Four Means to Building a Killer List
While some people are content just making up names and collecting addresses - be they virtual or actual - you will want to make sure your list is effective and useful, which is more that can be said about many of the efforts being done by people in similar situations such as yours.
Whether you use the internet and email for marketing or if you use snail mail to reach your customers and potential customers, the fact remains the same that you have to follow the following pointers to make your list meaningful, useful, and productive.
1. Make Giving Their Address Inviting - Some marketing strategists have come up with an ingenious plan of getting people to give their addresses by signing up for some free gift or service that is related to the product they are selling. This makes your contacting them less of a surprise since they already know that you would be contacting them as a result of your gift - and they may even be more amenable to your marketing efforts since you have already 'softened' their hearts with gifts.
Make sure that the services or gifts that you offer are related to your product or service. This is so they can make a connection between the gift and your product. Make the gift you are offering promotional in nature - it doesn't hurt if your gift helps increase consumer awareness of your product.
While in the past people would give their email or mail addresses without any qualms, today's day and age where spam is a reality has made them more careful towards whom to give their addressed to.
2. Make Opting In Easy - Some great pitches fall flat on their faces because the fail to create means for opt ins. For example, some websites promote a product or service yet do not have boxes for the user to input his or her email address for further communications.
Make sure you have a good opt in plan, whether you are an internet-based marketer or a mail-based marketer. Adding more opt-in boxes to your website wouldn't be a bad idea, just make sure it doesn't break the rules of good design.
In the case of snail mail, many big companies offer prepaid postage for replies. This would be a great idea if you could afford it.
3. Use Different Means to Build Your List - You could start with friends, and use promotional gifts ( see number 1) to get more people in your list. There are other means you could also try.
Virally generated lists are a great way to get a list of people who are not only encouraged by friends to join the list (which is a great plus relationship-wise), but people who are targeted and more likely to make a transaction with you.
You could also employ the services of professional list builders. They can help you create a list of contacts and potential customers quickly and easily. The great thing about some of these professional list builders is that the lists they have are usually targeted and painstakingly studied so that they focus around people that are most interested in products or services such as yours.
Spam is a challenge that you will have to tackles since a lot of marketing mail does not reach their intended recipients because they are filtered by the email client. One good way to avoid getting your pitch filtered out is by using a viral method of sending marketing email.
Since only trusted friends of the recipient will be sending the mail, it is most unlikely that they will be filtered out.
4. Keep You List Maintained - Make sure your list is always updated to reflect whether the entry has changed address or ISP. You should also expose your list to constant improvement and pruning, to keep your list clean and efficient.
This effort takes a lot of work but it helps assure you that your list is up-to-date, useful, and efficient.
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