Email List Management Secrets

“The Money is in the List – Are You Getting It?”

FREE STC Online Marketing Course – The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

Contents

Introduction

Overview of List Management – Part 1
    Understanding List Management 1
    Always Be Truthful
    The Role of Your List: Always at the Front of Your Mind
    Listen to Your List – Reap the Rewards
    The Rating System
    E-zines and Newsletters
    Personal List – Mixed Content
Summary

Overview of List Management – Part 2
    Personal List, Affiliate and Ad Content
    The Ad List
    Divide and Conquer
    The Personal Touch
    All Done – Now It’s Your Turn
Summary

Overview of List Management – Part 3
    List Building Methods
    Quality over Quantity
    Getting Started
    Throwing Out Prospects Doesn’t Get You Organized
    Am I Building My List While Doing This?
    Professionalism Revisited
    Where your Most Effective List Comes from
    The Ultimate Tried and Tested List Builder
    Be Careful Not To Interrupt Your Sales Process
    Maximizing Subs Without Losing Sales
    Non-Profit Resource Building
    A Few Last Words
Summary

Introduction

List maintenance is one of the most important subjects in online marketing. Your list is your number one and most basic bottom level output for your promotions. It’s expensive and time consuming to gather, but forms one of the most powerful resources and profit potential you have.

For this reason, we need to understand exactly how it works. Throughout my time in online marketing, I’ve tried many different formats. There are clear differences that allow some methods to come out on top, while some fail miserably.

Depending on your business, there are several solutions that might be right for you. For this reason, we need to look at the big five to allow you to decide which one is going to make you the most cash.

Let’s do it.

Overview of List Management – Part 1

  • To show you why you need to decide which method you’re going to use to maintain your list before you even start building it for maximum positive effect.
  • To explain why it’s so hard to change mid flow, once you’ve already started.
  • To show that to get people to listen and take notice of you and avoid complaints, there’s a few things that you’ll need to tell the customer beforehand.
  • To set solid goals for your list, and map out where you want it to go in the future.
  • To show you how powerful your list actually is to you, and to display how much more earning potential some methods have over others, and how you’re going to capitalize on that.
  • To introduce the rating system which will be assisting your decision on how you’re going to maintain your list when from the moment the first subscriber arrives.
  • To talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the first list maintenance type, a standard e-zine or newsletter to your target market.
  • To reveal the first of the most powerful list type that you could possibly have in your hands, and how to deal with the subscribers and make the most cash out of it.

Understanding List Management 1

Let’s discuss the various methods of list maintenance that have proven successful for many marketers, and the up sides and the downsides that come with them, because to be totally honest with you, there’s no way me, or any other person or guide can ever tell you what’s best in this situation without knowing you, your business, and your future plans, and what you’re going to use your list for.

Please understand that this is no technical report. I won’t be showing you around auto-responders or telling you the best ones to use, or how to use them. No, this is far more important, and will generally form the shape of your future promotions and of course how successful they will become, and in what way.

So without further ado, lets get talking about the fundamentals and the type of things you should be looking at for a start. During this guide we’ll be looking at how each management technique affects your response rate, your customer loyalty, the amount you earn from your list, and what type of promotion it’s suited to, such as your own products, joint ventures or purely affiliate marketing. We’ll also take into account the money you can earn from selling ads to that list, which isn’t quite as important as you may think right now.

Always Be Truthful

So, lets get started. The number one thing that I need to tell you right now, before we even look at these methods is to make 100% sure that the people signing up know what they’re getting themselves into. For example, how many e-zines or newsletters have you ever subscribed to only to find out that they’re not actually e-zines and newsletters, just ad lists (which to be honest aren’t all that bad in particular situations, but we’ll be getting to that in a moment).

The choice you make now will shape your business far in to the future, but more importantly whatever you tell your customers and subscribers they’ll be getting will shape your response rate considerably, and that’s obviously something we’ll want to take into account from the very start. So there we have it.

Rule number one, never tell your customers they’re getting something then deny them that, or send them things that they haven’t requested or didn’t know about, because not only will that get you into trouble, but it will also affect the loyalty and trust these customers and subscribers have with you, which is so important.

What we’re aiming to build here is a targeted and effective list that has response rates through the roof depending on what you’re promoting. Don’t forget this also includes affiliates, and may form a large part of your affiliate base. Which brings me onto one more point, before we look through the four majorly used techniques for different types of lists through different marketers.

The Role of Your List Should Always be at the Front of Your Mind

What’s your list there for? Promotion and to allow you to make money from the subscribers selling products that either you’ve created, or affiliate products in your target market, to build joint ventures, and of course increase your affiliate numbers and quality. But there’s one more thing I want you to be aware of. Where do I get all this information? Through ad tracking, true, but my list is also a very important part of this.

Listen to Your List & Reap the Rewards

I know what to sell to them because they tell me what they want. I know when my websites suck or look plain ugly because I ask them. I know what they’re interested in buying, the most effective headlines and language to use when typing out ads in relation to my list, who are in effect my target market. So you see, again we’re promoting not just for profit, but to learn valuable lessons at the same time. Your list provides as much useful data as your advert tracking, no matter how small. This Is your key to developing a successful business that is aimed at your target market, and creating a sales system that works, not just in your eyes, but in the eyes of the people that are most important to you. And that’s your customer, the person who at the end of the day is going to make you a whole lot of money if treated right.

So here’s the deal. Ask. Don’t feel stupid about sending out mails to your list that aren’t adverts, or that might seem like random babble to you. To them, not only will they feel closer to you personally, no matter what technique you use below, (which in turn will have them reading more often) but it’ll give you really important results about you newest product, your website or even an idea that you have for a product that you’d like feedback on before you even start. Use your list in this way.

Promote to learn, not to make a profit, and you’ll end up with far more cash at the end of the year than if you just assume, guess or don’t bother (Which seems to be many marketers out there). Don’t be one of them. Get the knowledge you need to succeed from your customers before they even hand you their money. It works wonders for you, your reputation, your knowledge and your pockets. Ask your list if you’re not sure. It’s so powerful that it’d be a complete waste if not utilized properly. If you’re right, great, go for it. If you’re wrong, your list will tell you so, great again. You can fix it and pocket the cash at the same time. I can’t think of a fairer deal than that. Keep it in mind. Your list is more than a bunch of names. It’s a bunch of opinions, and real important ones at that.

Next up, I’m going to talk to you about the four main methods successful marketers use to maintain their lists. Each one with a different use and purpose, and each one has its ups and downs. Granted I’m biased towards two of them, and I’ll tell you why when we get there. But like I said, there’s no way for me to tell you how to run your business. All I can do is tell you the most effective ways of going about it, and let you decide what’s most convenient for you and where you want your business to go.

The Rating System

Let’s also have a little bit of fun here, too, and introduce a rating system to make things interesting. As we discuss each of these techniques, I’ll talk to you about their pros and cons, and where they would most likely be used, and you can decide if it’ll be relevant to you.

I’m also going to give these a starred rating system that will show you the most significant stats related to running such a list. Understand that each list will vary, and these star ratings are only to give you an idea after talking to over a hundred successes with their lists in the following categories. The star rating will be one to five:

Unsubscription Rate: One star means a high unsubscription rate per mailing, and five stars means the best, a low unsubscription rate per mailing.

Subscription Rate: How easy it is to get people to subscribe to the list using a variety of different methods. The subscription rate at one star is the hardest, and at five stars is the easiest.

Ad income: Ad income is the amount of money that’s earned through selling adverts to the list. One star is the worst, or the least amount of money earned through ad selling, and five stars is the best, or the most amount of money earned through ad selling.

JV Circle: This is the ease of using your list as a bargaining tool, for example in ad swaps or product launches, and specific joint venture opportunities. One star is the worst, which is also the least valuable in terms of gaining joint ventures, and five stars is the best, the most valuable that marketers want to get their hands on for joint ventures.

Response Rate over Time: Response rate over time, measures how quickly the quality of the list diminishes, for example when sending endless paid for ads and nothing else, the response rate goes down over time. One star is the worst, where response rate over time goes down badly, five stars is the best, where people keep reading and even wait for your mail to arrive in their inboxes in the morning.

General Usefulness: For things such as research, surveys and requesting information, testimonials etc. Five stars is the best, easiest to get results from. One star is the worst, the hardest to get results from.

Maintenance Time: The time it takes per issue to put together and send out. One star is the worst, taking a lot of time to prepare and send. And, five stars is the best, the fastest, and the easiest to prepare and send out.

Important note here: These are base figures and your exact results may be higher or lower than the following. It’s more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earning, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc.

The Four Methods of List Maintenance

E-zine Or Newsletter: The e-zine, or newsletter, is a list of people that you gather, and send information related to your target market on a weekly, bi-weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The idea is the useful content that you send them will have them want to keep reading and open your mail each time, keeping your response rates and read rates high.

Ok so here we have it. The staple of most online marketers before they hit is big, and sometimes even after, the well-known e-zine list. I’m sure you’ll already know from reading the intro here that this method in itself can actually become a lot of work. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of work, obviously, seeing as I’m sitting here writing a half million word report spread over 15 manuals, but when it gets to a particular point, it may not be prudent for you to run an e-zine anymore. This however is a good place to start if you have the time.

Expect to have to present an issue of your e-zine every week or two weeks and avoid leaving long, long gaps in between mailings, otherwise, quite simply people will forget you. This is a great place to start if you’re starting out, for the simple reason people like free info, and it’s so much easier to get people to subscribe to this type of list compared to others, even when there’s freebies involved. Of course, you will have to know a lot about your field of expertise to present regular useful issues, or even pull in outside articles from publishers to use as content.

The catch is you’ll have to be on top of things, and it does take some time to come up with good content for issues. The up side to this is people will be waiting for your e-zine. If it’s good and keeps people reading content wise, it’s a surefire way to keep response rates up and to make a connection with your subscribers, the personal touch, which in turn will add up to trust and a higher purchase rate for your own products.

The next upside to this is that you can sell ads for cash. To whom? To your subscribers of course. It’s an instant quick way to earn cash, by selling large solo ads that go out separately from the e-zine, to smaller ads that precede each issue, and even cheaper, mid and smaller ads contained within the issue.

It’s a good all rounder in fact. The downside here is many e-zines turn into ad lists (Category 4, which we’ll talk about later). When the ads massively outnumber the useful content, subscribers start to feel cheated and leave. I’ve been there before, and if you’ve tested out or subscribed to some e-zines before you may have seen this.

