BWMagic’s Internet Marketing News!
o List Building – Is It Really That Important?
Except for the whole concept of Internet Marketing, no issue
has taken up more of my time and interest than list building.
Since the very beginning, list building has been one of those
subjects that I am constantly coming back to and redefining.
So much so, that it seems to have taken on a life of its own.
At first, I didn’t really understand list building and why it
was so important. So you put out a newsletter and you built up
a list of contacts or subscribers that give you permission to
email them – big deal!
People can actually make money doing this?
That was my main question at the time, I just didn’t understand
how someone could actually make money from sending emails to a list
of contacts? And at first, I didn’t make any sales from my list,
no matter how attractive the products I was pitching.
In the beginning, I made a crucial mistake, one that many
beginning list builders often make, I didn’t realize it is
not getting subscribers which is important; but rather it’s
the whole process of building meaningful relationships with
those contacts that’s the crucial factor.
It’s a lesson I am still learning.
You have to build a connection with your subscribers, you
have to build some kind of meaningful relationship with
someone who is basically a total stranger. You have to first
convince them you’re someone worth listening to so you have
to try and build/have credibility in the eyes of your reader.
Traditionally credibility has two key components: trustworthiness
and expertise. You must use these two things to build a relationship
with your subscribers. Show your readers tangible examples or
successes from your online marketing or sites… if you have
achieved top 10 rankings in Google – show them. Showing
recommendations and testimonials from ordinary people who
have used your site or products is very effective. Video
testimonials are even more effective.
Only when you build that relationship and credibility will you
truly see why list building is so important. Unfortunately,
building that relationship is often the most difficult part
of list building.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t get anywhere with building my list
of contacts until my main site started ranking high in Google and
the other search engines. Which is only logical, someone searching
for information in Google and your site pops up, it is a simple way
of building instant credibility in the eyes of the surfer. Well, up
to a point, your content has to be of high quality and further capture
your potential subscriber’s attention.
Then you must follow-up with informative emails or information which
that subscriber is truly searching for.
Your subscribers are looking for information – first and foremost.
They are not looking for a sales pitch and if you keep trying to
constantly sell to your subscribers – they won’t be on your list
Put the emphasis on giving helpful quality information first and do
any selling as an afterthought.
Let’s take one of my actual examples of how this list building technique
works so effectively for me. One section of my site deals with laptops
and computers. Visitors can sign-up to my laptop guide to find out more
about business laptops, student laptops… and so on. Just informative
information on laptop computers… included in those mailings I give links
to some pages containing online laptop deals, coupons and offers from
major computer makers such as HP, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo… where
consumers can get $100 – $300 or more off their laptop purchases if they
use these online links or coupons.
Those are my most lucrative lists that I have and they have really
shown me why building lists are so important. They can be a simple way
of gathering prospective customers for your own products or for the
affiliate products you’re promoting.
List building is a very effective way of increasing your sales numbers.
Moreover, since I mainly do affiliate marketing, I have surprisingly
learned another somewhat hidden aspect of list building that I knew
nothing about when I first started marketing online.
It has everything to do with the simple “cookie!”
With most affiliate programs when you send a customer to them, these
customers are “cookied” with your affiliate IDs. If that customer makes
a sale in the following days, you get credit and a commission. Now these
cookies can have different lengths – any where from a few days up to a
lifetime – however, most are around 30 to 90 days.
Basically, what this means is that you’re building a whole list of
customers cookied with your affiliate IDs. I realize the power of this
a few years back when my main site went down for over a week – but I
was still making daily sales, I couldn’t figure out where these sales
were coming from until I checked and found it had to do with these
cookied customers who had clicked on my affiliate links weeks, even
This has proven to be such an effective selling technique, I do
certain things to take full advantage of cookies. First, I usually only
join affiliate programs that have 90 day cookies or more, some even
have lifetime cookies. Second, I make sure I cookie my list by sending
them to my affiliate links… this can be done with free videos, ebooks,
informative articles that the affiliate programs supply to you for your
marketing. In the case of my laptop newsletter a direct link to special
online coupons and discounts will cookie these potential customers with
my affiliate IDs.
In the Internet Marketing field, a common marketing tactic is to
produce a valuable report or video which affiliates can use to “cookie”
their customers. That’s why you will often be bombarded with these
offers if an important marketer is launching a major product – everyone
is trying to cookie any potential customers out there. That’s one of
the reasons, Internet Marketing has a handful of heavy hitters who
usually make all the sales… they reach those customers first because
they have enormous lists in the millions. The larger the list numbers,
the larger the number of cookied customers, the more sales they make.
And it is also another reason why list building is very important,
sometimes it is just a matter of working the numbers. If you have
lists with hundreds of thousands of subscribers… there will always
be a certain percentage who will buy ANY product.
But don’t get fooled by the numbers… you can have very small
numbers and still make plenty of sales. If you have a list of
proven buyers who always buy from you then a small list can be
just as important. If you have built up a solid relationship with
these buyers and they totally trust you, then you can sell to them
time and time again, because they know your recommended products are
worth buying. Moreover, they will recommend their friends and your
list building can take on a life of its own.
These are just a few examples of list building and there thousands
of ways to use lists in your marketing. I just hope the information
covered here has convinced you the importance of building your own lists.
How effective they can be in promoting and selling your site or product
to your potential customers. Most of all, I hope you never ever
underestimate how powerful list building can be to your online marketing.
The money is certainly in your lists.
For more information on building your own lists try here: