How To Make Money With Your List (in the real-world)

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I don't know why I feel like sharing this, but life's been exceptionally good late, so whatever, I'll share some swag.

In the last 6 months or so, I've really focused in on what works in generating money from your list on the backend.

And I don't mean with autoresponders. I don't do autoresponders, I don't like them. I'm always actively working with my list with broadcasts, blog posts, promotions, special landing pages, etc.

In the last year, I've added a little more than 20,000 people to my list (all through repeated JV's mailing for me. How do you do that? Become a really cool fu##king person in the eyes of your potential JV's. How do you do that? Start with Dale Carnegie and soon thereafter, graduate to Robert Greene. And as always, please remember to *use* what you learn).

And with those 20,000-ish people, I earn just around $.71 per subscriber, each month just off the back-end. I don't know what most people earn per subscriber per month but that's a fairly long-term, consistent number and one that I know is head and shoulders above what most good marketers are making off of their back-end.

If you have a list and aren't at this point yet, I'm now going to break down some of the breakthroughs I've made recently as to how I'm doing this and how you can do it as well.

Also, I'm probably going to be saying some things that are completely counter-intuitive to what you've been conditioned to believe. Take it for what it's worth (which, IMO, is somewhere in the 5K range). If you don't like what you hear because it rocks you out of your comfort zone, so be it -- someone else will undoubtedly feel differently and benefit a ton from this. I hope it's you.

Making Money From Your List

At this point in time, people make money from their lists a variety of ways. You send content and you pitch at the end or your pitch throughout. You simply pitch. You promote a launch as an affiliate. You promote your own launch. You promote your own special promotion. You create new offers and promote those. You have some form of continuity. Those are the most common ways and they're all good and fine.

But most people don't know how to balance all of these things together for optimal list happiness/cashflow.

I'll show you how throughout this post.

Content vs. Promo Material

I've heard a ton of people talk about different plans on how to best mix "salesy communications" with "content communications".

There's the 20/60/20 Rule (where it's 20% pure content, 20% pitch and 60% mixed). There's the 50/50 Rule (50% pitch, 50% content). I've even heard the 69/31 Rule, but I think the guy who told me that was probably just a little sexed out and was getting his numbers confused.

Th point is all of these "rules" sound fine on paper, but they're very general and incredibly misleading -- to follow set in stone rules like this would not only lose you money, but it also demonstrates a lack of understanding what your list is -- they're people, with ever-changing needs and emotions.

Maybe on a day where you're supposed to be running a content piece (because you're running with the 20/60/20 Rule), a good majority of your list all recently suffered the same pain in their lives (a pain your product would solve) but because you're gonna waste his time giving him 3 Tips To Better Farts, he'll never get to your solution. And by the time you do get around to pitching a week later, he's already over it and out of "buying mode".

The point is the mixing of content and pitching isn't a science -- it's an art (that is if content is EVER EVEN NECESSARY...).

Is Content Even Necessary?


In a word, maybe.

Here's what I know:

1. When I pitch, I make money.
2. When I send nothing but success stories/testimonials, I make money.
3. When I talk about their problems and frustrations, I make money.
4. When I do fun, random non-content stuff, I make money.
5. When I do content, I make a little money.
6. When I do pure content, I make no money.
7. When I pitch, I get some unsubscribes.
8. When I do content, I get a lot of unsubscribes (and my content is top-shelf sh*t).

Looking at this chart (I use the term chart extraordinarily loosely here), content would appear to be the enemy. It's not though -- it does serve its purposes:

a) It helps ALL emails get opened (so you need to send some of it often enough that people might expect it)
b) It can build trust in you, that your people believe you know what you're talking about (but so does being able to describe their problems and frustrations *better* than they can, amongst other things)
c) If you're passionate about your niche (which I am extremely), it'll make you feel good and your food taste better.

But it only needs to be delivered enough to keep the "ON" switches flipped up for all of these things. That's the extent of content.

And while I'm here, let's talk about goodwill.

Goodwill ain't ****.

I know in the last year, goodwill has been somewhat of a buzzword, but IMNHO, it's extremely secondary.

Let's be real: We don't *buy* stuff from the people who are always doing cool sh*t for us. No way. We EXPECT stuff from them. We take them for granted.

We BUY from the people we believe can help us with our problems in the most effective, safest and fastest way possible.

That's it.

And how do you get people to see you as that guy?

