Before you build a mailing list, it is highly recommended that you read the Clue Train manifesto. (Check out ClueTrain.com.) If you have already read it, then this is just a reminder on how important it is to build relationships, because marketing today is all about having meaningful conversations.
Relationship marketing tells us that marketers must first build strong relationships with customers instead of just focusing on one time transactions, and a huge part of building relationships is having meaningful conversations. Before the email list building process, a marketer or business owner should have meaningful conversations with prospects.
Often, the focus is just on acquiring a prospect's contact information for email marketing list building, and the mistake with that is this: bombarding people with cold, meaningless marketing messages just to get them to sign up for newsletters or buy a product does not work! Being talked to, preached at, or lectured to by those trying to win a business is generally perceived as annoying, not persuasive.
If you want to win business and eventually get the person to become a part of your business email list, take the time to talk to them, ask about their needs, wishes, and wants. Make it easy and comfortable for you to share in what they think. In short, if you really want new business (and a bigger email contact list, have a conversation.
Conversational marketing is all about participating in conversations about your products in blogs, forums, review sites and wikis. It can also sometimes be about taking the conversations offline, where you invite a group of prospects to a location and have real-life, authentic conversations with them.
When you focus on conversations and relationship building before and during the time you are creating email lists, several things happen:
1. your product or service will become personal and have an authentic voice
2. you will enjoy increased retention and repeat sales
3. you will create loyal customers and brand ambassadors
4. you will have improved credibility
5. you will have access to feedback about your product/service
6. your company will not be perceived as a company that only cares about profit
When you do this, you can then build the chemistry, confidence, and commitment that lead to new revenues - and eventually, make it easier for them to want to become a part of your customer email list. In stressing the need to create conversations to improve your marketing effectiveness, I am not saying that traditional marketing approaches should be discarded, rather, they need to be turned into conversational activities. Nothing builds relationships better than regular, meaningful conversations.
To quote the Clue Train Manifesto:
"Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations."
"Markets are conversations."
"Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors."
Therefore, before you squeeze their contact information for your email contact list using traditional Internet Squeeze or Capture Page techniques, understand that your prospects have evolved with the Internet and require relationship building before they give up that valuable information to you.