How to Build an Engaged List using Extreme Client Care

how to grow and build an engaged list
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You’re offered an opportunity to significantly grow your community (a.k.a. “list”).

You respect the person making the offer.

You have a couple of new giveaways that would be perfect.

You gracefully decline. Why?

Over the past month, I’m grateful to have been invited as a speaker/participant in four different online events. One was immediately not a good fit and I declined.

I was looking forward to three of them until the participant guidelines were sent over and then I chose to step away.

For me, each of the “thanks, but no thanks” was based on my core values.

One required a minimum list size of 5,000. My list is in the 3,000 range and while my community is very engaged, more so than many lists multiple times its size, it doesn’t meet the minimum requirement.

For 12 years, since my business first broke $100,000 with a list size of 82, I’ve preached that it’s quality of connections/offerings and engagement that matter, not size. The host of this online event disagrees. That’s her right and my choice is not to participate as a result.

For the other two events, the hosts are requiring attendees to share their email information to “pass through a gate” in order to see what all the event participants are offering.

In my opinion, this is not how you begin a relationship. It’s not Extreme Client Care™.

The hosts of these events are “forcing” people to join their lists in order to see what other businesses are offering as “free” downloadable gifts.

And those other businesses will require an opt-in in order to get their goodies. While this second piece makes complete sense — Offering something of value in exchange for an email address — people quickly tire of signing up for several different lists.

Let’s sum it up:

  • Forcing people to opt-in to get information is not Client Care.
  • A small portion of those who subscribe will choose to stay on your list and an even smaller portion will ultimately turn into paying clients.
  • Each of these hosts is charging participants $150 to offer their gifts.

While I made the decision not to participate based on the tenets of Extreme Client Care and how I believe a business should treat others, looking at the above, these two events likely wouldn’t have passed my ROI (return on investment) test:

  • Does it adhere to the tenets of Extreme Client Care™?  Nope.
  • Will I recoup my time, energy and financial investment within 3 or, for larger projects, 6 months? Given the last two bullets above, probably not.
  • Can I use my time, energy and m.o.n.e.y in a better way and achieve at least as much? Absolutely, either through paid targeted social media advertising or revamping past campaigns.

When I declined, one of the hosts asked me why which is where today’s article originated and is a great lesson for us all:

Always ask, we have no idea how someone else perceives a situation and what we can learn from it.

How to build an engaged list using Extreme Client Care™

For years, I hosted an annual list building giveaway: 12 Days of Celebration.

It’s always been a countdown to the new year with a different gift offered each of the 12 days.  The rules were simple:

  • Gifters could NOT require an opt-in for their initial gift. It was truly to be a complimentary gift.
  • Gifters could offer a second, more in-depth gift within their initial gift and ask for an opt-in there, only after they offered value.
  • Gifts were available for 24 hours and then they came down.
  • Each gifter was encouraged to send people to the event page although there was no immediate financial or opt-in incentive.
  • As the event host, I did not require an opt-in to see the gift of the day and had to “earn” the opt-in just like everyone else.

That’s it. While gifters received less opt-ins, those they did receive stayed longer as they were more engaged.

What about you?

How do you feel about sharing your email info in order to see what’s available, even knowing that very respected business owners are participating?

Please share below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.