When starting an online business (or any business for that matter) it's important to look for a business that will bring you a regular monthly income.
One of the first businesses I set up (before the days of online) was selling a magnetic therapy health bracelet. They're excellent products. I still wear mine every day – and that's the problem.
They are so good, the customer can use them for years without coming back to buy another one. So each month I had to find more customers, or badger existing ones for recommendations or try and sell them on “new styles” of the same product. Tough going!
Regular Monthly Income Is Better!
I learned the hard way and now teach everyone I come into contact with to look for a business that brings in a regular monthly income – IF you have the time to run a business that needs monthly activity from you.
This could be with a training course or “membership site”.
Or, more fundamentally, you could target customers for the marketing tools to help people build their online business – an auto-responder. Ideally this will be the one you use yourself, otherwise they might ask you “If it's so good why aren't you using it?”!
What Is An Auto-responder
This is the tool that lets you capture prospective clients' details into your “contact list” as soon as possible so that you can follow up with them for as long as they agree to stay on your list.
- The first benefit of this is that if they don't buy on initial visit to your site they may buy when you build trust and familiarity by sending them more information.
- The second benefit is that if they are on your list as a (happy) customer, you can and should send them regular tips, or news about other products they may like.
The beauty of this product for me as a marketer is that for a one-off cost I can earn a monthly commission on any Intermediate and Advanced sales I make. And as we know, monthly income is good!
Which Auto-Responder Is Best?
How long is a piece of string?
To some extent the answer to this is determined by your budget. There are free auto-responders “out there” that are very well thought of… but personally when I tried some of them I usually found a problem. Often with poor support, because who wants to support a service they're not getting paid for?
And actually I never again want to trust my most valuable asset (my contact list) to a free service or to one that I'm not in control of. I once completely lost a list of 2,500 subscibers – many that I had paid for – because I didn't keep it under my own control. Never again!
If you are brave enough, do a Google search for “free auto-responder”. I'm not going to name any here because all the ones I tried, I found inadequate and stopped using. And I noticed that many people who were promoting them quietly switched away from them a few weeks later 🙂
At the other end of the scale, there are “top-of-the-range” professional services such as InfusionSoft. And if you clicked that link you would have seen that (at the time of writing) the price is a hefty $199 per month – and I know many marketers who gladly pay that price, as it is a superb service.
If you're not ready for prices like that, let's look again.
Which Auto-Responder To Use?
I have tried several different auto-responders, but the one I kept coming back to was GetResponse.
There are also free auto-responders. But I feel that my customer list is one of my most valuable assets, and I wouldn't trust it to a free service. Who will want to support me when I have problems
So, if your choice is on price alone search for a free auto-responder. I'm not going to recommend one because I don't use them. (I tried a free on once, but when I had a problem…. no support!)
Another excellent auto-responder, sometimes said to be the industry standard, is Aweber. Personally I prefer GetResponse,
Aweber needs a little larger budget. You can try it here> Aweber
Is This My Main Business?
Both of these auto-responders have affiliate programs so that you can earn an extra income by recommending them to your own clients.
So – is this my main business?
No! I promote other products and services, and you probably will too.
But if you build an income round a service that marketers will want for as long as they are in business, YOU will have a regular income you can rely on before you even start your marketing for the month.