Another great thing here is prospects. Your e-zine is attracting people who are in your field of expertise and may have lists of their own. This in turn increases your prospects for joint ventures, meeting new contacts that can sometimes spiral into full blown products (This course for example is a product of such a case).

Another great thing about the newsletter and e-zine is it can be quite personal. As the readers and subscribers get used to you as a publisher, and you become white listed (In their spam filers and in their minds) you’ll see a greater interest in your products, because after all, you’re not just another marketer out there spouting rubbish to everyone to make a quick buck.

You’re a trusted publisher in an authorititative role, and people will listen to you, and buy your stuff. This takes time though. Don’t expect to become well know to all your subscribers overnight.

Unsubscription Rate: **** Many e-zines have become successful because of their great response rates and low unsubscription rates due to good content. A small lapse though and this can all go pear shaped, especially when it starts to turn into an ad list and subscribers trust is broken.

Subscription Rate: **** A higher than average subscription rate is good news. Reasons for this include people liking to get useful content for free. Once you’ve proven to them that this is the case, it’s not unlikely they’ll tell their friends. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. With so many dud e-zines out there that are just ad lists, it can be hard to persuade people that your list is quality. Use example issues, or a website of back issues to combat this and prove you are what you say you are.

Ad income: ***** Excellent and steady ad income from your subscriber base. Compared to other lists that don’t even sell ads, this is a great way to bring in the few extra thousand dollars per month. Be careful not to over do this though, as subscribers may start deleting mail from you on the basis they think it’s an ad rather than anything useful.

 JV Circle: ** Only two stars here for a few reasons. The main one being if you’re already selling ads, it’s quite likely that your joint ventures or any ad swaps you may do with other marketers may reflect the cost at which you sell your ads. Personal non public lists are far more desirable in general, and are much more valuable when put on the bargaining table.

There is, however, an income to be had here through joint venture affiliate promotion, a free ad for a percentage of the profits. If your list is particularly good though, and your ad cost low enough, the promoter may instead opt just to buy the ad themselves and bypass the need to pay you a percentage of each sale.

Response Rate Over Time: *** Response rate over time is again higher than average. Of course this stat varies a lot depending on if your subscribers are actually interested in what you’re sending them or not. If not you may see your response rates dwindle. Another danger here is the use of freebies. Get a list of non spenders and freebie seekers, send too many special offers, and they’ll come to expect it, which will also have an effect on your profits. This also applies to outside ads that people may have no interest in that you may be selling. This can only be bad for your subscriber base.

General usefulness: *** Very handy to get that all important information from your subscribers. Many have asked why their subscribers never write to them. I tell them that they need to ask them to write to them about something that affects them, and they will. Again, third party ads can be a distraction, but all in all, if your content is good and people are reading, this is prime research material, albeit not quite as personal as some of the other list types, which can bring in a lower response.

Maintenance Time: * One star. Ouch. You want people to keep reading your e-zine? Well you have to make sure they stay interested, balance the amount of adverts with the amount of content, write articles or organize consent from third parties. If you’re a writer and enjoy this, great, go for it.

But many of us just don’t have the time to write a full fledged e-zine every week, because we’re busy with other products and projects. It’s hard work alright, but if you don’t believe there’s anything more productive that you can be doing, or enjoy writing and editing your e-zine, keep at it. The results and income both from your own ads, and paid ads is worth it in the long and short term.

Summary: A great place to start if you have no list at all right now. The ease of pulling subscribers when you’re giving them good content beats any other type of list out there. If you don’t mind high maintenance and putting a lot of time into this, the e-zine or newsletter may just be for you. If however you’re short on time, or don’t enjoy writing articles particularly, the other lists may be more up your street.

The results, however, from running this type of list are plain to see and are very encouraging. Just be careful how you balance out ads and content. And hey, if things get too much in the future, you can always slowly evolve the e-zine into one of the other list types, which is how many marketers start out. It is hard work, but a great little earner, and an investment for the future.

Personal List – Mixed Content

Personal mixed content list is a list gathered by you, that you don’t use to sell outside ads to on a regular basis. Mailings contain research, new product information for your customers, a few articles that you write, the odd tips here and there, testimonial requests, and of course the ads for your own products. Mailings are very similar to an e-zine, except for the mixed content and the lower sales of ads to third parties. They also require less content on your part.

One of the most highly used list types by specialist marketers, and in my personal opinion, definitely one of the most interesting and robust of the lot. Imagine having a list of your own, which generally comprises of customers that know who you are, trust your word, many of them having bought from you before or subscribed to your list for the simple sake of following the progress and watching what you do as an authoritative figure in your chosen field of expertise. All of these factors come together to make a highly responsive list and one heck of a joint venture bargaining tool.

These types of lists are usually an evolution of some sort, either from previously published e-zines or newsletters, but of course you can go down this route right away if you think it’ll be beneficial, and it probably will be.

What we’ve got here is the quality without having to do the work, and in some cases, considering the content you’ll be sending your list is solely related to you and the projects you get involved with, it’s more personal and has higher response rates than even some of the best e-zines, especially when your subscribers get to know you, or you make your mark as an authority. Bottom line is, you don’t have to spend ages publishing a newsletter every week, packing it with masses of useful content to see a profitable list.

See if you play your cards right and gain the trust you need over time, you don’t need to seduce people with masses of content, they’re just happy to be receiving something for free from a respected marketer. That’s great news for you, because the more you mail them, the more you teach them, share with them and have contact with them, the more trust you’ll get. Usually this comes in the form of short articles, snippets or insights into what you’re doing to succeed.

For example, many of these lists’ often owned by the well-known marketers, send small snippets of the letters they receive, their ad tracking results for a particular project, some small tips, and interesting story that applies to the subscribers interests that they learned that day. Contained within is the ad for a related product.

Not all the time of course. It totally depends on whether your goal is to sell, educate, recruit affiliates or get them to tell their friends about you and talk (very powerful) etc. The fact is it’s interesting. Reality TV even though on a larger scale is a big hit, but this is definitely similar with its entertainment value, but goes even further through education.

Who do you admire? Is there someone you want to be like or at least follow in the footsteps of, someone that is already doing something you want to do, and doing it well? If you had a choice, would you want to get on their e-zine list that sends you a list of outside published articles each week or on their personal list where you get an insight into what they’re doing and what makes them successful? I know which I’d choose.

So you see, again, the underlying features are the same. It’s a list of people you’re going to get to buy your stuff, but this time around it’s far more focused on you, and the type of people that are subscribing here are the doers. The people that are interested in what you have to say. This is something very powerful that also contributes to the response rate that comes from these lists when selling your products.

So aside from the eased workload, more time to concentrate on your product creation, and developing new ideas, and the increased response rate and trust you gain from these valuable subscribers, what else do we have? Well, let me tell you that what you’ve just created here by choosing this method is pure money in your pocket. Your list, your personal list that you don’t allow anyone access to, packed with people that trust you, ready to take your word that something is good, will help them, or is worth buying is an important bargaining chip.

See, once upon a time before you started list building here, you had to exchange products and high commissions for joint ventures solely related to sales. Now though, not only will your in demand list )that no one has access to but you) put you ahead in the bartering process of gaining joint ventures, but it’ll also sell your products, increase your reputation and allow your resources to grow even further. So you see, once you start with this type of list, expect it to spiral and it will be far easier to build on this in the future.

But you might say to me “I don’t have a reputation to go on. People won’t listen to me unless I have one or they think I have something useful to say”. You’re quite right too, but you can fix that. For example, back when I first started out with online marketing, a friend of mine started up a website with a free option and a paid option. I joined up and sat back for a few months being lazy like I was back then, when I had no concept of actual work.

A couple of months later I dawdled back and had a chat with this friend. He informed me that he added a mail your down line option. I was told that I could mail them a training series or two if I wanted in an effort to convert some free members into paid members. I agreed.

The problem was I didn’t know much back then. The only thing I knew for certain was related to lead-generation, hence all these free members piling up in my down line. So I figured I’d teach them what I know, and send them a few guides, which is exactly what I did, and they listened, for the simple reason I included a screenshot of my inbox from the previous weeks of free members signing up in my down line.

It was a shot of my inbox with pages of ‘You have a new member’ subject lines and e-mail bodies. That was all. Everyone’s ears were pricked and paying attention. I started receiving requests to join my list, joint venture offers, people asking me what to do via e-mail, if they could have more, and when I’ll be sending further issues. All I did was demonstrate that what I was saying actually worked, not to mention they were only free signups not paid ones that I was showing them, yet they were still so interested.

I’ve taken that lesson everywhere with me ever since that day, and it’s served me well. Provide proof that you have the answers to others questions, even on a small scale, and people will listen to you. So you see, it doesn’t matter if this is your first day in online marketing.

If you sent me a mail in a week’s time telling me you’ve arranged 20 successful JV’s in one week, come up with 10 new products and have already developed four of them, each one ready to launch and sell at $500, I’d listen in if you showed me it was true. See how that isn’t even directly related to how much money you’re earning? This is how to run one of these lists.

Enough of that for now though, because I’ve got a lovely wad of text for you later on about how to make peoples ears spark up and listen, along with more examples. I hope that gave you a little insight to my thoughts and how you can get started without being a big well known marketer that everyone already trusts. This list is by no means out of anybodies league that knows what they’re talking about in their current field of expertise.

So there we have it, great JV prospects, not too much work for anyone, great response rates, builds trust and your reputation. Amazing stuff, as strong as the upsides are, the downsides equal it. First up, your ad income is going to be cut drastically compared to the standard e-zine, unless you start actually selling ads, which defeats the object and devalues your joint venture prospects if done often or over long periods of time. This isn’t really a huge downer though, because you’ll likely be getting a lot more out of it than you would simply selling $200 solo ads twice a week through your e-zines, but in the way of JV income and resources.

Here’s the real kicker though. If you screw up, you’re in big trouble and may in extreme circumstances have to start all over again. You being an authoritative figure, taking all that time to build up trust, and after one bad decision, one bad joint venture with the wrong person, and your rep is in tatters, and you have a lot of groveling to the subscribers to do to make up for it.

I can think of several examples where marketers’ reputations have been tarnished, some even to the point of them quitting the business, because this important resource they built up over the years was destroyed by a JV with someone unreliable or that has a bad reputation that they didn’t know about. Do your research, don’t take big joint ventures lightly, and this won’t happen to you. The biggest risk, but with the biggest reward, as always.

