The Reasons For A List

It’s funny, this business we’re in.

You build a list because you learn that it’s what you MUST do if you want to be able to make money on demand.

So people sign up to your list. Some will buy what you’re promoting, some will read and delete, some will not read and still some will email you and say “Stop send me this crap!” – LOL.

Have you experienced that too? Anyone with a list does – even those who send out ALL good content.

So let me ask you. Why do you have a list?

There’s quite a few reasons…such as, delivering content and sharing knowledge, promoting products, or both. And even as a mechanism to inform your customers of updates, etc.

But at the end of the day, in the internet marketing niche anyway, the ultimate GOAL of a list is to make money. Plain and simple. For most of us, anyway.

I bring this up because I am on a lot of lists. Some with excellent content, like Internet Marketer Duncan Carver. I have been on his list for years and I can tell you that he puts out some fantastic information. And interestingly, there’s no advertising in his emails (at least, not in the emails I get from him).

So does that mean he isn’t looking to earn some money from his list? Well, when you get his email, normally you are directed to read his articles on his blog. And on his blog are…advertisements. So his method isto keep the emails clean and get clicks from visitors to his blog. I’m sure it works nicely for him too 😉

Then you have those lists that are PURE pitch emails. Every one you open has something to promote. Anything wrong with that? Maybe. That is a personal preference, whether those types of emails bother you or not.

There’s 2 schools of thought for these types of lists. Get off those because they are a waste of time. Or, sign up to them and study the emails, subject lines, etc. And both are viable.

For me, I am signed up to DOZENS of these lists. But what I do is send ALL of them to one email address (not my main one). Then once every month or two, I will take some time to see what catches my eye. What makes me open one email over another. Then learn what they do.  Works for me.

And finally, you have those “mixed bag” type emails. You know – a couple of content mailings, followed by a couple of pitch emails. Or, perhaps a nice combination of content/pitch in one email.

This third category is where I have been through most of my emailing days. Try to give some content, promote products and start again.

For a long while, that worked very well for me.

But I noticed a change over the past year or so.

I have noticed a drop in sales, and a rise in complaints. I know some of this is directly related to the economy this year. But I think it also relates to the amount of people coming on line today, compounded by the magnitude of marketers and their competing lists. We’re all “sharing” lists (for the most part). Trying to be unique in all the noise.

No longer does giving away good, quality information guarantee more sales or longer retention. Our market has gotten very impatient, and very distracted by all the “shiny new objects” being thrown around daily.

And here’s something else I noticed. Based on talking with many of my on line marketing friends with lists, it seems that the more they simply promote, the more money they make. Plain and simple.

Many have made a conscious decision to drop the content in their emails and just pitch. They save the content for the blogs (which, when you think about it, is what you SHOULD be doing). Hey – Google loves fresh, quality content. Why send it in an email when you can add it to your blog? Makes sense, right?

At this point, it has now become my own conscious decision to do the very same thing – content on my blogs, pitches in my emails (except in a very few of my lists targeted in other niches or my “Premium Service” clients).

There. I said it. My emails will now be largely pitching products and services while my content will go here or my other blogs.

The nice thing about this is the fact that unsubscribing is easy. I have come to the conclusion that the bulk of my lists were built to make money. So, that will now become my focus.

Hey – I gave away good stuff for years. And my sales declined. So I no longer believe that good, quality content all by itself is what will make people “know, like and trust” you, leading to more sales. It’s simply showing them more products that make you more sales.

Onwards and upwards!

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One Response to "The Reasons For A List"

  1. Great decision you’ve made there, Mike – it’ll help you stay in business and make a lot more, plus you’ll be doing your lists a favor whether they realize it at first or not. Online marketing is just the next evolution of direct mail advertising, and have you ever received a mailer that didn’t include a pitch, or where the pitch was overshadowed with other information? Yet why does it work so well?

    The answer is right there in your blog post – you send them the pitch and put the content on your blog. Your readers are too busy most days to read a lot of content when trying to check their mail, so do them a favor and get right to the heart of why you’re contacting them. Show them the link and why it’s timely as quickly as they can – don’t abuse their time. When they have time to relax and read, or are looking for specific info, they’ll navigate to your blog for it.

    Because of my days at the ad agencies before coming online, I’ve followed this formula from the beginning, sending out 364 days a year with at least one pitch in each e-mail. I DO have more churn on my list, as new people evaluate our style and stick or leave, but am confident that the tens of thousands at the ‘core’ of our online family are doing very well by it, and providing us with a great income to say thanks. 🙂

    To your every continued success…

    DC.

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