November 11, 2008
When I first started online marketing I kept hearing the so-called gurus shouting “The Money Is In Your List!” Up until that time the only list that meant anything to me was probably my grocery list. However, as I quickly became familiar with web marketing, list building became one of my key goals.
Mainly because list building is one of the vital elements to your Internet marketing success. It can play an important role in increasing your sales, getting repeat targeted traffic to your sites and a perfect vehicle for branding your product or company. Moreover, your list can be a primary source of business relationships which will help you build your online business since these contacts can be the cornerstones of your online marketing.
While I have fulfilled my main ambition of working full-time on the net, I have not as yet achieved my goal of reaching 100,000 subscribers. When I first started, my goal was getting 1,000 subscribers which I quickly passed, then it was 10,000 which was much harder to reach… getting to 100,000 will take much more time and effort but I believe I will get there eventually.
Maybe that number is a bit foolish, mainly because I learned long ago it is not the size of your list that counts, but how responsive it is. Still, it helps to have a goal set for yourself… and a 100k subscriber list is not an unreachable number especially when you’re talking about the Internet. There are probably more than a few pimply faced teenagers out there who have gotten triple that number of subscribers just by placing some silly videos on YouTube.
Many marketers also make the mistake that list building is all about sales and forget that your list is much more than just for monetary gain. It can be the basis for a whole wealth of ideas and interaction that goes well beyond how many sales you can squeeze out of your list. The really savvy marketers use their lists for market research, product development and treat their lists as a knowledge resource they can tap into, time and time again.
Your list building can also be the foundation of your own vibrant online community. A community that’s interactive and a great source of both ideas and business contacts. Probably the best example of this type of community building would be those communities that spring up through the social networking media sites… and Twitter would be a good example of this type of list building.
Invisible List Building
In studying and using lists over the years, some things have really surprised me. As an affiliate marketer I quickly realized most of my list building was invisible! This happened when I was fairly new at the marketing game, I had trouble with one of my site’s web host and I had to move the whole site to a different server and my site was down for several days… but the strange thing was my online sales from this site still kept coming even though my site was down.
I was totally puzzled (I can be rather slow sometimes!) until I realized or rather learnt the marketing power of cookies. Almost all of the affiliate programs I was promoting on my site were using cookies to mark the traffic or clicks coming from my site as my referrals. If anyone of these referrals made a purchase in the next 30, 60, 90 or more days – I would get credit for the sale.
My site was down, but because I had a whole list of cookied buyers lined up to purchase these affiliate products, my sales still kept coming. I was fairly new at this web stuff then and this was a real eye-opener for me. I started joining those affiliate programs that gave me the longest time-frame with their cookies. Most are around 30 days but there are quite a few that will give 365 days. Some affiliate programs such as Ken Evoy’s Site Build It and Marlon Sanders’ products even give you a life-time cookie.
In affiliate marketing using these “cookies” to build up hundreds of lists of “invisible customers” can be a very effective marketing strategy. You might not see these lists, but they’re quietly working for you in the background, bringing in sales even if your site is down or even when you have stopped a particular campaign.
Of course, the key here again, is how targeted is your marketing. You could have a million cookied customers lined up but if they have no real interest in your product – they won’t turn into buying customers. You must get the potential customer who has shown an interest in your product, onto your invisible cookie list. That’s why ranking high in organic search results for your chosen keywords plays a vital role in how much you earn online, especially if you’re into affiliate marketing. Going the PPC (Pay Per Click) route can also work but the profit margins are much closer.
Nor should you ignore building an actual opt-in list of customers to your autoresponder system in this whole process. Many marketers also try to “cookie” their actual opt-in lists as soon as possible in order to boost their sales. Your invisible cookie lists can work in conjunction with your so-called real lists. Along those same lines, one of my most effective marketing strategies is to use “micro” list building which is building hundreds of small lists of customers for each affiliate product that I promote. In the process of building these lists of potential customers, my first goal is to get these customers “cookied” with my affiliate ID. Then no matter if they buy directly from you or from some other link on the web; you still get credit for the sale.
Another effective marketing technique to use with your lists is to promote a whole group of related brand name products and MAKE SURE you cookie your list with ALL these different products so that no matter which one they eventually choose to purchase, you will still get credit for the sale. This way as a marketer you can come across as a helpful neutral third party pointing out the benefits and disadvantages of each product rather than a pushy salesperson pushing one product at your list. Nobody likes a pushy salesperson, so be a helpful friend instead.
Don’t ignore the effectiveness of these cookies or invisible lists in your online marketing. Used properly they can increase your sales dramatically. You can have hundreds of these invisible cookied lists working for you on the web. When you get down to the actual numbers, a list of 100,000 subscribers can pale in comparison. So next time anyone mentions list building to you, just remember you can always go incognito!
The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous niche sites. If you want to learn how to make your online marketing much more effective by building your lists try here: list building Or you can try our popular: list building ecourse 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.