List building - really necessary in every niche?

32 replies
Okay, I was reading through some threads and saw the advice to newbies being "Start with building a list" several times. I am far from the most experienced or successful guy here, but I really have to wonder - is list-building the best way to go in every niche?

I've done pretty well with no list, but on the advice of most everyone here (thank you), I have started building a list. My problem: what to do with it. I sell a one-time solution to a (hopefully) one-time problem (tendon pain), and my customers are all over the map, both literally and figuratively. As far as I can see, there is really no "typical" customer for me... I've got men, women, old, young, athletic, sedentary, all education levels, all income levels... On and on. I can't see a common point among them to market to.

So I guess I've got two questions. One, is it REALLY always the best thing to start building a list right away, and two, in a niche where you sell a one-time solution to a very specific problem, how do you monetize such a list even if you have it?

Looking forward to some discussion.
#building #list #niche
  • Profile picture of the author betterwtveter
    What I do is experiment on both sides to see if it is necessary. If you have a good flow of visitors daily, at least 300-400 such as me, I pop in an autoresponder for the week to see how well my conversions go with that. The following week I just send the traffic directly to my site and then I compare my figures. It really depends on your traffic and what you are selling and your conversions. So for me I strictly focus on what converts more. But building a list is great if you want to send emails out to your list on other offers than the site they were just at. Just make sure it is a related niche so your not spamming the person.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260690].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Alex Nordach View Post

    is it REALLY always the best thing to start building a list right away
    It is for me. I wouldn't be able to sell a tendinitis product at all without list-building, and wouldn't even be willing to try to.

    Originally Posted by Alex Nordach View Post

    in a niche where you sell a one-time solution to a very specific problem, how do you monetize such a list even if you have it?
    By (a) trying to analyze the traffic demographics as accurately as possible (I do take the point you make above, but I still suspect from my medical knowledge that this niche has some slightly more recognizable demographics than you've implied!), and (b) trying to find related products/services/information/areas of interest where possible (one takes this into account, to some extent, in selecting niches in the first place?).

    I do hear you, and am not trying to dismiss your questions, and I see that to some extent they do arise in that niche. But I suspect that some sub-groups of people with tendinitis might have some commonalities which could be amenable to further/related promotions? :confused:
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260711].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gcbmark20
    Hi Alex,

    You can do so many things within your autoresponder service anyway.

    This allows you segment yout lists and test different messages to see which ones are working best and why.

    If you are using GetResponse or Aweber you can do a lot of testing and tweaking with your campaigns.

    Nothing has to set in stone and I would suggest you don't think about things too long.

    Allow your results to tell you what is working and what needs to be improved etc.

    I know how it feels to get bogged down with all the "What If's" rather than just taking action and improving along the way.

    Hope this helps and good luck my friend!!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260739].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dlane1987
    List building is a pretty good way to go in any niche, however some people like yourself find they do well using a different strategy.

    Whatever you do it's all about optimisation and increasing and repeat IMHO.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260752].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    Absolutely...having a list is way way more profitable

    Selling a product is fine but that is not where the money

    The money is in repeat customers and once you have a list you are able to sell other related products too

    For instance if you build a list around the "six pack abs niche" you could not only sell the main product but reports on healthy eating, best ab exercises to do, how to stay motivated, where to get the best supplements, new workouts etc etc

    There are always a lot of related products that you can sell to your list that is why it`s so important to build one and your conversions will be way higher if you sell to the same customers that have already purchased something from you

    Paul
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260757].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sushiman1111
    Well, I can see with an abs product, pretty much everyone who buys it is going to be overweight (or at least think that they're overweight), so you have a common denominator. It's just that I don't see one with tendon pain...

    I do have another site that deals with plantar fasciitis, and for that a logical follow-up would be either a weight-loss product or something for runners. But with tendons... I can't seem to find a common factor.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260904].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    You should definitely be building a list if you're building a business. Like Paul said, a list allows you to build that long term following. The people who buy from you over and over again. That's how you grow efficiently.

    There's a big misinterpretation about list building though. Most people are so worried about building a list of readers. You give away something free and you try to convince them to buy something from you. This is a great asset to have for sure... but the real list you need to build is your buyers list.

