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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Don’t interrupt: Why you should opt for ‘opt-in’ marketing

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We’ve all been there — minding our own business, surfing the Web, watching videos, and then from out of nowhere, bam! We’re interrupted and forced to watch a commercial (or at least the first 15 seconds) before the video will play or we’re allowed to press “skip ad.” 

These interruptions are frustrating. Why do companies pay to market this way? Well, because it works, at least on some large scale. As an advisor you would probably never consider marketing your practice this way simply because it doesn’t fit with your business model. However, did you realize you’re probably leveraging “interruption marketing” in other formats without even knowing it?

Consider the following methods of marketing: direct mail, radio ads, billboards, email marketing (of the spam variety), and on and on I could go. These types of marketing methods fall into the interruption marketing category because the prospects receiving these messages are neither looking for them nor asking to receive them. No one is asking you to send them your direct mail invitation or interrupt their listening on the radio with another ad. We utilize these marketing tactics in hopes of attracting those who are looking for what we have to offer. 

So what’s the point?

Why should you care to understand interruption marketing? Because if you don’t transition to more opt-in-based marketing methods, you could potentially waste thousands of dollars marketing to people who aren’t interested in your offer. At the same time, you could miss out on the opportunity to dramatically increase your response from those who are interested.

What exactly is opt-in marketing? Opt-in marketing is marketing exclusively to those who have “raised their hand” or shown interest in your products and/or services. It is marketing to those on your list. “But I don’t have a list,” you might say. Ah! Therein lies the first challenge you need to overcome.

It is critical to your long-term success that you begin building your list of interested prospects as quickly as possible. Your list does not simply mean anyone you’ve ever met with who didn’t become a client, although they do count. Moreover, you need to purposefully identify those in your market who qualify to do business with you and have an interest in your services. “Then what?” you’re probably wondering. Once you’ve begun to build a list of interested prospects, you can begin nurturing them. And that is where you will begin to see the real power of opt-in marketing.

Next week I’ll go into more detail on nurturing leads and more importantly how you can automate that process so it doesn’t eat up your time. For this week though, let me give you a couple of ideas on how to begin building your list to get you started.

Offer value on your website.

Offering free reports, white papers, or even educational courses via your website is a great way to begin building your list. However, don’t forget to include a lead capture form on the site for them to complete to get those valuable resources. By doing so you’ll be giving them the opportunity to “opt in” to your list.

Advertise free resources.

Incorporating additional calls to action in your direct response marketing is also a great way to promote items of value. For example, offer a free download of a report on your next seminar invitation with a link to where they can get it. You can also offer resources during your radio or TV ads. These strategies will help drive additional traffic to your site and give people an opportunity to learn more about you before taking action.

Next week we’ll look in detail at what to do with your list once you’ve begun building it. I believe this is the single biggest reason advisors don’t build lists in the first place. They don’t know what to do with them so they don’t see the value in spending the time or effort. However, next week I’ll open your eyes to the possibilities and illustrate just how valuable lists can be. In the meantime, start building that list!

For more information on marketing strategy and opt-in marketing, check out

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