Opt-in Mailing List Is The Future Of Your Online Business
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The Power Of Opt-in Mailing List
After researching your niche market, you develop a great product or service. You hire someone to design a professional web site. You follow every tips on how to write sales copies. You put everything up and start advertising campaign. Search engine, banner ads, giving away freebies, link exchange, even press release. Now you have hundreds of visitors daily.
One further problem presents itself: you are not making any sales!
Most of people who reach this point give up and declare "people just don't buy online".
This is when most people bury their Internet businesses. Even though they are in different industries and markets, almost every marketer seems to come to this crossroad in their online business.
In order to make money online, you have to keep in mind of this: Real Business Comes From Opt-in List, not your web site.
More than 95% of visitors will not buy on their first visit to your web site. The truth is, most of your customers will have to see your message 7 times before they buy.
Many people believe that their main marketing tool is their web site. In fact, your main marketing tool is your opt-in mailing list. A web site is just a way of building your mailing list - by collecting the email addresses of your visitors.
If you want to be successful online, you must collect visitors' email addresses to follow up!
This one aspect of online business is so important that it divides up who has been successful online and who hasn't. The successful businesses are constantly developing new ways of collecting information about their prospects or customers.
Web sites do not make many sales. Email Follow-up Makes Sales. Ask any businesses online and you will find that their conversion rate from web site is horribly low. Most web sites get between 0.05-1% sales rate from their visitors.
Once you constantly follow up by email though to the same prospects, you can get those same percentages up to 0.5-10% conversion rate.
A mailing list program will help you do that exactly. It allows you to send out messages to everyone on the list. It should also take care of subscription and un-subscription automatically. Some more sophisticated programs have other useful features such as invalid or bounce-back email address handling, HTML or plain text message option, customization capabilities, etc.
Typically, you set up a subscription form at your site, a visitor fills up the form and presses "send", the mailing list service provider or a mailing list CGI program at your own site will handle the subscription request automatically. You can log into the list management area to send out messages whenever you want to.
"Opt-in" means the subscribers choose, or opt-in, to be included in the list and therefore give you permission to send them messages. And they can opt-out anytime if they don't want to receive your messages any more.
As I said, the best way to make money on the Internet is to build your own opt-in list. This way you can build relationship and creditability with thousands of potential customers all over the world.
You have two options to manage a mailing list: online services who provide mailing list management or a CGI script running at your own site. Either could be free.
Online Mailing List Service Provider
The easiest way to manage a mailing list is to use an online service. You don't have to install any script or learn the technical stuff. All you have to do is signing up for an account and inserting several lines of html code into your subscription pages. Everything can be then nicely done via your web browser.
You can log into your account and view subscribers, add subscribers manually, export or download subscribers list, and of course, send messages.
There are free online mailing list services available among them Topica and Yahoo Groups are very popular. Both Yahoo Groups and Topica are advertising supported - every e-mail sent out includes an ad after the message. They both provide excellent services for online businesses to publish ezines and newsletters.
To build a much more professional image for your business, you may want to use paid online mailing list services since there will be no others advertisings in your messages.
BambooBizOnline: Formerly known as Postmaster Online, gives you 50 autoresponders that automatically follow-up and a complete integrated email solution for a very low monthly price.
Provides free, feature-packed, automated, personalizable follow up autoresponder.
The paid version includes so call "broadcast" function which
is actually mailing list management system.
Mailing List Script
If you know how to install and configure CGI script, there are plenty of choices for you. Even if you have never tried to install CGI script yet, I would say it's not difficult at all! Go to this comprehensive CGI tutorial if you want to learn.
SubscribeMe: One of the most popular and feature-pack yet user-friendly mailing list script. Its Lite version is free.
There are many free scripts as well. One of my favorites is Mojo. It's very easy to use and feature-packed. The only thing I don't like is that you can't customize subscribers' name in the message body.
Remember, 95% of visitors will not buy from your web site on their first visit. They won't even do it on their second visit or contact. To sell the maximum number of prospects, you must contact them over and over again.
The only way to do this is to get them to opt-in to an email list.
By building an opt-in list, you are building the future of your business. People have invited you to send them information. Your messages are a constant reminder for people to come back to your web site again and again.
When they come back, you have another opportunity to build rapport with your visitors. You also have another opportunity to sell them your products or services!
Building an opt-in list does require a whole lot of work and time. But it is an important step in building a successful online business. It is definitely worth the work! Add an opt-in list to your web site and you will be well on your way to building a very valuable asset - a customer list that you can sell to again and again, year after year!
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