How to Cultivate Subscribers for LifeBy: Azriel Winnett
Before, competing corporations would vie with one another in frenzied attempts to grab for themselves a bigger and bigger share of the market.
Today, especially on the Internet, what turns many companies on is the prospect of - not a bigger share of the market, but a bigger share of the customer!
This means that the companies don't focus on a single product and try to sell it to as many customers as possible. Just the reverse: they'll concentrate on individual customers and try to sell them as much product as possible! Whereas they used to look at a single customer as the source of a one-time transaction, they now look on him or her as a potential life-time client who can be sold to over and over again.
Instead of searching for new customers, these companies will look for more products to sell to existing customers. They will measure customers by their Lifetime Value (LTV), which is the profit they expect to earn from all future sales to a certain customer, less the customer-specific service costs.
Of course, the philosophy behind all is this simple: a bird in the hand's worth two in the bush! Easier and less costly to do business with people already in your grasp, than to wear yourself out trying to attract new blood, day after day.
Easier, yes - but it still takes a lot of hard, hard work to retain the loyalty of your people. You want them to be there when YOU need THEM, but in order to ensure this, you have to convince them that THEY need YOU.
As list owners and as savvy entrepreneurs, we already know the power of newsletters, discussion groups and the like in maintaining customer loyalty. And we already know - or we SHOULD know - that valuable, instructive, interesting or original content is the sure way to ensure that THEY need US.
But what if your newsletter isn't connected to a business, or if the newsletter IS your business? I haven't the slightest doubt that the "Lifetime Value" model is equally applicable here.
You've worked hard to get your list to the size it is now. And yes, you'd love to double and triple it still. Continue to work hard, and maybe you'll succeed. But save some - if not most - of your energy for your "birds in the hand."
Having already shown their mettle, as it were, by sticking around up to now, these are the folks most likely to remain loyal for life. If your ezine's making money for you through the sale of ads, affiliate programs or whatever other way, then these subscribers, if they do remain loyal, are YOUR customers for life!
Of course, it won't happen automatically. You have to work to keep them, just as any business must work to retain its own customers-for-life.
But look at the benefits! Whatever revenue-earning goals you have for your list, you have a captive audience right in your lap. People already on the alert to hear your message, again and again - and again!
So how do you go about cultivating subscribers with life-time value. It's a big subject, of course, and we merely include a few pointers here.
Right now is the time to groom that list that will be yours for life, if you want the future to be yours.
© Copyright 2000, Azriel Winnett, Sling Shot Media, LLC
The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.