10 Mar 5 Secrets Revealed in the Special Report on Mail List Building
How the Online Masters of the Universe Grow their Business The secret if you can call it that has been around for the better part of the century. It was known by a select few individuals. It’s been written in books that are now remaindered and discontinued. It’s been repackaged for the current times that we live in. It’s even been in the movies. It’s all about “The List”.
Build Your List One Subscriber at a Time. The online masters don’t buy lists from brokers, they build the lists themselves. Sure it takes longer to build a list. Sure you don’t get that immediate rush of sending out 10,000 emails to “Dear Friend”. When doing this, are you sending out unsolicited emails? You bet. Is this considered SPAM – absolutely. Are you going to get a reasonable response rate – highly unlikely. Do you want a list that responds often or just one time?
You need, no you MUST ask for permission to send people your message. This is where the double opt-in rule takes affect. People must request that you send them mail by clicking on a confirmation link you email to them.
Advantages of Double Opt-in
It reduces the probability of spam complaints. While it does not eliminate them completely, many list managers these days can keep track of date/time of the request, IP address, and referring URL so that you have evidence that the subscriber opted-in. You don’t want people subscribing their friends to the list without their knowledge. The confirmation process will help to ensure that people are only subscribed with their consent.
Cleaner list – people have to use their real email addresses in order to confirm their subscriptions. This also eliminates misspelled addresses or those with typos.
More responsive subscribers. Those who are genuinely interested enough to confirm their subscriptions may also be more inclined to respond to your valuable information and offers.
Disadvantages of Double Opt-in
For some reason, you’re afraid that you may lose subscribers. Some people can’t be bothered to confirm their requests, while others who really want to receive your newsletter may not understand the confirmation process. The bottom line here is you will never know what you lose or gain without doing A/B split testing.
You can pick up subscribers that never intended to subscribe. For instance, let’s say you use a double opt-in process which asks users to confirm their subscriptions by replying to the message. Some people may reply with “no thanks” or something similar in nature – but because they replied, they’re automatically added to the list.
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Do you have a product everyone in the known universe wants? Do you have a product that no one can live without? Do you have a product where people will tell their friends and their friends will tell their friends? Well if you answered yes to these questions, I have a song for you.
It “Ain’t Necessarily So” (Bronski Beat). Without listening to the most popular radio station on earth WII-FM, your chances of building a responsive list are next to nil and slim. You might as well take your money and “invest” in a car or any other value losing proposition
To get subscribers, you must deliver on the promise “Free, Perfect, Now”. And yes there is a whole business model that can be built on this statement. But let me summarize, you must make an offer that is FREE with inherent benefits, it must be Perfect for this moment in their lives and you must deliver it NOW.
Here’s a quick example of Free, Perfect, Now model. The business is Debt Consolidation and Reduction. Offer a free guide that is perfect for those who are so far in debt that they have to reach-up to touch bottom and give them the ultimate guide now, so that they can turn their leveraged lives around.
Just remember keep listening to WII-FM (What’s In It-For Me) and you’re well on your way to building a responsive list.
Forget This at Your Own Peril!
Suspects > Prospects > Customers > Suspects
Who are the usual suspects? It’s not who you might expect. You’re probably thinking that the usual suspects are people that you know. Really they aren’t.
Suspects are anybody and everybody that you meet. Prospects are suspects that actually ask you for more details, free samples or anything that has to do with the product and service you offer.
Finding suspects is easy. Remember it’s everyone. The misconception is that everyone on a spam list is a prospect. So how do you convert a suspect into a prospect? Well you either are a great copywriter (you can entice a suspect to become a prospect) or your product is so needed that everyone you meet wants it.
There are a whole lot of reasons why suspects never become prospects, but the major reason is that you haven’t built a relationship yet. You’re thinking that your service is so great that everyone would want it. Well I am sorry to say (not really);) , that not everyone wants your service.
That’s why experienced direct mail marketers have “target lists”. They are targeting a group of suspects in the hope they become prospects and eventually customers.
A real world example of a suspect list is when you’re handed a list to cold call. You’ve never talked to the people before and you’re talking to them for the first time, hoping they will request more details from you.
That is Step 1 in building a relationship. Step 2 is of course enticing them with an offer to request something from you like this ebook called “The Greatest Secrets to the Wealth of Ages”. Wouldn’t you want to pass along this ebook to friends and have them pass it along to their friends? (I can hear you say this sound like viral marketing) and you’d be right, it is.
Step 2.5 is to offer your prospect more value. Give away a free training course on “Get Ready for Instant Wealth”. Now you’re building trust. It didn’t cost your prospect a dime, but you gave them something that changes their life.
Now how many small steps does it take to build trust, well that depends on the price of your service. So after creating these small steps you’re preparing your prospect to become a customer. So you might be asking how long does it take, well the real answer is how skilled you are in building trust and in helping other people make their dreams into a day to day reality
And here’s the “Forget this at your own Peril” statement. Once a person becomes a customer, they are immediately put into your next “suspect cycle”. Just because people buy from you once, never guarantees that they will buy from you again. Let me repeat that statement, one time customers are good for quarterly revenue boosts, but repeat customers are good for your business from year to year.
Ideas Stolen from Newspapers and Magazine in the Offline World
There are so many useless websites out there; you’ll probably die first before you can count them all. These sites aren’t built to sell anything. They’re built to market to the unwashed masses. You’ve seen them before and throughout your entire life. It’s based on the concept that I don’t know what I have to offer so I better have something for everybody, ’cause you just never know who randomly might become a customer.
