With more marketers who’ve traditionally relied on Pay Per Click, Social MEdia and Search Engine Optmization jumping on the listbuilding bandwagon, trying to start up a newsletter and get readers and visitors to opt-in to a mailing list, it’s a positive, yet at the same time negative trend for the industry.
The benefits of a list are easy to see, zero acquisition cost and the ability to build an ongoing relationship with your list members.
Treat them right and a healthy list will generate a comfortable income for you.
Conservative estimates put the value of a list at $1 per list member per month.
In simple terms, each member is worth $1 per month or $12 a year. Multiply that by the number of members in your list, with some list owners having lists of upwards of 100,000 members and you get the idea of the potential and lucrative possibility of having a great list.
The relationship building element is where a number of marketers can experience pitfalls however.
I recently joined a self-improvement giveaway with a few hundred products to be given away free.
So I opted in to a mailing list and was sent to the download page.
This is when the problems began…
To receive each product, I needed to opt-in to that particular author’s mailing list.
With the giveaway touting itself to give away more than a hundred “gifts”, this potentially meant having to opt in to more than 100 mailing lists, just to get a free MP3 recording or PDF report.
After the 2nd opt-in, I gave up. So much for that “giveaway”.
Here is why I think the opt-in failed:
Failure to follow the “Pay It Forward” concept: Have you eaten at a restaurant where you are asked to pay before the food arrives? It happens in fast food restaurants, but I think you will be taken aback at a 5 star restaurant which asks for your credit card before you’re even shown to your seat. Likewise, if you ask for an email even before you’ve shown your product, it’s the online equivalent of the restaurant example.
Overestimating Your Brand power: Depending on your preferences, you will likely follow a leader or role model in your market, it might be someone like Warren Buffett for stock investing, Donald Trump for real estate, or Gene Simmons if you’re looking to start a music business. If one of my role models had an offer, I’d probably give up my name and email address to get the report. If Joe Blow “guru” asked for it, the trust and credibility is nowhere near what I’d expect.
Misconception that Quantity Trumps Quality: Again, the unsophisticated will have the idea that “more is better”. Does getting more food at a buffet mean that you will have better quality food? Not really. Handmade Swiss watches are limited in quantity because there’s no way a human craftsman can compete with a machine punching out 100 watches per hour. Likewise, getting 200 reports will likely not be as beneficial as getting one quality product. If there’s 1 takeaway from list building, it’s always to deliver quality, quality and quality.
So what’s the solution, having deconstructed, destroyed and annhilated the giveaway campaign, what’s a good mechanism to build a list?
I’d suggest having a simple download page to give away your product. If you feel so include, you can include an opt-in box to provide updates and revisions to website visitors who’re interested.
Further, and this is the important step, include at the end of your report, an option to opt-in to your list. Chances are that someone who has made it to the end of your report and takes the effort to opt-in to your list, will be more qualified and more positive than someone who had been forced to opt-in to your list in order to get your report of unknown quality.
For more emailing and list building tips, take a look at “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin.
For a quality autoresponder service, check out Aweber.
Also check out Friday Podcast with Aweber’s Education Marketing Manager Justin Premick “Email Marketing Tips“.
I was looking at MyBlogLog product manager Ian Kennedy’s post on the recently launched MyBlogLog API.
[also contains video and links to the tech specs of the API].
One feature of the API is that it is “the only API that I know of that allows you to look-up a personâ€™s identifier across social networks”
Does that mean a spam marketer using the MBL API can scrape all your social network IDs and populate your twitter streams, MyBlogLog message feed, and spam comment on your Flickr photos and blogs?
If the process can be automated, or the captchas can be overcome fairly easily (I’ve heard of a number of programmers who’ve been able to optimize OCR algorithmns on even massively distorted captchas…)
So if the spam barrage hits you on your web 2.0 accounts,
That would be pretty terrible, unless there’s a verification process involved in authenticating the ID of the person initiating the search…
So let’s keep our fingers crossed that enough safeguard are put into place, so that email “mass marketing” doesn’t become “web 2.0 mass marketing”….
For most marketers out there, autoresponder services like Aweber are a blackbox…most people will have a vague notion that email autoresponders are accessed via your web browser, you get some HTML code and place an opt-in form on your website or blog, people submit their name and email address, it appears in the autoresponder database, and you send them email, and sales comes flooding in…simple right?
Oh and they help negotiate with ISPs to ensure your email is delivered, and rotate IPs on their email servers, so it doesn’t get tagged as a “bad” IP.
Actually there’s much more than that, and Aweber’s education marketing manager Justin Premick gave an insiders view of the inner workings of Aweber.
More importantly, we discussed:
The relationship marketing principles involved in maintaining a successful email marketing list
Companies which are already successfully using email in their marketing efforts
Resources to help you bring your email campaigns to the next level
Tips for affiliate marketers incorporating email into their existing PPC and SEO campaigns
And we also unearthed a tip which could help you massively increase your results from promoting CPA affiliate offers…
During the recent Affiliate Summit West, I met Justin Premick who’s Education Marketing Manager at email marketing solutions company Aweber.
I think I’m doing more than 90% of the affiliates out there when it comes to incorporating email marketing as part of my SEO-based marketing campaigns, but some of the tips that Justin shared with me during the few minutes we talked before the Blue Man Group performance at the Affiliate Bash at Tao gave me a couple of ideas to test out in my campaign.
So I was looking forward to chatting with Justin when he agreed to come on as a guest on this week’s Friday Podcast. Some of the ideas and behind-the-scene stuff that goes on at your autoresponder operator will surprise you, and I uncovered some killer tips to use autoresponders to enhance conversions in your affiliate AND CPA marketing campaigns.
It was definitely worth waking up at 3am this morning (3pm EST Tuesday) to chat with Justin and the interview will be posted this Friday.
If you aren’t already using email marketing in conjunction with a PPC or SEO marketing campaign, you could be leaving quite a bit of cash on the table…
Here’re some tips which will help you get started:
Content is and should be packaged differently across multiple platforms
Seems obvious, but you need to tailor your content to suit the medium you’re publishing the content on.
On a website you have the benefit of space and the ability to use multimedia generously (audio, video, graphics), while in the context of email marketing, people are used to seeing bite-sized chunks of info.
So unless it’s very compelling, it’s generally not a good idea to send out a 5-page email. Even if it does get read, you can expect to see a dropoff if you consistently send out long emails.
This was one of the major points during our discussion – email marketing is very much “relationship marketing” which plays by a different set of rules when compared to pricing/bidding strategies of PPC or the search engine algorithmn trustrank/pagerank strategies of SEO.
“Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin is a great primer. To check out 4 free chapters, visit Seth’s blog.