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Five Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 1]

Five Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 1]

email marketing ideasFive Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 1]

Introduction

The money is in the list. It is the ‘Mantra’ of the IM crowd and to hear them speak it is dead easy.

But if you’ve ever tried to build a profitable mailing list, you know it’s a whole lot easier said than done. Just look around, and you’ll see plenty of other marketers who might be able to get some decent subscriber numbers, but they can’t seem to turn these subscribers into money in the bank.

If you’re having the same sort of troubles, then you’re going to love this article.

That’s because you’re about to discover 5 steps to building profitable mailing L.I.S.T.S. Here’s what you’re about to learn:

• Secret 1: Learn About Your Market
• Secret 2: Instill a Sense of Belonging
• Secret 3: Sell Without Fear or Apology
• Secret 4: Track and Test
• Secret 5: Segment Your Lists

By the time we are done, you’ll know how to create a more responsive list and get more opens, more click-throughs and more sales than ever before.

Let’s jump in…

===> Secret 1: Learn All You Can So You Truly Know Your Market

Imagine for a moment if you built a list of people who were World Cup Rugby fanatics. But then you send off emails promoting quilting patterns and cupcake recipes.

How well do you think you’d do?

Yeah, that’s right – you’d probably get a whole bunch of people unsubscribing. Most folks would stop reading your emails since the recipes and quilting topics don’t interest them. It would be a miracle if you received even one sale.

Don’t laugh.

People do utterly stupid stuff almost as silly as this all the time.

And yet to a lesser degree you might be making this mistake right now. That is, you might be sending out content and ads without truly understanding who your market is and what they want.

Let me give you a more common example, one that I’ve seen on several occasions…

Every now and again I receive emails from internet marketers that start out with “Hey, Dude.” [My God, I HATE this!]

Tell you what, the marketer who does this going to exclude a whole lot of people from his list, including:

• Women.
• Men over 30-ish.
• Professionals of any age who don’t like the informality of “dude.”

You know what?

“Hey, Dude” might be an okay greeting if your list is comprised of young men age 16-24 who like to surf or skateboard. But when you’re sending out this sort of greeting to a supposedly ‘professional’ list of business owners, you’re just driving down the response rate of your lists.

Why Does This Matter to You?

Because if you seriously intend to build a responsive list, then you better discover as much as you possibly can about your market.

Things You Need to Discover:

– – Gender.
– – Age.
– – How they process information [Visual, Kinesthetic, Auditory]
– – Where they live.
– – Their education level.
– – Books they read.
– – Technology they use.
– – Where they hang out online.
– – How much money they make.
– – What sort of jargon they use.
– – Their jobs/career/business.
– – What they like to do in their free time.
– – What their problems are.
– – What frustrates them.
– – What makes them afraid.
– – What motivates them.
– – What sort of products they’ve tried to use to solve their problems.
– – What sort of products and services they’re already buying.
– – What they ate for breakfast this morning. 🙂

SIDEBAR: Okay, maybe you don’t have to figure out what they ate for breakfast, but you get the idea here. 🙂

Once you know these things, you’ll be able to send out content that really ‘resonates’ with your subscribers and speaks directly to them.

And you’ll be able to send out promotions for products that they’re fairly certain to buy.

So how do you figure out all this stuff about your market?

First off, you can survey your market to learn more about their needs, wants and problems. But just know that surveys can return skewed results. That’s because what people say and what they do can be two different things.

Secondly, you can learn a lot about your market by rolling up your sleeves and doing some market research. Simply visit popular marketplaces like Amazon.com and Clickbank.com, search for your keywords (such as “car restoration” or “bodybuilding”), and find out what your market is already buying.

Once you know what they’re already buying, then you can do three really simple things:

1. Give them content on these topics.
2. Share affiliate links promoting the products they’re already buying.
3. Create your own similar products.

And finally…

In order to really get inside your prospects’ heads, you need to spend some time with them. Best way to do this (whenever possible) is to become part of the target market for a while.

For example, if your target market consists of hydroponic gardeners, then you ought to start your own hydroponic garden so that you truly understand your market’s needs, frustrations and wants.