    These buyers are the ones who are most likely to open your emails, listen to what you say, click the links you have, and buy what you recommend.

    Also where is your traffic coming from if your demographic is all over the map?

    Travis
    Signature
    TEESPRING Student Rakes In Over $116k In Less Than 3 Months
    Niche Pro Profits - How I raked in OVER $120k in 9 months with authority niche sites...

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260906].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sushiman1111
    Traffic is coming from SEO mostly. I have a few videos out, some articles and so on. But mainly it's SEO long-tail keywords on my blog, where I've written a bunch of articles on tendon pain.

    And when I say all over the map, I really mean it. Today I made two sales, one from the US and one from Denmark. Yesterday I had a guy from South America buy. I've sold my tendon pain product in something like 40 countries now, albeit most of the traffic comes from the US.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260935].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Gerald Arno
    Banned
    List Building is one of the most substantial, profitable and intelligent ways to make money online since you are in full control (unlike to SEO) over how to market, further grow, and monetize your list.

    The biggest misconception ever is that some people believe that must have a huge list to make a full-time income. That´s not true. You can make more money from a responsive 300 big buyers list, than you can from a 10000 big freebie seekers list.

    Your primary goal is to figure out how you intend to monetize your knowledge, then you can begin building a high quality list. Whether you want to "milk" your leads through products or coaching programs, make sure that you only provide the most recent and most valuable strategies that you can find.

    I have found that people were more inclined to buy from me if they saw that something worked particularly well for me.

    To answer your question: Yes, you should build a list right from the get go, or you are losing out on a lot money!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260951].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tjaysen70
    Yes my brotha....always build a list and always be marketing.

    Look at it this way, suppose that you build a list of 1000 people that have bought your product, these are buyers my friend. And once they've bought from you in the past, it's way easier to sell to them in the future, like 1000 times easier.

    So now your list becomes an asset. Say you're sitting around the bbq one Sunday afternoon drinkin beers and having a huge porter house steak, then you get an idea. You send out an email (autoresponder- aweber) that you write once, and mail to everyone on your list.

    You briefly and nonchalantly mention this other product that you like and that has given you some killer results, you share that with your list by giving them a link (your aff link) and let them check it out for themselves.

    If they buy something after clickin on link, you get paid. What could be easier? This is the most bad ass way of making money online.

    So stop posting on forums, and build your list my friend! You'll be glad you did.
    Signature

    Tired of the grind? Wait. PM me to see a better way.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7260991].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wuser12
    I believe having a mailing list is useful not only to try selling again to your existing customers, but also as an additional tool to improve your CRM system.
    You can send gifts and promotions to your subscribers and keep them engaged, so they will know that when the bottle is empty they can go back and buy another bottle from you beacuse they trust you and they have a relationship with you.
    We call this a long term relationship.

    Hope this help.

    Peace
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7261662].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RDInfo
    Originally Posted by Alex Nordach View Post

    One, is it REALLY always the best thing to start building a list right away, and two, in a niche where you sell a one-time solution to a very specific problem, how do you monetize such a list even if you have it?

    Looking forward to some discussion.
    I sell a similar infoproduct, a one time solution (even if there are some rules and techniques that must be applied long term) and i have found that trying to presell by email after having asked the email address on an optin page is not the best solution for several reasons :
    ->Some people want to find a solution now and are ready to buy now. In trying to presell with several emails sent during several days they can lose interest (or find another solution) and thus you can lose sales. There will be contradictors of this statement but even if information can trigger some emotions and thoughts, it cannot trigger physical pain or disconfort. When people are searching for alternative solutions to solve/relieve a health related problem, they are, as i was, in pain/disconfort, else they would not be searching.
    ->Wether you think it is true or not, there are some people who have difficulties with computers and you have to make your interface easy to understand, easy to access, easy to use. So having to open several emails during several days can be confusing especially if some emails go into the spam folder.

    I am using another strategy now, which is to use my website pages and a downloadable pdf to presell.
    The advantage is that it is more accessible and less irritating than having to give your email address for no justified reason.
    Some will say that you may lose contact with the interested person with this strategy and this is a understandable concern, but if your presentation and infoproduct seems interesting enough, the interested people will try to find your website if they want to buy it or they can find your website through the links of the downloaded pdf file.

