Stop Building Your Email List. Now.

30 replies
What is the number one rule of online business? The biggest list wins. Build your list, build your list, build your list. Collect emails. Expand your database.

Everybody does it. And since everybody does it, it must be true, right? (I hear you saying "Scott, it IS true!") So, since it's true, everybody that focuses on building their lists must be absolutely rocking it online. They all must have the million dollar online income!

Everybody I know online builds their list. Some people are succeeding. Some are not. Some people generate massive leverage and income from their lists. Some do not. The problem is, everybody thinks that, regardless of their situation, it's because of their list. The successes have the big lists and the non-successes have the small lists. The millionaires have a million contacts and the hundredaires (is that even a word?!) only have hundreds. The people with massive online authority have massive lists, and the people with no authority have no lists.

Sorry, but I call bull on the entire idea.

A success does not a big list make.  So what can we do? Easy.

Stop building your email list.

I want you to think about something for a second.

When you send an email to your database, what sort of open rate are you hoping for? 20%? 40? An industry-smashing 60%? Because that would be amazing right? Well, what about when you send an email to your friends? You EXPECT 100% of them to not only open it, but to engage with it and reply to you.

"Well, they are my friends..." Yeah, exactly. So they have an interest in what you say (at least, you hope so).

So let me expand your mind for a second here. What if everyone on your email list was as interested in what you had to say as your friends are? What if you had an open rate of 75% and thought it was terrible?

Business would be pretty damn sweet, right?!

"Well, I know the best way to do it! Offer something of extremely high value in exchange for their email, then when they read your high-value offering they will view everything you say as valuable! Genius!"...

Says every online marketer in the universe.

Let's flip that conversation.

"If I give everyone I know something really cool, they'll all be my friends!"...

Said no truly popular person ever. It's exactly the same thing. Seriously.

Why are friends your friends? For a start, maybe because there is mutual interest in each others lives (yep, you should ideally be interested in them as well). Maybe because you are someone they can be themselves around and you can be yourself around. Maybe because the two of you are genuinely connected, rather than just "in touch".

Do your friends care what your email subject line is? Hell no. They see the email is from you so they read it. Do your friends need incentive to spread the word about your business (otherwise known as affiliate marketing). Of course not. They do it because they want you to succeed.

A list of 20 really incredible friends who are actually interested in your business and your success is 4,762,956 times more valuable than even a "targeted" list of 1,000.

So, how can we get the people on our lists to start acting like the friends we want?

Strangely, it's pretty damn easy.

Stop focusing on building your list and start focusing on the people in it.

Focus on what happens when someone joins your list. Focus on conversations with the people who want to want to hear from you.

Focus on connecting.

When someone joins your database, send them an email saying hi. Give them a call. Skype with them. Create a group meet-up. Ask them for their feedback. Look to help them, rather than yourself.

Do anything that actually says "I care about you more than I care about your email address and your credit card".

The online industry needs a wake-up call.

Let's stop building lists of a million people and start building lists of a million friends.

Do that and I promise you will see success more than you could have imagined.
#building #email #email marketing #list #stop
  • Profile picture of the author richard22211
    Nice idea but 60% from 1M is more than 100% of 100k. It's a numbers game.
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    • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
      Banned
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      • Profile picture of the author richard22211
        Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

        No, it's not...a lot of marketers like to toss out arbitrary numbers that look awesome on paper, but the reality is, it just doesn't work that way - except in very rare situations.

        The typical person getting into IM struggles with building a list in the first place and they're taught to "Churn and Burn" that list, which is why they're so focused on rebuilding it over and over.

        "Churn and Burn" - Build a list, email the snot out of it and rinse and repeat because so many people unsubscribe do to lack of value and crap offers. :confused:

        What Scott is talking about is establishing a solid relationship with your list that keeps them looking forward to your email, builds loyalty and long-term value so that you don't have to waste time rebuilding your lists over and over.

        Over the past decade, my smallish list of 25K or so has generated several million dollars in sales - at one point around $50K a month. I've got customers still on it going back 10 - 12 years or so

        I NEVER focused on list building instead, I built value, made friends and gave them reasons to stay loyal.

