List Owners: Don't Let Your Readers See You As A Desperate Marketer

by tpw
36 replies
Yes, the money is in the list.

And, to make more money from your list, you need to grow a bigger list.

As a list owner, I wanted to share some of what I have learned with you...


You Must Build A Relationship With Your Subscribers

True, but how should we define a "relationship" with your list?

People assume that a relationship is built on information only, but that is not true.

I know a lot of people on this forum are on Mike Lantz' list. Does he ever send "information only"?

Nope. Never.

Yet people look forward to opening his emails.

So, I think we can rule out "information only" as the definition of a "relationship with one's list."

LOL

Mike sends product promotions 6 days per week.

And, he does not even do his own reviews of the products he promotes. Mike finds reviews that others have left about the product, and he uses those publicly available reviews as his copy when he tells his subscribers about a product.

Mike Lantz has taught us that in order to have a successful relationship with our mailing lists, it is not necessary to:
  • Ever send Information Only;
  • Mail Less than 6 Days Per Week;
  • Do your own Product Reviews.

What we do need to do is:
  • Teach people what to expect from us;
  • Be consistent;
  • Deliver what we promised;
  • Earn the trust of our readers;
  • Give people what they want.

On my lists, I do send some "information only" emails and free gifts. My goal is to train my readers that if they don't open all of my emails, they might miss something important!

I also do many of my own reviews, because I hope people will want to look at my review, before they buy. Yes, I do occasionally give products a bad or lukewarm review.

If people believe that I will tell them when to keep money in their pockets, they will better trust me in the future.


Tell People What to Expect, then Deliver on Your Promises

Building a relationship with your list is as simple as building trust. If people trust you, they will buy from you.


Be Willing to Correspond with Folks

I encourage my readers to hit Reply when they have something to share about my mailings. People do hit Reply, and so do I.

By having a conversation with people, those with whom you communicate will have a greater appreciation for what you do.


Don't Sell to Your Readers

There is a slight distinction between "selling" to people, and letting them know that there is something that they might "want to buy".

By selling to your reader, you are putting your needs ahead of the wants and needs of your readers.

By informing your readers of the availability of a product, you are letting your readers decide what is best for them.

The people on your mailing list should be adults and treated as such. As adults, they should be expected to make their own decisions about whether they want to buy what you have told them about or not.

So long as you make the subtle mental shift from "selling" to "informing" your readers, people will like and trust you more.


Don't Act Desperate

Sure, I would like my readers to buy, and I would like readers to stay on my list, but I am somewhat a freak.

As a writer, I know that if I want something too much, people will sense it in the words that I use.

I do want people to stay on my list, but I don't want people on my list that do not want to read what I have written.

My subscribers frequently hit Reply to share a laugh with me when I invite people to unsubscribe from my list, which is something that I do every couple of months.

Yes, I would like people to stay, but if they don't like the way I communicate with my audience, there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of every email I send. Folks should unsubscribe if they don't like the way I run my lists.


This Is A Business

If you make money with your mailing list, then it is at least "part of your business".

Make no apologies to your list for treating it like a business.

As a member of my list, I am going to show you products that I think you might like to buy -- and yes, I might earn a commission if you do buy what I recommend.

But, I will make no apologies for doing so, because my mailing is part of my business.



As a list owner, do you have anything to add to this?
#desperate #email marketing #list #marketer #owners
  • Profile picture of the author Cali16
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

    Don't Sell to Your Readers

    There is a slight distinction between "selling" to people, and letting them know that there is something that they might "want to buy".

    By selling to your reader, you are putting your needs ahead of the wants and needs of your readers.

    By informing your readers of the availability of a product, you are letting your readers decide what is best for them.

    So long as you make the subtle mental shift from "selling" to "informing" your readers, people will like and trust you more.

    Excellent post, Bill, and very good tips. I especially like your attitude about "informing" your readers versus "selling" to them.
    Signature
    If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      As a corollary to treating subscribers like adults, do not assume they are adult idiots you need to trick or fool into reading your stuff or clicking your links.

      Fool me once, shame on you.

      Fool me twice? Doesn't apply, because there is no 'twice'...
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  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    All good points, Bill.

    I posted a few days ago about a British company called Stanley Gibbons. They're in alternative investments - stamps, coins, historical documents, etc. - and in my opinion their emails are shining examples of how to build value into a promotion itself.

