Let’s talk a little about list building tonight. I don’t exactly have the same views as most people and it seems to be working out for me.
You see… When someone mentions listbuilding most of us, including me, immediately starts thinking of a big huge list. However, I’m here to say that I’ve found in my daily experiences that it’s not about the size it’s about the way you use it!
Now before we get started we should talk a little bit about sizes. I mean how do you know if yours is big or not? No one really ever walks up to you and says, honestly, “wow yours is big” or “wow yours is really tiny.”
When I tell someone that’s new to Internet marketing that I have just over 7,800 subscribers they usually drop their jaws. Then when I tell my mentors that my list is just over 7,800 subscribers they give me a pat on the head and say “yours will be as big as mine one day, don’t you worry.”
Yes, I’m purposefully pushing the line on these phrases!
List size is really very relative because to a rookie 7,800 looks gigantic, but then you’ve got guys like Russell Brunson, Tellman Knudson, Mike Filsaime, and many of the other big shots with subscriberships of over 200,000.
It goes even bigger then that though becase Arcamax, a newsletter publishing company, has over 5 million subscribers over their whole network. So really where is the line or how far up the ruler do we have to measure before we can call ours big?
Forget About Having a Big List…
Size isn’t what matters, what really matters is your subscribers. Before I get started down this road lets show a little proof that it’s not all about size…
That screenshot is one I took of my email on the last day of Russell’s “DoYouSuckAtMakingMoney” launch. If email marketing was purely about who’s got the biggest list, then I surely should not have been #5.
Just look at the names on that list! I’d be making a very safe bet if I said that positions 11-18 on that list would have over 1 million subscribers combined.
What Do I Do Differently Then??
It’s my belief that it’s all about responsiveness, and I’m in no way bragging. Half those guys on that list taught me everything I do today. It was Russell who told me to build a relationship with my list, it was Russell who told me to get my subscribers used to clicking on links in my email.
That image above is not the only trophy I have from the power of my list either. I’ve been in high positions for Matt Bacak, Jordan Hall, and lots of others. All because of a very specific recipe I have for building the responsiveness of my subscribers.
I’ll share my recipe in just a second, but first I’ve got a little rant thats been building up inside me for quite awhile. I can’t bite my tongue any longer, it’s time for an Adswap revolution!
But at the same time I am sick and tired of people with 20,000 freebie seekers that are abused with nothing but sales pitch after sales pitch, telling me that because I only have 7,800 subscribers, they’re only going to mail a section of their list for me when we do an Adswap.
I’m standing my ground, planting my flag, and saying from now we should be asking “how many people open your emails on average” or even better “what’s your avg. click thru count.”
The other thing that scares me is, well if you’re reading this, chances are you are one of my subscribers. Which means I’ll be revealing the coersive tactics I’ve been using on you. That scares me because what happens if revealing the magic trick makes it not magical anymore?
The latter doesn’t worry me as much because when you see what my recipe is, even revealing my secret shouldn’t affect how my subscribers react. Time will tell
My Email Marketing Recipe
First and foremost my biggest belief is that whatever lure you used to get your subscribers with is the lure that’s going to work the best in the future to get them to respond again.
For example if all you did was offer them a freebie, then that’s really all they’ll want in the future. Sure, you’ll catch a few buyers in the midst but the majority will just be freebie seekers forever. Now if you made them buy something to get on your list then you’ll be able to get many more of them to buy something again.
When I tell my coaching clients to stop letting people onto their list for free and instead make them buy something. The first thing they say is but then it’ll take me forever to build a big list.
IT’S NOT ABOUT A BIG LIST!! (forgive my outbursts please this topic raises my blood pressure!)
Plus, it’s entirely possible to have the same high conversions you can get with a freebie as it is with something that the browser has to buy. You just have to make sure the value of your offer is much higher then the price you are charging.
Ingredient #1 is stop letting people subscribe for free.
Out of my 7,800+ subscribers over 4,500 of them are their because they bought something from me. Which actually leads me into the next ingredient.
Just because someone has bought your products doesn’t mean that’s how the relationship should stay. There are hundreds of other marketers out there doing EVERYTHING they can think of to take your subscribers away. It’s my belief that you need to reward them well to encourage loyalty.
When someone buys from me and becomes a subscriber to my list there are 3-4 unadvertised bonuses given out immediately. I get testimonials all the time about how people are blown away at how much I give them right upfront. This helps me get them to fall in love with me and my emails.
Ingredient #2 reward your subscribers well
The last thing you want is someone scared to open one of your emails because they’re afraid you’ll talk them into buying something. What you want to create is an environment where your subscribers see one of your emails pop into their box and they open it before any of their friends emails, knowing that it’s probably something really cool you are sending them.
