A Couple of Questions That Don't Get Asked Often

7 replies
Hello,

So I've been perusing the email marketing forums for several hours reading up on lots of quality information about building a list, however I feel the need to ask a couple questions that don't seem to be raised often.

Most people tend to ask how to start building a list, I get that part, also I understand the different ways to drive traffic to it. What I am trying to grasp now is the little details that matter when setting up your lists.

To better illustrate what I want to ask about, let me start off with an example.

Let's say we're starting a blog in a somewhat broad niche... like fitness. Now this blog consists of topics such as losing weight, building muscle, nutrition, exercise, etc. What I want to know is, would it be smart to segment my lists into specific goals such as a list for losing weight, a list for building muscle, etc. OR have one giant list that touches on various topics? Ideally, if I had all the time in the world it would make sense to segment my lists, but that means keeping up with the creation of 4-5 autoresponder series and creating 4-5 unique freebies for each list instead of 1. Is the value i'd get worth it? (looking for some experienced Warriors to chime in on this one.)

Speaking of freebies, what's the best approach to delivering a freebie? A lot of noobie marketers seem to grab a PLR eBook, slap their name on it, and give it away and then watch their list unsubscribe quickly or their open rates plummet. I was thinking of either doing an e-course which would be sent via email over the course of X days. If I were to do an ebook, I would keep it simple and have some sort of transition into my emails at the end of it or something to keep continuity going so they have a reason to stay subscribed. Using the above fitness example, what would you recommend be a type of freebie for a couple typical lists for that niche? (Looking for some examples to kind of get the brainstorming process working in my head for the niche I'll be choosing.)

Next, I get the whole personalization thing when it comes to my list, but some things aren't clear to me and I want to make a decision on them before I start my list. The first thing is the whole getting the first name + email vs just the email. I've heard some experts swing both ways on this subject and wanted to hear thoughts.

Also, what works best in your opinion for the 'To:' field, your name or the website name for a blog? I was leaning towards the website name as the brand is the website which offers real value content (unlike squeeze pages) and then sign off with my name at the bottom of the emails. Is this a sound approach?

Split testing - I obviously want to do this, but want to know the best way to approach this. I will be using GetResponse for my email marketing. Do I need any additional tools/tutorials to learn about split testing that GetResponse provides (assuming they provide anything.) and if so, what are your recommendations?

My address at the bottom of the email - I don't feel comfortable giving out my living address out in my emails, do most people just go purchase a PO box or something and use that?

These are a few of the starting questions I have. Thanks for reading
#asked #couple #questions
  • Profile picture of the author 2sora
    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Hello,

    So I've been perusing the email marketing forums for several hours reading up on lots of quality information about building a list, however I feel the need to ask a couple questions that don't seem to be raised often.

    Most people tend to ask how to start building a list, I get that part, also I understand the different ways to drive traffic to it. What I am trying to grasp now is the little details that matter when setting up your lists.

    To better illustrate what I want to ask about, let me start off with an example.

    Let's say we're starting a blog in a somewhat broad niche... like fitness. Now this blog consists of topics such as losing weight, building muscle, nutrition, exercise, etc. What I want to know is, would it be smart to segment my lists into specific goals such as a list for losing weight, a list for building muscle, etc. OR have one giant list that touches on various topics? Ideally, if I had all the time in the world it would make sense to segment my lists, but that means keeping up with the creation of 4-5 autoresponder series and creating 4-5 unique freebies for each list instead of 1. Is the value i'd get worth it? (looking for some experienced Warriors to chime in on this one.)

    Speaking of freebies, what's the best approach to delivering a freebie? A lot of noobie marketers seem to grab a PLR eBook, slap their name on it, and give it away and then watch their list unsubscribe quickly or their open rates plummet. I was thinking of either doing an e-course which would be sent via email over the course of X days. If I were to do an ebook, I would keep it simple and have some sort of transition into my emails at the end of it or something to keep continuity going so they have a reason to stay subscribed. Using the above fitness example, what would you recommend be a type of freebie for a couple typical lists for that niche? (Looking for some examples to kind of get the brainstorming process working in my head for the niche I'll be choosing.)

