Here’s an interesting issue that is very worth considering…
As Internet marketers many of us have lists of optin subscribers that we have built. Some of our lists have been brought in recently while others may have people on them that have been around for quite some time. I want to talk about the age of those lists and how that comes into play with where, what, when, and why we market to them.
Here is what I do:
First I have some lists that I started LONG ago. These are lists that have people that cam in 5-6 years ago in some instances. These subscribers all stick with this lists because I tend to them. I work at giving them content and continually building the relationship.
That word I just used there is the key to these lists.
The relationship is the key to this list. I worked hard at the beginning to give and give, earning trust all along the way. This is the sort of list that actually reads all of the emails and in many cases even comments on things in this blog.
Now, the second type of list is a completely different animal. This one is built on recency of creation and is used in a vastly different way.
Consider a list that was built up during an affiliate driven promotion. Now consider that list is approximately 20,000 in size. Most of the people on this list are there because they are looking for a Solution to making money online.
Yes, this is a Very different sort of list. This is the kind of list that one can take in a number of directions. One option is to play it safe and work with this list the same way you did with the first list. You will get and build some good relationships here but also know that again, these people are here to see how you can give them a dollar (or $10 to $100,000 of them!) and will likely not stick around if you aren’t living up to that expectation.
So, another way you can look at this list is that it is a brand new set of people all looking for you t hand them a super solution. Why don’t you do that.
This list is the sort that will work very well to mail to every single day. Continue to build an exciting list of offers and put them in front of the list constantly. This is aggressive but at the same time can work very well as these folks are buyers and will most likely buy all sorts of what you show them.
Now, these are two different ways to work with a list. One you build and nurture the list and the other you burn through them based on the assumption that either they buy what you show them or they are really no good to you at all.
I’d like to add one further element into this mix to make it even more interesting…
What drew them onto the list initially?
Was it a freebie that pulled them in or was it something that they had to pay for?
FREEBIE or PAID
This is a very important point. If it was a paid offer you need to treat those people like gold. They have already pulled out their wallet and invested in what you have to offer. In short you have already taken the first step with them and are now on your way to much bigger and better things… if you want to.
If it was a free offer or even say you got their info prior to their seeing what the cost is for you site, then you have a very different list. You have qualified them as being interested in your material but that is it. You don’t yet know what they will pay (If at all) and there is zero relationship in place. This is the second type of list I mentioned above. This list you can start sending offers to every day and see what you can get out of them.
I have spent the last 6 months mailing to one list every single day and have pulled in a TON of sales. That list fits in the 20,000 person size and has out me at the top of a healthy number of affiliate promotions myself. Now I also have a number of my own lists that I treat very differently (along the first type of list I discussed). These people require some good thought in what I am going to share. I take the time to write something thought provoking (like this post!) and I share it with them to keep them happy.
So there my friends are two ways you can work with your mailing lists. I hope you are able to take these thoughts in and use them in your own work. Build those lists and then work with them in the best ways possible.
Onward & Upward!
Here’s a quick dose of marketing common sense that has the potential to dramatically improve the ROI for most any marketing campaign… yet almost no one uses it.
Anyone involved in marketing knows that the more targeted you can be when selecting your list of prospects, the higher your conversion rates. This is called matching the message to the market.
Demographics, geographics, and even psychographics are all ways of slicing and dicing a prospect list in an attempt to pair down the list to a group that has the best match for your message. Demographics and geography are the two statistical characterizations that have been used the longest. These involve filtering a list based upon the message recipient’s geographic location followed by variables such as income, age, sex, home ownership, etc. Psychographic variables by contrast, are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles.
These three filters continue to be the standards by which most marketers determine their prospect lists.
Now let’s take things a big step even further.
Consider the following:
Let’s say I sell designer purses. These purses are all made by high-end designers and are quite pricey.
