"Here's a standard, oft repeated and elementary question, but one I could really use some answers to about now: What are some of the most effective and ethical ways of building one's mailing list for a relatively new coach?"
I've had conversations with two VIP clients about list building in the last couple of days and offered several ideas. Here's the answer I gave on LinkedIn:
Here's the standard, oft repeated response: give away something of value in exchange for an email address. :-)
It does work. Here are 8 things you can give away:
- A report
- an interview
- a series of videos
- a white paper
- a free teleseminar
- a workbook
- an mp3 of a program
- a webinar....
A few years ago I did a series of interviews called Conversations with Experts, every week for over a year. The first one had about 20 people on the call. By the end, hundreds were signing up. And that's before there was Facebook and Twitter. Often the person you interview will invite their list to sign up to hear the interview.
I still offer freebies to build my list: 5 free videos on how to get the best out of your blog; a 7 part eCourse on how to boost your visibility on the web; a free audio on 5 Critical Tactics for Business Blog success.
I put a subscribe form on my FB page, on my website, on my blogs. I send tweets periodically inviting people to get the freebie. My list grows every day.
Hope that gives you some ideas!
Whether you're a coach or service professional or small business owner, the answer applies to you. In order to build a list of folks interested in your business and how you can serve them, you need to have something of value to give away.
You also need a list mangement system. I have used KickStartCart (1ShoppingCart private label) for a very long time and am happy with it. Others use InfusionSoft which is also a combo shopping cart/database management system.
But what if you're are starting your business and don't need a shopping cart and don't want to spend a lot of money at the outset?
There are many options. There are fees with most systems like Aweber, Constant Contact and iContact. But generally the fees are low when you have a small list and don't send too many email broadcasts.
While scoping out options for a client, I looked at MailChimp and was impressed. They have a lot of social marketing features built in and it's also scalable. Like Aweber, MailChimp offers an RSS to email option which means you can use the service to deliver blog updates as well as handle your other list building activities. KickStartCart does not offer that feature.
If I were starting new today, I would probably go with MailChimp because the service is free for up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month.
Let's help out those who are just beginning the list building process. I have two questions for you:
1) What's your most effective list building tactic?
2) What list management system do you use and what do you like about it?