The country Fair was bright and festive with just a hint of carnival atmosphere. Funnel cakes were available along with a delightful strawberry lemonade that could only be found at fairs. Of course there were turkey legs and corn on the cob. Little boys donned cowboy hats and little girls wore pigtails.
In the event center dozens of Business were lined up in uniform booths. Each business worked to entice visitors to at least look at what they had to offer. In some booths balloons towered above all – ‘free’ for the kids. Demonstrations took place at another booth and in most there were fishbowls, jugs or registration boxes. Almost every booth had some sort of giveaway. All you had to do was register for your chance to win.
If you are unfamiliar with the term “List building” you have now been introduced to the concept. The process of gaining Viable Contacts through registration is important to business. Fairs, trade shows and other home and garden shows are valuable tools businesses use to gain new contacts. Not every contact will mean a sale, but there will be a percentage that may eventually buy.
In online business you have the same opportunity without ever leaving the comfort of home. You don’t have to attend the fair and you don’t have to hand out balloons.
With online business the customer is in charge. You cannot directly appeal to them to ‘sign up’ for anything. You can make information available with a free membership. You can provide a free download with sign up. You can even conduct a drawing using names of individuals who have signed up with your site, but the choice will always be left to the site visitor.
The information you obtain can then be used to facilitate an email marketing campaign or a series of opt in autoresponders or ezines that can be highly valued by your customer based if developed correctly.
If some consider list building an evil practice it may be a necessary evil. Your business needs viable contacts. List-building opportunities simply provide a motivating mechanism for individuals to consider passing along personal data in exchange for something they consider valuable. Interestingly, not all individuals will respond to the same approach, so be prepared to consider a variety of list building techniques.
For the sake of your potential customers I would strongly recommend refraining from selling the data you collect. Your customers will trust you more if their personal data they’ve assigned to you is not sold to the highest bidder.