How to Breath Life into Your List Building Strategy – It’s More Than Just a Numbers Game.

by jimmywrex

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When I first started out online I quickly learned the mantra “the money is in the list.” I heard that all over the forums and so I decided that list building would be the best way to go.

You often hear people describe a list as a “lifetime asset” but I recently learned that the average lifespan of an email address is around 2 years (Charles Kirkland ). So, technically the clock is ticking from the second you get someone on your list. You have a limited time to sell something to them and without a decent strategy you’ll miss your window of opportunity and render the whole exercise pointless.

In this post I’ll share 2 strategies you can utilize to turn email addresses into cash. Please don’t take this stuff lightly, because these are the strategies I have used to double and triple my income in the past.

1. Build the Relationship.

There are 4 parts to this.

You must build trust and you can do this by being honest. If you promote a product, remember to talk about the flaws as well as the benefits.

Be consistent. Your list needs to know what to expect from you. Some people mail offers every single day, get great open rates and make buckets of cash. I didn’t believe it was possible until I saw the stats firsthand.

Some marketers mail out offers quite infrequently, and in-between promotions, mail out gifts, blog posts or other free content to keep the list “warm”. This is a great strategy also. The point here is that you must be consistent or your audience will become confused about your offerings.

Show that you’re an authority. Whatever your niche is, you will definitely improve your sales by appearing to be an authority on the subject. Most of the time this happens organically as you research and write on a particular topic.

Infuse your own personality into your emails and don’t be afraid to give away personal information (for example, the fact you have a beloved cat, not your bank details). This will build up the likeability factor and will make you much more memorable to your subscribers.

2. Buyers Vs Freebee Seekers.

This is something I learned the hard way. My first attempt at list building in the ’make money’ niche was based around getting SEO traffic and putting them into a sales funnel. Then, each email gave them some good information and linked to my offer.

The benefit here is that the leads were free and it all worked on autopilot, once the site was ranked. But, sales were pretty low. I’m sure I could’ve refined my funnel and found a better offer but in the end I stumbled upon a much stronger way of building a buyers list.

You see, a list of buyers is much more powerful than a list of people in a niche. But how do you target buyers specifically? Here are 3 strategies I’ve used myself.

The first one is to make a product and offer 100% commissions to affiliates. If you price the offer low enough you’ll get tons of sales and you can then promote similar things to that list of proven buyers that complement your original product. This method brought in my first ever $800+ day.

The second way is to approach a merchant and ask if you can buy a mailing to their list (known as a solo ad). This can be expensive, so you better be sure you have something unique to sell. We used this method for our forex membership site. We spent $3,350 getting 3 different list owners to mail out for us. The launch is actually going on as I write this, and most prospects are enjoying a weeks free trial of the service, but in the first 24 hours we made over $1000, from people looking to lock in their membership, so we expect a big pay day at the end of the trial.

A third possibility could be to offer a report or ebook for $1 on your website. Although you’ll get for fewer leads, you know that the ones you have are quality. The thing that most people don’t understand is that people don’t value free things, so attaching a price means they are more likely to actually read the report. Just make sure you include another offer or up sell in the report or you’ll need to sell a lot of $1 reports to make a living.

Final thoughts . . .

The strategy you use really depends on your own business model, but the basic elements remain the same. Build the relationship and concentrate your efforts on finding buyers. This has helped me enormously over the last year and I’m sure it’ll help you too.

About Jimmy Wrex

Jimmy Wrex is a Niche Experimenter. You can find more traffic and conversions tactics over at his blog,, where he and his buddy Pete blog about their niche marketing experiences and generally lark about.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

tomsan@internetmarketing December 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I’m actually searching internet marketing tips for my business. This will really help. Thanks a lot, really.


jimmywrex December 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Glad you liked it :)


John Gaddis December 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm

To build my list with buyers I like to send solos or do ad swaps with people who have buyers lists. Once you have them on your list it is your chance to turn them into real buyers.

Just look at Justins emails and you can get some good ideas.


jimmywrex December 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Cool insider tip with solo ads: Go for the guys with the smaller lists. Often times the guys with small lists are just starting out so their list is fresh and new. The guys with HUGE lists can have old lists of subscribers. These can be less responsive. Not always the case of course, but a good guide line.


Martin December 19, 2011 at 5:35 am

Jimmy you were right on that. If you use the list the wrong way, it will not be that long that you be on the road again searching for another list. It all comes down to building relationship and trust as you rightly pointed out. I love it when I read these contents because I always gets something useful.

Thanks Jim for sharing.


jimmywrex December 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Yep, you can track how much your list loves you by simply checking the open rates. Anything under 20% sucks IMO :)


Jeanne Mayeux December 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Jimmy, that is brilliant! Make a product and offer it at 100% commission to affiliates. Why didn’t I think of that.


Grace December 22, 2011 at 6:45 am

A long time ago I read a guest article you had written on Rachel Rofe’s blog.

It was called “Taking out the mental head trash” …something like that…I am paraphrasing.

Anyways…the concept that you taught in that blog post has stayed with me….you showed me that most of the time (if not always) our biggest obstacles are our own selves and our limiting beliefs

so today I…now that I found your blog again, I wanted to say a big than you to you



Martin December 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

List building is the way to go when you plan to be successful in the marketing business. Te first strategy of building a relationship with your potential customer can also be a great strategy as you pointed out. I however believe that if you plan to make the relationship any useful then you have to respect the relationship and gain the trust of the person.

You got it right with the list building. Thanks Jimmy


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