10 Secrets to Building a Killer List. How-to Guide

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1 10 Secrets to Building a Killer List How-to Guide

2 Introduction Building an list for your company is important not only for marketing; building a healthy, targeted, robust list is how you use marketing to drive long-term revenue. With a solid list, keeping in touch with your past customers to boost your referral and repeat business becomes easy. But why stop there? Continually adding to your list is going to drive even more new business for you over time. The formula is quite simple: Build an epic list + Send incredible content = Trust, retention, referrals and business growth While it can be tough to build a crazy-successful list filled with the right prospects, it s very doable once you know how to make your existing website and social networks work for you. That s why I ve put together this epic collection of tricks, tips, hacks and secrets to help you do just that. 2

3 1 Homepage Capture Form The page on your website that is almost certainly going to have the most page views is your homepage. With high traffic concentrated on a specific page, it s your job to maximize this opportunity. By limiting sidebars, avoiding long scrolling and text-heavy distractions, you can increase your form conversions. Treat your homepage like a lead capture form and experiment with incentivized calls to action that provide immediate value. Here are a few examples: Expensify s website prompts you to enter your to get started. Social Media Examiner s website gives you a quick option for an immediately helpful guide. 3

4 The online profile pages we create for our own customers use this same list growth tactic. Make sure your form provides some value in return and doesn t take away from someone s ability to navigate the rest of your site. My tip is to maximize the visibility of this space to grow your list. 2 SumoMe & Instant Gratification One of the more clever tools I ve come across lately is SumoMe. It s a collection of WordPress plugins that are easily installed and designed for people with with very little (if any) coding knowledge. The SumoMe Leads App is a personal favorite. It s a simple way to add a button to your blog or website to incentivize someone to click and take action. I use this plugin on our site to add a quick PDF download for bonus content related to specific blog posts. I put together a nine-step cheat sheet to help increase open rates. When I write posts about , I use this plugin to make the button you see below. 4

5 On a blog post, you ll see something that looks like this: When clicked, a fully customizable popup box appears and makes it easy to collect an address while rewarding your customer at the same time. You can edit the colors, text, message, actions and images. I like to keep mine simple and clean. The addresses you collect are stored within the app or are directly connected to a supported service. 5

6 3 Addresses from LinkedIn This nifty trick is by far one of my favorite methods. If you re an avid LinkedIn user or even moderately active, your connections there are a goldmine of addresses for your database. Even if you have these contacts in your database already, it s always a good idea to export updated information (people can change addresses, companies, etc.). LinkedIn has made it easy to export s into your database, too. They ve documented the whole process here. If you connect with people you ve met in groups or other professionals you ve met offline, this tip is a great way to make sure they get added to your list. 6

7 4 OptinMonster Incentivized Popups Mentioning popups and popovers is usually met with skepticism, groans and eye rolls. But they can be effective. Don t take my word for it. There are plenty of examples out there showing impressive list growth results from popups. The key to popup success is that it has to be something worthwhile for the person you just interrupted. While the end result might be self-serving, the means to that end need to be beneficial for both parties involved. My favorite plugin for WordPress at the moment is OptinMonster. It s easy to install, easy to configure, connects to most tools and can be customized to fit your needs. Here s what ours looks like: Our plugin is configured so readers will see it only after a certain time frame and set so that visitors will see it only every few weeks. The logic behind this is that if you re reading one of our posts, something we ve published has caught your interest. Chances are there might be more content that we ll create that will also grab your attention. Offering our readers an opportunity to receive an update for new posts is a low-commitment barrier and, quite honestly, it works. 7

8 5 Quizzes and Surveys Quizzes are hot right now! BuzzSumo did an analysis of top posts shared over an eightmonth period this year, and the results were fascinating. Eight out of the top 10 most shared articles were quizzes! Quizzes are HUGE traffic drivers, and with good reason. Why? If a quiz is enticing and relevant to a specific audience, people are naturally inclined to share and compare with friends or colleagues. Quizzes fuel our identities and egos. I ve been experimenting with a tool called CredSpark to see how I can translate this experience into something more relevant than Which Disney Princess Are You? So I created a quiz for real estate agents, challenging them to find out how much money they re leaving on the table. Like all good quizzes, you get to see the answers at the end. But I did mine with a little twist. I gave quiz takers an opt-in form for their address so they could get the full industry report to see how they stack up against others in the industry. Again, similar to the earlier gathering options, make sure that you re giving your audience a genuine incentive. In this case, quiz takers get an industry report and other relevant content for real estate agents. Don t snag someone s address and then spam them with sales pitches. That s just bad content marketing. 8