Unsubscription Rate: ***** Generally you’ll find once you’ve built the trust with your subscribers they won’t leave unless you particularly annoy them or do something brash. Beware though, bad news travels faster than good, and a slip up here could cost you a lot.

Subscription Rate: *** Getting subscribers here can be a lot harder, but the rewards greater. As these lists are generally smaller than a large sized e-zine, the numbers can seem a little off putting, but it’s far better to have a list of 1000 dedicated loyal customers that buy from you over and over, than a list of 100k who don’t even read your mailings. Remember quality over quantity. Many subscribers may have also bought from you before.

Ad income: * Virtually zero direct ad income. It’s possible to sell small ads to people if you get short of cash, but it can be harder to do if your list is smaller and more focused than some of the e-zines out there. It’s even harder to charge the price it’s worth for this very same reason. If you do decide to sell ads here and there, keep it rare. Very rare, or your list will lose it’s purpose and subscribers will move on. Don’t forget to push your response rate tracking stats too, or you may find people don’t buy at your higher prices for smaller numbers and stick with an e-zine ad, which to an uneducated eye, provides better value for money.

JV Circle: ***** Due to the personal nature of this list, it’s easy to start talking to people, specific subscribers even, and to become a target for other marketers with similar lists in the same category. Don’t be surprised to find yourself in high demand as this is prime territory to create many a profitable joint venture. That list of people I was sending reports to that we talked about earlier, that was my first mailing, and I still have a bunch of them on my messenger contact list. From just one mailing. Not bad huh? This is what joint venture prospects look like and is by far the most effective way to get them.

Response Rate Over Time: **** Great response rates over time are expected due to the trust you build with these people in such a personal manner. Unless you mess something up big time, loose their trust, annoy them or suddenly stop offering them the insight and knowledge they’re looking for, they’ll keep reading what you have to say, buying your products, and checking out your recommendations. This is especially useful for inflating the value of your list to your JV circle. Watch what you mail very carefully though. One slip up or bad move and it could all be gone.

General usefulness: **** Who’s more responsive, your friends and acquaintances or random people you put questions to on the street? Again, this is where the personal touch is handy. As far as they’re concerned, they’re getting something very important from you. Make sure to ask for something in return in the way of surveys which should be aimed in the general direction of assisting the subscribers in some way, even if you’re publishing the results for their use, a great research tool at your fingertips.

Maintenance Time: *** Three stars and very variable. Sometimes it can take you ten minutes to write a mailing, sometimes less, sometimes a lot more, depending on what you’ve got to say, which makes maintenance time hard to judge unless seeing each circumstance in turn. Not as bad as a fully-fledged e-zine, though not as quick as some of the lists we have yet to talk about. This is a good bet if you’re short on time, or want to dedicate your days to something more productive, or just don’t like writing e-zines and doing research and using outside articles.

Important note here: These are base figures and your exact results may be higher or lower than the stated. It’s more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earning, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc.

Right, we’re out of space here. See you in part two, where we’ll be looking at two more list maintenance methods (the final two) and some general non-technical tips to keep your list pulling in the cash like crazy. Stay tuned.

Summary

  • Welcome to the list maintenance section of the course. There are various methods of list building that have proven successful over the years, each fulfilling different roles within a business, each with their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Throughout this section, we’ll be looking at each of the methods with a view to showing you what they entail before you get started, because once you do, it’s not always easy to change. You’ll also be able to immediately begin to maintain your list using the method that suits your business from the moment those first subscribers begin to arrive on the launch of your products.
  • The first aspect that I’d like to talk to you about is one of the fundamentals of list building, and that’s always no matter what make sure that the customer understands what they’re subscribing to.
  • How many times have you subscribed to a newsletter or e-zine or given your e-mail address to a business, only to find out that they’re not e-zines or newsletters at all, just straight up ad lists?
  • Remember the choice you make now will shape the future of your business, and it will also shape your response rates at the same time.
  • As we mentioned earlier, our number one aim is to provide a list for you to promote your own products to with the highest response rates, also giving you a great bargaining tool for when business owners begin to approach you with joint venture proposals.
  • Also, keep in mind the other aspects that you’ll be using your list for, attracting joint ventures, affiliates, research as well as making sales and converting new customers through your own products and through affiliate promotion if you chose to go down this path.
  • Research is a very important point to make here. If you remember back to the ad tracking points we’ve already discussed. I was telling you about how tracking and testing is important for every aspect of your business, well list maintenance is no exception.
  • I find it easy with a list to come up with new product ideas and tailor it to the people who are going to receive the information about the product first. I know what they want because quite simply I ask them, whether it’s the products that interest them the most, or the best headline, or the type of language to use when contacting them, and even what to put in the subject line and from field to get them to read.
  • Your list is as much for tracking, testing, and free research as it is for making sales. Don’t feel strange about sending stuff to your list that is just plainly research. Not only will they feel closer to you and your business making them less likely to unsubscribe in the short term, but they’ll thank you for sending them information about the subjects they’re interested in. This also boosts the rate at which you’ll be making your sales.
  • In return you get new product ideas, along with a whole bundle of information that you can use to increase your sales. This is promoting to learn instead of promoting for profit and just like with any proven results and research, when you go up against people who don’t have the information you have, you’re going to outsell them at every turn, and recognize and cater to new trends and crazes before they do. Your list is a very powerful tool indeed and should not be taken as just a bunch of people to send ads to.
  • Ok so lets get started looking at list types. I’m going to do this from the point of a reviewer and use a points system. This allows us to discuss their pros and cons and pick the one that’s right for your business in a more interesting manner.
  • The categories that we’ll be looking at for each list type are: un-subscription rate, subscription rate, ad income, JV circle, response-rate over time, general usefulness, and maintenance time.
  • Each of these aspects will be rated for each list type from one star to five stars, the higher the star rating, the better.
  • Let’s begin with the standard e-zine or newsletter. Defined as a list of people you have gathered and are sending useful information related to your target market regularly, along with a selection of ads for both your products and other peoples products and affiliate programs.
  • Un-subscription Rate **** Four Stars: Many e-zines have become a success because of their subscribers responding to the useful content this list type provides. Lapse in regular sending though and this could go pear shaped, and you need to be careful when looking at your ratio of ads sent to useful content sent.
  • Subscription Rate **** Four Stars: A higher than average subscription rate is due to the promise of useful content for free. It’s easy to get people talking about the good content you’re sending out resulting in even more subscribers coming your way through the all powerful word of mouth. Use example issues and article snippets to persuade potential subscribers that you’re the real thing and not just an ad list.
  • Ad Income ***** Five Stars: Selling ads is a great way to provide an additional income stream, and your customers are right there on your list already, making it easy to make sales. Be careful not to over do this as to not alienate the subscribers there for the content with too many ads, or you may see your subscriber base and response rate fall dramatically.
  • JV Circle ** Two Stars: If you’re already selling ads on a regular basis, why would someone want to split the profits with you when they can reach your whole list for the cost of an ad? The one reason why they may do this is to get a good word from you to your subscribers, something that will only be beneficial from an extremely well oiled e-zine with a well known, trusted publisher of a sustained high quality publication.
  • Response Rate Over Time *** Three Stars: This very much depends if your subscribers are interested in your stuff or not. You may see your response rate dwindle if your primary method of pulling in the subscribers is through freebie giveaways. They may come to expect the world for nothing, and get offended when you don’t give it to them. Sending many ads over a sustained period of time also doesn’t help your response rates.
  • General Usefulness *** Three Stars: Very handy to get that all important information from your subscribers. Many have asked why their subscribers never write to them. I tell them that they need to ask them to write to them about something that affects them and they will. Again, third party ads can be a distraction, but all in all, if your content is good and people are reading, this is prime research material, albeit not quite as personal as some of the other list types.
  • Maintenance Time * One Star: E-zines are high maintenance. Juggling ads purchased, putting together content to keep people reading, messing with joint venture offers, not to mention un-requested feedback from subscribers. A fully fledged, solid e-zine is hard work, time that I’d prefer to be using to develop new products, but if you enjoy writing and publishing, and this is your calling, go for it. If you a enjoy it, spending a lot of time on maintenance isn’t such a bad thing, so that one star is debatable.
  • To sum up, an e-zine or newsletter is a great place to start if you have no list at all. The ease of pulling in subscribers when you’re giving them good content beats almost any other list type, and if you don’t mind or enjoy the high maintenance, then this may be the list type for you. Be careful how to balance your content and ads though, too much content and free stuff could have your subscribers leaving rapidly if you can’t sustain that level. On the other hand, too many ads alienates and ultimately leads to the unsubscription of subscribers who are there for the content. An e-zine is also the easiest of the list types to evolve into the other list types over a short period of time, making it a safe bet and a good starting point for any business.
  • Next up, we have the personal mixed content lists. Mailings are comprised of research, new product information for your customers, a few articles that you write, the odd tips here and there, testimonial requests, and of course the ads for your own products. It’s very similar to an e-zine except for the mixed content and the less sales of ads to third parties. This also requires less content on your part. One of the most highly used list types by specialist marketers, and in my personal opinion definitely one of the most interesting and robust of the lot.
  • Un-subscription Rates ***** Five Stars: Once you’ve built trust with your subscribers, the low unsubscription rates and loss of subscribers often beats even the e-zine. Because everything is so personal and the subscribers are much closer to you and your business, it’s rare they’ll leave you unless you annoy them in some way. Beware though, bad news travels faster than good, and a slip up here could cost you a lot because you and your subscribers have no one else to blame but you.
  • Subscription Rate *** Three Stars: Getting subscribers here can be a lot harder, but the rewards greater. As these lists are generally smaller than a large sized e-zine, the numbers can seem a little off putting, but it’s far better to have a list of 10000 dedicated loyal customers that buy from you over and over, than a list of 100k who don’t even read your mailings. Remember quality over quantity. Many subscribers may have also bought from you before or have been directed to you through your own products, which builds and sustains that all important trust and familiarity.
  • Ad Income * One Star: Virtually Zero. It’s possible to sell small ads to people if you find yourself short of cash, but keep it rare, very rare otherwise you undermine the whole reason for keeping this a personal list and devalue it through the eyes of other marketers and may just cut your exclusivity and perceived value of this hard to get at list.
  • JV Circle ***** Five Stars: When you have a list like this, packed full of pre-qualified subscribers that know you, and you’re not letting anyone else buy ads, you’re piling on the value, and you’ll find your services in high demand once you start launching your products. People know how valuable it is, and they know to get their hands on it, they’ll have to offer you something very valuable in return. That’s your ticket to many successful joint ventures and much more promotion power.
  • Response Rate Over Time **** Four Stars: Great response rates over time are expected due to the trust you build with these people in such a personal manner. Unless you mess something up big time, lose their trust, annoy them or suddenly stop offering them the insight and knowledge they’re looking for, they’ll keep reading what you have to say, buying your products, and checking out your recommendations. This is especially useful for inflating the value of your list to your JV circle considerably. Watch what you mail very carefully, though, one slip up or bad move and it could all be gone. Trust is hard to build but easy to destroy in a few short seconds.
  • General Usefulness **** Four Stars: Who’s more responsive, your friends and acquaintances or random people you put questions to on the street? Again, this is where the personal touch is handy. As far as they’re concerned, they’re getting something very important from you. Make sure to ask something in return in the way of surveys which should be aimed in the general direction of assisting the subscribers in some way, even if you’re publishing the results for their use, a great research tool at your fingertips.
  • Maintenance Time *** Three Stars: Sometimes it can take you ten minutes to write a mailing, sometimes less, sometimes a lot more, depending on what you’ve got to say, which makes maintenance time hard to judge unless seeing each circumstance in turn. Not as bad as a fully fledged e-zine, though not as quick as some of the lists we have yet to discuss. This is a good bet if you’re short on time, or want to dedicate your days to something more productive, or just don’t like writing e-zines and using outside articles.
  • Important note here: These are base figures, and your exact results may be higher or lower than the above. It’s more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earning, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc.
  • Ok we’re out of space, see you in part two where we’ll be looking at the final list types, and talking about their pros and cons. I’ve left one of the most powerful list types until last too, and I’ll show you exactly how I maintain my personal list with so little time and such high response rates. See you there!