You talk about their problems.

People waste so much time fluffing about bullsh*t and tips for that and a cool story about this -- stop it.

They know have problems, that's why they came to you.

You know you a solution, that's why you're here.

So talk about their problems, their pains, their frustrations and let them know about your solution. That's how moneys made.

Don't be like that guy who's too much of a pantsy to make the move on the girl when they both clearly like each other.

Make your move -- talk about their problems.

Why am I so adamant about this?

Because people NEED to hear about this stuff before they're ready to hand their 16-digits over to you. To appreciate the sun, we need the rain. And to appreciate your product and solution, they need the pain (hey, I just rhymed! Wi-five!).

On top of that, this is what gets your potential buyers to open your emails.

For example, let's says Subscriber A is on 2 different experts list in the same market. Expert 1 is a badass marketer (maybe with a fo-hawk) and he sends an email with a subject line like, "Did you spend Saturday night in front of your computer with a kleenex AGAIN?".

Let's also say that in Expert One's email, he's gonna describe to you exactly what really did happen to you last Saturday night and make you feel bad about it and then tell you it's not your fault and if you're finally ready to put an end to this once and for all, he's got your solution.

And let's say Expert 2 is the nice-guy in the market. He gives away a ton of free content, he's got tons of goodwill and he might even come cook for you and your family if you ask, 'cause he's just such a darned good guy.

So let's say Expert 2 also sends an email on the same day that says "3 NEW Girl-Getting Tricks (new on the blog!)" and you know it's gonna be a link to a new blog post where at the end of it, he'll throw a little pitch in there for his program.

Which email do you think is going to get opened more?

Truthfully, it'd probably be about even. But which one will make you more money?

The second one and it's not even close. And here's the best part:

You can send emails like Expert A over and over again, because people NEVER TIRE OF HEARING ABOUT THEIR PROBLEMS, PAINS AND FRUSTRATIONS.

Take that one to the proverbial bank.

Plus, have you ever heard anyone say "My list is cashed. They've become really non-responsive, I need to give them a break"?

The truth is their list isn't cashed or even unresponsive, that person just hasn't been talking to their list the right way.

Their list wants to hear about their problems, they want to hear about how you hold the key to their desires. The other stuff is just unnecessary fluff, plain and simple.

And with all that in mind, let's take a look at how you can do this, and severly increase your backend cashflow simultaneously.

What I've done is put together is a monthly cycle I try to shuffle through each month that allows me to pitch as often as I want, without ever seeing open rates or responsiveness go down.

I can't give you that entire cycle right now because

1. I'm presenting on it in a couple months at a good friends event and it wouldn't be fair to him

2. It's really f*cking good.

That being said, I'll gladly give you some of the generalities.

A) Plan out your marketing.

Dan Kennedy once said, "Bitches ain't sh*t." He was right.

He also once said something like, "Your income is directly related to the quality and intelligence of your marketing." He was also right.

Intelligent marketing is planned-out marketing. It's knowing all of your promotions for the next few months, it's planning out all of your stick-rate tactics months in advance for your continuity program, it's knowing how mentioning a Joint Venture Partner in a blog post in September is going to boost conversions for his launch in November.

Plan everything out for at least 2-3 months and make sure it all makes sense. Then look at how your prospect avatar would respond to a 2-3 month communication like that -- if you look at it from their perspective and don't say to yourself, "Gosh, he's selling a lot", go back and add more "pitch communications" to your schedule. And when you do, make a note that you're going to do it by talking about their pains and problems the majority of the time.

B) Alternate Between Harder and Softer Pitch Weeks

Pretty straight-forward. If someone were to graph your pitching on a graph, it should look like a bunch of parabolas next to each other.

Also, here's a little trick: On a softer pitch week, promote an affiliate product and let THEM do the pitching. Just send your list to an article of that affiliates that has sales content in it.

That way, all you have to say in the email is "Here's a great article about whatever from my good buddy Sherlock Frankenstein."

Also of note here: The thing that determines whether your subscriber sees something as a harder pitch vs. a softer pitch is often just the LENGTH of the pitch in the email.

C) Send Success Story Emails

These ones are short, don't take ANY salesmanship and sell like crazy.

You just send an email that says "Hey man, check out this success story I just got from Mike in Houston, who used my "Pickup Chicks Without Showering" eBook. Then show them the new success story and at the end of it, tell them they can try the same program Mike used for just a $1 Trial or whatever your current offer is.

