By Jon Allo
One of your most important tasks for any online entrepreneur is building an email list of prospects. When somebody provides you with their email address, they are granting you permission to send them information about your business. This means that they are interested in what you have to offer.
People will buy when they are ready to buy, not when you are ready to sell, so it's vitally important to keep in contact with them. The most effective way to do this on a regular basis is via email.
Here are the 5 steps to building an email list of prospects.
1. Choose Your Target Market
Your business can't sell everything to everyone and the more focused you are your target customer, the easier it will be to connect to that person. Always keep in mind that you are selling to one individual at a time, not a group. Target your marketing to a smaller part of a bigger group and your marketing efforts will have a much better chance of giving you the results you want.
The most important thing about cost-effective marketing is to focus on high-return activities. Different channels work for different companies, there's no one-size-fits-all. If there's one thing we know though it's that you should absolutely spend money on marketing your business online. Even a budget of $1,500 can go a long way.
The great thing about research is that the only resource you'll need to spend is your time. If you don't do thorough research before spending your first marketing dollar you probably won't put the remaining $1,499 to particularly good use.
A good place to start is by doing a quick Google search of your industry, identifying patterns, understanding consumer behaviour, studying your competition, and even reaching out to your target audience for first-hand market research. The data you collect during this process will serve as the foundation of your campaign.
Certainly, there are ways you can spend money on research. There are organizations that sell reports with seemingly critical information, as well as tools that'll pull data from around the web for your consideration. Services like Springwise and Trendwatching are great for this, but can be a bit pricey. There's more than enough free information out there to help get you off the ground.
An email autoresponder should come as natural to every business. Web surfers stopped looking at ordinary websites years ago. Now every internet visitor wants a website that is caring and will build a positive relationship with its visitors. It is for this reason that online companies are investing huge millions into Customer Relationship Management programs. But if you are a start up businesses without the huge capital outlay to put into customer relations, you can use auto responders to deliver an amazing warm reception and interaction with their visitors.
To conduct a successful online business, you may want to be guided by available research on customers. Research has long established that, positive and timely responses are important ingredients that visitors use to judge how friendly websites are and how they would want to interact with them. And you may want to know that visitors are more likely to establish relationships with sites that provide excellent feedback and timely responses.
Auto responders therefore positively answer the call of website owners seeking automated interaction with customers at all facets of their customer relations.
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