Which brings me to ingredient #3…
Ingredient #3 is to deliver consistent content
The majority of my subscribers know and anticipate my emails on Tuesdays and Sundays. That’s because they know that unless something’s happened to me they are getting something valuable on those days.
Every Tuesday morning we do a twenty minute long live show called “The Twenty Minute Tackle” using Ustream.tv and every Sunday night we do a blog post like the one you are reading. My open rates and click through rates on those days are through the roof.
We’ve even seen 90% click through rates, multiple times, when we hit the right topic. That’s because doing the consistent content thing does a number of things to your subscribers…
- Get’s them anticipating and expecting your email
- Gives them valuable content that they enjoy
- They respect that you’re not just another salesman
- Get’s them used to receiving your emails and clicking your links
- It also lets us interact and turns our emails into a 2 way communication
Having that 2 way communication with your subscribers is super important, but I see so many marketers doing everything they can to turn it off. They use noreply email addresses, force you to use help desk software to communicate with them, and even if you get their personal email address it has one of those autoresponders that tell you they aren’t checking their emails anymore.
I’m not knocking those strategies, they can be very effective in automating your business and I’ve even tried some of them. What I’m saying is I’ve seen tremendous benefits from turning those things off. I tested it and I make more money without them.
By having that 2 way communication with my subscribers they trust me more and I know more of what they want. I even answer my phone, which to some marketers is gonzo nuts. However, there is no other marketing tool I own that gives me more insight into who my market is and what they want.
Ingredient #4 is know what your subscribers want
The profitability of my email list skyrockets for the 2 weeks after I survey them to see what they want. Through my blog posts, live Internet shows, and picking up my phone I start to get a sense of their main interests starting to change.
Then I send them a survey to confirm and see what it is they want about that topic. Finally I follow up with a campaign that delivers exactly what they’ve told me they want. It’s so simple but sooo many marketers aren’t doing it or not doing it enough.
I hear business owners telling me they don’t like to sell, but if they just knew what their customers want they’d never have to sell to them. If you know everyone in your local mall is craving white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, then all you have to do is tell people where to get them and they’ll go buy them.
If you showed up with cranberry oatmeal cookies instead, then you’re probably going to have to pull out every sales trick in the book to get them over too you instead. I don’t know about you but I sure don’t like hanging out with someone who’s always trying out a new sales trick on me.
I do like hanging out with my friends and sharing secrets though.
Ingredient #5 is to be friendly and transparent with your subscribers
I’m not the picturesque businessman. I’ve got a bald head, a beard, a little overweight, tattoo’s, I speak my mind, and I use foul language to emphasive my emotions. When I first started out online I did everything I could to hide those things.
As I slowly started letting those things out, scared that it would hurt my reputation, more of my subscribers started to fall in love with me. They didn’t look at me like I was less then perfect. Instead they responded with “hey I’m the same way.”
Sure some people don’t like it, some people are just totally opposite of me and we don’t clique. So they go find someone else that they do clique with and the others bond too me closer then ever before. No matter what you can’t please everyone. If you try to be clean and perfect like Eben Pagan you loose the people that like the Frank Kern style.
If you are like Frank Kern you loose the type of people that love Eben Pagan. It’s easiest to just be yourself and let it all just flow out. The bond you create with your subscribers when you show them who you really are is incredible and they’ll buy more from you. Because now they’re thinking, “wow he/she’s just like me and if they can do it then so can I.”
If you’ll implement those 5 ingredients into your email marketing I guarantee you’ll see amazing results. With those 5 ingredients you can have a small subscriber base and get the same results of guys with 50x more subscribers then you.
In fact when I launched my SEO Lies ebook in Novemeber, my #1 affiliate had 18,000 subscribers and my #2 affiliate lost by only 1 sale while only having 880 subscribers! Both got nearly the same result but one focuses more on size and the other more on quality.
Imagine what happens when you mix size with quality!
NEW! Readers Talking Back…
Ok ladies and gentlemen, some of our favorite guru’s are doing a great job of giving us exactly what we want. For example I’m loving all the new emails from Rich Schefren, I just wish they were a little more related to what I’m going through right now.
So I would ask him for more of ingredient #4.
Who do you subscribe too that is almost giving you all five ingredients but is maybe leaving 1 or 2 out? What do you like about them and what ingredient would you like to see more of from them?
In numbers we can really make some noise and inspire the change we want. Please nothing negative though, or else I’ll have to delete it. Leave your response below… They’ll hear us thanks to Google Alerts!