One of the biggest mistakes small and local businesses make is not putting enough emphasis on list building. Their websites are nothing more than glorified business cards.
Regardless of what you sell, you should always be collecting information and building a list. Unfortunately, the days of "Sign Up For Updates" or "Join Our Mailing List" are practically over. The web has grown and matured and visitors are ever so careful who they give their e-mail address to these days. You must sell "free" just as hard as you sell your paid products and services.
With that said, how do you start building a list?
First, you need some type of list management solution. I personally use Infusionsoft to build and manage my list. You simply create a new web form, choose the fields you want to display (usually first name and e-mail), and out pops html code you can copy and paste to your website or e-mail to your webmaster to do it for you. That's the easy part.
Next, you'll need to think about what you'll offer in exchange for the visitor's name and e-mail address. A free report, video series, newsletter, or upcoming webinar/teleseminar are all viable options. Some will argue since video is so commonplace now (as opposed to a decade ago) that there's no better way to convey your message, build rapport, and satisfy the multi-sensoral desires and attention spans of your audience. They could be right. I personally use a series of 4 videos at Hearandplay.com. But I've also used a newsletter. I use free reports as well. Webinars too. The point is: Start with one but this isn't a zero sum game. Use as many lead capturing offers and devices as possible!
As far as content is concerned, people are motivated by pain and pleasure... but more so pain. That's not to say you shouldn't use positive-based topics. For example, here at AutomationClinic.com, my free report is entitled: "How To Harness The Power Of Automation To Make More While Working Less." However, many marketers find success with topics like: "7 Dangers To Avoid The Next Time You See A Dentist," "5 Mistakes To Avoid When Picking Your Next Contractor," "10 Myths About Doing Your Own Taxes," and similar.
"How To Harness The Power Of Automation To Make More While Working Less."
However, many marketers find success with topics like:
"7 Dangers To Avoid The Next Time You See A Dentist,"
"5 Mistakes To Avoid When Picking Your Next Contractor,"
"10 Myths About Doing Your Own Taxes," and similar.
Next, you'll want to keep stats on your "opt-in rate." This is the number of people giving you their name and e-mail over the total number of visitors to your site or page. If you've received 300 visits and 30 new opt-ins, your conversion rate is 10%. I've had pages as high as 40% and as low as 7% but around the 20% mark is a good average opt-in rate to reach for. You can use tracking tools like [contentblock id=23 img=html.png] to constantly tweak and track the effects of your changes.
All in all, your list of prospects and customers will be one of your most valuable assets. And sadly, when most people leave your website, chances are they'll never return. Doing all you can to capture their attention and entice them to give you their information will have long term effects on your sales and bottom line (as it doesn't cost nearly as much to communicate with existing subscribers as it does to constantly be attracting new visitors).
Until next time.
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