        Great post Scott!
        I understand your approach but I'm more of a spam guy and it always worked for me. I don't send emails anymore (did it ~3y ago) but I do a lot of twitter and facebook stuff and huge numbers are my goal. I'm not gonna optimize anything to get 10 times better CTR/whatever, I'm just gonna send out 10 times more sh*t and the result will be the same, but easier to do for me.
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        • Profile picture of the author ScottStuart
          Originally Posted by richard22211 View Post

          I understand your approach but I'm more of a spam guy and it always worked for me. I don't send emails anymore (did it ~3y ago) but I do a lot of twitter and facebook stuff and huge numbers are my goal. I'm not gonna optimize anything to get 10 times better CTR/whatever, I'm just gonna send out 10 times more sh*t and the result will be the same, but easier to do for me.
          Potentially the most honest and awesome reply ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    Good post

    it is all about engaging them and developing that friendship

    sadly most people on email list have no interest opening your emails
    unless you constantly deliver whats in it for me

    Ed
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
      Originally Posted by sparrow View Post

      Good post

      it is all about engaging them and developing that friendship

      sadly most people on email list have no interest opening your emails
      unless you constantly deliver whats in it for me

      Ed
      Yes, like i stated people need to go from just blind selling to building relationships with their prospects and the selling will naturally unfold.
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      • Profile picture of the author bt
        Nice post, but whats a list builders goal, i'll tell you what.. $$

        I've been in the IM game for many years, and i join 0 lists, whether it be a friends list or a strangers list because i know in the end it all boils down to you guessed it.. $$

        Internet Marketing Is all about selling a dream, and the dream gets passed around from marketer to marketer, and the cycle goes on to Infinity.

        How many Internet marketing products actually do what they say they will do, the numbers are very small, almost non existent.

        Just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author ajbarnes777
    Nice post. I really like your comparison with giving away something incredible to get subscribers, and doing the same thing to try and get friends. I always felt deep down that offering some amazing freebie to get people to sign up to my list wasn't going to build a quality list for me, but I kept doing it... because everyone else was...

    Once I changed directions and started focusing on getting people to sign up to my list... because they WANT TO BE ON MY LIST, I may not have a knockout sign up rate, but my open rate, engagement, sales, etc. are all WAY better than ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author trader909
    Banned
    O.P. is right.Giving away freebies to build your list is a waste of time.

    Quality trumps quantity....but people here and internet generally seem to have no clue about real business.

    "spam an scam.." isn't the way to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author thefasninja
    Nice post and informations are very very good and easy to understand the whole logic but i have a question for you if we have less number of friends then what we should do?
    Is There any othere way to get visitor
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  • Profile picture of the author trader909
    Banned
    lol..i like your honesty though...you stand out.

    riginally Posted by richard22211 View Post
    I understand your approach but I'm more of a spam guy and it always worked for me. I don't send emails anymore (did it ~3y ago) but I do a lot of twitter and facebook stuff and huge numbers are my goal. I'm not gonna optimize anything to get 10 times better CTR/whatever, I'm just gonna send out 10 times more sh*t and the result will be the same, but easier to do for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author PCH
      Hey Scott,

      that's a really interesting post buddy. You know, it's actually something of a relief to me to hear your thoughts, as well as the thoughts of the people replying, on the subject of list building.

      I've been at the stage where I've put a lot of time and effort into building my list for the past 6 months to a year, because of course that's what we all do, as you point out.

      But there I was thinking ... "Wow, am I the only one that spends an hour on an evening creating an email to broadcast, only to have 3 or 4% open it and a whole lot less CTR.

      I'm thinking, wow, when is it gonna get better? Because in the beginning you don't know whether it's your email creation limitations that's spoiling things, whether you used single or double optin that affected the quality of your sign ups, the solo ad vendor you used, your squeeze page graphics .... and the list goes on.

      But now, from the replies here, at least I know that all my component parts are probably fine, and it's just the entire concept that's defective

      I like the reply by richard22211. As you say, very open and honest.
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        Banned
        But you have to build a list to stop building a list, and why would I stop building that list if I am engaged with my existing list???

        al
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  • Profile picture of the author smwordsmith
    Thanks for the good post, Scott. As the recipient of way-too-many emails from marketers pimping the latest of anything, I am ruthlessly pruning my subscriptions. I am sick and tired of it.

    On the other hand, I am not necessarily ready to be 'friends'. Don't call me or invite me to skype on the 'first date'. Court me by sending me nice flowers and expensive candy and let me get to know you first.

