Treat your "CUSTOMER list" like Gold rather than crap

24 replies
There's a thread over in the reviews forum that some marketers more successful and more experienced than me in email marketing that are learning this the hard way. Give useful info, not just affiliate links to questionable products.

I remember N.S. (long time marketer) did this a few years ago to his list and really damaged his credibility, at least he admitted it and apologized to what remained of his list. To a "freebie seeker" list well...maybe, but NEVER to your customer list.

I mean you work so hard to build a list and produce a customer, and in one simple crappy offer you ruin months/years of hard work.

Your customer list should be treated like gold. They trusted you enough to open their wallets. Don't send crap that you didn't even try out.

I'm on quite a few Warrior lists from purchasing WSO's many of which mailed out emails for said product, and which I immediately unsubscribed after reading the feedback in the thread. They blackmail you into subscribing for the upgrades, and bombard you with affiliate links some like this one is highly suspect. The thread is probably still at the top of that forum as it has been for the past 2 days (end rant)
#crap #customer list #gold #treat
  • Profile picture of the author ttrance
    bro FREESEOREPORT has been spamming my mailbox so hard --- I promise never to use anything from them... whoever you are dude.... go get a day job and pay for your own pina colada!!!
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  • Originally Posted by thecableguy View Post

    Don't send crap that you didn't even try out.
    You just eliminated a business model that 99% list builders use. Now what should they do?
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      You just eliminated a business model that 99% list builders use. Now what should they do?
      Sad but true.

      The reality is a lot of marketers are lazy and their sole income is made by selling you products, whether their own or someone else's.

      They can only create so many products themselves so the next easiest thing for them to do is just recommend every other product under the sun.

      Do they purchase those products and test them out? Man, if most affiliate marketers did they would be flat broke due to the sheer volume of products they do promote. And if they didn't purchase the product and spend the same amount of money they are asking their list to spend, then how can they really judge the true value of that offer and recommend it to others.

      The best thing you can do when you own a list (whether freebie seekers or buyers) is to remember that every person on that list is a real person. It is someone's mum or dad, brother or sister, wife or husband. Someone who worked hard to earn the money you are asking them to spend. How would you like them treated if they were your own family. That's the key. Don't treat them like the money tree so many other list builders do.
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      • Profile picture of the author MartinPlatt
        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        Sad but true.

        The reality is a lot of marketers are lazy and their sole income is made by selling you products, whether their own or someone else's.
        Totally true - if I recommend a tool, then it's always something I've bought and used personally. It would scared me too much not knowing if the thing is a pile of crap.

        I noticed this recently with a list that I'm on, really good guy, but he promoted something that if you didn't look into it at all sounded awesome. I was tempted to e-mail him and tell him that it wasn't a very smart thing to promote that product, as he's probably burned a lot of people. Then I decided not to, if he couldn't be bothered before he promoted to me, I couldn't be bothered to tell him.

        I don't think there's anything wrong with affiliate marketing, but you can't seriously promote something you know nothing about and expect it to go well. Nobody will trust you after a trick like that.
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        • Profile picture of the author WillR
          Originally Posted by JonP View Post

          Excellent thread and advice! Sometimes we all forget that our followers/subscribers/customers are people just like us who are looking for ways to better their own situation. I know that once in a while I get caught up looking at just the dollar signs and not the people behind them.
          Yep, spot on and hey, none of us are perfect, we have all been there before. What some marketers do is to go as far as to create an avatar of their average customer. So work out who your typical customer is, their age, sex, race, etc. Then find an image of someone on the Internet that has those same stats. Print it out and keep it next to your computer. Even give that customer a name and write it below the image. Look at that image everytime you go to write a new email or a new piece of sales copy. You will find you treat your customers much better when you start to look at them as real people.

