For many online businesses the most valuable asset they have is their mailing list. This is the list of people who have signed up to receive a product, newsletter or gift and who have indicated that they are happy to receive regular correspondence from you in the future. These are your hot prospects from whom your core revenues should flow.
Here is a quick checklist of things you should think about when building, using and maintaining your list:
Sign-up to Your List
- Think about how you will use the list
- Make sure you have an opt-in box. It’s the law
- When collecting the data do not restrict the way you can use the data by what you say e.g. if you say ‘sign-up for a monthly newsletter’ you can only send a monthly newsletter. If you say ‘sign up to regularly receive tips and offers’ you can send emails as frequently as you want
- Give your visitors a good reason to hand over their personal information – give value to get value
- Give away a free ebook, discount voucher, video or anything else with a low cost to you and a high perceived value to your prospect
- Make it easy for visitors to sign up – ask for the minimum information you need, which is usually name and email address. The more information you ask for, the fewer sign-ups you will get
- Have a refer a friend option – there is no better time to ask people for referrals than at the point when they have just signed up for your list
Sending to Your List
- When you send emails always remind the recipient that they have given you their permission to correspond with them
- Think very carefully about the subject line; it will determine how many of your emails are opened
- Make sure every message you send is relevant and valuable to the recipient. Always ask yourself “How will this information help my audience?” Will it make them money, save them money, make them healthier, or thinner, or wiser?
- Make sure you give enough information in the email to give readers value, but don’t give away all the information. Link to your website for the full story
- Use humor . . . but carefully!
- Develop a consistent voice and personality for all correspondence
- Don’t send too many emails
- Don’t send too few emails
Maintaining Your List
- Reward loyalty
- Stay legal – you must allow people to unsubscribe (but always ask them why they are leaving)
- Study unsubscribe rates to try to reduce them
- Remember it’s not size that matters! The most valuable lists are the ones with highly engaged recipients. They open a lot of emails and they take action.
- Get more information over time – every bit of information you get from recipients increases a lists value – sex, country, interests, etc
- It’s alright to prune your list. If some recipients never open your email try to re-engage. If that fails ‘re-permission’ them to see if they still want to receive your correspondence . . . if they don’t opt back in, remove them.
- Never abuse your list
- Never sell your list unless you have got permission from the recipients to pass it on to third parties
- Nurture and care for your list. Help it to grow and flourish. It is your future success and prosperity.