How to Build Your Own Permission-Based Email List

Building your very own list of subscribers will always reap more rewards than renting a list as the quality of the list will be better. Although there are some very reputable sources to rent a list from, you can’t always be guaranteed how fresh the list is or how responsive. Not to mention that building your list yourself, although it might take longer, will be much more affordable for you in the long run if your marketing budget is on the small side. So, how do you build your own permission-based email list? There are a couple of ways you can go about it.

Create a Newsletter

One of the best ways to start building your list is to create and distribute a company newsletter. You’ve seen these newsletters before I’m sure, you may even be receiving a few every month in your own inbox. Have a sign-up form prominently displayed on your homepage or in your blog’s sidebar area, and make it very clear what you’re offering in your newsletter. What kind of information will you be providing? People need a compelling reason to give their email address and sign up, so give it to them.

Give Away Value For Free

To get the most opt-ins to your list, it’s a good idea to give high value away and make the offer as attractive as you possibly can. For instance, offering to send a free catalog would be an incentive for people to sign up. Offering a free ebook that will help someone solve a problem they might have would also be very attractive. And offering something like a free trial for something such as software is even more attractive. Many newcomers to list-building get squeamish when I tell them they have to give something away for free. But you cannot underestimate the value of creating a list of people who want to hear from you and want you to send them your offers. Give away value upfront and you will get an amazing return on that investment.

Build Trust

Once your list starts growing, the next step is to build a relationship with your readers. Do not immediately start sending offer after offer. Would you like that? Your initial emails to them should build trust. Continue to give them value. Continue to help them in some way. If you build a trusting relationship first, you’ll find your offers convert much easier down the road. Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways of getting your offers in front of a highly targeted group of people. If you haven’t started building a list already, now’s the time.

9 Powerful Subject Line Starters

Novelists have shared the horror they feel when they sit down to a blank screen or sheet of paper (do writers even use paper anymore?). You may have experienced this same horror when you’ve sat down to write your email campaigns. Writing the subject line alone can cause some people to curl up into the fetal position and whimper. And who can blame them; the subject line is THE MOST IMPORTANT element in your entire email campaign. Get the subject line wrong and you can pretty much kiss all of your efforts goodbye. The thing is, though, once you learn how to write them, subject lines become easy. So, in an effort to make you life easier, I present 9 of the most powerful subject line starters.
  • How to…
  • The truth about…
  • Learn the Secrets…
  • Strategies for…
  • 3 Ways to avoid… (negative consequence)
  • 5 Steps to…
  • Top 10… (a bit overdone these days, but still effective)
  • 10-Minute…
  • Tips for…
Simply fill in the blanks with your own information and you will create subject lines worth clicking on.]]>

The Basics to Tracking Phone Leads

Ask the Question Here’s why. They sit down and they have a meeting. At that meeting, it’s decided, every time a phone call comes in, let’s ask how they found out about us. It’s a good step. Unfortunately, people forget to ask. In addition, customers don’t accurately report this information. We have seen this before time and time again, as we’ve worked with a client and the phone calls that came in were actually tracked for training purposes. And we were able to listen to some of the inbound calls from customers. Even though on some occasions, the client’s staff would ask, “How did you hear about us?” the overwhelming number of calls that came in didn’t know. They would say, “The Internet.” They would say, “Google.” They would say, “On your website.” Well, that’s all well and good, except on the website, they were looking at a promotional website. The client’s offer may have been promoted on multiple websites. So pretty soon you start to get into asking your prospect, before the conversation even begins, several probing questions about how they found out about you, and the customer starts to get irritated. They’re calling to ask you questions. They don’t want to be processed six ways from Sunday.

Prospecting for Gold

You asking them, “Okay, and what did the ad look like? And what page was it on? And what was the domain name of the website where you found us?” That can all happen automatically by using tracking numbers. When I first started in this business, I thought tracking numbers were some big huge deal that I had to go to the phone company for, and sign a very long agreement, and then lease these phone numbers. That’s no longer the case. There are several companies on the Internet – I’ll list five here – that will actually, within minutes, have you up and running with one or more phone numbers that provide tracking for your advertising offers. One of them is called phone.com. It’s fantastic. We use them. It’s very scalable. They have a great back end that allows you to secure numbers, create voicemail boxes or simply reroute the calls. They’ll even transcribe messages left on different lines, and send them to you as an email or a text. They’ll record the messages left. Or they will forward the phone calls to the appropriate line that you want tracked. All of this at the end of the day provides fantastic reporting.]]>

Getting Web Visitors to Take Action – One Simple Technique

Simplicity. For example, the site has a button on every page that says, “Click here to contact a sales representative.” “Click here for any questions you may have.” “Click here to set up an appointment with one of our skilled technicians.” I found over the years that if there is something you want your audience to do when they arrive on your website, ask for them to do it everywhere. I don’t mean that literally. What I do mean is, we can’t assume that they are going to peruse the entire website and finally at the point where they’ve made the decision to contact you, or reach the end of the page of some enlightening information, that they are then going to take action.

Ask for Action!!!!

So prompting them is key, and you can do that by developing a nice graphic that is carried site wide, on the footer of pages and at the end of articles, at the bottom of product pages, to the right or to the left throughout the site, so that when they click on that one link that they’ve seen several times with the same message, it funnels all those people back to a place where they can take your most desired action. You have to decide what that action is, of course. If it’s an appointment, you can send them to a form where they can fill out an appointment request or a sales person contact, or request additional materials, or information that then requires them to enter their details, so they can be followed up on. But, it can really be as simple as just asking for the lead and asking often. So many people forget to do that. Delivering the same message on that link helps the customer to focus on one simple action that seems easy to do. Requesting an action that is simple and offers a desirable result to your audience improves leads and inquiries.]]>

4 Strategies for Better Subject Lines

The Promise Your subject line must promise the reader information that they need NOW. Anything vague here in the way of what you have to offer the reader will be detrimental to your results. Make a promise that will positively impact their lives. Just be sure you can back this promise up.

Capture You Reader’s Interest

Any form of writing, whether it’s a novel or a short subject line, requires a creative imagination. Tap into yours and write subject lines that immediately capture the reader’s interest. You might use humor or suspense or take a current news item and turn it on its head. The more interest you capture, the more clicks you’ll get.

Offer a Solution to a Problem

I don’t know about you, but when I have a problem and I meet someone who has the solution, I stop and listen. Some of the most powerful email subject lines ever written were the ones that offered a real solution to the reader’s problem.

A Strong Call to Action

Sometimes people actually need to be told what to do. In marketing, this is what’s known as the “Call to Action.” Phrases like “Watch this…” “Read this…” “Find Out…” and “Learn how…” are some examples of how you might shape your call to action to get your reader to take specific action – in this case – opening the email to read on further. Seems so simple but it can have powerful results for your campaign. Remember to avoid anything gimmicky in your subject lines and always remember your subscriber is a real person. Offer them real help and valuable information in a creative way, and you will be on the path to email marketing success!]]>

The Most Important Marketing Question You'll Ever Answer…

Data vs. Leads? Now if you were to buy a list of 10,000 names, these are people who have never heard about you and have never flagged themselves as being interested in your offering. And you may be able to close some of them or to make them an offer where they then respond and become a lead. But data isn’t leads. Leads and data are two different things. Leads and advertising are two different things. So we look at leads as being a more refined potential prospect that has taken some action to indicate an elevated level of interest in what you’re offering. There are two ways in which I typically generate leads, fundamental strategies that I use. The first is I find out what people who are in certain buying modes are looking for. Oftentimes they may be looking for what you’re offering actively. If you sell a product that helps people improve their business profitability, there’s going to be a variety of searches associated with that.

Information Sells

Another way we typically get in people’s stream of consciousness or get in touch with people at the appropriate time is when they’re researching a problem. It’s very common. Somebody starts researching because they have a problem. Now if you have a solution to that problem, one of your key strategies should be to create content that better defines the problem, gives them good, honest tips if they choose to address it themselves, but position yourself as an expert should they decide they want somebody local to help them. The key is, they want somebody to help them. And the type of content that you can offer needs to be informational in nature. Everything from white papers to videos that you can create using your phone or a small camera or a flip cam, and put them on the Internet, on YouTube, and them embed them in your website. There’s a huge variety of things that you can do offering up as information.]]>

A Compelling Email Subject Line Checklist

The Promise Your subject line must promise the reader information that they need NOW. Anything vague here in the way of what you have to offer the reader will be detrimental to your results. Make a promise that will positively impact their lives. Just be sure you can back this promise up.

Capture You Reader’s Interest

Any form of writing, whether it’s a novel or a short subject line, requires a creative imagination. Tap into yours and write subject lines that immediately capture the reader’s interest. You might use humor or suspense or take a current news item and turn it on its head. The more interest you capture, the more clicks you’ll get.

Offer a Solution to a Problem

I don’t know about you, but when I have a problem and I meet someone who has the solution, I stop and listen. Some of the most powerful email subject lines ever written were the ones that offered a real solution to the reader’s problem.

A Strong Call to Action

Sometimes people actually need to be told what to do. In marketing, this is what’s known as the “Call to Action.” Phrases like “Watch this…” “Read this…” “Find Out…” and “Learn how…” are some examples of how you might shape your call to action to get your reader to take specific action – in this case – opening the email to read on further. Seems so simple but it can have powerful results for your campaign. Remember to avoid anything gimmicky in your subject lines and always remember your subscriber is a real person. Offer them real help and valuable information in a creative way, and you will be on the path to email marketing success!]]>