It's NOT the List; It's NOT the Relationship with the List; It's...

by drmani
62 replies
I wrote this after reading some threads on email marketing like this and
this.

Absolute beginners to IM are taught to build a list.

"The Money Is In The List"

This mantra is drummed into their heads over and over, until it
seeps into their very consciousness.

So you start list building and email marketing.

But after a while, often when you've built up a database of a few
hundred (or maybe few thousand) subscribers, you realize that isn't
the complete picture.

"The Money is NOT in the List - It's in the RELATIONSHIP with your list."

That philosophy, also often echoed on discussion boards and blogs,
starts to sound more appealing and attractive.

First, it segues nicely into the original concept of the vital role
of a list - so you don't have to change any core elements of your
thinking and world-view.

Second, it seems to place the responsibility for what isn't going
right on something you're doing wrong - or can do better.

But what you won't hear said clearly and with any kind of reinforcement
on many discussions (at least I haven't seen it stated explicitly often)
- yet is the SINGLE most critical element on which your email marketing
will stand or fall... is this:

"It's The ATTENTION You Get From Your List Members"

Seth Godin first taught me this principle in his excellent book,
"Tribes". And he also explained how attention is a gift bestowed
upon you, the list owner, by your audience - NOT unconditionally,
NOT permanently, NOT automatically... but based on YOUR performance.

Deliver 'value' - however your audience defines it - and you'll win
their ATTENTION for a while.

Keep on delivering value, and they'll pay attention - for as long
as they perceive that value addition.

Leverage that ATTENTION, and you have the seeds of a successful
email marketing strategy.

Lose that ATTENTION, and you may well have to start over again from
scratch, as I've often been forced to do.

So, it's NOT just the list, it's NOT just the relationship with your
list, it's the ATTENTION you have (or don't have) of your audience
that matters most.

Think about it.

Even if you don't like or know the person sending you email, if they
grab your attention for long enough to deliver a message, and the
message itself is critical to you, or entertaining enough to you,
or grabs you by the emotional coat-tails and whisks you aboard their
carousel, you'll hop on for the ride.

And just like a strong headline by itself won't close the sale, the
attention you grab initially is only the first step - but the most
important step - along a slippery slope to email marketing success.

Thoughts?

All success
Dr.Mani
#list #relationship
  • Profile picture of the author Shawn Darlin
    Wow, awesome thread man. There are just tons of people that keep spamming with affiliate links to other products - never provide any value.

    They should read this

    Shawn.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jahshaka
    Great read buddy,almost 90% of the lists I have joined ended up being a headache,just dumping useless info in my inbox however,the few gems I have stumbled upon are the ones I look forward to reading and it's no coincidence they are the lists of some of the biggest players in the game
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    I like it.

    There are some people you need to pay attention to, that's for sure.

    I have some guys who do send out offers a majority of the time, but they have my attention because they are always suggesting good products and I know they can put their money where their mouths are and can walk the walk.

    I like to stay on the lists of guys who also have success in lots of other areas besides IM.

    But that's just me. The key is, are you connecting and keeping the attention of the majority of those on your list? And even further, are you keeping the attention of the people who trust you and who will do business with you?

    I think we've all got things to learn in this area, at least I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author taniharjo
    awesome thread but isn't that it's the relation that brings the attention.
    without a good relationship, you won't get the good attention
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by taniharjo View Post

      awesome thread but isn't that it's the relation that brings the attention.
      without a good relationship, you won't get the good attention
      You've got that backwards. You have to get attention to get the relationship. You can talk forever and a day, but if people aren't listening to you, you might as well go sit in a closet and mumble at yourself. Once you have someone's attention you can build a relationship.

      It's cyclical though - you can lose attention even when you have a relationship. You can ask anyone who's been married about that one.

      Dr. Mani -- thanks for the heads up on the book Tribes. One of the conclusions I drew in my course studies is that humans are not social in the sense of ants and bees - but tribal as are pack animals such as wolves. I see part of the world's problems as being indicative that our numbers are necessitating a social order not innate to our species. That book sounds like one I might be more than slightly interested in reading. Glad I read your post.
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      Sal
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      Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author Henry White
    Agreed! It's always "implied" but rarely explained fully.

    This is the logical application of building your relationship with your list.

    This is how you convert buyers to repeat buyers, even rabid fans.

    This is the "secret" between a few hundred or a few thousand dollars in sales, and your next level.
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    Great post!

    Definitely agree, so much as to have been paying AWeber for nearly 5 months, as I acquire the proper knowledge to do just that.

    I had 'collected' maybe 25 subscribers in a short time, but I quickly realized that I had no freaking clue what to do with them afterwards?...because my entire idea of a sales funnel was so bleak, that in all honesty and absolution; I didn't feel worthy enough to be an authority to their needs!

    Honestly, as I approach my 6th month having a "stale" AWeber account, I finally feel to be ready to start establishing campaigns, follow-ups, and be much more specific to understanding my 'prospects' needs, wants, and desires.

    Truthfully, there is so much psychology to uncover concerning proper marketing practices, that it took me a minute to realize; "What compels (or would compel) me to subscribe to a list?" -and more importantly continue to open emails knowing; there's a product, offer, or pre-sell attached.

    Naturally, I spent a great deal of time 'reflecting' on 'reverse engineering' some of the purchases I have made, and How those 'few' marketer's keep my interest, trust, and loyalty to stay subscribed. (Mind you, I did this with little spending as I studied)...but it wasn't for the freebies either!

    Few were able to really do this, while some possess that 'hyptnotic' right on time mindset. I can't count how many times I said. "Ah, I got all I could learn from this person" and right as I felt to be developing a broader understanding, their emails seemed to be growing with me!

    (*Note: It also revealed what a GURU JV Offer was all about, and 'what' I don't want to become!)

    I personally hope to master (or a least be decent) at such a trait to provide quality information, solutions, and assistance.

    In the end, I think it boils down to having a measure of 'empathy', whereby, You (the list-builder) have to understand what compels your subscribers interests?, desires?, needs?, and mindset?

    Master the ability to know what they need before they do, and of course provide quality solutions to such needs, and the sky is the limit!

    All week I have been determined to nail down which 'ideas' to build upon. I admit; I have abandoned preying on the unsuspecting w/ MMO reviews, and bogus 1-click garbage!

    To me, the money takes a back seat to being well-prepared, and confident 'when' my efforts truly begin to build my subscribers, I will be ready to serve them accordingly.

    "A King In Servant's Clothes", if you will. (A book I started writing, and have yet to finish BTW)

    That said, I do not exactly want 45 minute phone conversations with the little ol' lady who doesn't know what an auto responder is, but just bought a squeeze page template from me...LOL

    *This actually happened, the lady has been trying to learn IM'ing for 3 years...I couldn't sell her anything else, as I realized, her needs were beyond my ability to solve her problem. (*I almost gave her her money back...the whole $19.95)

    Perhaps, it was the best thing that could've ever happened to me, as I swore next time, I would be the authority, have the solution, and made me 'pause' to reevaluate what it was I was trying to build!

    In the end, I (like many here) hope to become a quality information provider, in such... that there is little room for question, as the delivery system will be accompanied by a solid knowledge over the subject of their interest.

    As I said in another post earlier, "Know Your Audience!" and in 'targeting' specific niches, I think I'm finally ready to start that list. A good feeling indeed!

    Who knows... maybe I'm wrong, as a pen name and a I don't give a F@#K attitude almost seemed to be winning in my mail boxes, at least if short-term money is your main focus.

    Sorry for carrying on, bit over tired, and caffeine'd out

    Art
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by taniharjo View Post

      ...but isn't that it's the relation that brings the attention.
      Maybe - though I'd argue they are related, yet distinct.

      You can have a relationship with someone - yet not pay attention to
      a sales message.

      You may NOT have a friendly relationship with them - yet, if someone
      consistently piques your interest, they'll have your attention, which
      could translate into action.

      Originally Posted by art72 View Post

      Truthfully, there is so much psychology to uncover concerning proper marketing practices...
      True, but then, there's also the other approach - which is just being
      yourself.

      Genuine. Authentic. Natural.

      That resonates with many people, and isn't hard to sustain, because
      you're not pretending to be something you aren't.

      Those who like your style will keep listening - and you'll have their
      attention. Others will leave your list, or ignore you... and that's
      just fine.

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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      • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
        Originally Posted by drmani View Post

        True, but then, there's also the other approach - which is just being
        yourself.

        Genuine. Authentic. Natural.

        That resonates with many people, and isn't hard to sustain, because
        you're not pretending to be something you aren't.

        Those who like your style will keep listening - and you'll have their
        attention. Others will leave your list, or ignore you... and that's
        just fine.

        All success
        Dr.Mani
        Great thread and follow-up replies. In the early Internet days it was easy to capture attention. People thought you must be a genius because you could remember their first name and what you had sent in your previous email. It is a different environment now since email marketing is done by every large retail business and IMer. In a few days even a newbie can set up all the technical/mechanical tools to capture emails, autorespnders, etc. etc......

        It will never go back to the simplistic "The money is in the list" mantra. I suppose if you are aiming for a million on your list and a 1% conversion rate. With the saturation (epidemic) of email marketing things have changed.

        The money from lists now is in grabbing ATTENTION and then sustaining that attention. This is very difficult to do but from my experience I totally agree that the best method is to be:

        Genuine. Authentic. Natural.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          I want to add a couple of things...

          > Zig Ziglar has written that a salesman can do everything right - generate an appointment, build rapport, describe the benefits of his offer - but if he leaves without an order, he's not a salesman. He's a professional visitor.

          A lot of people are afraid to sell. Some seem to believe that selling and value are mutually exclusive. If you are making your readers aware of a product that will make their personal or professional lives better, and they sense that you truly believe that to be the case, you are adding value.

          > Seems like some people put a commercially unhealthy spin on the word "relationship". It's been discussed before, but in my mind, having a relationship with someone does not mean we're best buds. Or even "friends" in the usual sense.

          I have a list of trusted vendors and service people with whom I have a good working relationship. We're not friends. But when I hear from them, I listen. They have my attention. When I contact them, they know I'm not calling around for bids. I've learned to trust them in their business dealings.

          This is the kind of relationship you want with your list members.
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          • Profile picture of the author thehorizon
            You know, I was always fascinated by how online marketing differed from offline marketing. In offline marketing, we never targeted people to do with specific niches.

            We'd set a huge map and target a specific "audience". A demographic like pregnant ladies with future babies, who grow up in the future and have education, schools, health fees....

            I mean, we're humans with huge amounts of wants. I can only grasp the part about the "warming up the list" when it has to do with the "trust" that a subscriber has to the one that is giving him the information.

            It would be the typical choice selection in his head. Is this email...
            • Spam? Hell I won't click it.
            • Something interesting? Let's click and see for entertainment.
            • a "WTF" moment, and clicks in curiosity.
            • By someone I know? What is it? What is it?
            • by Someone I respect/admire? Oh, what does he have to say! His touch turns me into gold!
            • fulfilling something I've been searching for? Maybe this is the answer.

            It's sort of similar, but I'd say email marketing within niches is "sort of targeted", but yet narrow-minded in a certain way. But wouldn't we be losing loads of opportunities this way?
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            • Profile picture of the author toddbakker
              Wow, dude great post. I don't really have a list right now but I hope to build one very soon. I hear this day in and day out about "the money is NOT in the list, but it is in the RELATIONSHIP with the list". I have heard it so much that I don't think I could ever forget it. GREAT STUFF.
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
            It's the number of confirmed buyers on the list that is going to determine the money you make. All this talk of relationship is nauseating, it's not an episode of friends. There's marketers who do nothing more than blast offer after offer every single day and are some of the highest earnings mail marketers out there. There is no relationship, just a huge list of confirmed buyers who are eager to jump onto the next shiny little bandwagon.
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  • Profile picture of the author glinda2011
    Great post.. I also started a thread like that "The Money Is In The List". All responded that it is in the relationship with the list. But I don't see any sales now..
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  • While I totally agree with you, I'd still argue that Attention is a result of the Relationship with your list: No relationship = no attention, so we're kinda arguing semantics here.

    What matters is whether they open your emails or not, and that's only achieved if they see you as a valuable source of information. Provide value, establish a good name among your subscribers, and they will open your emails and click on your links. As simple as that.
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      While I totally agree with you, I'd still argue that Attention is a result of the Relationship with your list: No relationship = no attention, so we're kinda arguing semantics here.
      But are we, really?

      * I'm signed up for barely a handful of ezines/lists in the IM niche.
      One is from a very successful email marketer. I don't like him all
      that much - but almost ALWAYS skim his content.

      He has my ATTENTION - even if not my interest or commitment.

      The day he pushes my hot buttons or points me to something I
      absolutely want or need, he'll probably close a sale.

      * You've heard of people saying they filter emails from post-WSO
      opt-ins to a folder for later. Those emails, and the marketers
      sending them, don't have their audience's ATTENTION. There is
      a 'relationship' (buyer-and-seller), but that's almost worthless!

      * I have filters set up for my favorite marketers. These are folks
      I know, like, respect, and converse with regularly. Still, their
      emails automatically go into folders for later. They have my respect
      - but not my attention, at least not at the time they've emailed me.

      * I don't buy everything promoted by people I like. Heck, I don't
      even buy something *because* it is promoted by someone I like - unless
      that goes to a special cause or there's a compelling reason why.

      * My buying decision is made on the merits of the product or service
      alone. And someone who delivers valuable reviews will have my
      ATTENTION - which might lead to a sale.

      What matters is whether they open your emails or not, and that's only achieved if they see you as a valuable source of information. Provide value, establish a good name among your subscribers, and they will open your emails and click on your links. As simple as that.
      Or not.

      There's a subtle difference between constantly providing value - and
      constantly capturing attention.

      Subtle - but important!

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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      • Originally Posted by drmani View Post

        There's a subtle difference between constantly providing value - and constantly capturing attention.
        Not really, because unless you provide value for him, you will not get his attention, so... I dunno man, I think you're simply arguing semantics, but hey whatever works for you
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        • Profile picture of the author drmani
          Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

          Originally Posted by drmani
          There's a subtle difference between constantly providing value - and constantly capturing attention.
          Not really, because unless you provide value for him, you will not get his attention, so... I dunno man, I think you're simply arguing semantics, but hey whatever works for you
          I'm not saying you're 'wrong' - just pointing out a tiny
          difference which has bigger implications... and will
          cause at least a few readers of this post to shift away
          from the "deliver value and all will be well" paradigm.

          Let me try and explain another way.

          Ask any 100 of my subscribers who open and read my emails
          and 95 at least will confirm that I deliver value in them.

          BUT my *average* email 'open rate' (for the few sub-lists
          on which I monitor them) are in the 25% range.

          The difference is that - for any of a number of reasons -
          I don't have their ATTENTION.

          * Maybe they get too much email from other sources.
          * Maybe they don't have enough time.
          * Maybe they're saving it to read later.
          * Maybe they're not getting it in their inbox.

          Or maybe they simply aren't paying ATTENTION to it!

          IF... I had their attention, THEN... the value I deliver
          will be perceived, which may in turn lead to retained
          attention, and then translate into buying behavior.

          And WHEN I do things wrong and lose their ATTENTION, the
          email marketing game will have turned a whole lot tougher
          - irrespective of whether or not I then continue to deliver
          value.

          All success
          Dr.Mani
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    • Profile picture of the author DocJedi
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      While I totally agree with you, I'd still argue that Attention is a result of the Relationship with your list: No relationship = no attention, so we're kinda arguing semantics here.

      What matters is whether they open your emails or not, and that's only achieved if they see you as a valuable source of information. Provide value, establish a good name among your subscribers, and they will open your emails and click on your links. As simple as that.

      Took my thoughts right out of my head.
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      • Profile picture of the author pronetwriter
        Creating a reputation based on value you provide to your potential clients is definitely a must.If they trust you,they will read you-- and buy you!
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  • Profile picture of the author AidanKay
    I always unsubscribe from a list as soon as I feel like I'm being treated as a potential sale.
    I know that's the whole point of lists, to make the list owner money, but if you're not willing to at least care a little and get on a personal level with me - then I ain't interested.
    If I want to be sold to, I'll walk the tourist areas of Bali (seriously, that's intense ).

    -Aidan.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by drmani View Post

    So, it's NOT just the list, it's NOT just the relationship with your
    list, it's the ATTENTION you have (or don't have) of your audience
    that matters most.

    Think about it.

    Even if you don't like or know the person sending you email, if they
    grab your attention for long enough to deliver a message, and the
    message itself is critical to you, or entertaining enough to you,
    or grabs you by the emotional coat-tails and whisks you aboard their
    carousel, you'll hop on for the ride.

    And just like a strong headline by itself won't close the sale, the
    attention you grab initially is only the first step - but the most
    important step - along a slippery slope to email marketing success.

    Thoughts?

    All success
    Dr.Mani
    For sure, having the ATTENTION of your list is an important
    first step.

    However, you can get and maintain the attention of
    your list by giving them lots of great content - but that
    doesn't necessarily translate into them developing the
    habit of regularly buying from you (or buying your affiliate
    offers).

    Attention is just the first step in the marketing process
    (A.I.D.A - Attention, Interest, Desire and Action).

    The money is really made in converting the ATTENTION
    of your list into profitable ACTIONS - like buying something!

    The money is in the behavior of your list.

    Do they buy - or do they not buy?

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author Evelyn B.
    This is fabulous advice, Dr. Mani: "So, it's NOT just the list, it's NOT just the relationship with your list, it's the ATTENTION you have (or don't have) of your audience that matters most."

    Then Shaun brings it all the way home with:
    "The money is really made in converting the ATTENTION
    of your list into profitable ACTIONS - like buying something!

    The money is in the behavior of your list.

    Do they buy - or do they not buy?"

    I've been suffering from a bit of 'list shame' because I've got a tiny list and I'm never quite sure what to do with it. I've been working on developing a relationship, now I need to get attention from them and convert that attention into the Action of whipping out the credit card.

    Thanks. ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    I would agree with this. There are people that I'm sure are sending me great content, but I never open their emails. Honestly some of them I have no CLUE who they are or how I got on their list.
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    • Profile picture of the author mizesean
      Excellent post - it sure is nice to see genuine content in this part of the forum :-)

      The thing is, it's really easy, as you well probably know, to see an email making money - because it sells - and forget that it sells because the other emails built trust.

      And it's easy to start focusing too much on sales - because of the short term revenue - and lose out on long term revenue due to the relationships you build -

      Thanks again
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    personally, i think it has a lot to do with the expectations your subscribers have of what you and and what they expect to be getting in their inbox.

    i have run review product lists, and they responded very well when i sent out an email saying i had reviewed and compared 3 new products. the click through rates were off the charts.

    but when i sent them other emails, they were not nearly as interested.

    then you get into those summary newsletters. imnewswatch.com is a great example of one of those. they rarely promote anything via email, but when they do, i dont pay much attention to it. i am not on that list to get product recommendations. i joined that list to get summaries of much of what is going on in the IM world.

    when you get into freebies lists or lists created with ads swaps or giveaway promotions you have to understand why that person joined in order to provide them with content they will be happy with. thats not to say you cant sell them stuff, but they clearly joined your list to get free stuff, and they probably want more free stuff. give them a lot of what they want and fewer promotions and in my experience you do better.

    then there are the coveted customer lists. these are the buyers, but they dont want to be pitched on everything under the sun. this is the list to really try to build relationships with. these are they people who will put money in your bank account, and you should be spending a big chunk of your time making sure these guys are happy.

    to me, you have to understand why the person is on whatever list they are on. once you do that, its much easier to meet their expectations.
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  • Profile picture of the author xxxJamesxxx
    It's good advice that. Only thing is - I know people who's banking hard just by mailing offer after offer.

    However I'd rather go the "providing quality content" route like I always have.

    James Scholes
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  • Profile picture of the author xxxJamesxxx
    It's NOT the List; It's NOT the Relationship with the List; It's...
    Btw... Killer headline... Made me curious enough to find out more ;-)

    James Scholes
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      Not really, because unless you provide value for him, you will not get his attention, so... I dunno man, I think you're simply arguing semantics, but hey whatever works for you
      AA, if you don't have his attention, how will he know you are providing value?

      Taken in isolation, this turns into a 'which came first, the chicken or the egg' question you can bat around all day and never solve anything.

      Dr. Mani, I've been reading your stuff for years. I've been guilty of repeating both of those mantras, with the underlying understanding of what you said here. It's one of those things I just took for granted.

      Thanks for not taking it for granted and spelling it out for everybody...
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        Surely the seed for attention is planted on the landing page, and what you deliver instantly?

        From my perspective, if you promise a freebie, then slam them with an offer or sales page, then you'll p1ss me off immediately.

        Not a good start.

        People also fail to mention the importance of training your list.

        I have seen threads about freegans unsubscribing or ignoring content... but it comes down to what you promise, what you deliver and how you train them.

        How many of us start off with the best of intentions promising updates etc, then it all gets too hard?

        Then we simply go to the well for a drink when we need some cash.

        I'm as guilty as sin on this one.

        On the other hand, if you deliver and then tell them to watch their inbox next Wednesday for more value content... you'll keep their attention.

        People are becoming more fickle and are being bombarded with info overload every day, so you need to set the scene, or sow the seed from the outset.

        I reckon the hardest thing to do is to earn trust once you lose it.

        Marketing 101.

        And once again, I will add that keeping that trust is ever more important with your list of paid up customers.

        Big unresponsive lists are over rated IMO.




        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        AA, if you don't have his attention, how will he know you are providing value?

        Taken in isolation, this turns into a 'which came first, the chicken or the egg' question you can bat around all day and never solve anything.

        Dr. Mani, I've been reading your stuff for years. I've been guilty of repeating both of those mantras, with the underlying understanding of what you said here. It's one of those things I just took for granted.

        Thanks for not taking it for granted and spelling it out for everybody...
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  • Profile picture of the author IMRookie1
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by IMRookie1 View Post

      I believe you get the attention of your list when you speak from your core... Eventually, you attract people with the same core values and they will be the people who will constantly give you their attention.
      I disagree (just a little bit!).

      There are people who grab my attention with whom I hardly
      share ANY "core values".

      But once you have a prospect's attention, "speaking from
      your core" helps nurture a trusting and mutually respectful
      relationship that leads on to the next 'action' stage.

      The reason I keep harping on this oh-so-subtle nuance is
      that it is EXACTLY to highlight it that I shared this post!

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Nice post doc.

