Autoresponders and Mailing Lists
If you’re new to trying to make money online, this may be the first time you’ll see the phrase I’m about to type, but it absolutely won’t be the last:
The money is in the list.
You’re going to read that a lot, and you’re likely going to read it until you’re tired of seeing it. It’s an article of faith in the affiliate marketing world that profits are indeed, tied to having a mailing list. That’s not to say that you cannot make money online without a mailing list; it’s quite possible to earn money without one. But you can earn more if you do have one, and there are a number of reasons for that. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about the importance of autoresponders and mailing lists so that you can understand their importance as a marketing tool.
Autoresponder and Mailing Lists Overview
In online affiliate marketing, the entire point of what you do is to persuade people to buy whatever product you happen to be promoting. If you are sufficiently persuasive, they’ll buy and you’ll earn a commission. That’s the theory, and for a lot of products, it can, indeed, work exactly that way, particularly if the product is relatively inexpensive or the only one of its kind on the market. What if the product is expensive? What if the product is one where there are numerous alternatives on the market?
In those cases, buyers may be interested, but may be hesitant to make a purchase right now. They might want to think about it…or do some research on another product, which they might end up buying. Sometimes, visitors to your Website need a bit more persuasion. For that, you’re going to need some kind of future access to them. They’re not necessarily going to come back to your Website; they’ve already seen what you have to offer there. No, you’re going to need to have some other kind of access to them, and perhaps be able to do it more than once. That’s where the mailing list comes in.
With a mailing list, you can send messages to your customers about your product and you can do it more than once. You can try different sales pitches and offer more information. Studies have shown that when people are exposed to information about something repeatedly and over time, they become more receptive to it. That’s why having a mailing list is vital. For that, you’re going to need to collect your visitors’ email addresses. How can you do that? Why would someone want to give you their email address? Simple – you’re going to give them something, for free, in exchange for that.
I’ve talked before about the “sales funnel” and the idea is this – you bring in a number of casual visitors and slowly winnow them down until you have a small, tight, dedicated group of customers who will buy from you more than once. The first step in this process is to collect email addresses. The most common way to do that is to offer some sort of free ebook in exchange for the visitor’s address. You can place a small form on your Website that has a picture of the ebook and tell them that you’ll give it to them for free when they join your mailing list. Once you have confirmed their email address, you can send them the book, either as an attachment to an email message or you can send them a download link. Once you have their address, you’ll add it to your email list, and then you can send them messages over the next few days with more information about the product you’d like them to buy.
This may sound rather complex, and it can be, but fortunately, there are tools that simplify this process and the most important one is called an autoresponder. An autoresponder is an email system that is generally a service offered by a third party to which you subscribe for a monthly fee. The best known of the autoresponder companies are Aweber and GetResponse, though there are many others. Once you sign up, you’ll have access to tool that allow you to create the form that appears on your Website. You’ll also have the ability to set up a sequence of email messages that are sent automatically to your list on a schedule of your choosing. For a particular list where you’re trying to get people to buy a certain product, you might elect to send them a message every three days for two weeks, for example, with each message describing the product in more detail.
Autoresponders and mailing lists have improved tremendously over the years. Just a few years ago, you had the option of sending messages via HTML or text and you might have access to statistics that showed what percentage of your messages were read by their recipients. These days, you can see how many people clicked on links within your messages. You can send out a message today with a link in it and then send out one tomorrow that only goes to people on your list who did not click on the link in the message you sent today. The mailing systems used by the major autoresponder companies are also doing a better job of working with the major Internet Service Providers around the country to ensure that a higher percentage of messages sent via their clients are actually delivered, rather than being falsely labeled as spam.
An additional benefit of having a mailing list is that you can keep the people on your list engaged by sending them interesting, non-sales messages or newsletters on a regular basis, followed by the occasional message that does try to sell them something. This can add up; there are Internet marketers out there that have mailing lists with more than 100,000 people on it. Imagine the kind of commissions you could earn if you sent out just one affiliate offer to a mailing list of that size. As long as you can keep the people on your list interested in what you have to offer, you can send them promotions for affiliate products on a regular basis, thus providing regular income.
To learn more about effectively using mailing lists to make money online, you should consider joining a program like Wealthy Affiliate. This training program offers comprehensive instruction about how to find niches, build Websites and manage mailing lists. You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free.
Autoresponders and mailing lists are important and a vital tool for those who want to work online from home. That is why they say “the money is in the list.”