List building is a necessary part of growing your online business.
It is permission-based marketing. In exchange for a valuable niche-related freebie, the people who sign up for your list give you permission to email them, and every sign-up that means that more people are voluntarily joining a pool of others who have expressed interest in what you offered them, and are okay with getting more information about your niche from you.
Having a robust mailing list –that’s a list of pre-approved voluntary customers, without whom your business would not thrive — means you have a key asset for online business. Having a list means you have a group of people already primed to be interested in what you have to say, and what you have to sell. The people on your list signed up for what you gave them, and for what you can give them in the future. They’re your voluntary army of readers and prospects.
The importance of this ‘army’ cannot be emphasized enough: When you take the effort to grow your mailing list, you grow an pool of casual supporters. Sure, it’s quite probable that not all of them will buy products from you immediately, or truly become ravings fans straight out of the gate, but over time, the effort you make to build trust and strong relationships will help you build a community of supporters, customers, and fans.
Why is it important to start and keep building your list?
A healthy email list greatly extends your reach. It’s that simple, and that vital.
Say your website is your main platform, like a virtual podium of sorts. You use your podium to spread your message, or, to be more honest, like carefully creating the ‘window-display’ you use in your ‘store’, to attract visitors inside.
Your email list is like visitors inviting themselves and turning themselves into qualified pre-customers. They signed up. They volunteered their own information because they wanted to know more (get your freebie and the information it contains) and by their actions expressed a specific interest in what you can offer them.
This is the point of offering freebies to grow your mailing list– it’s like the demos at food courts, you get a free taste, which helps you decide if you want more, or pass. They took the first step and took you up on your offer of good information (the ‘free taste’) in exchange for their email address. And once that’s done, you can start the process of establishing connections that can convert ‘free-testers’ to actual paying customers with a carefully planned series of follow-up emails, which are best set up with auto-responders.
You build authority.
The email ‘enlistment’ is only the first step. The members of you list signed up for this is proof of their interest, and so their in-boxes are open for you to send them information. They are waiting for your content to elaborate on what you can offer them, and how their circumstances could be bettered by using your service or products. This is your change to establish yourself as an expert in their eyes.
In that context, you already position yourself as an authority figure, and by building up their confidence in you by well-crafted messages and offers, you strengthen that position.
You can leverage interest.
It’s a basic part of the sales funnel process — email marketing is still part of your marketing. It’s meant to make sales, after all, and not just send messages, right?
So, from a pool of casual supporters, you can make further filters by means of segmentation, and get different groups of people, from numerous smaller value ‘fish’ (readers who open your emails but rarely click on embedded links), to serious customers (readers who clicked on the links and made an actual purchase) to the rarer high-value customers (ex. repeat purchasers).
You can increase value by going into partnerships.
In your email email subscriptions we’d hazard a guess that you already know of the joint venture crowd: entrepreneurs who go into partnerships and promote each other’s products. By promoting their partner’s products to their own emails lists, each partner gets additional subscriptions in exchange for specialized niche information like free reports, or value-packed bundles, or even short-running promotions. They leverage the strength of their partner’s list for their own.
You can build relationships, trust, and loyalty.
Email was the first true harbinger of groundbreaking changes in communication in our time. The new speed of communication changed the way we live, and how we talked to one another. One important aspect affected was how we build customer connections. Emails are still the primary tool for marketing, promotion, and feedback solicitation.
Email is still the most widely used form of business communication. It works much better in keeping in touch with customers, in the same way people who want to talk to you may not visit you in person a lot (or in the online context, visit your website daily) but you can bet they check email each day. What follows is only some of the information you need to measure your email effectiveness.
What are the important numbers to know?
Open rate – this is the number of opens divided by the number of leads delivered. When the recipient opens the email at least once, it counts as one ‘open’, and this rate shows that the recipient has shown interest in your email.
Click describes the number of recipients who opened at least one link in the email (this action counts as one ‘click). The click rate is the total number of clicks divided by the number of emails delivered. The click-to-open is the total number of clicks per subscriber divided by the total number of opens.
Unsubscribe rate – this is the number of recipients who click on the unsubscribe link and successfully follow-through in opting out of your email list
Deliverability – the deliverability rate measures the number of successful delivers (no bounced emails) into recipient inboxes against the total number of total emails sent
List-building is the foundation of email marketing, which is turn is the basis for customer acquisition, lead capture, customer retention, branding, and even loyalty programs. Email marketing is, simply put, one of the most effective means to stay connected to your customers and promote your business.
While you can emphasize click-through rates as an important indicator for email performance, you should know of the other measures that need to be assessed as part of strengthening your email strategy. These factors are also dependent on your end game, as they will differ. For example, when you aim for customer acquisition, say, or cumbersome retention.
There are a few of the best practices for email in which you use people’s habits of checking their email daily to ensure you keep the connection open, while at the same time keeping within your goals of building strong relationships with your customers.
Present relevant information – Don’t waste your reader’s time with content that won’t help them.
Keep testing – “How Split-testing Helps Your Marketing Campaigns” can help you out here, as well as “Top 7 Tips For Split-testing.”
Don’t forget video as an option – “Using Video As A Business Tool “
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