Mailing Lists are for Amateurs and Squeeze Pages are Obsolete

by giveusallfreedom 24 replies
What I'm about to share with you is what I believe is the coolest new tool on the internet. Here it goes...

Let’s start with a question. If you owned Myspace or Facebook, how would you monetize it? Obviously what they are doing is selling banner ads and PPC ads, but is that what we would do as IMers. Hell No! The money is in the list baby. We’d be sending affiliate offers and creating products like it was going out of style.

The problem is that you couldn’t really do this with either Myspace or Facebook because their audience is too broad. You wouldn’t be able to tailor your offers to your target audience and they would be viewed as spam. Best case scenario they would be ignored and worst case scenario everyone would leave your social network.

But this is all just random speculation right? Obviously none of us own Facebook or Myspace right? (If Tom is in the audience please stand up)

WRONG!!!

NING has changed the rules.

Anyone can create a social network!!!

I’ve seen this pop up on the WF here and there, but nobody has really delved into the possibilities of this awesome tool. Here’s my take on it…

In a sentence, Ning is a social networking site that allows people to create their own social networks. The implications from this are HUGE! Everyone has been talking about how Social Marketing and Web 2.0 can help you create a massive audience for little or no cost. Well if that’s true than Ning is the killer app or Web 2.0

For starters anyone can essentially create their own Myspace or Facebook. Does this mean you’re going to launch a network to compete with these two sites? No Way! But you can create a much smaller and more niche targeted version of one of these sites. Key phrase being niche targeted. The whole premise for these social networks is that they’re topic driven as opposed to come one and all driven.

This solves the problem I mentioned earlier about having a targeted audience. By having a niche social network you know exactly who your audience is and what they want. This way you can target your promotions to your audience and dramatically increase the value of your audience on a per person basis compared to a Myspace or Facebook.

But why would you want a social network instead of a simple squeeze page and mailing list?

To fully explain the answer that question would require about five pages of text, but I’m going to try and summarize it here and hopefully you’ll be able to visualize how powerful this is on your own.

1. Social networks are interactive and this quality encourages people invite other people to use social networks.

2. Every time someone invites someone to join your social network they get added to your list.

3. People are able and encouraged to add content like videos to your social network. Every time they do so and/or share this content they are promoting your social network.

4. If you were to walk away from a developed social network it would continue to grow and flourish without you. A mailing list won’t do that. If you’re not there, then the emails don’t get sent and the list dies.

5. People use social networks. This gives them a reason to visit your site. It gives them a reason to use a real email address. It gives them a reason to open your emails. Etc.

Finally here are more points that are specific to Ning.

1. Ning is a fully functional easily customizable platform.

2. Ning already has a couple million members. This is both a decent size audience that you can pull from by promoting on networks in related niches and small enough that it still has a lot of room to grow which essentially allows you to place yourself ahead of the wave.

3. You can download your members list and information. Even though your network is being hosted by Ning, you can still backup your list, so if they were to disappear tomorrow you would still have your complete list.

To see what I’m talking about check out this site. (I’m not affiliated with this site, it’s just a good illustration of my point.)

Powerful Intentions: Law of Attraction Community

Over on the right side of the page you’ll see a link that says “Advertising Rates.” Click on the link. You’ll see that they’re charging $350 a month for each of the ads on the right side. 9 ads. That’s $3150 a month just in advertising. That doesn’t include the featured sponsor positions or the fact that they have a membership of over 10,000 that’s growing by about 20 members a day.

Anyway... Those are my thoughts on the subject. What do you think?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #amateurs #lists #mailing #obsolete #pages #squeeze
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  • Profile picture of the author jan roos
    I have to agree with you that this technique is untapped and if done right can make you very successfull. I like the example of making over 3K a month for a few ads on the social site.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi,

      Those are my thoughts on the subject. What do you think?
      I think it's a good post and I agree with what you say.

      I think the title is misleading and incorrect. If you know anything you'll know that in this forum, the people who know how to use a mailing list are far from amateurs. Currently, maybe you are right. But the 'old school' warriors (I'm not one of them) are far from that. They're just laying low currently.

      If you were to walk away from a developed social network it would continue to grow and flourish without you. A mailing list won’t do that. If you’re not there, then the emails don’t get sent and the list dies.
      I don't know what you were thinking with that one, but surely you realise you're mistaken?

