Building Your Mailing List with Downloads

By Ian Fernando

A mailing list is the lifeblood of your online business. The old adage "the money is in the list" cannot be true enough - if you had a targeted list of prospects to contact each time you have a new product, you will be able to save a lot of effort by marketing it to your existing list of targeted prospects.

Well first, one must think of what makes the list building strategic. What advantage is there in applying one principal versus another and what makes it the right way versus a less effective approach.

You can actually build up a targeted list of prospects that are interested in your products by offering a relevant download on your website. For example, let's take a look at a very good example - When you download the free iTunes and Quicktime software from their site, they will ask you to fill in an optional name and email form so that they can send you offers on songs that you can purchase via - guess where - iTunes!

In reality, you do not need to offer such a "heavyweight" download such as a full-feature software like iTunes.  You can attract prospects equally well with some quality freebies such as a simple report, a free wallpaper, and so on. The important thing is that your download offers enough value for the prospect to be willing to give away his/her own email address to get it.

However, slapping together a simple download and putting a link on your website won't be enough to attract qualified prospects. You will have to do some homework in order for your lead-generating mechanism to work well for you.

First of all, you must place your download form prominently on your website. Preferably, dedicate a page to it and link to that page from every other page of your website. That way, there is no way your visitors cannot find the download page, and when they do, you'll get some of them converted into your prospects!

Also, you have to put a little effort into promoting your download. Explain and elaborate on the values of the download, and why your visitors should download it. You might think why would anyone want to pass on a freebie, but most of your visitors would be too lazy to take the effort to download it because most of their downloads just sit on the harddisk collecting virtual dust. It is hence important to show your visitors why they should download your freebie.

One thing you can make your freebie important in exchange for the email in many cases is supply them with information, a regular communication, or a free offer (coupon). While this is the best way to get their email addresses, you will still have to come up with the goods for productive list building.

Aim at creating relationship with others on the list through email. Don’t make the folly of mailing your list instead of the people on the list. Be as personal as possible in your lists to build up a list. When sending out emails to existing members of your lists, don’t make the mistake of not providing any interesting information in your emails.

You must continue to build your list, revise your list, rethink you list, and continuously add to your list. Building your online list is the best way to generate more exposure to your site and will aide greatly in you directing more awareness about your site and what it has to offer. The one mistake that kills any web site is that people stop building their list and really don’t build it online.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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