List Building – 4 Steps to Generating a Massive Opt-In List
Many people consider the online field as an extension to their offline business, as a new medium, nothing more. They could not be more wrong. Online field has its own set of rules and principles which can support a complete business process without any offline component. If you want to master the online field, you need to learn the fundamentals of this game. Here are some important points you must note before starting your online business.
o Your website or your blog is your online office or store. Just like you want people to visit your physical store, you want online visitors to come and see your website. So you need to advertise and promote your site to attract people. Visitors may come and go but since you cannot see who has come, you need them to leave their name and contact details, so that you can get in touch with them. There might be many who would just see your site and go without leaving their email id. You must have systems to attract them to leave their contact details too.
o The process of capturing contact details is known as list building. You must have the opt-in form at a prominent place on your site so that it is easily visible to your visitors. In addition, you must also develop attractive lead capture pages which offer some freebie like an e-book or video to entice people to give their email id. You could also think of partnering with other relevant websites by putting your opt-in form on their site.
o If you have some advertising budget, you should consider PPC advertising using services like Google AdWords. Your ads will then be visible on all other relevant sites where a keyword match exists. You can also advertise on free classified ad sites. Get your site indexed in search engines like Yahoo and AOL. How much you spend depends on your expectation of returns and how important it is for you to increase your list.
o Servicing your list is the next priority. As soon as someone leaves his email id in your opt-in list, send him a welcome email and introduce him to your products. Then you can regularly send him updates and information that is useful. Also provide a means of opting out of your list if the prospect thinks your products are not for him. In any case, do not spam his in-box with a flurry of emails. You can automate a lot of this process using commercially available auto-responders. They can track for you who has seen your email and who has opened it and clicked the link within.
Establishing an opt-in process is probably the single most important thing to do if you want your online business to succeed.