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June 23, 2008

How To Make Money Using Only Your Opt-in List

An opt-in mailing list is usually THE essential component when it comes to recording and converting prospects who have expressed an interest in your products. Without an opt-in list any internet business will struggle to fully convert all the prospects that may buy its products.

Therefore the first part in creating a successful internet business is to create your opt-in list – we will not be dealing with that subject in this article. This subject is dealt with in my article “How To Build Your Business with An Opt-In List That Works” – if you would like me to send you this article then please email me.

This article deals with how you can use your opt-in list to make money and up sell higher ticket items to your prospects and customers.

An opt-in list is crucial to 99% of internet businesses, even for small or new sites the opt-in list can make a highly significant difference to the sites income. Use the opt-in properly and it will pay you handsomely.

The opt-in list allows you to establish and maintain communication with your prospects or customers. One point to make here is that a prospect is someone who has enquired about your products without actually purchasing them. Once the prospect has purchased a product from you then they become a customer.

You can use your opt-in list to send information about your products, special offers, newsletters, whatever you think your prospects or customers want and need. Remember your objective here is to get emotional buy in for your products or services. By providing them information, for example via newsletters, you are building up your companies trust and the more your prospect trusts you the more likely they are to purchase from you.

The whole point of an opt-in list is that your prospect has given you permission to send them information on your company and products. This effectively means you have been invited by the prospect to tell them about your products as they have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer. Therefore you cannot be accused of spam mail.

Newsletters are a great way to keep contact with your list and provide useful and informative information to your prospects. They also encourage your list to visit your site regularly and check for new content. As we all know content is king, if your prospects like your content then you are already more then half way to converting them to customers. Newsletters are also a great way to build your list.

The most effective and easiest way to contact your list via email is through the use of an autoresponder. There are many on the market today, most internet businesses use Aweber as do I and I recommend it.

You can set up your autoresponder to send messages to your prospects that have enquired about your products, its very simple to do. Your objective here is to appeal to your prospects emotions as we all know that when making a decision to purchase it is usually driven by emotion first and then justified by logic later.

I would recommend if you are new to internet businesses and to email follow-up messages then you get an experienced sales copy professional to help you compose these messages. It is well known that a prospect needs to be contacted at least 7 times before they will buy – so follow-up is key and the easiest way is through using your autoresponder.

Typically, most internet businesses try and get their prospects to buy something that is relatively cheap, lets say under $40. For most prospects this should not be a problem. Once the prospect has bought from you they become your customer and are now very valuable to you.

They have proved they are willing to get their credit card out and purchase from you. This differentiates them from prospects in a real way – You can now try and up sell your customers higher ticket items. This is where most internet companies make most of their money so you can see how important it is to know who your customers are and what they are interested in purchasing.

Once your list has grown you can make extra money not only by selling your own products and services but by using the following methods, obviously the larger your list the more money you can make:

a) Create and maintain affiliations with other companies that are involved in the same industry or sector as yourself. These other companies provide links on their products and services that you can add onto your site or newsletter. Every click made on the affiliates link will mean money for you.

b) Again by establishing affiliate deals you can ask for a percentage of sales made by your list purchasing products from your affiliates. Once a member on your list clicks through to the affiliates website and purchases goods, this is recorded and you get a percentage of the value of the purchase.

c) Sell advertising space. Many companies will be prepared to pay for banners and other similar adverts on your newsletters or even your website. The amount you can charge will vary on the size of the advert and how many unique users visit your website or how big your opt-in list is. I would strongly advise against selling or renting out your list – it will damage your reputation with your customers and lead to a long term loss in sales and will result in a shorter list.

d) You can sell information products in the form of e-books or even articles that you have written. There is great demand for information products on the internet, many people are willing to pay to gain knowledge. With the trust you created with your list, they will be much more likely to buy from you than someone they have not dealt with.

e) Use your list to its full potential – get your list to recommend you to their friends, family and business associates. You could use recommend-a-friend and offer some sort of free gift for doing so. An increase in your opt-in list will pay handsome dividends now and in the future.

Remember your list is the life blood of your business – look after it, take care of it, nurture it, make it grow and it will reward you handsomely.

Yunis Khan – I have been involved in Internet Businesses for the past 5 years and have gained some valuable experience, sometimes bitter, sometimes with fantastic results. I hope my experiences can help others become successful Internet Business owners.