    I know that 9/10 (maybe 10/10) emails from them will contain a promotion. In fact, the whole damn email is a shameless plug wrapped up in a short story, some historical background, yet I finish off each one intrigued, a little wiser, and in eager anticipation of the next.

    Their information, for me, isn't even exactly useful in and of itself; I can't put it to any practical use other than to invest in what they're pushing, really. But am I receiving value? You bet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      If you sell an intermediate or advanced product to your list, the kind of product that would be bought by someone who is not a newbie, and they buy it, dont follow that offer up to the same buyers with an offer like "How To Make Your First Dollar Online."

      I'm amazed at how many marketers assume someone who buys one of their products must be wet behind their ears and living in their mom's basement.

      The attitude of "Hey, they bought my last offer, this idiot will probably buy anything", only makes the seller look like the real idiot in the deal.

      Get a clue...stop insulting your subscribers.

      ~Bill
      Signature
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      • Profile picture of the author Cali16
        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        The attitude of "Hey, they bought my last offer, this idiot will probably buy anything", only makes the seller look like the real idiot in the deal.
        Sadly, this is how far too many marketers treat their lists. I unsubscribe when they do. I also quickly unsubscribe from those who send me multiple emails every week (or even worse, every day).

        If more marketers would use the Golden Rule when marketing to their list, they'd probably get better results. But, to each his own...
        Signature
        If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
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      • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        If you sell an intermediate or advanced product to your list, the kind of product that would be bought by someone who is not a newbie, and they buy it, dont follow that offer up to the same buyers with an offer like "How To Make Your First Dollar Online."

        I'm amazed at how many marketers assume someone who buys one of their products must be wet behind their ears and living in their mom's basement.

        The attitude of "Hey, they bought my last offer, this idiot will probably buy anything", only makes the seller look like the real idiot in the deal.

        Get a clue...stop insulting your subscribers.

        ~Bill
        Wait, people actually do this? Man, I'm glad that I'm not on any of those lists. I thought it was common practice to go into a niche with a plan of action regarding products you are going to sell. In mine for example, I set out beforehand what was to be sold and in what order so that each product builds upon the last.

        What are they teaching in IM schools these days?!
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  • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

    So long as you make the subtle mental shift from "selling" to "informing" your readers, people will like and trust you more.


    Don't Act Desperate
    this, I think is such an important lesson. It's amazing how if you "inform" rather than "sell", people want to give you their money.

    I kind of like the list owner who not only informs, but also knows how to tell a story. Those are the emails I look forward to opening.
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author TheBizHelp
    Banned
    True words! If only I was informed this way when I was starting out, I should be a multi-billionaire by now!
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      My lists get hammered every day with high end promotions, but I also include valuable information, tips, resources, free gifts, stories, and good jokes. The jokes must be very good, because over 60% of my subscribers have been buying regularly for five years or more.
      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 Joseph Robinson
        Banned
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        The jokes must be very good, because over 60% of my subscribers have been buying regularly for five years or more.
        The jokes have to be good?! That explains so much...and makes me wonder why no one told me before this.
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by Joe Robinson View Post

          The jokes have to be good?! That explains so much...and makes me wonder why no one told me before this.

          Some people cry when they realize that no one thinks they are funny, except when they have their pants off. :p

          "He didn't just say that, did he?"

          "TMI !! TMI !!"
          Signature
          Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        The jokes must be very good, ...
        But surely this depends on whether your target demographic is, for example, eccentric, 1970s-era mathematics teachers with a penchant for different shades of grey plaid trousers? :p
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

          But surely this depends on whether your target demographic is, for example, eccentric, 1970s-era mathematics teachers with a penchant for different shades of grey plaid trousers? :p
          Or puffy and bloated early 1980's era disco dancers with a pendant showing shadows of their former glory with dynamic and sexy legs and exposed breasts dangling in synchrony with crackling laughter, heaving masses of jiggly thighs, and waves of vibrating belly flab.


          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 Mohammad Afaq
    But what if I am desperate?

    This Is A Business

    If you make money with your mailing list, then it is at least "part of your business".

    Make no apologies to your list for treating it like a business.

    As a member of my list, I am going to show you products that I think you might like to buy -- and yes, I might earn a commission if you do buy what I recommend.

