Have you ever asked a marketer how to grow your business and have them tell you that capturing your prospects information is KEY to building a massive list which in turn will build you a powerful business?
Have you ever heard the saying “He who has the biggest list wins”?
I’ve invested in thousands of dollars worth of marketing courses over the years, and some specifically on how to launch massive digital businesses, and they all spend hours upon hours preaching the merits of building that list.
Heck, just the other day I saw an article put out by a local marketing agency going on and on about the immense power of building a list, and how capturing that data is VITAL to your business success.
It talked about the countless advantages and “things you can do” with a good sized list and that you need to have a great call to action on your landing page that’s designed to entice your prospects to give you their email or phone number. And boy, once you’ve got that information, YOU’RE SET!
You can contact them, send them special offers, keep your sales funnel full and at the very least know who is visiting your site.
I mean, people are going to your website every day…don’t you want to know who they are and have a way to reach them once they’re gone, possible forever?
I know it sounds like I’m “poo-pooing” on capturing emails, but there’s a point to all this. In fact, I believe whole-heatedly with the approach, the process and the philosophy behind it. YES, you want to know who’s visiting your website, your store, your social page, everything. YES you want to know how to contact them after they’re gone. YES you should be doing everything possible to capture their contact information!
So what’s the problem?
Almost all these marketers selling the “secret sauce to success” via data capture are missing the mark, they’re missing three important key points, and it’s causing many people to completely waste their time (and money). They’re selling you sizzle, and you’re eating it up like steak.
The First Issue – Traffic
The first of the three missing keys, the biggest and most important, is that having an opt in capture form, even the absolute best one possible with 100% conversion, is absolutely USELESS without traffic.
Did you catch that?
For MOST entrepreneurs starting off, and even some that have been at it for a while, they could offer a free car on their website in exchange for a prospects email and they STILL wouldn’t get a single opt in. Why? Because no one is going to the website. Most entrepreneurs are delusional about how many people are actually going to their website.
I bought a two thousand dollar “product launch” course a few years back and it gave some real intense, behind the scenes look at all these mega rich online marketers with 500K name email list and even them, with the absolute best opt-in’s out there, are only converting 0.5-2% of their traffic.
What they fail to tell you is that in order to build that 500K name email list they had to generate 25 MILLION visitors to their landing page. That’s an incredible amount of traffic.
“Ya, but I don’t want 500K names, I’d be happy with 1,000” Great, then let’s assume, just for fun, that your opt-in truly IS perfect and you’re batting the high end of the scale with a 2% opt-in rate, you’re going to have to generate 50 THOUSAND visitors to your website. In case you aren’t sure, that’s A LOT of traffic for a small, even a medium, sized business.
We can argue back and forth all day long about your opt-in rate, but at the end of the day the proof is in the pudding. Throw up an email capture on your website and you’ll quickly realize that most don’t opt-in, and that your traffic is substantially lower than most realize. Most actively marketed websites still rarely get more than 20 hits a day.
So is an email capture important to have? YES. In fact, it’s vital. It’s ludicrous to drive traffic to a website and not have a way to capture their information. BUT, in the grand scheme of it all, having an email capture form is a minor, driving traffic is a MAJOR.
In my article “5 Easy Ways to Stay Ahead of the Competition” I talk about how most focus on minors and ignore the majors. Same here. Most people spend HOURS working on the perfect opt-in form, the perfect call to action, the perfect auto-responder and the perfect sales funnel and absolutely zero time on generating traffic. All that time, energy and money put into that opt-in goes right down the drain without traffic.
Instead, put up something that WILL DO THE JOB, then focus on generating traffic.
Once you’ve got traffic flowing you can start tweaking your opt-in, testing various aspects of it and improving it. But you must focus on traffic!
The Second Issue – The Offer
Let’s assume you’ve got traffic flowing now, that brings us to the second major issue…what you’re actually offering in exchange for your traffics contact information.
As more and more of the world goes online, we’re becoming increasingly jaded and un-impressed by free reports written with the needs of the business in mind and NOT those of the prospect.
When thinking on what you’d like to offer in exchange for contact information it’s essential that you think as a consumer, what do THEY want and not what do you want to give them.
Most business folks throw together a quick report with the selfish purpose of collecting emails rather than having the consumers needs in mind and seeking to satisfy that need.
If your thoughts are consumer driven and your goal is to please them, to satisfy a need and serve your prospects you will be able to offer something of real value, something they actually want, and something they ARE willing to exchange their contact information for.
What can you offer that people are willing to throw emails at you in exchange for?
For example, Spivis – the company I’ve recently started working for – has a product called Free WiFi Center and what they do is they set up their service in restaurants, hotels, fitness studio’s, etc. and their traffic opts-in to use the free WiFi but also to receive special loyalty offers.
So there’s traffic, an offer that fills a need (free WiFi), and then…
The Third Issue – Using It Properly!
I know… if YOU had a big email list, or any email list, surely you’d use it. But you’d be amazed at how many businesses HAVE a list yet rarely use it, or don’t use it effectively.
Here’s what usually happens… they get all excited, they set up an email capture, start collecting emails, start sending out regular emails and then next thing you know it becomes a chore and the content starts to become less frequent or completely stops.
If you’re going start collecting names and emails, you’ve got to actually use that list! Look at what Spivis has done, they’ve automated the process on behalf of the business owner. They pre-schedule offers based on a variety of “rules” such as visit frequency, time away, etc.
The key here is SELF-AWARENESS. You need to know yourself, know who you are, your habits, your routines, your follow through… If you know you’re not going to be able to keep up with sending regular campaigns, then you must automate the process. If you know you don’t have the time or ability, automate it. If you’ve got a list sitting there untouched, automate it! Heck, just automate it already!
One last thing… If you’re writing a newsletter, and plan on getting any form of return out of it, you must do it properly. Most newsletters are nothing more than a self-touting piece of promotion that rarely gets read. Your emails should be engaging, interactive and value-driven. Your readers need to get something out of it.
In conclusion, I believe it’s vital to your long-term success that you DO capture information, from traffic to your website to traffic to your store, but you must focus on generating that traffic, offering them something they actually want, and automating the process or putting systems in place to make sure that list actually gets used properly.
To your success,
PS – Want to know how Free WiFi Center works? Reach me HERE.