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You've Got the "Bait" - Now Set the Hook!

You've Got the "Bait" - Now Set the Hook!

July 26, 2008

Talk to a marketer or an advertiser about promoting your product and service and one of the first things they'll ask you is, 'Who are you trying to reach?'

And if you have a list of people who have already told you they're interested in what you have to offer, you have gold! If you're in the sales business, which we all are in some way or another, you're in the list building business.

I call it 'setting the hook.' I've talked to you previously about creating an irresistible bait ' an offer that your prospects can't refuse. Use your irresistible bait to attract your 'hungry fish.' But one of the biggest mistakes I see even the best business owners make is that they never set the hook. They never give prospects the opportunity to take the next step and have them begin a relationship.

The goal is to have your prospects opt-in to your list because he who controls the list has everything. I don't care if you're asking people to opt-in online, offline or in-person! Every business should be setting the hook.

I have one client who owns a restaurant and he built a list of 2,500 customers in one month simply by having patrons sign up to receive his specials each week. Imagine if you had a list of 250, 2,500 or 25,000 people who said, 'I'm really interested in what you're selling and I want you to send me your promotions because I'll probably buy something.' Need more convincing? In my experience, response to opt-in lists are usually triple the response for standard lists. 

Here are 5 tips to create an opt-in list online or off-line:

1. Offer something for FREE. Make your premium so irresistible your prospects would be willing to pay for it. A FREE report is terrific bait because it positions you as an expert offering advice and it helps you build trust in your new relationship.

2. Make it easy to opt-in. Don't turn your sign-up form into a survey asking prospects about their interests, income, education, shopping habits, etc. The opt-in is about helping your prospects get what THEY want! As soon as you go beyond asking for just basic contact information (name, email and address) an internal warning pops up in the minds of your hungry fish that says, 'They just want to use my information for marketing ' they don't care about me!'

3. Offer security. Be sure to disclose whether you share or rent your lists. However, I advise against sharing your lists. We just said your list is gold so treat it like gold. You'll also get more prospects to sign up for your opt-in list if you tell them, 'We'll never rent or share your list.' If you want to market another seller's product to your list, send the promotion yourself with your endorsement. Your prospects have a relationship with you and trust you, so any promotions should come from you.

4. Follow up! Don't let your list just sit idle. It's amazing how many clients I see who never send any promotions to it. Follow up right away while your product or service is still top of mind.

5. Don't give up. Follow up with your prospects again and again. Remember, 81% of all sales don't occur until after the fourth contact. And by that time, 90% of your customers have given up! Plan to follow-up at least five times so you can turn your relationship into a very profitable one for you and your customer.