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Lesson #3: Capitalize on Your Captures!

One of the underlying benefits of smart autoresponders is that you can use your autoresponder for mailing list management.

It's like putting permission marketing into overdrive!

In other words, you can use it to build a database of opt-in email addresses for publishing an ezine, delivering courses or making announcements... Including special backend offers!

Smart autoresponders allow you to promote to a growing base of email addresses that you establish over time. But before starting the process, you need to start capturing emails!

The Dynamics of Lead Generation

Traditional ways of lead generation is a costly endeavor. For example, if you were to use direct mail to scoop up prospects, you have to pay for the "3 P's" of direct mail...

And postage.

And that's a bare minimum, because it doesn't account for the list you must either rent or buy, the labels you must peal and stick, and the time it takes to stuff it all into envelopes.

Plus, they may or may not be targeted!

If you want to find quality leads, first you do a blind mailing (even though you may think the audience is targeted, they're only suspects at this point... Not prospects!).

Then, once they come forward and ask for more information, the mailing process repeats itself! So, chasing down quality leads can become agonizingly slow and expensive!

The Internet changes all that! Unlike the "3 P's" of direct mail, email has "3 F's." In other words, delivery of email is free, fast and focused. Why did I say "focused?" Here's what I mean...

With permission marketing and NOT spam (i.e., where people opt in and voluntarily come forward to ask for your information FIRST before you mail them), email is highly targeted!

Your email is focused on the customer from the get "go!"

How to Start Capturing Email Addresses...

Developing an opt-in list is done by compiling email addresses of recipients that have given you permission to email them with information that pertains to what they opted for.

People subscribing not only get an instant reply or a series of follow-ups thereafter, but they can also get, say, newsletter issues, product announcements, special offers and so on.

Building a quality, "targeted" list of prospects is the most important thing you can do for your business. How many times have you let your visitors slip away, never to return?

The best way to generate repeat visitors to your site is to ask (and capture) their email addresses. The easiest way is by offering an opt-in subscription to some kind of publication.

At minimum, you should publish a periodic email newsletter to inform visitors of new product updates or website changes.

Nevertheless, you must build your opt-in list right away, and do whatever you can to capture people's email addresses and their permission to email them... And avoid SPAM!

Why is it so important? Realize that the money is not in the one-time sale (as it is with spam) but in the lifetime value of a customer. People who buy can do so again and again...

If you keep them informed, interested and persuaded!

Several of the following techniques may seem obvious to you, but sometimes they are overlooked. My advice to you is to use them all or as many as you can to build your lists!

First, remember that your autoresponder's database may be comprised of several types of people. For example, it may include one or several opt-in lists consisting of...

Current and new customers;
Prospects (people asking for more information);
Subscribers (to a newsletter, for example);
And other people's customers.

Let's take a quick at each one. Shall we?

1. Customers

Unless your business is completely new, you probably have a list of customers right now. Your customers' names and email addresses will create the first and best list you will ever own.

Once they buy from you, their defenses are down. A trust has been built and a relationship has been established. Current customers are poised to buying from you again in the future.

Never abandon your "existing" customer base!

You spent money, time and energy on acquiring these new customers... But if you try to sell them again, those expenses are virtually non-existent! Acquisition costs are near ZERO!

If you don't have the email addresses of your customers, then you need to start compiling them. First, you should ask all your new customers' email addresses from this point on.

With your current customers, try to collect email addresses as much as you can. For instance, next time you send a mailer or flyer, offer something for free if they respond by email!

A contest or draw,
A survey or poll,
An electronic book (or "ebook"),
A email-only discount,
A gift certificate,
A free report,
A new unreleased product,
A free email newsletter,
A special offer,
An open house,
An affiliate program,
Etc, etc, etc.

2. Prospects

From now on, you should start compiling the email addresses of your "hot" prospects, too! If they want more information, they're identifying themselves as interested and motivated!

Your eager prospects received not only an instant reply with the information they asked for and a series of follow-ups, but they, too, should be placed into an opt-in list.

Remember, these prospects may not buy after the first or even the seventh exposure. And the possible reasons are many... Such as no interest, no time, no money, etc.

(Or they just found a more appropriate offer elsewhere.)

But these now "warm" prospects may be in a better position to buy in the future, or may be interested in something else you offer. Or they may become great referral sources!

In fact, whether they are interested or not, or they ask for more information or not, they should also become...

3. Subscribers

In addition to your customers, non-customers and prospects, you can also start building a list of opt-in subscribers! They can join your list in return for getting something free...

But if you don't, your visitors are slipping away!

For instance, place a form on your website or an email link pointing to your autoresponder, offering visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. In return, offer them something for free.

It might be a free report, an email newsletter (or "ezine"), an extra discount, a coupon, a course (with lessons delivered incrementally, like this one!) and so on... Anything free!

Visitors may not buy from you the first time. They may even be targeted, eager and interested in your offering, but fail to buy because of a lack of time, funds, trust or information!

You spent all that money and effort in getting them to visit your website in the first place... Why not capitalize on your investment and get the most "mileage" out of your visitors?

If you DON'T try to capture your visitors' emails while they're at your website, you will lose these prospects forever. You want to keep them coming back or stay in touch with them!

Once you collect email addresses from your autoresponder, add them to your prospect list and send them updates, news and, of course, product offers. Your list is your goldmine!

3. Other People's Customers

Let's say you don't have a customer list, a prospect list or a subscriber list. What do you do? Of course, common sense tells you that you must start collecting those right away.

BUT, if you want to start building a list quickly, here's one technique that works. Basically, what you do is piggy-back on other people's lists through setting up joint ventures.

First, find an established business - by that I mean one with an established opt-in email list of their own - that sells a non-competing yet related product or service to yours.

Here's an example: if you sell used cars, you might want to find and team up with, say, a car insurance company, a car parts dealer, or a car accessories distributor or whatever.

For example, you may offer an exclusive commission for any cars sold to their lists, or you may offer a free report exclusively to their subscribers, prospects or customers.

Learn more about internet marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing go to internet marketing and website promotion.

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