by Kathleen Gage
One of the most common questions I am asked by budding entrepreneurs is, “What’s the best way to build my business and make great money?”
Hands down, building an opt in list is one of the most important things you can do. Having a great subscriber list is your ticket to impacting a great many people on a regular basis and earning the kind of income you dream of earning.
This can literally recession-proof your business. While others are struggling, you can make offers at various price points that will appeal to your subscribers.
It doesn’t matter whether your business is online or offline, having your own list of customers and prospective customers means that you can get them to visit your store, website, blog, landing page, or sales page practically on command.
This ability to drive traffic on command can keep your income steady through good times and the not-so-good times. Of course, repeat business is based on your customer’s initial experience; if it’s not a good one, they won’t be back. And they will opt out of your list.
But when someone has a great experience with you and feels their time was well invested, they will be back again and again and again.
Here are five tips regarding building an opt-in list from my own experience:
1 – Build a Solid Foundation for Your Business
A list is something you control at all times. You control when you send information to your subscribers, whether or not you continue to grow your list, what your relationship with subscribers will be, and even how often you make offers.
A quality list is a solid foundation for your business and one of your most important business assets. If you decide to sell your business, the quality of your list determines the value of your business to a potential buyer.
2 – Understand People Are More Likely to Buy from Those They Trust
It’s getting more and more difficult for new businesses to find customers. Some people simply will not buy from those they’ve never heard of and with whom they don’t have a relationship. You usually have to “pre-sell” before someone will make a purchase.
One of the main ways to do this is to offer an ethical bribe. An ethical bribe is something you give away in exchange for the person’s contact information, usually their name and email address.
People are likely to join your list because they view providing their email address as a lower risk than making a purchase. This gives you the opportunity to gain their trust and build a relationship that can lead to a sale down the road.
Another pre-sell method is a third-party endorsement from an affiliate or joint-venture partner. My point is that people have to feel very safe with those with whom they are dealing.
3 – A One-Time Customer Can Turn into a Lifetime Customer
The difference between customers who buy from you one time and those who buy from you multiple times is often the amount of communication they receive after their initial transaction. It is also a matter of how much they like and trust you. The better the communication and the more valuable the communication, the more likely they are to trust and like you.
Even if a customer had a great experience with you, you are likely to fall to the back of their mind if they don’t hear from you for a while. If they receive follow-up emails from you, it’s an entirely different matter. You’ll be on their mind and you’ll likely create a lifetime customer.
[pullquote position=”right”]Implement a system of ongoing follow-up notices to your customers. If you don’t, you’ll be out of sight and out of mind.[/pullquote] There are many other “experts” out there who are vying for your customer’s attention, and if you are not conscientious about your communication, they’ll get the customer that you once had.
4 – It’s Easier to Sell to a Previous Customer
This point goes hand in hand with the previous one. If you spend all your time chasing new customers, your profits are going to be far less than if you focus on keeping old customers happy and selling to them over and over again. If you don’t have additional products to sell to your customers, send affiliate promotions for products of value to your market.
5 – Use List-Building to Grow Your Income
When you have a list, you can get people to look at your special offers and new products whenever you’d like. All it takes is a simple email and you can literally make money with the press of a button. The key is consistency.
Got a question about building an opt in list or a tip you’d like to share? Post it in the comments below.
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.