What is a "List" and Why Do You Need One?
If you’ve ventured into the world of business and started to investigate using the internet to help you get business, you might have been hearing about the need for a list, a “big list,” growing your list, nurturing your list, selling to you list, communicating with your list, etc.
So what exactly is a “list” and how will it help you grow your business and make money?
What is a List?
A list is your database of people you have names and some form of contact information for (usually at least their name and email address) who have given you permission to stay in contact with them and/or send them helpful information related to your topic of expertise.
Why Do I Want a List?
By having and continually adding to this list of people, you have the opportunity to not only help them with issues, interests, or needs, but to also cultivate them as clients or people who are willing to refer others to you for your product/service.
As you grow your list to a thousand or more, you are also in a better position to entice other people with big lists to work with you as joint venture partners to cross-promote and get new customers from their lists or at least add new subscribers who could eventually buy or refer.
How Do I Start a List?
You ask people if they would like you to stay in touch with them and/or provide them some valuable information related to your expertise, such as helpful advice or a “freebie,” also known as an IFO (Irresistible Free Offer).
You can ask them in person (when you are speaking to a group or you meet someone in any kind of business or social setting that allows you to share what you do and that they express interest in) or online (on your website or social media venues such as Facebook or Twitter).
Note: It’s important to always ask permission to add people to your list (NEVER EVER add someone who has not expressly told you it is okay to be contacted on a regular basis such as with a newsletter—that is SPAMMING and is not only annoying, it is ILLEGAL).
How Do I Contact My List to Send Them Things?
Although you can contact your list by phone or snail mail, the standard way when you’re just starting out is by email (which can initially be free but will eventually cost you to maintain with an automated system).
When you’re just starting off, you can send things to people manually by creating an email and sending to everyone in your address book who gave you permission to send them information. If you don’t have an email account with your website (though you really should have one of those), you can use a Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or Outlook account.
Note: If you’re sending a group email, make sure you put people’s email addresses in BCC so they are not showing to everyone who gets the email. This is a BIG NO NO! People want their email addresses kept private and you will lose people’s trust if you do this.
Once you get to about 100 people on your “list,” it’s time to move to a paid service to manage your database and your mailings. The 3 most popluar are: MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber. Rates increase as your list size grows.
I’ve looked into all 3 and have been using AWeber for years. You can have up to 500 contacts for $19/month and it has a wide variety of features, tutorials, easy to use templates, opt-in forms,tie-in capabilities to PayPal, shopping carts, social media, etc., and great customer service. You here and do a free 1-month trial for just $1. Use this link and my promocode: LISASMITH1 to find out more about them and get a 30-day trial for $1 plus 15% discount on service)
What Do I Send My List, And How Often Should I Send Things to Them?
This can be a whole other blog post, but let me summarize important points here.
You can send them your free offering (usually something you can send digitally like a checklist, report, e-book, audio, etc.) to start. This is the “enticer” you present that your ideal client would benefit from and really want to have in exchange for giving you their email address (or other contact information you might want to have).
You’ll want to have a way to stay in touch with them after that on a regular basis to keep building a relationship where they are likely to buy from you or refer others to you, so having a newsletter that they agree to receive after getting the freebie is something that you would want to set up.
Weekly or bi-weekly is best to begin with, and there should be a strategy and purpose behind every email that includes providing something of value to them and getting them to know, like, and trust you. Telling them of other offerings you provide or events you are having, as well as sharing some appropriately personal information about yourself helps to accomplish this.
Note: You must let them know that this will be part of the freebie offer, but state it as a ‘BONUS’ to getting the freebie, which will continue giving them helpful information. Also let them know that they can unsubscribe at any time (and tell them how to easily do that) and remind them of that in everything you send to them so they don’t mark you as SPAM).
1. Determine how you are going to collect and store people’s contact information and your
method for sending them the freebie and follow-up emails.
2. Determine a schedule for sending out emails/newsletter. It should be consistent in regard to
frequency, day of week, time of day.
3. Create something really juicy as a freebie to offer that helps your ideal clients solve a
pressing problem or helps save them time, energy, or money (or a combination).
4. Start telling people about your freebie and offering to send it to them if they show an interest
in it. Get their information and tell them you’ll send it to them within 48 hours (DO NOT
DELAY LONGER THAN THAT).
Do you need help finding people to talk to so you can create/grow your list, get more referrals and clients, and make more money? Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to identify what you are missing in the three keys of creating a successful business–Marketing, Mindset and Manifesting–and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach