when you SHOULDN'T build a list

by canadian84 23 replies
Hey folks,

Just throwing something out there...

While it's obviously important to build a list, there might be some instances where this might be less profitable. If you're in a niche with tons of backend products, then it's probably good to build a list so you can keep throwing out offers.

However, there are some niches where there are no backend products. For instance, once people buy an ebook on getting rid of acne, that's probably all the money they are going to spend in that niche.

So instead of making a squeeze page in certain niches, it might be a better idea just to send your visitor straight to an offer so they at least see it and have a chance to buy. Because the best squeeze pages only convert at about 40%, that means a big majority of your visitors won't even see your offer if you put a squeeze page in front of them first.

'Blocking' these people with a squeeze page might turn out to be less profitable for you.

However, putting someone into your autoresponder series also allows you to follow up with them, even if it's just for the one product.

So I guess there is no right answer, you just have to test.

Any thoughts or experiences on opting not to build a list?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #build #list
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    I have a few thoughts on this...

    In every marketing book, new and old, it is a well known fact that the average customer doesn't make a buying decision until they have seen your ad at least 7 - 12 times.

    There are little conversations going on inside the prospects head trying to convince themselves of the product.

    You will get some sales instantly and those are impulse buys but the bulk of your sales should come in after the follow-up.

    That's why IM do product launches... they are answering those questions you have in your head even before the product is available and erases any doubt you might have.

    Then once the product is launched it's a feed frenzy...

    As for the market you mentioned - Curing Acne... I think before you go into a market like this you should have a profit plan because without backend products your dead in the water.

    Without backend products you'll have to constantly seek out new customers. The way most acne solutions do it is they create an consumable product and that product becomes a continuity.

    Even though the product is a continuity they still have backend products.

    After you sell them the acne product you could offer other products dealing with self-image.

    Obviously if they want to cure their acne they are conscious about the way they look so why not offer them teeth whitening systems and so on....

    At the end of the day I still think it's most profitable to a build list in ANY market as long as you have the means to deliver the backend stuff.

    Mike Hill
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Mizel
    Actually, the main reason I <almost> always use a squeeze page and build a list is because I create massive numbers of follow-ups for the primary product I'm selling. And when I say massive, I mean 20, 50, 100 follow-ups or more, even for a $10 - $20 ebook.

    Here are three reasons why...

    1) I have found massive follow-ups can double or triple the conversion rate of an offer, making ads that are expensive (or even unprofitable) for others pay off handsomely for me.

    2) I can test different sales messages in the follow-ups, and find previously undiscovered hot-buttons that improve the offer down the line. Use tracking links and see what's getting clicked and bought.

    3) Buyers lists are far more responsive for future promotions, and I have been known to promote "outside" the niche, especially if it's a general-interest offer like weight-loss or make money online. You don't always need a targeted offer for a targeted list.

    I actually did a piece on massive follow-ups here:

    The follow-up formula that turns your mailing list into cash!

    Enjoy!

    Jonathan
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    • Profile picture of the author yesacpow
      I think the squeeze page is very important

      I have a product in the acne niche and I send my visitors straight to the squeeze page.

      Think about it, if they don't want free information to help their skin condition then what makes you think they will buy?

      Also those persons on my list that doesn't buy right away I can give a special discount every now and then and get some new customers.

      I also think that you can send people on your list to cpa offers too but i haven't done that as yet.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        For instance, once people buy an ebook on getting rid of acne, that's probably all the money they are going to spend in that niche.
        Creams, lotions, other grooming products.

        Dating products, for when the acne solutions work out. Hand cremes, for when the dating products don't work out.

        Eyeglass upsells.

        (Yes, that was tacky. But it shows the thought process better than the other examples. What happens if...? What's connected to this?)

        Drop casual mentions in the massive follow-up sequence that Jonathan described, linking to stuff that people in your market might also be interested in, and segment your list based on what they click on. Send relevant follow-ups to those people.

        Your customers are not uni-dimensional creatures. They have lives. Find out what they want to get to improve those lives, and give it to them.


        Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Louis Raven
      Originally Posted by Jonathan Mizel View Post


      I actually did a piece on massive follow-ups here:

      The follow-up formula that turns your mailing list into cash!

      Enjoy!

      Jonathan
      That's fricking awesome, Jonathan.

      Thanks bro.

      Louis
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      • Profile picture of the author ShaunAllen
        Jonathon,

        It's nice to see you posting here, especially when it comes to follow-ups. I was wondering why I wasn't making the sales I wanted with my 5-day e-mail course. It sounds like I need a lot more follow-ups. I was too worried about offending my subscribers by sending anymore.

        These are the discussions I love to see on the warrior forum. They give real value.

        Dave

        P.S.

        I assume this article was a little older, but dyd now makes over $20 million per year. I really like how you gave an example of how conversion rates increases over time.
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    • Profile picture of the author eholmlund
      Originally Posted by canadian84 View Post

      So instead of making a squeeze page in certain niches, it might be a better idea just to send your visitor straight to an offer so they at least see it and have a chance to buy. Because the best squeeze pages only convert at about 40%, that means a big majority of your visitors won't even see your offer if you put a squeeze page in front of them first.

      'Blocking' these people with a squeeze page might turn out to be less profitable for you.

      However, putting someone into your autoresponder series also allows you to follow up with them, even if it's just for the one product.

      So I guess there is no right answer, you just have to test.
      I actually agree with this. In some niches it's a no-brainer that you should be building a list, but you do need to test. Another reason to send traffic directly to a sales page would be affiliates. As an affiliate, I will rarely send traffic to a squeeze page and I know many other affiliates feel the same way. If switching to a sales page instead of a squeeze page pulls in enough additional affiliates to MORE than offset the profits you would have made by building a list, then it may be worth it to not build a list.

      But I also agree with Mizel..

      Originally Posted by Jonathan Mizel View Post

      Actually, the main reason I <almost> always use a squeeze page and build a list is because I create massive numbers of follow-ups for the primary product I'm selling. And when I say massive, I mean 20, 50, 100 follow-ups or more, even for a $10 - $20 ebook.

      Here are three reasons why...

      1) I have found massive follow-ups can double or triple the conversion rate of an offer, making ads that are expensive (or even unprofitable) for others pay off handsomely for me.

      2) I can test different sales messages in the follow-ups, and find previously undiscovered hot-buttons that improve the offer down the line. Use tracking links and see what's getting clicked and bought.

      3) Buyers lists are far more responsive for future promotions, and I have been known to promote "outside" the niche, especially if it's a general-interest offer like weight-loss or make money online. You don't always need a targeted offer for a targeted list.
      Listen to the master!
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  • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
    I have a friend that sells an ebook on _____ niche. He says he hasn't promoted anything since the initial sale.

    HOWEVER,

    Over the years he has accumulated 20K subscribers. Then every time he sees an article on EZA about his niche, he cuts and pasts it on his blog, sends broadcasts out to his list, his list clicks through to read what's new and they click through his adsense, earning him up to $100 every time someone publishes new articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian Chan
    A good example would be software like registry cleaner.

    Originally Posted by canadian84 View Post

    However, there are some niches where there are no backend products. For instance, once people buy an ebook on getting rid of acne, that's probably all the money they are going to spend in that niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tenzo
      Originally Posted by Christian Chan View Post

      A good example would be software like registry cleaner.
      Really? I can think of a ton of things to promote to a list of PC optimization/security buyers. And that's with keeping a tight focus. Think outside the box.

      Regards,
      Kevin
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      And on the barren heath
      Sing the honey bees.
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    • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
      Originally Posted by Christian Chan View Post

      A good example would be software like registry cleaner.
      Don't be so sure about that one.

      Always ask 5 whys before declaring there is no possibility of cross selling other products to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author spirokinetic
    Wow... thats interesting. Niche marketing is the way to go... Choosing your niche however is a matter of interest.

    Learning the niche is another whole different thing!

    :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      A good example would be software like registry cleaner.
      Spyware remover. Anti-virus and firewalls. Download accelerators. Subscriptions to computer magazines.

      Most people who are willing to dink around with their registry are also geeks. Try pitching the latest cool gadgets.

      Or point them to a blog or list with info on computer tune-ups and security. Affiliate links and AdSense.

      Interests do not exist in isolation.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Christian Chan
        I think geeks don't like to give out their email addresses (at most they will use throwaway emails). They don't want to get "spammed" by the software companies. That's why if you go to download.com, and download all registry cleaner software and install them, NONE of them will ask for your emails. I am not thinking outside the box, just stating the facts.