Overview of List Management – Part 2

  • To introduce additional information and ratings on specific list maintenance types, and to show you who uses them for what type of business, when, where, how and why.
  • To discuss and rate the personal lists containing solely affiliate and advert content.
  • To look at the final potential list types (the ad lists) and to demonstrate which direction they will take your business in.
  • To wrap up the section, and get practical. To have you select a list type and stick to it, whether you’ve started your list building already or not. Let’s pick the one that’s going to make the most of your success right now.

Personal List – Affiliate and Ad Content

A personal affiliate list is much the same as the previously discussed personal mixed list, however this time, you’re not sending tips, hints or content, but ads for programs that you promote yourself and of course your own products. This differs from an ad list because we’re clear here that all products that are promoted are yours and what you promote through affiliate programs. There are no outside sources sending ads to your list. Although no content is provided, this can be especially useful if you’re well known, and have a solid following.

Here we have it, list type number three. This is a great little earner for particular types of marketers who carry out a specific type of marketing, with a specific type of product. Now I know what you might be thinking on seeing the description of this, and you’d be right to wonder how the heck you’re going to keep subscribers interested, and keep subscribers reading when all you’re doing is sending ads. The key here we mentioned earlier, and that’s that the ads you’re sending are directly related to you, aside from the odd joint venture here and there.

You still get to promote your own products, but with minimal a amount of work. At the same time, you’re aiming to not just get signups, but grab affiliates who join under you in multi level based affiliate programs and promote for you. This is probably the best example list wise here that shows that to make a lot of money, you don’t always have to concentrate on instant sales, and making sales yourself. In fact, in this case, it’s far more profitable to be promoting for affiliates, as equally as you promote for sales.

Imagine this, your list consists of twenty other people exactly like you that have lists of people they promote to, either for sales or for more affiliates, and people to join under them in a particular earnings program. Now when your ad goes out, you’re likely to get a certain amount of sales, (depending on your list quality) and also a particular amount of affiliates, who will join under you, and promote to their lists.

Keep going down this path, and before long, if you jumped in at the top of a multi level program, and your list is effective, you’ll have a kind of domino effect, and will get access to all sorts of people branching off in different ways from your original promotion.

See how this type of approach is angled towards a particular type of marketing? If you’ve been in online marketing for any amount of time, you’ll know that multi level systems aren’t all bad news. There are some great, simple two, three, four, or even more level programs out there that have both a good product, and allow earnings in this way. Of course, that’s another topic and for you to separate the good from the bad. I just want to demonstrate right now, how this type of list works.

So you might be wondering, how the heck you keep your list interested if all you’re sending them is ads and ads for other programs. Well as you can see from the above example, whereas the normal person might not enjoy these ads, like minded people with the same type of lists, and established marketers with promotion power may indeed feel that what you’re sending them is profitable.

Not to mention the fact that if you’re a big name already, or at least well know within your circle, people are pleased to know what you’re doing. It’s the smart ones that sit on your list, and watch you. Watch how you handle situations, what software you use, what you promote, how you promote. The catch? The catch is if you’re not well known to your list already, then this can seem like a simple ad list to the unstrained eye, resulting in a loss of interest and subscribers.

My advice here is simple. Even though the work load is low, you don’t really need to perform any other maintenance aside from your standard product creation, and of course searching for new products to create, you’ll probably want to leave this one until you’re established, or have a good base of people on your list that know your name, how much you earn and how darn good at your marketing you are.

Of course there is a much faster alternative, and it involves getting yourself well known through joint ventures and through other people’s lists. Once you’ve done that, if people start migrating to your list, you won’t have to worry about them running off and leaving because they’re wondering who the heck this random person is sending them adverts that are no use to them.

If you’re going to be using this type of list, make one hundred percent sure that it’s right for your business, and the type of promotion you want to carry out. You’ll also find that if your subscribers don’t know you already, or have at least heard of you, they’ll be gone faster than the previous two list types for the simple reason is they don’t understand what you’re offering them with your mailings.

This is definitely a great list type, and does indeed work well. There are many marketers out there, who’s list I’m on right now, that utilize this effectively. Every single one of them however, was either established already when this list type came to life in their marketing efforts, or got established really quickly through recognition and other peoples lists to allow them to do this right off the bat. As you can see it’s a tough balance to make, but once you’ve got it, this can be a great little earner.

Unsubscription Rate: ** Two stars: Unfortunately many people may see this as a plain ad list and unsubscribe, especially if they don’t understand how powerful this list type can be. Once you’ve got a good base of people with similar interests however, you’re going to reap the rewards big time from many, many branches of promotion through your subscribers lists, your subscribers subscribers lists and so on. Be very wary when selecting this list type, because if you don’t have the right contacts, or the right name and expertise, it won’t work.

Subscription Rate: ** Two stars again: It’s far easier to get people to subscribe to your list when they know they’re getting something valuable in return. Of course standard follow-up and offering valuable freebies works here as with all other lists. The problem lies with trying to pull up a good quality list that will not only be interested in your products, but have lists of their own related to your target market that will benefit you on those big reoccurring income products with standard multiple level affiliate programs.

Your previous customers and affiliates are your best bet here, as they already know you and know your name. Not only are they more likely to stay subscribed longer, but they’ll be more likely to take an interest in what you have to say, and have promotion power of their own.

Ad income: *** Three stars here, although, this is a hard one to judge and depends entirely on how well your list is performing. Generally ads to this type of list are in demand for two reasons. One it’s your personal list that no one else has access to (always a real value adder that one) and number two, to sustain a list that works in this way for any length of time needs what we spoke about earlier. Good affiliates and sales stats.

Many marketers in the know are clued up about exactly how valuable such a list is. Generally it’s unlikely that you’ll be selling ads very often, but like the previous personalized list, if you’re stuck for cash one day, it’s a quick fix. Try not to do this too often, though, as we already talked about, your subscribers are there to make money.

They’re there because they know the programs you create and join make money, and know you know how to make money. Starting to send out ads to offer ads to a very borderline list type like this, and you risk alienating your subscribers, and losing some really valuable people with that all important promotion power.

JV Circle: **** Four stars: This is a list type that despite what it seems on the surface holds a lot of value joint venture wise. The subscribers are quality subscribers, with list of their own, ready and eager to promote affiliate programs, and buy products all at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds, a short term money maker and a resource builder.

It’s also a list personal to you, most likely consisting of the people that have purchased from you before, or even affiliates who have promoted for you before. All of these factors bring in a high value and make your list a great bargaining tool when talking about or looking for new joint ventures.

There is one downside though, as with the pervious personal list, the more money you try to make short term by selling ads to subscribers, aside from the risks of alienating your subscriber base, the more you devalue your joint venture prospects. Now one or two won’t hurt, but start up on a regular basis, and you may find yourself subjected to a demotion to an ad list, which doesn’t hold much water joint venture wise.

Keep it clean, keep it strict, and withhold access. Keep the quality subscribers and affiliates (the resource builders) up, and you’ll find that in JV negotiations, this list type holds much more water than the e-zine or ad list, in some cases as much as the personal list.

Response Rate Over Time: **** Four stars: In general, this list types response rate over time doesn’t seem to vary too much from the very personal list we talked about previously. There’s only two real times that this list type will falter, and that’s firstly if you alienate, like we talked about above, and if your subscribers don’t understand the purpose of it.

For this reason you may see a smaller than average list, but this is fine, because lets be honest, what good are people that don’t understand your list type, or just question your intent non stop? They’re not going to make you any money, and they’re not going to be making themselves any money either, so if you have to sacrifice quantity for quality, that’s a good trade off.

Once you have these big resource gatherers, affiliates, buyers and list owners, and they know your name, and your game, you’ll rarely lose them unless you change your list type, in which case, they might all just scarper due to the fact the reasons for them staying in the first place have been removed.

General usefulness: **** Four stars: Because this list is also very personal, it’s not hard to get important tracking information from the subscribers. They’re happy to give it to you simply because they know it’s going to make them more money in the end, and of course many of them are on your list solely for the opportunity to join your programs and things you promote, and make wads of cash. They’re all too happy to reveal to you what turns them on, hence the four stars.

Remember, no matter what list you have (maybe with the exception of the one coming up), research is good. Ask them, find out what their own lists are tailored to promote, and you’ll see some big returns if you listen to the numbers at the end of the day. The only ones that won’t be forthcoming are those that don’t quite see the concept of this type of list, and it’s likely they won’t be hanging around for long anyway.

Maintenance Time: ***** Five stars: If you’re short of time, don’t like writing, or want to put more of your efforts into creating products, family time, vacations or whatever it might be, this list type will save you a few hours a day compared to e-zine lists. The only type of research that you’ll find yourself having to do is questions to your list to find out what makes them tick, and of course searching for products to promote. How do you find products to promote?

