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What is List Building?

There is so much talk these days about list building it may be difficult to translate what exactly is list building and how it could benefit your business. In today’s marketing environment, having a list of clients and prospect is important to every business and should be an integral part of any marketing strategy, especially those who want to use online marketing efforts. But how many people really understand what is meant by a “list” in online marketing terms?

And what is list building? A simple yet accurate definition would be that list building is a process of developing a database of like minded people online who would be interested in the kind of products or services that your business offers. In other words, your list is your first and main market where you can hope to achieve the most success in selling.

The premise behind list building is that you have more than one opportunity to sell to a potential customer because they have given you permission to do so by opting in to receive your ongoing communications.

Once you have a person on your list, you can keep sending them information on your products and services and continue to educate them on your specials and discounts that you may be offering from time to time. The more frequently a person is exposed to information about your site and the products available there, the more familiar your business will appear to them, although perhaps only subconsciously, the more inclined they will be to buy from you when they need what you are offering.

Research has shown that less than 2% of people buy anything from an online business the first time they come across it. Do not let this figure depress you. In fact it is a positive. More people are buying more goods and services online everyday and online businesses are the least affected by the economic slow-down and recession. So, if more is being sold online each day, but less than 2% of the sales are made on the first contact, that means that subsequent contact and long terms relationships are where the money lies for the online business. So, the critical factor to getting your business profitable is to be able to gain the trust of complete strangers who will never meet you. It is not as tough as it sounds. If you have a list and keep sending information to the people on it’ a new product development, a special price, a contest or some tidbits about you and your life – they will become familiar with you and will begin to trust you. Soon your name will be associated with the product they are interested in and they will eventually buy from you when the need arises.

The goal is to provide valuable content to your list. If you continue to market and sell them, chances are they will ask to be removed from your list. People seek out information, tips and strategies that will help them improve their lives and if you can be that conduit and continue to educate and be a valuable resource, your list will continue to grow.

Be prepared to start small, a list will not grow overnight. As in any relationship, it will need time to develop. And remember the more valuable information you can provide to your targeted list the more effectively you will be able to continue to grow your list and eventually sell your products and services.

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