The best list building comes from contacts you have developed either offline or online. There are list purchasing options available online but these are not recommended if you want to create a quality list or genuine and qualified leads.
It makes sense that the better quality list building you want to create (a robust database of repeat, referring and loyal customers, great partners, reliable suppliers etc), the more attractive you need to make it for potential list members to opt in.
It is a good idea to have a range of offers pitched at different levels of risk and commitment. This will help you develop balanced and varied list building.
Require very little interaction on the part of the customer. Usually they provide a name and email address in return for a simple download. It may be a print download (such as a how-to guide, white paper, report or e-book), or an audio or video offer (interviews, tutorials, step-by-step guide).
The customer is testing the quality and promise of your business and in return gives you permission to begin communicating with them via email.
Step things up a level. A phone or in person consultation (usually free) or one of your regular services or products at a heavily discounted price are common hard offers. In return you can ask for a little more from your customer - a few key demographics to help you segment them and therefore market to them appropriately.
If you are unsure about what you can offer potential customers, contact us for a discussion. You will be surprised at how much intellectual property your business has that will be immensely value to prospects and help with your qualified list building.
People want opting to be two things: fast and secure.
Note that there is a 10% drop off rate for each extra field you ask a respondent to complete. So make sure you attach your most compelling offers to longer opt in processes.
It is also important that you are aware of anti-spam laws. It is illegal in most countries (Australia included) to send unsolicited emails (spam) to people. By opting in your prospect is giving you implied permission to market to them. But two key elements will safeguard your reputation:
List building is not a finite process. An important part is not only getting more numbers on your list, but building the relationship with your existing list.
Communicate regularly with your email list. And remember the sage advice of celebrity vet Dr Hugh Wirth: "Begin as you mean to go on".
Don't offer a dazzling array of free offers just to get people onto your list. Reward loyalty with loyalty. Keep those offers coming to remind your database how valuable they are and thank them for their custom, referrals and support.