As a matter of fact in my book Yanking Bootstraps – Bootstrap Your Business to Success, I dedicated a whole chapter to them! Many of those mistakes I’m actually glad I made due to the lessons learned. However, there a few that absolutely no good came from and I deeply regret. The mistake at the top of the heap is not focusing and growing my list from hello. I didn’t know how to build a list and I didn’t know how crucial it was. Then, when I did find out – I put it on the bottom of my priorities. This costed me a lot of money. Building a list is something that takes a ton of time, you don’t just snap your fingers and have one. That’s why delaying it – is literally delaying profits. I’m not lonely in this regret, virtually every entrepreneur I’ve ever worked with shares it with me.
How to Build a List – The Money Left on the Table
Your list is the core of profitability in your business. You need to have a list of customers that have already done business with you and a list of prospective customers that at some point, given the right circumstances, will buy from you. A Golden Rule of Selling: Selling is about timing – your customer’s timing – not yours. We never know when that time is going to be. That’s why we should always be in front of prospective customers, reminding them of what we can do for them once the time is right.
A Golden Rule of Selling: Selling is about timing – your customer’s timing – not yours. We never know when that time is going to be. That’s why we should always be in front of prospective customers, reminding them of what we can do for them once the time is right.
When I start working with a business one of the first steps is securing the customers/clients they already have. I’ve been involved in projects whereas the business was several years old and they never kept a good record of their list. It’s very tedious, time-consuming, and sometimes painful to have to go back through everything and build their list. So do it now! I will also tell you if you’re one of those that have waited so long that the work it will take is too hard – every customer that I put through this exercise created revenue from the endeavor. It’s worth the pain. Also, let’s face it, business can be a little tough these days, can you really afford to leave revenue on the table just because you don’t want to face the task?
How to Build a List – Retail – Shiny Bauble Business
If you sell handbags, shoes, jewelry or anything like that – I refer to those businesses as a shiny bauble business. You have more of a wow-factor going for you when it comes to marketing. If you have a brick and mortar or even an Internet-based business, you’ll get tremendous value with email marketing which is why it’s crucial to stay on top of your list building. Make sure you’re constantly growing it. There should be a place on your website that’s one of the first things a visitor sees that says “join our email list for special offers” or something to that effect. Every time someone buys from you or just comes to browse, you need to get their email address. It’s a great idea to make sure that you make special offers that are for your email list only. This not only creates an incentive for someone to sign up for your list but it also creates a sense of urgency to buy. If used correctly, a great email marketing strategy WILL bring traffic and revenue to your store. I personally guarantee it! If you’re not doing this – you’re literally passing up revenue.
How to Build a List – Retail – Business to Consumer
In this scenario you’re targeting the consumer but your business may be more of a need purchase instead of a want. I have a client that owns a handyman business so we’ll use them in this example. Once they do business with someone they should stay in touch because there will always be more repairs that need to be done to their home. Thing is, as I pointed out we don’t know when that time will be. So they have to constantly stay in touch with their list so when they do need their service – they’re top of mind.
How to Build a List – Business to Business
In this scenario your business model will greatly determine the strategy you’ll use to get someone to sign up for your list. Your business model will also determine how you’ll use email marketing. For a B to B business you may not necessarily have the advantage of offering a sale of the day – but that’s okay because you have another objective. You’re building a pipeline. You should be generating great content that serves as solutions to your target market’s problems. In addition you should create an incentive to get your ideal clients to sign up for your list. Perhaps a free EBook for example?
When you send out email marketing to your target list you’re able to generate tracking reports. These reports tell you who opened your newsletter and how many times. This report of proven engagement is a great tool for prospecting.
Next week’s Marketing Pie will be about Email Marketing and how to use it strategically to grow your business.