Top 7 List Building Blunders (& How to Avoid ‘Em)

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Why do dealerships bother selling new cars?

Now, before you say that’s a weird question, take a look at this…

The National Automobile Dealers’ Association reports the profit margin for selling new cars is a minuscule 4%.

In fact, sometimes a dealer makes almost NO money on a new car sale (especially if they need to liquidate inventory).

So even though those rows of shiny new cars may look like beaucoup cash in the bank, they certainly aren’t where a dealer’s income actually comes from.

Which begs the question…

How do they make their money?

Well, a good chunk come from “upsells” like financing charges and extended warranties.

But their REAL profit center, which accounts for fully 44% of gross revenues, is in…

Parts and service.

Basically, they make money through maximizing the lifetime value of the customer—with pricey, regularly-scheduled, routine maintenance.

Not from the first transaction!

And you know what?

It’s the same online.

Honestly…

The bulk of ANY company’s profits comes through returning customers

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So how do you, as an online entrepreneur, make sure you prospects and customers keep coming back to you (and not your competition)?

It’s all in how you nurture your subscribers—your list.

You might have heard before that…

A list is your business’s #1 asset.

And it’s true!

Your list, if managed properly, provides you with a steady flow of new leads, keeps your existing customers engaged, and builds your brand—keeping your business steady and profitable.

Now for a word of caution…

It takes time and money to generate a list of subscribers.

And the absolute last thing you want to do is damage your relationship with your subscribers and risk “burning out” your list!

So read on to discover 7 of the top blunders even smart marketers make when it comes to building and maintaining their lists…

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Imagine reading a book and having ads pop out of the pages.

Annoying, right!?

Well, the Internet’s no different.

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to sell whatever you’re selling and to forget that, at the end of the day, your customers are living, breathing human beings…

Who probably didn’t wake up this morning wanting to buy whatever you’re selling.

Truth is, even though we genuinely like shopping and spending money…

We HATE being sold to!

So how do you turn your selling process into a more “shopping-like” experience?

Well, how do you persuade someone to eat a delicious, calorie-burning cake?

(…just pretend with me for a minute such a thing exists.)

The wrong answer is to hoot n’ holler, repeating how unbelievable it is, and demanding your customers buy one right this minute—because it will change their lives!

The right answer is to simply provide a bite-sized free sample, no strings attached.

Simple, right?

Same goes for your offer.

Just put it on display, and consistently give out samples of the value your have to offer.

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This is the “evil twin” of blunder #1.

And here’s the thing:

Your followers might love reading your emails…

But if they don’t know you can fix their problem (at a price), they’re not going to buy anything.

It would be like wanting your guests to eat your scrumptious, calorie-burning cake…but forgetting to take it out of the fridge or mention it at all.

Makes sense, right?

So if you want your subscribers to click on a certain link, read about your product or service, or even click the “add to cart” button, you’ve got to TELL ’em!

Want your Facebook fans to sign up to your list? Tell ’em!

Want your subscribers to buy your one-on-one coaching package? Tell ’em!

Otherwise…they literally don’t know what they’re supposed to do.

Your readers are looking at you as a leader, an authority—and they WANT to be told what to do.

And here’s something else to keep in mind…

People with skills value their time.

So don’t work for free! It sends the wrong message.

And when you do sell, always do it directly.

Don’t beat around the bush or make things awkward.

Tell ’em what you got authoritatively and provide clear instructions about what what do do next.

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Did you know the average person buys on your 7th contact with them?

And that’s just the average!

In some niches, prospects need to see 20+ emails before they’ll buy anything.

Now, here’s what this means:

Follow-up is crucial to your business!

Think about it…

You could have the biggest list in the world, but unless you’re regularly broadcasting, it’s not going to make you any money!

So “talk” to your list.

Let them peak behind the scenes of your business, life, and everything in-between.

Share personal stories.

Don’t forget that they’re real people, with real dreams, fears, and aspirations.

And if you don’t treat them as such, you’re just another complete stranger asking for their money online.

Be a trusted friend and advisor.

And, if you’re really not sure what to write…

Check out this list of 12 ideas for generating content your readers will love.

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In the 90s, emails were a novelty.

Getting one was exciting.

Unfortunately, it’s not the 90s anymore.

Nobody’s excited about getting mail.

And they definitely don’t want another “great newsletter” or “weekly updates” in their inbox.

To get people on your list, you’ve got to give people a compelling reason to sign up.