Get yourself on some well know marketers affiliate lists such as this. See how it’s a big chain? The bigger your name gets, the more cash you earn, the more subscribers you pull, the more people are going to do the very same thing and jump on your list to find out what to promote and how, earning all of you a whole lot of money.

Important note here: These are base figures and your exact results may be higher or lower than the above. It’s more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earning, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc.

Ad List

An ad list is generally a list that you build and send outside ads to without any useful content at all. This is the easily the fastest method of list maintenance of all of the above, and despite a major a downer in unsubscription rates, and the challenge of getting people to subscribe in the first place, is still widely used solely for income from ad sales.

The ad list. Oh this one makes me shudder. It’s the bane of my existence, and the totally blatant amateur marketers club, the ad list. Take every example that we’ve used, and everything that I’ve shown you so far, from relationship building, to useful content, personal lists, and your reputation, throw it out the window, go fetch it, then throw it out the window all over again.

So, you may be wondering why this is even reviewed if it’s so terrible. Well, the reason for me doing so is to show you what your list can turn into if you’re not very careful about managing it. If things get out of balance and get out of hand, and your list turns into an ad list long term, you’ve had it, aside from the cash you’re going to bring in through selling ads, which let me assure you, doesn’t even compare to what you can earn to selling your own products, Jv’s, or promoting other peoples programs.

So what do you get from an ad list? Well, ads really, that about sums it up. All you’re doing here is getting a bunch of people together on a big list, saying ‘forget the relationships, forget JVs, forget my own products, forget useful content or anything of the sorts, my aim is to get the biggest list so I can sell ads for the highest price’.

Despite my apparent lack of enthusiasm for this type of list, some people do still seem to insist it’s the best way to go about things. Maybe if you didn’t know how to create your own products, or how much money is in affiliate promotion (when done correctly) or just didn’t have the time or wanted some quick short term income, this is choice of most with these kinds of attitudes.

Let’s take a look at why I’m so harsh about this list type. Oh, and don’t be offended if you’ve been running an ad list, or have run one in the past, just let it be known it is not by far the best way to make money from your list.

Unsubscription Rate: * Ouch. One star: On an ad list where your main aim has been to sell ads over and over again to people for the highest price possible, with no other means of communication or content, it’s obvious many subscribers will get bored quickly. I would, and I do too.

You might argue some want to see the ads, but would you rather see a load of random ads from random people, or see ads from someone that you know for sure knows what they’re talking about, what they’re promoting, and what they’re JV’ing? Start an ad list, and be prepared to have to top up often from the un-subscriptions, that is if your mail even gets read before it’s deleted or filtered.

Subscription Rate: * One star again: Now I one starred this because in all honesty, telling people all they’re going to receive is a bunch of random ads isn’t really the easiest way of attracting subscribers. Many of the lists of this type that I’ve come across don’t come from previous customers or valuable affiliates, but purchased leads (which also make me shudder almost as much).

If in all honesty you’re telling the subscriber what they get before they subscribe, they probably just aren’t going to bother, aside from the odd few who want the freebie. Buying leads still gets the one star from me, because one hundred thousand random subscribers has nothing on one thousand people who know your name, your reputation and speak highly of you. If you go down this route, prepare to either have a really small list that just doesn’t care about anything really or a really huge list that costs a lot that really doesn’t care either. What is there for them to care about, random ads? I think not.

Ad income: ** Two stars: Not that this makes up for the other huge short comings mind you, but generally the ad income can be ok depending on the size of your list. An ad to a list of a hundred thousand for a hundred dollars can look like a good deal to the entry level online marketer, or someone who hasn’t been around and seen the sights yet. Of course we know better though. The response rates tell the story, and when your customers don’t see any response to their ads, if they’re smart, they won’t be coming back to give your their cash ever again, bad news for your long term prospects.

JV Circle: * One star, once again: Unfortunately a list that isn’t personal, doesn’t have good subscribers, people that have bought from you, willing to spend cash, affiliates, or even populated with people in your target market won’t be a hot topic for joint ventures. Try to barter with one of these, and don’t expect to get very far unless your JV prospect is inexperienced. And in any case, if they’re inexperienced, it’s unlikely the joint venture will be profitable to you in any case.

Response Rate Over Time: * One star: If you receive a different ad every day for a year from a list, would your make the effort to open and read? Doubtful, unless you knew the marketer well or were interested in their work. (Some would argue it’s the job of the headline or the skill of the marketer that decides whether or not the mail gets opened.

This is the case to an extent, however when you’re building a list for your own personal use, you want the most sales, and the biggest response rate possible, which you can play a big role in not just through your ads, but the way in which your list is built. Looking at things this way, the best ad in the world probably wouldn’t pull as good a response from an ad list compared to one just two thirds of the quality sent to a personal list.) It’s a big never-ending roll downhill.

The more ads your send, the more people unsubscribe, the less people care, the more you’re filtered, blacklisted, and not taken seriously as a marketer. Your response rates will plummet. Fast.

General usefulness: * One star: Unfortunately even general usefulness here is a downer. Again, no one cares what you have to say or about your questions, because they don’t know you. They might have known you if they didn’t receive a load of ads from different people every day, or every week or whatever, but that isn’t the case here. It’s unlikely many will be reading, never mind be motivated to answer any questions you might have or research inquiries. And after all, why should they if they’re not getting anything out of it too? A daily bunch of random third party ads of varying quality from hundreds of different people don’t count.

Maintenance Time: ***** Yay! Finally, five stars: You receive the ad from your customer, cash lands in your account, paste in the ad, hit send and you’re done, the ultimate quick, not-much-to-do list maintenance method. I assure you, though, this will never ever make up for it’s shortcomings in other areas. Don’t bother if you’re looking for a serious online business. It’s just not the way to go about things, morally or logically.

Important note here: These are base figures and your exact results may be higher or lower than the above. It’s more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earnings, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc.

Divide & Conquer

Ok, that’s the reviews done with. Before we move on, I’d like to discuss a couple more points with you, and of course find out which type of list you’re going to be running. Before that, though, point number one. Remember to divide up your lists for tracking a relevance purposes.

If you sell a piece of software and gain a load of subscribers, affiliates, sales and so on through your site, you don’t want to then try to mix it all up and sell them onto an online marketing scheme, because you’re going off track, losing the reason they subscribed in the first place, and will in the end lose subscribers.

Another reason for doing this is your tracking and testing. We already talked in several key areas about how important tracking and testing actually is using your list as kind of a market research tool. You don’t want to be asking about online marketing when your list is based on software, no one will have a clue what you’re talking about, you’ll get bad data, and a whole bunch of ubsubscriptions, and in extreme cases, strange phone calls.

Don’t be afraid to split your lists up and have two or three smaller ones related to different markets or different areas. This isn’t unusual at all, and the extra work and maintenance is worth it by far when you look at the possibilities and the clear research data you can gain from each targeted list individually. Of course, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with introducing one list to the other and inviting them to join if they’re interested. Don’t randomly mold them into one though, or you’ll confuse the heck out of people.

Another advantage here is something closer to home and more direct, and that’s simply it allows you to target people specifically for the type of products you’re selling. We all know how important targeting is, and how much of a waste of time it is selling golf clubs to someone who’s interested in fishing equipment, this is just the same. On a deeper level, you’re allowed massive flexibility too. It’s not just for show.

You’ll be able to get more relevant people to spend more on relevant products, earning you even more money and targeted affiliates at the same time. You’re even targeting indirect sales here and your future resource building by doing this in the way of additional subscribers and affiliates as well as direct sales. It doesn’t get any better than this, and it sure beats just throwing them all in the same hat, and hoping the right people read it. The power here is catering to your customers to your needs.

The Personal Touch

Finally, we have the personal touch. It’s something that’s always important when you’re running your own list. In fact, speaking of the personal touch, just four months ago I remember getting a Christmas card from one of the programmers that’s working on something for me. It wasn’t anything special, just an e-card sent via e-mail to all his customers, with a generic dear sir/madam at the top of it. It was nice though, and what’s nicer for him is I remembered it. Heck, I don’t even remember what I had for dinner two nights ago so it definitely did something. I’ve used his services four times since.

The same is going to apply to your subscribers. Send them Christmas greetings for example, and they will remember you. Many people do this already in some form or another, but a little graphic maybe, something fun that isn’t there to sell them on something. Remembering that programmer and his name, and his company name is proof that it works.

I have many more examples of this. It wasn’t just a one off, I’ve seen others do this too, and I still remember them from last year. How many ads do you remember that landed in your inbox say, three months ago? Be personal, but professional, and this will not only be relevant to your business, but more importantly, your reputation and your profits.

All Done – Now It’s Your Turn

Ok so we’ve been through four main possibilities. I hope that I got across to you what the pros and cons, the upsides and downsides are for each example. Remember they’re all categorized loosely here, you can modify and gel one into the other to make hybrids.

What I hoped to have demonstrated though is a picture of what effects what and why, when choosing how to maintain your list. Hopefully also this will be super easy for you. Which one is the best to choose? The one that is best for you and your business, not just now, but in the future.

Once you’ve gone down a path for a list, it’s not easy to change. Make the right decision now based on what you have in front of you, and you can sleep easy in the knowledge that your choice will benefit you not just from the day you start building your list, but one, two, five, even ten years or more into the future.

It’s your choice. There is no wrong answer. Pick the one that’s right for you and your business.

