No matter what business you are in, you actually run two businesses; the one you know about and the list business.
Yes, You are in the list business. Your goal as a successful business owner is to develop a list of customers that you can connect with. If you run a restaurant, car wash, hotel, beauty salon, bakery, grocery store you need the same thing; a list of customers that you can connect with on a regular basis. The best way to connect with them varies depending on the business but building the list is vital to the success of every business.
Let’s look at the ways we can connect with people:
- In person
- Social Media
You will want to use several methods to reach your list with the best customers receiving the most contact. Most businesses don’t have any organized method to develop or connect with their list. They provide a good product or service and hope that will be enough to build their customer base. It certainly can be done, but it is harder and less profitable. You want to develop customers that visit your business on a regular basis and developing a relationship will make it easier to connect with them.
No matter which methods work best for you an organized method to develop and connect with your list is essential to building a successful business. For most developing an email list a very effective way to grow your business. This usually brings up three questions:
- How to build the list
- What to write about
- How to create the email.
In order to keep this blog post from becoming a book I’m only going to touch on developing a list today and I’ll cover everything else in other posts.
How to build your list. First start thinking about growing your list on a regular basis and you’ll come up with new ideas. If you are focused on it you will see opportunities, but here are a few to get you started.
- Ask for the name, email and mobile phone number (if mobile makes sense) of every person who visits your business or buys your product. Offer them something valuable in exchange for their information. The request should look something like this: We offer special discounts and offers to our favorite customers. Add your name and email and we’ll make sure you are not left out.
- Put something similar on your website to capture leads from people who may not have become a customer yet.
- Include the offer on your business card and appropriate marketing material.
- Add it to your Facebook page
It is important to develop this list because you need some way to connect with your customers and prospects outside of your business. Even your best customers are busy and have many offers for competing products and services. It’s critically important that you work on building that connection and move more prospects into customers and customers into fans.