When you enter into business, whether it is some form of network marketing or more traditional, you need to find your audience. When those needs arise, many people purchase leads.

GreatMailingLists.com sells mailing and email lists for individuals in all areas of business. However, rather than just purchase and go, Doug Sauerhaft takes the time to evaluate and determine the true needs of his customers. If a list doesn’t seem like the right option for the individual, he well help them determine what is.

The services offered by GreatMailingLists.com don’t stop at mailing lists, either. Doug also offers a long list of emarketing services, including a free high level website analysis.

Save 10% off the purchase price of a mailing list!

Doug is offering this special discount to all of our readers. Just mention that you found GreatMailingLists.com through this interview!

Why should someone consider purchasing any form of mailing list? How do they help?

Mailing lists are an excellent means of marketing to prospective buyers, subscribers, donors or users of a service. It is still the most targetable and measurable media outlet available. Unlike email list prospect marketing (which is really most effective in building brand awareness and requires multiple touches for optimal performance) effective mailing lists increase sales–both online and offline.

In what area of business do you notice most of your customers coming from?

More than half of my customers initially want to use email lists. Many are under the misconception that email lists are cheap and that they can make a killing sending out a solitary email. Not true. Email lists are typically far more expensive than postal mailing lists and have a much higher minimum order threshold than a like mailing list. I always ask email inquiries what their marketing objective is. Then, in most cases I educate them on emails versus postal lists. They either decided they want to purchase bulk mail–which I will NOT sell, they convert to a traditional postal marketing approach, or we move forward developing an email marketing campaign.

Many folks don’t realize that postcard marketing is a highly effective means of driving traffic to websites.

As your business is about to reach its one year anniversary, how has it grown over that time?

It took several months for me to generate any meaningful traffic. In the beginning I spent thousands of dollars on PPC keywords to drive traffic to my site until my own search engine optimization (SEO) efforts began to bare fruit. I am now listed on page one of Google, Yahoo and MSN for several key search terms that drive the majority of traffic to greatmailinglists.com. Much of which I owe to the myriad of site creation, development and optimization tools that are available to me from my hosting company (www.Hubspot.com) that enable me to continue to optimize and monitor the searchability–my word–of my site on a daily basis.

Were there any problems you encountered during the launch of GreatMailingLists.com? What did you learn from them?

The primary difficulties I experienced in my launch were:

A) I selected the wrong vendor to build my own website. My initial site was not search engine friendly. Imagine that. Well I’ve learned a lot since then and of course have this first hand knowledge to bring to my clients.

B) Spent way too long paying to drive traffic (had to at first since my old site wasn’t getting indexed by Google–the initial site had 9 pages indexed and my current site has around 190!) to my site.

Always check the checkers. It wasn’t until I used someone else’s tool to measure the effectiveness of my site that a realized that I’d made a mistake putting faith into the hands of someone I had used in the past. When I used this tool to measure my site, it had an overall SEO optimization score of 20 out of 100. Today, my site is in the high 80’s. I regularly check to see if there are any issues that need tuning.

The other lesson I learned was to focus on developing the natural search engine optimization of my site and to keep checking and optimizing on a regular basis.

What inspired you to create your business? Have you always wanted to become an entrepreneur?

Being a sacrificial pawn in a high level powerplay by a meanspirited employer. I made the decision that I never wanted to be in the position the be treated that way by an employer again if I could help it. It made perfect sense to do for myself what I had been doing for others. I am a reluctant entrepreneur. Propelled by necessity and the desire to fill a niche in the online list arena–affordable high quality lists and services for small to mid-sized businesses. All of my competition is focused on cultivating the big customer. My aim is to help, educate and serve the little guy. I’d rather have 100 little guys than one big guy.

With your free High Level website analysis, what does the individual receive?

The recipient will receive a detailed report that touches on On-Page SEO like Meta Data, Heading and Image summaries, Interior Page analysis and Readability level. There is also Off-Page SEO covering Domain Info, Google Page Rank, Number of Indexed pages and last crawl date, Traffic Rank, Inbound Links and some Directory info. If there is a Blog associated with the site than there will be blog analysis and ranking. And then there can be some insight into the Social MediaSphere.

What do you enjoy most about basing yourself within this industry? Was it hard trying to find the right niche for you?

I love helping small business make informed marketing decisions and helping them to effectively develop a marketing strategy and then implement it.

There was never any question in my mind that I wanted to share my 28+ years of direct marketing knowledge with those who could benefit from it.

Was there anyone, a resource or even a piece of advice that inspired you and helped you as your business grew?

I owe 100% of the success of my website to the good people at www.Hubspot.com. They have provided me with a set of tools to not only develop a successful website but to translate my experiences to the benefit of my clients. I must particularly mention 3 folks there, Pete Caputa my sales rep and business advisor/muse, Mark Greco for his hands on expertise in educating me to the myriad of tools Hubspot makes available to help its clients succeed and Jim Teeters, my McGuyver. Jim can fix anything.

What should someone do before they even consider starting a business like this one?

Grow thick skin and then need to make sure they know how to listen. Anyone can sell a list off of a rate card, but to be truly helpful to potential customers you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes and understand what their aim is. In many cases the list someone is interested in is not what will work best for them. Also, don’t go for the homerun. Help the client develop a reasonable budget and work within it. They’ll be back.

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