        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Spyware remover. Anti-virus and firewalls. Download accelerators. Subscriptions to computer magazines.

        Most people who are willing to dink around with their registry are also geeks. Try pitching the latest cool gadgets.

        Or point them to a blog or list with info on computer tune-ups and security. Affiliate links and AdSense.

        Interests do not exist in isolation.

        Paul

        Originally Posted by Tenzo View Post

        Really? I can think of a ton of things to promote to a list of PC optimization/security buyers. And that's with keeping a tight focus. Think outside the box.

        Regards,
        Kevin
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Christian,
          just stating the facts.
          Wow.

          I'll let the geeks in the anti-spam crowd, the ones I hear complaining about email from some software companies all the time, know that they really don't give out their email addresses when they make a purchase. It's all in their imaginations...

          Thanks. I'm glad you gave me those facts.


          Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Louis Raven
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Spyware remover. Anti-virus and firewalls. Download accelerators. Subscriptions to computer magazines.

        Most people who are willing to dink around with their registry are also geeks. Try pitching the latest cool gadgets.

        Or point them to a blog or list with info on computer tune-ups and security. Affiliate links and AdSense.

        Interests do not exist in isolation.


        Paul
        I think outside the box also, Paul . Good stuff.

        Well.. actually.. this kind of stuff is right in front of our eyes but we block it by insisting there's a complicated answer if any at all.

        Louis
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Originally Posted by canadian84 View Post

    Hey folks,

    Just throwing something out there...

    While it's obviously important to build a list, there might be some instances where this might be less profitable. If you're in a niche with tons of backend products, then it's probably good to build a list so you can keep throwing out offers.

    However, there are some niches where there are no backend products. For instance, once people buy an ebook on getting rid of acne, that's probably all the money they are going to spend in that niche.

    So instead of making a squeeze page in certain niches, it might be a better idea just to send your visitor straight to an offer so they at least see it and have a chance to buy. Because the best squeeze pages only convert at about 40%, that means a big majority of your visitors won't even see your offer if you put a squeeze page in front of them first.

    'Blocking' these people with a squeeze page might turn out to be less profitable for you.

    However, putting someone into your autoresponder series also allows you to follow up with them, even if it's just for the one product.

    So I guess there is no right answer, you just have to test.

    Any thoughts or experiences on opting not to build a list?
    Not too sure about that acne example. There has to be at least a couple of things you can cross sell them.

    Why do people want to get rid of acne? Think there might be a cross sell in that?

    Just something to think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
    Originally Posted by canadian84 View Post

    However, there are some niches where there are no backend products. For instance, once people buy an ebook on getting rid of acne, that's probably all the money they are going to spend in that niche.
    Just off the top of my head, I would say that "acne" is going to be related to a number of products available as back-end offers.

    The same folks that get an ebook on getting rid of acne are probably also going to be interested in information on dating ... possibly other health related information such as dieting/nutrition ... hair care products ... fashion tips ... how to talk to the opposite sex ...

    There are MANY possibilities for back-end offers in this niche.

    Just one more reason why you SHOULD build a list.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Thompson
    One more reason to capture leads rather than sending traffic directly to your offer: If you want to launch a special promotion you'll find that people buy very nicely.

    I had a very small list of subscribers when I first launched my product. I had a sales page with an offer, but also a signup form for a free lesson. People signed up at a reasonable rate, but it was probably distracting from the main offer so I took the signup off, and left it only on my blog.

    So with a small list I decided to do some testing. I emailed the list a special one-day sale price. I got something like a 5% conversion from that mailing. And it truly was a one day price. I removed the coupon after 24 hours were up. I hate fake offers.

    Point is ... if you capture the lead then you can keep them interested by offering them useful information over a period of time. Perhaps they are the type of person to always feel that something is too expensive, and always wait for a sale price. If you do the occassional sale then you'll capture those customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Flask
    Originally Posted by canadian84 View Post

    Hey folks,

    Just throwing something out there...

    While it's obviously important to build a list, there might be some instances where this might be less profitable. If you're in a niche with tons of backend products, then it's probably good to build a list so you can keep throwing out offers.

    However, there are some niches where there are no backend products. For instance, once people buy an ebook on getting rid of acne, that's probably all the money they are going to spend in that niche.

