When I was still employed, I can’t remember the exact month or year, maybe ten years ago when I was having a chat with my friend in the office. We were discussing about the great entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, how he manage to make billions of dollars on his company Microsoft. Those were the days were I was day dreaming of becoming a successful entrepreneur, a dot com entrepreneur to be exact. I was a CAD engineer then and although I was working on computer and very interested in computers and internet, it was a long shot of becoming a programmer since I was not very familiar in programming. And I turned to the web to seek good fortune because of the overwhelming information of home business that someday I might be successful if I venture in the area. Somehow my efforts didn’t go to waste as I still manage to survive and I thank God despite of the many problems and complexities I’ve encountered.
Aside from Bill Gates, my friend mentioned about Hotmail. He told me that one of the founders was Indian, Sabeer Bhatia and the other, Jack Smith and was launched in 1996. He mentioned that the company was acquired by Microsoft company in 1997 and when I researched further, the value was estimated to be $400 million. Hotmail is the first webmail service in the internet and big companies like Yahoo! and Google made their free web mail services too. Email, in my opinion is one of the wonderful invention ever made by man. Written communication was lightning speed and we no longer depend on a very slow communication, a snail mail from the post office. There are many uses of email whether personal or business. And up to this very advance stage of the internet age, where social networking websites are the “IN” thing, you cannot register in those social networking sites without an email address. Did you know how facebook became this BIG now? it’s not because they are organically searched in the search engines like Yahoo! or Google but by “invites”.
When you register on Facebook, you will be asked to invite your friends using their email address, right? So you now got to the core of these things, the email address. That’s right, email address is important and especially in marketing. Even if mobile phones is the fad now a days, since it is very personal, nobody will just give their mobile numbers to a stranger or a business establishment. But they are more comfortable in giving their email address. Most businesses who have an online presence are leaving money on the table because of the fact that they are so concerned with promoting their business and branding. But they don’t realize that you have to capture your leads in order for your business to grow. Capturing leads is getting their contact info, and an email address is the easiest thing to get to a customer to contact them again and again to tell them what new products or services you have and want to offer them. If you have any promos, you only need to contact them. The mere fact that they gave their email address to a business is because they are interested and he or she is better prospect of being a customer than a new visitor of you website or business establishment. There is a saying that is it easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one. Your marketing efforts will just go to waste if you are only interested in acquiring new customers, advertising here and there and forgetting to capture them even if they didn’t buy anything on their first visit.
Hit and Run Marketing Approach
This approach is very common especially in TV commercial and print ads. Companies spend hundreds of thousands of pesos on advertising. Although this is effective, there is no way to contact the viewer without spending. You have to advertise again and again to inform your prospects to buy your products. In the case of internet affiliate marketing, it is very similar to a brick and mortar business. You promote your online business through online advertising, people view your website and buy products and services you have to offer. If the visitor is only surfing or visiting your website and didn’t buy anything, the moment he or she clicks another link to go out of your website or click the back button, then you just have to say “goodbye”. Goodbye to your advertising money too. And that hit and run marketing approach won’t work if you want stay in business for a long time.
But if you have a way to hook that visitor to come back again, you can contact him again and again to buy products from you without spending any money. Spending a ton of money on advertising to get one customer and never see it again is one of the dumbest business moves anyone can make. Stability is also a factor when making this approach. You should spend on advertising in order to make sales or else your business will stop. Repeat business is the key. It’s a lot easier and of course cheaper to market to an existing customer than to a new one. Study shows that it’s 7x more cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to acquire a new one.
The Money is in the List
A mailing list is a list of emails in your disposal. The primary use of mailing list is for email marketing. Marketing your goods and services through email by contacting your prospects. But the hardest part of building an email lists is how to acquire emails, I mean legitimate email addresses. There are people who sell thousands of fake email address and if ever they are real email addresses, if you use them, you might be accountable for spamming because they are unsolicited. Meaning, those people who own those email address didn’t opt-in or voluntarily subscribe to your mailing list. You will just annoy those people when you send mass email. Having people to subscribe to you is the hardest part of building a list. You can’t just build a website and people will happily and willingly give their email address to you even though you tell them to subscribe to your newsletters. But don’t worry, there are techniques to built your mailing list whether you are a business owner who owns a website, a webmaster or a blogger who wants to do it.
- Offer a give away or promo – Online affiliate marketers are experts on giving away ebooks in exchange for subscribing on their mailing lists. They will disguise the offer as free but in return you have to subscribe in their newsletters.
- Built a website (for squeeze page) – more and more offline businesses are having their online presence whether in social networking sites like facebook and twitter, in classified ads like Sulit.com.ph or building their own website. But one mistake they make is they invest heavily on advertising on their online presence not having a system to capture leads. Building a facebook page is okay, having thousands of likes on your facebook fanpage. But what if one day facebook lost it’s popularity like what happened to friendster? Your online presence is also going down the drain with facebook. So you need to capture those email addresses by having a squeeze page where you will direct those visitors to sign-up and give their email addresses before they can get what you are offering. A squeeze page is a special kind of landing page that is created solely to act as an opt in for information – primarily email addresses – from potential subscribers. A squeeze page is used for promoting your give away, for example, an ebook. You can be creative by giving away other stuffs, like corporate giveaways if you have a big budget.
- Promote and send visitors your squeeze page – there are many ways to promote the squeeze page. There are lots of advertising networks you can use to send traffic to your squeeze page. If your facebook page or your twitter accounts have tons of visitors, you can redirect them to go to your squeeze page.
- Capture the lead – your squeeze page is not complete without a system of capturing and handling those email addresses. My recommendation is to use an email marketing software. A web based mailing list service with advanced features.
- Use the Auto Responder Feature – auto responders are emails that goes to your subscribers that are scheduled at the set date and interval. It is so easy to use and all you need to do is click the follow up menu on Aweber control panel. This feature is very essential on making “follow-ups” to your prospects on a scheduled basis.