If you’ve ever been on a webinar run by one of the big online marketers you have almost certainly heard the phrase ‘the money is in the list’.

You may have discounted that as ‘not relevant for a business like mine’, but a list of people who have demonstrated an interest in what you do or offer is definitely the next best thing to money in the bank.

It doesn’t matter if you have a strong aversion to the idea of spamming people – that’s something you need to get over.  If people have already shown an interest and you deliver information that’s valuable it’s not spam.

The key elements of a money-generating email marketing system

1: Creating the ‘carrot’

This is something that will persuade people to willingly give you their name and email address.  It’s usually a document that has information of value to the people you want as customers.  Here are some examples:

  • 17 Mistakes Property Investors Make … and how to avoid them
  • The Top 7 Questions Interviewers Ask
  • Your Email Marketing Blueprint
  • Your Health & Safety Checklist
  • How to assemble a flatpack with the minimum of frustration!

Every business has expertise embedded – it’s just a case of working out what will tempt your ideal customers and then providing that information with an attractive title.

It doesn’t have to be a long document as long as it has useful tips or advice.  A one-page checklist or 10 top tips is enough.  Some people create longer ‘reports’ or ‘ebooks’, but it’s up to you.

Save your ‘carrot’ as a pdf document to make downloading easy and the content stable and secure.

2: Setting up the data capture form

To provide the means for people to enter their details you need a form – and then the information needs to be collected somewhere.  Of course, you can get a developer to create a bespoke system for you that sits behind your website, but we’re probably talking figures with at least three zeros on the end.

The more usual approach is to use one of the many online data-management tools.  Probably the best known is MailChimp, because it has a free option for up to 2000 names and it’s a good place to start.  Other options with monthly subscriptions that usually relate to the number of contacts you’ve got; these include AWeber, Constant Contact, GetReponse, Infusionsoft and many more.  Most are based in the US and subscriptions are in US$, but some have other currency options.

Once you’re signed up you can set up a list (or several lists) and set up a form for each list.  The hosting platform will provide some html code that is pretty straightforward to insert into your website.

3: Organising the delivery system

If you get people’s contact details and then don’t deliver the promised information your reputation is going to take a battering!  This means you need a means of delivering the document.

This might be a hidden page on your website where people can download the document.  Your data capture form set up will probably allow you to insert the URL for this page into their process so that, once someone has confirmed they want to get this information, they are taken to the page for download.

Another option is that confirmation triggers an email with the document attached or with a link to the page where they can download it.

These three steps are pretty straightforward, but don’t forget to promote your free document on social media.  If people don’t know it’s there, your list will grow very slowly so Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other places where your target market hangs out are great places to let people know about this valuable information.

If you need help with any of this – from developing your giveaway to setting up the data capture system – just give me a call on 01245 473296.