What's the use of having an email list if...

25 replies
they don't buy anything from you?

Maybe it's a silly question, but not one that I've seen here before. You see, I've spent nearly a month developing a relationship with my list. (It's small, but it's growing every day)

Now, I've started doing more ad swaps and promotions and I started seeing more folks unsubscribe. I've even been spammed because my aweber shows a complaint of 30% on one promotion I sent out. (however, that was only for 30 opens. my list has over 300)

So my question is...what's the use of having an email list if they don't buy anything from you?

I do understand about delivering value, building relationships and all that other good stuff. But at the end of the day, if they don't buy...should I just continue offering more freebies (with no opt in) or should I still send promotions once or twice a month?

I've sent 3 promotions to this list with only 2 sales so far. Dunno. Kinda stuck here.

So after you have a list...what do you do with it?

Thanks folks and happy marketing.

Shane
#email #list
  • Profile picture of the author AdmiralGloom
    Have you tried hiring a copywriter to write your aweber series?

    It could be 1 or 2 things, as I can see:

    1. Your list is not a valued list, they have no real interest in what you are selling. Like selling hair spray to skin heads.

    or

    2. Your aweber campaign is lacking on "literary persuasion". And I am not saying it is you...the fact is a copywriter is trained to know exactly what a certain group of people desire most and use it to sell.

    Just a few thoughts,
    Good luck to you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3279659].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Taylor
    Shane, it really depends on a lot of factors. The niche...the type of people signing up...the opt in page, etc.

    What are you offering on the opt in page? Do you let them know ahead of time that there will be ads? What about your publishing schedule?

    Regular unsubscribes are a good thing, since they're voluntarily helping you prune your list of non-responsive people.

    Spam complaints aren't good, though. Are you using double opt-in? Are you reminding them THEY signed up on whatever date from whatever IP address?

    What kind of content are you sending them? Is it extremely long or is the message a teaser that leads them to click through to a more full piece of content on your website?

    Do you easily segue into your pitch, or is the ad unrelated and blatantly ad-like? Does the offer itself provide value to your reader? Are you sending the same offer at least five to seven messages in a row, or do you send different offers every message? (People need to see an offer up to seven or more times before the majority of buyers will buy...)

    Are you sending a ton of adswaps? Are you sending a ton of solo ads/launch madness ads?

    Do you send mail every day, once a week, or only sporadically?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280453].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mandark
    Another factor may be that you are sending out ads too quickly, so that they feel like they are being swarmed with ads instead of the good content they had grown to enjoy from you.

    To rectify this, I would try one or more of the following:
    1. Send ads less frequently.
    2. Write quality content around the ads - describe why the ads are relevant to them specifically, the readers who trust you and are interested in that type of thing.
    3. Combine your relationship-building content with ads. So maybe the first half of the e-mail is the type of content you sent out at the beginning to build relationships, and the second half is a well-written ad.

    Good luck!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280474].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    I think a fairly general rule is that the more effort you put into your emails, the more people will buy what you promote.

    On the other hand you do also need to think about what type of people signed up, what their original motivation was, and keep your offers inline with this.
    Signature

    I write articles and eBooks - PM me for details!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280480].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JoshuaZamora
    I have thought about doing the ad swap method myself but Im thinking a lot of the subcribers I will be getting are probably on 10 or more other peoples list. Especially if the person offering the ad buys offers them every week. You are having to compete with a ton of other people

    I would suggest trying to get more targeted optins then optins from ad swaps
    Signature
    Learn How To Get Your First Wordpress Blog Online
    >>Get Instant Access Here<<

    FREE Video Marketing Report..Reveals How I Make Passive Income With YouTube
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280493].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author NateRivers
    Ratios are really important for this type of thing. As in 7 quality content messages for every "pitch" message. You can do 5 to 1, but that's the lowest I would go.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280507].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by ShaneBoyd View Post

    they don't buy anything from you?

    Maybe it's a silly question, but not one that I've seen here before. You see, I've spent nearly a month developing a relationship with my list. (It's small, but it's growing every day)

    Now, I've started doing more ad swaps and promotions and I started seeing more folks unsubscribe. I've even been spammed because my aweber shows a complaint of 30% on one promotion I sent out. (however, that was only for 30 opens. my list has over 300)

    So my question is...what's the use of having an email list if they don't buy anything from you?
    You get people to buy from you by focusing on giving
    them content and offers that are relevant to them.

    If you want to build a relationship with your list, then
    why would you want to be doing ad swaps already?

    People buy from people they know, like and trust.

    Have you been adding material so that your list knows,
    likes and trusts you?

    Also, find out what your list really wants and then
    you'll be in a better position to give it to them.

    If they're not buying, they either don't know, like or
    trust you enough yet, or your offer is not compelling
    for them - or it's a dead market without rabid buyers.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
    Signature

    .

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280540].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      You get people to buy from you by focusing on giving them content and offers that are relevant to them.

      If you want to build a relationship with your list, then why would you want to be doing ad swaps already?
      Precisely.

      I get people asking me to do ad swaps. And I say "what kind of people are on your list?"

      They don't know. They tell me numbers. How big the list is, open rates, clickthru rates, conversion rates, and I just sit there and wonder.

      My list is composed of intermediate-level internet marketers between the ages of 25 and 40, most of them creating and selling their own products, primarily residing in the UK and Hong Kong.

      I know who these people are.

      I don't have the slightest clue what all those numbers are good for. But because I know who my list members are, I can usually send them stuff they like.

      Numbers? Who cares about numbers? My list isn't numbers. It's people.
      Signature
      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280641].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ShaneBoyd
        Those are all really good answers. Thanks. From what I gathered here, I think I've forgotten about the rules of selling 101.

        It's clear the rules of selling ONLINE (via email) are no different than selling OFFLINE via sales letters and post cards.

        To answer a couple questions from earlier.

        I've built my list almost solely from ad swaps and solo ads. Everyone on my list is in the IM niche, mainly newcomers, but some of them are intermediate level.

        The squeeze page can be seen in my sig file (the first one) and the offer teaches them how to put together a money making website in one day.

        My material I've been sending them is all from another marketer (who has a coaching program I'm a part of), in which the auto responder series is set up for 50+ weeks filled with good content. However, I have sent them freebies as well.

        You know, as I'm writing this, it seems I really haven't allowed my list to KNOW ME. They seem to know the other guy in the follow up series in my aweber account. Hmm...

        Looks like I have some work to do today.

        Thanks folks.

        Peace,

        Shane
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280768].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Dolan
    Relevancy and relationships I would say are important, analyze what you have written to the list about, and look to give them some free quality focused advice and content, and follow up (having opened their minds) with a highly related offer along with more quality content and advice.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280696].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author robvegas626
    It's really important to put as much effort into your autoresponder messages as you do with your website. If you've got a double opt-in list and they aren't unsubscribing, you can assume that they're open to pulling out their wallet for the right offer...but before that, they need to feel that they LIKE you.

    I'll give you an example. On my sales page, I promise my customers that we give lifetime updates. When you buy any of my products, when we release new updated versions, they get them free of charge. We don't release these updates often, but when we do, I send a message to my ENTIRE list (buyers and prospects) and tell them "If you are a customer, email me and I'll send you a link to download all the new stuff for free." (Provided that they send in a copy of their receipt as proof.)

    The gratitude is massive. I get lots of "thanks, you're the man!" emails...and I always see my sales spike up over the next couple of weeks. I think it's because a lot of my list members who were on the fence before...wondering whether to buy my stuff...now think I'm a good guy who really wants to help them out over the long term (which is true), and isn't just trying to hustle them for a quick sale. So they go ahead and buy.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280732].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author myob
      One month is really too short of a time to be concerned about making sales. My lists get hammered everyday with hard selling promotions in addition to articles, tips, jokes and free offers. If they don't buy within 6 months they just get dumped. Many of my subscribers have been buying for nearly eight years.

      It's really a matter of setting expectations. If you get subscribers through offering freebies, you are not even targeting real buyers to begin with. Promote your main product right up front on the signup page with an option to subscribe for additional info or samples. Let them know you intend to sell them something, not just to make them feel warm and fuzzy.
      Signature
      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280880].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        One month is really too short of a time to be concerned about making sales. My lists get hammered everyday with hard selling promotions in addition to articles, tips, jokes and free offers. If they don't buy within 6 months they just get dumped. Many of my subscribers have been buying for nearly eight years.

        It's really a matter of setting expectations. If you get subscribers through offering freebies, you are not even targeting real buyers to begin with. Promote your main product right up front on the signup page with an option to subscribe for additional info or samples. Let them know you intend to sell them something, not just to make them feel warm and fuzzy.
        A lot of people will misinterpret the "dumped within 6 months" part, and not understand the quality control aspect.

        But you have a strange sense of humour (or "humor" as you incorrectly spell it in the US)
        Signature
        'If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.' Vincent Van Gogh.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3281147].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by oneplusone View Post

          A lot of people will misinterpret the "dumped within 6 months" part, and not understand the quality control aspect.

          But you have a strange sense of humour (or "humor" as you incorrectly spell it in the US)
          Perhaps instead of getting "dumped", I should have said unresponsive subscribers get "cleaned" from my lists after 6 months. It's all done automatically.
          Signature
          “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3281212].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
    Yes, think this is an awesome post.

    It GREATLY depends on the niche, how effective a list is in my experience.

    I have some niches that like you say, don't really respond that well when you try and monetize them, and then I have others where you can make quite a good living with this method and sending out the occasional offer.

    I think it comes down to the fact that it is ALWAYS better to have the list.

    Keep growing it, and providing good content and have a think of what that list needs.

    Even send out a survey or something or ask for feedback - just finding that sweet spot!

    Chris
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280914].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by ShaneBoyd View Post

    So my question is...what's the use of having an email list if they don't buy anything from you?
    ...
    So after you have a list...what do you do with it?
    Shane
    You need TWO things to have a profitable email list.

    #1 - The RIGHT kind of subscribers

    #2 - The RIGHT kind of offer

    If you build a list with freebie seekers and tire-kickers, who
    will grab anything you gift them for free, but not care enough
    to explore stuff that's much more valuable if they have to pay
    for it, you've lost the game before you begin.

    And even with the right kind of prospect on your list, unless
    you can make them the kind of offer that will have them pulling
    out their wallet/credit card and BUYING, you won't reach anywhere
    near your highest potential as a list marketer.

    The rest of the factors matter, like ensuring deliverability,
    relationship building and great, compelling copywriting.

    But the 2 factors I mention are KEY to the success or failure
    of any list building venture.

    Hope this helps.

    All success
    Dr.Mani
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3280976].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
      I love lists and I love reading these threads

      Some great replies
      Signature
      'If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.' Vincent Van Gogh.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3281075].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
        Have you checked where your subscribers are from? I built up a list really quickly in the IM niche and got close on a 1000 subscribers and got absolutely nowhere with it. I looked deeper into the details and found that over 70% of them were from India, Philipinnes, Nigeria and Pakistan.

        In other words they probably didn't have credit/debit cards to pay for the things I was offering. So, regardless of how much some of your list may want info on IM, if they don't have the means to pay for things online then you'll waste a lot of time promoting to them. Just make sure you take a look at where your subscribers are coming from.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3281193].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author donnan
    With so many offers out there, I think more an more lists are getting tired of the spam that they receive. Lets face it alot of the time it can be classified as spam. Sure there are some worthy emails that should be sent out, that have some great offers.

    People unsubscribe because they have had enough and what you are emailing them and they no longer want to accept more, so they are treating it as spam and want to be rid of it. Send no more!

    If you are hammering away trying to make a sale to your list everyday, they are just going to treat it as spam eventually. You have to have something to offer them to keep them interested and most of the time they want things that are going to help them. Whether it be advice or tips or a product that just everyone has got to have. If it helps them they'll buy.

    If you can offer them friendship and be a real person I find this build a rapport with your list. I think this is the best approach treat them as friends and you won't get too many unsubscribe.

    Be genuine in what you are trying to sell them and treat them as selling to a friend.

    Just my opinion, hope it helps.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3281035].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author David Gold
    Shane,

    List building can be extremely lucrative or it can be extremely frustrating as you're finding out. I empathize with you as I experienced you're pain early on in my career.

    Here's an example of a highly profitable list that I built a while back.

    When I build a list I like to keep it tightly focused. The tighter the focus, the higher your conversions will be.

    This list was built around the credit repair niche. To build the list I became a member of several credit/finance/mortgage forums where I posted informative reply's with a link in my sig that offered a free 4 part course showing how to boost your credit score to 720. I also used free classifieds ad sites like craigslist, kijiji, and oodle for sign ups. This list is highly targeted with a group of consumers who have an urgent need.

    I used aweber to build my list as it's easier to manage the sending of emails as they are staggered depending on when folks sign up.

    After the subscriber has been sent the first three parts of the course, the fourth and final part is sent. The only difference is that in the final part I have an affiliate link to a credit repair offer. The psychology behind my method is simple. Do it yourself credit repair is not particularly difficult but it does take time, a long time. Reports have to be mailed as well as the dispute letters and then follow up all takes time and only a few see it through to the end. In today's "instant gratification" society, people are impatient and will not go through all of the steps required to repair their credit. And so the fourth and final part of the course highlights the ease of allowing a professional to fix your credit by just hitting the buy button.

    To recap:
    A. My subscribers have entrusted me with their email address in regards to "credit repair" in exchange for something of value, the 4 part course. Never forget that the more you give, the more you will receive!
    B. The "credit repair" course is sent and is the only item within the email. I don't ramble on about the weather or try to sell them something related. That's not what they subscribed for.
    C. The final part of the course is sent along with the offer for them to have someone else perform the tedious and time consuming task of the "credit repair."

    By keeping your list focus ultra tight, you'll convert at a much higher percentage than with any ad swap or purchased list. I know others will disagree with me saying that they can sell anything to their list and that may be true. However, my conversion rate with this list was crazy and my list was not very big at all, around 3,200 the first time I ran it. My profit was approx. $13k. Total time invested was about 30 hours over the course of 6 weeks. I've since run this campaign twice with similar results. This method can and is being used for different niches like relationship help, gambling/casinos, dog training, etc.

    My apologies as I left out a lot of the nuance behind this method but I hope that the crux came through.

    Yes lists take time to build but when built properly, they can be hugely profitable.

    essere ricchi,

    David
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3284965].message }}

Trending Topics