If you’ve read much of my material at all you know how often I tout the benefits of “Growing Your Online Audience“, “Adding targeted prospects to your email lists” and “EXPANDING your online influence“. Efforts along these lines are crucial to building and maintaining long term success – and that’s not just my opinion. Virtually all established experts in the Internet Marketing arena would echo my sentiments.
Perhaps you’ve heard marketing expert Dan Kennedy call your “list” your most valuable asset as a biz owner. I agree, but I word my message slightly differently. I tell my students and clients that, “There’s no more valuable asset you can have than a large and ever growing list of people who both want to hear from you and who are also eager to do business with you.”
Obviously, the easier it is to connect with such a list of partners/prospects the stronger the asset. This is why I love email as a tool of mass-communication and customer relationship building.
…but this isn’t an article about email marketing.
This is an article about using eBay and Amazon to expand your online audience.
Also note, there are countless strategies for expanding your influence & growing your “list” using creative online marketing tactics, and there are numerous articles on my blog on that very topic. In this article I’m going to focus on two of the most commonly used platforms for gaining the attention of potential prospects. Those platforms are:
eBay and Amazon.com
Here are my ground rules for any discussion regarding using eBay and Amazon as a marketing tool for list growth and prospect generation:
1. The rules are ALWAYS changing and out of our control – we all have to stay up to date (let me know if/when you find new relevant info and I’ll update this blog post!)
2. I’ll never intentionally encourage you to do anything outside of the established eBay/Amazon policies (nor have I ever done so)
3. In many cases the rules will be slightly confusing so proceed with caution no matter what the policies are
4. You owe it to yourself to squeeze every penny of marketing exposure out of your activities on Amazon and eBay WITHOUT breaking the rules
One of the best ways to do just that is to sell just about anything that is widely appealing to your target audience, and then while you have the attention of your prospects and customers you have an opportunity to invite those people to a mailing list. When they join your list it’s a chance to begin building a relationship with them over the long term.
This is exactly how I’ve built much of my online success in fact. Many of my most loyal partners and successful students were those who first found me on eBay so many years ago and elected to join my email mailing list. It’s put literally millions of dollars in sales through my biz as a result.
For nearly 10 years now I’ve done my best to stay on the cutting edge of what IS and ISN’T allowed in the arena of “pulling leads” from eBay and more recently on Amazon as well.
Here’s a summary of where we are now with both with additional details on each point in the video below:
- The eBay ‘about me’ page is going away (but it’s not a big loss in my opinion)
- Profile pages are replacing ‘about me’ pages
- Profile pages can include a link to your social media sites (Facebook for example)
- This leaves you an opportunity to launch a FB group around your products. From there you can grow an email list etc. while you build a community!
- You can automate the process of adding BUYERS to your email list on eBay
- Amazon is FAR more restrictive than eBay when it comes to connecting with your customers, but they are also letting thousands of “big companies” clearly violate the rules.
- The only 100% legit opportunity on Amazon is to sell information (i.e. inexpensive kindle books) to help grow your niche audience. Include an invitation to your mailing list inside the book.
- For the more adventurous: If you sell a Private Label product, you can include print on the packaging with a link to a website, or an invitation card inside the sealed product that encourages buyers to join your list for future discounts, more information etc. Countless major manufacturers do this already on Amazon as they allow numerous third part sellers (us) to sell their goods on Amazon with invitation cards, registration cards etc. included in the package. Because Amazon sees you as the “seller” and not as the “manufacturer” they have no way of enforcing or even knowing if the product is yours or not, or if there is a registration card inside or not. I DO NOT encourage you to include a slip or flyer in each package you sell on Amazon for products that aren’t private labeled however because Amazon can and likely will punish that activity if they can easily identify the seller as the one growing a mailing list.
A video walk through of all of this:
EBAY: Here’s a video I made that shows you how to give every eBay buyer the chance to join a niche specific mailing list post-purchase. You can grow multiple niche lists this way on auto-pilot. The full instructional video with full detail on integrating eBay with your email list building efforts (using a service called Zapier) can be seen using this link.
EBAY: You ARE allowed to link from one eBay listing to another! This means you can sell a “high attention grabbing” product and link to a second listing such as an information product or big ticket item from within your popular listing. For example, if you are trying to sell a weight loss book, you might advertise a popular piece of exercise equipment on eBay and put a link to your book inside the eBay listing for the equipment. There are countless possible uses for this strategy.