Thursday, October 15, 2009

Permission Marketing: Why You Need to Build an Opt-in List for your Online Business

by Angela Kaeli

The Opt-in mailing list is a form of highly targeted permission marketing that has grown in popularity since the internet has created a fast and low-cost means of delivery. With the implementation of automated systems, a small business can create an opt-in list without hiring employees. It is a highly effective, tailored means of creating a bond of trust with your customer base and cultivating a legion of return-business

The term permission marketing (sometimes called "invitation marketing") refers to different types of marketing whereby the seller obtains permission from the prospective customer to send him further correspondence. This material can involve polls for more highly tailored marketing of products and services. The quality of information conveyed to the prospective customer is generally very high. Providing the prospective customer with value forges a bond of trust, thus leading to a high conversion rate.

What is an opt-in list?

The opt-in list is simply a database of names and email addresses of people who have visited your website or who have made a purchase from you. This list allows you to send updates, emails or promotions to those who are subscribed.

It is like an ordinary membership or mailing list for a brick and mortar business, except that it is created on-line. The old-fashioned form of this kind of advertising is known as direct mail marketing. The major difference is that you no longer need to fold papers, staple them, stuff envelopes or lick postage stamps because the delivery is done through an automated e-mail service.

Why Should You Build an Opt-in List?

Building an Opt-In List is a way of building a relationship with prospective customers. Most buyers don't make a purchase right away. The majority have to have time to make a decision and they have to trust you before they make the purchase. They have short memories and need to be reminded that your company exists. Keeping them on a mailing list keeps them thinking about your company.

Consider this fact: In order to succeed in business, you must use every resource available to you. It is important in any of your on-line marketing endeavors that you think in terms of (1) automation and (2) scale.

Every member of the on-line community is a potential customer. Now, one of the best marketing tools that you can use in your online business is a permission marketing via an opt-in mailing a list because it allows you to market cheaply on a very large scale.

Any visitor that will come to your web site is a potential customer and represents likely return-business. Using an opt-in mailing list ensures that you can maintain on-going contact with customers. You can keep them alerted to new products and services that you offer. A person who buys from you once is a good prospective customer for the future because you have already built a relationship of trust.

Building your first opt-in mailing list for your business will not be an easy task. It requires a long-term, on-going commitment. Do not let that fact deter you, however, because the results will be well-worth the investment of time and effort.

About the Author

Angela Kaelin is the author of "Writer's Fast Track to Cash: Build a Writing Empire that Pays You." Learn how to make money at home as a modern freelance writer and internet publisher - fast and on a shoe-string budget. Please, visit: http://www.writersfasttrack.com/buildwritingempire.html and http://www.writersfasttrack.com/