Why Build A Contact List?
Although you will probably think of your website as a way to tell customers about your service, another vital function it serves is to capture the names and email addresses of visitors to your site so that you can build a contact list and keep them informed of developments in your company.
It's very rare that a prospective client will buy your service the first time they visit your site. It's said that it can take as many as 7 contacts from you before a customer is comfortable enough to buy from you.
There are many reasons why they may not buy on that first visit:
- They're not yet in “buy” mode, they're “just looking”
- They've mis-placed their credit card
- The computer crashes at the wrong time
- The kids want to get on Facebook
- It's meal time!
None of them are your fault – your prospect just isn't yet ready to become a client.
Don't let these prospects slips away and end up buying on someone else's site. Do everything you can to capture their contact details so that you can send them more information and updates about new information.
Or, perhaps they HAVE already bought from you. You will want them to buy again. If you have special offers or events, keep them informed by sending a regular newsletter. Assuming you did a good job the first time you provided a service, it's far easier to sell something new to an existing customer than to find and cultivate a new one.
For this reason, most businesses say their customer list is their most valuable asset, and should be guarded jealously.
Many people do not take this essential step of building a client and/or prospect list, purely because they haven't appreciated how important it is.
When I took my first website online, it sat on page 1 of Google, quite near the top, so had plenty of visitors, but I never captured their email addresses so if they didn't buy there and then, chances are they bought from a competitor.
How Do You Build A Contact List?
The tool you will need to use to capture email addresses is an Auto-Responder.
I have tried several auto-responder services and been less than pleased with them for my own site – for various technical reasons.
So, to recommend a service to my own clients, who trust me to recommend the best, I must come back to the GetResponse. I actually left it once for another (good) service that many feel is the best auto-responder for small businesses – but I missed several of GetResponse's features and moved back (which is a real hassle, but well worth it).
It's not the cheapest – but your business deserves the best. Remember, you get what you pay for.
To learn more about GetResponse click here – with that link you can get a free trial.
Features You Need In Your Auto-responder
- Fast, reliable email deliverability – MOST important of all
- Personalise your emails
- Professional forms to choose from
- Create unlimited campaigns
- Ability to send single messages
- Ability to send messages timed to arrive when they're most likely to be read
- Subscriber filtering and searching
- Unsubscribe function to comply with anti-spam regulations and keep your emails legal
- Advanced click tracking and reporting
- Daily activity reports
- Correct, compliant handling of bounced emails
- Send in HTML or Plain text
- Easy to use editor
Don't worry if you don't know what they mean at the moment. Just trust me that you WILL need them as your website handles more and more of your business.
Don't settle for second best. Take a free trial of GetResponse here.
PS Don't make the mistake of thinking you can leave this until your on-line presence is “bigger”. I did that and it cost me dearly.
Build firm email marketing foundations from the start.