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Learn How to Build a List of Prospects and Why List Building is Important For Business

Updated on January 9, 2013

If you are relatively new to owning any type of business, one thing that's for sure is that you absolutely must know how to build a list of prospects. But before I go in depth about how to accomplish that, allow me to tell you why it is important.

I would like for you to imagine just inheriting a traditional "brick and mortar" store on a busy street.

If you find that too stressful, then just imagine starting a home based business. Now think about an obvious difference between the two. In one scenario, there is a great possibility people will know that you exist. In the other, chances are no one will.

One thing for certain is that if neither owner doesn't know how to build a list, failure is inevitable; and here's why.

The owner on the busy street may reap the immediate benefits of consistent traffic. He or she may even get lucky and turn a first time visitor into a one time customer. But what do you do after that? The new home business owner may not have instant traffic, but when they do, building a list of contacts has to be a priority.

The bottom line is that you want to be able to create rapport with the prospect "checking out" what you have to offer. Without knowing how to build a list of prospects, you never get the opportunity to build rapport. After you've fostered a relationship, it makes gaining those sales a whole lot easier. Studies show that in e-commerce, it takes an average of seven attempts of following up with a prospect before they decide to trust you. Traditional store owners must know how to build a list to keep that first time customer informed. We see common cases of that today in the form of grocery store reward cards.

You sign up by providing your information, and the grocer rewards you with discounts. Another classic example is when we receive mailings to invite you back for a big sale. Building a list has been a staple with effective marketing strategies for decades.

What it Takes For Effective List Building

Proper list building consists of collecting the prospect's contact information. The type of information you collect, however, is totally up to the business owner. It depends on your marketing campaign. Businesses get really creative to build a list. Have you ever walked through an indoor mall and saw the shiny new car parked in the middle?

Most of the time it isn't a sweepstakes; they're building a list! What about the trips to Hawaii or the, "Win a Free Gym Membership " boxes at the restaurants? That's their mission too. These are common offline list building techniques.

How to build a list online ? Well, that's primarily handled by auto responders. These are essentially virtual secretaries to every successful home based business. Auto responders work in conjunction with lead capture pages, which are basically webpages geared to do just that; capture leads.

An auto responder service doesn't just gather information, though. It manages the thousands of prospects and automatically communicates with them via email even while you sleep. There are many companies that provide this extremely helpful tool, such as Get Response, Aweber, and Traffic Wave. Most are reasonably priced but for what they do the concept itself is quite a steal.

Offline or online list building, once your lead capture mechanisms are in place your next priority should be to constantly drive traffic to them. Place your boxes (or car) in a highly visible place in your store. Instead of your home business opportunity page, direct all traffic to your lead capture one.

The chances of you getting a complete stranger to join your business are far greater; trust me. So hopefully you now know how to build a list of prospects. Always keep in mind that it is a consistent supply of them that keeps your business alive, and you'll be just fine.

About the Author

Kevin Timothy has been involved with the home business industry since 2000. He values the experiences, but that doesn't mean that there weren't tough times. Above all he is grateful because he is now able to help others just entering the industry. To learn more just click on his name above.


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    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Thanks, lezsaysit. I appreciate you commenting. I take it that you know many Trinis?

    • lezsaysit profile image

      lezsaysit 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks for discussing helpful marketing tips for newbies. Keep up the great work. Trini!

    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Cat on a Soapbox,

      Thanks for stopping by to read. More importantly, thanks for igniting my imagination. I'm sure a Hub on customer service is coming up soon.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Kevin - Thanks for another nice, informative hub.

      Good tips for building business. How about another one on keeping customers through good customer service? I like your easy style :>)