win a lot of points with your honesty.

And always point your prospects in the direction to take an action (eg buy your product or subscribe to your newsletter).

Ignore the surveys – Study after study shows two paragraphs in plain-text emails typically generate the highest click through rates from your email marketing campaign. But this FAQ email strategy is the exception … often generating recording-setting click through rates.

Ask for action often – Remind your recipient often of the action you're looking to generate … sprinkle the call to action website URL at least twice in your FAQ email.

Create a plausible opening – Here's the way I start my FAQ emails … feel free to borrow this opening:

Ever since announcing my new service, I've been getting a few common questions …

… So instead of sending out the same answers one by one, I thought to compel them and answer them here:

And there you have it. The FAQ email … the fastest and easiest way to send emails without being accused of sending spam.

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3 Email Marketing Tips

Creating a successful email campaign is not easy. It takes skill to make sure your email is not marked as spam, to convince the reader to open the email and finally, to get your customers to take action. Ideally this means they will buy something from your company.

There are a lot of elements to look at, so in this article we'll show you three things you can do to maximize your chances of making a sale.

Identify target markets in your mailing list
If you have a large email list, chances are that not all your customers will be interested in the same products or services. It's a good idea to do some research and find out about what they will be interested.

Have they bought something from you in the past and could benefit from your latest product? Or maybe you want to sell exclusively to either men or women? By sending targeted emails, you should get an above-average conversion rate.

Personalise your emails
How many times have you read 'Dear Valued Customer …'? How valued are you if the person writing the email does not even know your name?

It's easy to include individual customer names, even in a bulk mailing. Your target audience will dictate how you address them, eg 'Mr Smith' or 'John'.

There are plenty of other ways to personalize emails such as mentioning prior purchases or using regional references, but your email should always be appropriate. Businesses, especially those in the medium to large sector, should aim to be as human as possible. A great way to do this in an email is by using a real person's signature. Instead of ending with 'Yours sincerely, ACME' use an employee's name. And a photo could be beneficial; customers prefer to buy from people rather than faceless businesses.

Constantly test your emails
You should be tracking the results of your email campaigns, even if it's as rudimentary as working out from each one how much money you made. Ideally you'll want your email service to provide feedback on bounce, open, click-through, conversion, and unsubscribe rates.

Once you have a benchmark, it's time to start testing. The easiest way to do this is an A / B split test where you send one version of your email to half your target audience, and a slightly modified version to the other half. It's advisable to change just one element per test, such as the subject line, heading or images. This is so that you can identify the best combination of features.

Testing can help you to improve the effectiveness of your emails as well as confirm that they are working. For example, if you normally send your customers long emails, test them against a short version. You'll then know what works best for you and your customers.

The perfect email?
Writing the perfect email is not easy, but using some tried and tested methods, you can maximize the potential of each email campaign and, hopefully, increase your profit.

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Email Marketing Secrets

Email marketing is something that all websites need to utilize in order to ensure that they are reaching the largest consumer base that they can, which can increase their profits. However, with that being said there are several Email Marketing Secrets out there that the person should remember and put to use in order to make their marketing adventure one that is highly successful.

One such Email Marketing Secrets is the fact that the person should not include certain words in their email. When they do include these words, they are going to find that the email is more times than not labeled as Spam, and most consumers do not check their Spam folder for anything that is valuable. These words are those such as “click here”, “free”, “opportunity for you”, and so forth.

Secondly, avoid using large images. This is important since many email providers out there do not automatically load images when the person opens up the email. Therefore, if you are relying on the image to convince people to come see your site or so forth, then this is not going to be the best way to get the clients to the website. If you must use images, make sure that they are not pertinent to the information that you are providing.

Probably one of the best Email Marketing Secrets out there that bigger companies are using is the fact that they limit the size of the mail. They usually try to keep the email under the size of 150 kb. Studies have shown that those that send larger emails are going to have less turn out since the emails take longer to load, and some people simply do not want to wait those extra few seconds to see what the person has to say. Therefore, say what you need to say in the shortest, most concise what that is possible. Readers should still understand what is being said, yet it should leave some room for questioning so that they can act on the email.

Another tip to keep in mind is that if you have direct mail offers that go out to a mailing list, you will want your email to be different. No one wants to receive the same kind of information through both mediums. Plus, email is completely different from regular mail since the person can ask the consumer to act on the email, something that makes this marketing technique one that works for most corporations that are out there.

For those that are really wanting to make their email marketing strategy work then they should be sure that they are making these emails as personal and able to connect with others as possible. People are more likely to respond to an email that is connecting to them since it makes them want to respond. If the email is generic, the person can not expect to get any genuine interest started.

Make that subject line count, which is probably a huge secret that people should be let in on. If the subject line does not contain information that is something that people would want, then they are simply going to delete it. Make it enticing so that the person wants to see what you have to say.

Email Marketing Secrets are those little thing that people have been doing in order to get email marketing to work for them. And through applying these, anyone can get their website to get more traffic flow.

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List Building Strategies And Tips

If you’ve been searching online for list building strategies and tips, you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed right about now. There’s a lot of information out there, and it can get quite confusing. If you’re looking for link building strategies that really work, the following information will help.

A Three-Step Process

There are three primary steps to great list building: creating an opt-in box or lead capture page, getting it out to a large audience and prompting people to sign up. Those three steps are the foundation of today’s best list building strategies, but you need to carry out each step in the right way. Specific details about making the most of each step are outlined below.

Step One: Creating an Opt-In Box or Lead Capture Page

You can’t successfully build a list without creating an opt-in box or lead capture page first. After all, you need to know what people will be clicking on in order to market it properly. There’s a lot of advice out there about completing this step, and it doesn’t really belong in this particular post. At any rate, you’re going to need to design this element before you can dig into the actual list building.

Step Two: Drawing in a Large Audience

In order to build a great list, you need a lot of traffic. It pays to study up on traffic generation tips. If people aren’t coming to your lead capture page, you can’t hope to develop a great list. Fortunately, there are several great ways to bring traffic to your opt-in box. A few of the simplest ones include:

  • Social Media Marketing – It’s free to join and use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. These sites make it easy to reach out to a huge audience too. Out of all of the list building strategies that I’ll share with you, this one is a no-brainer. Get involved in social media marketing and watch your traffic soar.
  • Article Writing – People go online to get information. Why shouldn’t you give it? Submit articles to online article directories. Include links to your lead capture page on them. Over time, these articles will draw in considerable amounts of traffic.
  • Video Marketing – You don’t need a studio to create a great video. You just need the video to draw people to your lead capture page, so go for it.

Step Three: Compelling People to Sign Up

After getting people to your page, you need to get them to act. To that end, list building strategies and tips like including a free offer or incentive, offering an e-book for download and engaging in cross-promotion are all worthwhile options to consider. It only takes a second for a person to submit their email address, but they need a compelling reason to do so. As with traffic generation tips, there are many possibilities to consider. You can start with something basic like a free sample and branch out later.

By keeping these three important steps in mind, your list building efforts are sure to pay off handsomely. Put them to work right away.

If you have enjoyed this article you can get from Mark Ford a 7 day marketing bootcamp providing you with more list building tips and strategies to make money with an online business. This complimentary marketing material is provided in conjunction with businesses that Mark Ford is associated with.

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