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Monday, 22 November 2010

The importance of the List

Ask anyone who has been successful at internet marketing and they will all say the power is in the list. This is not any old list but a specific list of people who have expressed enough interest in your area of expertise to allow themselves to be added to your list of subscribers.

So why is this list so important. Well to start with this list will represent interested people in a particular subject otherwise they would not have handed over their email information. Every internet marketer is searching for prospects and people who show an interest in what the internet marketer is promoting, These are your potential buyers. Buyers equals profit and ultimately without any reward for your efforts the whole activity of promotion on the internet becomes pointless.

It is possible and viable to have a successful internet marketing business without list building. However, if you realize that in order to make that first sale your prospect is likely to have had a least four to five contacts with your website you can see how much work is involved without a list.

Unfortunately, most people when surfing for information quickly forget about the brief visit they have made to your website. They may think it worthy of a book mark and if so you often find yourself buried under lots of other bookmarks. The easy answer to these problems, is in most gurus’ opinion, is to build a relationship via email.

After all, look at how difficult it is to build up a volume of visitors to your website. Search engine optimization, pay per click, advertising on relevant websites and all the other plethora of methods have gotten this potential buyer to your website. If they are not given some incentive to let you have a closer relationship after this one visit then you need to have their email details to form one.

Some internet marketers are so convinced of the importance of the list that they will not allow entry to their main website without obtaining an email address first. Of course, they always offer a good incentive for the information in the form of a relevant e-book, video or software to sweeten the request for the email address. These internet marketers have come to the conclusion that if someone is not prepared to provide an email address for free relevant information to their search then they are unlikely at a later stage to part with their credit card details. Thus the act of obtaining an email address acts as a first filter weeding out those who would probably never buy anything on offer.

Some suggest that free mini-series of instruction is a viable way to start the relationship and obviously this does have the benefit of putting the prospective client into an anticipatory frame of mind. Instead of being irritated by a daily succession of emails from the internet marketer the prospect is looking forward to the communications. That is assuming that the information is relevant and valuable to the prospect.

So email marketing is all about relationship building and gradually moving the prospect toward the process of actually buying something. Assuming you have built a list of more than a hundred prospects you would not feasibly expect to be able to manage a schedule of sending out emails on a daily or weekly basis to your list. For the first problem would be one of logistics. If prospect A signs up on Monday they receive the first email on Monday and subsequent emails on following Mondays if on a weekly schedule. Prospect B to D sign up on Tuesday and prospects F to H sign up on Wednesday. If you tried to run your campaign on a manual basis it would eventually become totally unmanageable.

Fortunately there is an answer in the form of a software solution called an auto responder. With such a device you can set up email campaigns to suit different prospects. Once someone initially joins the list they would go on to a specific campaign. If during the course of this campaign they decide to buy you will then switch them to a different campaign. Many internet marketers start by offering a free course followed by a introductory course with a fairly low entry price. This can then be followed up with a further campaign which offers the prospect a more advanced course and a much high price.

By building a relationship with the list it is possible to sell much more expensive items because you are trusted. Like most things in life people buy from people they know and trust. That is why big companies are so protective of their branding. We tend to buy from trusted sources and from recommendation and this is why list building is considered a most important part of the internet marketer's arsenal.

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