          Originally Posted by MartinPlatt View Post

          I don't think there's anything wrong with affiliate marketing, but you can't seriously promote something you know nothing about and expect it to go well. Nobody will trust you after a trick like that.
          No, affiliate marketing isn't a bad thing and I'm not saying people shouldn't do it. There are plenty of products and services I would never have found out about if it were not for others recommending them to me. But the key (as you said) is expecting people to listen to your recommendations when you haven't at least tested or used the product yourself. That's when affiliate marketing goes bad.
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      You just eliminated a business model that 99% list builders use. Now what should they do?
      Thanks to REVIEW COPIES, this doesn't have to be a problem. Sadly, many take the lazy route...
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      • Profile picture of the author opalfx
        yeah right....that would change the game completely. i love being a marketer but some of my associate really haven't figured out the value of a subscriber. even if they had a wsotd for how to value your list, i bet sales would be low.
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      • Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

        Thanks to REVIEW COPIES, this doesn't have to be a problem. Sadly, many take the lazy route...
        This is true.

        Review copies can cover a marketer by being able to say that s/he saw the product, HOWEVER,
        depending on the marketer's experience in being able to distinguish crap from good, and / or whether the marketer even "cares" if the product is crap or good, many of these marketers will still mail it out to their list. Especially if there is a good financial incentive attached to it (I.E. up sells / recurring commissions, etc).
        If they know that their list has purchased "worse" crap before, then that puppy is going out to his/her list.
        Period! (Check your inbox to verify).
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        Arnold Stolting - Stolting Media Group
        "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
        "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

        "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
        "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

          This is true.

          Review copies can cover a marketer by being able to say that s/he saw the product, HOWEVER,
          depending on the marketer's experience in being able to distinguish crap from good, and / or whether the marketer even "cares" if the product is crap or good, many of these marketers will still mail it out to their list.
          This is the exception to the 'buy it and use it' rule. If you have experience and expertise in a given subject, you can often tell by simply looking the product over whether it will work or not.

          If someone asked me to promote a course on email marketing that included mainly tactics that I'm already using and know they work, am I required to build a new list from those tactics to prove it? If it has tactics that I've tried and I know don't work for me, do I have to try them again and fail again to prove it?

          The key in this circumstance is honesty and transparency. If you got a review copy, say so. If you offer an evaluation, explain how you arrived at that evaluation. ['I tried it and here are my results' to 'I read it and it contains material I already know works/doesn't work']

          Bottom line - deal an honest game and word will spread, and you'll have no trouble filling the chairs at your table. The opposite is also true - screw people over, and you'll always be hunting for the next sucker because the one you so kindly 'educated' is busy trashing you to anyone who will listen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Luis Vaugier
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      You just eliminated a business model that 99% list builders use. Now what should they do?
      Lol! that was funny!
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
        If you're on a list and the vendor is machine gunning you with offers every day of the week, you should take the opportunity to ask them questions about the products they are promoting.

        Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinchua91
    Wow what WillR said is really true. I guess we have to treat subscribers and visitors like a family member or close friend, only then we will know what to market to them, and what not to.
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    • Profile picture of the author JensSteyaert
      I only know of a few people actually who have a list worth being on, Tony Shepherd is one for instance. But that's just a cool bloke i guess

      Not everybody has the imagination and writing ability to entertain people, so they resort to the easiest form of writing and that's promoting a product you can see from miles they didn't even purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonP
    Excellent thread and advice! Sometimes we all forget that our followers/subscribers/customers are people just like us who are looking for ways to better their own situation. I know that once in a while I get caught up looking at just the dollar signs and not the people behind them. It's definitely my goal to serve up great content that is beneficial to anyone who reads/sees it. That is the same with the products that I promote. My feeling is that if I haven't bought and used a product I'm not going to suggest someone else purchase it just so I can get a little money from them. That may seem great in the short run but as explained by others here it will generally hurt your reputation over the long haul. Thanks for bringing this back to the forefront of my mind again as I go through the week.
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  • Profile picture of the author kdevarney
    I try to be very careful when promoting to my list. I dont have a huge list and I try not to send anything to them that i have not been able to obtain a free copy to look over, not everyone will give you a free copy but plenty will if you just ask. I have had very low opt out rate doing it this way and my list seems to be happy. I do get people who will just opt out every once in awhile but you have to expect that.
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  • Profile picture of the author lint631
    Well said WillR. I don't get why people only promote products and never give out tips or tricks of their niche for free. I have a small list and I will promote products but I buy the product (don't even ask for a freebie) and test it myself. If it sucks then I don't promote it but I try to pick stuff I know will be good.
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  • Profile picture of the author MontrealSEO
    quality information is absolutely the way to go for your email list.