    But, I will make no apologies for doing so, because my mailing is part of my business.
    I really agree with this one. I cannot tell you how many times I have received emails telling me I should be ashamed of myself for recommending something I am getting a commission on

    Don't build your business around these people. They don't like you, let them leave. There are many fish in the digital sea
    Signature

    “The first draft of anything is shit.” ~Ernest Hemingway

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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

      But what if I am desperate?
      Put your head in your palms, then carefully read and ponder this thread ... from the beginning to end. :p
      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 Joseph Robinson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

      But what if I am desperate?
      Simple:

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  • Profile picture of the author fedor50
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

    Yes, the money is in the list.

    And, to make more money from your list, you need to grow a bigger list.

    As a list owner, I wanted to share some of what I have learned with you...


    You Must Build A Relationship With Your Subscribers

    True, but how should we define a "relationship" with your list?

    People assume that a relationship is built on information only, but that is not true.

    I know a lot of people on this forum are on Mike Lantz' list. Does he ever send "information only"?

    Nope. Never.

    Yet people look forward to opening his emails.

    So, I think we can rule out "information only" as the definition of a "relationship with one's list."

    LOL

    Mike sends product promotions 6 days per week.

    And, he does not even do his own reviews of the products he promotes. Mike finds reviews that others have left about the product, and he uses those publicly available reviews as his copy when he tells his subscribers about a product.

    Mike Lantz has taught us that in order to have a successful relationship with our mailing lists, it is not necessary to:
    • Ever send Information Only;
    • Mail Less than 6 Days Per Week;
    • Do your own Product Reviews.

    What we do need to do is:
    • Teach people what to expect from us;
    • Be consistent;
    • Deliver what we promised;
    • Earn the trust of our readers;
    • Give people what they want.

    On my lists, I do send some "information only" emails and free gifts. My goal is to train my readers that if they don't open all of my emails, they might miss something important!

    I also do many of my own reviews, because I hope people will want to look at my review, before they buy. Yes, I do occasionally give products a bad or lukewarm review.

    If people believe that I will tell them when to keep money in their pockets, they will better trust me in the future.


    Tell People What to Expect, then Deliver on Your Promises

    Building a relationship with your list is as simple as building trust. If people trust you, they will buy from you.


    Be Willing to Correspond with Folks

    I encourage my readers to hit Reply when they have something to share about my mailings. People do hit Reply, and so do I.

    By having a conversation with people, those with whom you communicate will have a greater appreciation for what you do.


    Don't Sell to Your Readers

    There is a slight distinction between "selling" to people, and letting them know that there is something that they might "want to buy".

    By selling to your reader, you are putting your needs ahead of the wants and needs of your readers.

    By informing your readers of the availability of a product, you are letting your readers decide what is best for them.

    The people on your mailing list should be adults and treated as such. As adults, they should be expected to make their own decisions about whether they want to buy what you have told them about or not.

    So long as you make the subtle mental shift from "selling" to "informing" your readers, people will like and trust you more.


    Don't Act Desperate

    Sure, I would like my readers to buy, and I would like readers to stay on my list, but I am somewhat a freak.

    As a writer, I know that if I want something too much, people will sense it in the words that I use.

    I do want people to stay on my list, but I don't people on my list that do not want to read what I have written.

    My subscribers frequently hit Reply to share a laugh with me when I invite people to unsubscribe from my list, which is something that I do every couple of months.

    Yes, I would like people to stay, but if they don't like the way I communicate with my audience, there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of every email I send. Folks should unsubscribe if they don't like the way I run my lists.


    This Is A Business

    If you make money with your mailing list, then it is at least "part of your business".

    Make no apologies to your list for treating it like a business.

    As a member of my list, I am going to show you products that I think you might like to buy -- and yes, I might earn a commission if you do buy what I recommend.

    But, I will make no apologies for doing so, because my mailing is part of my business.



    As a list owner, do you have anything to add to this?
    This post is so true. the most important thing is to become a person whom your list trusts. If they trust you, they'll purchase the things you recommend to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author RnGWriter
    lot of people tend to monetize their mailing lists by opening it up to advertisements. Solo ads are pretty cool as long as you put a lid on it. Your lists consists of people and not guinea pigs, not that you should bombard guinea pigs twice a day with sales pitches either.

    You have a lot more to gain by building solid, genuine relationships with your subscribers. You want to be "the" guy they go to for advise in your niche; you do not want to be the guy who promotes products to the point where subscribers get a restraining order against you.