These emails are NOT content, nor are they salesy. They just come off as you being super-proud and excited of your product. They also build trust in that what you do works and they hit lots of emotional hot buttons if they had ANYTHING in common with that success story in the email.

D) Create Splintered Products To Sell Each Month

Splintered products are just smaller products that, if a bunch of them were put together, they could probably be one big product.

It'd be like making a 10- step video course, and making each step or two a product on its own.

Here's what you do with these: You create a new one each month and you sell it for a low price point. You make it only temporarily available (for a REAL reason).

Doing this gets you tons of NEW customers because of the lower barrier to consume and it also gets you tons of repeat customers who have purchased stuff from you in the past. It also adds a whole new flow of cash coming in each month that wasn't there before.

And for those of you who think creating a new program each month is too much and too overwhelming for your subscribers, I'll quote DK here one more time: "Your customers ability to consume information will always be greater than your ability to produce it."

Truth.

Two more things to remember before I get going here if you read this and thought, "Wow, this all sounds great in theory, but this would overwhelm my subscriber".

1. Your subscriber came to you because they had a problem they believed you could solve. If they still haven't bought from you yet, it's because your marketing isn't yet good enough and maybe a little more intelligent pitching is just what the shaman ordered...just maybe they wouldn't be overwhelmed, but instead -- relieved.

Relieved because you finally pulled whatever mind-game tricks you had to in order to overcome their skepticism, get them to buy and allow them access to your killer solution, which is what they've needed all along.

2. If you get 20% open rates every time you send, remember it's almost always a DIFFERENT 20% opening those emails. I'm not even going to elaborate on that, but please read it again and figure out how powerful that is.

All right, now I'm done. Time to catch some How I Met Your Mother and catch some shut-eye.

Oh, and since I'm clearly a pure salesman at heart, yes, I do consulting, and no, I'm not cheap.

Best of luck,

Alex
#list #make #money #realworld
  • Profile picture of the author Phillip M King
    Awesome post, and I think it's right on the money, judging from my experience. I'm definitely saving these lessons in a study file.

    I think you may not have clearly expressed what you meant in the example of the two marketers, as you said that the second one got the action, but I figured it out.

    Thanks heaps for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author SpaceAge
    Thanks for the informative post Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author ArticleGrinder
      Thanks for the great post mate!
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      • Profile picture of the author AlexMaroko
        I saw your question about pitch frequency somewhere else man...as long as you're pitching to PROSPECTS only (and have customers on a separate list) and you have a REAL reason to be emailing them, you'll be golden.

        Originally Posted by ArticleGrinder View Post

        Thanks for the great post mate!
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        Sorry if this makes too much sense.

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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    Thanks for breaking it down into ABCD at the end there. That was alot of information. Great post. I will be re-reading it several times.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Ansari
    Hey AlexMaroko,

    Awesome tips, is there any way to get the full cycle after you have presented it at your friends event?
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    • Profile picture of the author deertrail
      Great post my friend. Love the hard-hitting, no-nonsense style - I can see why people on your list open your emails!

      -Bryan
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    • Profile picture of the author AlexMaroko
      Yeah man, I could probably share it after -- you'd just have to promise you'd USE the info in it :-)
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      Sorry if this makes too much sense.

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      • Profile picture of the author Ansari
        Originally Posted by AlexMaroko View Post

        Yeah man, I could probably share it after -- you'd just have to promise you'd USE the info in it :-)
        That would be cool man, I am already planning how to use what you have mention in this post. It just makes too much sense
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    Great post. Your point about the 20% opening your emails is key. That's why being able to send another email just to those who didn't open the first one is such a powerful tool.

    I agree with just about everything you said except the point about Goodwill. I've made a lot of money from subscribers who feel the need to reciprocate. Not every niche is about solving a problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author toumi111
    Banned
    thank you for share
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    • Profile picture of the author graemeteague
      Hi Alex

      Great post, you mention you are for hire, and expensive - how expensive? My emails suck basically, good open rates but poor sales and I'm in a filed where clients are in pain and in need. But I'm not a writer. So I'll follow your post carefully and hopefully improve.

      It would be great if you can share your material after the event, and if afford it hire you to take a look.
      Cheers
      Graeme
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  • Profile picture of the author ~Davor Debrecin~
    I've even heard the 69/31 Rule, but I think the guy who told me that was probably just a little sexed out and was getting his numbers confused.
    I laughed at this, hehe. Nice one.

