It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freelancer, you own your own business, or manage the marketing for someone else’s – at some point you need to sell something to someone to make money. And building a marketing list should be an essential part of your sales strategy.
One wise phrase that has always struck a chord is ‘Fish where the big fish are’. Briefly explained, this means that when selling your products or services, you need to reach out to the customers who are most likely to buy, or spend the most money.
Chances are, these are people who have already expressed an interest in what you do, or who have already purchased from you or used your services in the past. And to maximise your marketing opportunities, you should gather all these people on a list* – so when you have something new to communicate or sell, you can easily and quickly reach your most promising and profitable customers.
Of course creating and building a list takes time and effort, and many people either don’t bother starting, or give up before they’ve reaped any real rewards from the process. But if you stick with it, you’ll find that a well-managed list more than repays the work you put into it, as Tech Angel Kelly Cairns reveals.
Why it’s worth investing the effort in an email list
Before I launch into the seven brilliant reasons why you should invest time and effort in an email list, I’m going to start with a warning – avoid the ‘Get 1,000 subscribers quick’ scams! As tempting as they may seem, there’s no shortcut to building a valuable list of people who genuinely need and want what you’re offering, and are prepared to pay for it.
Yes you can easily beg, borrow, steal or buy subscribers to your list, but if they’re never going to be in the market for what you’re selling, what’s the point? Much better to have 100 genuine potential customers to market to, than 10,000 disinterested strangers who will never part with money.
Seven reasons why you need an email marketing list
So, now you’re convinced it’s worth the effort building a list yourself, here are seven ways a great list will pay you back.
1) You can automatically follow up
An email list allows you to multiply your time in a way that would require a cloning machine without it! Simply set your list managing account up to automatically send out pre-prepared emails at certain points in the buying cycle, and you have a follow-up system in place that works at building sales for you twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
2) You can constantly build your business
Once you’ve set the mechanics of your list-building strategy in place, new prospects can sign up automatically around the clock – without your help or involvement – enabling you to build up your business even while you sleep.
3) You can capture visitors
You may have put a lot of effort into your website, but if you’re not ‘capturing’ visitors, you risk losing potential customers and clients who may just visit your site once and never return. If you capture their name and email address by offering a free download (for example an ebook or audio) you can keep in contact with them and build on your relationship.
4) You can stay on peoples’ minds
Most of your potential customers or clients won’t be ready to buy from you the first time they visit your site. However, through email marketing, you can stay on their minds by way of email autoresponders and broadcast messages. Then, when they are ready or in need, they’ll look back for your emails or remember your website and enquire about your services or order from you.
5) You can save time
With automated responses built into your email system, a list enables you to write one email and send it out to many at the right time – rather than composing and sharing your message one-on-one, over and over again. Not only will this save you valuable time, but it can also help to leverage your time into long-term profits.
6) You can be super human!
It’s simply not humanly possible to connect one-on-one with all your prospects and customers the way you can with an email system. And the brilliant thing is that your messages can SEEM very customised and personal, even when they are completely automated.
7) You can increase your sales
As much as an email list can save you time and make you appear super-efficient, that’s not the main objective. The key benefit of a well managed list is its potential to help you increase your sales, which it can do with a well thought out strategy and a clear idea of what your customers or clients need.
Keep focused and patient
Just like Rome, a great email list isn’t built in a day, or even a week. In reality, a list is an ongoing project that will take you months (and more) to cultivate. So don’t lose heart if you find it slow going at first.
Every marketer – even those with hundreds of thousands on their lists – started with one subscriber, then two, then ten. Yes it takes time, and yes it can be frustrating waiting for the rewards, but be patient and diligent, and you will see your efforts pay off over time.
To find out more about list-building and how to create and manage your list, visit Kelly’s website.
* There are a number of free or paid-for services that enable you to build and manage marketing lists, and send out automated and one-off emails, as well as regular newsletters, to your subscribers, including Aweber and MailChimp.Kelly Cairns