    Saying this from the perspective of a guy who has seen a lot of such promotional email and has hit the unsubscribe button a lot.

    Then again, I agree with tpw when he says that it is not necessary to have informative emails all the time. It is more important to give your subscribers exactly what you promised. Humor, controversy and insight are what makes posts interesting and there is no reason as to why you would not be able to make money by doing just that!

    There is an IM school??I guess my parents could not afford it since they blew all their money on get quick rich schemes. Ironically they just got poorer. :rolleyes:
    -Shadab
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  • Profile picture of the author Bookerads
    Not only is your list a part of your business, It is a huge part of your business. You have to be hands on everyday testing and tweaking strategies until you find out what your members will respond to. Once you figure it out, watch as it becomes viral and then it's just a numbers game after that!
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

    As a list owner, do you have anything to add to this?
    Just one. Always act in your subscriber/prospect's best interests.

    Doing that, you can't go wrong.

    Nice post, Bill.

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

    You Must Build A Relationship With Your Subscribers

    True, but how should we define a "relationship" with your list?

    ---

    As a list owner, do you have anything to add to this?
    Most list owners have a dysfunctional relationship with
    their list...

    They either go for Win-Lose relationships where they win
    (at least in the short term) and their subscribers lose.

    These are the list owners who don't really care about their
    subscribers and will send them any crappy offer just to make
    a quick buck.

    Or there's the list owner who goes for Lose-Win relationships
    where they provide the subscriber with valuable information
    for free and they ask (and get) little in return.

    Both types of relationship will NOT last long-term.

    Instead, go for Win-Win relationships where both you and
    your subscriber benefit from your e-mails and offers now
    and in the future.

    Information can help to build a relationship with your list
    but the best relationships are built by adding something
    much more important into the mix:

    The real YOU.

    People build relationships with people.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
    Signature

    .

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  • Profile picture of the author louie6925
    I have 4 lists and treat each one different, and to be honest with you its a real eye opener! List owners won't like this, but my most successful and lucrative list is the one I mail ONCE a month only!

    I have never understood how people can promote daily! as said above, DON'T treat your subscribers like idiots! any list i'm on, if someone sends daily I unsubscribe as I feel i'm getting treated like an idiot! how the hell can you properly try out a product and effectively know if its good or not in one day! most wso review lists owners do this:-
    1.) log into Warrior plus
    2.) search for available affiliate products
    3.) get approved and get hoplink
    4.) send to list

    By doing this open rates will be low, click rates even lower and sales at best would be every now and then!
    Now my list which I promote to once a month, know that I spend the month purchasing 2 or 3 wso's take action on them and report on them on the 1st of each month. Some months the 3 wso's I promote have been no good, I write a review saying why they were no good and include a link anyway so they can make their own mind up, telling them I'd advise NOT to buy! I've even gone two months in a row without one good product to promote BUT when I do have something good my readers know its good and my sales go through the roof!

    My point is what is better? tons of promotions resulting in a few sales, or very few promotions resulting in tons of sales?

    As the OP stated your list is a business, your list is perspective customers, NOT a hoard of idiots with credit card in hand waiting for your emails. For the record I have'nt had an unsubscribe for nearly four months, and if I posted a screen shot of my open rate people would think its a fake, My point is if you treat your customers right they will come back and give you repeat custom, and over the course of the year one email per month will generate tons more cash than emailing everyday! and with alot less time wasted!!! think about it and give it a go! I promise you will suprise yourselves! How many of you have sent 3 mailings without one single unsubscribe?
    Signature
    Feel free to chat if you live in the UK I may have something for you!
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
      Originally Posted by Michael_Le View Post

      mike lantz wso of the day is based on this flawed concept
      I have seen a little bit of discussion on this concept here that mailing every day is somehow bad.

      Now, can it be - of course? In fact, for most lists, it would probably be a problem.

      But again, as Bill said in his original post, it is all about expectations and purpose.

      Certainly mailing a list that is called "____ of the Day" makes complete sense to mail to daily. How many of you are subscribed to Groupon, or Woot, or Living Social, or [insert numerous other similar sites here] ?

      If those sites didn't mail daily, it would be weird. And yes, they are sending 100% marketing messages - why wouldn't they? That is why you subscribe to those lists.

