Welcome to lesson #3.
In the last two lessons, we discussed how it is absolutely vital to have an autoresponder set up for your business, due to the fact that it is the most cost effective way to generate revenue and communicate with your customers and prospects. We then covered how to create compelling emails and subject lines, in order to maximize your “open rate” and “response rate” (i.e. the percentage of people who take the desired “call to action” that you specify in your emails). By this point, you’ve probably started thinking about some enticing emails that you could send out to your customers and prospects. You may also be wondering how to add existing customers and new, targeted prospects to your email list. As we promised at the end of the last lesson, this lesson will cover some excellent methods and strategies for growing your list of customers and prospects.
Let’s first take a look at how to get your existing customers to join your email list. The best way to get your existing customers onto your autoresponder’s email list is to look at the ways that you currently interact with your customers, and then simply invite them to join your email list, during your existing interactions. For example, if you own a retail storefront and you interact with your customers face to face, here’s a great way to quickly build your email list with paying customers. Incidentally, paying customers are the best types of people to have on your email list, since they’ve already proven that they will spend money with you.
When your customer is making their purchase at the cash register or wherever else they make their purchase, explain to them that your company now has a V.I.P. list that will allow them to save money on future purchases. You should also explain that they can unsubscribe from your email list at any time and that you will only email them with valuable offers and information. Unless your customer doesn’t like saving money, they should be very happy and willing to join your email list, since it only means potential savings for them.
If you have an internet connection at your place of business, you should then ask for your customer’s email address and enter it onto your form. Just let your customer know that they will receive a confirmation email, so that they can verify that they’ve chosen to receive emails from you. This process of receiving a confirmation email is known as “double opt-in” and all reputable autoresponder services offer it. This just helps you to ensure that you’re sending emails to people who actually want to receive them. Whenever you’re setting up your autoresponder, or if you have someone else doing it for you, make sure that the “double opt-in” option is selected. You should sign up to your own email list, with your own email address, to make sure that this is set up properly. Plus, you’ll also want to make sure that you get the emails that are going out to your customers, to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
If you don’t interact with your customers face to face or you don’t have internet access at your place of business, you can include a message on your company’s invoices and receipts, telling customers about your “VIP List” and any special gift or savings that they’ll receive when they sign up. Of course, also include your website address where your sign-up form is located.
Everyone who works at your place of business, who interacts with customers, should also be trained to encourage each customer to sign up to your email list. Your employees should explain the benefits that customers will receive when they sign up, they should tell your customers that they can unsubscribe at any time, and they should emphasize that they will not send them too many emails. On a related note, it’s also a good idea to let your customers know that you won’t share their email addresses with any other companies.
In short, you should take a look at every way that you interact with your customers and use all of those ways to encourage your customers to join your list. Of course, the more benefits that you can tell your customers they’ll receive, if they join your list, the more customers you’ll get to actually join your list.
Most businesses have no idea how valuable a paying customer’s email address is. More specifically, the majority of business owners do not know the “Average Lifetime Value” of their customers. As the term implies, the “Average Lifetime Value” of a customer refers to how much money a customer will spend with you, over the entire course of their relationship with you. For example, if you own a barber shop, your average customer gets their $20 hair cut once a month, and your average customer remains your customer for 5 years, this means that the Average Lifetime Value of your customers is $1,200, or $240 per year for 5 years:
$20 haircut x 12 months per year = $240 per year x 5 years = $1200
You might be wondering what this concept of a customer’s Average Lifetime Value has to do with building and growing an email list. The answer is that it has just about everything to do with dominating your market and maximizing the number of customers and targeted prospects that join your list. More specifically, when you know how much each customer is worth to you, over the course of their relationship with you, you’ll be able to gain a better perspective on the savings that you can offer them for joining your list.
Unfortunately, many businesses grossly underestimate how valuable a paying customer is to them. As a result, businesses fall into the trap of making typical offers that are extremely boring to the customer, such as “10% off your next purchase”, “Buy 4, get one free.”, etc. With the majority of uninformed businesses making such bland offers, it’s no wonder why the majority of businesses are constantly struggling for market share.
On the other hand, let’s say that you took a half hour of your time to figure out, or estimate, the lifetime value of your paying customers. Let’s assume that you then learned that each of your paying customers was worth, on average, $1,000. Upon learning that each new customer is worth $1,000, do you think that you could afford to offer a new customer $50 off their first purchase of $100 or more? Of course, without knowing your type of business, your profit margins, or a variety of other factors, we couldn’t tell you exactly how much of a discount you should give to new customers. We can tell you, however, that if you were willing to breakeven on a new customer’s purchase, or make a very nominal amount of profit on a new customer’s initial purchase, it’s very likely that you will be making an offer that will be much more exciting than your competitors. As a result, you will start to win a greater and greater share of your market, while your competitors scratch their heads, wondering how you’re able to make such an amazing offer to new customers.
