“Build it and they will come.”
But creating a list which is valuable, has longevity and will pay dividends well into the future requires focus. And strategy.
What you need to build a list:
Always start with “why are we doing this?”
Is it to stay front of mind? Staying front of mind means you need to regularly – and depending on your industry, frequently appear in the in-boxes of the people on your list.
For example; creating ‘nurture content” and sending out a quarterly newsletter is great for an audience who make a high value, infrequent purchase – real estate is a good example.
Is it to up-sell or cross sell? Communicate to your list the other things you may be able to help them with.
For example; an accounting practice may also offer business strategy and and financial advice but do your accounting clients know that?
Start with who you already know
Gather the names and email addresses of everyone you have already worked with and upload them into a database/CRM. These people already know you even though they may not have heard from you for a while.
Not everyone is welcome
Make sure you know who you want on your list – and who you don’t. There is no point having thousands of people on your database if they are unlikely to do business with you.
The best way to make sure you get the right people on your list is to create something which is both valuable to your ideal client AND unappealing to the people you really don’t want on your list.
For example; the language you use, your visual branding, and the topic of your lead magnet will help attract and repel people.
Read our Ultimate Opt-in Offer Guide here
Choose a database
There are many different types of CRM’s from Mail Chimp (free for a small list, easy and fun to use) to Hub Spot (enterprise level with bells and whistles you can’t even imagine) as well as good all-rounders for a fair, scaled cost such as Active Campaign and Ontraport. And there are industry specific CRMs which cater to the unique needs of a particular industry – Agent Box has been developed for real estate agencies.
Write, video, photograph
Depending on your product and/or service, you will need to create valuable content to share. In fact, content underpins everything you do when growing and nurturing a list of people.
You need content:
Good content underpins all your online marketing and helps you grow a solid list of potential leads who are already looking for your product or service.