If the Money is in the List, some People Really aren't Getting it

38 replies
I understand what people mean when they say that the money is in the list. When you have hundreds or even thousands of people that you can email, then you have a lot of potential buyers for your products.

However, I think a lot of people aren't understanding what that can mean for them. I've opted in to a lot of lists because I was interested in the free products, the newsletters, etc. I've opted out of a lot of those lists when I realized that the person was going to continually abuse the privilege.

I don't have a list yet, but I plan to some day. When I do build one, I am going to treat the people on my list the way that I want the people who I'm listed with to treat me; like an intelligent human being.

I'm not going to tell any of them in the subject that I'm sending them a special, personal email unless I am, in fact, doing just that. And even then I'll just send them the email, not make a big deal about it being special and personal.

I'm not going to tell them that they have to open an email now or they'll be sorry forever.

I'm not going to try to trick them into opening an email, because the minute I do this I am admitting that I have no respect for them.

I think too many people get too focused on building the list and not focused enough on taking care of the list. There are people behind those email addresses; not demographics, not targets, not suckers, not sheep, but people. Of course when I build a list I'll hope people on that list buy products from me, but I hope they do so because I'm offering them something of value--something I've presented to them honestly.

I suppose I'll get flack, but I needed to vent.
#list #money #people
  • Profile picture of the author pazzer
    I agree, quite a few people seem to regard their lists as a license to print money and just bombard you with offers for this and that. Instead of building a relationship with their list by providing useful content along with the offers.
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    • Profile picture of the author traces2757
      Originally Posted by pazzer View Post

      I agree, quite a few people seem to regard their lists as a license to print money and just bombard you with offers for this and that. Instead of building a relationship with their list by providing useful content along with the offers.
      "Building a relationship"...that's a very good way to put it.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlbertF
    Every seller wants to make a promote. I don't blame him. I believe any marketer would abuse this type of power, however, it is sometimes good, and sometimes can be really annoying.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
    Yes, a lot of people treat their subscribers in a very ordinary fashion.

    I subscribe to many different lists, many of them only to observe the way that the list is used.

    Some people (eg Mike Filsaime) use their lists like a machine gun - sending out massive volumes of emails with a hard sell about all kinds of products that you "must have" and "must buy now".

    Others, (eg Perry Marshall) also are sales oriented, but also provide useful or entertaining information in their newsletters.

    From time to time you see marketers complaining bitterly about the loss of subscribers if they change their autoresponder company.
    I wonder if it's because they don't provide their subscribers with anything other than sales pitches?

    There's some people whose newsletters go automatically into a folder and I only look at ocassionally.

    I will read others (like Paul Myers, and The Daily Reckoning) as soon as I see them, because they are entertaining and provide value. And I'm far more likely to purchase something from the ones that I like more.
    I can't remember the last time I've purchased anything from any of the marketers who carpet bomb me with a multitude of sales pitches.

    Cheers, Eric G
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  • Profile picture of the author petevamp
    I would have to agree with you about people focusing to much on building the list and not maintaining it. I my self with a few of my list do this. However the ones who have unsubscribed which is only about 10 total. They all said the same thing when they unsubscribed. Information overload. Meaning I gave them too much information all at once. It is also always on the same set of follow ups. I have tried to re word them. For my list though I almost always throw them a freebe here and there. From a site template to books. This is there incentive to stay on my list. You never know when one of these freebies are coming. Same thing goes for a membership site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      Lists a are all about tactics, most including me don't have a working tactic. Recently I've went and subscribed to lists such as HP, Apple etc to see how they deal with etheir lists and it's much different something to be learned from it.

      I sahlle be investing in a custom design for one of my lists newsleters and make it a fortnightly appearance including some very detailed information with lots of cool offers and fisnings that I think they will benefit from imbedded in my template.

      Go ahead and get onto HP's list and see how they do it, you'll see that you can monopolise a list a lot better using their tactics than with the standard hype full plain text newsletters.

      For the Im niche it might not be as good but if yu're super duper high up there all IM's should be modelling the very successful businesses.
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      • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
        Originally Posted by Intrepreneur View Post

        Lists a are all about tactics
        Well, that's one way to look at it.
        I see a list as a way of developing trust, credibility, and loyalty.

        (But then I don't make a fortune from my list, so what the hell would I know )
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Eric,
          From time to time you see marketers complaining bitterly about the loss of subscribers if they change their autoresponder company. I wonder if it's because they don't provide their subscribers with anything other than sales pitches?
          On this one, I have a comment. The comment is: Nope.

          In December of 2004, I switched my system to put all new subscribers on Aweber. I repeatedly encouraged the existing ones to switch as well. About 5% did. I don't believe that more than another 5% would have switched had I told them, "Move or you're unsubscribed." Despite that, I still get significant amounts of orders from the people who never changed over, along with a lot of feedback.

          Why?

          Some missed the notes. Some put it off and never got around to it. Some were too lazy. Some didn't believe me when I told them there would be some content that only went to the folks on the Aweber list.

          Some others... who knows?

          If I had done an import and a forced reconfirm, I might have gotten as much as 30% of the list to re-subscribe. I would have also had people screaming at me that I was spamming, because they're stupid. I'd have had others screaming at me about unsubscribing them, because they didn't read the emails at all. (Much more understandable, of course. Very few people have time to read everything they get.)

          I'm not exactly famous for my high "pitch to content" ratio.

          I've seen (and managed) transitions that were higher than that, but never much over 60%. (I believe that some have been higher, but I haven't been involved in them.)

          A broad topic list will get fewer resubscribes, and one that's been around a long time will get fewer still. The only ones with very high reconfirm rates are extremely targeted, narrowly focused, and usually quite small.

          It's just part of the process.

          Another part of the process is the common comment, "I buy from people who give me good information, not people who pitch me all the time." That's true for some people, but it's not a good way to plan a business, unless you've got a lot more savvy, and different goals, than most email marketers. The more you sell, the more people buy. That's just a fact of the business.

          If you watch your stats you'll notice something interesting. People hit the spam button at least as much for pure content as for pure pitch. Usually more. And the folks who sign up from marketing forums hit it the most of any group.

          Why? The same reason they come into forums and say things like, "Long copy doesn't work," or other forms of, "I don't like this, therefore anyone who does is an idiot." Most of those people have either never been in the trenches selling, or they've failed so badly that they're bitter and nasty. Or they've read a few forum posts from people who fit one or both of those descriptions and assumed the posters had Clue.

          In any field where the barriers to entry are very low, you'll get people who think the work required for success is equally low. Those people often become mean, spiteful and destructive when they discover that it takes thinking, and other forms of hard work.

          Very little will make people nastier, faster, than the jolt they get when their expectations collide with reality.

          The exceptions are easy to spot. They're the folks who treat it like a business, or a profitable hobby, rather than a lottery. Those are the people who value good content and relevant product offerings. Because they understand the process. The rest buy on pure impulse, or a wish and a prayer. They burn out and get cynical, and tell the world how "it's all a scam."

          Unfortunately, the last group is a sizable majority.


          Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Eric,
          I see a list as a way of developing trust, credibility, and loyalty.
          That's the way it should work. The only way it works like that is if you target and filter specifically for the people for whom those things are a high priority.


          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author Todd Lamb
            I subscribe to over 30 lists and also have 6 of my own...the rule I have incorporated is simply this...there must be value in the product being offered.

            Then what I do is create a video or text email which has a very good tactic you can employ in your marketing. This was a valuable lesson I learned from Dave Guindon

            So you get value from my email or educational video and should you choose to purchase the product, there is value in it as well.

            In terms of subject lines...I am never offended by a catchy heading. I approach it from a marketing perspective...am I compelled by the subject line to open the email. I don't choose to be offended but rather..educated...what can I learn from the tactic a particular marketer is employing.

            I simply love marketing...I also reallly want my members to get the best value possible. Sometimes I succeed and other times I miss the mark, nobody is perfect but I am always learning
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          • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
            @ Paul
            Thanks for your comments.
            Looks like I may have to realign a couple of my mental guideposts.
            I've always preferred quality over quantity, but you know the old saying:
            If all else fails, lower your standards :-)

            Eric G.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aggressor
    Look. You have too much theory.

    At the end of the day it comes down to 2 things:
    Relationship
    Value

    You build a relationship by providing relevant content and hence value.

    Obviously spamming "buy my stuff" isn't any good. But, if you give people bite size chunks of information, then offer then something to buy now and again (that fits in with their needs for joining your list) then thats a good start.

    Be careful not to go the extremes though. Giving people TOO much free content overwhelms them, and then they don't buy because they think "I can't get thru all the free stuff, so no way will I get thru the stuff I need to buy"

    Just my thoughts
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  • Profile picture of the author traces2757
    I've been around long enough to realize that there are no absolutes and that my opinion is just that; an opinion. That being said, I'm always going to try my best to do business based on what my opinion of integrity is.

    I don't waste too much energy worrying about what other people do. I just rant every once in a great while and call it good. And I'll choose with whom I do business based on what works best for me.

    You learn those kind of things when you've lived for <cough, clear throat> years.
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    • Profile picture of the author Digital Storm
      Originally Posted by traces2757 View Post

      You learn those kind of things when you've lived for <cough, clear throat> years.

      Hehehe - I heard that. Now I feel really old....

      Robert
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      • Profile picture of the author ladyshadowrider
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Very little will make people nastier, faster, than the jolt they get when their expectations collide with reality.
        OMG, sounds like you know my ex-sister-in-law, LOL!

        Actually, I'm very happy I ran across this thread. I'm new to list building, have only been working at building some lists over the past 5-6 months and have been seeing around a 10% unsubscribe rate.

        I mail my lists 1-3 times a week and the weeks where I do multiple mailings, it's to remind people to go download a free report or video or whatever, or if I'm running a time-limited discount on one of my products. I tend to only send one offer per month and it's usually for a "how to" guide or video series I've developed.

        I thought it was just me, but the unsub rate is higher when I send content or free stuff than it is when I send an offer. It's really had me baffled!

        Glad to know it's just the "nature of the beast!"

        Tamara
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        • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
          Originally Posted by ladyshadowrider View Post

          I thought it was just me, but the unsub rate is higher when I send content or free stuff than it is when I send an offer. It's really had me baffled!
          That just proves that you have to go by what people do, not what they say.

          Look at all the complaints here about people who only send offers to their lists, then ask yourself how that makes sense with your experience above.

          Short answer: It doesn't, and the people coming here complaining are generally the ones who wouldn't buy anything anyway and who you don't need on your list.
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          • Profile picture of the author traces2757
            Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

            That just proves that you have to go by what people do, not what they say.

            Look at all the complaints here about people who only send offers to their lists, then ask yourself how that makes sense with your experience above.

            Short answer: It doesn't, and the people coming here complaining are generally the ones who wouldn't buy anything anyway and who you don't need on your list.
            I'm not saying that the "sell sell sell" list method doesn't work. I'm sure it does. I'm not even saying that it makes most people unsubscribe. I only know that it makes 'me' unsubscribe, and that I won't use my list that way. Once again, that's just me and the way I want to do business. I was just venting. And, truthfully, I think it's a topic worthy of discussion and debate. Discussions like these often help people decide on a direction when they weren't sure about which way to go.

            I love debates, as long as all opinions are respected.
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          • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
            well stated, chris. This thread has bugged me, yet I have been unable to put it into words.

            I have tested both approaches over the last year: little content, heavy promo's; heavy content/light promo's. Truth be told, I have made more money per subscriber from the first approach. And never forget: people vote with their wallets.

            I think it is bad business to turn your back on 2 sales in order to try to prevent an unsub from someone who very likely is not ever going to be a buyer.

            Most of the guru's who say "the money is in the relationship you have with your list" rarely send any content to their lists (unless it's during a prelaunch). There are some exceptions of course.


            Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

            That just proves that you have to go by what people do, not what they say.

            Look at all the complaints here about people who only send offers to their lists, then ask yourself how that makes sense with your experience above.

            Short answer: It doesn't, and the people coming here complaining are generally the ones who wouldn't buy anything anyway and who you don't need on your list.
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            • Profile picture of the author Chance Russell
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              • Profile picture of the author coffeyucf
                Yeah with my list we provide a weekly newsletter. Which is content that we put a lot fo effort into that people actually want to read. However I would agree I can do more to provide free value to my email list.

                I find way too many "so called" marketers, even the big guys, never send content. The only time you ever see something that resembles content is if it's to promote an upcoming launch for there buddies.

                However sometimes people especially in this niche seem to see this more often. There are many publishers in the health, financial, spritual, and various other niches provide newsletters. Sure these emails don't make a ton of direct sales. But it builds trust...

                I guess the question to ask yourself is... When a subscriber receives my emails do they think... Oh this could be some great useful info. Or This is just another pitch for another product.
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                • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
                  Originally Posted by coffeyucf View Post

                  I find way too many "so called" marketers, even the big guys, never send content. The only time you ever see something that resembles content is if it's to promote an upcoming launch for there buddies.
                  So - why would you refer to them as "so called" marketers? Because they don't market the same way as you, then they are some how inferior? I would say 'the big guys' are not so called marketers.

                  Originally Posted by coffeyucf View Post

                  However sometimes people especially in this niche seem to see this more often. There are many publishers in the health, financial, spritual, and various other niches provide newsletters. Sure these emails don't make a ton of direct sales. But it builds trust...
                  If that trust does not ultimately convert into more sales, then what's the point?

                  The point of marketing is to sell something, it is not a popularity contest. If that popularity is not making you more sales, then I think it is safe to say it is very likely costing you sales.

                  I am not saying that this does not always work - but rather that one should not lose site of the entire point of what they are doing: marketing.

                  Maybe some people see their email marketing as more then just marketing. Maybe it's to satisfy a need for self expression. That's fine, as long as they are aware of these other needs of theirs that they are trying to fulfil, and that they may not always in be the best interest of their business.
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          • Profile picture of the author Allen Lewis
            Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

            That just proves that you have to go by what people do, not what they say.

            Look at all the complaints here about people who only send offers to their lists, then ask yourself how that makes sense with your experience above.

            Short answer: It doesn't, and the people coming here complaining are generally the ones who wouldn't buy anything anyway and who you don't need on your list.
            I would go along with that. Most people don't want to admit it, but they just want a free ride.

            Buy a magazine today and you're bombarded with an ad on most of the pages. Turn on the TV for an hour and 1/3 of your time will be spent 'watching' ads.

            This is the real world we live in.

            If you can help other people and make money at the same time, do it.

            Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author josher
    I just met with a fellow warrior who maintains a list of close to 5000 people, and get this.
    English is his second language and his auto responder messages are mostly plr.

    My hat's off to him.
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    • Profile picture of the author Avidpoet
      [QUOTE=josher;765087]I just met with a fellow warrior who maintains a list of close to 5000 people, and get this.
      English is his second language and his auto responder messages are mostly plr.


      Thats impressive. I wonder how long it took to get that many subscribers
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  • Profile picture of the author JJOrana
    Unfortunately, many big time marketers like Dan Kennedy, Russell Brunson, etc. will tell you to sell, sell, and sell.
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    • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
      Originally Posted by JJOrana View Post

      Unfortunately, many big time marketers like Dan Kennedy, Russell Brunson, etc. will tell you to sell, sell, and sell.
      so, do we learn from those marketers who have experienced incredible success - or from the struggling (or marginaly successful) marketers who complain about these same methods?

      I know who I have chosen to follow...
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  • Profile picture of the author Fredrickson
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Graudins
      Originally Posted by Fredrickson View Post

      The money is not in the list, it's in the relationship you have with that list.
      I totally agree.
      And I also agree with the rest of that lady's thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author quiescen
    What is valuable content? It's giving people what they want. Pretty simple huh? If you don't know what your list wants how can you give it to them.

    Once you discover what your list wants, i.e. in my case play what you feel on piano, you give it to them in the form of helpful info. But ... and this is an important but, to get the best info (your offer) they have to buy or sign up.

    Everyone wins in this scenerio. Your list gets what they want (helpful info) and you get people who trust, respect, and eventually will desire your offering.
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidTheMavin
    If you keep me on your list for longer than a week then you're doing a pretty good job... most are not doing a pretty good job
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  • Profile picture of the author warriorsteve
    The money is definitely in the list
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Now I know a lot of people won't like my take on list building .

    I build three different types of list . One from freebies, one from low end sales, and one is a combination of all the people who buy OTO or anything else. This is my buyers list .

    The freebie list gets three content and one freebie emails before the first sales pitch. All free content does include a sig link. The freebie list gets this treatment for 90 days . After that time the freebie only comes around about every 14 days. I still offer the free content in groups of three.

    At the 6 month mark I give 2 free contents that relate to the third email which is a sales pitch.

    Now here comes the part some won't like .

    After 9 months of not buying from me (remember I move all buyers to a separate list ) I very seldom do anything but pitch.

    This may sound mean but I am in the business of making money . About 12% of these non buyers will buy before opting out . I know a lot of people hate to see people opt out but really, after 9 months of not buying , what have you lost ?

    At the one year mark I give The stale freebie list three chances to opt in to a new list . Those that don't I manually delete .

    Opt ins that never buy cost you money . Move the buyers to where they need to be and let the tire kickers have their own list .
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    I personally own a lot of Russell Brunson's stuff. It has made money for me .

    I guess I am different than most but Russell's story telling abilities is not why I stay on his list . I like the money I make using his products and techniques.

    Given the choice of three trusting tire kickers or one paying customer , I will take the one with the credit card in their hand
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Tracy,
      Once again, that's just me and the way I want to do business.
      As you know, I tend to operate in much the same way. I'm clearly not taking slaps at you or your opinion. Or, for that matter, anyone else who's stated anything as an opinion. Just pointing out that there are costs to ANY of these approaches.

      If you're new, and your list is your primary revenue source for your business, you probably do not want to do things the way I do them. Especially if you don't know why I do them that way. Not unless you want to have to toss that deadbeat cat back onto the street.

      Something that's been missed in this discussion, and every other instance of it that I can recall: There is no connection whatsoever between developing a relationship with your list and how often you pitch or whether you give them freebies or not. None.

