Archive for August 2010

Why You Need To Build Your Own List

Just Remember It's Not Your PoolThere’s a bit of a fad going on at the moment in online marketing and business, and while it’s all very cool and useful to get involved. I want to warn you about the major pitfall to spare you from the upset losing a lot of hard work.

All this talk about how social media like facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, Youtube and all the rest are doing wonders for business is true. These social networks are fantastic for connecting with people in your particular niche market and building personal relationships with them.

And we all know that the best customers are the ones we keep in contact with regularly. They’re the ones who come back again and again. And the online social networks mentioned above provide the tools for you to foster those relationships in some very cool ways. So yes I think they are good for business

Can you here the “But” in my voice? Well here it comes.

But…

…it’s not your list!

Remember not so long ago all the furor in the media concerning the privacy settings on facebook? Well all the people doing the winging and whining were the ones who agreed to the terms and conditions of signing up without reading them. And then didn’t take responsibility for agreeing without reading.

And if you take a good look at every one of these online social media networks you will find that as part of the terms and conditions you have no rights to the lists of contacts you create within those networks outside of your activities within those networks.

If you build a list within facebook around your chosen niche of, let’s say, Beanie Babies, you can only contact them within facebook. But facebook owns the list. And they can and do sell that information to the people who pay to advertise on facebook. That’s why they make so much money.

There are no options to export that list. If you asked them you’d get a very upfront NO. And if you got caught hacking their system to access it…heaven help you.

Having your own list of people you have built a relationship with and marketing directly to them is much, much more powerful.

  • You can send them any message you want whenever you want (let good sense prevail here)
  • You do not get restricted by how many people you communicate with at a time
  • You can transfer that list to a new business venture if you want
  • Because you own it, you control what messages they recieve
  • That list is a sale-able asset which can be sold separately or as a value add to the sale of a business (be careful of your privacy policy)

I don’t know about you but for me there’s a sense of pride around how I treat my customers. I’m committed to treating them with the utmost respect and so are the rest of the team here at Top Results Online. And I don’t want all and sundry feeding them rubbish, lies and con jobs. I want to protect them from that. But I can’t protect them from the advertising that happens in online social networks.

In an email and on my website it’s a different story. When I have an important message to deliver, there are no distractions and I get to tell the whole story without interruption.

But to build, maintain, service, market to and understand a list effectively takes some appropriate tools and some simple know how. And that’s why we exist. To provide the tools and the know how so you don’t have to struggle through the trial and error of learning something like email marketing all on your own.

What are your thoughts on new social media? Do you think it’s worth the bother? Why?

Enjoy the world, it’s a beautiful place.

Scotty

P.S. If email marketing looks like the kind of tool you need for your business, with or without a website, you’ll want to come to our Free Seminar on just that topic. We’ll be sharing how you can get qualified prospects onto your own list from the social media networks.

When Email Marketing Works Against You

Jenny tells me there’s no way email marketing will ever work on her. She hates getting emails from businesses and sales people trying to get her to buy things she doesn’t want. But what she doesn’t mention is all the times she’s bought something because a business took the time to communicate with her.

Jenny’s not alone either.  Most business people, sales people and entrepreneurs I know have a relationship with their email inbox that leaves a lot to be desired. They complain there’s just too much to read and keep up with, and most of it is pointless poop!

I dug a little deeper into the conversation with Jenny to find out what was really going on. And her sharing was revealing. It cemented for me that there are some surefire ways to lose you prospects and customers through email marketing.

The emails Jenny deletes without a second thought all have a few things in common.

  • They are not about things of interest to her
  • She gets too many of the same type of email
  • They are a call to buy without any benefit to her

That is to say they are all about getting Jenny to buy something she’s not really interested in so the sender of the email gets the prize. And they don’t stand out from the veritable barrage of unsolicited mail she gets thrust into her fragile inbox.

That last line was no innocent slip. If you think about how you feel when you get marketing messages you didn’t ask for about things irrelevant to you, it really can be akin to psychological rape. It’s not OK.

But then there’s the messages Jenny welcomes. And she so freely welcomes them that she doesn’t even think she’s being marketed to. It all feels perfectly normal to her. Like a friend sending her a message. She want’s to know what’s inside, she want’s to hear what’s next.

What qualities does an email have to have for you to welcome the message? And what causes you to respond? Let’s see if any patterns emerge in the comments below.

Warm Regards

Scott
Internet Marketing Consultant
Top Results Online

P.S. We have an exciting Free Email Marketing Seminar in Brisbane coming up. Places are limited so you may want to jump ahead of the cue now.


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