The Money Is in the List – Internet Marketing 101

Every company with a website needs an effective internet marketing strategy in order to grow and develop. Building a targeted opt-in list is a time-tested strategy that works.

Even with the power and reach of the Web, products and services must be marketed in order to develop a customer base. If the world doesn’t know about the business, there will be no customers, which results in no sales and no profit. Without profit a business cannot survive.

The power and reach of the internet is a double-edged sword. It not only offers the potential for the greatest business exposure in the history of business, it also houses the highest level of competition. As a result, in order to compete successfully internet marketers must use the most effective strategies available to realize any increase in productivity and sales.

The internet is a relatively young marketplace and millions or people are still learning how to navigate the system and work within it successfully. Too many fell into the trap of believing that all they had to do was hire a website designer to build a website, publish it on the internet and wait for customers to find them. Unfortunately, in many cases the thousands of dollars they spent for their website provided practically no return, or certainly nothing to the level they had anticipated.

They were correct in thinking that the internet was a good venue for marketing their business, but they didn’t have a clue about how to make it work – and unfortunately, most of the websites designers were also operating in the dark. Regardless of how wonderful the website is, if it doesn’t drive business, it has no value.

They did not know or did not understand a simple, relatively inexpensive strategy that can make all the difference. The strategy is opt-in or permission marketing. Ironically enough, many entrepreneurs believed (and still believe) that an opt-in list is just a waste of time and money. But, internet marketers in the know have a mantra…

The Money Is in the List

Why is that mantra true? It is simple really. People visit a site because they have an interest in what is being promoted. While there, they choose to fill out a form in order to get a free product, information, or service of some kind. As a result, they have given permission for the website owner to contact them and they permanently become part of that company’s mailing list (unless they send a request to be removed).

We are not talking about a typical mailing list that can be gathered from a wide variety of sources and may or may not be targeted. An opt-in list is permission-based and targeted. It works because there is no coercion involved, people are on the list by choice. Because of the consent factor and the option to unsubscribe at any time, the company cannot be accused of spamming.

Permission-based lists can be the foundation for success of any online business; and are often referred to as a business partnership – an appropriate reference because it is an agreement between the company and its customers.

As soon as a customer fills out the form, the company receives the information and can begin building a relationship with them through regular mailings such as newsletters, updates, product offerings, etc.

If communication with the customer is handled well, trust and confidence in the business builds. When the company stays in contact, the customer is more likely to buy and to continue buying, producing a solid income stream over time. People tend to buy from people they know (or feel like they know). As the experts say, the money is in the list.

By Suzana