Developing A Relationship With Your List: Lead Nurturing vs. Churn & Burn

11 replies
We hear a lot of discussion about "developing a relationship with your list."

It gets said frequently, but I also see a lot of people questioning what that really means.

I also see a lot of marketing people paying lipservice to the concept, but doing nothing but treating their list like a digital version of an open air market vendor in a third world nation trying to sell shiny things to the tourists. "Here, buy this.... okay, buy this... okay, buy this..."

A lot of internet marketers act like pure salespeople, only focusing on the segment that wants to buy right now - because that's where the cash is at, right?

But what percentage of the list actually buys any given promotion?

I even ask that question to some hitter A list gurus who lurk.

It's tiny.

There's a certain attitude that we just build lists and hammer away with offer after offer until someone either subscribes, or buys something. If someone drops, who cares because it's a big numbers game and we'll just get more... after all it's this infinitely expanding market. (ROFL)

Now I don't particularly buy into this philosophy because I understand the cost of acquiring a lead in a business - any business INCLUDING AN INTERNET MARKETING BUSINESS.

Maybe it's because of the perception that traffic can be created at a low cost, or whatever. But the reality is that getting someone onto your list literally costs something, whether it be time or actual money.

Some would say, "Well I want a big list, so I will just JV with a bunch of people."

Okay, but again, it still costs something after the fact - 50% of your gross? If you're selling a $97 product, that lead is costing you a fair amount of cash - not to mention the time it takes for the JV launch.

If you're doing article marketing, blogging, etc... these things all take time, which is money, and if you're outsourcing, you're still paying someone. It still costs you a certain amount of money to put that person onto your "interested list".

Here's an interesting thought. If it costs you $20 in real time, money, and effort, to put a qualified lead on your list (not just a name, a qualified lead for whatever you're selling - there's a difference), do you realize that a list of 50,000 names is an asset worth $1,000,000 in hard value?

You might not think that you're spending that much, but I bet the number is closer to than further away.

So if your list is that valuable, then why treat it so poorly?

And furthermore, why aren't you working to nurture the people on that list to take them from a passive, marginally interested prospect to an informed, willing buyer?

Pre-sales nurturing of an interested lead is rare indeed - relegated to a few days during a specific launch, but rarely any overall communication (or "touches" as it's actually called in the bigger world of marketing).

You spent the money to get the name on the list, now why not further refine your asset to make it worth even more?

Every time someone buys from you that was already on your list, your overall profitability goes up as a business because you didn't spend any additional money to get that name into the hopper.
#burn #churn #developing #lead #list #nurturing #relationship
  • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
    Great post/write up. "Build a relationship" is one of those tips that makes no sense until you've learned it and are experiencing it (in my opinion) but posts like this definitely speed up that process and get people pointed in the right direction. Nice one
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Nice job, Mike. I get really sick and tired of the old "hammer them until they fly, buy or die" approach...
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  • Profile picture of the author .X.
    Truth of the matter is, everyone is wrong.

    Customers, by nature, are promiscuous.

    They're in and out of bed with some
    shiny new thing everyday.

    Not very many of them are loyal to
    you for life.

    You will be wise to recognize this and
    respond accordingly.

    Some like to speed date.

    Some want to get married.

    The numbers are vastly different and
    you're unwise to proceed the same
    with everyone.

    Because with some, while you're
    attempting to build a relationship -
    they're out screwing around with
    someone else.

    And with others, if you're playing the
    field they're going to say "bu-bye".

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  • Profile picture of the author franamico
    I liked this post.
    I subscribed to so many lists that, every morning, looking at my inbox can be quite overwhelming.
    A common pattern that I see is that people spend very little time composing original pre-selling emails. They just hit on you...

    Fact is...that those emails are still around because they work! serious merchants have invested considerable efforts in getting professionally written emails with high conversion power.

    My personal view is that you have to treat your subscribers even better than you would treat yourself. If you establish yourself as somebody who writes only when there's something important to talk about, they will always open your emails and read their content very carefully.

    I realized that before considering to promote a product you must be convinced of its value first. If affiliate marketers were a bit more picky about the programs to promote, only the best programs out there would survive. This business would be way more based on adding value to people's life
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  • Profile picture of the author soniia21
    I agree, I always give away my best content to my list, stuff that can be charged for. I also make sure that I use an email that I check regularly and let them know that they can email me anytime if they need any help.
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    • Profile picture of the author LaunchGal
      Great post Michael. So true.

      I try and keep in mind something I think I heard Eben Pagan say, speak/write to your list like you are having a one on one conversation... not blasting a list. It really helps me write better [so I am told] and connect more...

      I helps to really care about making a difference to the folks on your list [not just seeing them as dollar signs]...and wanting to share great information and resources with them... but I guess if you fake it well, that could keep them on your list and buying
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  • Profile picture of the author Soapyshoe
    Excellent contribution.

    Very very sound advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Michael, I've been telling people this forever, it seems. It's written into all my products that have anything to do with an email list. I've had over 30% conversion rates on the open rate (not the total list size) for some mailings. I guess most list owners would be happy with that. I was.

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    You say "nurtured customer" I hear "freebie seeker".

    The truth is, if it takes 7 emails to convince my prospect to purchase what I'm selling, I'm not "nurturing" them, I'm just putting them through the sales process. It's just that some deals take longer to close.

    Most people on this board will jump at the chance to bash someone running a list as a non-caring profit-seeker. If you were to ask them what "nurturing" meant I can almost guarantee that their first impression would be lots of free stuff.

    NOTHING kills a business faster than to fill it up with demanding freebie-seekers who rave about what a "nice guy" the business owner is.

    Business is based on the exchange of value. I promote things I actually believe are relevant and helpful to my prospects and in turn they see fit to exchange their value (money) for my value (product).

    I "nurture" them by not promoting irrelevant crap.

    Amazon, Best Buy and New Egg send me promos all the fact, they've never given me freebies or shined my shoes...they just hammer away with stuff to buy. I like them just fine.
    Tired of Article Marketing, Backlink Spamming and Other Crusty Old Traffic Methods?

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  • Profile picture of the author justin.helloall
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    • Profile picture of the author LB
      Originally Posted by justin.helloall View Post

      I think its because they have already developed a level of trust that most people can not achieve *1million in advertising tends to do that*.

      I would easily trust bestbuy to sell me a product then some dude ive never bought anything from telling me how he is an expert and wants to sell me something.
      The point is relevance.

      I don't mind getting nothing but promos from Best Buy because I'm interested in what they send me. I don't need freebies from them or pats on the back.

      If they sent me promos for ladies slippers I'd leave their list.
      Tired of Article Marketing, Backlink Spamming and Other Crusty Old Traffic Methods?

      Click Here.
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with "buy this, then this, then that" if every single offer is relevant and very good. In fact, it's better for you because you'll probably make more money and it's better for your subscribers because their businesses will move forward if they buy a lot of stuff that you create or recommend.

    However, if you continually pitch random crap, then yeah, stop.
    Curtis Ng (blog) - Product Launch Manager
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