      Other than those couple of little niggles I think you made a lot of really good, relevant points.
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      • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
        Ex Rat

        If you don't know what I'm saying in the second quote, then maybe you don't really get social networks. Myspace and Facebook both keep growing without any advertising on the part of the people who own them. Don't get me wrong, they make updates to the software stuff like that, but if you have a good community they'll keep the network alive and growing whether you're there or not.

        And yeah I agree that many of the marketers on this forum use mailing lists and are far from being amatuers. But seriously, when I first saw Ning that's what I thought. Why build just a mailing list when you can build a social network? What I talk about in this post is only the tip of the iceberg.

        And part of the point I was trying to make is that the internet is evolving. As marketers we need tend to find a good thing and beat til it's dead. I see Ning as the next step beyond a mailing list. It's like when autoresponders first came out.
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
          Originally Posted by giveusallfreedom View Post

          Ex Rat

          If you don't know what I'm saying in the second quote, then maybe you don't really get social networks. Myspace and Facebook both keep growing without any advertising on the part of the people who own them. Don't get me wrong, they make updates to the software stuff like that, but if you have a good community they'll keep the network alive and growing whether you're there or not.

          And yeah I agree that many of the marketers on this forum use mailing lists and are far from being amatuers. But seriously, when I first saw Ning that's what I thought. Why build just a mailing list when you can build a social network? What I talk about in this post is only the tip of the iceberg.

          And part of the point I was trying to make is that the internet is evolving. As marketers we need tend to find a good thing and beat til it's dead. I see Ning as the next step beyond a mailing list. It's like when autoresponders first came out.
          I personally thought this post was utter garbage, false, and
          amatuerish.

          That's my opinion.

          Why would someone build a mailing list over a social network? Is that
          really even a question?

          You build a social network of 10,000 people and I'll builld
          a list of 10k people in the same niche. Let's see who gets there
          first and makes the most money alot faster.

          It makes more sense to build a huge mailing list, then create
          a social network.

          why? Well who the hell is going to be active on a social network
          with 10 people.

          To get those off the ground you need leverage. Your post
          "sounds" good, but from someone who has actually dove into
          I can tell you it's ridiculous.

          Again thats my OPINION.

          Daniel
          Signature

          Self Actualization is one's true purpose. Everything
          else is an illusion.

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          • Profile picture of the author Imran Naseem
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            • Profile picture of the author Imran Naseem
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              • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                Hi,

                If you don't know what I'm saying in the second quote, then maybe you don't really get social networks. Myspace and Facebook both keep growing without any advertising on the part of the people who own them. Don't get me wrong, they make updates to the software stuff like that, but if you have a good community they'll keep the network alive and growing whether you're there or not.
                You misunderstood me - I do get what you're saying - I should have been more specific.

                The quote I put -
                If you were to walk away from a developed social network it would continue to grow and flourish without you. A mailing list won’t do that. If you’re not there, then the emails don’t get sent and the list dies.
                ...I was referring to the second sentence when I said I thought you were mistaken. I only included the first sentence because otherwise it wouldn't have made sense.

                In other words - I agree that a social network will run on it's own steam. I was disagreeing about emails not getting sent when someone walks away - that's what an autoresponder does.

                I hope this explains.
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                • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
                  Ex Rat -

                  Sorry I miss understood. That's a good point and as of right now Autoresponders aren't part of most social networks.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Tim_Carter
                    Daniel - You are holding back. Please tell us what you really think lol.
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                    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                      Just skimmed through the first message...

                      Don't need to really read it to figure out the author of this thread has no real experience with e-mail marketing.

                      The title of this thread is so ludicrous that it's almost not even worth replying.

                      I'm just replying so some inexperienced Warriors don't fall prey to this theory. Because they'll waste a lot of time.
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                      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                        Hi,

                        Oh, I see a WSO has appeared in your sig since my replies...

                        Ning Can Make You Rich Master Course
                        Normally $167 - 82 Page Report - 14 Videos - Now Only $1
                        I guess that really does change my opinion on your comments about 'mailing lists are for amateurs and squeeze pages are obsolete' along with 'if you're not there, then the emails don't get sent and the list dies.'

                        Plus, if you're really that stoked about getting into social networks quite a while after 'the horse has bolted' then it would be wiser to propose creating one rather than hanging off the side of someone elses.

                        Hi Tom,

                        I get your points, but -

                        I have come and gone, been busy on my own stuff, swamped by my clients' stuff, but always found inspiration whenever I've returned.
                        Just because you've been away and there isn't a bunch of inspiration waiting for you is no reason to complain. Perhaps you could add some of your own so that others can benefit from it? Or are you just here to take?
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                        Roger Davis

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                        • Profile picture of the author virtualpro
                          Hay! Giveusaallfreedom,

                          Do you know how to keep secret?
                          How could you give it away that cheap?

                          Cheers!
                          Lee
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                        • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
                          Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

                          Hi,

                          Oh, I see a WSO has appeared in your sig since my replies...

                          I guess that really does change my opinion on your comments about 'mailing lists are for amateurs and squeeze pages are obsolete' along with 'if you're not there, then the emails don't get sent and the list dies.'
                          Actually that sig has been up the whole time. You may not of noticed it, but this wasn't some trick play. It was there the whole time.

                          The truth is I wanted to make this post about three months ago, but the original idea for the post grew into a free report. Then the Free Report grew into the course I ended up creating.

                          So, did I wait to make this post until the product was created. Yes, but the idea for the post came way before the product. If you consider that uncouth then don't buy the course, but that doesn't change the info in the post.

                          Seriously if you get nothing else from this post just go play with Ning and figure out how much potential it has.


                          In the end that really was the only point I was trying to make.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Mike McBride
                          Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

                          Hi,

                          Oh, I see a WSO has appeared in your sig since my replies...
                          Hmm, I seem to recall a thread Bev started recently ... something about creative ways to promote your WSO in the main forum ... and forum rules ... hmm...

                          Originally Posted by giveusallfreedom View Post

                          Actually that sig has been up the whole time. You may not of noticed it, but this wasn't some trick play. It was there the whole time.

                          ...

                          In the end that really was the only point I was trying to make.
                          Right ... the WSO in your sig right below that last line is just, oh, a mere coincidence...
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                          • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
                            Man you guys are skeptical. Sig Files removed. Not just from my main post but from all my replies too. But seriously, if I had a WSO about article marketing would you honestly say that I couldn't make any posts about article marketing?

                            Anyway...

                            So, now that I'm not promoting anything can you go back to the post and get what I was really trying to say. I mean I gave you a perfect example of a site that had done what I'm talking about successfully, and you still assume that I'm trying to blow smoke. Whatever, if you want to assume this is all some big con fine. Ning has massive potential and if you don't want to use it then at least I can say I tried.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
                              In one way you are right, but on the other hand I want to see you get the people to the social site. Let me tell you...from experience it is damn hard.

                              If you have anything less than 100 members and at least 30 active members at any given time, people will only sign up and then leave.
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                              "Find the problem and provide the solution."
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                              • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
                                Originally Posted by Sarah Harvey View Post

                                In one way you are right, but on the other hand I want to see you get the people to the social site. Let me tell you...from experience it is damn hard.

                                If you have anything less than 100 members and at least 30 active members at any given time, people will only sign up and then leave.
                                And now we're getting somewhere.

                                Sarah you make a great point, that was touched on earlier. Here's a possible solution...

                                A couple of years ago a site ran an the World SEO Championship. People joined the forum on the site to be a part of the competition and interacted on the site because they had something to talk about. You could do the same thing. Run a competition. This gives you something to promote and gives your audience a reason to interact. Just make sure when you do this that you're careful to have a reason for them to keep coming back after the competition is concluded.
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                                • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
                                  Look man!

                                  That is so cool to be wasting time on alll this fluff.. but seriously there is more to life than Ning.

                                  I know about that service for quite a long period of time and unless I see the results, I never speak about it.

                                  Theory is one thing, practical is another. So get some screenshots of the money that you have made with Ning and then you are in a better position to "teach".

                                  Only preach what you can prove that you successfully follow.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                                    Hi,

                                    Man you guys are skeptical. Sig Files removed. Not just from my main post but from all my replies too. But seriously, if I had a WSO about article marketing would you honestly say that I couldn't make any posts about article marketing?
                                    You can twist it all you like, but if you made an article marketing post entitled -

                                    PPC is for amateurs, word of mouth is dead

                                    And then proceeded to tell us

                                    - PPC campaigns will die if you go on holiday

                                    - the new fangled wonderful discovery you've made is that if someone writes articles and sends them to directories, they will make a fortune

                                    ...and then slip in a sig pointing to your WSO for 'article marketing can make you rich - normally $167 - now $1'

                                    ...then you'll probably get the same kind of responses.

