Saturday, August 13, 2011

Subscribers vs Followers. Is One Better?

A while ago a friend of mine mentioned that she would rather have subscribers than followers. At the moment, I didn't really take in what she was saying but now it's hit one better than other?

Internet markets and web business owners no longer just have subscribers that they pitch things to. They have followers that they interact with. We don't just want to be subscribed to anymore; we want to be retweeted, reblogged, and Liked. Our lists aren't just a group of people that have decided to "subscribe" they're our "friends." They make up a kind of "follow family" that we can connect with and that we expect will share us with their "friends" so that we can have more "friends."

But is there any psychological difference between followers and subscribers? I mean aren't they both doing the same thing?

We want them to do the same thing. We want our followers to act in much the same way our subscribers do--reading what we offer, buying what we offer, sharing what we offer. But does one type do it better than others?

It's a question very similar to blogs vs websites. And the answer is always--you need both.

Subscribers are followers but they do behave and connect with you differently.

Most likely your subscribers have opted in. The have released an important piece of information (their email address) in order to receive your precious information. Most subscribers don't subscribe willy-nilly. No one wants 100+ newsletters coming into their inbox. Thus subscribers are great for their initial commitment they are willing to make to you.

They also see your information as a single email. In a sense, you're special for that moment that they decide to open you. You have a good portion of their attention and your attention is held longer.Subscribers usually find you through a keyword search, and can generally be targeted

But subscribers don't interact the way followers do. Followers are better known to ask questions, do polls, and even enter contests. They have shorter attention spans. They read a feed of sometimes 1000+ people and companies and can't afford to have their attention be consumed for too long on just one. In most cases you have 140 characters to get your point across.

They're commitment is also decreased. It's easy to "follow" someone. It doesn't take much risk. You don't give anything away. Just a click of a button lets someone into your world. It's also easy to unfollow.

With so many people doing follow for follow, the moment you let one go you can be sure to  unfollowed as well. If you're content changes (even for a day) you're at risk of being unfollowed. And there is more expectation to update regularly. Tumblr followers have been known to unfollow after just one week of inactivity. Twitter is around a month but a subscriber can be with you for months or even a year without a receiving word from you.

Followers can be, and in a way are, targeted. They follow you on the basis that they have something in common with you or an interest in you and your company. They find you through general search terms on the media platform or the recommendation of someone they follow. However unlike someone who subscribes to your fit after 40 forty newsletter, a follower may just want fitness information.

One of the main differences between a subscriber and a follower, is your subscribers can be taken with you even if you sell or close your site. Leave a social network platform and you lose your followers instantly.

Both groups of people are beneficial to an online marketer. Subscribers buy more often than followers. Followers, spread the word about you faster than subscribers and see your updates more regularly. In the net business world you need both shoppers and fan builders. One isn't necessarily better than the other. It's about figuring out how each list can work for you and then making it work for you.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Are you playing the work at home numbers game

If you do any kind of online marketing and promotion, you know how important it is to have a list. This list should be a group of targeted readers and/or customers that you can connect with. But sites like facebook, twitter, and tumblr (social media in general) have changed the attitude about numbers and list building.

Old school online marketers love their lists just as much as anybody. They wouldn't trade it for anything, but they value something more than just numbers. Real work at home experts and internet marketers know that it isn't about the qantity of your list but the quality. How many you have to offer stuff to isn't as important as the number of people who actually respond to stuff you offer.

An unresponsive list is simply a dead weighted number. It looks great on paper to say I have a list of  5000 people, but if among those 5000 only half are truly a targeted responsive group of prospectives, your number becomes less value.

The numbers game has always been about quantity, but the advent of social media sites has put so much emphasis on the number that few marketers today are going out of their way to find out if they've simply built a list of sitting ducks.

It's become so easy to "add" and "follow," that list builders today are saying  "follow me" without considering who they're asking to be followed by. People have become more concerned with their "friend" or "follow" count that they're not paying attention and doing market analysis on how their numbers are actually benefiting them.

It is crucial, from a marketing stand point, to know and understand how the numbers play to your overall business success. You should have a list of highly targeted and responsive prospects that are willing to eat up what you have to offer. True markets know that a small responsive list is more valuable than large unresponsive one.

Building your work at home and internet marketing list should cater around quality, not just quantity. Don't get sucked into the numbers game.