All successful internet entrepreneurs agree that your email list is king. Your email list is a database of important contact information that enables your business:
- To keep in touch with your customers on a regular basis and allows you to generate direct sales without going through any third party or indirect methods
- To have control over your customers and independence from Google, Facebook or other internet companies who may change their rules at any time. Should your accounts or websites get slapped with a ban, you still have your list.
- To serve a much larger number of customers than could possibly fit in your brick and mortar store. You will have two sets of clients: online customers whom you ship products to or service online and offline customers who walk in through your front door. If you had an email list of 5000, there is no way 5000 people may fit in your tutoring class or hardware store, but you can tutor the same crowd online through video casts and e-books or ship hardware supplies across the nation to them.
So how exactly do you build an email list?
The first step is to direct all your traffic from the different sources to a squeeze page also known as an opt-in form. A squeeze page is simply a one page website whose sole aim is to collect email addresses. . An opt-in form has the same function as an opt-in page but may appear embedded within your website page in a prominent area or may appear as a pop-up box which is simply a box that pops up in front of a web page although the web page can still be seen in the background.
Whichever design you decide to use, just understand that nothing else should be found on your squeeze page-no sales offers, no article content. Your traffic simply enters a first name and perhaps a last name and their email address. They shouldn’t be able to perform any other activity that would distract them from this exercise
How do you get people to give you their name and email address?
Naturally nobody would want do that and that’s why your business needs to offer a free gift of value to entice people. This free gift should be so valuable such that your prospects will see it as a no-brainer to sign up. Of course you need to mention this free gift giveaway in all your traffic generation sources to drive them to your squeeze page.
A free gift initiates the relationship between your business and your customers. It can be in the form of a report, an e-book, a video or an audio file but it must be valuable or something that your customer would appreciate. Information that solves people’s problems is a proven strategy that works in any niche. By researching news articles, forums, blogs and popular website in your business niche, you will be able to gather a ton of information from the questions people ask and the comments they make. Use this research to create your free info-product gift.
You can also offer free physical product samples too and requiring prospects to not only give you their email address, but also their mailing address. This gives you a list of people who are more responsive to your business and you may want to target them more in your sales pitches compared to those who only provide an email address. This free product gift should also be valuable to your customers and not a way to get rid of expired or outdated stock. Put your best foot forward and see what your business can afford. Most prospects are willing to pay for shipping fees provided it’s worth it.
Once you have collected emails and sent free gifts as you promised, you can now focus on monetizing the list by sending sales offers to your list and also maintaining your relationship with them through regular communication.