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List Building 101 - It's Not Just About the List

Lisa Young
 


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You've probably heard it until you just want your ears to fall off, but I'll say it again: In sales and marketing (that includes home parties), the money is in the list.

Well, sort of. The money is in the RESPONSIVE list.

What do I mean by that? I mean you can have a list 10 million miles long, but if they never open your mail, never read your message, they're never going to take action. Period.

The key to success is to build a responsive list. A list that responds when you make contact.

And how do you go about doing that?

Think about your friends.

Whoa, back up the truck! I don't mean you should go spamming your entire friends list! That in and of itself would do more harm than good. Besides most of us get into direct sales hoping we'll never have to hit up our family and friends to stay in business. Right?

When I say think about your friends, I mean think about how you interact with your friends. You actually look forward to hearing from them don't you? Well, most of them anyway, right?

I'm going to let you in on the biggest secret to marketing that you'll ever learn - and it's not really that much of a secret.

Be friendly.

I'm serious. Be a friend to your customers. It starts with being friendly. Smile, say hello, use courteous words. Be pleasant. Call them just to say ‘hi’.

Sound weird, doesn't it? And it works.

Think about your friends. What makes you want to open their email? Is it a catchy subject line? Not usually. The thing that drives you to open their mail is the simple fact that they are your friend. You know them, like them and probably trust them enough to provide you with some sort of content that will be valuable (or at least interesting) to you.

It's as if your friends are saying “I was thinking of YOU when I sent you this, because I thought you might like it. " Instinctively, you have this unspoken understanding that the mail you receive is someone's thoughtfulness aimed directly at you.

Notice, I didn't say “aimed directly at your pocketbook".

Now think about junk mail. Did I just hear your stomach turn? Let's be fair. Why do you immediately click delete when you get spam? Why do you throw junk mail into the trash unopened? It's because of your perception of the sender. You believe there's nothing of value in the message because it's not sent to you, it's sent to everyone in your zip code.

But what if you got the same message from two different sources: junk mail, and a friend. Which would get opened? Which would get cast aside? You could get the exact same message, but because of who it came from, it could illicit two entirely different reactions. Here's an example:

On Monday you receive a piece of junk email telling you that if you switch to Brand X phone service, you'll save $300 and they'll give you an i-phone.

Later that same day, you get an email from your best friend that is essentially the same email forwarded to you with a note that says “Hey! I just found a great deal on phone service with Brand X - and they're giving me an I-Phone FREE!"

Which one is more likely to be read first? The one from your best friend, wouldn't you agree?

Most likely, you'll pitch the first email without even thinking about it. Heck! It's junk mail! But the message from your friend - with essentially the same message - receives more of your attention.

Now there's another piece of this puzzle - the testimonial - that we'll talk about in more detail at another time. But I think you're beginning to see what I'm talking about.

So do you understand the value of a list? It takes work, but it pays off BIG time. You don't just want a list of names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses - although that's a good place to start. You want to make your list responsive to you. Make them your friends. TREAT them like your friends.

In the end, they'll probably treat you better than some of your REAL friends!

Lisa Young researches marketing trends and tactics for the home party plan industry, particularly internet-based marketing strategies. Lisa has nearly 10 years in the Direct Sales field both as an independent consultant and trainer. Her FREE business boosting newsletter, “PartyOn!" is filled with tips, tricks and tactics for increasing booking and recruit leads. You can sign up or learn more at http://www.homepartysolution.com

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