There are 2 main schools of thought on building marketing lists in my opinion…
1) Traditional, two-step “Give me yours and I’ll give you mine” style. Online, this usually involves a squeeze page where someone has to submit their email address to gain access to a valuable piece of content (if your content isn’t valuable, you lose all trust and credibility here).
2) A more viral, “I’ll give you a piece of valuable content that you can share and form an opinion on FIRST, and THEN you can decide if you buy from me.” Here, your content allows the visitor to decide if they want to take the next step with you, then you focus on your “buyer’s” list and serving it, instead of both an email list AND buyer’s list.
Interesting to think about both methodologies.
In my opinion, I will be personally shifting towards #2 thanks to the influence of David Meerman Scott , other influences I’ve tested, and my personal business direction.
—> If you go to http://josephratliff.com right now, you can begin to see it in action (although the viral ebook isn’t yet there yet, I’m offering a sample of this blog as a download currently).
I feel (my personal opinion), that with the current way people are searching for information, and a sort of “numbness” to free in exchange for personal information marketing pieces…I would rather focus on building a list of buyers of my upcoming print book and products AFTER they’ve made a decision based on freely available content first.
My theory is, (actually proven by other marketers like David), that this “buyers list” will be more responsive because they have enough of a sample of content to make a decision to trust me first.
And that my friends, is where the gold is…in developing a solid relationship with people on your buyer’s list.