Summary

  • Greetings and welcome to list maintenance part two. Let’s continue with our reviews and look at the final few main categories that lists fall in to.
  • The personal list – affiliate and ad content. This is much the same as the personal mixed content list, however this time, you’re not sending tips, hints, or content, but ads however only ads for your own products, the affiliate programs you promote and through joint ventures. Although no content is provided, this list type is especially useful if you’re well known, and have previously released products of your own.
  • Un-subscription Rate ** Two Stars: Unfortunately many people see this as a plain ad list and unsubscribe if they haven’t been in online marketing for a period of time. Once you have a base of experienced people however, you’re going to reap the rewards. Be wary when selecting this list type, because if you don’t have the right contacts and the right expertise gained through your own products, this won’t work. If you do have those things, no matter what you send people will listen to you, and it’s in this situation that your unsubscription rate drops off and I’d be happy to up this to three or even four stars.
  • Subscription Rate ** Two stars again: It’s easier to get people subscribed to your list when they know they’re getting some serious content. Many people yet to reach their goals don’t understand that these lists are powerful, simply fr following established marketers and learning about how they run their businesses. Your previous customers and affiliates are your best bet here, especially as they’ll be interested in what you have to say, have lists of their own and be ready to pack out your affiliate promotion on the second level. Beware however, if you have an inexperienced crowd at your disposal they may unsubscribe in numbers due to mistaking your list for a simple ad list.
  • Ad Income *** Three stars: This is a pretty tricky one and it totally depends on how your list is performing. Ads to this type of list are in demand because first of all, it’s your personal list that no one else has access to, and two to sustain a list like this for any period of time is not easy, but if you pull it off, it’s going to be one of the most responsive lists you can find. Many marketers in the know are clued up about exactly how valuable such a list is. Generally it’s unlikely that you’ll be selling ads very often, but like the previous personalized list, if you’re stuck for cash one day, it’s a quick fix. Starting to send out ads and offering ads to a very borderline list type like this, and you risk alienating your subscribers, and losing some really valuable people with promotion power.
  • JV Circle **** Four Stars: This list is typically what marketers are looking for when they come to joint venture with list owners. Highly qualified list owners ready and eager to both buy products and promote affiliate programs consisting of people who have purchased from you before, or even affiliates who have promoted for you before. All of these factors bring a high value to this list type and make it a great bargaining tool when approaching or being approached for joint ventures. Keep the quality subscribers and affiliates (the resource builders) up, and you’ll find that in JV negotiations, this list type holds much more water than the e-zine or ad list, in some cases as much as the personal mixed content list.
  • Response rate over time **** Four Stars: Again, this list types response rate over time doesn’t vary too much from the mixed content personal list we talked about earlier. The only additional things you have to look out for is using too many ads from third parties in a short space of time (remember these people are here to hear about you and follow your business, no one else’s) and secondly, those who don’t understand the concept of learning through other marketers ads, or you happen to change your list type. If your list type changes, but the reason everyone is subscribed does not. This can be devastating.
  • General Usefulness **** Four Stars: Because this list is also very personal, it’s not hard to get important tracking information from the subscribers. They’re happy to give it to you simply because they know it’s going to make them more money in the end, and of course many of them are on your list solely for the opportunity to join your programs and things you promote, and make wads of cash. They’re all too happy to reveal to you what turns them on, hence the four stars. The only ones that won’t be forthcoming are those that don’t quite see the concept of this type of list, and it’s likely they won’t be hanging around for long anyway.
  • Maintenance Time ***** Five Stars.:The ideal list if you’re short of time or don’t particularly like writing. The only thing you’ll have to do is find out what your subscribers are interested in, which is a short job and beneficial to you anyway. Be wary however, if you haven’t gathered the subscribers though your own products and reputation, this list type won’t work. People jumping onto your list are interested in you and your business, what you’re promoting, and how much money you’re earning, using your list as kind of research for themselves.
  • Finally, the ad list. Take every example that we’ve used, and everything that I’ve shown you so far, from relationship building, to useful content, personal lists, and your reputation, throw it out the window, go fetch it, then throw it out the window all over again. It’s a simple list that accepts all ads from everyone, your own products, other peoples products, affiliate promotion and so on. It’s very impersonal and sends no content. Very often, subscribers don’t even know who the publisher is.
  • Un-subscription Rate * One Star: Most of these ad lists that I’ve come across either use unethical methods or promise things that they don’t actually deliver on predictably causing a high unsubscription rate. Granted some people may want to see ads, this is true, but from a specific person they know and trust and either work off the list owners marketing or follow in their footsteps. This list type doesn’t allow that either. Even when legitimate methods are used, giving away free stuff for example, it’s not unusual for these lists to be packed full of freebie seekers, who as you can imagine, are not very profitable to anyone.
  • Subscription Rate * One Star: As you can probably plainly see, telling people all they’re going to receive is ads is not a good way to get subscribers. In general, these lists are shooting for numbers rather than quality so they can charge more for ads. In summary, they’re hard to get subs for ethically, and quality suffers either way through the sheer unfocused number and type of ads being sent.
  • Ad Income ** Two Stars: Not that this makes up for the other huge shortcomings mind you, but generally the ad income can be ok depending on the size of your list. An ad to a list of a hundred thousand for a hundred dollars can look like a good deal to the entry level online marketer, or someone who hasn’t been around and seen the sights yet. Of course we know better though. The response rates tell the story, and when your customers don’t see any response on their ads, if they’re smart they won’t be coming back to give you their cash ever again. Bad news for your long-term prospects, which is what building a business is all about.
  •  Circle * One star, once again: Unfortunately a list that isn’t personal slips up big time on subscriber quality. People that have bought from you, willing to spend cash, affiliates, or even populated with people in your target market are in most cases missing. For this reason, you won’t be a hot topic for joint ventures. Try to barter with one of these, and don’t expect to get very far unless your JV prospect is inexperienced. And in any case, if they’re inexperienced, it’s unlikely the joint venture will be profitable to you in any case.
  • Response Rate Over Time * One Star: If you receive a different ad every day for a year from a list, would your make the effort to open and read their mails? Doubtful, unless you knew the marketer well or were interested in their work. It’s a big never-ending roll downhill. The more ads your send, the more people unsubscribe, the less people care, the more you’re filtered, blacklisted, and not taken seriously as a marketer. Your response rates will plummet. Fast.
  • General Usefulness * One Star: Unfortunately even general usefulness here is a downer. Again, no one cares what you have to say or about your questions, because they don’t know you. They might have known you if they didn’t receive a load of ads from different people every day, or every week or whatever, but that isn’t the case here. It’s unlikely many will be reading, never mind be motivated to answer any questions you might have or research inquiries. And after all, why should they if they’re not getting anything out of it too?
  • Maintenance Time ***** Five Stars: Finally five stars. You receive the ad from your customer, cash lands in your account, paste in the ad, hit send and you’re done. It’s the ultimate speedy list maintenance method. I assure you though, this will never ever make up for it’s shortcomings in other areas. Don’t bother if you’re looking for a serious online business. It’s just not the way to go about things, morally or logically.
  • Important note here: These are base figures, and your exact results may be higher or lower than the above. It’s more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earning, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc.
  • Ok, the reviews are done with. All that’s left for me to do is give you a few tips that should be implemented from the start to avoid problems with administering your list later or having problems with response rates.
  • Remember to divide up your lists for tracking and relevance purposes. If you sell a piece of software and gain a load of subscribers, affiliates, sales and so on through your site, you don’t want to then try to mix it all up and sell them onto an online marketing scheme, because you’re going off track, losing the reason they subscribed in the first place, and will in the end lose subscribers.
  • Another reason for doing this is tracking and testing. We already talked in several key areas about how important tracking and testing actually is using your list as kind of a market research tool. You don’t want to be asking about online marketing when your list is based on software sales for example, no one will have a clue what you’re talking about, you’ll get bad data, and a whole bunch of ubsubscriptions.
  • Another advantage here is something closer to home and more direct, and that’s simply, it allows you to target people specifically for the type of products you’re selling. We all know how important targeting is, and how much of a waste of time it is selling golf clubs to someone who’s interested in fishing equipment, this is just the same. On a deeper level, you’re allowed massive flexibility too. It’s not just for show.
  • Next, the personal touch. Strange as it sounds, send Christmas cards, or a New Year card to your list. It’s important because it makes your list even more personal, maintaining high response rates.
  • I remember getting a Christmas card from one of the programmers that’s working on something for me. It wasn’t anything special, just an e-card sent via e-mail to all his customers, with a generic dear sir/madam at the top of it. It was nice though, and what’s nicer for him is it was memorable, and that’s just plain profits waiting to be had that you’re missing out on if you’re not taking advantage of this.
  • Ok, so we’ve been through four main list maintenance possibilities. I hope that I got across to you what the pros and cons, the upsides and downsides are for each example. Remember they’re all categorized loosely here, you can modify and gel one into the other to make hybrids. What I hoped to have demonstrated, though, is a picture of what effects what and why when choosing how to maintain your list. Hopefully this will now be super easy for you. Which one is the best to choose? The one that is best for you and your business, not just now, but in the future. Once you’ve gone down a path for a list, it’s not easy to change. Make the right decision now based on what you have in front of you, and you can sleep easy in the knowledge that your choice will benefit you not just from the day you start building your list, but one, two, five, even ten years or more into the future.
  • It’s your choice. There is no wrong answer.

Overview of List Management – Part 3

  • To introduce the top methods of list building that will work alongside your other resources to create the business that you desire.
  • To introduce the five main resources that are going to make you a whole bundle of money and to show you how list building ties into all of them creating a self sufficient system that builds itself without any input from you.
  • To demonstrate that what you can achieve simply by the words that come out of your mouth far surpasses any list building service that you can pay for.
  • To get over the first and hardest hurdle any online marketer will tell you they came across, and that’s getting started.
  • To show you that just five hundred people on your list can in fact without too much hassle outperform a purchased list of any kind more than ten times it’s size over and over again.
  • To introduce several ways in which you should be building your list at all times.
  • To show that to get the initial list off the ground will take effort on your part, but once it’s off the ground and profitable for you, sales will flow, and in turn, the size of your list will snowball.

List-Building Methods

This is easily one of the more important sections of the guide, as much as I hate to say one section is more important than the next. On talking to the people on my list and my associates, when I asked them what the hardest thing was to do for them relating to online marketing when they first got started, it was to build a list.

I reckon the reason behind this is that list building is drummed into us as one of the biggest aspects of online marketing, which is true. Your list will form the basis of your marketing ventures from now and into the future. Unfortunately, while there is a good side to this for the people that get it right, for those that get it wrong (which I should note I also did when I first started out) it can become quite an expensive affair.

Quality over Quantity

The reason is that there are so many list building services on offer out there. If you head on over to a search engine, and do a search for list building methods, you’ll be attacked by all sorts of products and services, most of them I hate to say it, don’t work. The old have a 100k mailing list by the end of the week type of service, which some of us fell for in our early years for example.

What you’ll find however, is that buying leads and all that fluff aren’t so important. You know why? I can tell you that with a mere five thousand people on your list, if you follow this guide here, and take it slow and steady, you’ll find that you out do most of the 20k lists out there, because your list is of better quality.

We don’t want a huge list of fifty thousand freebie-seekers, or fifty thousand people that are there and are untargeted, or people that have even been paid or bribed in some way by a lead generation company or some such business to join your list. All you’ll find yourself doing is sending mails out to thousands upon thousands of people that never respond to you, at a great cost to you and your pocket, but to the gains of whoever you paid for these leads.