    Awesome post man, really enjoyed it. My father was always telling me that business is the same as picking up girls. Guess that's the reason why he was always "working" all the time. Hehe, joking.

    Take care,

    ~Davor

    PS: Did you know that 83% of people never realize this? (Barney )
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Good advice, but I am still too afraid to start building a list. How do I get over this??
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinTorrence
    Dang. Now THAT was killer info that I like finding around here!

    I need to start doing my emails like you're talking about here ... I'll admit to being pretty sucky. Gotta get confident and get to REALLY know my folks.

    Thanks for sharing this!
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  • Profile picture of the author LaneB
    Tissue?......Crybaby
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    on:
    Client Getting
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    Growth hacking
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    and all other forms of money getting otherwise rarely taught elsewhere
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    • Profile picture of the author davidjames42973
      Awesome post. It definitely makes sense and I've never thought of it this way. I will definitely apply this to my list.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexMaroko
    A lot of it has to do with positioning man -- if your market sees you as the cat's pajamas, anything they can get from you is ULTRA high-value.

    So that random time you do give them something for free and don't ask anything in return, they go, "Wow, this is so awesome of him, he obviously doesn't have to do this, but he still did..".

    And just like that, MASSIVE spike in goodwill.

    It's like if you were at a club and 50 Cent walked in and he walked up to you, said "whats up man, how's the family?", talked to you for a couple minutes and then walked away.

    You'd immediately think, "WOW! 50 Cent is such a cool, down-to-earth guy!".

    Did he do anything special? No. He talked to you for 2 minutes.

    If a normal dude came up and had the same convo with you, you'd think nothing of it.

    Positioning...no one deletes an email from 50 Cent.

    And if you ASK people to buy products, of course they'll get sick of it. But that's not salesmanship. That's pussy-ship.

    I never ASK them to do anything -- I imply, tell and suggest they do something with my copy.







    Originally Posted by Ken Rogers View Post

    There is a lot of good info in this post, but a lot of it is looking at short term income. Sometimes it is best to sacrifice short term income for long term success.

    If you constantly ask people to buy products, even if they do solve a problem, people will get sick of it and unsubscribe. And I don't know what kind of content you write, but I have never gotten an unsubscribe from giving people valuable info without asking for information in return.

    Just my opinion, I think it is better to give a lot of value and ask fora return every once in a while, not give every once in a while and ask a lot.
    Signature

    Sorry if this makes too much sense.

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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    Great post. I would add that putting your personality into your posts makes a huge difference. Whether it's a pitch or valuable content, nobody wants to read emails from robots.
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    Founder of JVZoo. All around good guy :)

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  • Profile picture of the author CatherineC
    Banned
    Great post Alex, makes a ton of sense and plays off of some powerful psychological impulses. Big thumbs up and thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex.Fields
    Nice post mate, alot of people can learn from this. And i can vow that you aint telling BS.

    Best Regards

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author charlesburke
    Originally Posted by AlexMaroko View Post

    Let's be real: We don't *buy* stuff from the people who are always doing cool sh*t for us. No way. We EXPECT stuff from them. We take them for granted.
    This is so fr*ckin' true. It's being the nice guy that girls like and allow to do them favors, but never go home with. So you wanna keep being the guy who's too nice to have an ulterior motive... and no results?

    For a quick lesson in what Alex is talking about here, just pay attention to the post itself. Lots of practical, actionable information, and then at the end, a dropped comment that 1) he'll be presenting this very topic at an upcoming event (value building), and that 2) he's available for hire.

    Of course, the only thing keeping you from doing the same thing Alex does is some silly preconceived notion of what you believe is "right" and "wrong" behavior. Or that your subscribers might not like you anymore.

    You've put your subscribers into the same category as the nice girl you're pining over - you know, the one who goes home with the bad boy while you're at her house fixing her sink. You're giving her what she needs while HE'S giving her what she wants.

    (Wakeup call: they didn't subscribe because they like you - they want something from you, so get busy supplying it. And give them respect - recognize that they're not deadbeats; they're perfectly able to pay for what you provide.)

