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How to start an email opt-in list

Get Permission to Market with an Opt-in email list

The most valuable business commodity in the world today is…Attention and nowhere more so than on the Internet

On the face of it, using the web to do your marketing is very attractive, the overheads are low and scaling up effectively adds zero further cost after initial set up.

The downside is of course that everybody’s doing it. In the past, expensive TV advertising was expensive because paying the money guaranteed you some exposure to the kind of people you wanted to expose your offer to.

These days, there is a lot of noise out there in web world and it is increasingly difficult to grab someone’s attention.

Due to the difficulty in getting attention, I rank it as the number one most valuable commodity for your business, but running a close second is permission.

Permission marketing is a phrase coined I think by Seth Godin, but increasingly the de rigueur way of doing business on the internet.

In its simplest form the process works like this:

  1. Attention: you’ve finally hit the hot spot and attracted someone’s attention to your offer.
  2. Permission: they sign up to be on your opt-in email list and depending on what you told them at the outset, this can be taken as permission to keep in touch.

So how do you go about getting someone on your opt-in list?

Or indeed, how do you even start an opt-in list?.

Well first off the rank, is that you simply don’t fool around trying to collect email addresses and mass emailing them on your own.

If you are even partly serious about this, you must get yourself an account with a reputable email marketing company. I can recommend both aWeber and mailchimp having used both to good effect.

These companies are set up to offer you a complete email marketing solution. If you attempt to send mass emails through your normal account you will be switched off immediately by your ISP.

Having got yourself an account with a good email marketing service, you need to create an offer that will be attractive to the people you are targeting and this is where the scarcest Internet commodity comes in: Authenticity

Authenticity is so rare that it comes as a genuinely nice surprise to people when they encounter it.

Make sure that what you are offering in return for their permission is of high value to them, not in monetary terms, but in the value it can bring to their everyday life or business if you are marketing a business service or product.

Make double sure that you tell them upfront what they can expect from you after the permission is granted. Remember that even genuinely valuable information can be a pain if it arrives too frequently.

You can then set up a sequence of auto-responder messages with your email provider to go out to people on your list on a regular basis. You can also do one off broadcasts from time to time if you wish.

In addition to the above you can set your system up to send out a weekly blog broadcast so that you can encourage your readers back to the site with snippets of what they might have missed.

Don’t push products at people every time you contact them; provide authentically useful and valuable information to them, and sales orientated material on no more than a 5:1 ratio.

Remember that having their attention and their permission is a very valuable thing and instead of throwing all of your toys at them in one go, try to think of ways that you can continue to impress them and encourage their confidence in you and/or your business.

Think of ways you can encourage them to start or keep doing business with you through the addition of special services just for your list members.

This could include setting up a members only area that you encourage them to get involved with, or a members forum on a protected page of your site. These features then become marketing tools for attracting the attention of others and hopefully their permission too.

Look at this process with long term eyes and you will soon start to build a loyal following that will continue to come back to you time and again with their needs and wants.

Happy list building for now.

Tomorrow I want to show you how to up the ante on list building by using your facebook profile as a list building tool. Be sure to look in as its a very cool thing I want to show you.

Meantime if you want to get on my list its clear how you do that on this page. When you sign up I won’t bombard you with rubbish but I will immediately send you 3 premium eBooks which will not only help you with list building but with your success on the web generally.

Every Friday I send out the Famous Friday Freebie email to my list members and this week, its a biggie: I’m sending out a whole pack of eBooks that will help you with almost every aspect of your business marketing on the web.

You can get on my list here.

If you need any help with anything web, wordpress, opt-in or marketing related give me a bell on 07939 149103 or drop me a line.

Photo thanks to: Maurice via Compfight, thanks Maurice you’re a gent!