    Now about having a buyers list, there is no discussion about whether you need one or not, you need to be able to recognize and to reach your customers : for support, for updates, to send free information related to the subject, to send interesting offers related to the subject.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7266355].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sushiman1111
      Originally Posted by RDInfo View Post

      I sell a similar infoproduct, a one time solution (even if there are some rules and techniques that must be applied long term) and i have found that trying to presell by email after having asked the email address on an optin page is not the best solution for several reasons :
      ->Some people want to find a solution now and are ready to buy now. In trying to presell with several emails sent during several days they can lose interest (or find another solution) and thus you can lose sales. There will be contradictors of this statement but even if information can trigger some emotions and thoughts, it cannot trigger physical pain or disconfort. When people are searching for alternative solutions to solve/relieve a health related problem, they are, as i was, in pain/disconfort, else they would not be searching.
      I think this is exactly right. Squeeze pages are good for stuff where you have a previous amount of high social interest, like a rock band memorabilia page or something similar, not for when the customer is already searching for something that he already REALLY thinks he needs.

      ->Wether you think it is true or not, there are some people who have difficulties with computers and you have to make your interface easy to understand, easy to access, easy to use. So having to open several emails during several days can be confusing especially if some emails go into the spam folder.
      Yep. And the older your customers are, the more this is true.

      I am using another strategy now, which is to use my website pages and a downloadable pdf to presell.
      The advantage is that it is more accessible and less irritating than having to give your email address for no justified reason.
      Some will say that you may lose contact with the interested person with this strategy and this is a understandable concern, but if your presentation and infoproduct seems interesting enough, the interested people will try to find your website if they want to buy it or they can find your website through the links of the downloaded pdf file.
      Yeah, I tend to agree. My strategy is to make articles and videos that have really good, but surprising, educational content. This piques interest, which then leads the potential customer to my blog, which has more of the same. Once there, they can get to the sales page with one click from any other page, so it's easy to order.

      Now about having a buyers list, there is no discussion about whether you need one or not, you need to be able to recognize and to reach your customers : for support, for updates, to send free information related to the subject, to send interesting offers related to the subject.
      Yeah, if I just knew what I could offer once I've cured them of their one-time problem, I could probably make a lot more money, lol.

      That's really the crux of my issue. If they buy from me, most likely they're going to get cured, at which point, my customers are basically just like any other randomly assembled group of people. Sure, they trust me (very much so), but they don't have the problem anymore and it's really a shot in the dark to try to sell them something else.

      If they don't get better, then of course they still have the problem but they're probably not going to buy from me again. So again, hard to market to 'em.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7271971].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Necessary? No.

    Strongly recommended to earn big bucks? YES
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7272017].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lou Murphy
    Whatever you offer, say it right, say it straight. Nothing comes for free and everybody knows that so it's better to mention in the first line that this is the price you pay to have this and if you really need this go ahead and buy it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7272928].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Alex, once you've solved their tendon pain problem, is there any regimen or supplement that you can offer to keep the problem from coming back?

      Are there activities that lead to the tendon pain? Can you offer safer ways to do those activities?

      As far as pre-selling messages go, you don't need to avoid linking to the product until a set point in the process. As one sales trainer likes to say, "don't stop them from buying just because you aren't done selling yet."

      Just like some long-form salesletters, multiple buy links can work well in email sequences.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7274087].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author James Clark
        To the Op. The question is how are you making sales now? If they are buying from a sales page and you are making a few sales as a result. I wouldn't change that process. However, one has nothing to do with the other.

        When you have built your list you can send your subscribers to a blog post and ask for feedback. So, what would you ask them?

        Example: ask them what kind of products or information would they like to see from you and what would they spend for the information or products. Most of the new products will come from your list, that is, feedback.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7274250].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author obin94
    YES! It is Necessary!

    Doesn't matter what niche building a list will make you more money than not.

