As an online entrepreneur and marketer you need an audience to market your product or service to. But more than just an audience, you need a captive audience… people who want to hear what you have to say… people who want to receive your offers.
So, where do you start? How do you acquire your audience?
The short answer is you need to build a list of subscribers and communicate with them through your email marketing efforts. Sounds easy, no? Let’s take a closer look at what needs to be done.
What Do You Need to Build a List?
Before you can begin building a list, you need an auto respond service that will allow you to create opt-in forms in order to collect names and email addresses.
You will also need a hosting service to host your squeeze pages. Or you could look into the many services now available that will let you create your squeeze pages and host them for you as a courtesy.
Step 1: Capture names and email addresses
The first step in your list building is to create a squeeze page, also called a lead capture page. The squeeze page needs to be simple and must include a form to capture the name and email address of your subscriber.
You don’t need to over complicate your squeeze page. In fact, you risk losing the prospect by doing so. Just give them a compelling headline and a brief “sub-headline” to grab attention and to pique curiosity about your incentive or “lead magnet.”
Your lead magnet is the product which you offer for free to entice the prospect to enter their name and email address into the opt-in form. Generally, the lead magnet is going to be some kind of digital product that can be easily delivered by email or download.
The lead magnet needs to be valuable to the prospect and relevant to your product. Ideally, a 1–3 page report, a cheat sheet, an infographic, a short video, a list, or anything else that is going to solve a need.
There’s always a type of work that can be done by yourself easily and in a matter of minutes. For example, you can use specific tools to find emails of leads to reach out to them. They are quick and accurate, search for emails on any website, either social professional network or a corporate website, and offer lots of search parameters. Also, you can choose the best option for you, either to use the web application or the browser extension that is really handy.
Such tools are great ones as quite often they offer not just an email finder but a set of other useful features for high-quality lead generation. One of the most important ones is email verifier that lets check if all the found email addresses are valid. With a set of such tools, you will be able to build the list of leads of high quality.
Step 2: Drive traffic to your squeeze page
The next step is to drive traffic to your squeeze page in order to present your lead magnet to your prospects.
If you don’t have traffic, you don’t have any prospects to eventually enter your sales funnel, and that is your goal. There are a number of ways, including free and paid methods, to drive traffic to your squeeze page.
But you’re not done yet. Once on your mailing list you need to interact with your subscribers. You need to prepare email messages welcoming them and letting them know what to expect in the future.
Since these are messages you upload to your auto responder, you only need to do this once and all subsequent subscribers to your list will receive the same messages.
What Do You Do With Your List?
You have a growing list of subscribers, you’ve “introduced” yourself through your welcome message and a few follow up messages, providing even more information related to your product.
You are now in a unique position to engage with your subscribers and offer them your products and/or services. You’ve taken the time to establish your credibility so they begin to trust you.
The Sales Funnel
This is where you begin your email marketing campaigns in earnest. This is where you help the folks on your list by introducing them to your sales funnel. They’ve already indicated their interest by requesting your incentive, now you need to follow through with your products.
The Introductory Offer
At this stage your subscribers know who you are and it’s time to take the next step by making them an offer to a valuable and relevant product they can’t refuse… offering them the product at a deep discount so they feel comfortable making that first purchase from you.
This step is very important because this is where you turn a subscriber into a customer and they begin the journey down your sales funnel. This offer is not designed to make a profit, so don’t get hung up on offering a product with real value at a low price.
This offer should further cement your credibility and establish you as an authority.
The Main Offer
The main offer is your product or service; what you built your business around. This is the reason you created this funnel. The traffic, the lead magnet, and the low-cost offer have all been leading the subscriber to this offer.
Because your customers purchased your first product, followed your instructions and saw results, they are inclined to purchase your main product. They now have confidence in you and believe they will benefit even more from this new offer.
Once the subscriber has purchased your main offer, you’ve sent additional informative and valuable information via your email series and now you’re ready to introduce your customers to an even more valuable product, be it an eCourse or software, or whatever pertains to your main product and your business.
Whether you have just one additional product to offer or more, you send the appropriate offers and your customers continue down the sales funnel until they reach the end for that product or service and exit the funnel.
Anatomy of a Sales Funnel in Action
Let’s look at an example.
Suppose Maryann comes across your free report on how to make money writing short reports and she subscribes to your list. She reads the report and decides she wants to give this a shot.
Your follow-up email offers Maryann another guide on “How to Write Articles in 10 Minutes.” Maryann feels this additional information will help her and is comfortable with the $7.00 price tag.
She purchases the introductory offer.
Maryann followed your advice and becomes a prolific writer. She soon discovers she can make money writing blog posts and articles for others and is thrilled that her dream of starting her own business is becoming a reality.
When she reads your email offering your eBook, “Making Megabucks Writing Sales Letters” she doesn’t even hesitate, and the $27.00 is well worth it.
She purchases the main offer.
Now Maryann is on a roll! She continues to write blog posts, articles and sales letters, and her income grows. She discovers she has a passion for copywriting, something she never even considered before.
Again, in a follow-up email you offer your eCourse, “Copywriting from A to Z.” She’s a little hesitant at the price of $97.00 but is convinced the system will work for her as your other products had not failed her.
She purchases the upsell. That’s how your sales funnel works.
Hopefully you can see how important it is to first build a list of subscribers, then to integrate a sales funnel into each email marketing campaign you set up. That’s the best way to turn subscribers into customers. If done properly, it could be a relationship that lasts for many years.