So you have a ‘Killer Website’ in place and are using tactics to ‘Drive Targeted Traffic’ to your website, what’s next I hear you say? The next step is building your list of subscribers by capturing of each and every prospect visiting your website. List Building in simple terms means building a database of not only your current customers but also those who have either only visited your website or have shown a bit of interest in your product or service.
‘Quality List Building’, the 3rd Pillar of Direct Response Web Marketing, is the life line for e-mail marketing and continual revenues as without a list you will not be able to market your products or service.
5 Pillars of Direct Response Web Marketing encompasses all the steps you need to take to reach your target market online, attract visitors to your Web site, encourage them to buy your products or services, and make them want to come back for more again and again.
Before you even start formulating your own list building strategy, the most important thing to remember is that matter of quality over quantity. You can find many companies offering massive lists of customers online and even on ebay literally for few pounds. I hate to disappoint you but they don’t work. You may buy thousands of e-mail addresses without actually knowing how they were acquired. The contacts might be even decades old or even dead in most cases but you will never find out. What you also don’t know is whether the list of prospects will actually be ever interested in the products and services you have to offer. What you also don’t know if the permission were taken from these prospects for their inclusion in the list and also that these addresses were not acquired by using unethical practices. The last thing you want is to be branded as a spammer. That will be the end of your online marketing journey.
List building also forms an important part of Permission Marketing which means asking your target market and Web site visitors for their permission to send them information on a regular basis. Permission marketing, if done properly, enables you to build strong, long-lasting, loyal relationships with prospects and past customers without even picking up the phone. Every communication reinforces your brand and keeps you “first in mind” with everyone who receives your communication.
Customer lifetime value (CLV), or lifetime customer value (LCV) and more commonly referred to as lifetime value (LTV) of a customer can be defined as the total amount an average customer will spend with your store over the period of time that they are your customer. An understanding your customer LTV will enable you to make informed decisions about your marketing costs, budget, and customer acquisition strategies.
Having a database of current customers that you reach out to again and again enables your business to build that relationship and optimise the LTV. It also ensures that your customer attrition is low and that using list building techniques you acquire additional customers on ongoing basis. As said earlier before the biggest use of your customer list is with e-mail marketing which is a big area in itself.
List Building adds leverage to your online marketing campaigns. Once you are in front of your target market, you want to take every opportunity to stay there and continue to communicate with them time and time again. Permission marketing helps you achieve this, but it is a game of give and take.
Website Opt-in] is a great way of building your own quality list using ways such as subscription to a newsletter, free report etc. Offering incentive or a reward for visitors to opt-in increases the conversion rate dramatically. Using Autoresponders is another great way of building list by placing a form on your site where visitors can input their information into to sign up for your list. The autoresponder will also automatically send out messages that you write to your subscribers. The autoresponder is probably the best tool ever developed for online marketers. Using landing pages or lead pages is another powerful list building tool provided it receives targeted traffic.
When you start building a new list or growing an existing one, it’s tempting to choose tactics that will grow your list as fast as possible. However, the long-term results of such a tactic are almost always negative.
List maintenance and management brings it full circle. Your list is your number one and most basic bottom level output for your promotions. It’s expensive and time consuming to gather, but forms one of the most powerful resources and profit potential you have.
It is therefore important that you keep an eye on your list, monitor statistics such as subscribers and un-subscriber rates. These stats will allow you to establish the effectiveness of your list building methods and you can also use it to trial and test different methods to see which works the best.
If you have been in the business for quite some time then it is worth considering striking out those customers with whom you have failed to establish a relationship as it will seldom result in a sale ; `sometimes also called as ‘lapsed’ customers and prospects. You should only have the active customers and prospects on your list. Some customer may have grown out of your products or services. Keeping a back up of your list is the most sensible thing to do as I am sure you wouldn’t like to lose details of your customers that have been acquired with so much of hard work. Also keep an eye on duplicate names which appear more than once in your list and get rid of them.
If you are collecting personal information such as credit card details etc then ensure that the list is maintained on secure servers to comply with data protection law and avoid any other legal issues. Any corners cut here could result in a very costly and potentially business threatening situation later on.
Finally remember that list building is a continuous process and you should be constantly seeking out ways of building and growing your list.