The Four Methods of List Maintenance
E-zine Or Newsletter
The e-zine, or newsletter, is a list of people that you gather, and send information related to your target market on a weekly, bi-weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The idea is the useful content that you send them will have them want to keep reading and open your mail each time, keeping your response rates and read rates high.
Ok, so here we have it. The staple of most online marketers before they hit is big, and sometimes even after, the well-known e-zine list. I’m sure you’ll already know that this method in itself can actually become a lot of work. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of work, but when it gets to a particular point, it may not be prudent for you to run an e-zine anymore. This however is a good place to start if you have the time.
Expect to have to present an issue of your e-zine every week or two weeks and avoid leaving long, long gaps in between mailings, otherwise, quite simply people will forget you. This is a great place to start if you’re starting out, for the simple reason people like free info, and it’s so much easier to get people to subscribe to this type of list compared to others, even when there’s freebies involved. Of course, you will have to know a lot about your field of expertise to present regular useful issues, or even pull in outside articles from publishers to use as content.
The catch is you’ll have to be on top of things, and it does take some time to come up with good content for issues. The upside to this is people will be waiting for your e-zine. If it’s good and keeps people reading content wise, it’s a surefire way to keep response rates up and to make a connection with your subscribers, the personal touch, which in turn will add up to trust and a higher purchase rate for your own products.
The next upside to this is that you can sell advertisements for cash. To whom? To your subscribers of course. It’s an immediate and rapid way to earn cash, by means of promoting massive solo advertisements that go out one by one from the e-zine, to smaller advertisements that precede each issue, and even cheaper, mid and smaller advertisements contained within the issue. It is in fact very versatile. The downside at this point is many e-zines turn into ad lists (which we are going to speak about later). When the advertisements vastly outnumber the beneficial content, subscribers begin to feel cheated and leave. I’ve been there before, and if you have tested out or subscribed to some e-zines in the past you may also have seen this happen. An additional benefit is prospects. Your e-zine is attracting people who are in your field of expertise and may have lists of their own. This in turn increases your prospects for joint ventures, meeting new contacts that can sometimes spiral into full blown products.
Another great thing about the newsletter and e-zine is it can be quite personal. As the readers and subscribers get used to you as a publisher, and you become white listed (In their spam filers and in their minds) you’ll see a greater interest in your products, because after all, you’re not just another marketer out there spouting rubbish to everyone to make a quick buck. You’re a trusted publisher in an authoritative role, and people will listen to you, and buy your stuff. This takes time though. Don’t expect to become well know to all your subscribers overnight.
Personal List – Mixed Content
Personal mixed content list is a list gathered by you, that you don’t use to sell outside ads to on a regular basis. Mailings contain research, new product information for your customers, a few articles that you write, the odd tips here and there, testimonial requests, and of course the ads for your own products. Mailings are very similar to an e-zine, except for the mixed content and the lower sales of ads to third parties. They also require less content on your part.
One of the most highly used list types by specialist marketers, and in my opinion, definitely one of the most fascinating and robust of the lot. Imagine having a list of your own, which typically consists of customers, that understand who you are, have faith your word, many of them having purchased from you in the past or subscribed to your list for the simple sake of following the development and observing what you do as an authoritative figure in your chosen area of expertise. All of these elements come together to make a highly responsive list, and one heck of a joint venture bargaining tool.
These types of lists are usually an evolution of some sort, either from previously published e-zines or newsletters, but of course you can go down this route right away if you think it will be beneficial. What we have got here is the quality without having to do the work, and in some cases, considering the content you will be sending your list is entirely related to you and the tasks you get involved with, it is more personal and has greater response rates than even some high-quality e-zines, specifically when your subscribers get to understand you, or you make your mark as an authority. Bottom line is, you don’t have to spend ages publishing a newsletter each and every week, packing it with masses of useful content to see a profitable list.
See if you play your cards right and gain the trust you need over time, you don’t need to seduce people with masses of content, they’re just happy to be receiving something for free from a respected marketer. That’s great news for you, because the more you mail them, the more you teach them, share with them and have contact with them, the more trust you’ll get. Usually this comes in the form of short articles, snippets or insights into what you’re doing to succeed.