Special deals and useful tips are nice, sure.

But not enough.

What you need is a ultra-specific “lead magnet” that addresses your prospect’s biggest pains and desires.

I’ll tell you more about how to quickly create a lead magnet in a minute…

But for now, just remember that a strong lead magnet will significantly improve your opt-in rate and you absolutely need to have one if you’re serious about building your list.

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Let’s say you need a suit for a special occasion.

So you go to a clothier and start browsing…

And the tailor keeps trying to sell you this awful, ill-fitting, searsucker suit, never bothering to ask what’s the occasion.

Not cool, right?

(Maybe it’s a bizarre example, but it’s a true story!)

Well, here’s how this applies to your list…

You can’t just insist you know best.

You’ve got to take your ego out of the equation.

And realize that what they want might not be what you want them to want.

You follow? ;-)

You need to LISTEN.

Don’t be the dodgy salesman trying to push things on people.

Instead, really connect with what your list wants by ASKING what their biggest concerns are, what’s holding them back from achieving their goals, and where they want to be.

You can simply ask them to reply or you can get fancy and use proper survey software—even paid ones like SurveyMonkey have free versions.

So find out what they want and sell it to them!

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While we’re on the topic of learning from your prospects…

Here’s another interesting idea:

Your list only exists because of the people on it, right?

I touched on this briefly before…

But it’s critical to always remember that your subscribers are your list.

Without them, it doesn’t matter how good your content is—it’s not going to make you a dime!

So it’s not just your personal list. In a way, it belongs to the people reading your emails, too.

And that’s why you need to maintain a healthy, back-and-forth relationship with your subscribers.

Because without them, there’s no list!

Remember: nobody wants to buy from a stranger.

People buy from someone they know, like, and trust.

So if you want to see sales explode every time you click “send,” you’ve got to let people get to know you!

You can share real-life stories, respond to the questions, talk about what you’re learning, you can even create a Facebook group.

It honestly doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you’re consistently cultivating a deeper relationship with the folks on your list.

Start with your welcome email.

As soon as someone signs up, explain who you are and let them know how you’re going to help them.

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What’s the worst sin you could possibly commit?

You already know the answer…

Never getting started!

I know, not ton of suspense leading up to that reveal. My b.

But, in a nutshell…

An active, engaged list is your strongest advantage in the marketplace.

Remember how dealerships sell new cars just to build a customer list to continue selling parts and service to?

Here’s another example…

Supermarkets created loyalty programs as a way to get people on their list.

Customers get great deals, and in return, the supermarket gets their contact information.

It’s a win-win, right?

The “member’s only” deals are their ethical bribe for joining.

This is the trick to…

Magnetically compel people to join your list

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If you want more subscribers, you need a freebie, a little something to “sweeten” the deal.

This is what’s known as a “lead magnet.”

Now, you’ve probably seen plenty of these before.

Every respectable blog, in every conceivable industry, prominently advertises theirs (as they should).

We recommend doing things a little differently, though.

See, everyone else gives away their lead magnets away for free.

And that’s cool.

It builds your list, after all.

But what if you could monetize your lead magnet and turn your “free bribe” into a profit generator?

It would certainly help you recover your advertising costs, right?

In fact, using our 3-step process, we’re able to generate over 400 leads every single day…at an immediate profit.

The good news is that we’re willing to show you how, for free.

Tim Erway (CEO of Elite Marketing Pro), put together an exclusive free report that reveals how to quickly create lead magnets that effortlessly convert your audience into ready-to-buy subscribers.

Click here and get started with the 7-Step Lead Magnet Quick-Start Guide today!

Tim’s profitably generated 1,420,134 leads (and counting), so he knows a thing or two about crafting irresistible bribes and building responsive lists.

So what’re you waiting for?

Make a commitment today to create a lead magnet that will turn your hard work into money in the bank!

Ready to get started?

Click here and get started with the 7-Step Lead Magnet Quick-Start Guide today!

 

Until next time,

Andrew Draughon
Director of Content
Elite Marketing Pro

 

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Andrew T Draughon

Andrew Draughon is the Director of Content at Elite Marketing Pro. Yet not long ago Andrew was hauling shingles and hanging drywall for paltry wages in the frigid winters of upstate Pennsylvania. Making the decision to never wake up before sunrise in sub-zero weather again, Andrew moved to Florida, discovered his passion for marketing, and has been working via his laptop ever since.

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