    Next, I get the whole personalization thing when it comes to my list, but some things aren't clear to me and I want to make a decision on them before I start my list. The first thing is the whole getting the first name + email vs just the email. I've heard some experts swing both ways on this subject and wanted to hear thoughts.

    Also, what works best in your opinion for the 'To:' field, your name or the website name for a blog? I was leaning towards the website name as the brand is the website which offers real value content (unlike squeeze pages) and then sign off with my name at the bottom of the emails. Is this a sound approach?

    Split testing - I obviously want to do this, but want to know the best way to approach this. I will be using GetResponse for my email marketing. Do I need any additional tools/tutorials to learn about split testing that GetResponse provides (assuming they provide anything.) and if so, what are your recommendations?

    My address at the bottom of the email - I don't feel comfortable giving out my living address out in my emails, do most people just go purchase a PO box or something and use that?

    These are a few of the starting questions I have. Thanks for reading
    I've seen a lot of information on personalization. Most of the critics say that it's not the 1990s, people know that the e-mail isn't actually personal when you put their name in. Focus on providing interesting content after getting to know what your subscribers like by asking them.

    I usually recommend hiring a writer to provide a free e-book or training course, but that's because I'm a writer. I haven't tried to do buy any PLR content, but you could buy 3 courses, rewrite them and combine them, and slap your name on it. That advice comes from "The 4 Hour Workweek." It's a lot easier than writing your own, and it costs about the same as hiring a writer.

    Finally, to answer your first question, you could create a larger blog with several niches within it, however, do that when you have more resources. Start with one niche and focus on getting content for them. Still, in 3 months or so, go ahead and start into another niche. Anik Singal, the instructior for inbox blueprint, who makes over 10 million dollars has several niches. make sure to automate each niche as much as you can before moving on, because you should maintain continuity by e-mailing them at least 2 times a week.

    The only other answer I can give you is on using your name or the company name. The goal is continuity. This increases your open rates. As long as chose one, you should be fine. If you start other niches, you can use your name to build trust the same as if you use your company or website name. If this is your first attempt, I'd suggest using a company or website name to keep your anonymity, and when you finally understand what you're doing and provide valuable content you can stake your name on it.

    I would also like to know more about split testing, but I use Reach Mail. I've heard that you can change one or two words, and test which one works better. The best post explained you should run two different tests for solo ads (essentially the same as what we're working on here), and pick the one that works, and try to beat it. I don't know if that's what you're looking for.

    Jo Edwards
    Signature

    If you liked my advice there is more of the same through my free internet marketing series on Tips Tricks and Top-Resources at http://www.live-wealth.com
    -Jo Edwards
    The Investor Club

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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Hello,

    So I've been perusing the email marketing forums for several hours reading up on lots of quality information about building a list, however I feel the need to ask a couple questions that don't seem to be raised often.

    Most people tend to ask how to start building a list, I get that part, also I understand the different ways to drive traffic to it. What I am trying to grasp now is the little details that matter when setting up your lists.

    To better illustrate what I want to ask about, let me start off with an example.

    Let's say we're starting a blog in a somewhat broad niche... like fitness. Now this blog consists of topics such as losing weight, building muscle, nutrition, exercise, etc. What I want to know is, would it be smart to segment my lists into specific goals such as a list for losing weight, a list for building muscle, etc. OR have one giant list that touches on various topics? Ideally, if I had all the time in the world it would make sense to segment my lists, but that means keeping up with the creation of 4-5 autoresponder series and creating 4-5 unique freebies for each list instead of 1. Is the value i'd get worth it? (looking for some experienced Warriors to chime in on this one.)
    Or.. you can have a survey done in the first few emails ... and simply ask people what they are more interested in - then the autoresponder can segment them out based on their responses to different lists. Getresponse can do this.