I should say at this point that there are people out there who do make their living through unsolicited email, numbers over quantity. They pick up servers in other countries that don’t have anti spam laws, or are not restrictive in any way, and send out millions upon millions of mails, and sure they make money.

In my eyes however, this is not online marketing. It’s not ethical, it doesn’t build a solid business base for your future, and it gives those of us with legitimate lists a bad name. It just makes our lives harder than they need to be. If this is the kind of info you’re looking for, you won’t find it here. We’re looking at real business.

Getting Started

Ok so the first thing I want to talk to you about is getting started. The number one thing I’ve seen over the years, from the friends that came and went, and those that didn’t make it, and even from those that did in the early days was that they were put off in the beginning. You know the story, and in fact, may have experienced or are experiencing this yourself right now, the ‘I only have a thousand people on my list’ syndrome, where it all isn’t quite happening fast enough.

Let me put your mind at rest here. Done properly, with a good solid product and joint venturing and making some new contacts through a single website, a single product not even directly aimed at increasing your list size or quality can put you up two, three, five, and even ten thousand subscribers within a few months. I’ve seen it, and I’ve experienced it. We’ll talk more about this in a moment, but first I want to be sure that you understand that numbers don’t matter.

So what if you only have five hundred people on your list, when all of those 500 people know you, trust you, know your products, and most of them either bought from you before or see you as more than a random nobody sending them e-mail. I’d pick that 500 person list over a random low quality, purchased leads or whatever list consisting of 10,000 people any day. Whatever you do, don’t get disheartened by low numbers. Numbers mean nothing, it’s how you interact with them and how they respond to you that matters.

And on that note, there’s something else I want to get out to you right now, if you’ve done this before, or have thought about doing it, or haven’t done it yet, listen up, because it’s amazing how many people I speak to, asking how their list building is going, and they say to me oh yeah, I only had three, four, five hundred on it, so I ditched it and started again. They weren’t responding to me anyway. How to make them respond to you is a different report altogether. But please, do not start ditching lists like this to get organized again.

Throwing Out Prospects Doesn’t Get You Organized

The bottom line is stop starting again. If you’ve done so before, it might be too late to revive your old subscribers without being reported or attacked, if you’re thinking about it, don’t do it. Five hundred people is a gold mine on its own, and hey, only fifty more of these and you’re at 25k already. If you have no idea what I’m going on about with all this giving up lists stuff, great. Take note and fix your organization and your situation before starting anything new, or you might just find yourself in the above situation and wasting the last few weeks, or even months in severe cases of your promotion time and budget. (I’m still amazed at how many actually throw prospects away).

 Am I Building My List by Doing This?

Next up, this is a great starting block to help you on your way to building your list as one of your main resources. Am I building my list by doing this? Ask yourself this question every time you carry out a task. In fact, you should really be asking yourself if what you’re doing is helping you build one of your five primary resources. If it’s not, then you shouldn’t be doing it because it’s likely you’re wasting your time and your money at the same time.

Always think in terms of your list. When you ask affiliates to promote your site, are you gathering the leads that the affiliates send to you for your own list? When you’re discussing joint ventures, whether they’re long term or short term, are you thinking about whether it’ll benefit your list? Heck even, when you’re mailing your own list, or contacting your affiliates, or placing an e-zine ad, or dealing with PPC search engines, are you increasing your leads, is your list getting bigger and being packed with quality subscribers? Lead generation trumps immediate profit every single time. Never lose sight of that.

Something I really want to show you now, and that’s how the people with established personal lists of their own customers are pure gold. You’ll want to give them whatever it takes to get access to them, even if it’s just an ad or two sent by them on your behalf. Imagine how awesome would it be to be able to wake up in the morning with a new product, put it together and immediately have an instant and free promotion tool at your disposal where your product reaches not only top affiliates, but at the same time people who are willing to part with their cash.

If they’re not willing to spend on your products, then quite frankly you shouldn’t want them on your list. A way to ensure that the people on your list do indeed part with their cash for peoples products is to get your contacts from other private lists through simple joint ventures that allow you to take parts of their list away and add it yours, a simple ad swap for example, or joint venture that sends their list to your product/follow-up system, or even better; through an endorsement. Joint venturing at it’s most basic, but at it’s most powerful.

Professionalism Revisited

So, moving on, how seriously do you take building your own list of contacts that you can use as a very powerful bargaining tool and to grab free sales from whenever you launch a new product? If you’ve been around for any length of time, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve been told list building is more important than making sales, or even the other way around in some cases, sales being more important than building your list.

The first quote you probably heard from some of the more experienced marketers out there, is how building your list is all important and how it’s the be all and end all of your marketing. This is probably why a lot of people get downhearted and quit, they believe that because their list isn’t growing fast enough, they won’t succeed. This is simply not true. We’ve got all those other juicy resources to build and compliment each other, affiliates, customers, Jv’s, long term customers and of course your list.

The second quote gives me the giggles. It’s typical geocities marketer stuff, where someone sets up a free site with popups all over, trying to show us all that they know everything there is to know about marketing (I don’t think anyone knows everything there is to know about marketing), anyway, the general trend of these types of sites is to try and persuade you that the people earning big incomes from marketing aren’t telling the truth, or don’t know what they’re doing. This is where you’ll generally be told that sales are the most important thing a marketer can aim for. Totally wrong, but, I digress.

Where Your Most Effective

List Comes From

The problem with both of the above statements, is that while the second is a totally strange conclusion to come to and is totally incorrect, and the first statement is somewhat true to an extent, it still doesn’t give you the whole story. Where do the best parts of your list come from? Leads? Nah, e-zine ads? Nope. Free subscription boxes? Nope again, it’s your customers, the people who buy from you. Think about this, if you’ve made a sale before, where is that customer now? Are they on your list, or did you let them escape? These are the people that should land on your list before anyone else. The important ones that have bought from you before, and most likely will again if you don’t discard them or forget about them in a hurry. So this is where the fun part comes in.

You’ll notice that everything I talk about links into building the other four main resources along with it, and this is no exception or coincidence. How about making sales, and taking money for a subscription system or a website for the simple aim of building your resources, in this case, your list (although probably the other four along with it too).

Now here’s something I see quite often from the top marketers, that you could most likely overlook if you haven’t bought into these products or got involved before. Take this opportunity to think for a moment. If you could set up a product with the sole intent of building your resources, what would it be? At this point I’d expect replies associated with giving free stuff away, tell-a-friend scripts, and some sort of mass e-book library give away like we see all too often nowadays. Boring!

The Ultimate Tried & Tested

List Builder

How about doing something a little out there, that everyone seems to miss because they don’t get any immediate cash rewards? How about setting up a single sale product, or a membership website with the sole intent of building your resources, but not a free one? A profit-based website where you will receive no profit, or very little profit come to that. Sounds strange huh? On the surface of it, I can see how I’d be getting funny looks, and do indeed get funny looks when talking about this. Think for a moment though.

Remember again, we talked about pulling all your resources together, and the five main resources that will join together to make you money? I’ll take one example here, using an affiliate system as home base. Up goes your website, up goes your high commission affiliate program (abnormally high that is, I’m talking 80% and upwards) then out go your JV’s which you’re giving 100% commissions to. What’s the point you might ask? Well, whilst Mr. Joe Nobody is out there with his site, and from the start trying to make cash by selling stuff people through search engines and e-zines and the like, you’ve just set up a huge circle of resource building goodness.

People are attracted by your amazing affiliate program in this example (You can go other routes, like very well made products for a reduced price, or some sort of great offer, but this is the easiest to demonstrate for numbers sake). Once you have people attracted by your affiliate program, out comes the numbers of affiliate promoting for you. And already, you’ve got people doing the work for you, although granted you’re not getting paid directly. Don’t forget though that these guys promoting will not only build your customers, your long term customers, and your list at the same time, but they’ve just become your resource themselves adding to your affiliates that will stay with you and promote your future products.

See how you went from a seemingly totally unprofitable idea that most would throw out the window immediately, to an all singing all dancing resource builder. Cool huh? Who’d have thought paying people to promote something that you’re not making a profit from would be such a powerful method of marketing.

Now even though it’s pretty easy to come up with such a site, something I’d like to touch on here before moving on is your site itself, and specifically how you’re gathering your contacts (or not gathering at is seems some prefer strangely enough). How about those lovely intrusive sticky out things that pop up at you and make a clinky noise when you land on a website. I don’t know about you, but quite often I click off if I see one of them about. How about the old dirty popups that attack me when I forget to enable my blockers after downloading an update? They just don’t work anymore, and if they’re not doing their job, there’s absolutely no reason for them to be there.

Be Careful Not To Interrupt Your Sales Process

The one thing I will say to you is don’t interrupt your sales process at all if it can be helped. This is especially true when you’re selling a product to make a profit, and you don’t want a couple of off putting popup windows to put your customers off. There’s plenty of other ways that this can be done.
Maximizing Subscriptions Without Losing Sales

There’s plenty of ideas out there, such as the in a hurry system we talked about earlier, where you have a separate subscription for either at the top of the page and preferably down the side of the sales letter that offers people the chance to subscribe to your list, either through conventional means, offering something for the signup, or even through pop-unders, which although I’m not a fan of, they’re better than popups that detract from your sales letter.

You can also offer your visitors the chance to receive the sales letter in a split format through follow-up if they don’t particularly have the time to read the whole thing straight up. Any of these methods beats the conventional, due to the fact that you’re not interrupting the sales process.

If you feel you’re losing out on subscribers you can always create a product purely for resource building like we mentioned above. The only time I’d consider sales to be more important than plopping a dirty great subscription box in front of your visitors and potential subscribers, and this is when you’re selling a high ticket item.

I’m talking $250 upwards, because to be honest, if you’re selling something at this price, the people seeing the product should already have you on their trusted list, and you should already have them on one of your lists or as part as your resources, whether it be your affiliates, customers, long term customers, your mailing list or even your joint venture prospects.

Non-Profit Resource Building

Moving on from this, and developing the non profit resource building ideas, there’s another way to look at this too, the first of two being to sacrifice a profit for resource building. Now ideally, you’ll want to build all your resources at the same time. However when this is not possible through a specific circumstance joint venture for example, if you get the choice of sales over resources, don’t do it, resources over sales every time, unless you’ve set out to sell a high ticket item.

Remember, like we talked about earlier, and I’m going to say again and again until every single person reading this dreams about it, where do the most powerful resources lie? JVs, other people’s lists, people that have already spent money and are willing to spend more, the best affiliates, the best buyers, the best customers, all on other peoples lists already.