    i find that telling stories based on my experiences + a nice lesson for them makes a huge difference in their loyalty
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by thecableguy View Post

    They blackmail you into subscribing for the upgrades, and bombard you with affiliate links some like this one is highly suspect.

    An ethical bribe is not blackmail. :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      An ethical bribe is not blackmail. :rolleyes:
      Yes and I don't mind signing up for upgrades IF they email responsibly, it's part of the price for the upgrade, but some venders are worse than spammers. Some vendors only email you for upgrades and rarely anything else, those emails get opened and read. Some vendors email so rarely that I have trouble recalling their names (I have trouble recalling mine at times but that's different)

      With some vendors it's like they've just become my best friend and I need to know about EVERY new product as they become available, sometimes more than once a day, crappy or not. If they send a little "meat" and not just describing their affiliate link they might get read.

      These types of vendors REALLY puts their CUSTOMERS on the defensive. What really irked me is all the emails I received about a certain product (not WSO) that's really taking a beating in the reviews forum, AND the JV partners that sent the offer to their lists. I've unsubscribed from over a dozen lists promoting the product, to hell with the upgrades. Those vendors will have a VERY difficult time of winning back my trust as a customer.

      An ethical bribe yeah okay, but not abusing a CUSTOMER list. Treat them like gold, not bombard them with affiliate offers only.

      Sending ONLY affiliate offers and abusing your customer list REALLY puts the customer in a defensive frame of mind. With some emails I feel defensive by just seeing who sent it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Joseph
    Hi there,

    Yes I completely agree with treating clients/ customers with the respect and total care that they deserve!
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    Jon

    "Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone." -- Deepak Chopra

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  • Profile picture of the author Stripe
    My input will be short because so many other have already addressed this. I may market some things to my list if I have not used them if they come from a trusted source, but my main focus is to provide value to a much, much greater degree than trying to always sell something. There is a way to find the middle ground. It is not all one way or the other, but you MUST protect and take care of your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbrwn
    Yes, it is important to treat your list like it is pure gold because in reality, it is. You see those on your list have come to trust you. They purchase some of your products, they like you and therefore are on your list.

    However, start delivring crappy material, and watch them drop off your list like flies! The point is; is that you need to deliver quality content along with some sales material to your list. Don't deliver affiliate links to products that you have never tried out because that will not work.

    Too many of today's online entrepreneurs spam their lists by emailing them every single day with affiliate links and very little in the way of valuable content and people sre sick and tired of that mess.

    So do yourself and your business a huge favor and don't spam your list. Deliver quality content mixed with a product or two every now and then and your list will greatly appreciate you.

    Now if you have to provide products every single time that you send an email, put all product offers at the bottom of the message and place them below a series of equal signs that help to separate the offers from the rest of the content such as the example that I will give here below.

    content yada yada yada
    ================================================== ================
    offers here

    Do you see how this separates the offers from the rest of the content? If you do this at the bottom of each of your messages, then you can still have the offers, but at the top, you will have the content that they want to read. This in turn will help those on your list to better appreciate you because they're not getting offers pushed directly into their faces when they open up your emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlisonM
    Your email list - in business terms - is an asset, so you need to treat it like such.

    it really annoys me where I see someones business model is to bombard their list with constant offers, but they are happy with the unsubscribes, because they are getting more short term subscribers.

    That is USING your list.

    NO!

    Aim to build up a long term relationship and trust. Give away free stuff. And only recommend what you truly believe in, either by having bought or reviewed it.

    I am on WillR s list, and I look forward to every email from him, as he is giving or recommending something of value to me.

    Kind regards
    Alison
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