    It's easier to get subscribers on the big niche topics, but more difficult to convert them to buyers. It's easier to convert the tight small sub-niches to buyers, but more difficult to find them to subscribe them.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Speaking of freebies, what's the best approach to delivering a freebie? A lot of noobie marketers seem to grab a PLR eBook, slap their name on it, and give it away and then watch their list unsubscribe quickly or their open rates plummet. I was thinking of either doing an e-course which would be sent via email over the course of X days. If I were to do an ebook, I would keep it simple and have some sort of transition into my emails at the end of it or something to keep continuity going so they have a reason to stay subscribed. Using the above fitness example, what would you recommend be a type of freebie for a couple typical lists for that niche? (Looking for some examples to kind of get the brainstorming process working in my head for the niche I'll be choosing.)
    Couldn't give you any examples, as that's simply not my niche. But a series, done either through PDF's, webpages, or videos - would serve.

    For example, a series of 10 videos, each just 10-15 minutes long, delivered one per day...

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Next, I get the whole personalization thing when it comes to my list, but some things aren't clear to me and I want to make a decision on them before I start my list. The first thing is the whole getting the first name + email vs just the email. I've heard some experts swing both ways on this subject and wanted to hear thoughts.
    The more info you ask for, the fewer subscribers you'll get. For affiliate marketing, I rather suspect that few still ask for anything other than just the email address. In other niches, perhaps it's routine, or necessary, I wouldn't know.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Also, what works best in your opinion for the 'To:' field, your name or the website name for a blog? I was leaning towards the website name as the brand is the website which offers real value content (unlike squeeze pages) and then sign off with my name at the bottom of the emails. Is this a sound approach?
    Sounds okay to me. I use strictly my name - but other people prefer the name of a product that their subs bought, or some brand name of some sort.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Split testing - I obviously want to do this, but want to know the best way to approach this. I will be using GetResponse for my email marketing. Do I need any additional tools/tutorials to learn about split testing that GetResponse provides (assuming they provide anything.) and if so, what are your recommendations?
    Until you've got a sizeable list, any split testing you do isn't going to tell you very much. Start your list, worry about split testing later.

    However, this doesn't apply to your squeeze page... start split testing that immediately. Even if you have no-one on your list yet - be setup to split test your squeeze pages.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    My address at the bottom of the email - I don't feel comfortable giving out my living address out in my emails, do most people just go purchase a PO box or something and use that?
    I've never bothered to look. Once in a blue moon, I'll look at the address to see what country or state the list owner is in (and I subscribe to dozens of lists) - but to tell the truth, I don't know the answer to this one. I use my own address, and don't worry about it.

    Hope this helps... just my 2 cents worth...
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Let's say we're starting a blog in a somewhat broad niche...like fitness.
    Let's not, really. The broader you make it, the smaller your chances to make it work, typically. I know there are these "wonder" portals that cover it all, but they have money for advertising, writers for every category, etc.

    I'm assuming you're a single person with limited budget, so do yourself a favor and just focus on a niche in that market. It will be easier to research for content, maintain the autoresponder series, find relevant products to promote, etc.

    Basically, I would just start a new blog and use content from your existing one and focus on just one niche. But that's just me.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Speaking of freebies, what's the best approach to delivering a freebie? A lot of noobie marketers seem to grab a PLR eBook, slap their name on it, and give it away and then watch their list unsubscribe quickly or their open rates plummet. I was thinking of either doing an e-course which would be sent via email over the course of X days. If I were to do an ebook, I would keep it simple and have some sort of transition into my emails at the end of it or something to keep continuity going so they have a reason to stay subscribed. Using the above fitness example, what would you recommend be a type of freebie for a couple typical lists for that niche? (Looking for some examples to kind of get the brainstorming process working in my head for the niche I'll be choosing.)
    Yes, PLR is the worst possible solution. It's better without one, really.

    I usually create a free PDF, offer it as a bribe for immediate gratification, and then continue with the emails, which is where the real money is made, anyway.

    As for ideas for the free PDF, here are some thoughts:
    1. Make sure it covers something people don't see online everyday. If all you do is regurgitate the same old stuff, then it's no wonder you won't see people subscribing, or the ones that do subscribe won't continue reading your emails.