    You can make it without a list, but you will ALWAYS make more if you are building a list at the same time!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7274309].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gabysanchez225
    If you sell a one time solution to a problem and there are people who may not have the money at that moment to purchase your product why not try to get them on your list so you could eventually mail them helpful tips related to the problem so that you stay fresh in their mind? You'll increase the likelihood of turning them into customers, ESPECIALLY if you aren't spammy and you give them your BEST info.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7274799].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author shipwrecked
    Originally Posted by Alex Nordach View Post

    Okay, I was reading through some threads and saw the advice to newbies being "Start with building a list" several times. I am far from the most experienced or successful guy here, but I really have to wonder - is list-building the best way to go in every niche?

    I've done pretty well with no list, but on the advice of most everyone here (thank you), I have started building a list. My problem: what to do with it. I sell a one-time solution to a (hopefully) one-time problem (tendon pain), and my customers are all over the map, both literally and figuratively. As far as I can see, there is really no "typical" customer for me... I've got men, women, old, young, athletic, sedentary, all education levels, all income levels... On and on. I can't see a common point among them to market to.

    So I guess I've got two questions. One, is it REALLY always the best thing to start building a list right away, and two, in a niche where you sell a one-time solution to a very specific problem, how do you monetize such a list even if you have it?

    Looking forward to some discussion.

    If you have an IM/SEO list, then please give me a private message!
    I might have a monetizing/revenue share offer for you!


    You can use any list for advertising, getting the word out, in order to attract customers. If it's an e-mail list, then drive people to your Facebook page - then you'll grab them for a longer period (provided that they did "like" the page)...

    Otherwise I encountered the same problem.

    I've been advertising single-use services as well. Services that don't require much "bla bla", much philosophy etc...

    There are services that just require a stream of people getting to the page/landing page and take action.

    If you have call-to action and CPA or pay-per-search, PPC systems on your pages that are used to generate revenue, then lists are very hard to use.
    Indeed: in many cases the lists cannot be used easily. You rather need constantly streaming fresh visitors. That's what SEO was/is good for... of course, now it's harder due to the new algorithms...

    If you have any list, then use it for advertising.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7275011].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Originally Posted by Alex Nordach View Post

    Okay, I was reading through some threads and saw the advice to newbies being "Start with building a list" several times. I am far from the most experienced or successful guy here, but I really have to wonder - is list-building the best way to go in every niche?

    I've done pretty well with no list, but on the advice of most everyone here (thank you), I have started building a list. My problem: what to do with it. I sell a one-time solution to a (hopefully) one-time problem (tendon pain), and my customers are all over the map, both literally and figuratively. As far as I can see, there is really no "typical" customer for me... I've got men, women, old, young, athletic, sedentary, all education levels, all income levels... On and on. I can't see a common point among them to market to.

    So I guess I've got two questions. One, is it REALLY always the best thing to start building a list right away, and two, in a niche where you sell a one-time solution to a very specific problem, how do you monetize such a list even if you have it?

    Looking forward to some discussion.
    Well, a one-time solution can't really be built into a long term business on just that one solution as there is nothing more to sell or upsell on.

    You'd have to go after other "one-time" solution products to sustain any kind of sales volume.

    But people who build lists do so in niches where an upsell is a natural fit, the next step sort of speak. When you build a list you're building an asset so when you offer the next step existing customers will buy it.

    No need to go out and constantly drive more traffic to your offer.

    In a on-time solution business as soon as you stop driving traffic that's it. But, if you're in a niche that has natural upsells then you don't have to rely on just driving traffic to your website.

    In your case I'd probably look to diversify, come up with a system to take advantage of more than one market that offers one-time solutions and become a publishing company. Or I'd look into a niche that has natural progression to the next step.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7275348].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    if i were you, i would load up my autoresponder with a survey or two so i could ask all these different people to help tell me what they want.

    Then you can use the survey data to further target the groups as your survey identifies them.

    here is just a quick example based on some of the above posts.

    maybe your survey could be a multiple choice saying what other health problems are bothering you the mosts?

    a) weight
    b) abs
    c) acne
    .......

    then once those people identify themselves and tell you what their other problems are you can use automation techniques to send the affiliate product offers that can solve their specific problem.

