The Blog


How to Mind Read Your Prospects So Your List Building is Easier

mindread your prospectsIn this episode of Easy Online Marketing, I’m going to give you some ideas to help you get into the mind of your ideal prospects, subscribers, and customers. After you apply what you learn from this podcast, more of your website visitors will be excited to become your subscribers and some of those subscribers will become your customers!

First, let’s define a few terms so we are all on the same page:

Prospect: A prospect is someone who has no idea who you are or what you can do for them. For example, someone who landed on your website for the very first time.

Subscriber: A subscriber is someone who has decided to trust you with their email address. Now you’re in a relationship where you can add value to their lives or businesses. You’ve been invited into their inbox with your content and offers.

Customer: A customer has bought your products or services and received value from them.

Because many of you are guessing what your prospects want and need instead of finding out exactly what they want, your list building is not as effective as it could be.

If you already have an email list. Here’s how to find out what your subscribers want. The easiest most direct is to simply ask them.

What’s your number one question about [fill-in-the-blanks with your TOPIC]?

Here are a few ways of asking:

Survey them. Send them a short survey and make sure you have an open ended question. This means a question they answer in their own words, phrases and maybe even a sentence or two. You’ll get marketing gold for your niche with this.

Talk to them. Like one on one, on the phone or via Skype. I recently did a subscriber appreciation day some of you may remember if you’re a subscriber. I made an entire day available to speak with any of my subscribers who signed up on my scheduler for a free call with me. It was enlightening and fun! During these sessions I made sure to ask them what they wanted.

Use automation to find out. I ask “what’s your #1 question about…[fill-in-the-blanks with your TOPIC]” on a form field in some of my Thank You pages and also in follow up autoresponder emails. If you use this method, you’ll want to make sure you read the emails you receive and respond to them. I usually send a quick “Thank you so much for your question and being a subscriber! Love this question and I’ll do an episode or blog post on it soon.” Then I keep the person’s email on a list and when I do answer the question on a podcast or blog post, I let them know. Or sometimes my VA does.

Getting into the mind of your prospects, learning the exact words and phrases, pain points and deepest desires they have will make your marketing efforts a lot easier and a lot more fun. With this knowledge, any new list building offers and products you create will be much more attractive to your website visitors and subscribers.

What if you haven’t started building your email list yet?

If you don’t have an email list yet, or it’s very small, you’ll want to try something different. You’re probably still trying to figure out what they want to become part of your email list.

Here’s my biggest piece of advice:

Find your ideal prospect in real life and talk to them, face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart. Tweet this.

I hear people complaining about why their list building isn’t working. In one case, I gave some free advice to someone to go to meetup groups in her area that are full of her prospects. Offer to speak at the meetups, not to sell, not to get people on her list, but solely to ASK how she can help and to LISTEN. I told her to be of immediate service in exchange for invaluable and golden marketing advice for her niche. She hasn’t done it yet. And is still complaining that her list is not growing because she can’t figure out what they want.

Sometimes, people get so intoxicated by technology and automation that it’s easy to forget that we’re talking about real people here. Real people with pain and dreams and tears and joy. Real people you can help. But only if you’re willing to put the time, energy and effort to step out from behind the monitor – find them, ask them how you can help and then listen.

Is this more work?


Will it make a positive impact on your business and list building efforts?


But we’re talking about creating a business that is people-focused. And list building is just that – it’s people-focused.

So here are just a few places, as examples in different industries, that you can find your people so you can do the most important market research that will make your online business flow.

If your target market involves women in business:

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
Professional Women’s Roundtable (PWR)

Small business owners:

Small Business Development Centers (SCORE)
Chambers of Commerce

Spiritual people:

I Can Do It Conferences (Hay House)
Happiness Club (International organization)

Parents / Moms / Dads

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)
Parent Teacher Associations (PTA)


Special Interest Clubs (Running, Walking Hiking, Travel, Naturalists)
Country Clubs or YMCA

Groups for Singles:

International Coaching Federation (ICF)
Professional Coaches and Mentors Association (PCMA)

Fitness / Health related:

Sport Coaches Association
Physical Therapists

Don’t be afraid to speak directly to your prospects. This will give you TONS of clarity on how to make your marketing messages – your list building gifts, your sales messages, your free content, much more targeted and actually what they WANT instead of what you THINK they want. Because most of the time the 2 are not the same.

And to recap, here’s the first question you want to ask them.

What’s your number one question about [fill-in-the-blanks with your TOPIC]?

If you already have an email list:

Survey them
Talk to them.
Use automation to find out.

If you don’t find out where they are in the real world and go there to ask and listen.


  1. Dean Patino on May 4, 2015 at 8:37 am

    This is so powerful, thank you Maritza! You surely practice what you preach. You’re such an inspiring entrepreneur leader. Really appreciate the guidance you stated here create people-focused activities. I still vividly recall a Sales VP I worked for a couple decades ago told us that no matter how things are, the best thing to do is go see a customer. There’s no substitution for those face-to-face connections.

    • Maritza Parra on May 4, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Love your perspective always Dean! And especially for people who aren’t yet clear on exactly who their avatar is and what their hopes, dreams and pains are – it’s vital to meet them face to face! It’s been so fun for me to restart my meetups and I’ve gained so many more insights into how I can help!

  2. EFTdoc on May 4, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I know I sure loved being asked and listened to. Turning it around so we communicate with and get ideas from those we’re supporting makes so much sense. Thank you Martiza for giving so much. I really love the list of places we can go to find and reach those we work with and hear more from them.

  3. Jodi Flynn on May 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    You hit it right on, Maritza. NOTHING can replace the face to face, person to person conversation. You can go deeper, change up your questions, etc., to really get at the heart of what your customer needs from you. Great tips!!

    • Maritza Parra on May 14, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Exactly Jodi! I re-started my live meetup group in San Antonio and it’s given me a TON of insight on what people need help with. My new website design is a reflection of what I’ve learned and how I want to help moving forward.

  4. pam levin on May 4, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Maritza! I love the subscriber Appreciation Day to talk one on one ! Super great idea..This one is a do-er! Luv it! With MY appreciation for your brilliance !

    • Maritza Parra on May 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

      It was so fun AND enlightening… I’ll be doing another one before long.

  5. Anthony Whitehurst on May 4, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Maritza! Awesome, love your people-focused approach. As someone who works in marketing, I can get geeky and talk about conversion rates, percentages, etc, but my favorite part is actually talking to the people that I want to serve, I learn so much and am able to better serve them. Thanks for teaching marketing in a way that keeps the humanity in it.

    • Maritza Parra on May 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Thanks so much for that Anthony… it can be scary sometimes to come out from “behind the screen” and it’s so worth it.

  6. ian on May 5, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Listening to your prospects and clients is the difference between finding the next big thing for your business and throwing your money away. Great Article!

  7. John Ramstead on May 5, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Maritza, this is a mini master class on bringing high touch to the high tech of the online world. I had never thought of using my autoresponder to ask a question to start a dialogue. What a great idea. I have been considering doing a survey to my email list and will definitely doing that now. Thank you for all the thought and research that went into this! You rock pal!

Leave a Comment