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15 WAYS HOME BUSINESSES GET INTO TROUBLE, PART 3
by: Cary Christian


Tonight we're going to finish off this series with ways home businesses get into trouble that are related to opt-in lists.

A large opt-in list seems to be every marketer's ultimate dream. They can definitely be a great asset, but they can be a source of many problems as well.

OPT-IN LISTS

1. Failure to build a list.


Most marketers understand the importance of having their own opt-in list. Most believe they will build one . . . some day! That's the problem. You should build your list sooner rather than later.

This problem of procrastination usually occurs because people think they have to start an ezine in order to build a list. This couldn't be further from the truth.

A list is simply a list of people who have signed up to receive INFORMATION from you. Yes, it could be an ezine, but it could also be support tips on a particular program, short updates in an area of interest, targeted news items, a weekly recipe, updates to people who have purchased products from you, or virtually anything else you can think of. Your mailings do not have to be long . . . in fact, shorter is probably better these days.

The key is to find some piece of information that you can provide regularly and start building a list of people who want to receive that information. Don't wait. Start now!

Picking up new subscribers can take a while. Want to get a jump start? Sign up with FreeNetLeads or FreeMailer2000 and multiply your efforts rather quickly.

2. Building a list by bribery.

Many people build their lists by bribing people to subscribe with free gifts or allowing them to place free ads in their mailings. Free gifts are okay, but you want to make sure you're building a list of people who want your information, not those who are just signing up to get your free gift and unsubscribe tomorrow.

Worse is bribing people to subscribe by allowing them to place free ads in your mailings. You'll get a lot of subscribers, but you'll turn your nice informational mailing into one large ad. Worse, you may even have to produce a special "ads only" edition just to keep up with all the free ads you have to place. The end result is that no one reads your mailing anymore because of all the ads. You've defeated your purpose.

3. Failure to convert customers into LIFETIME customers by getting them to opt in to the list.

When someone buys from you, you are either beginning a lifetime relationship or you have COMPLETED (with finality) a transaction that will never be repeated. This one customer could be interested in products you will sell for years to come. But they will forget about you if you don't keep in touch.

One of your most important goals when making a sale should be developing a way to keep in touch with that particular customer. Get them on your list. Send them follow-ups to ask how they like the product they purchased. Send them information on updates. Send them tips for using the product more effectively. Just make sure you keep in touch and keep yourself in their thoughts.

But DON'T start sending them an endless stream of ads. Just offer them additional value for the time being. The time will come when you can sell.

4. Purchasing a list that is not Opt-in.

It is always tempting to purchase your subscribers. There are many ways to accomplish this that work well, like purchasing subscribers from WorldWideLists.com. These subscribers are not as good as those who will subscribe from your website or those who have had excellent purchasing experiences with you, but they are double opt-in subscribers who have expressed a desire to receive information from you.

The problem arises when you purchase subscribers from a source that is not opt-in. Many companies will sell you subscribers they claim are opt-in, but they have been acquired either using underhanded techniques or, worse, have really been harvested from the web.

Be very careful of the source of your subscribers. They must have specifically opted to receive information from YOU or you don't want them. Period. Under no circumstances should you ever purchase one of those CD's with 1,000,000 email addresses on them. None of these people have opted in regardless of what the sales information says.

Building your list yourself will take you much longer, but it is safe and you'll be much happier with the results.

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I hope none of you are making any of the 15 mistakes we have discussed in this series. If you are not, you're well on your way to building a successful business. If you are, please read this series over again and commit to correcting the problems. As usual, we are never more than an email away if you need help.


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