For example, many of these lists’ often owned by the well-known marketers, send small snippets of the letters they receive, their ad tracking results for a particular project, some small tips, and interesting story that applies to the subscribers interests that they learned that day. Contained within is the ad for a related product. Not all the time of course. It totally depends on whether your goal is to sell, educate, recruit affiliates or get them to tell their friends about you and talk (very powerful) etc. The fact is it’s interesting. Reality TV even though on a larger scale is a big hit, but this is definitely similar with its entertainment value, but goes even further through education.
Who do you admire? Is there someone you prefer to be like or at least follow in the footsteps of, someone that is already doing something you desire to do, and doing it well? If you had a choice, would you want to get on their e-zine list that sends you a list of outside published articles every week or on their personal list where you get an insight into what they’re doing and what makes them successful? I know which I’d choose. So you see, again, the underlying elements are the same. It’s a list of people you are going to get to purchase your stuff, but this time around it is far greater focused on you, and the type of people that are subscribing here are the doers. The people that are interested in what you have to say. This is something very effective that additionally contributes to the response rate that comes from these lists when selling your products.
So aside from the eased workload, more time to concentrate on your product creation, and developing new ideas, and the increased response rate and trust you gain from these valuable subscribers, what else do we have? Well, let me tell you that what you’ve just created here by choosing this method is pure money in your pocket. Your list, your personal list that you don’t allow anyone access to, packed with people that trust you, ready to take your word that something is good, will help them, or is worth buying is an important bargaining chip.
See, once upon a time before you started list building here, you had to exchange products and high commissions for joint ventures solely related to sales. Now though, not only will your in demand list (that no one has access to but you) put you ahead in the bartering process of gaining joint ventures, but it’ll also sell your products, increase your reputation and allow your resources to grow even further. So you see, once you start with this type of list, expect it to spiral and it will be far easier to build on this in the future.
But you might say to me “I don’t have a reputation to go on. People won’t listen to me unless I have one or they think I have something useful to say”. You’re quite right too, but that can be fixed. For example, back when I first started out with online marketing, a friend of mine started up a website with a free option and a paid option. I joined up and sat back for a few months being lazy like I was back then, when I had no concept of actual work. A couple of months later I dawdled back and had a chat with this friend. He informed me that he added a mail your down line option. I was told that I could mail them a training series or two if I wanted in an effort to convert some free members into paid members. I agreed.
The problem was I didn’t know much back at that time. The only thing I knew for certain was related to lead-generation, hence all these free members piling up in my down line. So I figured I’d teach them what I know, and send them a few guides, which is exactly what I did, and they listened, for the simple reason I included a screenshot of my inbox from the previous weeks of free members signing up in my down line. It was a shot of my inbox with pages of ‘You have a new member’ subject lines and e-mail bodies. That was all. Everyone’s ears were pricked and paying attention. I started receiving requests to join my list, joint venture offers, people asking me what to do via e-mail, if they could have more, and when I’ll be sending further issues. All I did was demonstrate that what I was saying actually worked, not to mention they were only free signups not paid ones that I was showing them, yet they were still so interested.
I’ve taken that lesson everywhere with me ever since that day, and it’s served me well. Provide proof that you have the solutions to others questions, even on a small scale, and people will pay attention to you. So, you see, it does not matter if this is your first day in online marketing. If you sent me a mail in a week’s time telling me you have organized 20 successful JV’s in one week, come up with 10 new promotional products, and have already developed four of them, each one prepared to launch and sell at $500, I’d listen in if you showed me it was true. See how that isn’t always even directly associated to how much money you’re earning? This is how to run one of these lists. Enough of that for now. I hope that gave you a little insight to my ideas, and how you can get started without being a big well recognized marketer that everyone already trusts. This list is by no means out of anybodies league that knows what they’re talking about in their current field of expertise.