    I recommend you visit your local library or read printed books. They usually cover new aspects/topics, etc. and are better documented than what you find online.

    2. Make sure it has an appealing title. "How to.." or "X ways to do Y" are dull, outdated and boring. Something like "The 3 little-known foods that melt fat away" is much better. (Thought it could be even more better.)

    3. Put links in the free guide to your website. This trains your subscribers to get used to clicking, so when you send them an offer in your emails, they'll be more likely to click the link. The pages the links link to should contain valuable advice, otherwise they won't be so eager to click them in the future.

    4. Make passing comments hinting at future emails.

    Example: "These 3 little-known foods are rich in nutrients, vitamins and very, very low in fat. Let's look at them now: (We'll be looking at how to cook them properly so they retain most of their good stuff and great taste in a future email, too.)

    1. Papaya
    2. Bananas
    3. Oranges
    ..."

    (As you can see, I'm not in the weight loss niche.)

    This piques their curiosity and makes them await your future emails, which, as I said, are the real money-makers.

    5. Introduce yourself and basically tell why you've set up the website, your interest in the niche, etc. This brands yourself. Of course, the presentation should be as close as possible to the identity of your subscribers. For example, in the camping niche, you can say that a reason you like camping so much is because it's a chance to get away from all the city noise, stressful work-related stuff, internet and other time-robbing activities, etc. You emphasize with them, and they will like you more.

    6. Be honest about your intentions. Look, people are not dumb: they know you want to make money off of them. Be honest and tell them (in a fun way) that you'll make some money if they buy the products you recommend them.

    Here's an example:

    "Okay, I'll be honest with you: I make some money if you buy the products I recommend, but hey, Danny needs to eat to, you know? (And pay for the hookers, liquor, STD treatments, etc.)"

    You get the idea.

    7. Set your subscribers' expectations to increase open-rates. Basically, you need to tell them how often and what you'll cover in the emails. Make it interesting, pique their curiosity, make it fun.

    "We'll cover more weight loss advice in the emails to follow (about every other 4-5 day), that will help you lose more weight" is okay, I guess.

    "Stay tuned, because you'll be receiving emails that will go in more depth and cover much more topics than this free guide can offer. We'll look at reasons why people fail to lose weight over and over again (so you can make fun of them, while you're still continuing losing weight), how to keep the weight off once and for all and even cover recipes for delicious foods that will make you lose weight while you're eating (okay, I'm exaggerating, but it does sound nice, doesn't it?).

    These emails will land in your inbox every other 4-5 day with no exception, until you either unsubscribe, or one of us dies. I plan to live for ever - so far, so good."
    This is just from the top of my head... there might be some other things.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Next, I get the whole personalization thing when it comes to my list, but some things aren't clear to me and I want to make a decision on them before I start my list. The first thing is the whole getting the first name + email vs just the email. I've heard some experts swing both ways on this subject and wanted to hear thoughts.
    Ben gave you a good answer in post #3. Bottom line: people know seeing their names in the emails is automated stuff, so they won't be impressed, and you lose people by asking for their name when they sign-up. I see no benefit in doing it.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Also, what works best in your opinion for the 'To:' field, your name or the website name for a blog? I was leaning towards the website name as the brand is the website which offers real value content (unlike squeeze pages) and then sign off with my name at the bottom of the emails. Is this a sound approach?
    I use my name in the "to" field, because I want me to be the brand, not the website.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    My address at the bottom of the email - I don't feel comfortable giving out my living address out in my emails, do most people just go purchase a PO box or something and use that?
    For $15 a month, you can get a real address from this company: https://www.usglobalmail.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    What I want to know is, would it be smart to segment my lists into specific goals such as a list for losing weight, a list for building muscle, etc.
    Yes.

    The more you segment lists, the better.

