By Graham Lee
Online marketing may have developed at a much faster pace in the past few years, but many in the know, have been making money on the internet since it started. They could see from the start that the internet would be a very profitable business base and have taken advantage of that to their benefit.
As more and more internet based businesses are started, there is a need to develop new marketing skills and knowledge, to take advantage of the opportunities the internet has to offer. More and more marketing strategies are being discovered and developed to cope with the changing face of the business world.
The demand for online marketing tips and strategies have drastically grown and a new form of business has been born, internet marketing strategies. While there are companies that are all too eager to help your site and business build a clientele for a fee, there also many ways that can spread the word about your sites in a more cost free way.
One of these has been around since the internet started and has developed over time into a very effective way to generate an income. Once thought of as a nuisance, due to the amount of unwanted correspondence you would receive, it has changed to make it more acceptable. This is Opt-in email marketing, also known as permission marketing.
Opt-in marketing requires the permission of a willing customer to subscribe to your marketing materials, materials in the form of newsletters, catalogs and promotional mailings via e-mail. The more opt-in marketing mail is sent, the more chances there are to generate sales and more sales.
Of course to be able to be involved in email marketing, you must build a list of all those who want to subscribe to your opt-in marketing email list.
Your list is made up of prospects, who have seen your website and are interested to know more and also of customers who have already purchased from you and are happy to receive updates and more information. From your list, you will get targeted prospects and customers, which makes this a good list, as they have alreadyshown interest in what you have to show and sell since they have willingly signed up for your list. These are the people who have liked what they have seen in your site and have decided they want to see more and maybe even purchase what ever product or service your company and site has to offer.
Many people would think that building their lists is a difficult thing to accomplish, that it takes hard work and lots of time to build and collect names and addresses. This is not necessarily so, it takes a bit of patience and some strategies to build your list but in doing so, you open your site and your business to a whole new world of target market.
By inputting a little time and effort, you can take your business to a whole new level. If an increase in traffic and good profits are what you want, an opt-in list will do wonders for your business venture.
There are many sources and articles on the internet available for everyone to read, which describe how to build your list. Sometimes, because there are so many different ways, they may be confusing.
Different groups of people have different approaches to building an effective opt-in list, but no matter how diverse the many methods are, there are always some crucial things that you must do, if you want to build a profitable list.
Here are four of the most useful ones.
1) Your website must include a good web form to capture your visitors name and email address.
Your web form on your site should immediately follow the end of your content. Whilst you might think this is too soon to ask your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, try to remember that your homepage should provide a quick good impression. If somehow a website visitor finds something that he or she doesn’t like and turns them off, they may just forget about signing up.
A good web form for subscribing to an opt-in list is not hard to do. Just write a simple short statement about how they would like to see more and get updated about the site. Then there should be an area where they could put in their names and e-mail address. This web form will automatically save and send you the data’s inputted. As more people sign in, your list will be growing.
2) Make your home page very, very impressive.
You need to publish well written articles and descriptions of the products on your site. Depending on what your site is all about, you need to capture your website visitor’s interest as soon as possible. Make your site useful and very easy to use. Do not expect everyone to be tech savvy.
Invest in having a good structure to your site, make your graphics beautiful but don’t over do it. Don’t waste your time making the homepage too large with regard to file size (megabytes). Putting large graphics and video files into your design will make your home page large and slow to load. Not all people have dedicated T1 connections, the faster your site gets loaded, the better. Go for a look that borders between simplicity and sophisticated knowledge.
That’s not to say don’t use graphics and video, just make sure they are not so large to cause problems loading for your visitors.
3) Provide good service and products.
A customer is more likely to return to your website and to bring in more business, if they like what they see. As in any business, a satisfied customer will be more likely to recommend a business they like. Word of mouth and recommendations alone can rake in more business than an expensive ad. As your clientele grows so shall your list. With more members on the list, the more people will get to know about what you have new to offer.
4) Keep a clean and private list.
This point is probably one of the most important and can make or break the effectiveness of your list. Never lose the trust your customers have entrusted you. If you sell or give-away the details of those on your list to others and your subscribers get spammed, many will probably unsubscribe from your list.
Remember, a good reputation will drive in more traffic and subscribers as well as strengthen the loyalty of your customers.
If you have said you will not give away or sell your subscribers details, then don’t do it under any circumstances. If another marketer asks you to provide them with your list so that they can send their own offers, politely refuse, but offer to send his offer to your list yourself, for a cut of the profits. If those on your list decide to sign up to the other marketers list, it will then be their decision.
Remember that the quality of the other marketers offer is also important, after all you are providing a recommendation to your list about the quality of the offer. If the offer is not very good then again you may find some will unsubscribe from your list.
So there you have four ways to increase the effectiveness of your list building efforts. By making sure you implement these strategies, you should be able to build an effective and profitable list of prospects and customers.
About the Author
Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.
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