    Send me emails rich with useful info related to why I signed on to your email list in the first place. And make it a quick read because I am busy and tend to skim all emails.

    As someone working on building an email list, I appreciate your post. It drives home the point that I need to treat my list the way I want to be treated.

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author emelef
    It's a numbers game. Take care of your list - it's your asset - but people will leave or not open your emails because they are busy. So keep adding to your list, but take care of the ones you have but you will never send one email that appeals to everyone! Bottom line - it's a numbers game.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    But if I stop building my list how can I build a relationship with subscribers I don't have? hahaha

    It's a numbers game. You build your list as fast and as big as possible and you build a relationship with whoever wants to build one back with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
    Originally Posted by ScottStuart View Post

    When someone joins your database, send them an email saying hi. Give them a call. Skype with them. Create a group meet-up. Ask them for their feedback. Look to help them, rather than yourself.
    Nothing wrong with that approach, but if you plan to build your list by calling and personally interacting with each one of your subscribers, then you're just trading lower conversions / more freedom, for higher conversions / less freedom.

    That will work fine for some, but the reason that many people get into internet marketing is because they want a business that's as "hands off" as possible.

    Me personally... I'd rather have 10 automated, "set and forget" money-makers (pre-written autoresponder series) that converted at 1% per message, than have a single moneymaker that I was forever "chained" to (live broadcast emails, follow-up phone calls, etc), that converted at 10% per message.

    But again... there's nothing wrong with either approach, so long as you're providing value to your subscribers at the end of the day. It just boils down to what you'd rather spend your time doing each day.
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  • Profile picture of the author forekast
    I really love this post. I like how you laid it out. I work in the music industry, and often time a lot of artists will make people like their Facebook page to get a free download of something. I realized pretty quickly that you're only burning yourself by doing that. When I go and like a page, I like it because I care enough about that artist that I want to know what they're doing. I want to know about new songs, new gigs, etc.

    I agree that the issue is that people like numbers over value, like you mentioned. If you have 5,000 people on your list (or on your Facebook page), then you MUST be more successful because that's 5,000 more people that can see it. Wrong. That just means more people skipping over what you have to say, and you wasting your time and efforts.

    Great post and great incite. It also sparked up some ideas for me with lists I've been building slowly over the past couple months.
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLB
    It's an interesting concept but I disagree. I don't feel that you should be in a "gain subscribers" at any cost mindset, but you definitely shouldn't ramp down. Your goal should always be to bring in quality subscribers.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnTheJock
    Originally Posted by ScottStuart View Post

    Let's stop building lists of a million people and start building lists of a million friends.

    Do that and I promise you will see success more than you could have imagined.
    Two problems I see here:

    1. Get TOO friendly and they'll probably take offence when you try to sell them something.

    2. You may starve in the process.
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    • Profile picture of the author luli bangili
      Hey Scott,

      I'm new here so i was just browsing messages on forum when i saw yours Stop Building Your Email List. Now. I had to stop it and looking what it was all about so thank you for the information. I only being here 2 hours and l am learning alot.

      Nice meeting you all members here.
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  • I signed up on a newsletter endofamerica7xxx.com or whatever the number was they had no optin the only way to get on the list was to buy which I did then I got lie 100+ upsells and some where 3K 5K or more K

    I guess if you optinfor free you will never pay 3K so quality first.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    The common misconception is that "the biggest list makes the most money"
    but REALLY that's not the whole truth otherwise spammers would make the most money and we know that's not true. The quality of your list is what determines how much it's worth.

    Great advice for people who are just caught up in quantity and doing ad swaps or other list-building stuff like that, fair warning: it's purposeless to build a crummy list
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    • Profile picture of the author Philipg68
      If you stop building your list how can you develope your business be online or offline,clients customers stay with you ages others move on and if you stop building your list of people,the remaining clients/customers will deminish and so will the business.
      philipg
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  • You need both - a big list and you need to add value. One without the other is meaningless and a waste.
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    • Profile picture of the author TeamBringIt
      Originally Posted by PathofLeastResistance View Post

      You need both - a big list and you need to add value. One without the other is meaningless and a waste.
      You do not, need a huge list. People that have smaller lists and better relationships, can out perform people that have huge lists.
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  • This is a good post, but we need to remember that it's still in the list. Yet it is also in how we treat our list, if we just try to sell them crap on a daily basis then we will lose them and no longer have a list.

