The following post is all about building an email list. I am going to do a few posts on this topic and give you examples of how to build a list up.

Laying the Online Marketing Platform

The Online Marketing Strategy for this email list building needs a solid platform to start with. Key elements of this include:

1. Website - You need a website to online market. Its really tough to get list signups without a website. Key things here are a reliable hosting platform to server your websites content and a content management system to enable you to manage your content. Or better you have a great Agency on retainer and you just get them to do all the work! ;)

2. Database (eCRM) – A database can be as simple as a signup form or a little more complex like an eCRM to capture customer details. We use a simple system for our clients that can capture any detail from any type of form and store it in a database. It also allows you to easily export the list out of the eCRM into Excel. I love playing around with data in Excel because it makes it really easy to see whats going on. Complex online database queiries leave me personally confused and I much prefer the good old Excel.

3. Email Sending platform – When it comes to sending bulk emails I cringe at Outlook BCC’ng. Any professional marketer needs a decent piece of software. We use quite a few different platforms and it all depends on what you are looking for. You get variation in: Deliverability, reporting, cost of send, ease of use and Technical support. To some degree each of these elements comes at a different cost, I personally go for the low cost solution because I know what I am doing and I just need a bulk mailer.

The Online Marketing Strategy

At first this diagram seems a little bit too simple. But on closer inspection and throughout the next few blog entries I will go into a lot more detail about each box. For now I am going to talk through the whole strategy and discuss the flows.

Acquisition Channels

The first thing that is required is to acquire traffic through to your website. The channels I have flagged here are very low cost and effective for trialing any online marketing. Lets look at each one:

Email - Email here refers to email lists that you have already compiled, Other peoples email lists and purchased email lists.

WOM - Word of mouth is always a key element of any marketing and happens naturally when after you get enough buzz around something. A great way to spread WOM is through email as it travels really fast. I also bundle Website blogs, forum posts and articles written about you in this category as someone else is spreading the word of mouth through the online medium.

PR - Public Relations is all about getting into the press and building your profile. You need to get your articles into the media and ensure you have a link in the articles pointing through to your website. Article PR is a great way of doing this and I will go into more detail about this in a later post.

SEM - Search Engine Marketing (I have bundled SEO and SEM together here) is the bread and butter of any online marketing. If you want to drive targetted traffic to your website start with the search engines and work from there.

The key here is to drive these traffic acquisition channels into a website and get the user to take an action. The best actions are ones that result in that person signing up to the database.

Next post I will go into more detail about the website and converting that user into a database member.

Next Post about Website Conversion into Database

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