What’s more, you need to get in amongst your target market and really spend some time listening to them (or reading their conversations). That’s right, you can start eavesdropping on your market. Here are good places to do it:

• Niche forums.
• Facebook groups.
• Discussions on niche-relevant Facebook Pages.
• Discussions on blogs.
• Comments on niche-relevant videos on YouTube.com.
• Reviews of popular products on sites like Amazon.com.
• Questions and answers on sites like Quora.com.

The more time you spend learning about what your market wants and needs, the easier it will be for you to connect with your subscribers. You’ll create better content, send better offers, and start making more sales.

[Continued in Part Two]

Five Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 2]

Five Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 2]

facilitate CommunityFive Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 2]

Secret 2: INSTILLING a Sense of Community

Your mailing list is basically a monologue, right?

There you are sending out stuff for people read it, and that’s it.

Rinse and repeat every week. [Boring]

But here’s the thing…

People need to know, like and trust you in order to do business with you.

And while sending out your weekly ‘monologue’ does help build familiarity and trust over time, it’s definitely not the fastest way to do it.

And it’s hardly what you call a two-way conversation is it?

Besides, there is a much better, smarter and way more effective way.

You need to be constantly interacting with your list whenever possible – creating a sense of belonging. Humans are social creatures, after all.

==> News Flash: It is NOT 2007 Anymore!<==

Social media has changed everything.

People don’t want to just ‘read’ your newsletter anymore.

They want to “like” stuff.

They want to comment on it and [shock horror] discuss it with you.

And if it touches their heart and emotions, they want to share it with their friends.

And most importantly of all…they want to feel like they’re a part of something special.

STOP! Read that last sentence again! It is the most important lesson is this entire series!

That’s why you would have to be totally bonkers not to give people these experiences.

Here’s the amazing thing: there’s a powerful psychological trigger at play here.

This wanting to belong to a group may actually be hardwired into your subscribers’ DNA.

You see, back in tribal times you really couldn’t survive if they were alone.

You had to belong to a group if you wanted to thrive.

You had to fit in.

If you were shunned from the group, you either had a very hard life… or more likely, you were killed by a rival group, wild animals or even by starvation and illness.

It’s pretty clear that in today’s times your prospects aren’t going to starve to death or get killed if they’re not part of a group.

Logically people know they’ll be okay on their own.

But the brain still rewards people for belonging to a group (and makes them feel uncomfortable when they’re alone).

THAT’S why people long deep within them to experience this sense of belonging.

So what you need to do is foster this sense of belonging.

Here’s how to encourage this feeling, which will help you build a relationship with your subscribers and increase their responsiveness…

1. Create a Cool Name

There’s a one-eyed, blind dog online with a Facebook fan page.

The owners of the page refer to him as a pirate, and they call all his fans part of the “Pirate Crew.”

It’s a simple name, and yet the fans readily (and happily) refer to themselves as part of the “Crew.” It gives them a sense of belonging and camaraderie. That’s a good thing.

Here’s another example with which you’re likely familiar: people who like Star Trek are commonly referred to as “Trekkies.” This fosters belonging and helps them identify one another.

Still one more example: Oprah Winfrey has a TV program and web page called “Super Soul Sunday.” When she addresses the group on social media, she refers to them as “Super Soulers.” It’s a way for Oprah to make each and every reader feel like they’re a part of this special group.

TIP: Need more examples? Just look at any sports team and how fans feel like they’re part of the team, and how these fans even take on the team’s name, logo and colors.

So you get the point here – find a cool name for your group.

Sure, sometimes your group members will come up with their own name for themselves. However, that usually takes a while. It’s much better if you figure out a good name upfront and refer to your group members with that name right away. Just be sure it’s a name with which your members will enjoy being linked to.

2. Link to Your Social Media Channels

Your subscribers will have a hard time feeling like they’re part of a group if they never get to interact with the group. That’s why you should set up a Facebook group. Then be sure to link to your Facebook group from every newsletter, as well as encouraging your Facebook tribe to sign up for your mailing list.