      Anyway, I just think it is funny when people complain that they get email everyday from a list that is CLEARLY going to be emailed daily. If you get on such a list and decide you don't want to be on it anymore, you can always unsubscribe, and the problem is solved.

      So, expectations and purpose are all very key to building and maintaining a list.

      I have a list on another site I own that is more than twice as big as the WSO of the Day list. It gets mailed to 2x weekly, and nothing is ever really marketed to it. (We do giveaways once per week, and a newsletter once per week.) And, as a result, that list earns 98% less per month.

      Is that "bad"? Not necessarily, as it has a different purpose and audience. But it could be improved upon significantly by including some offers, testing, etc...

      The moral of the story? Give your list what they want, and they will be happy with you.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author sirtiman
    Good point, must find better way to make subscribers happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author ivanadee
    well written
    really help me in building relationship with my subscribers.Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author andreasup
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

    I do want people to stay on my list, but I don't people on my list that do not want to read what I have written.

    My subscribers frequently hit Reply to share a laugh with me when I invite people to unsubscribe from my list, which is something that I do every couple of months.

    Yes, I would like people to stay, but if they don't like the way I communicate with my audience, there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of every email I send. Folks should unsubscribe if they don't like the way I run my lists.
    Fantastic information. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

    One of the hardest lessons I had to learn in business is that you can't be all things to all people and you can't please all people all of the time.

    There are also just bad customers that you are much better off having unsubscribe because then you can focus on those really good customers you want to have and work for.

    I've bookmarked your post and will be rereading it. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by myob View Post

      Put your head in your palms, then carefully read and ponder this thread ... from the beginning to end. :p
      That thread is like many a movie starlet...

      In her youth, she was dynamic and sexy. She did not age well.

      Now, you can still see shadows of her former glory, but she's become puffy and bloated.

      When reading that thread, you can ignore half or more of the posts, as they were made to bump post count or drop links in a thread that would not get deleted.

      [Cue announcer voice] We now return you to our regularly scheduled discussion...
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      • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        When reading that thread, you can ignore half or more of the posts, as they were made to bump post count or drop links in a thread that would not get deleted.
        Well, excuse my crappy humor

        I didn't intend to increase post count or drop links but I guess it came out like that.

        It's just that I like hijacking Bill's threads.
        Signature

        “The first draft of anything is shit.” ~Ernest Hemingway

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        • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

          Well, excuse my crappy humor

          I didn't intend to increase post count or drop links but I guess it came out like that.

          It's just that I like hijacking Bill's threads.
          He was referring to the "What to do if you're desperate" thread that Paul linked to in his post, not this thread.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

          Well, excuse my crappy humor

          I didn't intend to increase post count or drop links but I guess it came out like that.

          It's just that I like hijacking Bill's threads.
          Joe is right. (Thanks, Joe.) The "what to do if you're desperate" thread stands at 13+ pages and over 600 posts. I would venture that over half of them are either useless or even counterproductive, all for the sake of exploiting the thread for personal gain.

          BTW, I looked and didn't find any "crappy" humor with your name on it...
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            BTW, I looked and didn't find any "crappy" humor with your name on it...

            In that case, you haven't been following Moh long enough... :p
            Signature
            Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
            Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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          • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            Joe is right. (Thanks, Joe.) The "what to do if you're desperate" thread stands at 13+ pages and over 600 posts. I would venture that over half of them are either useless or even counterproductive, all for the sake of exploiting the thread for personal gain.

            BTW, I looked and didn't find any "crappy" humor with your name on it...
            Sorry didn't pick that up.

            I need to stop sleeping too much

            And yes you're right about that thread. When it was started, it was a great thread with lots of useful information but now it's just not the same thing.

            The moral of the story? Give your list what they want, and they will be happy with you.
            And if someone isn't happy with what you are giving them, let them go and focus on the people who want what you are giving them.

            You can't make everyone happy, you know
            Signature

            “The first draft of anything is shit.” ~Ernest Hemingway

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            • Profile picture of the author myob
              Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

              And if someone isn't happy with what you are giving them, let them go and ...

              ... read the "what to do if you're desperate" thread repeatedly until they change their attitude.
              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 visimedia
    very very good point of view , it's a business, list business.
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    digital startup looking for partners in China, Taiwan, HK, Korea & Japan. PM me

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  • Profile picture of the author Patrick Batty
    Great post. Thanks.
    I especially like the expectation setting point. Good advice.
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