Thursday, December 10, 2009

List building myths - TIP

Let’s shift to another topic!

List building!

You build a list when you gather visitor’s email addresses so that you can email them later with info or promotions.

To do that, you’ll usually use an auto responder or list building service.

You can sign up for a year subscription ($100 - $200 range).

This system allows you to post a simple form on your web pages where visitors can leave their name and email.

This system will then collect these email addresses and allow you to load a series of follow up messages to send to these prospects.

When visitors come to your site, you have various possible choices.

You can:

  • Let them enjoy your free content
  • Get then to leave you their email
  • Try to sell them a product directly
  • Etc.

If you want to collect email addresses, here is the type of conversion you can expect:

1% - 20% depending on how much they value what you will send them if they sign up.

This means that for that if you get 100 visitors on your site, you might collect 1 to 20 email addresses.

Some people claim to have achieved conversion rates of up to 80% sign ups with extremely targeted audiences

Now, the challenge with mailing lists is to get your prospects to open your emails.

How many newsletters and mailing lists are you subscribed to?

How many emails do you actually open?

How many of these emails do you actually read?

In my experience, the first couple of emails you send to new prospects will have an opening rate of 50% – 80%.

This is good!

These are fresh prospects who are eager to find out about your products.

Now, this opening rate can decline quickly.

If your mailing list knows you well already and got used to receiving emails from you, the opening rate can be 5% - 20%

This means that for 100 emails you send, only 5 to 20 prospects will actually open your message.

The rest will be deleted without opening.

How do you know that?

The auto responder system you use tells you about these opening rates.

They have a system in place which allows you to measure who opens the email or not.

Another essential hindrance to your mailing list success is the fact that your emails will often get delivered to spam or junk mail folders in free email providers.

This happens with hotmail, yahoo and aol for instance.

Another challenge is bouncing of emails.

Basically, your email does not make it to your prospects inbox because of spam filters or other technical glitches.

In a year period, you can easily lose 30% of your prospects because of this type of technical issues.

If you have a mailing list of 5000 members, this list can easily shrink over time and you end up with 200 emails opened when you send a new mailing.

I agree! That’s not much!

This is part of the list building challenges you won’t hear about because it destroys the credibility of all these list building systems.

Now, if you know that before you start building a list, you can take steps to prevent some of these issues.

It’s a tough and challenging issue though!

If you want to be successful with marketing to a list, you have to aim at gathering 30’000 email addresses minimum.

This is the turning point where your list starts having real value.

If you have a list of a 1000 emails for instance, you can easily email people and get 100 people to read your mails but you won’t make too much money with such a small list.

That’s unless you have a very targeted niche with an audience that really needs whatever you have to offer.