      Question: Is there a waiter or waitress at any of the local restaurants that you frequent who draws you back for more visits because of their professional and/or friendly service?

      Or, on a more clearly commercial basis, consider this one: There was a salesman at a local computer store who I would always go to with questions when I needed a specific type of hardware. I would tell him what I wanted to do with it, and he would ask questions. He would then outline what he saw as the main considerations, usually including stuff I hadn't thought about.

      His list of ideas almost invariably included things that his employer didn't carry, or that were much lower in cost than what I had been looking at. But they were chosen with my needs in mind.

      Yes, I sometimes bought things elsewhere because of him. And yes, he got chewed out once by his boss for sending me to a place down the road. Fortunately, I heard that start, and had a chat with his boss when he was "finished." I asked him to look at my purchase history with the store. (It was... ummm... large.)

      When I told him that I went to his store as the default because that salesman was honest with me, he apologized to the guy right in front of me and several customers. Surprised the salesman as much as it did me.

      That was a 100% commercial relationship, and one that was valuable to me. Valuable enough to publicly call out a store manager to defend a salesman.

      Not only did that man save me a bunch of money, he saved me untold hours of wasted time, fiddling with hardware that was less dependable or more complex than was needed to get what I wanted done. Or that just wouldn't do the job at all.

      If you've ever dealt with anyone like that, you know how important they can be.

      We didn't chit chat, and he never gave me anything "free" except his honest, well-informed opinion and the respect of treating me like an intelligent adult.

      The store is now closed (a Circuit City), and the computer I bought last week has problems with the sound card. Want to bet that guy would have known and warned me off the machine, or told me how to fix it?

      The word 'relationsip' has a lot of meanings, many of them significant. They don't all involve becoming someone's best friend.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author traces2757
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Tracy,As you know, I tend to operate in much the same way. I'm clearly not taking slaps at you or your opinion. Or, for that matter, anyone else who's stated anything as an opinion. Just pointing out that there are costs to ANY of these approaches.
        Yep, there are consequences to every decision that we make. The smartest choices that we make are those in which we've weighed all the consequences and have decided which ones we'd rather live with. Heck, I think I could be happy never actually actively building a list, but rather just accruing one naturally. (Wait...I think I'm already doing that!)

        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        If you're new, and your list is your primary revenue source for your business, you probably do not want to do things the way I do them. Especially if you don't know why I do them that way. Not unless you want to have to toss that deadbeat cat back onto the street.
        I could never do that. The poor thing was a two-time animal shelter return. I actually got him for a discount from the animal shelter because they felt sorry for him. He's a misfit, but he's my misfit.

        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Yes, I sometimes bought things elsewhere because of him. And yes, he got chewed out once by his boss for sending me to a place down the road. Fortunately, I heard that start, and had a chat with his boss when he was "finished." I asked him to look at my purchase history with the store. (It was... ummm... large.)
        Many moons ago I worked at a retail department store. Though I was told to push the high-priced stuff on customers, I had much more fun finding them the best deals possible, even if that meant telling them that a competing store had something for less. I liked helping people like that. I mean, seriously, it just made my day to stop someone from buying something for $150 and showing them something just as good for $19.95. (That actually happened.) So I understand the mindset.

        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        The store is now closed (a Circuit City), and the computer I bought last week has problems with the sound card. Want to bet that guy would have known and warned me off the machine, or told me how to fix it?
        Of course he would have! Funny...I went into a Circuit City years ago and was treated so badly by a salesperson (was waved off when I asked where something was) that I never set foot in the store again. Customer service really 'does' make a difference.

        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        The word 'relationship' has a lot of meanings, many of them significant. They don't all involve becoming someone's best friend.
        I have a small circle of really close friends, but I love helping people and seeing them smile. Yep, I'm an idealistic laid-back hippie-type person.



        Paul

        Good read, Paul. I enjoyed it! I find you to usually be the voice of reason.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matrick
    some people seem to be very aggressiv when it comes to list emails other seem to be "building relationships". I guess it depends on the audience who is more successful
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  • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
    Paul, more gold. Makes me wonder what IM would be like if the majority of marketers served their prospects and customers like he served you.

    Thanks again

    Grant
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  • Doesn't matter how big the hammer is... the most important principal is always the customer. So if you are building a website, list, or whatever... if you are not putting your customer first you lose. Unless of course you are Peg Bundy and have the brilliant insight that you can live off the commissions from the products you buy from your own links.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlbertF
    I think so too, people will be willing to pay more for an updated list that is managed than a list that is dead every 2 months.
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