Everyone knows that a strong list of prospects is fundamental in building a successful business. How many times have you heard “the money is in the list”? But here’s the rub: a long list is not a strong list. Size does not a strong list make. Responsiveness, interaction and engagement are the measure of your list's strength.
To build a strong list, follow theses 10 quick and easy ways to improve your lists engagement.
Part 1 – Train Them to be Responsive from the Start
1. Have a Clear Mission
What does your business stand for? In this information age where more and more people are realizing the wisdom of going into business for themselves, it is safe to say that you are not the only one selling your “brand of tea”.
While it may be tempting to say that people in your niche should come to you because of your superior product quality, or unparalleled service, or the unique information you provide, or even the price you offer it at, the truth is that these reasons are NOT sustainable.
Anyone can come along and out-perform you. Not to mention that these qualities are relative. What one person may consider unique, helpful information, another may consider useless.
The key is to start by asking yourself, “Why?” Why are you building this business? What is the mission behind your business? How do you hope to inspire your clients and customers?
Then, in everything that you do refer back to your mission: Is it aligned?
When visitors believe in your mission, they will want to engage because it re-affirms their sense of self. When visitors believe, they will want to talk about what you are doing and share.
2. Ask for Clear Engagement on Your Social Media Platforms
If you want followers to be more responsive, ask them! For example, at the beginning or end of a post, utilize the phrases “Like below if…” and “Comment below with your…” Then, give them a reason to like or comment below.
Again, you want the reason to relate to your mission.
If you just ask them to “like” or “comment” without giving a reason or a specific question to answer, you sound greedy. Take the extra moment to make a meaningful connection.
3. Publically and Privately Reward TOP Commenters
This does NOT mean that you pick a “fan of the week”, although there is nothing wrong with the ‘fan of the week'.
Instead, take notice of who is frequently engaging with you on your social media platforms. Then, send them a private message that thanks them for their connection. Include a personal antidote about a comment they left on your page.
In the same message, ask them about what they do, why they do it and something personal or trivial that simply makes a fun connection. If you have time, see if you can set up a 5 minute Skype chat. (Consider what this would mean to YOU, if the admin of your favorite fan page asked to chat?!?)
Then, on your fan page, write a public Thank You to the top commenter. Share what the top commenter does for a living and something you love about what they contribute to your page…MAKE IT PERSONAL!!! Being vague and general is a WASTE of time!
Others will notice your appreciation, and many will long for it to be them next. Keep it up, and you will see more and more engagement!
4. Send an Email Acknowledgement & Reward
Similar to Tip #2, you can launch the same procedure with your blogs. Each week or month, you can acknowledge a top commenter from your website. Or, you can pick a random commenter “out of a hat” so to speak, from your website.
Then, in your monthly or weekly newsletter, you can publically acknowledge the winning commenter. Share the details – Give the title of the blog they commented on and a quote from their comment.
As a part of his or her reward, let everyone in the email know that the winner has won a gift from you. It can be a product of yours, or something simple and fun like a magnet with a great quote.
Lastly, be sure to explain to everyone in the newsletter how they can enter to win next time!
5. Create a personalized page for prospects
When someone clicks through to visit your website for the first time from a social media platform, send them to a special, private webpage.
This page welcomes them to your site and acknowledges where they've come from, that being facebook, twitter, google+ etc.
Then, provide a special opt-in just for them. Make it something relative, true to your mission, and personal to the social media platform from which they came.
Lastly, ask them to leave a comment. Be sure to explicitly tell them what you'd like them to say in the comment. For example, “Comment below! I'd love to hear YOUR favorite facebook tip!”
Part 2 – To Receive Response, Be Responsive
6. Thank You Page Call To Action
Once they say “yes” and add themselves to your list, keep the interaction going! Your new follower is primed and ready to engage. Thus, be sure that your thank you page has a clear call to action.
Often, we remember to add a CTA (call to action) to our “product” thank you pages, but not to our “opt-in” thank you pages.
For example, you may have a product that compliments the free gift the prospect just opted into, or you may have a corresponding blog post that the prospect can visit and leave a comment. Either way, you want them to take that next step.
Another option is to send the prospect to a place where they can introduce themselves. This further instills the message that you want to connect with them continuously.
7. Follow Up Consistently
Utilize your email list service! If you want your followers to consistently interact with you then you need to consistently interact with them. For example, get into the habit of sending a newsletter at least once a week. Choosing a specific day for consistency sake is also a wise move. Your prospects will come to expect it – and if the content is remarkable, they will be on the look out for it.
8. Have Something to Say – NOT SELL
Whether it's in an email or a social media post, if you are always asking your followers to do something (buy this, join that, answer these questions) they will get irritated with you and possibly leave.
Instead, SHARE! Share an excerpt from your latest article. Introduce them to new services that you have found helpful. Teach them a trick. Talk about your life or share something funny with them.
The more your followers like who you are and what you have to say, the more they will talk about you and share you with their friends. Let them do the selling, and get back to doing what you LOVE! Your audience will notice the difference.
9. Excusive Freebies & Feedback
Give people a reason to STAY on your list and interact. The members of your current list want to feel special. They love to know that they are apart of an exclusive group. Remind them of this by providing excusive freebies.
For example, you may offer your list the opportunity to beta test a new product or service you have coming out. This means they get the new product in its earliest form for free (doesn't have to be 100% finished or perfect) and they will provide you with feedback.
Let's say you have a new 6-week course coming out. Give prospects on your list the opportunity to beta-test it for free. Anyone interested can start with the first week's lesson. At the end of the first week you send out a feedback questionnaire. Anyone who completes the questionnaire moves ahead and receives the second week. This process continues for all 6 weeks.
It's a HUGE win-win. Your prospects feel special and well treated. They become intimately familiar with your product and are far more likely to recommend it to friends. Likewise, you build responsive prospects, and begin to learn what works and what doesn't work with your audience. Moreover, from the feedback, you receive potential testimonials to use on your website and sales page.
What is your mission?
What do you LOVE about your frequent commenter's?
How can you train your prospects to be responsive?