TIP: The bonus of setting up a Facebook group is that it gives you another means of communication with your prospects. Facebook is a viral medium, so your existing fans and subscribers can help you find new fans and subscribers.

You might even specifically encourage interaction, such as asking “What do you think?” at the end of a newsletter article. Then drop a link to Facebook and encourage people to post their thoughts in your group.

3. Post Newsletters On Your Blog

Another way to encourage interaction is to post all (or at least some) of your newsletters on your blog. Then you can enable blog comments, and encourage your newsletter subscribers to tell you what they think.

TIP: if you want to reserve the best content for your newsletter list, then password protect your newsletter content when you post it on your blog. This will make your newsletter subscribers feel special since they have the password. It will also make your visitors who haven’t yet subscribed to your list curious – so they’ll want to subscribe just to see what kinds of posts you’re hiding under lock and key!

One nice bonus of directing people to your blog is that they’ll see your other content, promos and calls to action. The more you can get people visiting your blog, the more sales you’re likely to generate.

4. Create a Private Facebook Group

Here’s the ultra way to make people feel special: give them access to a private group. NOTE: We have just done that with our UpVotes Group.

NOTICE: Want More Traffic? and Quality Content? Join this group today!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/upvotesgroup/

One way to do this is to set up a “closed” group on Facebook. That’s where people can find it by searching Facebook, but they can’t see the content unless they join.

And they can’t join until a moderator or admin officially approves them.

TIP: Another way to set up a private group is by setting up a forum and making one of the sub-forums private.

If you want to create a forum, check this out:

http://www.websitetoolbox.com/forum-hosting/index.html

You can get started for just $10 a month!

Either way…

The idea here is to send your newsletter subscribers to the private group so they can talk about your newsletter.

Naturally, they can talk about anything else they’d like as well. But the key is to make people feel special since they’re a part of this “secret” and exclusive group. They’re part of your “tribe” or inner circle.

TIP: You can make the group membership a bonus of joining your newsletter list.

That means you’ll get more subscribers joining your list, plus the feeling of belonging will help you build good relationships with your subscribers (which in turns boosts responsiveness).

[Continued in Part 3]

Five Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 3]

Five Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 3]

sell high ticket servicesFive Steps to Building Profitable Mailing L.I.S.T.S. [Part 3]

Secret 3: Start Selling Without Fear or Apology…

Please don’t be offended but… almost every list owner I have ever met is somewhat mentally unbalanced in that they do one of two things.

First, you have the marketers who blast their list with one blatant ‘sales pitch’ after another.

These guys send shameless promos to their lists 7 days a week, sometimes even twice a day [and 5 times on their birthday].

You can spot them a mile off because their lists are almost joined at the hip to an in-bred cyber-cousin called ‘A Gazillion One-Time-Offers’

And you know what?

As much as I hate to admit it, that might work if your readers know it’s coming.

Or if you are into hype.

Or if you get a kick out of messing with people’s minds.

It’s all about setting the right expectations upfront.

NOTE: I have to say though, that it definitely wouldn’t work on me. Not in a blue fit! I’d be hitting the ‘Unsubscribe’ button faster than a bat out of hell.

Then you have the list builders who’re afraid to sell anything to anyone, especially in the beginning.

They know that they should “build relationships” and “nurture” their list, but they take that to mean they shouldn’t promote anything for the first few weeks or even months.

Building relationships and nurturing a list are good ideas. However, not promoting paid products isn’t a good idea. Let me tell you why…

Imagine for a moment that you have a list for people who need to fix their marketing, and one of the solutions you have is a $2,000 Marketing Makeover Consultation’ you tell your readers: You need this! And you list several compelling reasons why.

But you don’t tell your list about this $2,000 consultation right away, because you heard you should “nurture” your list by providing free solutions.

So you spend months on end telling your list about all sorts of other marketing solutions they can use for free.

But… you KNOW these free solutions aren’t anywhere nears as good as that $2,000 Consultation, but you’re trying to “nurture” your list.

So what do you think happens?

