One look at the possibilities on LinkedIn helps you to realize that you can literally reach out and have a conversation with thousands of people around the world.
When you’re first starting out (which you likely are), it is important to make individual contact with each person in an individualized email. Note that your individualized email can be a “cut and paste” email, but it should start with the recipient’s name. When I get an email from someone, I am much more likely to read it if it starts with, “Hi Pat,” rather than, “Dear subscriber”.
Basically, you set up a form on your website, and when someone enters their name in the form, they automatically get a follow up email (or series of emails) from you which can inform them of something, educate them, or give them something (such as a mini-lesson).
We will not go into the details of auto-responders in this course but when you believe you are "ready" to learn about Auto-responders, be aware there are two routes to choose from:
1. Outsourcing: If you (a) have the budget and (b) are intimidated by technology, or think that your time could be better spent on other money-making tasks, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) who specializes in Auto-responder management to handle all your Auto-responder populating for you.
2. Doing It Yourself: If you know what to put into them, Auto-responders are not as hard to adapt to as many people seem to feel. Yes, there's a learning curve (build time for it into your business plan), but it may take you far less time than you think, to become comfortable handling your auto-responder.
Remember too that most reputable auto-responder hosting companies provide:
Online live chat help
Set up wizards
So no matter what your preferred learning style, you're covered!
The company setting industry standards is Aweber. Their training materials are clear, complete, and easy to access; you can easily set up any email auto-responder series following prompts and wizards; and its Live Chat is the best on the net, working on almost every system.
Its main competitor is GetResponse. Check them both out and see which professional Auto- responder service works best for you.
Both options could cost you about $20/month so you will want to have the traffic coming in and the revenue starting to flow before you sign up for either option.
Section 8: Website Traffic
Part 1: Send Emails
Part 1: Send Emails
It is likely that you have a list of friends, family, classmates, and people you know from other places you interact. In fact, the list should include people you might know from your church, youth group, any club you belong to, distant relatives, and … here’s an interesting possibility … any of their friends.
Dear Uncle Joe,
I’ve been building a website as part of my high school Internet Marketing class. I was wondering if you would take a minute and go to my website and give me some feedback on three different areas:
1. Area 1
2. Area 2
3. Area 3.
More personal stuff,
Today, you have the ability to use incredible email and “auto-responder” tools that actually personalize your emails for you. An example is mail merge in Microsoft Outlook. You can actually send out thousands of emails an hour and each letter can be somewhat personalized.
However, if you consider that you are in the launch phase of your website, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. You might send an email that looks something like this:
When your Uncle Joe writes back, you should then consider his advice closely. If appropriate, you could also ask him to take action on some aspect of your site (buy something, “Like”, +1, etc.) You could also ask, “Uncle Joe, who would you like to see me work with?” Or, “Uncle Joe, do you know of anyone who could use my products/services?” Both of these questions are very elegant ways of asking for referrals.
If you are at the stage where you are getting a substantial amount of traffic to your site from people or places that you don’t directly know (your Google Analytics account will give you the clues), then you may want to set up an auto-responder service. Auto-responders are simple, “automatic” response and follow up mechanisms that you can install on your website so that you automatically respond to people without actually writing additional emails each time.
Buying Qualified Email Lists
You can also buy lists of email addresses of people who are in your target market. For example, you could go to http://www.canadalistbrokers.com/index.html and find lists of prospective buyers in both Canada and the USA. Another service is found at http://www.prospect-cloud.com/. Note that you will have to pay for the purchase of the mailing list and it could be anywhere from 5 cents to $1 or more per name.
Both websites have contact information and you can call them and discuss your project and they will give you an idea of what your costs will be. Before you choose this route, you must have a good understanding of your target market, your ideal customer, and what percent of visitors your website converts to buyers. Without this understanding, you could easily be throwing away money.