The Loot is in the Mailing List
Your mailing list is the backbone of your blog business.
It doesn’t matter how much useful content you have, how many page views you get per month or how many Facebook fans you’ve accumulated – none of those things amount to diddlysquat if you don’t have a mailing list of subscribers who you can market all of the good things about your blog to.
Imagine this scenario: a targeted visitor clicks on your site and has a look around. She likes what she sees (we’re assuming she’s female because the gals pip the guys by a few points when it come to Web surfers), thinks to herself that she’ll come back again sometime, and that’s likely to be the last time you ever see her. Another visitor bites the dust.
So, what does it take to engage that visitor enough that she will come back to visit, again and again and again?
You need to “cyber-seduce” her, that’s what. And the same goes for the guys.
Give her something she can’t resist and you’ve made the initial overture towards a long term customer relationship. You’re also part way towards enticing her to act on whatever it is you’d like her to do – buy your product or service, become an exclusive paid member or sign on for an email course. Whatever.
And all it takes is for her to give you her name and email address. Easy, huh?
Maybe yes, maybe no; it depends on what you are prepared to offer in return for those details she guards like the Bank of England vault.
How to Build a Hugely Successful Mailing List
Every place you go on the Web these days, they want your name and email address so you can subscribe to their newsletter. Ho hum… the “Subscribe to our exciting newsletter” has been done to death.
So you’re wasting your time and blog space with the same old-same old “Subscribe to our newsletter” box. If a visitor is going to hand over her personal details to you, then you need to acknowledge the gift she’s given you by giving her something in return.
The simplest solution is a free eBook. You don’t have to worry about mailing costs, delivery times or any of those tiresome details. Your email software (we’ll chat about that in just a sec) can automatically send your gift to the subscriber as soon as she’s completed the sign up form.
We’ll be chatting about how to create an “I gotta have it!” eBook in another article. But you’ve only got to look up at the right hand side of this page and down below to see how the system works. In a nutshell, your eBook needs to capture the attention of your visitors and contain information they genuinely want to read.
Think “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me?), a headline that screams “Read Me!”, and content that relates to your blog.
Once you have that name and email address, you have a captive audience – your mailing list. And email marketing is where you begin to make the REAL loot.
The great thing about email marketing is that you can use your mailing list for almost any marketing venture you can think of:
- If you’re about to launch your Facebook page and want heaps of fans from the get-go, then send out an email.
- Even more rewarding is letting your subscribers know about new products, latest trends, special offers or whatever is going to bring in the bucks.
- Or maybe you’re about to launch a new blog and want as many new visitors as possible. Send out a newsletter!
- And don’t forget to always add a “Tell a Friend” link in the hope your marketing efforts go viral.
Handling Your Mailing List with Ease
Start your email marketing list from Day 1 so you don’t let those one-time visitors go, never to be seen again.
And more importantly, invest in your email marketing provider even before you set up your email campaign. This is vital for a number of reasons:
- You may think you can handle your mailing list manually when you start out, and then find that down the track you have to engage an email host provider. The CanSpam rulings mean that every one of your subscribers has to opt-in to your new list, and all the research says that you’ll be lucky if you get 25% of your hard-worked-for subscribers to re-subscribe.
- Email marketing providers like aWeber (my personal recommendation) take all the hard work out of sending regular emails by providing an autoresponder service, which will send out one or one hundred emails in a pre-determined sequence with one click of a button.
- By planning your email marketing strategy in advance, you can easily offset the cost of a service like aWeber by offering special deals to your subscribers that provide a steady income stream. But remember: there’s nothing subscribers hate more than being pummeled with products every time they open your email. Limit money-making opportunities to one in every 4 or 5 emails.
And one last (and very important) point: if you’ve built up a successful, profitable blog, it can eventually become an item that others want to own. (That is, of course, if you want to sell it.) A highly prized and very valuable part of your blog is the mailing list, so the moral of the story is that the more effort you put into building your mailing list, the more you’ll see in profits, whatever you plan to do down the track.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?