    Cheers from badass Thailand,
    Charley
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
    Alex,

    Good info but I'm a little bit confused and hope you can clarify. In your example Expert 1 does the things you suggest:

    --doesn't dance around the issue
    --talks about their problems, pains, and frustrations
    --offers a solution

    While Expert 2 does many of the things you don't suggest:

    --concentrates on being a "good guy" instead of providing a solution
    --gives fluff content
    --doesn't talk about their prospects problems

    Yet you say Expert Two's e-mail would make the most money *but* you could send Expert One's e-mails over and over again because people

    NEVER TIRE OF HEARING ABOUT THEIR PROBLEMS, PAINS AND FRUSTRATIONS.
    So is Expert One the go to guy or Expert Two?

    Kevin








    Originally Posted by AlexMaroko View Post

    For example, let's says Subscriber A is on 2 different experts list in the same market. Expert 1 is a badass marketer (maybe with a fo-hawk) and he sends an email with a subject line like, "Did you spend Saturday night in front of your computer with a kleenex AGAIN?".

    Let's also say that in Expert One's email, he's gonna describe to you exactly what really did happen to you last Saturday night and make you feel bad about it and then tell you it's not your fault and if you're finally ready to put an end to this once and for all, he's got your solution.

    And let's say Expert 2 is the nice-guy in the market. He gives away a ton of free content, he's got tons of goodwill and he might even come cook for you and your family if you ask, 'cause he's just such a darned good guy.

    So let's say Expert 2 also sends an email on the same day that says "3 NEW Girl-Getting Tricks (new on the blog!)" and you know it's gonna be a link to a new blog post where at the end of it, he'll throw a little pitch in there for his program.

    Which email do you think is going to get opened more?

    Truthfully, it'd probably be about even. But which one will make you more money?

    The second one and it's not even close. And here's the best part:

    You can send emails like Expert A over and over again, because people NEVER TIRE OF HEARING ABOUT THEIR PROBLEMS, PAINS AND FRUSTRATIONS.

    Take that one to the proverbial bank.

    Plus, have you ever heard anyone say "My list is cashed. They've become really non-responsive, I need to give them a break"?

    The truth is their list isn't cashed or even unresponsive, that person just hasn't been talking to their list the right way.

    Their list wants to hear about their problems, they want to hear about how you hold the key to their desires. The other stuff is just unnecessary fluff, plain and simple.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexMaroko
    My bad G -- I meant Expert One is gonna make more way more dough, not the second.

    And Charles, right on man -- and for anyone who wants to read a little more about getting into this "real-life, amoral marketing mindset", google Robert Greene talking about radical realism.

    I swear I've despised philosophy my entire life, but I could read anything from the big RG all day long.
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    Sorry if this makes too much sense.

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      As long as we're quoting Dan Kennedy, here's one I refer to whenever I start getting shy about promoting too much...

      "No one with a headache ever complained about the price of aspirin."

      Originally Posted by Ken Rogers View Post

      There is a lot of good info in this post, but a lot of it is looking at short term income. Sometimes it is best to sacrifice short term income for long term success.

      If you constantly ask people to buy products, even if they do solve a problem, people will get sick of it and unsubscribe. And I don't know what kind of content you write, but I have never gotten an unsubscribe from giving people valuable info without asking for information in return.

      Just my opinion, I think it is better to give a lot of value and ask fora return every once in a while, not give every once in a while and ask a lot.
      Ken, I hate to break it to you, but over the long haul you are going to have some turnover in your list. Especially "desperate buyer" type lists, where the subscription is based on pain. Some solve their problem, one way or another, and don't need you any more. Some will change email addresses and not subscribe the new address. Some will hit the unsubscribe link. Some will get lazy and start hitting the 'spam' button. Most won't physically unsubscribe, they'll just check out and quit opening your emails.

      You don't have to put an overt pitch in every email. Sometimes my "pitch" is a one-sentence reminder of a special offer or product offer I've mentioned before, along with a link. Very low-key. And if the person reading has a desire for the benefits of the product I pitch, that link does have value.

      The key is to set expectations for the list content and then live up to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveGTaylor
    This is sooo true and definitely resonates with me, especially when you are new, which I am relatively. We get conditioned by the same message. We think that the 'guru' is a god and we will only be able to get to $10,000 dollars plus per month when we have been super nice and not 'ripped' anybody with those nasty affiliate products.

    Remember this, when somebody first opts into your list they don't know whether they are the 1st or 10,000th person to do it and they don't know whether you have been in IM for 6 days or 6 years.
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