    But even that won't be as good as having a better-targeted niche site in the first place, and not trying to combine so many huge markets (those aren't even "niches"!) in one place. Income is typically in proportion to targeting accuracy, and there are reasons for that.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    OR have one giant list that touches on various topics?
    No; that would make it extremely difficult to monetize, for most people, most of the time.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Ideally, if I had all the time in the world it would make sense to segment my lists, but that means keeping up with the creation of 4-5 autoresponder series and creating 4-5 unique freebies for each list instead of 1.
    It means at least that, and probably more.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    Is the value i'd get worth it?
    Yes, and that's putting it mildly: you may not get any "value" at all, without doing it.

    This is a big problem you've given yourself by selecting multiple huge markets rather than one niche, in the first place.

    Success in affiliate marketing typically boils down to two "overarching headings": quality and relevance (targeting). You give the impression of someone who's more or less starting off by abandoning one of those.

    This post, and the ones linked to inside it, start to explain some of the many reasons why this has stacked the deck so strongly against you: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post8561081

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    what's the best approach to delivering a freebie?
    Have it hosted somewhere from which they can download it using a link in the first email you send them. (Make sure they're receiving your emails in their in-box before they get it.)

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    A lot of noobie marketers seem to grab a PLR eBook, slap their name on it, and give it away and then watch their list unsubscribe quickly or their open rates plummet.
    Indeed.

    Exactly so.

    These are the things you need your "free reports" to do, and every single one needs them to do all of them. That's probably the single most "income-determining" step in your entire process.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    The first thing is the whole getting the first name + email vs just the email. I've heard some experts swing both ways on this subject and wanted to hear thoughts.
    Maybe.

    You might have seen only people "pretending to be experts", on one side of that argument, I think.

    These threads may help you ...

    http://www.warriorforum.com/email-ma...ml#post9473932

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post8335017

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post7934937


    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    what works best in your opinion for the 'To:' field, your name or the website name for a blog?
    What works best in the "to" field is the recipient's email address, otherwise it won't be delivered.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    do most people just go purchase a PO box or something and use that?
    Many "individual marketers" do that or something similar, yes.

    Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

    These are a few of the starting questions I have.
    Please excuse my missing several out. I strongly suspect that the fundamental mistake you're making over "niche selection" is going to make the answers to many of your questions somewhat "academic". Sorry that it isn't at all what you wanted to hear, but someone needed to say it, otherwise you'll be back 6 months later with a "Where did I go wrong?" thread. "It only happens all the time", around here.

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      What works best in the "to" field is the recipient's email address, otherwise it won't be delivered.
      We were three dudes who didn't notice this. Even worse, it took a chick (can you imagine?!) to notice it.

      Guys, we need to have a talk.
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      • Profile picture of the author saga414
        Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post

        We were three dudes who didn't notice this. Even worse, it took a chick (can you imagine?!) to notice it.

        Guys, we need to have a talk.
        Ahaha whoops I meant the "from" field, but at least you got the point .

        All of this is great information, I really appreciate it. I'll definitely be using it moving forward and gives me a better understanding of what I need to approach.

        Now as for the niche discussion, I've made a mistake by stating "fitness" as a niche, because it really is a market made up of a lot of different niches. To be more accurate, I was gearing my website towards people looking to get in better shape, more specifically people looking to burn off their body fat and bulk up their muscle gain. This means my audience would predominantly be geared towards men looking to get in better shape. The site would focus on anything this would encompass: nutrition and exercise and tips on burning fat and building muscle. I understand even breaking it down to this level would still be a lot for one person to handle, but I eventually plan on working on this full time.

        Is this still too big of niche to go forward with in your opinion or is it do-able given the market?
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by saga414 View Post

          Is this still too big of niche to go forward with in your opinion or is it do-able given the market?
          I'd take it one more step and look at different age groups. Teenage jocks are different than middle aged men coming out of a divorce and back into the dating pool, and both are different than seniors worried about losing their independence to a fall or other accident.

          Most of the basic information is likely the same, but the approach and message are very different.

          Look at the old Charles Atlas ads from the comic books. Their target market was very defined - geeky, scrawny teens who got bullied. The end benefit wasn't big muscles, it was kicking the bully's ass and getting the girl.
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