Before we dive into methods of list-building, we need to understand that there are many tactics for building your list—but they change frequently, and you can only stay on top of the current tactics by understanding the strategy behind them.
Strategies are not tactics. That’s really important.
So what’s the difference? In brief:
- Strategies are general plans of action to achieve a goal.
- Tacticsare the individual things you do to implement that strategy.
Having a funnel starter (what many businesses call a “loss leader”)—is a strategy.
What you use as a loss leader, for example, or how you call attention to it or deliver it— is a tactic. Grocery stores offer a sale on cheap ground beef to get you into the store where you will, one hopes, buy many more groceries. Indie publishers have a cheap or free first-in-series book to get people to try the series and, one hopes, continue to read later books that are not discounted.
Tactics change. Strategies don’t.
For your newsletter, your strategy is using reader psychology and purchasing psychology to get people to join your list—and once they’re there, to open and click and reply. The myriad ways of accomplishing that goal (the tactics) can change.
Now, pay special attention to strategies. Strategies don’t change, but you need to be ready to abandon any tactic as soon as it stops delivering results for you.