9 6 Referral Contests For a lot of businesses, past customers drive a lot of growth through word of mouth and direct referrals. However, many have learned that these referrals might not be immediately ready to do business with you. While that introduction could prove lucrative down the road, until that time, that person is just sitting there. The risk of losing that person is high because they don t yet have a relationship with you. That s why it s a great idea for you to take control of your own inbound referral process so that those on-the-fence folks don t slip away. There are a few ways to accomplish this, but here is how we do it at OutboundEngine. Once a quarter, we come up with a really cool prize and wrap it around a seasonal theme. Here are two examples that we ran during different times of the year. Your existing list receives the , giving them a chance to be entered into a drawing. The number of drawing entries is equal to the number of referrals they submit. The end result is that your list grows, you ve built out your potential customer database and you ve engaged with your past customers in a fun way. 9

10 7 The Facebook Export Hack A few years ago, there were ways you could export the addresses of your Business Page Fans and even your personal list of friends. They ve since put the lid on the ability to do that; however, you can still get to those addresses with this trick. These instructions are for iphone only, but there are apps available for Android phones that accomplish the same thing. STEP 1: Sync your Facebook contacts to your phone. In your smartphone s settings, navigate to the Facebook app settings. Here, make sure that you have enabled Contacts, then scroll to the bottom. Tap on Update All Contacts. What this does is export your Facebook friends list and syncs that data with your address book on your phone. Even people whose name or phone number you might not have will appear in your address book now. STEP 2: Sync your address book with your account. Personally, I use Gmail on my phone and as my LinkedIn login too. I suggest you do this with whatever account you use to log in to LinkedIn. Make sure you have contacts enabled for your mail account. STEP 3: Connect LinkedIn to your account. By having your LinkedIn account connected to your account, any new contacts that get added to your account will then be added as suggestions for you on LinkedIn. Add those connections when they get suggested and voila! You ve grown your LinkedIn account and now have a fresh batch of addresses to add to your list. 10

11 8 Website Opt-in Forum Depending on your industry, there are most likely a few places on your website where you can solicit information from your visitors. Remember, you want to build an list full of people who could potentially become customers. On the sites we create for our customers, we have landing pages that are engineered to help build up their contact databases. For example, if you re a loan officer, we offer a mortgage calculator tool. Something like this comes in handy when a someone has referred their friend to you but not told you about it. This gives you a chance to grow your list and engage directly with a potential prospect. 11

12 9 Live Chat Engagement This method is helpful for your website because it acts like voic on your phone. When someone calls, you have the option to answer or let it go to voic . Similar to website visitors, you can employ popups that do the same things. At OutboundEngine, we use a tool called SnapEngage. While we use it strictly to answer questions a visitor might have about our product, you can configure it so that you have to submit an address before chatting with a live person. We offer our clients the same Q&A functionality of SnapEngage on the business profile pages we create for them, but with a default away message for when they re not at their computer. So when someone initiates a chat with their website, it automatically gives the visitor the option to send our client a message. 12

13 10 Information on the Go Some of the best ways to build a targeted list are more low-tech than you might think. If you re like me, you re always reading blogs, news reports and other entertaining or informative things online. Undoubtedly, these topics come up in conversations that you could have almost anywhere, leaving you with the perfect opportunity to be helpful on the go. Whenever I find an interesting article that I know I ll want to reference in the future, I save it to Evernote with a few tags so I can easily find it later. I have Evernote installed on my iphone and ipad so when the right moment presents itself, I can quickly pull up articles while in conversation and them directly to the person I m communicating with. It s as simple as searching, sharing, typing in an address and sending. Ta-da! You ve influenced that person and added a new name to your contact list. 13

14 Bringing It All Together The single best piece of advice I can give you on building an list is to simply ask for addresses. If you don t ask, you ll never get them. Beyond that, it s up to you to be creative and find what works for you. Build the right list, send them the right content and grow your business exponentially. Longterm, profitable relationships built on trust can be achieved through , and it all starts with building an list the right way. About OutboundEngine OutboundEngine puts your marketing on autopilot. We create original content for our clients, automate their campaigns, update their social media profiles and ultimately help them grow their business and drive long-term value from their customers. The marketing services we provide to our customers combine the industry best practices from content, and social media marketing. Our customers are great business people and are most profitable when they stay focused on what they do best. We turn great business people into incredible relationship people by cultivating their audiences until they re ready to do business. Learn how OutboundEngine can help put your marketing on autopilot» About the Author As Product Marketing Manager, Travis Balinas is responsible for communicating to the world about OutboundEngine. From all content creation on the website, social media channels and documents both internal and external, Travis crafts everything to help our clients reach their goals. 200 East 6th Street, Suite 207 Austin, TX Phone:

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