FACT: Your subscribers are going to wander off in a matter of days and find someone who can solve their problems!

ANOTHER FACT: The ‘Glorious Reality’ is that your subscribers seriously don’t care if you’re promoting free solutions or paid solutions: they just want to hear and see the BEST solutions from you.

And if you’re withholding that information just because the thing that is going to solve their problem is a paid solution, then you’re actually doing your readers a massive disservice.

IMAGINE… if there was a virus that caused every single one of a person’s teeth to fall out – but left them with terrible toothache in the one tooth that remained…but you didn’t tell your virus-riddled subscribers about it because the solution cost money.

You’d have to be an absolute scumbag to withhold that sort of information from someone who was suffering, right?

= = >Then quit withholding solutions from your subscribers!

Okay, so maybe your subscribers aren’t about to have all their teeth fall out [but their problems are still important to them].

So make a quality decision to always, always ALWAYS give them the very best solutions possible, even if those are paid solutions.

In short: Sell without fear or apology – because anything less is disservice to your subscribers.

So let me share with you some tips for boosting your sales…

1. Grab Your Readers Attention With Compelling Subject Lines

It doesn’t do much good to pour your heart and soul into providing solutions if no one is opening your emails.

Sure, once you develop a relationship with your subscribers, they’ll open your emails because they recognize your name and they associate it with high-quality content.

Until that point comes, however, they’re going to make a decision about opening your emails based almost solely on the strength of your subject lines. And that’s why you need to work on creating compelling subject lines that capture attention.

Generally, these are benefit-driven headlines which arouse curiosity (whenever possible or applicable).

For example:

– – Here’s the #1 secret for getting coaching clients…

– – Who else wants to double their conversion rate? (See inside…)

– – Does this free bad breath solution really work?

One word of warning, however. Don’t create non-relevant subject lines, even if they’re super compelling.

You can fool your readers… ONCE. But if they open your email to find that the subject line has nothing to do with the content inside, you won’t fool them again.

They’ll think you are a total jerk and simply stop opening your emails. (And that means no sales for you.)

Next you have to make sure that you…

2. Touch Your Readers Emotions!

People make the buying decision based on emotion, which is why you need to engage readers on an emotional level.

But even if you’re not selling anything, it’s a good idea to engage your reader’s emotions.

That’s because engaging readers ensures they read your entire email, plus it makes the content more memorable.

Here’s the best way to do this…

Start engaging your readers on an emotional level is by sharing stories. For example, you can tell a story of how someone who is very much like your readers overcame the same problem as your readers have.

Sharing this type of story demonstrates to readers that you understand the problem, and you understand their pain. It also reminds readers of their pain (AKA it “agitates” the problem).

It can be beneficial to remind readers of their pain if you’re offering the solution. It’s like you’re saying, “I know this problem is frustrating – now here’s how to get rid of it for good.” You can then share advice or even a product to help them lessen the pain of their problem.

Which brings us to the last tip…

3. Don’t Expect Your Subscribers to Be Mind Readers – Provide ‘Specific’ Calls to Action!

Before you write a single word of your email, think about your goal for this particular email.

Then and ONLY then, create a call to action at the end of the email that supports this goal.

A call to action is where you specifically tell people what you want them to do next. For example:

= = > Click here to claim your copy of this exciting new report – but hurry, this special offer ends tonight!

= = > Click here to join the Facebook Group – you’ll be glad you did!

You can make your call to action even more powerful by giving readers a good reason to click now.

You see, the problem is that if people don’t take action now, then they’ll forget to do it later.

Life gets in the way. Your readers have to go to work, they have to take care of the kids, or maybe they just want to go fishing. The second their eyes leave their screens, your email will become a fading memory.

So create a call to action, and then create a sense of urgency. The first example above does exactly that with the last part (“…but hurry, this special offer ends tonight.”). Whenever possible, create urgency with:

= = > A limited-time offer. (“Ends tonight.”)

= = > A limited-quantity offer. (“This offer good for the next 100 people who act now.”)

