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.
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.