Freedom, flexibility and a passive income – sound appealing? These are the benefits of taking your business online.
Whether you offer a video educational service or a tangible product; if you have the right online systems in place and automate them, your lead generation, sales process and fulfilment should automatically be triggered. And the best … it won’t require the physical presence of either you or your team.
The essence of successful online marketing is to develop and maintain a relationship with the online community whom you are targeting as prospective customers.
An effective way to do this is to build an e-mail subscriber list. This provides you with a vehicle to communicate with your database on a regular basis, offering them valuable information related to your product, literally in exchange for their attention.
Once you’ve built credibility and likeability with your community via regular e-mail contact and serving them first before you sell, they are far more likely to purchase from you when you do make them an offer of your product.
As your intention should be to automate your systems and be in a position to monitor information such as number of e-mails successfully delivered and e-mail opening rates, use list management software.
(I’m currently using Mailchimp for building my list and sending my e-mails, as there’s no charge for the first 2 000 e-mail addresses loaded. There are also a number of other e-mail service providers, e.g. Constant Contact, Active Campaign and Infusionsoft (pricey for the beginner).
Start by collecting the names and e-mail addresses of your existing clients and past clients. It’s important to maintain the relationship with them, as once someone has purchased from you, you’ve gained their trust and there’s a greater likelihood of them purchasing again.
You then need to find a way of enticing those who have never bought your brand and are in your online target market, to provide their name and e-mail address and to join your list.
Think about what your community will regard as valuable and offer it to them for free. It may be a free webinar or free tips related to your product and industry, that they can download and print. Maybe you’ve got an e-book that you can give away.
Develop what’s referred to as an opt-in page where you state the benefits of your free offer and provide your target market with the opportunity to obtain the offer by filling in their name and e-mail address. (From a legal perspective, you’ll need to assure your online viewer that you will maintain the privacy of their details and will always give them the opportunity to unsubscribe from anything you send them.)
Place mention of your lead magnet and a link on the home page of your website. Create awareness using both offline and online tactics. Offline you can strive for mentions of the offer and how to access it in any newspaper and magazine coverage you obtain or radio interviews.
Communicate the free offer on your social media pages such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Make a 3 minute video about your offer and place it on YouTube. Mention your lead magnet in any online articles you write. Your intent is to optimise the amount of traffic you drive to your opt-in page to increase your list enrolment.
There are two critical numbers for you to monitor when building your e-mail list and growing a profitable online business. Firstly, the number of e-mail subscribers you have and secondly, once you start selling product to your list, the average value per subscriber per annum. The latter number is derived by dividing the total sales revenue generated from your list by your list number.
Just take a look at these examples and how your list revenue can grow exponentially (I’ve used dollars as this is the global Internet currency):
100 subscribers on list X $12 per subscriber per annum = $1 200.
Growing your list and doubling your revenue per subscriber via the addition of an online product:
1 000 subscribers X $24 per subscriber per annum = $24 000