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Why Do You Need to Build a List?

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Why Do You Need to Build a List?

by Dave Lovelace

Most business owners would agree that without a plan, their enterprise doesn’t stand a chance. It is like firing a shot in the dark hoping to hit a target. Part of that “road map” you build your business upon includes finding people who will become the base on which you will grow.

List building is essential to finding your customer base. Why do you need a list? Without it, there is no way to predict what the outcome will be month to month, let alone year to year.

One school of thought says that if you have a big enough campaign people will come. That may be true, but they will only come once. Even making a million dollars on one promotion won’t sustain your business forever if none of those customers ever comes back again.

Now, we aren’t talking money like that (at least not yet). So, to keep things real, one-time sales are not the stuff of solid business foundations. Building relationships with people is the key to a sound future for your enterprise.

What a List Can Do for You & Your Business

Let’s say that you want to sell a product door-to-door. The first time through the neighborhood, you visit every house on the block because you don’t know who might be interested in what you are selling. After chatting a few moments, you quickly learn which people are interested in your product enough to buy. From those customers, you ask for further contact information.

A month from then, you decide to offer a new product. Instead of canvassing the entire neighborhood again, you visit the people who purchased the first time. In addition to information about the new product, you also bring a flyer offering them a free gift if they can recommend two friends who would be interested in the product. Now, instead of twenty names, you have forty more to add to the list in your hand.

This is roughly how list building works online. Your first efforts will cast a net over a larger group of people. The catch will consist of people interested in your market, but not necessarily the product you want to provide. Through marketing efforts on your website and through other sites, you will weed out those who are really outside of your market. Leaving you with a group of people who ARE interested in what you have to offer.

For subsequent offerings, you can go straight to the most interested parties and make your pitch. Each time, you can find more and more people to add to your list.

List building takes the guess work out of marketing. The money you spend is more effective if you know where to concentrate your efforts. Once you build a substantial list, it can seem like you make the sale every time. Sales will increase, but not because you are lucky – it’s because you were smart. Like a fisherman, you learned the best place to find what you are looking for, so you dropped your line and came up with the catch of the day!

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