List Building to Fill the Sales Funnel

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the sales funnel, where you start at the top filling the widest part of that funnel with prospects, and they filter through your sales funnel, inevitably decreasing in numbers along the way, until ultimately a number of the original prospects purchase a product or service from you.

The key to making more sales at the end of this process is often overfilling your funnel with lots more prospects than you think you actually need. Numbers will decrease for a multitude of reasons along the way so focus on list building activities to fill the top end of that funnel.
So where to start?

The following series will give you a few ideas to get your started.

Tip 1 – Newsletter opt in box. On your website, you need to include an opt-in box so that people can give you their name and email address. This automatically subscribes them to your weekly, fortnightly or monthly newsletter that will keep in touch with them to build the relationship – making it a responsive list.

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File-Sharing Made Easy

Pc_Cartelle_003As a virtual assistant you need to share files in some way with your clients. Often you will find your clients are happy to email latest versions of documents and spreadsheets backwards and forwards and some even have a file-sharing system in place that you can have access to.

But what happens if your client doesn’t have their own systems and you will be both updating a ‘live’ file such as a contacts database or an expenses spreadsheet? How do you both have access to the same current version of the file? You can purchase file sharing software such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint, or you can use free software such as Google Docs which, not very helpfully, interferes with the formatting of some documents and limits the size and/or formats of the files you can upload.

Well now, there’s a free option that not only works brilliantly, but also has many other features including access to 30 days-worth of back-up copies, incase you accidentally delete or ruin a file. You can also access your files remotely when you are out of the office so there’s no longer a need to take that laptop on holiday!

Click here for more information and an extra 250MB of space free!

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Top Ezine Housekeeping Rules – Tell Your Readers What To Do

Pc_Cartelle_003If you go to the effort of writing an ezine, do not forget to tell you readers what you want them to do next. You are writing in order to build a relationship. So, do you want them to go to your website to read the rest of the articles, or download something for free? Do you want them to purchase a product or service? If so, give them a reason to do it now rather than later, and provide a link to click, so they can buy it now. If you do not tell them what to do next, they will not do anything apart from read your ezine and delete it. Tell them what to do, and, provided that they are interested, they will do it.

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Top Ezine Housekeeping Rules – Invite Interaction

Pc_Cartelle_003Do not forget to ask your readers for their comments, questions or future topics they would like to see covered. The whole point of writing an ezine or newsletter is to build a relationship with your prospects and invite further interaction. You want them to take the next step by picking up the telephone or sending you an email. Make it clear that not only is this an acceptable way of contacting you, but the best way.

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15 Tips to Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List

We all need to fill our marketing funnel with the contact details of potential clients and referrers of our business services. The following series gives you some ideas about how to collect contact details, and in particular email addresses, so that you can begin to build relationships with your prospects.

Tip 1

Put an offer on the back of your business card to get people to sign up for your newsletter. For example, “Visit www.mywebsite.com/freereport to download 20 Top Tips for Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant”. When they land on your page, ask for their email address in order to receive the free report.

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Top Ezine Housekeeping Rules – Send Useful Information

Pc_Cartelle_003One of marketing’s basic rules is to know your target market well. Know their interests and things about which they like to be kept informed. If you come across information that you feel would be useful to your target audience, add it to your ezine (crediting the author or source, of course). The more useful the information you provide, the more likely your readers are to stay subscribed.

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Top Ezine Housekeeping Rules – Get The Balance Right

Pc_Cartelle_003It can be very tempting to fill each of your ezines with information about your latest service or product, and, indeed, your readers will be expecting to hear a certain amount of that. But, do not forget also to include some free tips or an advice spot. Giving a measured amount of free information marks you as an expert in your field, and a generous one at that.

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Top Ezine Housekeeping Rules – Send Messages At Reasonable Intervals

Pc_Cartelle_003Do not use your ezine in the same way as you would Twitter or a blog. Your subscribers have given you permission to send them information, but, if you abuse it, they will soon be sorry they did. The result will be that they will leave your list just as quickly as they subscribed to it. Send updates once or twice a month and leave it at that.

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Top Ezine Housekeeping Rules – Use A Proper Email Delivery System

Pc_Cartelle_003When you first start sending out email newsletters, it is very tempting to send them using your normal email delivery service, such as Outlook. After all, it is free and already there on your desktop. However, internet service providers frown upon mass mailing, and you will find very quickly that your email address will be blacklisted and you may be banned from sending any email. There are many legitimate ezine delivery services available whose costs are minimal; use one to manage your mailing list.

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Top Ezine Housekeeping Rules – A ‘Double Opt-in’ System

Pc_Cartelle_003If you use a proper ezine delivery service such as Constant Contact, Aweber or Vertical Response, your subscribers will go through what is known as a ‘double opt-in’. This means that, after submitting their email address through your website form or other link asking them to sign up for your newsletter, they will receive an email asking them to confirm their subscription by clicking on a link within it. This is key, as it stops third parties from adding subscribers without their knowledge.

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