    So instead of making a squeeze page in certain niches, it might be a better idea just to send your visitor straight to an offer so they at least see it and have a chance to buy. Because the best squeeze pages only convert at about 40%, that means a big majority of your visitors won't even see your offer if you put a squeeze page in front of them first.

    'Blocking' these people with a squeeze page might turn out to be less profitable for you.

    However, putting someone into your autoresponder series also allows you to follow up with them, even if it's just for the one product.

    So I guess there is no right answer, you just have to test.

    Any thoughts or experiences on opting not to build a list?
    This is the question I have had with building a list in this niche for example.

    Offering a "cure for acne" ethically, is to do just that, cure someone's acne - i.e for good. With that I don't see any opportunity to "follow up" with a customer if their problem is solved.

    As Mike Hill has stated:

    As for the market you mentioned - Curing Acne... I think before you go into a market like this you should have a profit plan because without backend products your dead in the water.

    Without backend products you'll have to constantly seek out new customers. The way most acne solutions do it is they create an consumable product and that product becomes a continuity.
    This is what I have stumbled with. No backend products to offer, no recurring sales. The second part being a consumable product to me, means the product did not cure the acne if additional products/treatments are needed. This is a question of ethics for me personally.

    To Paul Myers:

    Creams, lotions, other grooming products.

    Dating products, for when the acne solutions work out.
    I can understand the line of thinking here, but I see the importance of having a tightly focused niche. Targeting one's offer to a specific need to a specific market.

    Is this not, in a sense, casting out a wider net in hopes to match a product/offer to a customer's needs/wants that may be in a related niche?

    If someone has a problem with acne, I don't think it means they necessarily need teeth whitening, or that they have relationship needs.

    Just looking for clarification and guidance.

    Thank you,

    Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesEcho1
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Kevin,
      I can understand the line of thinking here, but I see the importance of having a tightly focused niche. Targeting one's offer to a specific need to a specific market.
      Initially, yes. That's very important in most forms of marketing.
      Is this not, in a sense, casting out a wider net in hopes to match a product/offer to a customer's needs/wants that may be in a related niche?
      In a sense, yes. But you're aware of some probable concerns that the prospect faces, so you may find that it's useful to address those.

      You don't do this randomly, or without regard to the possibility that the prospect may not need the product. Sticking with the acne cure, for example, you might drop a link to a dating product using this approach:

      "Acne can be a killer on your social life, A lot of people find that it hurts their confidence, which interferes with their dating life. (If that's you, there's some excellent advice on dating and confidence with women at this site. Women can find some great answers for their social concerns over acne here."

      Then you continue on with other things the person with serious acne might be concerned about. You don't hammer the point, but you give them options that connect to their main reason for wanting to get rid of the acne.

      You also assume that there's something else they want to have happen after the acne is dealt with. "Acne free" is rarely, if ever, the ultimate goal.
      If someone has a problem with acne, I don't think it means they necessarily need teeth whitening, or that they have relationship needs.
      Necessarily? No. You're right on that. But there's a pretty good percentage play in mentioning it. And if they don't, they certainly know that it's common among people with the problem. If you mention it the way I described above (with a bit more work on the phrasing), you're not going to put them off. Their concern will be addressed in some other point.

      You only follow up on the specific side-niches with people who click through to URLs on those topics.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Oh yeah... Forgot.

        The things you want to mention in this way somewhat early in the sequence are things that increase the desire for the original product. That's why you keep the side references casual.

        For example, if a person is having confidence issues that mess with their social life, mentioning that sharpens the desire for a solution.

        The more you look at the whole person's needs, the better your chances of selling your specific product.


        Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin Flask
        Paul,

        Then you continue on with other things the person with serious acne might be concerned about. You don't hammer the point, but you give them options that connect to their main reason for wanting to get rid of the acne.

        You also assume that there's something else they want to have happen after the acne is dealt with. "Acne free" is rarely, if ever, the ultimate goal.
        This is where getting to really know and understand one's target market is very important. By addressing the adjacent concerns and issues, one can be of better service to their chosen market.

        The fog is beginning to lift.

        You only follow up on the specific side-niches with people who click through to URLs on those topics.
        Hence the need for testing and tracking to identify what other needs one's customers have that can help in building a strong customer base.

        I think there's still hope for me yet.

        Thank you Paul,

        Kevin
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