One of the main principles I often teach and do is building an email list. Email lists are often underestimated because we as individuals feel like maybe we get too much email. As a result, we don’t want to send emails because we fear we will SPAM people and nobody wants to do that.
But when done correctly an email list can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal. We’re going to cover the basics of an email list and how to get one setup for your business without ever spamming a single soul.
You need an email list from the very beginning and I will explain why. I hope you really understand and feel this inside of your soul. It is important for your business as air is important to your survival. And please understand that the money is in the list is a metaphor.
The metaphor is that whatever you need in this world, you need help attaining. Collecting a list of people that support you, people that are interested in you, and people that want to learn more and even people that don’t always agree with you is essential to your success.
Thus, the success of your endeavor hinges on how well you build your list and how well you build a relationship with each person in the list.
Money is in The List
From here on now, we’re going to call the email list “The List”. It has been said many times before that:
“The Money is In The List”
What does it mean? Allow me to explain with a short story about customer retention and customer acquisition. Yawn… I know, but bare with me. You’ll be glad you did.
Keep Your Customers Happy
I once worked at a company in the late 90’s and early 2000s and while I was there, they launched an internal marketing campaign that indicated how much it cost to acquire a new customer.
Banners were hanging around the entire office. Different faces represented different customers and each banner had a different motivational message. Each one addressed a different problem.
The campaign was aimed at improving customer retention rates. It is much much less expensive to keep a customer happy than it is to find a new customer. This is true no matter where you do business and what your business is all about.
But it is especially important to keep online customers happy because online customers are savvy. They know they can find your competitor quite quickly if you make them upset, or worse if you forget about them.
The banners had a price at the bottom, can you guess what the price was and what it represented?
Acquiring a Customer is Expensive
The cost was in the mid 9000’s something like 9,500 (for the sake of the story), I don’t remember the exact figure but I distinctly remember it was almost 10,000 dollars!
How much does it cost you to acquire a customer? The number hopefully is lower for you, since this was a multimillion dollar tech company serving equally massive companies. But even still, you should know how much your customer acquisition cost is.
Then if you do things right you’ll realize that whatever that customer acquisition cost is, staying in touch with your customer after they buy from you is a mere fraction of the original expense.
An email list is the easiest way to start building a strong customer retention and trust as soon as your business is up and running. When I launch websites, I don’t allow my clients to open up their virtual doors without an email list in place.
This is how important I believe the list is. Send them regular email messages containing an amazing amount of value and this will return to you in spades.
This is why the money is in the list.
Not in marketing your products, not in buying more Facebook ads. All those other things will help eventually but you must have a list. You must get a list started now if you haven’t yet.
By the way, it would be good if you watched this video I recorded of marketing legend Marlon Sanders telling us how he’s the one that coined the term, or/and made it famous back in the day. You’ll also learn a bit more about lists and why they’re so important:
Mindshare is Money
The second reason, not least important than the first is that a list will help you convert a lead into a customer.
There are usually only a handful of objections someone can present when they want to buy something but they don’t. Visitors and would be customers will say that they: 1) don’t have money, 2) don’t need it right now, 3) it isn’t right for them, 4) do not trust the brand. This also applies for any action that you want your visitors to take, not just purchases.
And will you believe me when I tell you that an email list alleviates the lack of business because of all four of those objections?
When a would be customer or lead is visiting your website, you want them to take action. Buy a product, download a document, sign up for a service, something. The ultimate goal of a website is to have the visitors take action.
One of the ways to do this is to get the lead to give you their name and email. You can present this request in many different ways, and over time we’ll cover those.
The most basic way is for you to offer something for free in exchange for the name and email address. Perhaps you can offer a free PDF book about your industry that will help them solve a problem. Maybe you want to offer a free evaluation of their business. Sometimes a free demo is a good choice. The options can be endless.
In order to address each one of those four objections, you simply need to address the objections with your email auto responder sequence.
The most basic objection is that they don’t yet know your brand or your products so they simply want to know more and want to stay in touch with you. This is easy, you add a basic name and email sign-up box on your sidebar of your website and invite the visitors to join your newsletter.
You can use the built-in tools that Aweber provides to get this done. You’ll create an Aweber sign up box and then you’ll take the code and place it into a text widget on your WordPress website.
You may also use Gravity Forms, or Optin Monster to show a much more sophisticated and customized version of the form, but will serve the same purpose.
Once they requested to join the newsletter they have given you permission to send them information and that’s how you establish trust.
From here, you can use the auto responder feature from Aweber to send a different email every day or every couple of days to stay in touch with your subscribers.
In order to address the four objections I outlined, you’ll build email messages into your auto responder and each message should answer one of their objections. At the same time, the messages should inspire trust and demonstrate your expertise in the subject.
- Don’t have money. Offer a trial, offer a discount code, prove how their investment will pay for itself. Are there contests where the visitor may win free access to the product? Are you willing to exchange a written feature for a product? Find a creative way of removing this as an obstacle.
- Don’t need it right now. No problem, stay in touch and send them promotional offers from time to time. Create a survey, or other ways of learning more about the customer and when it might be the right time to buy so you can give them an irresistible offer at that point.
- It isn’t right for them. This is important to know and to accomplish this, you may send your subscribers information about the benefits that they might have overlooked. Ask them for feedback and ways they think the product could be improved to fit their needs.
- Do not trust the brand. This one is just a matter of time. Offer value in all your newsletters, offer ways to solve a problem one email at a time and always keep the communication lines open. Try different things, ask for them to contact you via email, try Skype, maybe invite them to like your Facebook page from time to time. But always always always provide value before asking for anything.
This is why I say that mindshare is money. The more value you give your customers or would be customers the more they will be thinking about you. And the more they think about you the more they will know you and think about you when they are ready to buy or need to a recommendation for their friends.
The more they think about you the more you become a part of their life and eventually a trusted brand. Just don’t forget that trust is hard to earn and easy to burn.
After reading my blogpost, would you agree that you need an email list sooner than later? I hope so. Next I’ll cover some tutorials to get you started.
You’ll need to to have 2 things to follow along this tutorial. First a website, and Second an email list service provider. So the cost is minimum to start with this. If you’re really in a super tight pinch you can get away with just the email list.
This is optional but almost required:
- A domain email address, like your own domain and not just a free (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) account. When you send auto-responder emails from a service like Aweber or any other email service like it, you really need to have a professional email address. It will help you minimize bounce backs, undeliverable and will reduce the complaints and spam level of your email campaigns. Trust me, been doing this for a while, get a domain email address.
- Email list basics – Not all email lists are created equal.
- Creating your account. (not ready, get notified when it is!)
- Creating Your First List. (not ready, get notified when it is!)
- Creating Your first sign up box. (not ready, get notified when it is!)
- Adding auto-responder email messages. (not ready, get notified when it is!)
- Adding your sign up box to your website. (not ready, get notified when it is!)
- Connecting your Blog to your Email Newsletter. (not ready, get notified when it is!)
- Introduction to Automation Rules. (not ready, get notified when it is!)