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List Building and Trusted Content

Jun 25, 2008
Many businesses are moving into strong list building goals by altering their strategy for free information distribution. This method asks the content seeker for what is presented as a fair and equitable exchange - information for information.

In real world terms what this means is that the online business will provide enough tidbits of expert information on their homepage that the reader remains interested in further details. The business asks the reader to simply register at no cost for the free report on the issue being discusses (delivered by autoresponder).

If done correctly the site visitor is happy because they received information they were looking for. The business owner is happy because they added another name to their email list.

This idea seemed to morph from sites that offered free information with an option to sign up for a newsletter. In effect this newer method alters the playing field. The customer can still access the information, but they are placed in a position of being motivated to register if they are really curious about the details you offer.

From a practical standpoint this method makes sense because those who sign up are likely the most motivated to engage themselves in the subject you discuss. This could be something associated with a service you provide or a product you sell.

It's really a simple alteration of signing up and a revamping of the initial information you make available. Many businesses report significant improvement in list building objectives when this method is employed.

Many of these businesses will essentially use a fairly broad, but singular subject. They will approach the content from numerous angles without giving the whole story on the content they can ultimately provide. The visitor will have the option to buy the product or service (which they might), but they will also be given the opportunity to gain access to a 'free report.'

Most businesses will automatically offer that report as a bonus when an order is placed. The reason they do this is because at that point they already have your contact information so there is no need to withhold the information from you.

The best list building techniques are organic and homegrown. Instead of buying or renting a list you should encourage you visitors to join willingly. That means you are providing the stimulus for visitors to willingly give you their information. No squeeze pages are necessary for this, just common sense marketing that dangles a content carrot long enough for the consumer to see the perceived value in trading their contact details for the information you offer.

In many ways this idea feeds into the idea of trust marketing. You provide enough information for visitors to begin to see the basis for a brilliant idea, but you withhold just enough details to cause them to want the blanks to be filled in. It's the difference between a sketch and a full-blown painting. Your information has value and your visitors have to trust you enough to take the next step in your business to customer relationship. If you've done your job well it will be an easy and very positive decision for your site visitor.
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