= = > A reminder of what will happen if they don’t take action. (E.G., “If you do nothing, your house will soon be over-ridden with fleas. They’ll be in your carpets, on your furniture, and even in your bed. Click here to get rid of them for good.”)

So, the bottom line for this secret is that you need to learn to sell without fear or apology. Remember, it’s all about helping people, which means that withholding solutions is a disservice to your readers. So never be afraid to help, even if that means recommending paid products.

But remember to be balanced.

Because to go to extremes either way will plant you firmly in the mentally imbalanced state of most email marketers.

Question: What can YOU sell to YOUR list today?

Online vs offline marketing – which is best?

Online vs offline marketing – which is best?

Since ancient times when mankind first discovered that you could make money on the internet, the battle has raged as to whether it’s better to do your marketing online or offline. After all, email is free to send, right? Google or FaceBook can send you thousands of prospects a day at no cost. And people are so much more used to doing stuff on the internet, gathering information, buying products, even looking for local services.

Yeah, I know, you’re already thinking “Do Both”…but should you?

I recently sent a mailing to local businesses in my city offering a free report, aiming to get copywriting clients. Got the list, slapped up a 2 page sales letter, stuck their newspaper ad at the top and let fly. From a tiny list of just over 100, got 4 responses, and the marketing funnel is swinging into action. Those of you who have been around for a while will realize that’s a good result, for a blind mailing.

If I’d sent them all an email, you think I might have had a spam complaint or two? Probably. But even from the interested parties, I wouldn’t expect much of a response from 100 names. In fact, I never prospect via email, not just because of spam laws, but because of the positioning and the clutter.

The positioning aspect is a valuable lesson. Any bozo can sit down and send out an email. But if you’re prepared to invest in postage, paper and ink, time and effort, it really stands out. This leads right into the other aspect…

There Is Far Less Clutter In The Mailbox Outside Their House

Sure, there’s the odd mailer from an insurance company, the local real estate folks, various catalogs, etc. But there is hardly anything worth mentioning here, let alone proper direct response pieces.

It’s true that people sort their mail over the bin. But where I live, it only takes a minute to dump the catalogs, minus the one I might have a quick look at later. Bills, go in a pile to open later. Personal mail? Never get any. I get emails and FaceBook messages and phone calls from family and friends.

So If I Get A Personal-Looking Letter…It Sticks Out Like A Sore Thumb

Online, well, everybody and their dog is online. And believe me, if they’re on your email list, they’re on everyone else’s list as well. A sales letter in the hand is worth two in the bush (the internet) and they’re much more likely to at least flick through it, if the headline doesn’t immediately get them reading. On a web page, if the headline doesn’t work it’s magic, they won’t even scroll down to see how much it is.

The Best Direct Mail Piece I Ever Saw

A few months back I got a letter from a well known charity. It was unstamped, unaddressed, just looked like an envelope some kid had grabbed and written a note on the back. I still haven’t figured out how they got that font to look so much like a child’s pencil handwriting. Inside was a letter asking for a donation. But the envelope is one of my favorite swipe file pieces. I am going to swipe that one for sure.

But I’ve always found it difficult to get on to offline mailing lists. The problem is persistence – most companies, big or small, have all the stamina of an 89 year old arthritis patient, when it comes to mailings. Even some people who start out with really good direct response mailings eventually give up the ghost.

Of course most mailings companies do are just a crappy flyer or brochure, they’re looking to save costs. What they don’t know and probably never will is that direct mail can give you a huge bang for your buck.

See, I love to get things in my hands, sit down and read them. Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but I find this much more comfy than reading something on a computer screen. If I wasn’t addicted to the delete key due to typing faster than I should, I would be writing this on a good old fashioned typewriter. Seriously.

I Have The Answer To The Offline Vs Online Argument

It’s a 2 part answer. Firstly, assuming you realize you should be using ALL media to get customers, not just one or two, try integrating both medias. To generate leads, send out a postcard, driving people to register online for a webinar. This works. Put your URL in your display ads, sales letters, business cards, on coffee cups, on bumper stickers, everywhere.

