Advertising vs Permission Based Marketing

Lessons I Have Learned: Advertising vs Permission Based Marketing

Yep, it is very true. I’ve done some list building activities over the past 5 years. I’ve had an autoresponder account, and people subscribed from early on. But in my case, I didn’t know what to DO with people after they subscribed!

A Dollar A Month Per Subscriber

One rule of thumb you hear is that subscribers are worth 1 dollar a month. Some clarify that a bit saying that is for active subscribers. Some explain that their lists are more responsive, and each subscriber is worth $5.50 or $8 to them. But the bottom line is that having a list should enable you to make money by following up with your list. And I failed to even comprehend how that was supposed to work. That bit was overwhelming.

That is not to say there is any valid reason not to build a list. My big mistake was having that difficulty, and not dedicating myself to solving it. Instead, I found other things to keep me busy. And it wasn’t just that I avoided that topic for a month or two. I have to say that I honestly avoided that issue for the better part of 4 years.

Build Your List – Start Now, Keep Building

So here is what I’ll tell you from the bottom of my heart. When you have a list of 0 people, or a list of 1000 people that have learned to not pay any attention to you, then it is very hard to send out an email and “make bank”. Very few people will open your email. And those that do open your email will not be likely to take your advice. (They won’t be likely to click or buy anything.) They are just not used to trusting you. Period, and end of story.

So one lesson is that once you have a list, you want to keep it warmed up to you! Take note of that, and make sure to actually take care of that when appropriate. Don’t let your list subscribe to your list, and then get neglected for weeks and months. But for today, I’m going to get back to the more basic thing – Build your dang list!

Advertising vs Permission Based Marketing

My argument as to why you need to build a list boils down to this:

If you have a permission-based email marketing list, you have a list of people that have REQUESTED that you keep them informed. Sending an offer to those people is part of keeping them informed, providing them value and keeping them happy.

These people WANT to get your email!

If instead you don’t have a list, and you are advertising, then you are using “interruption marketing”. Joe Schmoe is minding his own business, surfing around checking out his sports teams, looking at vacation spots, learning about his model airplane hobby. And BwammmO!! There is your ad in his sidebar, or below a blog post, or flashing on a screen somewhere. He wasn’t looking for your ad. He wasn’t thinking about (whatever you want him to think about).

And you have interrupted him. He might decide he’s glad you did. He might then click, enter his email address or even pull out his credit card and buy something from you.

But the fact of the matter is, you interrupted him. And that will get you a desired result less frequently than what is recommended. What you should do is put the same type of message in front of people that have already agreed and REQUESTED that you give them those messages. (They subscribed to get email from you; send ’em some email.)

Do you like to have your phone ring in the middle of dinner to have someone push car insurance on you? Probably not. But if you need car insurance, you surf around for 2 minutes at work and find the place that Carol recommended in the hallway. At that point you’ll be glad to put in your contact details and to receive a call back. And that is because you want that information, and you actually request that someone contact you.

Now, we can muddy the waters a bit. When advertising, you can target web sites that would fit in with your product or idea. You can advertise using keywords that are carefully chosen to find people entering “buying phrases” into Google. “buy leopard throw rug” might be an example. So you can make your advertising more targeted.

But I’ll stick to my story. If you have a person who has already been to a page, saw your offer and entered their email address to get more info, the odds are stacked in your favor that person is more warmed up to your idea than a random surfer who isn’t yet on your mailing list.

So Get Surfers On Your Mailing List

So step one is, learn to get good at making offers that entice people to give you their email address. That’s all you need. Often times people collect both a name and an email. You do this by using an autoresponder service such as Aweber. The process of getting that to happen sets up a “permission-based marketing” situation. The people that give you their email address do so voluntarily, and they are requesting that you contact them from time to time.

Follow Up With Your List

Next, DO Send these people email! You probably used an “ethical bribe” to get them to supply your their email address. So give them whatever your promised in your first email to them.

And then keep sending them emails. That might be daily or monthly. There are zillions of types of messages you could send. Partly your readers will learn what your style is. If they decide they do not like your style, they can “leave”. This is easy for them because reputable autoresponder services have an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every email you send out. Some also have an “update info” link which can help your subscribers actually give you MORE information.

Realize also that there are 2 types of emails you can send. (Oh, and zillions of styles of emails; I’m saying that these mail services have two email send modes.) You can send “Follow-Up Messages” and you can send “Broadcast” messages. I’ll write about these one day soon. You should make use of both.

Make Offers

Now when you have an offer of some sort, you send that offer out. And you send it to your “permission-based list” of subscribers. Don’t send dog grooming offers to a model airplane list, ok? But if you have a list-building list and you got a great result with a class, don’t you think that could help some of the people on your list? Be a good person, and SHARE the info!

If that info happens to come in the form of an affiliate link to the training program, that’s ok. If it benefits your subscribers, it’s good to provide it to them. See how that works? Just be aware that you might need to have a “materials connection” disclosure in your affiliate promo email.

Calling Leads vs Follow Up With Subscribers

So this is what inspired this post. I was talking to someone in the last couple days, and they were going to purchase some leads. They intended to call these leads. And I know that they didn’t have any real skill or even training about how to do that successfully. They were going to stumble through it. On personality alone they might do amazingly well at the task…this is a really good person to get to know.

But here’s my take on that. If I do call leads again, I won’t do it the way I did it years ago. I have a better game plan now! I won’t try to have a full-on conversation and end with an agreement to speak again. I’m still in a position of chasing that person in that situation. That just doesn’t seem productive to me.

Assuming I am making the call, I’m making a one-on-one call to a person who might not recall or admit that they were “looking for something”. So if I mention that they entered their info on a form on the Internet they might disagree. I could get them to “review some information” which I would send to them in email…and we could talk after they’ve had 2 or 3 days to check that out.

But here is what I would do now, instead. I would get them to write down a SIMPLE URL and visit it. I would tell them to enter in their email to get my special report, or my video report or some “ethical bribe”. And I’d let that permission-based marketing process kick in.

My emails would tell them we could follow up based on their level of interest. (If they are at their computer, I might walk them through submitting their email address on my form before I hang up the phone when talking to them that one initial time.)

Begin Permission-Based Follow-Up and Marketing

Then I’d let my autoresponder work with them! They *just* entered their info on my form, so they are a valid FRESH permission-based opt-in subscriber.

If the report is written or audio or video I get them is done decently and strikes their fancy, or their needs, then they will be motivated to take some action. They might buy something for $7. They might join a membership site I have (free or paid). They might decide they want a blog just like mine, and sign up to get one.

That won’t work on everyone. But I’m not chasing people on the phone, where I know their number is valid (because we just spoke 3 days ago) but they don’t answer. Instead, some of the people I talk to will request my “ethical bribe”; some of them will read my emails, and some of them will then contact ME.

And in all those cases where they do join a site or buy from me, I can call them back and thank them for becoming a customer! I can thank them for their purchase, or thank them for joining my membership. I can offer assistance. I can ask them what they like best about their purchase or membership. They are now my customer.

See how fast that can go from me cold-calling an uncooperative lead to having a customer that wants to hear from me? One that is contacting ME this time?

Please leave a comment, or share this if you found it helpful. I’d love to get your feedback. And if I can get you involved in blogging, let me know that! You can get info on blogging like this by entering your email address here.

Whatever you do, just Build a Permission-Based Marketing List – Please!!

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