Most everyone is familiar with open houses held by real estate agents. If you live in a fairly urbanized area, canvassing your neighborhood on any weekend and chances are you’ll find at least one open house somewhere in your neighborhood.
What is the purpose of the open house? And did you ever wonder why some real estate agents always try to get your name and contact information when you attend their open house? Take this little quiz and see if you understand the purpose of the open house.
A real estate agent hold an open house to:
a) Have a party in the neighborhood.
b) Give out candies and cookies just to be friendly.
c) To socialize and “get to know” the neighbors.
d) To collect names and contact information of all visitors so he can follow up later on to sell them homes.
If you answered (d), you are absolutely correct. Most people who come to an open house do not buy on their first visit. Nevertheless, a good agent will collect all names and contact information of his visitors during an open house. The agent usually has some incentive for the exchange of these names and contact info. He might give away a homebuyer’s magazine, a magnetic calendar, or offering a free market analysis of a visitor’s home.
Why would the agent want to collect their names and phone numbers? Because he/she can follow up with these visitors down the road and try to sell them later on. He might have to keep in touch with his visitors over a period of time, but the end result is worth it. Statistically, some will end up buying or selling from the agent. The key to receiving big commission checks month after month is building a pipeline of prospects (database) by collecting all names and phone numbers of all the visitors who come to the open house.
In the virtual estate world there is no difference. Most people who come to your site the first time will not buy. A small number of people will buy on their first visit, but this is an exception, not the rule. Research shows that it takes an average of seven contacts before someone will buy a product or service. During this time it is all about building trust. It is true – people do business with those they trust. The first key to building trust is simply asking for your prospect’s name and email address.
So what’s the best way to get surfers to give you their email addresses? Simple – set up an autoresponder account. An autoresponder captures a visitor’s name and email address and is usually managed by a third party server (you can also surf the net to find some autoresponder scripts that you can install and manage it yourself directly on to your site, but this is not recommended.)
Wanna make it enticing for your visitors to submit their email addresses? Give away something valuable such as a free report, ebook, or even a mini ecourse that is relevant to the product or service you’re trying to sell.
Like a good real estate agent does to his list of potential clients, you can follow up and start building trust with your visitors. A mini ecourse is an excellent way to do this. You can set up your autoresponder to systematically send to your list periodically (i.e., one lesson every 3 days). Eventually, some will buy. If your free offer is compelling enough, it is not hard to get a 10% subscription conversion from your visitors. Let’s say there are 100 visitors who come to your site every day, 10 will sign up in exchange for the freebies. At this rate in one year you will have a total of 3600 email addresses in your database. You can then market to your list any way you want. You can send an eblast to all, or your preferred customers only with a special offer of a new product (a sequel?). You can also do any backend marketing that relates to the initial product. You can also do affiliate marketing by other internet marketers.
To look at the potential kind of money you can make, let’s say that you send out an e-blast to your list announcing a new product and the product is worth $97, but because of the special promotion, it’ll be $57 for a limited time. Assuming that 4% will convert into buyers, 144 will buy (3600 x .04 = 144). This will net you $8208 (144 x 57 = 8208), not a bad salary for just “broadcasting” to your list. Of course, this is not the end. You can make money again and again by offering other products, not necessary your own.
To recap, making money in the virtual world isn’t rocket science. A good internet marketer’s first and foremost important task is similar to that of a good real estate agent – capturing his or her visitors’ names and contact info. When all else fails, remember rule number one: ALWAYS have a tool to capture email addresses. In fact this is so important I’m gonna have to make it a mantra for you. Please repeat after me: