Your Database:Your Most Important Asset
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One of my two or three biggest mistakes in the seminar business (early on) revolved around the issue of my database. For the first few years, I didn’t keep one. This was an incredibly stupid mistake on my part. Please don’t make the same mistake.
You need to create two databases. One should be a “regular” database (physical address) and the other should be an email database.
Not only do you need to capture the names and email addresses of your attendees, you need to mail to them on a regular basis. You also need to send them a physical “snail mail” piece a minimum of 4 times a year. If you don’t mail to your names that often, they will get stale. Their response rate of any offer you make will suffer.
For your email list you need to mail to them regularly as well. You want to make sure that your list is an “opt-in” list. This means that people have asked for you to put them on your list. They have OPTED to be on the list.
The most responsive list will always be your own IN-HOUSE list. These are names you have generated from attendees at your seminars or those who have come in through your Web site. Those people who come to one of your events or have opted in on your Web site will be highly likely to attend future events. If you’ve done a great job.
The funnels system starts by getting people who are potential buyers of your products and services to identify themselves. Once they identify themselves to you and give you their contact information, they are in your FUNNEL. You should then start mailing them a series of offers to get them to buy your initial low priced product.
The goal is to fill your funnel as quickly and as inexpensively as possible with people who are interested in the products and services you have to offer.
The lowest price products in your funnel may be under $10 reports. The next step up the price ladder might be a physical or an ebook at $27 or $37. More expensive items might include a newsletter subscription ($97) and an audio tape course ($197). A one day seminar might be priced at $297.
These prices are just examples. You may end up pricing them very differently in your own target market. The point is that you need to get people into your funnel. Once you capture their contact information (in your database) you want to get them to buy something from you.
Once they buy something from you, you want to trade them up to buy more and more products and services that you offer.
Your database is the backbone of your funnel system.
If you’re speaking at someone else’s event or giving a presentation to an association or corporation, make sure to get the list of attendees.
I like to mail to the list immediately after the event. Send it quickly, while your name is still fresh in their minds.
Keep people on your database until they ask you to be removed. I used to hear people say: “keep them on until they buy or die.” I agree, but add . . . or until they ask to be removed. Never keep people on a list who don’t want to be on it. It’s a complete waste of your time.