Want to know the secret to making a FORTUNE online?  Here it is…

The money is in your list.

Sadly people continue to give away their hard earned leads to their MLM or Affiliate Programs.  I know…I did it too.

Here’s the deal.  It’s well documented in the business world that if a company wants to increase its profits, it needs to sell more stuff to its existing clients/customers.

The reason is very simple.  It costs money to bring someone new through the door because the business has to advertise, right?

Instead of spending money to advertising to people who may or may not be interested in what you’re offering, take the time to offer more stuff to the people who have already raised their hand and indicated that they want what you’re offering by choosing to purchase something from you, or even just by opting-in to your list by taking advantage of your “free offer”.

By creating a list, you have a group of people that you KNOW are interested in hearing more from you.  The bottom line is this: if you don’t have a list, you’re leaving a boatload of money on the table.  You must have a list if you want to make money online.

How Do I Create a List?

To create a list, you need an autoresponder.  An autoresponder is a tool that allows you to “capture” people’s contact information through a lead capture form and then you can correspond with those people automatically through pre-programmed follow-up messages.

So, for example, you can set up a week’s worth of messages in your autoresponder and when a lead opts-in to your lead capture form, he or she will receive one email each day for a week in the order that you specify.  These are known as Follow-Up Messages.

You also have the ability to send out a Broadcast to your list, which means you can write and send one message to your entire list (or multiple lists if you have them).

This is the secret (or not so secret tool) that every Internet marketer uses.  It’s the only way that you’ll be able to communicate with the thousands and thousands of people who will want to receive your information!

How Do I Get A Lead to Opt Into My Form?

Typically, most people aren’t a big fan of giving out their personal information like their email address or phone number.  So, in order to get a visitor to give you permission to send them information, you need to give them something of value.  This is known as a Free Offer or Ethical Bribe.  We’ll talk more about that in Commandment #6.

What Do I Say To My List?

There is a skill to writing to your list, it’s called email marketing.  This is tied in with the skill of copywriting.  At the most basic level, you should have a plan for what messages your leads receive and when and how often they receive them.  You want to take your leads through a sales process or marketing funnel.  We’ll talk more about the marketing funnel in Commandment #8.

Which Autoresponder Should I Pick?

There are a ton of autoresponder services out there.  Aweber, iContact, GetResponse, Mail Chimp.  I’ve personally used Aweber for years and have been very satisfied.  Most top marketers recommend Aweber.

One bit of advice that you should heed is this…an autoresponder is holding your most valuable business asset, your list.  Like a fire extinguisher, this is not one of the things that you need to be discount shopping for.  You should pick a good autoresponder provider and stick with it.

Moving your list doesn’t work well…I know, I tried.  Do not make the same colossal mistake I did!  Aweber typically offers a $1 free trial, and after the trial, the basic package is $19.99 per month.  This is money well-spent!

But…My Company Gave Me A Lead Capture Page

How kind of them!

Seriously, though, if you’re generating leads into the company marketing page, you just gave those leads away to your company.

If you decide to switch companies in the future (and studies show the life of a network marketing distributor is only 3 months) your company typically owns those leads, not you.

Now there are some marketing systems out there that are solely geared towards your current network marketing opportunity.  I made the mistake of using those too.

A good marketing system will allow you to integrate your autoresponder with their system, allowing you to own your own leads.  Otherwise, the second you stop paying for that marketing system because you change products or services (my original marketing system was geared toward the travel business) you’re most likely not going to want to shell out the monthly fee for that marketing system just so you can communicate with your leads.

But I Can Export My Leads!

Sadly, that doesn’t matter.  : (

Most autoresponders don’t let you import contacts due SPAM prevention laws.  Those that do allow you to import contacts typically limit the amount per day that you can import, and those individuals must re-confirm their subscription to your list.  You will lose a ton of people in this process.

Now that you know the importance of building your own list, what are you waiting for?  Quit coveting your neighbor’s list and start creating this asset.

Stay tuned for Commandment #5:  Thou Shalt Be Transparent

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