    But if we offer fantastic advice and truly try to help others succeed then your list will be grateful for you as well as being life long customers. It's not how big your list is but how well you treat them.

    Great post
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    I don't really focus too much on my list. I just keep sending targeted traffic to ONE High Converting System. I do have over 23 emails that I personally made that are designed to give people more info and value.

    However, I still mainly focus on 'creating' traffic.

    X amount of people who hit my sales video do convert into what I call a knock over sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author sidee
    Originally Posted by ScottStuart View Post

    What is the number one rule of online business? The biggest list wins. Build your list, build your list, build your list. Collect emails. Expand your database.

    Everybody does it. And since everybody does it, it must be true, right? (I hear you saying "Scott, it IS true!") So, since it's true, everybody that focuses on building their lists must be absolutely rocking it online. They all must have the million dollar online income!

    Everybody I know online builds their list. Some people are succeeding. Some are not. Some people generate massive leverage and income from their lists. Some do not. The problem is, everybody thinks that, regardless of their situation, it's because of their list. The successes have the big lists and the non-successes have the small lists. The millionaires have a million contacts and the hundredaires (is that even a word?!) only have hundreds. The people with massive online authority have massive lists, and the people with no authority have no lists.

    Sorry, but I call bull on the entire idea.

    A success does not a big list make.  So what can we do? Easy.

    Stop building your email list.

    I want you to think about something for a second.

    When you send an email to your database, what sort of open rate are you hoping for? 20%? 40? An industry-smashing 60%? Because that would be amazing right? Well, what about when you send an email to your friends? You EXPECT 100% of them to not only open it, but to engage with it and reply to you.

    "Well, they are my friends..." Yeah, exactly. So they have an interest in what you say (at least, you hope so).

    So let me expand your mind for a second here. What if everyone on your email list was as interested in what you had to say as your friends are? What if you had an open rate of 75% and thought it was terrible?

    Business would be pretty damn sweet, right?!

    "Well, I know the best way to do it! Offer something of extremely high value in exchange for their email, then when they read your high-value offering they will view everything you say as valuable! Genius!"...

    Says every online marketer in the universe.

    Let's flip that conversation.

    "If I give everyone I know something really cool, they'll all be my friends!"...

    Said no truly popular person ever. It's exactly the same thing. Seriously.

    Why are friends your friends? For a start, maybe because there is mutual interest in each others lives (yep, you should ideally be interested in them as well). Maybe because you are someone they can be themselves around and you can be yourself around. Maybe because the two of you are genuinely connected, rather than just "in touch".

    Do your friends care what your email subject line is? Hell no. They see the email is from you so they read it. Do your friends need incentive to spread the word about your business (otherwise known as affiliate marketing). Of course not. They do it because they want you to succeed.

    A list of 20 really incredible friends who are actually interested in your business and your success is 4,762,956 times more valuable than even a "targeted" list of 1,000.

    So, how can we get the people on our lists to start acting like the friends we want?

    Strangely, it's pretty damn easy.

    Stop focusing on building your list and start focusing on the people in it.

    Focus on what happens when someone joins your list. Focus on conversations with the people who want to want to hear from you.

    Focus on connecting.

    When someone joins your database, send them an email saying hi. Give them a call. Skype with them. Create a group meet-up. Ask them for their feedback. Look to help them, rather than yourself.

    Do anything that actually says "I care about you more than I care about your email address and your credit card".

    The online industry needs a wake-up call.

    Let's stop building lists of a million people and start building lists of a million friends.

    Do that and I promise you will see success more than you could have imagined.
    Well that was a waste of everyone's time. Next time you make an OP, try to say something insightful and intelligent.
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  • Profile picture of the author az wan
    But if we have no list?
    still need to make a list right?
    In making list and be friend with all of them
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  • Profile picture of the author KevMason
    The real truth is there is NO right or WRONG way, it just clearly depends on your business model?

    If I am a guy that does big volumes of traffic to get opt ins and these opt ins are costing me an arm and a leg, then I would want to gain my money back as quickly as possible for my ad spend, and if sending out hard sell promotions is the way then so be it.

    However if I have a decent sized budget and am looking for longevity by establishing a presence in a particular marketplace then for sure creating a REAL relationship with my list will be ideal.

    Again at the end of the day I personally feel there is NO right or WRONG way just what suites your Business Model.


    Hope Helps!
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