You can also coax your online leads into the offline world. I haven’t found a consistently effective way to get online visitors to call a toll free number, but from your existing list, offer them some free gift if they will give you their offline details. Instead of uploading a video, offer to send it to their home or office for free. If they spend any kind of decent money with you, send them a welcome pack or gift in the mail. How many websites do that?

I would walk naked over hot coals wearing a beard of bees for a good offline lead. Come to think of it, it’s time to create another mailing for my offline list. See ya next time.

me copyBrian Cassingena is Australia’s #1 Copywriting Strategy Expert, direct response copywriter and digital nomad. He runs Cassingena Copy, the 14 Day eBook Factory and other businesses while traveling the world.

Which is a Better Lead Magnet: a Free Report or Free Video?

Which is a Better Lead Magnet: a Free Report or Free Video?

FaceBook is the land of mis-information – and unless you’re in Chris’s Marketing Secrets FaceBook group, you can’t be sure that what you’re reading has any bearing on real life at all. There is some good stuff amongst all the propaganda and hidden agendas, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

I saw an interesting post in someone else’s group, talking about Free Reports vs Videos as lead magnets, free stuff to get people to opt in to your mailing list. And it wasn’t a question, it wasn’t market research on what the members use, it was a statement.

And that’s fine, all ‘guru’ marketing is done this way, right?

So the guru in question was talking about how he or she no longer does free PDF reports anymore, they just put their info into a video and have that as the lead magnet. So the landing page promises a free video the prospect can watch in exchange for their email address.

And pretty soon the post generated some fairly heated conversation. Some members argued that making a 5 minute video was cutting corners compared to preparing a PDF report, other shouted Hallelujah and are probably rejigging their whole marketing funnel.

Who’s right and who’s wrong?

I can tell you right now – they’re both right!

Here’s a problem that you may have slowly realized is prevalent in the ‘guru’ business – all their advice is based on opinion. Or the flavor of the month. Or whatever cool technology has just come out that they want to be seen to be an ‘early adopter’ of.

At least that last point has some validity, the problem with listening to advice is that you have no way of knowing whether it’s based in fact or on opinion.

The best way around this? I’m afraid it’s the least popular answer of all. It’s the answer the gurus don’t want to give, because it reduces their power over you. (They think.) And it’s the only answer that gives you the power to finally be in control of your own destiny in business.

The answer is: test, test, test!

If you’re driving traffic to a landing page, don’t just switch over to another system just because someone told you to. Even if they are a ‘guru’. Test.

Drive half your traffic to a landing page offering a PDF report, and half to a page offering a video. Put the same info in each magnet, put the same benefits on each landing page, and that’s it. People will opt in for both. One will outperform the other. When you have a winner – refine it by testing other elements.

Next: Go a step further and don’t just measure each page’s optin rates – measure what happens after that. Perhaps one type of optin might go on to be a better customer, spend more, stay for longer than the other. You’ll never know if you never test.

There’s only one reason why you wouldn’t go and put this in place right now:

Technology.

But it’s not a reason at all – it’s an excuse. The technology is one of the easiest obstacles to get around, even if you barely know how to switch on a computer. There are people out there on sites like upwork.com that you can outsource all this stuff to at relatively cheap rates. You can even hire local high school students for many tasks if you prefer.

If you use WordPress, there are plugins available to make it easy for you to do it yourself. And I’m pretty sure CRMs like Infusionsoft can track all of this stuff as well, the only thing standing in your way is the belief, the opinion, that it’s all too hard.

It’s belief and opinion that causes people to go out and categorically state that one marketing method is better than another. Sure, a quick 5 minute video is easy to make and you can get that up in minutes. But, on the other hand, you can have an outsourcer put together a report in hours.

It’s such a small difference in reality, the video vs PDF debate. Whether you’re a ‘reader’ or you prefer videos, doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the numbers – how many people hand over their email address, and how many people become customers later on?

