Tip # 2 Part I Never Stop Building Your “LIST”
Your List And What It Really Means To You
Your Home Business is dependent on customers, as is any other type of business. In a Home Business the strongest source of sales, and of repeat customers, comes from your LIST. Your LIST is your customer base, or your potential customer base. Your business will live or die from your LIST, or lack thereof.
Because your LIST is so important you must be constantly increasing and adding to it, you must care for it, treat it with respect, nurture it, and even be protective of it.
By far one of the best uses of your time is your continued focus on building a strong LIST of email subscribers or of customers and your customer base.
Primarily I’m going to address 2 types of businesses; 1) the on-line or Digital Home Business and 2) the brick & mortar Home Business. For the sake of clarity, let’s put together a brief definition of each of these types of Home Business.
Digital Home Business: In simple terms, digital marketing is the sale of products and/or services via one or more forms of electronic media. Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it involves methods that enable you to analyze and understand what is working and what isn’t – basically in real time. You get immediate gratification. The Internet is probably the medium or channel most closely identified with digital marketing, but others include text messaging (mobile), instant messaging (mobile), mobile apps, podcasts, webinars, electronic billboards and banner ads and postings, digital TV, and radio, etc.
2: Brick-and-Mortar Home Business: (Again in simple terms) is generally doing business offline, face-to-face through direct contact. It may even be operated from a different location than the home ( I know, technically, if it’s off-site this should not be classified as a “home business”, but the lines can be blurry and many of the principles remain the same, so it is highly practical to use many of the same techniques . For this reason I am also including this type of business, to a degree). Besides printed media, many Brick-and-Mortar Home Businesses use some of the same marketing techniques as Digital Home Businesses, including digital TV and radio. Many savvy business people are creating an on-line presence and are beginning to utilize many of the other techniques that Digital Marketers are using.
Although there are some major differences between these two types of Home Businesses, the LIST can and should be used in many of the same ways. The lines separating the two types of business and the uses of their respective LISTS are actually quite blurred.
Let’s start with the Digital Home Business.
With the technology available today, your reach is limited only by the reach of your digital media of choice. Your LIST could come from almost anywhere in the world.
Because you are doing business on-line, your LIST will usually be made up of opt-in email subscribers that follow you because they feel that they receive value from you, and also from the product or service you provide.
You may be thinking, “Why do I need an email LIST? “Why not Facebook friends?” Studies indicate that a strong email list of 1,000 subscribers is more powerful than 20,000 friends or likes on Facebook!
Or, if you’re in a Direct Marketing company (also known as Network Marketing or MLM) you may think that you don’t need a LIST since traffic is being driven directly to you replicated website and that website does all the marketing.
It is a big mistake to get caught in that mindset.
Usually your replicated website and the office suite that is tied to your MLM business (usually referred to as your back office) is owned and supplied by the MLM company with which you are currently working. Contacts driven to your replicated website are tied directly to that back office.
What will happen (with all your contacts) if you decide to go in a different direction, perhaps with another company, or decide to market your own product or service?
1: If you go to another MLM, it is likely the compliance regulations for the previous company will not permit you to approach your previous down line or sales organization for a specific period of time.
2: If you are no longer with that specific MLM company, you no longer have access to the back office; therefore, you no longer have access to your list.
If you’ve been growing your own LIST, which is in no way associated with any company, you can continue to market without missing a beat! Why? Because you still have access to your list. Because the email subscribers on your LIST follow YOU. They feel that they receive value from YOU and the product or service YOU provide. YOU are the one who has gained their trust. YOU are the constant, the “brand” that they recognize.
Now let’s look at the Brick-and-Mortar Home Business.
If you have a Brick-and-Mortar Home Business that is primarily service or product oriented, and is not on-line, your LIST may be former, current, or future customers, often generated by more organic means of advertising such as printed advertising, radio advertising, word of mouth or referrals, etc. By no means should you allow this deter you from establishing an on-line presence.
As a Brick-and-Mortar Home Business, your service area is much different than a Digital Home Business, usually much smaller. As a business with a smaller reach, your Brick-and-Mortar Home Business usually will rely heavily on repeat business.
Although a Digital Home Business also relies and actively seeks repeat business, a Brick-and-Mortar Home Business usually has as smaller community from which to draw repeat business.
The Brick-and-Mortar Home Business would normally have a local reach or perhaps a regional reach. They should work diligently to develop and maintain their LIST.
Most people have access to the internet and have an e-mail address so a Brick-and-Mortar Home Business can also build their LIST from opt-in email subscribers. While their method of collecting those contacts will sometimes differ from methods used by the Digital Home business, it’s still important to get the customer or prospective customer to opt-in to the e-mail LIST. By doing so it will allow the business to communicate with their community regularly, making themselves available and keeping their name in front of their community.
Most of the time, the customer doesn’t want to “marry” a business until they’ve “dated”.
Studies indicate that name recognition is important. The majority of consumers need to be contacted up to 5-7 different times before they make a purchase. By having a regular campaign of keeping in contact with your community, you are greatly increasing the odds of them becoming or remaining a customer.
By keeping the business in front of the LIST (through providing information and perhaps tips through regularly e-mail communication) the business can develop a following who trust and values them. They will already have name recognition and familiarity with the business. And when their customer has a need for that product or service which the business provides, they will turn to the business with which they are familiar.
Marketing through digital media is relatively inexpensive as compared with many organic methods and media, putting it within reach of practically every business of every size. As a result, many business people in this arena are creating an on-line presence and are beginning to utilize many of the same techniques that Digital Marketers use.
In our next segment we will cover some different ways you can build your LIST and some tools you can utilize.
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