Of course, if your customers don’t stay with you for very long, due to low product quality or poor customer service, none of this will work, because your lifetime value per customer will be relatively low. If, on the other hand, your biggest challenge is getting new customers, but once they become a customer they stay a customer, then this simple concept could be exactly what you need to do, to dominate your entire market!
Now, within the context of building your email list with prospects (i.e. people who haven’t spent any money with you yet), you want to keep this critical concept of a customer’s Average Lifetime Value in mind. Specifically, when you decide on the thing(s) that you will offer to people, in exchange for joining your email list, you should be factoring in the Average Lifetime Value of your paying customers. In other words, if your Average Lifetime Value per customer is $1,000 per year, for 10-15 years, for a total Average Lifetime Value of $10,000-$15,000, do you think you could offer a new email subscriber more than $5 off their next purchase? Of course, even if you offered them a $500 savings on their next purchase, and you knew that you’d profit, on average $1,000 from them over the course of the next year, you’d still double your investment on the $500 savings that you initially extended to them. Of course, these figures assume net profit, without factoring in your expenses.
The main point to take away from this section is that you want to make your customers a really good offer that would be almost impossible for them to resist, in exchange for them joining your list. Just make sure that your offer isn’t so good that it puts you out of business. When you have a clear understanding of the Average Lifetime Value of your customers, you’ll be able to make an enticing offer to anyone who joins your list. Additionally, you’ll be able to make offers in your follow-up emails that will take into account this ever-important consideration of Average Lifetime Value. Keep in mind that without an exciting offer and a very good reason for people to join your list, your list building results will only be a small fraction of what they could be.
OK, now that we’ve thoroughly covered the importance of making great offers to people, so that they trust you with their email addresses, let’s go over a very powerful way to attract new prospects to your list.
First and foremost, you’re going to want to get as much mileage as possible from your existing customers who join your list. That is, your existing customers can have a huge influence over their friends, relatives, and co-workers, who aren’t your customers just yet. The saying, “Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising.” is very true. Additionally, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter make it possible for you to now put “word-of-mouth” advertising into overdrive.
In the same way that you can make someone a special offer when they join your list, you can also make them a special offer for simply “Liking” your Facebook page or website. As you may know, when someone “Likes” your Facebook page or website, through Facebook, all of their friends on Facebook can see that they “liked” you. Did you know, though, that you can automatically provide people with something of value, if they “Like” your Facebook page or website? Setting up what is known as a “Like Gate” is the way that you can automatically give people access to something, such as a coupon or special offer, right after they “Like” you on Facebook.
As we talked about above, if you offer something exciting and of considerable value, it’s very possible that your customers’ friends, relatives, and co-workers will also “Like” you, and their Facebook friends will too, and so on, and so on. As you may know, when tons and tons of people start to “Like” and share something on Facebook or any other social media platform, this is known as “going viral”, because the initial “Likes” lead to more “Likes”, which lead to even more “Likes”, etc., in the same way that a virus spreads.
While many things that “go viral” online are often accidental, there are many things that go viral through careful planning and making a great offer that people naturally want to receive. Simply make an irresistible offer and people will be happy to “Like” your Facebook page or website. Even though it’s free to “Like” anything, the offer still has to be appealing enough for people to want it and, in turn, “Like” your Facebook page or website.
If you happen to have computer programming skills, you might be able to set up a “Like Gate” for free. Alternatively, if you know a reputable computer programmer, you may be able to pay them to do this for you. If, however, you are not good at computer programming and you don’t know any good, reliable computer programmers, there are some incredibly inexpensive tools that will set this up for you. In fact, you can get most of these tools for a fraction of the cost of what most reliable programmers will charge you.
These tools are designed to be extremely user friendly, so even if you are not particularly tech-savvy, you should still be able to follow the simple instructions for using these tools.
When you consider the fact that an effective “Like Gate” could generate thousands upon thousands of people talking about your business and referring your business to others, the small cost of these tools rather unbelievable. As you probably realize, it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in traditional advertising, to attract thousands of new customers. On the other hand, by just setting up an effective Like Gate that goes viral, you could find yourself in a position where you no longer need to sink all of your profits into outdated advertising methods that produce a mediocre ROI.
Here are our favorite, inexpensive tools for helping businesses set up Like Gates, to drive tons of traffic to their websites and Facebook Fan Pages:
Social Locker (Once you get here do a search for Social Locker)
Our primary objective in this training is to show you how to grow your business, without having to spend thousands of dollars on underperforming advertising and marketing. By simply having the right, inexpensive tools, it’s quite possible that your business will start to see results that you could have never achieved with more expensive forms of advertising.
You probably came to the conclusion, long ago, that people don’t like to be advertised and marketed to. On the other hand, when their friends, relatives, and co-workers are recommending something, through one of the popular social media platforms, your business can tap into this massive power of word-of-mouth referrals, by just using an inexpensive tool that makes this all possible.
In the next lesson, we’ll continue to delve deeper into some incredible ways that you can bring in customers, who are actively searching for your products and services, without you having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or marketing!