How to use opt-in marketing to make more money and position yourself as an expert.

Written on the 5 September 2008 by Altitude Communications

Here's the simple way to take advantage of the most cost-effective and efficient marketing strategy to grow your bottom line - Opt-in Marketing.

This instantaneous and effective marketing strategy can massively increase your business and grow your bottom line! It is virtually no cost and simple and will, when done correctly, build your credibility within your marketplace, position you or your business as an expert in your field and increase the amount of sales you make - both on and offline.

Opt-in marketing, or Permission Marketing as it is sometimes known, is basically obtaining your website visitors’ consent to receive your newsletters and other promotional materials such as information products, catalogues and free promotions via email. When you have someone’s email address (and their permission to send them information), they are practically inviting you to come and sell them something. Your subscribers want to hear from you, they want updates, and they want to receive your information. But only if it's topical and of interest to THEM. 

Be warned, opt-in marketing can create a valuable long-term relationship with your customers - often times without you even meeting them. This means you have to create a resource that provides value, topical content and interest. Above all, if you treat your subscribers with care, they will reward you handsomely.

So how do you take advantage of this lucrative new marketing medium...

The best way is via email marketing or eMarketing. A professional email marketing system will help you to easily manage your contacts, to create personalised and attractive content and to comply with international SPAM laws - however, you don't need a professional system to take advantage of opt-in marketing. You can use your everyday email program, like Outlook or Goldmine - just remember to be vigilant with opt-outs and unsubscribers. For people who are using a professional system - like the Altitude Communications' FastTrack Emarketing System, your opt-outs will be automatically unsubscribed without any action from you.

Opt-in Marketing can be used in a variety of different ways, for example...

  • It's a great way to get repeat website traffic and/or customers. Email marketing is timely and topical, which means that your customers will be encouraged to visit and revisit your website for varying reasons. This means increased website traffic and more opportunities for you to create a relationship with your clients. Consider adding a sign-up box to your website interface to allow your customers to simply and easily sign-up to receive your information. But make sure that you include more than just "FREE Newsletter". You'll need to encourage your web traffic to sign-up by listing the benefits in bullet points and describing the useful information they will receive. Remember, you'll need to sell it to them and make sure they know everything you will do for them.
  • It's a fantastic way to generate new leads for your business - by receiving regular information from you, your subscribers are getting to know your business in a gentle and unobtrusive way. You're effectively building rapport with your subscribers over the course of your online relationship. Don't be surprised when you start getting new offline leads from customers who seem to know alot more about you and your business - they're subscribers who over time have developed a relationship with you and now feel comfortable enough with you and your business to buy.
  • It's a effective method of creating a database of contacts to sell online products/services to. This highly lucrative method has changed the way many businesses do business. And finally...
  • Use email to communicate with your contacts, build mass credibility and rapport without spending time one-on-one. This reason alone makes opt-in marketing extremely time and cost-effective.
  • Sell products online and offline. If you have an online shopping cart, you can use opt-in marketing to sell directly to your subscribers. But if you're product is a service or you don't have a shopping cart, you can still use your emails to sell. Consider adopting any of the following strategies into your campaign mix - offer special deals or discounts, advise of upcoming sales, run VIP events, promote seminars or conferences. You could also try... selling meetings with Sales reps - i.e. use your opt-in marketing to encourage clients to set meetings with your sales reps, or package your time and sell consulting packs.

But what to send...

The emails you send to your subscribers should be presented in a manner that will catch their attention and keep them wanting more. We will never stress this enough; content is king and your subscribers will reward you if you can give them your best advice.

Here's some ideas...

  • Prepare some well-written informative articles about your subject or service, but make sure your articles are related to your subject of expertise.
  • Another idea is to ask an associate to provide an article about their area of expertise, which will mix things up a bit and keep your newsletter informative and interesting. For example, if your business is real estate sales, you may wish to write articles on marketing your home, preparing your house for sale, and home renovations that will increase the value of your home. You may also wish to ask a mortgage broker to submit an article about obtaining a mortgage, which is of relevance to the reader too.
  • Offer some samples of your contents on your website, so that your subscribers will be keen to get their hands on all of the great advice and information they will receive.
  • How-too's, Q&A's, recipes, tips, and profiles are a great way to disseminate your knowledge and position you as the expert.
  • Case studies on important clients, and how your product/service has helped them are always well received by readers.

Provided your newsletters and articles are useful, your customers will be happy to continue to receive your opt-in marketing and other promotional material, and if you ask them, they may even refer your newsletter to friends, colleagues and associates. Of course this means more exposure for your business and more customers.

A few points to remember...

  • Always include links in your eNewsletter to transport them directly to your website for more information.
  • Your email copy should be compelling and it needs to convey the message that you desire to impart to your readers. Remember, a confused person never buys, so ensure your copy directs your visitors step-by-step through whatever process that you need them to take.  
  • Always check and double check your grammar and spelling.
  • Remember that search engines, such as Google, recognise the importance and value of articles, and having articles listed on your website or in an Article Manager will increase your Google ranking, which in turn will send more visitors to your site. 

By providing well written, well researched, informative articles on your site, you will in turn gain a reputation for being an industry expert on your subject and more people will consult your site for information, research and advice. If you don’t have the time or expertise to create articles, a newsletter, or other opt-in marketing material, it will more than pay off in the long-run to hire an expert, such as Altitude Communications, to assist.

And if we still haven't convinced you of the benefits of opt-in marketing...

By far, the best reason for doing opt-in marketing, is its speed. While traditional marketing mediums such as newspaper, TV, billboards, radio and direct mail can take anywhere from days to weeks to start to work, the response to opt-in marketing can be almost instantaneous. After sending an email, (or an SMS campaign), you will usually start to see the results in minutes. This of course, means no wasted advertising dollars or time spent wondering how successful your campaign will be. With opt-in markeitng you'll know within hours of launch what works and what doesn’t, simple as that.  

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Copyright Altitude Communications 2008. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be used without the prior written concent from the author. See below for more details...

DO YOU WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this text copy in its entirety: Marketing Mentors Bill Doyle and Sandra Hammond from Altitude Communications publish the popular 'My Marketing Mentor' weekly eZine with over 2,200 subscribers including solo-preneurs, entrepreneurs and business owner. If you're ready to boost your business, generate more leads and make more money.  Plus get your FREE 50 fresh eMarketing ideas and tactics to help you to attract new clients like bees to a honey pot and grow a profitable business without spending a fortune. Go to http://www.Bees2HoneyPot.com


Author:Altitude Communications
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