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Grow Your Lists

Lists are the lifeblood of your business. Without a list of qualified prospects, or paid buyers, your business will shrivel up and die.

But building a list isn’t easy. Well, it’s easy to acquire names…just about anyone can do that.

What’s not so easy is finding qualified names…people are have demonstrated some kind of propensity to buy your product, such as signing up for a free report on a related topic. Or they may purchase a “gateway” report (very low priced, i.e. $5) which indicates that they’ll open their wallets…and likely will do so again.

So what’s the best way to build your list of qualified prospective buyers? Here are some channels to help you get to those valuable names.

Adwords – Arguably the most well known pay-per-click online marketing tool, Google Adwords is a great way to acquire qualified names. The Adwords platform allows for tight targeting and easy budgeting control, and has a wide array of sophisticated analytical tools. This is often used as a jumping off point if you’re just getting started in online name acquisition. Once you score some successes here, you can apply them to other platforms.

Facebook – Gaining in popularity over the last year or so, Facebook is fast becoming a favorite for online marketers. Facebook can be a quick, easy way to garner interest in your products, through fan building campaigns, passion pages, sponsored posts, or a combination of all of these.

Bing, Yahoo – These platforms are very similar to Adwords, but they’re not nearly as robust and have nowhere near the same audience reach. These shouldn’t be ignored, but you should have realistic expectations when delving into these networks.

Native ads – Native ads are ads which look native to the platform (instead of a one-size-fits all ad, such as a banner). The ad is customized to fit on the site where it’s displayed. Native ads tend to be more effective, as many people have become ‘blind’ to traditional banner ads. Native ad networks can help locate and manage inventory.

Co-registration – This targets people who have already signed up for a service and offers them an additional (usually similar) service. This can happen on the thank you page, where users are offered the opportunity to sign up for your service. There can be one or more offers on the co-reg page, i.e. users can select multiples services (or e-letters) to sign up for. Clearly, the fewer offers on the co-reg page, the better for your offer. Co-reg can work well, if the offers are aligned and the deal is structured in the right way.

List swaps – Looks for businesses similar to yours that you can swap lists with, or run ads to their e-letter files or on their websites. These are well qualified because they’ve expressed interest in the same subject area, or have exhibited behavior similar to your buyers. For example, in the publishing space, looking for other publishing companies in the same subject area as your e-letter files. Or, looks for lists of people who are active readers, i.e. subscribers to news or magazine e-letters.

Placements on websites – As with swaps, look for websites that contain similar content to yours, or that attract people that demonstrate the same behavior you’re looking for, i.e. readers. You can do placement swaps (if you have a website that takes advertising), or you can purchase space.

These are just several of many methods to attract qualified names to your list. With careful attention to your metrics, you can successfully build a list that will perform for you and help you grow your business.