Using Training Courses to Build Your Prospect Base
One of the more difficult components to building a presence online and obtaining qualified prospects at the top of your sales funnels is that of building your e-mail marketing lists.
You start by purchasing your message management system, you build your e-mail templates, you set up your auto-responders, you prepare your gifts for give-aways to entice people to signup and you build your lead capture pages. Then you go about advertising your lead capture page access points on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest, you create a few marketing videos on YouTube, create some backlinks and then you hope your marketing engine works, people are attracted to your funnel entry points, they sign up for their gifts and your newsletters and you gain them as prospects.
In general, this is how it all works and almost everyone trying to sell online is using some form of this strategy. You check your messaging system a few times a week and you see a few signups occur and then you try to generate sales from them through periodic e-mails to them containing more information, offers, etc. You watch carefully and you reach milestones, 100 subscribers, 200 subscribers, 500, etc. This is hard work and it is slow but once you attain larger numbers of subscribers, you do have a good base to market to whenever you come out with something to sell.
Here is something else for you to consider doing though that could surprise you in its effectiveness of reaching people and building a subscriber base. It is hard work up front but it can pay some very significant backend dividends to you.
Try building an online training program on a recognized training site and offer it to people at no charge through your Lead Capture system (offering free course coupons for example). In comparison to the earlier approach, within your e-mail auto-responder system, you work hard to create a gift you can give people that they would value enough to signup for to your newsletters.
These consumers because they have done this many times before, know that they will be trading their anonymity in order to get the valued gift and they know they will start receiving marketing e-mails from you shortly thereafter – most of them see this as a sacrifice they need to make in order to get the gift – so you get some and lose others.
Alternatively, if you put together a course that teaches them something valuable that they can sink their teeth into for an hour or so and go back to as often as they want to refresh, and you offer it at no charge or at a discount to them, they will often flock to take the free or discounted course. So set a price on the course and regularly give out discounts through your Lead Capture focal points.
This sets value to the course content at the retail level and the discounts offered give them a deal on receiving this content which if they do perceive the value to be worth it, you earn some revenue from what you are giving them as your gift in effect to them – once a student of yours, you can leverage the course they are taking to make sales on other courses you are offering or other content you have available for purchase.
When you were just trying to fill your own e-mail lists doing your own advertising in the first e-mail building example above, you were just reaching only a few people or you were paying to reach larger quantities of consumers with a price attached that you had to pay in order to get their attention. Online training sites bring potentially millions of additional people to you, raising awareness of you through the courses you provide and those sites market on your behalf.
I am not saying you should use this strategy instead of your other strategies, but in addition to it. After all, the idea is to raise as much awareness of your enterprise out there as you can which implies trying to be seen everywhere to maximize the exposure of your sales funnels.
I have used this online course strategy and my free and low cost courses have attracted over 6,000 students to them with little marketing required on my part – the sites are doing the marketing for me. And these students have opened the doors for more sales for my business enterprise.
You don’t quite have them within your e-mail marketing system as yet because these sites often don’t allow you access to their e-mail addresses, but with a little creativity, you can find ways to market your products and services to them. After all, they are now followers of you and know your name.
Secondly, once they are taking a free course from you, you can easily build more sophisticated courses on these sites that can command a price for their viewing and if your existing students have liked your free content, there will be an opportunity to get them to take your paid courses as well. This gives your business another revenue source point that could provide generous incomes to you over time in addition to your core business.
And my last point, as these students take these courses from you, if you are giving them quality knowledge improving content, they are becoming more than prospects. Your relationships are strengthening over time and you will find they will purchase more from you due to the bonds you build with them and they will help evangelize and grow your business. You now have the chance through these courses to build connections with others that could last for many years.
In summary then, if you have the patience, time and inclination to build and promote a few courses on these sites, it could prove to be very beneficial to your online business venture over time and a good method of gaining more prospects.