If this isn’t a losing proposition, I don’t know what is! The masters of the online universe get it and they charge handsomely for it. It’s called niche marketing. They have one website for one product. That’s the hook. Then once they build a relationship with you, they begin to sell products to you that are not marketed on the web.
It’s not rocket science, but it’s brilliant. They get it and most businesses don’t, that’s why they are the Masters of the Online Universe.
They write “Front Cover” websites, just like the newspapers and magazines. They have attention grabbing headlines, superb first paragraphs and great copy. They push all the buttons required to get the “random suspect” to pony up their email address and subscribe to a newsletter or when they add so much value that the suspect immediately buys from them.
The next time your standing in the grocery store line, take a look at the magazine rack, especially the tabloids. (by the way, the headlines you read are written by the most highly paid copywriters in the industry). Even if you don’t believe the stories, the sole purpose is to get your attention and they do.
As you wait in those long slow lines, take notes and copy down the headlines, after a while, you’ll get it and be able to write your own copy converting headlines. Steal the headlines not the magazines, it’s free research and takes about 5 minutes and you won’t go to jail.
If you really want to learn how to write first paragraphs, then buy the magazines, look for the promise, the hook, the imagery and above all the promise of what is going to be delivered in the rest of the story.
Life Long Dating > The Marriage > The Divorce
Look at the stats, there will be more divorces this year then all the leading causes of death put together. Oh and by the way how can there be so many #1 killers … (but I digress, you see it’s all about the attention getting headline).
Divorce rates have surpassed the 50% level, can you imagine losing 50% of your customer base? If you can, it’s time to start courting your customers again. You can never get too comfortable, too lazy and above all too INDIFFERENT.
This idea is a little different then your classic Customer Relationship Model. Essentially all of these types of programs are based upon treating each human being (emphasis on HUMANanity with PERSONality) as pieces of classified data. Gee, I want to be treated as bits in a database, where some market segment wizard defines who I am by demographic, geographic and psychographic gobbledygook.
Most expert marriage counselors say “The #1 reason for divorce is lack or failure to communicate”. Well if you think your customers are married to you think again. They will leave you in a New York minute, for someone else that offers them more then the current relationship does. Thus you have divorce North American Style. And be sure they will be telling all their friends about you too.
Having a list, working the list, communicating (and not just the dictatorial kind) and constantly improving the relationship is the key to success. Isn’t this beginning to sound like “Life Long Dating”. The features you offer only last so long before the glitter is gone. If you’re not consistently helping each other be better, there is no long term partnership and where do you end up?
Treat each PERSON in your list as a human being, not as a Human Resource for money. Remember “resources” are disposable and thrown away. Do you want to throw away your current relationship and have to start dating all over again. Just think of the cost and the price you pay.
How big do you think the Masters of the Online World are. Do they have 100’s of employees? Do they have large corporate offices with all the trappings and expenses? The answer is NO!
They have one or two employees and they outsource everything else. This keeps them nimble and quick. They can turn on a dime and launch a new venture. They have trusted partners that join them in their ventures.
They own lists combined that number in the millions. Combined they have tens of thousands of websites. But they manage to have all this with only a staff of one or two. Little overhead, little capital investment and little if any bureaucracy. They are the model for a “Free Agent” nation.
And they do this by Autopilot Automation. They think outside the box, they act outside the box. They know the difference between follow-up and follow through. The live the commitment to build a list one subscriber at a time. From list building to product fulfillment it’s all on autopilot and all automated. Can you imagine controlling 100’s of websites and having to manually manage each and everyone of them? I can’t.
And if your time is spent (not invested) just managing, you’re not building. If you’re not building relationships, you’re not communicating. And finally if you’re not communicating, where will you end up?
Divorce Court. We all know the implications of this, don’t we?
Front Cover websites, copywriting, product fulfillment all take time. But these are not the most important activities. The most important activity is ongoing meaningful communications with your list.
I don’t mean the kind that comes from “The Corporation”, you know the ones that tell you how great they are and what PR “BS” they are shovelling today. I mean the communications that help other people help themselves. The kind that offer improvements not impoverishment to their current station in life. The type that gives hope and can deliver on promises. Of course you can promise anything, but if the other party fails to take action, that’s when they broke their side of the promise and will surely fail.
How do you deliver help without killing yourself in the process. You automate everything and then put it on Autopilot. This is going to be the most important and integral part of your business.
Automated Sales and Relationship Building in a Box
What you need is a combined mailing list manager and intelligent autoresponder. It’s not easy finding software that does both very well. The first and foremost reason (and this my suggestion from experiencing many different broken promises from the technology side of the business) is to maintain a prospect list, that will drop prospects into a customer list, which will then drop customers back into another prospect list (for different product streams).
The intelligent autoresponder part of the program will “auto-magically” manage the selling cycle for you. Remember the key difference between a mailing list management program and an autoresponder is list management and message management. Autoresponders manage the message.
You don’t want to manage multiple databases with multiple names with multiple sell sequences. Manually trying to merge information from different databases is cause to just throw up your hands and quit.
From a selling perspective, you want to be able to offer your list, firesales, one-time offers and longer multiple buy streams from you.
Whether you have one website or hundreds, you must automate or die. You will spend so much time managing your business as opposed to building your business that it will affect bottom line revenue.
Automate like just like the Masters of the Online World Do.