    I just think you are trying to outsmart your customers and guess what else they want. Better to ask them...lol

    maybe a simple freebie pdf report reward for filling out the survey might help too.

    obviously this is just a quick example, and what i have laid out here is not a 10 minutes setup, but that is the way i would be moving forward.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7275525].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author celente
    Having not list you can do well.

    Having a big ass list, is good for 2 reasons.

    1) you can do more than JUST OK.

    2) You have an asset, that no one can take away.


    No matter what google panda, penguin, duck, geese, giraffe or any of their other idiotic updates come, you have high quality targeted traffic at the push of your button.

    Does not get better than that.

    Also you have an assett to swap lists or ads with bigger compeitors or people in cross niches.

    Do you have to build a list? well...no! But I know people that have created big lists and it has changed their lives. Literally.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7275689].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Strasburgo
      I like the fact that you found a pain point and have gotten people to fork over some cash for the solution. And it also helps, imo, that we're talking about physical pain.

      And the general prescription of building list first and selling to list later was unnecessary. Indeed, that's a valuable lesson in and of itself for people new to IM. You don't need a list to make sales, period. You need to deliver value to customers, and they will pay you.

      That being said, if you've already got customers willing to pay for a solution, they are more inclined to buy other things from you, because they know you and your product.

      So you can keep making $ with the SEO and acquire new customers, but if you kept a list of your current customers you could poll them and ask what other things THAT THEY THINK are related to your product. Just because you can't think of complementary products, doesn't mean all of your customers can not.

      You shouldn't assume that you can read all of their minds. It could be that a significant portion of them could believe that their underlying pain is the result of diet, exercise, genetics, accidents, over use, astrology, humidity....et cetera. By asking your paying customers questions, you can uncover new pain points that you can sell to them, but also sell to new customers when you incorporate that new information into your SEO efforts.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7276825].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author MKCookins
        Not necessary but almost all successful internet markets make their money from their list. It is A Lot easier to sell to a person who knows you and trust you, then selling to first time visitor.

        I believe this is the very reason why so many people struggle to make money online. When people find how hard it is (not always) but most of the time to sell directly to a customer they tend to give up and quit.

        Like said earlier great thing about a list even if you are doing good without one is once you build trust and relationship with your current list anytime you want to sell a product sells will ALWAYS follow.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7278972].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    I cannot give you a good answer, OP. However, by the responses that I've read here, I can state that I'm starting to see the light about list building!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7278990].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MarketingMinded
    Yes, you should always start an email list from day one. Why? Because no business survives without leads.

    As far as your particular business, I think you could definitely utilize email to grow your business. You have to get creative with your approach and use the data to your advantage.

    You do a number of things to monetize a list in your niche.

    1. Send retention-based (keep in touch) emails, as well as informative email packed with useful tips/content

    2. Promote affiliate offers that are relevant to your client base

    3. Exclusive offers & promotions on your current products/services

    These are just a few ideas but the possibilities are endless. Just takes some creativity and hustle.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7279189].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mrs Wordsmith
    Not every niche needs a list. An example would be something like the acne niche. People want a cure, not emails every week. Once they get the cure (from an e-book, perhaps) they have no reason to keep in contact.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7280152].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Mrs Wordsmith View Post

      Not every niche needs a list. An example would be something like the acne niche. People want a cure, not emails every week. Once they get the cure (from an e-book, perhaps) they have no reason to keep in contact.
      In my opinion, "acne" is a fairly typical example of a niche that does require listbuilding - even just to make the initial sale.

      The "average customer" will need to see the "average sales page" several times, before buying the product. Without list communications, you won't normally be able to get them back to your website and/or your affiliate-link often enough to become the affiliate/vendor who earns the sale (don't forget that your competitors will nearly all have lists, and be doing that). Without a list, you might be making 10% of the income available to you, and ignoring the other 90%.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7280239].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Seatbelt99
    List building absolutely needs to be a priority. Like Alexa just said, you may be able to get a few sales without building up trust via your list, but why take the chance?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7280254].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Not in all niches. For some niches, you can see quick results with your list building efforts for a small list, and in other niches... you have to amass a large amount of leads just to reach a considerable amount of income.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7281070].message }}

Trending Topics