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Frank Remarks: Reach Out and Touch Someone - Six Ways To Grow Your House List for Fun and Profit

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Online merchants have a cheap sales rep waiting to go to work - the house list. In this article, Frank Fiore details how you can bring in more revenue just by working your list.
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"In Your Face" Marketing

Online merchants are getting desperate; you can see it all over the web. So desperate, in fact, that they've taken a leaf out of the book of "Successful Marketing for Porn Merchants." No, not marketing sex or using blatant sex to market. But using some of the "in your face" marketing techniques that have been perfected by the online sex industry.

With the decline in response to passive banner ads placed on a web site, frantic online merchants have turned to a two-word marketing tactic of the porn industry, which I will not mention by name here for the sake of regional and gender sensibilities. Suffice to say that the first word means circumnavigate and the second an idiot. Ad agencies prefer to use the innocuous term interruption marketing vehicles for this attention-getting, traffic-generating tactic. You know what I'm talking about: those pop-under and pop-up browser windows with one or even two ads to a page that appear when you enter a site, leave it, or both.

Now, you don't have to imitate the porn industry to—excuse the pun—reach out and touch someone. You can generate lots of repeat visitors and more links to search engines, plus lower your cost per visitor, for practically nothing.

How? By building, growing, and communicating with your house list. If you're doing business on the web, you already have the start of one—your current customers. The trick is to grow that list and not only grab additional sales from your current customers but attract and convert prospects as well. And you do all this using a regular and informative email vehicle—the best of which is a newsletter.

In previous "Frank Remarks" columns, I've spoken to the value of creating an email newsletter for your business. But all is for naught if you have no one to send it to. And this is where building and growing a house list becomes so important. You can rent opt-in lists, of course, but that can be pricey—anywhere from 10 to 35 cents per name. But surveys have shown that you should get a better response from your house list than you would from a rented list. And besides, the names in your house list are free!

So how do you build a good house list? The following sections provide six easy—and relatively cheap—methods by which you can grow your house list.

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