Tuesday, September 2, 2014

6 List Building Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague

6 List Building Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague

What is the single most important thing to an Internet business? I hear this question more than almost any other. And the answer is always the same — you NEED an email list of prospective clients. And not just any list… you need a warm, receptive, QUALITY list. Not just a collection of names and emails, but a fan club of sorts — a group of active, raving fans that will sing your praises to anyone who will listen.
Sound good?
Now, of course, a list like that takes time and effort… but it’s entirely possible. Thousands of others have done it, and you can do it too.
But, like a lot of things in this business, there are some serious pitfalls that can trip you up along the way. Here are the top 6 that can stop you dead in your tracks.

#1 Not Knowing Who Your Audience Is (And What They Need)

Of course you know who your audience is, right? After all, they signed up to receive emails from you about your topic — that’s what they want, right?
Well… not necessarily. Perhaps they signed up because they wanted your free PDF on creating squeeze pages — but what they REALLY want is to know how to write great email copy.
Because, let’s face it, in this world of free reports and PDF downloads… there are going to be a LOT of people that join your list just to get the “ethical bribe” you are offering them. They are not giving you their email so you can send them more emails, they are giving you their email as payment for whatever it is you are giving them.
And that’s not a bad thing.
But it IS something that you have to keep in mind when you are crafting your emails. What can you write about that will transform them from someone who downloaded your free report… to a raving fan? What can you talk about, or teach them, or give them so that they actively look forward to each email you send, rather than just another file destined for the trash bin.

#2 Not Building A Relationship With Your List

So what is it, exactly, that is going to build those raving fans?
Is it going to be great content? Killer headlines? Stellar email copy?
Those are all great, but what is REALLY going to keep them coming back time and time again, what is going to make them want to tell their friends to sign up for your list, is the relationship that you develop.
Think about it this way. Say you always bring your car into the same auto shop every time it needs some maintenance. They do quality work there, charge a reasonable rate, and get the job done quickly. You drive in, drop it off, and sit in a small office until it is done.
Nothing wrong with that.
But lets say that one day that shop is closed and you try a different one.
This shop also does quality work, charges a reasonable rate, and gets the job done quickly. But this time; you are met by a happy, smiling mechanic when you drive up. He shakes your hand and asks how your day is going. He is an interesting and personable fellow and the two of you have a great conversation while he is checking your car over, and you leave with a smile on your face.
Which shop do you think you would go to more often?
The truth is, almost everything in business is like this — including Internet Marketing. In fact… especially Internet Marketing.
This is a business where most, if not all, of your contact with your customers is going to be through the computer. And no matter what your product is, or how good it is, there are going to be others who are selling something similar. How many times have you seen someone claim to be selling “the #1 something”?
How do you stand apart? The relationship that you build with your clients.

#3 No Revelation of Self (Not Sharing Stories)

I remember reading something once about the way that friends interact. The person said that if you notice the way that acquaintances interact, it’s usually by commenting on things around them or on current events (“So… nice weather..”) or by asking the other person questions (“How was your day?”), while close friends interact with statements or stories.
They share their experiences and that sharing brings them closer.
You can do this with your list. You don’t have to be all business, all the time. People like interacting with people… and they like hearing about other people’s successes and failures. This holds especially true for anyone successful or famous (and if they have signed up to receive your emails… chances are that they think you are at least one of those).
Share your stories, share your experiences. Keep them relevant, of course, but teaching through a story is one of the oldest ways of communicating — and can be one of the most powerful.

#4 Using a Corporate Voice (Speaking to the List as a Whole, Rather Than as a Individual)

This one really goes along with #3. People want to connect with people, not with corporations. I see so many people get this one wrong. They write as a group of people, to a group of people.
“All of us here at IM Corp would like to thank all of you for your great response to our last email.”
Speak as a person, talking to the single person who will be reading your email. Even the small personal touch of a “you” instead of a “all of you” can make a huge difference in how your email is received.

#5 Not Communicating Enough With Your List

Okay, so you’ve figured out what your list wants, you’ve sent out a few solid emails and your list is really starting to respond positively… this is a critical time. You’ve started to gain momentum, but if you trail off and only email them every couple weeks or so, your list could soon forget about the relationship you’ve started to build.
How often to mail your list is a tricky question.. because it really varies between people, markets, lists, etc… but generally speaking you should be mailing your list AT LEAST once per week. In fact, once per week is often too infrequent. You don’t want to be annoying… but keep that contact flowing.

#6 Not Getting Started

This is a HUGE one. Let’s face it, sending out emails to a list (even a small one) can be pretty intimidating. Especially when you see so many people talking about the right way to do it, or the wrong way to do it, or the best way to do it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Just get started. Send that first email.
Pay attention to what your list responds to, and what they don’t. Share good content. Build that relationship — you’ll know when it’s working. It can be confusing at first, but you’ll be well on your way to building your businesses single greatest asset.

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