Regardless of what your product, service or offering is — the best way to get and keep loyal customers is by direct marketing to a list.

It’s not about the number of people you have on your list that will determine the success or failure of your campaign, it’s the relevance of your offer to the people on the list coupled with how much they trust and value your recommendations.

High Conversion = Relevance of the offer + Trust level in the Referrer

A really good source for this type of list is LinkedIn. Because the relationships on LinkedIn are presumed (that’s a key word) to be real and based on some level of experience with the contact, they have a higher probability of converting to your offer. But you really have to be careful with this. So many people are treating LinkedIn like a numbers game, with no respect for the relationship to the list. This just makes those LinkedIn contacts watered down and useless. This is not a quantity game, it’s a quality game.

Here is how to get the most out of your LinkedIn Contacts.

  1. Build your reputation by giving and helping contacts and groups. The reciprocity and relationship building principles are key. Yes, it takes time to go into groups, read questions, provide insightful and useful answers, but if building a responsive and targeted list is important, you will do it.
  2. Leave Endorsements. Spend a few minutes every week leaving endorsements for people you have worked with and for.
  3. Join relevant groups. Take time to join the groups that are relevant to your specialty and then take time every day or at least a couple times a week to help and contribute. Also leave content that is helpful and not self-promoting all the time.
  4. Ask and answer questions. You literally promote yourself and your expertise by asking and answering questions. Take time to do this a couple of times a week.
  5. Connect other people. Don’t just digitally connect, volunteer to put together people who can benefit each other.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool. In fact, I prefer the free version because it forces you to talk to more people to connect to the ones you want.

Here’s a how-to tip you can use from fellow DIYMarketer, Jenni Cox has over 20,000 members in her National Network if Embroidery Professionals. When she sends her lists information, they respond. She earned that response the quality, hard way by:

  1. Joining groups on embroidery(Yahoo and others)
  2. She created an Outlook file for these groups. Then she created a rule that sends all the discussions to that file. Every day she glances through the list and answers a handful of questions. She makes sure that she contributes helpful hints and content to every group at least once every two weeks.
  3. From this process she gains? a handful of new trusting, responding members every week.

What’s your quality list building tip? Tell me all about it and I’ll feature you in a future post!

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