You’ve no need to go searching for new blood when others have done the work for you. Scored a JV with a good list owner? Nice job. You better make sure you gather them as leads over sales, because you may not get another chance to sink your teeth into this particular valuable gold mine.

The second option relating to sacrificing profit for resources is through e-zine ads. Oh yep, I have no doubt they still work, and there’s plenty of good well read publications out there that aren’t there just to provide another source of advertising for us all. Subscribe to a few and see what they’re about before even thinking about sending ads to them. When you know your target market is contained within, get out there and start hitting the e-zines through paid solo ads (generally the only ones that seem to work) with the sole intention of building your list.

I’ve seen some great examples of people actually selling a product, but placing a kind of entry page, a taster if you will that asks for information prior to them being able to read your sales letter. Whilst this doesn’t immediately interrupt a sales process already in motion, it can hurt profits if you’re not selling a lower price item, again with the intention of building resources, and if you’re not one heck of a copywriter that can persuade people to move on and fill in details with the minimal of information about you, get practicing and tracking or stick with alternative less risky methods.

On a random note, I saw a website the other that day that featured these entry pages but with no lead generation forms. What’s worse is the website owner’s affiliates are promoting these pages! So much scope and potential wasted through a minor oversight. Don’t do it.

A Few Final Notes

Lastly a few quick notes on how not to do things, and some questionable activities that could be made better use of. First up is the Free stuff for your subscription, does it work? Yeah it does put simply. Remember though, quality over quantity. We’d rather have a 10k JV from a private list than a shoddy 100k from a dodgy ad list or something like that. Don’t give away too much!

Every day I see people giving away a free e-book library of a hundred e-books written in the early 1990’s. I can tell you now, that if anyone actually did subscribe to get these free gifts, it was the only reason. I sure don’t want a list of a million freebie seekers, and I’m guessing neither do you. If you’re giving it away, make sure it’s not shoddy, but make sure it’s not worth hundreds of dollars too.

Ok well, that’s all of it for now. We just dealt with the lead generation specific areas here, but as you can see it’s not the easiest thing to do when all of the top five resources are tied into one and another. Make sure to remember this above all else.

Summary

  • List building is another one of those subjects that’s drummed into us over and over again through many different products and services, and rightly so. It is one of the five most important aspects that will decide the fate of your business.
  • Most list building services, if you haven’t spent a whole bundle of cash on them already, I have to say, are useless and will cost you more than they net you, or even get you into trouble. The old 100k mailing list by the end of the week thing which I know myself and many others fell for during our early days just do not work full stop.
  • The reason is quality over quantity. Would you still want a 100k list if I told you my personal list of just over fifteen thousand subscribers regularly outperforms ads I’ve previously purchased to go out to hundreds of thousands of subscribers?
  • We don’t want to get you a list of fifty thousand freebie-seekers or a hundred thousand that have been paid a small sum to subscribe. That’s not at all what we’re after. We’re aiming for a highly-targeted, highly responsive list that will respond to your offers again and again.
  • I should say at this point that there are people out there who do make their living through spam and unsolicited email, numbers over quantity. They pick up servers in other countries that don’t have anti spam laws, or aren’t restrictive in any way, and send out millions upon millions of mails, and sure they make money.
  • In my eyes, however, this is not online marketing. It’s not ethical, it doesn’t build a solid business base for your future, and it gives those of us with legitimate lists a bad name, and just makes our lives harder than they need to be. If this is the kind of info you’re looking for, you won’t find it here. We’re looking at real business.
  • Ok, tip number one, the hardest part is getting started. The number one thing that I’ve seen relating to lists from the people I’ve known that have come and gone over the years is that they were put off when they first started out, quit and went searching for an easy option. There is no easy option that works.
  • List uilding however, done properly, with a solid product at it’s base, using the knowledge you’ve been taught thus far can however without a doubt put you up, two, three, five or even ten thousand subscribers in a few short months, so don’t fret. It’s not easy by any means, but it sure isn’t hard either.
  • Before we go further, I want to assure you again that numbers don’t matter. So what if you only have 500 or a thousand subscribers? If they trust you, know you and your products, and have either bought from you before or knowingly subscribed being interested in what you have to offer, I’d much rather have this list than a purchased list of low quality leads ten times the size.
  • And on that note, there’s something else I want to get out to you right now, if you’ve done this before, or have thought about doing it, or haven’t done it yet, listen up, because it’s amazing how many people I speak to and on asking how their list building is going, and they say to me oh yeah, I only had three, four, five hundred on it, so I ditched it and started again. They weren’t responding to me anyway. How to make them respond to you is a different report altogether, but please, do not start ditching lists like this to get organized again. Stop starting again.
  • Next comes a great starting block to help you on your way to list building and using your list as one of your main resources. Am I building my list by doing this? Ask yourself this question with every site you set up, everyone you talk to, every joint venture you score, every product you release, in fact in every method of marketing you use.
  • Always think in terms of your list. There are many different types of lists of course, standard ones for promotion, lists packed with affiliates, or long term customers that get that something a little extra special, but you should always be building a list of some type.
  • If people are landing on your site, talking to you, reading your stuff, or buying your products and they don’t have a chance to jump on one of your lists, you might as well be throwing money down the drain because you’re losing quality subscribers imperative for future promotion and the growth of your business.
  • How awesome would it be to be able to wake up in the morning with a new product, put it together and immediately have an instant and free promotion tool at your disposal where your product reaches not only top affiliates, but at the same time people who are willing to part with their cash. This is our aim.
  • If they’re not willing to spend on your products, then quite frankly, you shouldn’t want them on your list. A way to ensure that the people on your list do indeed part with their cash is to get your contacts from other people private lists through simple joint ventures that allow you to take parts of their list away and add it yours, through a simple ad swap, or joint venture that sends their list to your product/follow-up system. Joint venturing at it’s most basic, but at it’s most powerful.
  • A question I see asked over and over again is, “Are sales more important than list building?” Some say no, but they miss the point entirely. Sales is list building. The people that buy your stuff are the most important lists you’ll ever have. The list of people that have purchased from me before are almost ten times as likely to buy from me again than to have a new customer come along and buy my stuff. This is where the most important list of all should be coming from.
  • If you could set up a product with the sole intent of building your resources, what would it be? At this point I’d expect replies associated with giving free stuff away and a tell a friend scripts and some sort of mass e-book library give away like we see all too often nowadays. Boring!
  • How about doing something a little out there, that everyone seems to miss because they don’t get any immediate cash rewards? How about setting up a single sale product, or a membership website with the sole intent of building your resources, but not a free one? A profit based website where you will receive no profit, or very little profit come to that. Sounds strange huh? On the surface of it, I can see how I’d be getting funny looks, and do indeed get funny looks when talking about this. Think for a moment though.
  • Remember how we talked about pulling all your resources together, and the five main resources that will join together to make you money? I’ll take one example here, using an affiliate system as home base. Up goes your website, up goes your high commission affiliate program (abnormally high that is, I’m talking 80% and upwards) then out go your JV’s which you’re giving 100% commissions to. What’s the point you might ask? Well, whilst Mr. Joe Nobody is out there with his site, and from the start trying to make cash by selling stuff people through search engines and e-zines and the like, you’ve just set up a huge circle of resource building goodness.
  • Whileeveryone was cramming in the front door at the same time, you’ve sneaked around the back and got in without a queue. It was smoother and far less work.
  • People are attracted by your amazing affiliate program in this example (You can go other routes, like very well made products for a reduced price, or some sort of great offer (but this is the easiest to demonstrate for numbers sake). Once you have people attracted by your affiliate program, out comes the numbers of affiliates promoting for you. And already, you’ve got people doing the work for you, although granted you’re not getting paid directly. Don’t forget though that these guys promoting will not only build your customers, your long term customers, and your list at the same time, but they’ve just become your resource themselves adding to your affiliates that will stay with you and promote your future products.
  • See how you went from a seemingly totally unprofitable idea that most would throw out the window immediately, to an all singing all dancing resource builder. Cool huh? Who’d have thought paying people to promote something that you’re not making a profit from would be such a powerful method of marketing.
  • Before we move on, I’d like to talk to you about your contact gathering and how you’re doing it. How about those lovely sticky out popups that attack you every now and then? They do still work, but be careful where you put them.
  • We need to avoid interrupting the sales process, especially when you’re looking at selling a high ticket item. There’s a load of ideas out there about how to do this. The ‘In a Rush’ system, that allows you to simply offer people the chance on your side or top navigation bar to receive the sales letter and info about your product through subscribing.
  • How about integrating list building into your sales letter? if you can get them reading in the first place, it’s a lot more likely they’ll continue, even if they have to input some detail to get their hands on some sensitive information sent directly to their inbox. I like to use additional proof here, such as bank statements and sales figures from my business. Even entry pages that are designed solely for lead generation as an entry to your lower ticket items. There are plenty of ideas to be had, use them as an alternative to popups if you can, and always be on the look out for new ideas.
  • Any of these methods beat the conventional, due to the fact that you’re not interrupting the sales process. If you feel you’re losing out on subscribers you can always create a product purely for resource building like we mentioned above. The only time I’d consider sales to be more important than plopping a dirty great subscription box in front of your subscribers, and this is when you’re selling a high ticket item. I’m talking $250 upwards, because to be honest, if you’re selling something at this price, the people seeing the product should already have you on their trusted list, and you should already have them on one of your lists or as part as your resources, whether it be your affiliates, customers, long term customers, your mailing list or even your joint venture prospects.
  • Moving on from this, and developing the non profit resource building ideas, there’s another way to look at this too, the first of two being to sacrifice a profit for resource building. Now ideally, you’ll want to build all your resources at the same time. However when this is not possible, through a specific circumstance joint venture for example, if you get the choice of sales over resources, don’t do it, resources over sales every time, unless you’ve set out to sell a high ticket item or you already have an established resource base.
  • Joint ventures: This is where a lot of your powerful resources will come from. Customers that are pre-qualified, targeted, have bought or promoted in the past. The best buyers, the best affiliates, they’re all already out there on marketers private lists. Scored a JV with a good list owner? Nice job. You better make sure you’re gather them as leads over sales, because you may not get another chance to sink your teeth into this valuable gold mine.
  • Don’t feel lost just because you’ve been given a choice. You’re not losing out by using any one of them. They’re all as effective as each other at fulfilling their roles.