                                    Call it skepticism if you like.

                                    It's not complicated, but you can keep wriggling and trying to twist it into something it's not and make it appear complicated, if you like.

                                    And as Frank has touched upon above, I also mentioned that you made some good points as well as some poor ones.
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                                • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
                                  I see your sig file is back...

                                  Some of the comments in this thread have been a bit harsh, but your provocative subject line left you open to attack.

                                  There's nothing wrong with exploring alternative IM business models. The tried and tested email list route is under pressure. While it's still a valid model, it has its problems.

                                  - People are becoming more jaded and immune to email "pitches".

                                  - Deliverabilty is getting harder with the proliferation of filters.

                                  - The opening rate of emails is still frustratingly low.

                                  - Every Joe and his uncle thinks they can bombard their list with offers, thus devaluing the medium for the genuine marketers.

                                  - Texting or instant messaging is often the preferred communication method for the "younger" demographic.

                                  - It is conceivable that email won't always be free of charge. Cash cows don't last forever.

                                  I'm certainly not saying that email is dead or that it isn't still one of the best tools for marketers, but it's only sensible to be looking at all the available options for building a relationship with your target market.

                                  In that, I think you make a valid point in your OP.

                                  Frank
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                                  I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

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              • Profile picture of the author tomw
                What do I think?

                I think I'm tired of people who don't know their ass from their elbow thrusting their new found "wisdom" and hair-brained schemes on this once great community.

                What happened to this place?

                Allen adds a few Web 2.0 fancy pants gizmos to the forum and all hell breaks loose!

                I guess we only have ourselves to blame. We sold 'em ebooks and audio courses and video courses with ubersuperdoopertrooper thud factors. We taught them how to fake authority, become mavens and experts with our free-line-funnel-bait and now they want a piece of the action...

                That'll teach us. We hatched and implemented such dastardly schemes over the years. It was so much fun. This place really was worth $50,000 and probably much more to its members, and certainly to me. I have come and gone, been busy on my own stuff, swamped by my clients' stuff, but always found inspiration whenever I've returned.

                Long gone are the days when it meant something to be a Marketing Warrior.

                I think we're really seeing the end of this place. Most of the good guys have moved on and moved up, as have the ideas, the energy and the passion to break new ground, to make a difference and to make a bunch of goddam money.

                Thomas
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            • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
              Originally Posted by Imran Naseem View Post

              Ning is good, but to what extent you can customise the baby is what you need to ask yourself..
              It's fully customizable. You can get access to the code and everything else and edit anyway you want.
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          • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
            I think you could have the best of both worlds... I have a client who uses both of them to reach out to two different groups of the same audience. The ones who use email are older, the ones who use the social network tend to be younger. Not saying that would be the norm, but social networks are so new, it probably makes sense.

            So why not leverage both to appeal to both types of people? I agree with the social network AFTER the mailing list though. People who don't know you aren't going to rush out and join your network. No one would have joined myspace/facebook if their friends weren't on it
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          • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
            Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

            I personally thought this post was utter garbage, false, and amatuerish.
            OK. You can say that I'm wrong, but that seems a little over the top. And saying that "it's myopinion" doesn't make it less so. If you disagree with me fine, but have little respect for other people's point of view.

            Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

            Why would someone build a mailing list over a social network? Is that really even a question?

            You build a social network of 10,000 people and I'll builld
            a list of 10k people in the same niche. Let's see who gets there
            first and makes the most money alot faster.

            It makes more sense to build a huge mailing list, then create
            a social network.

            why? Well who the hell is going to be active on a social network
            with 10 people.

            To get those off the ground you need leverage. Your post
            "sounds" good, but from someone who has actually dove into
            I can tell you it's ridiculous.
            OK I agree with most of this. Your tone is more abusive than it needs to be, but I'll at least give you the benefit of the doubt. Plus, you're not disagreeing with me as much as you think you are.

            Your argument isn't that you shouldn't build a social network. It's that you need to find a way to get people active on a social network and that this is hard to do with just few people.

            I would have to say that it depends on the market and who those first 10 people are. I know plenty of social organizations that only 30 or 40 members. Give them their own social network and they'd go crazy with it. And speaking from experience I've actually seen this happen. If you start with a really active group then everyone you add after that we'll be encouraged to be active.

            I'd also say that you can essentially build a social network the same way that you build a mailing list, but that's a whole other discussion.
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