When creating a target list I would probably use the following selects (Please note that I am simplifying this for the example. This list could be drilled down even further in terms of demographics):
Gender – women
Avg Income – $100K+
Geography – I would limit this to larger cities in the US which could be selected by Zip code or a variety of other geographic designations
Age – 25 to 70
Travel – frequently
Hobbies and interests – apparel and fashion
And there are many more.
If we stop there we’ll most likely have a pretty large list with some very good prospects on it. There is some potential to sell some purses to the resulting list. I am not sure what the ROI will be but if my landing page and data collection process on the page are good I will add a healthy number of prospects to my own list, and will sell some purses in the near term as well as in the future.
Now, lets consider just one more important factor:
I happen to be selling my purses via a website.
Does it do me any good to put my message in front of women who do not use credit cards? How about women who do not shop online? Even if they do use credit cards and shop online, how frequently do they do so?
Those are just a few examples of behavioral targeting that can be added to the mix. Think about how much more refined that list would become when you add the behavioral aspects to your list selects.
There are a growing number of behavioral targeting options ranging all the way down to very scientific data research that can asses a site visitor’s intent vs. interest. This is pretty awesome stuff that You should consider adding to your marketing arsenal if you have not already.
Onward & Upward!
He related the breaking point to rising insurance costs (you know the ones… health and automotive that continue to increase well beyond inflation regardless of whether or not you have even dipped into their reserves).
At what point does one say ENOUGH! and switch to another service, where presumably the same cycle will repeat itself.
The insurance companies are juggling the trade off between the extra revenue they collect system wide relative to account attrition. As I look at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s profit statement of over 100 million (not bad for a "nonprofit") I say they are balancing things just fine.
Now let’s take breakage in a different direction and look at online businesses.
The breaking point that I often see pushed is in the realm of email marketing and list ownership. I have heard more than one successful list owner admit that once they get a name on their list they will hit them pretty darned unmercifully until they either convert to a customer or unsubscribe. If they leave without buying then they weren’t worth having on the list.
The lead funnel for that type of business model must be huge. It is also probably a safe assumption that most names on the lists are there in response to freebie, opportunity seeker type offers. Not exactly the model customer prospects.
Now, what if that breaking point were to be skewed just a little?
What if the attitudes and the messages were changed so the folks on the list felt they had a real relationship with the list owner. What if the content they received in most mailings was so good that they were afraid to leave the list for fear of missing out on something. Consider that a small change in the messages being sent out could sway 1-10% of the people normally heading back out the door. Could that translate into a lot more customer conversions, even repeat customer conversions, with roughly the same amount of work.
I say, change the attitude and the income will follow. You do not have to PUSH people to the breaking point, just lead them to drink your water.
The biggest problem with stretching a rubber band until it breaks is when it snaps back and smacks you in the hand.
Onward & Upward!
Email marketing is an interesting creature.
The volume of messages hitting consumers these days (not even taking Spam into account!) can be quite staggering.
I’ve read at times that email marketing is dying and we as business owners need to look at alternative vehicles through which to reach our market.
This is largely due to the increasing level of competition within the consumer’s inboxes.
Then I read an article like the the most recent Marketing Sherpa piece I received and I see that the oposite CAN be true.
The article is a case study (like all Marketing Sherpa pieces) of how an online business converted their email marketing efforts from double to single optin… and thrived siginificantly.
You can read the article by visiting Marketing Sherpa where it will be available for the next 10 days. After that you have to pay for access.
Now, on the subject of Marketing Sherpa, if you aren’t familiar with them… you need to be. Founder Anne Holland has created an incredible resource and thriving business. Their business model alone is very worth investigating.
Basically, they produce reports covering a variety of aspects of marketing. These reports they make available online for free for 10 days. As I said above, after that you have to pay for access. In the process they establish themselves as a "go to" agency for research and information and they pull in tons of prospective buyers.
Subscribing is free and you can pick and choose which areas of marketing you wish to hear about.
I urge you to become a subscriber now.
Onward & Upward!