Don’t be convinced to change what you’re doing based on a FaceBook post, it’s just another bright shiny object. If you want to change, test different methods and compare the results without the influence of any guru opinions. Then, stop playing guru-follower and make the decisions that you need to make in order to grow your business. There are no short-cuts or magic tricks, just testing.

me copyBrian Cassingena is Australia’s #1 Copywriting Strategy Expert, direct response copywriter and digital nomad. He runs Cassingena Copy, the 14 Day eBook Factory and other businesses while traveling the world.

Top 10 Reasons to Start An Internet Newsletter

Top 10 Reasons to Start An Internet Newsletter

start an internet newsletterSomething you will hear Internet Marketers say over and over again is “The Money is in the List!”
In reality, this is only half true.

The real truth is that the money is in the relationship of trust and respect that you invest the quality time and effort to build, earn and deserve with your list.

If you are serious about building a list that makes you money, please be sure to bookmark this site.

Because every week I will be sharing new tips, ideas and insights to help you build a list that creates a financial corral around you and your loved-ones that is virtually bullet-proof.

  1. Establish yourself as a trusted expert. People search online for information and will look to you, as a subject matter expert, to provide it to them. Every week (or whatever schedule works) provides an opportunity to build on this, while reinforcing your brand.
  2. Build a relationship with the people on your list. It’s common knowledge that people like to buy from people they like. By using ezines to connect with readers in their homes, you can develop a relationship of familiarity and trust. Be sure to share a little about yourself or your company in every issue, whether it is an anecdote, event, or employee spotlight.
  3. Keep in touch with prospects and clients. Consideration should be given to eventually developing two ezines: one for prospects and one for clients, as each require different information. This is a great way to notify your readers of weekly specials or upcoming product launches, offer new articles or customer stories, and provide links (or urls) to updated FAQs, blogs and splash pages.
  4. Drive traffic to your website or blog. As noted in #3, remember to call attention to new blog posts or other changes to your website with links directly to those pages. Remind readers of your online newsletter archives. Promote special sales (maybe with discount coupon codes only for subscribers) with a link to the sales page. Use links to turn your ezines and newsletters into ‘silent salespersons’– driving traffic to your website and building your lists around the clock.
  5. Build content on your website. Make a habit to adding your ezines and newsletters to your website in an archive area. This serves a several important purposes:
    • Visitors can read an issue or two to determine if your ezine will be of interest to them, which could help to increase sign-ups and potential sales.
    • If you optimize your article placements, you will not only make your website ‘meatier’, but you’ll also bring new traffic from the search engines.
  6. Get feedback from your readers. Make it easy for you to stay in touch with prospects and customers and vice versa. Ask them to take action and comment on your articles and offers. Conduct polls and surveys. Start a ‘Letters to the Editor’ column in your ezine. Feedback allows you to fine tune your messages, target your marketing, and expand your product line. It’s also great for relationship building!
  7. Develop an information product. If you deliver your newsletter once a week and include two articles, at the end of a year you’ll have 104 well-researched articles in your portfolio! Pick the best-of-the-best and turn them into a bonus ebook for opting-in to your list, submit to download sites to build your list, or sell in PDF-format!
  8. Grow your mailing list. Let your ezine subscribers work for you. Be sure to remind your readers that it’s okay to forward your newsletter to anyone they’d like. In addition, it’s important to include sign-up instructions for those who received your ezine from viral marketing methods. A simple line titled, ‘Get Your Own Copy of XXXXXX’, with a link to your squeeze or opt-in page is all it takes!
  9. Gather demographic data. By offering surveys, feedback forms, and niche reports, you’ll be able to get valuable information about your prospects and customers. Learn what makes your readers tick, how to better serve them, and how to give them what they want. Make sure they become repeat customers!
  10. Save money! All of the above benefits of publishing an ezine are free or almost free. The small investment of a top-rated ezine publishing system is nothing compared to the cost of brochures, business cards, advertising, direct mail, pay-per-click or other means of promotion. Not only that, but someone has to manage that production! Because your newsletter is delivered online, you can grow your list to be as large as you want without worrying about the expense. Bottom line − it’s proven that email marketing is the most cost-effective marketing solution for companies just like yours! 

 

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