March
25, 2020

Read 6 min

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The following excerpt comes from The Content Marketing Handbook by Robert W. Bly. Buy it now on Amazon Barnes & Noble

If you want to expand your online marketing program, you should first create a large selection of customers and potential customers (if you don't already have one).

This is because without a significant online house file (list of opt-in subscribers), the only way to reach potential customers in your niche is to rent other marketers' opt-in lists, which is hardly cost-effective: if you want to send Another message is that you have to rent the list again – and that can easily cost you hundreds of dollars per thousand names on the list.

Some marketers buy databases of prospect email addresses in their niche market. This can work if you send targeted emails on highly relevant topics. However, when you send email messages to people who haven't signed in, most of the time you're asking for problems. The CAN-SPAM law, which laid down the rules for commercial emails in 2003, does not prohibit these messages. However, people on these lists register spam complaints much more often – and buy less from you.

The best online strategy for marketers is to create their own subscriber list. This eliminates the cost of renting lists and prevents spam complaints and lower response rates that are typical of non-opt-in lists.

If you have an opt-in list that covers a significant percentage of your target market, you can communicate with your prospects and customers as often as you see fit, at minimal cost. By using a double opt-in process that requires new subscribers to verify their identity before adding them to your list, you can minimize spam complaints and bounce backs. With double opt-in, recipients subscribe to an online form. A pop-up window will appear asking you to search for a confirmation email asking you to confirm your registration. If they do not confirm, they will not be added to the list. This prevents companies from registering other people for the list without their knowledge.

Build your Elist

There are many online marketing options to build your list, including pay per click advertising, postcard marketing, banner advertising, online advertisements in other marketers' newsletters, B2B co-registration agreements, video marketing, viral marketing, and editorial mentions in specialist publications, online article marketing, affiliate marketing and social media – to name just a few.

When evaluating marketing methods for elist building, you need to weigh the cost of acquiring the new name and the value the new name has for your business.

To determine the value, divide the total annual earnings of your online subscriber list by the number of names in that list. For example, if your 20,000 online subscribers have annual sales of $ 600,000, your subscriber value will be $ 30 per name per year.

Let's say you can use Google ads to increase traffic for $ 7 per click. Can you afford that? Yes, because that means you get a new subscriber for every two clicks you buy, which is only $ 14 per subscriber – within your limit of $ 30 per new name.

Would it make more sense to base the permissible acquisition costs per new name on the lifelong customer benefit (LTCV) of online subscribers than on the average annual turnover per name? Theoretically yes. However, this is only possible if you have marketed online long enough to get reliable figures on which LTCV estimates can be based. Until then, stick to the sales per year and name as a basis.

Publish a free newsletter

The best way to create an opt-in list with and communicate with potential customers on a regular basis is to publish and distribute a free newsletter on a specific topic related to your product line and for your potential customers is of interest.

A free newsletter benefits your online marketing efforts in two important ways. First, you get a free offer – a free subscription to your newsletter – that you can use to build your list. Second, it ensures that you communicate regularly with your subscribers, build your relationship with your prospects online, while increasing the frequency of your branding messages and online marketing opportunities.

Given the astonishing number of free newsletters that compete for attention online, it is not enough to have a simple registration field on your homepage. You should offer a bribe (usually called a lead gene) to get visitors to subscribe. The best bribe is a free special report to download if you choose your list.

For example, if you sell supply chain management software and publish a newsletter called The Strategic SCM Partner, you offer a short bonus report titled 7 steps to improve supply chain management in your company as a bonus for new subscribers .

Do not increase traffic to your homepage or a standard subscription, but to a special free name squeeze page – a separate landing page that highlights this offer. We call it a "name squeeze page" because it extracts or "squeezes" new names for your list from web traffic. "Free-on-Free" means that you offer free content (the report) so that users accept your primary free offer (the subscription).

Also set up one or more mechanisms to collect the email addresses of website visitors who don't buy a product, download a demo, subscribe to your online newsletter, or take any other action that they add to your list.

For example, if you try to leave the website without having bought or registered it, a window opens in which you can enter your email address with the heading “Wait! Don't go without claiming your free special report! "

The text explains that you can get a free copy of your special report. 7 steps to improve supply chain management in your company by entering your email address and clicking Submit. If you don't proactively try to collect these email addresses, leave money on the table.

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