    I don't like most opinions lately on this forum about email marketing because they give no reason why.

    I at least know your insight comes from experience of making money in mind... Not just trying to look like a swell guy or whatever other reason they have for their opinions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    I agree... And in my experience it is more and more difficult to keep people's attention for a long period of time - no matter how good your content actually is. At some point people get so inundated that even the emails they want to read go into a someday folder. So, don't assume that because you have someone's attention today that you will have it 6 months from now.
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    I just unsubscribed from your list! lol...

    Just kidding.

    Here's how I see it:

    If you bombard free subscribers with offers every 2nd day, then you reap what you sow.

    If you want to convert free subscribers into paying customers, deliver vale and what you promised them. Build some sort of relationship with the few who actually open your email. The rest don't matter because they were never interested anyway.

    If you want to build a business, then build a list of paying customers and treat them like gold.
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    Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
    You Won't See The Light Until You Open Your Eyes.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      At some point you have to leave all the semantics, and begin measuring results. How can you really quantify relationships, attention, list behavior etc?

      Even if these could be measured, you still need to somehow resolve this with "the money is in the list" mantra, assuming that is your objective. Numbers measure indicators reflective of your effectiveness in these areas.

      For example, after extensive testing I have found the optimum conversion to sales average to be 27-31% within any given sales cycle. Over 90% of my sales occur within 120 day promotion cycles. Beyond that, diminishing returns signifies carrying virtual dead weight.

      What this tells me is that those who have not bought anything within this time period indicates that either attention, relationship, behavior, or product may not be a fit for those subscribers. Consequently, all of the inactives are culled from the lists, while buyers and responsive prospects are moved up into the next product promotion cycle.

      You have to measure and watch the numbers - your ratios; they indicate what's working and where your weak points are.
      Signature
      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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      • Profile picture of the author drmani
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        At some point you have to leave all the semantics, and begin measuring results. How can you really quantify relationships, attention, list behavior etc?
        Great points, Paul.

        Absolutely agree, I measure these metrics (and a few more) with
        my email marketing, too.

        My sales cycle also dynamically shifts to match trends that keep
        changing with time. It used to be (a couple of years back) that
        the most sales happened within a time frame of 90 days from when
        a new subscriber opted-in. Today, that has shortened significantly
        to 21 days - beyond which time, I'm noticing that I lose attention.

        This has led to some experiments which maximize sales within
        this altered framework. We're still fighting for that same
        intangible called ATTENTION - and front-loading promotions to
        fit within the shortened attention span, trying to hasten up
        the 'trust building' process, and placing relatively less
        value on the "long, lazy relationship building one" - based
        entirely on the measurements you point out that are critical.

        My preferred measurements to indicate each of these intangibles
        are as below:

        Curiosity/Attention - Open rates and clickthroughs

        Relationship/Value add - Unsubscribe rates

        Marketing efficiency/Viral pass along - New Opt in numbers

        Copywriting - Opt in page conversion rate (visitors-to-optins)

        Behavior - Response to a 'call to action' (sales, optin, affiliate purchase)

        Do you have any alternatives that work better? Please share.

        All success
        Dr.Mani
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      • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
        It's like this with everyone I know.

        Even the very best "relationship builders" I know who have tons of products, coaching, and offer classes experience the same thing.

        They may be able to sell more things for a longer period of time to a subscriber but after a certain period of time the subscriber stops buying.

        I know this because I've talked to them about it, learned it from a mentor, and because I heavily promote affiliate programs with lifetime commissions on the backend and get to see when leads finally burn out.

        Some list owners are able to extend that period around 120 days like you do but for many of us it's 30 to 60 days.

        The more aggressive you are I think the less amount of days you have to sell a subscriber... Though there are also pros to being aggressive.

        Anyway, this is the kind of upper level stuff that I'm glad is being talked about on the forum. Nice post reply.


        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        At some point you have to leave all the semantics, and begin measuring results. How can you really quantify relationships, attention, list behavior etc?

        Even if these could be measured, you still need to somehow resolve this with "the money is in the list" mantra, assuming that is your objective. Numbers measure indicators reflective of your effectiveness in these areas.

        For example, after extensive testing I have found the optimum conversion to sales average to be 27-31% within any given sales cycle. Over 90% of my sales occur within 120 day promotion cycles. Beyond that, diminishing returns signifies carrying virtual dead weight.

        What this tells me is that those who have not bought anything within this time period indicates that either attention, relationship, behavior, or product may not be a fit for those subscribers. Consequently, all of the inactives are culled from the lists, while buyers and responsive prospects are moved up into the next product promotion cycle.

        You have to measure and watch the numbers - your ratios; they indicate what's working and where your weak points are.
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  • Profile picture of the author magnates
    While in there is some truth in what you have said , I am sorry Dr Mani but i am going to politely disagree . The money is not the attention you get from the list.The money is in the value you build from the relationship in the list..

    Relationship is about helping people. If you get my attention , don't help me . you can pretty much guess what i am going to do next . If you focus on the attention and you do not focus on the value you bring to the relationship . you end up not making enough money . If you deliver enough value to the relationship you are building , you are going almost going to get the attention form your list .
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by magnates View Post

      While in there is some truth in what you have said , I am sorry Dr Mani but i am going to politely disagree . The money is not the attention you get from the list.The money is in the value you build from the relationship in the list..

      Relationship is about helping people. If you get my attention , don't help me . you can pretty much guess what i am going to do next . If you focus on the attention and you do not focus on the value you bring to the relationship . you end up not making enough money . If you deliver enough value to the relationship you are building , you are going almost going to get the attention form your list .
      You're right, of course. It's a continuum.

      You build a list - and you've got subscribers.

      You deliver value - and you keep subscribers.

      You get their attention - and you actually communicate with them.

      You make them irresistible offers - and you're rewarded by action (sales)

      My only quibble is with this belief that simply providing value to your
      list is enough to have everything else happen magically.

      That's as archaic a concept as putting up a website with excellent content
      and waiting for the world to beat a path to your virtual doorstep.

      It did happen - 15 years back.

      Not any longer. Now you've got to a. gain attention b. keep attention
      c. leverage attention in a productive and profitable way

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author A3
    Excellent post Brother - I would honestly "Thank You" if my account was old enough to allow the button to show up, unfortunately it doesn't right now.

    IMHO - Notice how your clients and customers will be "PAYING" attention

    A3*

    Edit - Strange enough, just after I posted this the "thanks" button started showing up, must have a 5 post minimum on it and this was my 5th post - so I clicked it
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  • Profile picture of the author KateHunter
    That is all true BUT you always have to consider that most people get a lot of emails. They tend to open only the ones that interest them, so your headline has to be really amazing but not misleading which is my pet hate and I will unsubscribe really fast. I think its wiser to focus on not annoying them first and all that other stuff next.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      All this idealism is impossible to measure and in reality it's impractical, IMO. Assuming you've got products to sell, just how long do you keep non-buyers on your lists?

      The best practices in marketing principles that worked 15 years ago are still working exceedingly well today. Consistently provide competitive value, always over-deliver, and be relentless in exceeding expectations.

      These results can be measured with the hard numbers and how it affects the bottom line. If you've got good products, don't hold them back from your subscribers while you first try to build nice warm fuzzies mistakenly perceived as relationships.

      People know why they're on your lists; you are eventually going to try to sell them something. Beating around the bush disguising it as "building a relationship" is just plain silly.

      Get their attention and sell them quality products. Repeat. This is really what ultimately builds mutually beneficial relationships.
      Signature
      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    There is some great diversity in and throughout this thread!

    Bare with me here....I'm gonna get a bit transparent (naked) in my philosophies

    While I agree with drmani in response to being oneself; "of" being "real" as opposed to being fake or trying to be something you are not... that really only applies to how you see yourself, not how others perceive you!

    I am an 8th grade drop out. The world preconceives me as a failure (for the most part) on a scalable social platform. The 'invisigle' scales by which we weigh each other.

    Yet I pursue knowledge like a mad scientist, go figure!

    Point being...there remains an ever-growing and ever-changing process taking place here.

    Quite often we ourselves are exactly the opposite of [who?] or [what?] it is we are... or "intend" to become, as is so with many email subscribers/prospective buyers.

    (ex: overweight people seek to be skinny. Financially oppressed people seek financial relief or increase, etc...)

    Hence, "Who we really are" is ever-changing and evolving... as is our pursuit for knowledge, true happiness, and freedom...for these of themselves become a moving obsession (for lack of better words.)

    From the "perspective" of the recipient (our prospects) I believe being the "inspiration" - the "encourager" - the "authority" - the "resolution" (to see) is symbolic to our overall results, and how we 'funnel' or 'compel' their perceptions.

    ***Another words, it's more often than not... the subscriber doesn't care one ounce about "Us" or "Who We Are"...they want, desire, need, and demand results for themselves!

    Hence, whether we are willing to admit or accept it, it is our job and responsibility to provide that which 'the subscriber' desires, needs, wants, and essentially demands!

    Doing so builds credibility, respect, loyalty, and....SALES!

    Naturally, keep it real, we do this to earn money and free ourselves... but there too, one must remove oneself (to a degree) to understand, even empathize for the "subscriber's" needs, wants, and desires. (*as theirs are ever-changing as well.)

    *Ever notice how successful musicians/artists seemingly know exactly what it's like to be poor, yet relish in millions for playing on their audiences perceptions, and perceived reality of who the artist was, where he came from...so on an so forth!

    There remains a 'silent touch' which people feel...and react.

    We are inspired...translation;"influenced to believe" we too can emulate or achieve similar success. And we can, "IF" we understand the process, and believe in ourselves.

    *This is why those "evil *******s" sending out all those "get rich over night emails" have 1-2 Million dollars launches with NO real means to back it up after delivery!

    I recommend using the same psychology for ethical practices, followed with quality products as it takes the same effort and maintains the integrity of the whole...unlike the 'predator's who use this for quick money schemes.

    In order to fully captivate our audience, and maintain their attention in a world full of distraction, like on the internet, we must "flow like water" and be ever-changing and willing to do, be, or present ourselves in such a way that we are "viewed" as their #1 source, a silent friend, guide, mentor, teacher, and ultimately the "compass" to navigate their journey!

    This is where psychology comes into play. The raw basics of "selling" or marketing ourselves as I prefer to call it, requires we possess the ability to capitalize on the "prospects" perceptions, and mobilize our efforts to to direct their focus, their actions, and their footsteps to gravitate to a successful and ethical outcome we are providing.

    By compelling them to let us "in essence" lead them to their needs, wants, and plainly speaking; their self-gratifying desired outcome(s)... we then succeed at our own!

    ...Remember: We, like our prospects are all seeking similar self-interests at the end of the day... which explains why we have gathered here today...

    Thus, providing value and more importantly; results in a non-bias form and by "keeping it real" translates into..."Feed the Masses"without prejudice, or some megalomaniac mindset... Yet be the chief chef who knows how to serve just the right amount of flavor and spice.

    Naturally, like with an email headline, having a neon sign screaming; "All You Can Eat Buffet" makes it a bit harder to know who is a vegatarian and those who seek meat!

    So, aside from philosophy, the numbers are important as is fine tuning your audience's interests.

    Know what they want, desire, or need before they do! (*This is NOT limited to email subscribers or any niche!)

    Learn to flavor the taste buds of their hunger, and deliver digestible "bite size" pieces that leave them hungering for more.

    However, at the end of the day...

    It boils down to psychologically "influencing" the prospect's "perception" of Who We Are, "What We Are Offering" and our mastering the ability to 'compel' them to:

    A.) Trust their own "perception" of Who We Are!
    B.) Enrich their lives (be it money, health, knowledge, etc...) Hence, provide viable solutions, so they benefit from our offerings.
    C.) Maintain Loyalty, as prospects they Follow Us.*Requiring us to be the "Eyes" which guides them to the solution of their needs, desires, or hunger.

    Another words, we persuade them to believe; there is value in exploring the path we have presented, and NEVER should we let that journey abruptly end!

    I could go on for days, but the reality is simple...

    99.9% of our "Prospects" do NOT give a HOOT about Who We Really Are! (?)

    A 12 year old kid can sell a million copies of a relationship eBook online, and never had his 1st kiss! *Think about it!

    I made these mistakes offline time and time again, the minute the transition went from business into a so-called friendship, all hell broke loose, and the focus blindly ignored the fact, the only relationship was that of self-interest, growth, and selfish gratification.

    Welcome to Earth!

    ...Hell, half of us cannot nor likely ever will define "who we really are", let alone keep up with the changes we undergo trying to determine that answer for ourselves, as we pursue our 'perception' of freedom.

    The List is merely a 'reflection' of our ability to compel others to explore our offerings.

    Follow-ups & Broadcasts are maps to determine where they should go next!

    Conversions/Sales determines how well we mastered the "Art of Persuasion!

    Learn to lead, but first research where your followers (*your list) wants to go?

    If they want scale mountains... equip them with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to make their journey successful, and guide them without revealing all the gory details of your own painful journey in getting to the top. (*Even if your only 1/2 way there!)

    You'd be surprised "how many" sit in the valley too scared to make the climb by themselves. They see, and hear all these stories, and see the "fallen" and point fingers, laughing, weighing their shortfalls and misfortunes, while they sit in wait to be lead!

    Yet...it is those of us who bare the scars, those of us who envision the flag a top the mountain of success, and those of us who relentlessly get back up and climb again, while still bleeding from the last attempt... that seperates the leaders from the followers.

    Guide them accordingly, ethically, and provide results. There is an endless supply of people in need. However, you build your campaigns...give consideration to the journey itself, as that is far more rewarding then the money.

    I say this, as I am just getting ready to build my list(s)...cause previously I was mentally preparing myself for all the above!

    All the Best,

    Art

    PS - "The Money Is tn the List" is true once you know how to...

    a.) Build a "Laser Targeted" List
    b.) Psychologically Influence that List
    c.) Sift the "Diamonds" from the "Coal"
    d.) Provide Endless Information, Beneficial to that List

    So really, the "Money Is In The Research!" prior to, and long after... building that list!

    PSS- Notice I included: (*And by no means was it accidental)...

    -Taste
    -Touch
    -Smell
    -Sight
    -Hearing

    The 6th sense is the ability to make them feel you, without ever touching them physically! -An area I am still researching deeply!
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    Coming Soon... *Laser Targeted Lead Generation Services
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      While I agree with drmani in response to being oneself; "of" being "real" as opposed to being fake or trying to be something you are not... that really only applies to how you see yourself, not how others perceive you!
      Subscribers are NOT friends.

      Some may BECOME friends. Many of mine do. But when you write to
      a LIST of people, you don't think of them as 'friends'.

      A far better term that Jay Abraham uses is CLIENTS. People under
      your protection. Folks you lead and guide towards a desired outcome.

      With that guiding philosophy, "being yourself" works wonderfully well.
      If you're a writer, have gone through ups and downs, and share those
      personal experiences in the context of how that helped you become a
      better writer - your audience of wannabe writers will eat it up!

      That applies to ANY niche. You'll have to frame the content in a way
      that makes sense to a reader and delivers them a result they desire
      for themselves - but basing it on your natural self makes it easier
      than when you try to pretend to be something you aren't.

      A discerning subscriber will EASILY see through the 12 year old
      selling a dating product - over time.

      So while he may make many 'first time sales', the chances of getting
      repeat business and growing profits steadily over years is slim -
      as compared to someone who has walked the talk.

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author JamieSEO
    Great post.

    One of the sure ways to get people to unsubscribe to your list is if you fail to build those relationships and actually give them value.

    I am a big fan of mini email courses for providing value, and making sure I interact with my list rather than just treating them as wallets with an email address
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  • Profile picture of the author Kate C
    You are so right and many people do not think about that. Like you said, think about how you would respond to someone who gives incredible value time after time. Sometimes, you just have to picture ourself in your customers' shoes and what you would expect from a seller and you are halfway to solving the problem. The other half is how to deliver that excellence.
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  • Profile picture of the author uebomoyi
    This is some great advice and very true. It's funny that you have to take so many steps in order to make money online. You really do have to conquer and master so much. You need a product, a salespage, a thank you page, a squeeze page, an autoresponder, follow-up emails, high quality content/free offers, traffic sources, a big list, attractive headlines and on top of all that you have to make sure everything looks high quality to the point where it converts. You have to constantly keep testing and doing trial and error. I'm at the point where i've built a list and now I'm simply trying to get them to open my emails. I have some high quality content for them but of course they'll never figure it out if they don't open my emails. I need to find attention getting email subject lines that will get them to open.
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  • Profile picture of the author terrapurus
    Originally Posted by drmani View Post

    So, it's NOT just the list, it's NOT just the relationship with your
    list, it's the ATTENTION you have (or don't have) of your audience
    that matters most.
    Nope. Close but no cigar.

    And here is an exercise to prove my point. Pick your favorite marketer. Now sign up for his or her list.

    Getting anything of value or just an endless stream of offers? I fall off my chair if I get a 'value' email ... actually I don't remember the last time that happened. That does not count the presales value stuff ... that this is the typical 3 value posts and 1 sales post formula ... I count that as an extended sales pitch.

    So value is not the answer.

    Now what about the attention? Lets say subscriber X signs up for one of those 3 value / 1 sign up pitch campaigns I just mentioned and does not buy. Anything of value X wanted has been provided, but he still stays on the list. Is he paying attention? Not for long.. You can tell because he does not open many emails after a while. He is still a subscriber but is not paying attention.

    So attention is not the answer.

    So why is X still a subscriber? It is not for the value and he no longer pays much attention to what is being emailed to him with regular frequency.

    Now I could fill in the answer here Dr Mani. But lets engage a bit. What is it about human behavior that dictates the action of your list? You are on the right path, but you just need one more logical step.
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by terrapurus View Post

      Now I could fill in the answer here Dr Mani. But lets engage a bit. What is it about human behavior that dictates the action of your list? You are on the right path, but you just need one more logical step.
      Naaw, you're on a roll. Go on and fill in the blank!

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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      • Profile picture of the author terrapurus
        Originally Posted by drmani View Post

        Naaw, you're on a roll. Go on and fill in the blank!

        All success
        Dr.Mani
        Let me introduce cousin Tharg.

        Tharg was a smelly caveman that did not like living with other smelly caveman. So Tharg went “bugger you lot, I am going off by my own”. It did not work out so well for Tharg 2 million years ago … he got eaten by a sabre tooth lion 2 days later.

        Now what might Tharg have to do with marketing you ask? Well, the answer is everything.

        We as a species have evolved to live in groups. Call them a tribe … call them a community … call it what ever you will. Survival was always safety in numbers.

        The interesting thing about a group of animals though is that when you bunch a group of them together, equality goes out the window. There are no Kumbaya moments where we sit around the camp fire and discuss our feelings … harsh reality dictates that a pecking order will arise. It does not matter if it is a group of chickens, monkeys or homo sapiens. Leaders rise to the top. And the rest of tribe follow that leader as an authority figure … well, atleast until the authority of that leader has been usurped.

        The key term in this convoluted story is authority and leadership.

        If you get a subscriber to a list, they give you their details as they perceive you to be an authority figure on your topic. Some won't – they are just there to get what they came for and unsubscribe soon after (we all see that happening). The rest (who don't buy) stay and open your emails for awhile. But they don't see the value in reading spammy offer emails so you lose their attention.

        But they don't unsubscribe.

        They stay because they still identify you as an authority figure in the market. They look to you for leadership. They look to you for innovation. Even if they have no intention of buying anything, they still want to hear what message you have.

        People look to leaders and authoritative figures for guidance – it is what we have evolved to do. Lets look at an example. You wake up with a cough one day and it does not go away. After a few weeks your wife tells you to go to the doctor. You agree and go outside to get in your car. Your senile old next door neighbour is outside watering the lawn and you cough just as you go to open the car door. She leans over and says …. hmmm, bet that's lung cancer. You head off to the doctor and he checks you out. His diagnosis – you have the flu. Who do you believe? The doctor who you place in a position of authority? Or the old hag? Well, the bad news is you do have cancer and are dying. But at this stage you would not take the word of your doctor over some crazy hag. In short, 95% of people will believe incorrect information from an authority figure over correct information from someone who is not (want to see that in action … then WMD and Iraq come to mind just to name one on a national and international scale).

        We trust authority figures and marketers know this. This is not some new marketing concept or idea. When I did my marketing degree a decade and a half ago entire subjects were devoted to consumer behaviour. If any internet marketer starts saying they coined the phrase internet market leadership, what they really mean is they were reading business texts from the 1970's and thought they could flog the idea.

        So what do you need to make a sale? You need the authority and leadership to keep a user subscribed. This gives you your sustained market base to send a message to and is your first hurdle. Fail to take that position and you will not make the sale. Next, you need your subscriber to be in a buying position. If they don't have the cash, then they are just looking today and not buying. And lastly, your offer needs to provides them with the outcome they are looking for at that moment. If they are looking for a solution on traffic and you come out with a niche research course, then they won't be interested. But if they want a solution on traffic and your course will give them the outcome of 1000 facebook likes, then $$$.

        Now I can hear the counter argument. That what counts is not to have a list of subscribers but a list of buyers.

        Oh what rubbish. All buyers are tire kickers, and all tire kickers are buyers. There is no such thing as a list of buyers. The only thing that comes close is a list of people who have bought from you (and there is a difference). But what are these people really? These people saw you as an authority and made the decision to buy. Assuming they don't hate your guts for delivering a crap product or they just bought it to rip ideas for their next product, then these people are your personal fan club. They identified you as the position of authority. Their subconscious will now fight any attempt to replace you with another leader. They made the decision to follow you ... to change their mind and follow someone else will invalidate their original choice. The ego hates that so will fight that decision tooth and nail. Better to reinforce the original decision than for the ego to admit it was wrong. Want to see this in action? The best example I can think of is a workshop on copywriting I went to about 3 years ago. I learned a lot of good techniques during the practical 2 days. And of course there where upsells at the end for anyone who wanted to continue. I met one guy who had bought it all (don't get me wrong, it was good value). He said to me he had been buying anything this person had released over the last 3 years but never gets around to using it. But he comes along when he can and always buys the new stuff. Now if that is not decision reinforcement, I don't know what is.

        TL;DR – this missing piece of the puzzle is as old as the profession of marketing – authority and leadership. And if you don't believe me, just go watch some TV but don't fall asleep when the ads come on. You might want to watch the ad on anti-depressants being sold by a doctor of that NBA star selling a sports drink.

        Now here comes the final ramble. Why do people unsubscribe at some stage after being on your list for ages? First there is the obvious and is that subscribers situation has changed. If you run a list on how to pickup women, then you can fully expect a man who just got engaged to unsubscribe.

        But what about everyone else? Remember what I said about leaders and being usurped? They listen to what you have to say, but then they sign up to someone else because you are not really cutting it in their mind… and then someone else … and someone else. You no longer have the leadership position. It is being shared. Unless you are a standout in your field, this won't end well for you. At some stage that user is going to say “look at all the junk in my inbox ...time to clean it out … who the hell is he? … I don't remember signing up for that … it must be spam ...click unsubscribe (or worse, the spam button)”. Lose your position as an authority and your emails become noise. Want to see this in action? You sign up for a list because someone is marketing some new trick. You just want to know what is behind the curtain (ie you want to know what his angle is but not interested in the product). But it comes in some 7 day course. You browse through day 1 and learn nothing. You then forget about day 2 or day 3. You see day 4 and completely forgot that you signed up 3 days ago. At this stage, to you it is spam.

        That is all you have … 3 days. Fail to be a leader and you go from hero to spammer in 3 days.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Hmm ... call me crazy, but it seems to me everyone is looking at the same apple from a different angle. If you smash the apple from any one of these perspectives, you still ruin the apple. If you take away the relationship, or take away the attention, or take away the value ... what do you have left?

        An unresponsive list.

        And a "relationship" with your list can mean a lot of different things, but warm and fuzzy seldom applies. I challenge everyone to think about what kind of relationship you have with your list. Are you a mentor to them? Is it more like you're an advisor? Or a teacher?

        I'm afraid a lot of you are like a used car sales person to your list, always asking for sales, seldom giving anything, and not to be trusted.

        Ouch!

        Once you make an honest assessment of the kind of relationship you have with your list, make an assessment of how you can add value to their lives.

        If you want to make more money, add more value.

        Are you wondering if that really works? I've got hundreds of people who have been on my mailing list for over ten years. If your list is turning over every few months, what is the lifetime value of your subscriber?

        How much more would it be if they stayed on your list for over 10 years?

        Just a little something to think about, but don't listen to me, I don't know anything about marketing.
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        Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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        • Profile picture of the author sal64
          Gee...

          Your income increases relative to the value you deliver?

          Now there's a new concept.


          Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

          Hmm ... call me crazy, but it seems to me everyone is looking at the same apple from a different angle. If you smash the apple from any one of these perspectives, you still ruin the apple. If you take away the relationship, or take away the attention, or take away the value ... what do you have left?

          An unresponsive list.

          And a "relationship" with your list can mean a lot of different things, but warm and fuzzy seldom applies. I challenge everyone to think about what kind of relationship you have with your list. Are you a mentor to them? Is it more like you're an advisor? Or a teacher?

          I'm afraid a lot of you are like a used car sales person to your list, always asking for sales, seldom giving anything, and not to be trusted.

          Ouch!

          Once you make an honest assessment of the kind of relationship you have with your list, make an assessment of how you can add value to their lives.

          If you want to make more money, add more value.

          Are you wondering if that really works? I've got hundreds of people who have been on my mailing list for over ten years. If your list is turning over every few months, what is the lifetime value of your subscriber?

          How much more would it be if they stayed on your list for over 10 years?

          Just a little something to think about, but don't listen to me, I don't know anything about marketing.
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          Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
          You Won't See The Light Until You Open Your Eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author juninhop
    Originally Posted by drmani View Post

    I wrote this after reading some threads on email marketing like this and
    this.

    Absolute beginners to IM are taught to build a list.

    "The Money Is In The List"

    This mantra is drummed into their heads over and over, until it
    seeps into their very consciousness.

    So you start list building and email marketing.

    But after a while, often when you've built up a database of a few
    hundred (or maybe few thousand) subscribers, you realize that isn't
    the complete picture.

    "The Money is NOT in the List - It's in the RELATIONSHIP with your list."

    That philosophy, also often echoed on discussion boards and blogs,
    starts to sound more appealing and attractive.

    First, it segues nicely into the original concept of the vital role
    of a list - so you don't have to change any core elements of your
    thinking and world-view.

    Second, it seems to place the responsibility for what isn't going
    right on something you're doing wrong - or can do better.

    But what you won't hear said clearly and with any kind of reinforcement
    on many discussions (at least I haven't seen it stated explicitly often)
    - yet is the SINGLE most critical element on which your email marketing
    will stand or fall... is this:

    "It's The ATTENTION You Get From Your List Members"

    Seth Godin first taught me this principle in his excellent book,
    "Tribes". And he also explained how attention is a gift bestowed
    upon you, the list owner, by your audience - NOT unconditionally,
    NOT permanently, NOT automatically... but based on YOUR performance.

    Deliver 'value' - however your audience defines it - and you'll win
    their ATTENTION for a while.

    Keep on delivering value, and they'll pay attention - for as long
    as they perceive that value addition.

    Leverage that ATTENTION, and you have the seeds of a successful
    email marketing strategy.

    Lose that ATTENTION, and you may well have to start over again from
    scratch, as I've often been forced to do.

    So, it's NOT just the list, it's NOT just the relationship with your
    list, it's the ATTENTION you have (or don't have) of your audience
    that matters most.

    Think about it.

    Even if you don't like or know the person sending you email, if they
    grab your attention for long enough to deliver a message, and the
    message itself is critical to you, or entertaining enough to you,
    or grabs you by the emotional coat-tails and whisks you aboard their
    carousel, you'll hop on for the ride.

    And just like a strong headline by itself won't close the sale, the
    attention you grab initially is only the first step - but the most
    important step - along a slippery slope to email marketing success.

    Thoughts?

    All success
    Dr.Mani


    I agree with what you're saying completely, but there is one thing I'm curious about. I'm on the list of a few big IMers and they bombard their list with the latest re-hashed garbage product almost on a weekly basis.

    If you were to go by the logic - copy someone who is successful and you'll get the same results as them, well then this doesn't really add up does it??? :confused:
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by terrapurus View Post

      Let me introduce cousin Tharg.
      ...
      The key term in this convoluted story is authority and leadership.

      If you get a subscriber to a list, they give you their details as they perceive you to be an authority figure on your topic.
      ...
      That is all you have ... 3 days. Fail to be a leader and you go from hero to spammer in 3 days.


      Somewhere along the line, you lost me.

      By this logic, folks only opt-in to a list of people they consider 'authorities' or 'leaders' in a field?

      And they only stay subscribed to 'authority' lists?

      That hasn't been my personal experience, at least it isn't why I join a list. And certainly that doesn't explain why I am NOT on the lists of many 'leaders' whom I listen to and look to for direction or guidance.

      Also, if 'authority' (or its perception) is everything, then those 'authorities' don't need to do ANYTHING else - they'll always have their audience behind them.

      We all know that isn't true about list marketing.

      And even if it were, what good is it to an email marketer whose authority retains members on his/her list if the subscribers don't even open and skim the emails - but filter it away into a folder sight-unseen?

      So I guess I'm missing your point. I agree that we tend to listen to and follow authorities - but am not sure I agree that 'authority' is a major factor guiding or governing behavior of members on an email list.

      With attention, anyone (even a non-authority) has a shot at getting a reaction (behavior).

      Without attention, even an authority has lesser impact on behavior.

      All parts - value, relationships, attention, authority, behavior conditioning and others - are important and necessary. Some parts are just a little more equal than the others. I was trying to emphasize what, imho, is "more equal" - the need to constantly grab your audience's attention - and keep it for long enough to matter.

      Originally Posted by juninhop View Post

      If you were to go by the logic - copy someone who is successful and you'll get the same results as them, well then this doesn't really add up does it???
      Maybe it does!

      Many times, what is perceived from "outside" to be a "successful" result is often not so very "successful" from the "inside"... so to know if a particular model is effective or not is hard to call without access to ALL the data (and few are going to have that)

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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      • Profile picture of the author terrapurus
        Originally Posted by drmani View Post

        Without attention, even an authority has lesser impact on behavior.

        All parts - value, relationships, attention, authority, behavior conditioning and others - are important and necessary. Some parts are just a little more equal than the others. I was trying to emphasize what, imho, is "more equal" - the need to constantly grab your audience's attention - and keep it for long enough to matter.
        An interesting and enjoyable to read reply. A few notes on your notes -

        >>By this logic, folks only opt-in to a list of people they consider 'authorities' or 'leaders' in a field?

        You don't have to be THE authority, just more authoritative than the person receiving the message. Look at this way, if someone stood up here on this forum, says that they were serving coffee as their last job they quit a week ago and they just wrote their first course in marketing without any experiences what so ever, how many people would sign up to the list?

        >>And they only stay subscribed to 'authority' lists?

        You are less likely to have your advertising message filtered out and included as background noise.

        >>And certainly that doesn't explain why I am NOT on the lists of many 'leaders' whom I listen to and look to for direction or guidance.

        I agree but that is not email marketing. They are maintaining their brand through other communication mediums.

        >>Also, if 'authority' (or its perception) is everything, then those 'authorities' don't need to do ANYTHING else - they'll always have their audience behind them.

        Not at all. Authority is not a static item. Other individuals can gain more authority than an existing authority. An authority can have his or her authority eroded. An authority will only be an authority through marketing leadership and innovation. As an example, take vinyl stylus manufacturers. Those are the little things that run across the surface of the vinyl record. When the CD came along, these manufacturers did not innovate or update. They just kept going confident that they had their audience behind them. But their audience changed allegiance and those companies went broke as CD's became popular. Two more recent examples of loss of authority in the market are the falls of MySpace and Digg.

        >And even if it were, what good is it to an email marketer whose authority retains members on his/her list if the subscribers don't even open and skim the emails - but filter it away into a folder sight-unseen? With attention, anyone (even a non-authority) has a shot at getting a reaction (behavior).

        In your consumer model, what happens after the subscriber loses attention? If attention throughout the marketing period between subscription and purchase is critical, then you are going to have sign up, most messages opened then purchase. In this model, if the person stops opening emails (attention is lost), they are now a dead lead.

        In my model, subscribers lose attention all of the time. They open their email and can make 1 of 3 decisions. They can open the email and pay attention to the message; they can leave the message unread and move on or they can unsubscribe/mark as spam (I include mark as spam because this is a defacto unsubscribe button for people too lazy to unsubscribe - the outcome for the marketer is essentially the same). Look at it as 3 stages - attentive (stage 1), un-attentive (stage 2) and unsubscribe (stage 3). In my model, people move from stage 1 to stage 2 and back again all of the time. The key is keeping out of stage 3. They key is that even an unopened message is still a brand awareness advertisement. They open their email, they see your name in the Sender and they see a short marketing message in the Subject line. A conscious decision is made - they are not interested in hearing further details on your marketing message but you have not been downgraded to noise status today.

        Marketing at its core is Attention Interest Desire Action. When all 4 line up you get a sale. Actually, action comes from the first 3 lining up and those 3 are not linear. Each of them are in flux and they can come and go when the subscriber is not in a buying state.

        Footnote - if anyone is intersted in email opening rates, here is a little study by mailermailer.com. It is an intersting read - http://www.mailermailer.com/resource...open-rates.rwp
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  • Profile picture of the author aneel90
    Great post Dr. Mani! It's always a delight to read one of your posts and yes I agree attention is one of the most important gift that a marketer can have.
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  • Profile picture of the author barbling
    I've been making my living online now since 1997 and have realized several key components about list relationships.

    My time is valuable.....but....so is the *reader's* time they spend reading my content. So these days, I make sure to thank them for reading.

    My business is valuable, so I charge money. But my readers like bargains, so I choose to offer quality products to them for free every now and then.

    My family requires me to make money. But my readers also need to do the same thing for their family. Empathizing/providing resources to do that...it's now a main focus of my marketing as well.

    Everything can be boiled down to WIIFM. What's in it for me!

    • What's in it for me to keep you as a subscriber?
    • What's in it for you to stay on my list?
    Once you have that straight, you need to ask yourself:

    Do I have the time/energy/etc. to meet those WIIFM needs?

    Sometimes you don't! For example, some of my readers adore big huge copy and the latest shiniest new thingees online.

    I, however, don't *like* writing hyped-up marketing copy. Others do it far better than I.

    But I *do* like selling, and I *do* like it when my readers find/buy a tool that actually meets their needs.
    So instead of doing it all meself, I find the best affiliate product out there and write about it in terms my readers can relate to.
    Case in point. Over at the WSOs, there's a product called WP Comment Cash. It's a nifty plugin that replaces spammers links with the site owner's clickbank links. I'll be buying it meself most likely as I have lots of niche sites online.

    Do you think the non-seasoned marketer would understand the benefits simply from the product title?

    And then once they did understand, would they immediately see the benefits to *their* specific situation?

    Methinks not.

    But if I choose to write about it in such a way to spells out why your average joe would be interested, both my readers and I are now happy.

    Make no mistake about it, I am in business for my family and me.

    Then again, *so are my readers.*

    Marrying the two goals - it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Terrapurus - makes some sense to me. Nothing in social organization is static. Maybe there should be a term for authorities that stand the test of time - "elastic authoritism"?

    I hear your word "authority" -- but there are many "authorities" that really never make it. They have all the credential and their ideas are rock solid, logical, and workable. Yet they do not make the cut.

    I think you have left something important out of your equation.

    In a sea of authorities - what is the quality of the authority that makes the cut over the one who just knows the right things, but nobody really pays much attention to?

    Leadership qualities.

    There are thousands of doctors. When someone is sick, they will believe an authority - but of two doctors who will they choose?
    1. The doctor gives a diagnosis, then prescribes a treatment, gives an appointment to see the person later and runs off to the next patient.
    2. The doctor gives a diagnosis, recognizes the patient's fear, explains the treatment, puts his hand on the patient's shoulder and says - "Yes, you are very sick, but we will get you through this. I will watch you closely and we will overcome your illness."

    People do seek authority - but they want that authority to have some empathy and to lead. Sometimes knowing just isn't enough.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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    • Profile picture of the author terrapurus
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      People do seek authority - but they want that authority to have some empathy and to lead. Sometimes knowing just isn't enough.
      I agree in part. Empathy is used in selling IM - so much now that it makes me want to puke half the time. You know the empathy I am talking about - "I was a poor broke divorcee living off my friends couch but now I am a millionaire after ....". Empathy is used to create a "I was where you were and I made it, you can too" mind set. It has been an over exposed play to the point it is now a gutter tactic.

      So what sets two sellers apart all things remaining equal (ability, offers etc) - their ability to communicate. In particular, the ability of the seller to create an image in the buyers mind of the outcome they desire. In your doctors example, doctor three is using physical contact, eye contact, empathy in voice tone and content to make the patient visualize them getting better (their desired outcome). That is the first lesson you learn in personal selling ... find out what the customer is looking for, find out what they want to do with it and sell the outcome, not the product.

      Edit - I am not saying the doctor in your example is faking empathy. Empathy shares the same core features in many ways as selling, even if you don't know you are doing it.
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