Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Affiliate Marketing - The Importance of Mailing Lists

A lot of people are taking an interest in affiliate marketing as a way to either make a living or to earn supplementary income. The growth of affiliate marketing isn’t all that hard to understand, as it provides a way to make money from retail products without having to stock inventory, make direct sales to the public or handle returns in the event that the customer is unhappy with the product. With affiliate marketing, the sales process is entirely “hands off.”

While there is no work to be done along the lines of making direct sales, there is a lot of work involved in making the public aware of the products you are trying to promote. Two popular methods of bringing your products to the public’s attention are to purchase pay per click advertising on the major search engines or to build a Website promoting one or more products. While these methods both work, they require regular, active work, and in the case of pay per click advertising, a regular outlay of cash as you continually try to draw new customers to your advertisements for your products. There is a better way, however, and that is to leverage the customers you already have by creating a mailing list.

Studies show that customers who buy a product are likely to buy another one in the future. Since it is far easier to make a sale to a proven customer than it is to attract a new one, it makes sense to compile a mailing list of customers. That way, should you decide to promote a new product in the future, you can e-mail a sales pitch to your list and know that the message will likely be read by customers who are “ready to buy.”

The best part of having a mailing list is that you can automate a lot of the process by using an autoresponder. An autoresponder is an online service that handles mailings and mail lists for you, usually for a small monthly fee. Two of the more popular services are Aweber and Get Response. These services allow you to create a simple form that appears on your Website, asking visitors for their name and e-mail address. You can usually entice them to sign up by offering a free report of some sort in exchange for the information. Once they fill in the form and click the submit button, they are automatically sent a confirmation e-mail, followed by a link to download the report you offered them. From that point on, unless they unsubscribe, they are members of your mailing list.

The power of a mailing list should not be underestimated. There are marketers who have one hundred thousand or more names on their lists, and whenever a new product comes to market, these “super marketers” have the inside track on sales through their ability to instantly contact their members. When you compare the ability to contact hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of people instantly with having to build a Website or buy ads, you can easily see how useful it can be to have a list of your own.

A popular saying in affiliate marketing is that “the money is in the list.” It’s nice to make a sale on the Web or via a pay per click ad, but your goal shouldn’t be to make one sale; it should be to make many sales. With a mailing list, you have the ability to do just that.

©Copyright 2007 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro-Marketing.com, a company specializing in making money online and a site about Affiliate Marketing Programs.

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