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List Building 101: Push vs Pull Marketing
Do you look at your web presence as a business or a hobby? Chances are you are somewhere in between, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to make money some day.
The first thing every would-be “guru” and Internet marketer will tell you is “the money is in the list.”
Since there seems to be a ton of confusion about how to start building an email list, today we will walk through the details of how to get started building your own list.
What is List Building?
You are probably familiar with what list building entails but in essence it is an unsexy way of saying:
Let’s gather client information so we can stay in contact with them.
Most list building refers to gathering name and email addresses so you can send them more information or special offers, hopefully in a non-spammy way.
From a traditional marketing sense, list building is outstandingly effective because it moves your customers from a traditional Pull Marketing Strategy to effectively a Push Marketing Strategy.
Push vs. Pull Marketing
For those of you familiar with Push/Pull marketing theory, it is pretty straightforward, but let’s now takes a look at how this theory applies directly to Email Marketing:
Push – One-Time Visitors
Most traditional web strategies entice the visitor to their website with outstanding information or a special offer. Once the potential customer gets the information they were looking for they are off to solve their next problem. Essentially this strategy pushes information out there hoping the readers are finding it.
Pull– Relationship Building
List building is different because customers request information from you. By building a list and maintaining a relationship with a customer, you have a huge competitive advantage.
By subscribing to your list, your customers are requesting information from you. This is where the “pull” part of the relationship comes in.
The customers on your list actually WANT the information you are going to be sending them. This is not only good for your bottom line but you can now effectively reach out to potential customers whenever you need to or have something they will want to see.
As you can see, this is a defensible long-term strategy when compared to Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click advertising, or even CPM advertising because your list allows you to contact your audience without relying on external factors.
The Tools – Picking an Email Service Provider
Now that you know why you should be building a list, let’s look at the tools.
First you will need an Email Service Provider (ESP). I recommend Aweber over MailChimp because they are more forward thinking. While Mailchimp may have a Free account to get you started they aren’t friendly for affiliate marketing so just be aware of what you are agreeing to.
Without jumping into all the boring details of the Can-Spam Act, MailChimp and other email service providers, such as Constant Contact, Aweber, and Vertical Response have put safe guards in place to keep you legal.
Once you are setup with MailChimp and have your first list set up, it is time to add the sign up form to your website.
I traditionally use Gravity Forms with MailChimp integration, however Gravity Forms can be overkill. Luckily Adam Baird is writing a tutorial that will walk you through styling your MailChimp sign up form using the code Mailchimp provides, look for that shortly!