9 Best Practices for Creating and Maintaining Your Client List

Your business leads listYou are aware that the money’s in your list, as they say. The success of your enterprise is directly related to the contact information  you have. Do you know who is on your list, what they do, what they’re like? The more specific information you have about your leads and buyers the better you can serve their needs and the more successful your business will be.

It’s that simple, though for some reason working through the process is pretty hard, something we all have to work at. Nonetheless the creation, cultivation, and care of your list can be done in a few clear steps.

1.  Produce a gift that you will present continuously to the public that attracts the attention of your ideal buyers to the extent that they are willing to give you their email address in exchange for obtaining your free offer.

2.  Promptly send a sincere response to each person who accesses your offer, thanking them and including one or two more resources that may be of interest to them.

3.  Over the following weeks, send a modest series of autoresponders to each lead, each crafted as an easy next step in a well-designed process.

4.  Prepare landing pages for your products/services, each with a clear and simple call to action. Track the lead’s behavior as your autoresponders bring them to the landing pages and on to become a buyer.

5.  Now begins the serious work of community management. Prepare and produce  programs/blog/events/training/bonuses that will keep your clients coming back for more. You might go a long way with a simple one-time offer, but for long term viability as a business strategy there’s no phoning it in. Inbound marketing is a lifestyle.

6.  Once your community has begun to trust you, you can deepen their trust by trusting them in return. Ask their opinion in surveys or polls or otherwise get their input and put it to good use. It’s at this exuberant point that you are beginning to actually have a dialog with your market. This is where divine inspiration finally happens every day and the direct connect to wealth is made.

7.  Be sure your communications with the community are regular and rich. Your newsletter is the closest bond you have on a usual basis. Structure it, make its content invaluable, deliver it with love.

8.  This is the most difficult step (and please don’t ask me if I’ve done it myself). Mailing lists degrade by something like 25% every year. Emails addresses come and go, it’s a fact of life. Annually, purge your lists of those who never open your emails. Keep your lists lean and mean to maximize their usefulness and to yield the most useful statistics.

9.  Finally, be sure you take the time to say a simple thank you at regular – and sometimes at unexpected – intervals. Customer appreciation is powerful bond-building. Be creative about all the different ways you can show your thanks.

Cycle through these nine steps, and then start over. That’s the inbound marketing lifestyle. Your community, your tribe, your lists are your most valuable assets.


Could you use coaching around the mapping of your inbound marketing strategic plan? A little education can go a long way to confidence in navigating the web.

About Mary Ruth

Mary H. Ruth is a virtual assistant, online marketing manager, copywriter and editor, and certified inbound marketing specialist. She has over 30 years' experience in administration and marketing in both non-profit and business sectors, having earned a degree in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. Now living in Gainesville, Florida, she's been working online since late 2007.

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