Your List is Central to Your Web Marketing
We have to face it, no matter how persuasive our site might be, most visitors are not going to commit to us on the first visit. Whatever the purpose of the site, and however good it is, that first visit generally doesn’t do the job. So how do we seal the deal? Do we hope that the visitor remembers our URL? Ha! Or bookmarks our site? Maybe…but should we count on it? Or remembers the company name–sort of–and then finds it again through search? When our competitors are likely buying pay-per-click ads on our company name?
The alternative–that really works–is to let the visitor leave a calling card in the form of an email address, subscribing to a newsletter. This provides a way for the visitor to say “I’m interested but not convinced. Keep in touch and remind me of yourself.”
It’s often quoted (but not sourced) that in today’s crowded advertising environment, a prospect needs to see a company’s name in a credible context some seven times before becoming ready to seriously consider doing business. So we get that first impression from the Web site–now how about the next six? The newsletter is a good way to get those exposures.
The purpose of the newsletter is to maintain presence of mind. We want the prospect to think of us whenever our area of business comes up. So the newsletter is not the place for sales promotions, or “BUY NOW!” messages. Instead, it’s the place for useful information about what you do, to establish yourself as the business to deal with in your area.
Your List Is Important
Offering an incentive to subscribe can be a good idea. If you write an ebook in your area, offer a free ebook as an incentive to sign up for the newsletter. Your list can become one of you most important assets–it’s your prospect base, being nurtured into becoming customers. These people will refer you to their friends and they will do business with you.
Don’t Share Your List
Few things are less fun than getting unsolicited offers in email, particularly those that are of no interest at all. For this reason, sharing your list with anyone is not a good idea, even if you haven’t promised not to share it. Regard it as a crucial asset whose value you can destroy by sharing it.
The Bottom Line
You will get a few customers who find your site and then commit. If you also add to those the customers who are interested enough to leave an email address, that you bring aboard as customers over a period of time, you can multiply the business results you get from your Web site.