Email today has become the equivalent of snail mail 10 years ago. You probably receive one or two things you actually use each day – mostly bills – and the rest goes right in the trash.
Still, until email disappears completely or takes on another form – which it ultimately will – you need to include email marketing as part of your overall marketing campaign.
Fortunately, there are literally hundreds of automated email sites that you can use. Some are free, others low-cost and still others are more expensive. But like anything else, you usually get what you pay for.
Beware of ‘Free’ List Building Software
There are a number of “free” list building programs that you can use. For most of them, in order to fully utilize their services you sooner or later will have to pay something.
Basically, the way they work is that you pay a fee and you “rent” a list of email addresses for a specified period of time. You can send out emails to these addresses and try to market your products. But this is a pretty random approach to marketing. Most of the people on these lists are online marketers themselves, so you probably aren’t going to get much of a response for your investment.
Paying for What You Get
You can buy paid advertising — such as banners and display ads on niche-related web pages – in order to attract customers who are already proven to be interested in the type of products and services you promote.
Facebook actually has a very good and affordable Facebook Ads program that does this all for you. It lets you search for Fan Pages and interest groups within Facebook for members who are already interested in your niche.
Targeting Customers on Twitter
There also are many strategies you can use on Twitter to find targeted customers. What you do is to find people you know are interested in your niche and then look at their lists of followers to find people with similar interests and with large groups of followers, then follow those people in the hopes they will follow you back.
Then you can search Twitter for tags for subjects related to your niche, then look for people to follow who have an interest in your niche. You always want to make sure they have a large list of followers so that when they friend you a lot of people can see your Tweets.
Finally, after you have a lot of Twitter followers, you can market your products and services to them on a regular basis.
A word of warning, however: People who use Twitter tend to are often wary if they think you are just there to sell them something. It’s a social media site, after all, so don’t aggressively promote your products with every Tweet.
Instead, send out a lot of niche related material – such as tips, quotes, stories, and so on – and only promote products once in a while. This allows you to build relationships with your followers and eventually convert them into customers.
Article Writing and Distribution
Another way to build your list is to write articles related to your niche then submit them to article generators. Make sure your articles include links to your home page or squeeze page. Then when people follow these links you have the opportunity to capture their email address.
You also can leave links to you squeeze page on public forums, blogs, blog responses, and numerous other places. Once you get into the habit of leaving a link to your squeeze pages, you will see your list grow quickly, and it will be filling up with people who genuinely are interested in your products and services.
Creating an email list with these kinds of high-quality potential customers is much more worth your while than spending time and money chasing after a list of people who are going to give you a low quick-through rate.
Until email finally turns into something else – and it already is starting to do so – building email lists of potential customers will remain an important way to build your business.
At the very least, your competitors will be doing it, so you need to do it as well. But keep your eye on where people are going nowadays and focus more energy on places such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn.