Small Business Marketing: Building a targeted email list

Generating leads or building a targeted email list is very simple, you just have to know how. In this post I will give you my failsafe techniques on how to build a targeted email list and generate leads, if you follow this plan you'll be getting your first bites in no time! What is a lead?

Just for those of you who don't know what a lead is, it's a first bite or interest - Well an inbound lead is anyway! Potentially there are millions of  leads out there but they haven't expressed an interest in your service or products yet. By collecting an email address - as long as it's targeted - you'll be starting the process of taking enquirer to buyer in no time. You see for someone to enter an email address to receive information from you means that this area is of interest to them, making that email address targeted. It's not random, it's not all about numbers it's about the right audience.

How do I get more targeted leads/ email addresses?

In a nutshell you'll need to offer your target audience something they can't refuse in return for an email address or phone number. For example: Have you ever seen your local Mini garage offering a free test drive for the latest Mini? All you have to do is enter your email address or telephone number. BOOM! They have your details on file and if you do come in for a test drive this time you'll have a chance to try out the product and maybe consider buying it. Now say this lead form was on a blog about cars and this particular article was a review of the new mini? You must have stumbled across this article because you were looking for more information about the new mini, meaning you had an interest already. So by the time the correct garage gets your information you are a fully qualified lead and a very warm lead at that.

So how can you generate leads in this way for your service? Here's a step by step guide:

1. Create some information such as an eBook / report, a promise of free tips or a special offer which buyers only get in return for an email address or telephone number

2. (optional) Create a place to hold this information such as a webpage or squeeze page (like leadpages)

3. Create some content which will generate initial inbound interest such as a blog post. This blog post or article should really answer a question for example: What new features does the new Mini have? Write an article about this and at the end (and even in the middle or on the sidebar) have a lead box which says something along the lines of: Interested in a free test drive? or get the free guide to Mini's download, simply enter your email address. You could also include a link to the leadpage if you wish, instead of collecting emails/leads directly from the article, this depends on how much explaining you'll need to do get this lead! This is a very simple and effective way to start building a targeted email list.

4. You can then use social media to push people through to your article and/or squeeze page. To do this you'll design a series of messages that entice people through to the offer. Something that works well for me is to use twitter to ask people directly if they are interested in my offer or article and send them a link to the page. If it's targeted and not a nuisance then this is acceptable. Your other first port of contact is through search or SEO, you could create a PPC campaign targeted users looking for your article or information as well as making sure your initial information is properly optimised, you can do this by researching keywords and phrases and by making sure your copy, titles and images are optimised and tagged properly.

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That's it! it's very easy! Once you have your emails you then need to start jumping on those leads quickly! Those leads don't stay warm and welcoming for long unless you plan to send them a constant stream of top quality content regularly!

Do you have issues collecting leads or don't know where to start? or are you doing a fantastic job? I'd love to hear from you!