So there we have it, tremendous JV prospects, not too much work for anyone, outstanding response rates, builds trust, and your reputation. Amazing stuff, as strong as the upsides are, the downsides equal it. First up, your ad income is going to be cut considerably compared to the standard e-zine, unless you start actually selling ads, which defeats the object and devalues your joint venture prospects if is done regularly or over long periods of time. This is not in reality a huge downer though, due to the fact you will likely be getting a lot more out of it than you would simply selling $200 solo advertisements twice a week through your e-zines, but in the way of JV income and resources.
Here’s the real kicker though. If you screw up, you’re in big trouble and may in extreme circumstances have to start all over again. You being an authoritative figure, taking all that time to build up trust, and after one bad decision, one bad joint venture with the wrong person, and your reputation is in tatters, and you have a lot of groveling to the subscribers to do to make up for it. I can think of several examples where marketers’ reputations have been tarnished, some even to the point of them quitting the business, because this important resource they built up over the years was destroyed by a JV with someone unreliable or that has a bad reputation that they didn’t know about. Do your research, don’t take big joint ventures lightly, and this won’t happen to you. The biggest risk, but with the biggest reward, as always.
Personal List – Affiliate and Ad Content
A personal affiliate list is a great deal the same as the previously mentioned personal mixed list, on the other hand this time, you are no longer sending tips, suggestions or content, but advertisements for programs that you promote yourself and of course your own products. This differs from ad list because all products that are promoted are yours and what you promote through affiliate programs. There are no outside sources sending advertisements to your list. Although no content is provided, this can be particularly beneficial if you are well-known, and have a strong following.
Here we have it, list type number three. This is a great little earner for particular types of marketers who carry out a specific type of marketing, with a specific type of product. Now I know what you might be thinking, how the heck you’re going to keep subscribers interested, and keep subscribers reading when all you’re doing is sending ads. The key here we mentioned earlier, and that’s that the ads you’re sending are directly related to you, aside from the odd joint venture here and there.
You still get to promote your own products, but with minimal amount of work. At the same time, you’re aiming to not just get signups, but grab affiliates who join through affiliate programs and promote for you. This is probably the best type of list because it shows that to make a lot of money, you don’t always have to concentrate on instant sales, and making sales yourself. In fact, in this case, it’s far more profitable to be promoting for affiliates, as equally as you promote for sales.
Imagine this, your list consists of twenty other people exactly like you that have lists of people they promote to, either for sales or for more affiliates, and people to join under them in a particular earnings program. Now when your ad goes out, you’re likely to get a certain amount of sales, (depending on your list quality) and also a particular amount of affiliates, who will join under you, and promote to their lists. Keep going down this path, and before long, if you jumped in at the top of a affiliate program, and your list is effective, you’ll have a kind of domino effect, and will get access to all sorts of people branching off in different ways from your original promotion.
See how this type of approach is angled towards a particular type of marketing? If you’ve been in online marketing for any amount of time, you’ll know that multi level systems aren’t all bad news. There are some great, simple two, three, four, or even more level programs out there that have both a good product, and allow earnings in this way. Of course, that’s another topic and for you to separate the good from the bad. I just want to demonstrate right now, how this type of list works.
So you might be wondering, how the heck you keep your list interested if all you’re sending them is ads and ads for other programs. Well as you can see from the above example, whereas the normal person might not enjoy these ads, like minded people with the same type of lists, and established marketers with promotion power may indeed feel that what you’re sending them is profitable.
Not to mention the fact that if you’re a big name already, or at least well know within your circle, people are pleased to know what you’re doing. It’s the smart ones that sit on your list, and watch you. Watch how you handle situations, what software you use, what you promote, how you promote. The catch? The catch is if you’re not well known to your list already, then this can seem like a simple ad list to the untrained eye, resulting in a loss of interest and subscribers.
My advice here is simple. Even though the work load is low, you don’t really need to perform any other maintenance aside from your standard product creation, and of course searching for new products to create, you’ll probably want to leave this one until you’re established, or have a good base of people on your list that know your name, how much you earn and how darn good you are at marketing. Of course there is a much faster alternative, and it involves getting yourself well known through joint ventures and through other people’s lists. Once you’ve done that, if people start migrating to your list, you won’t have to worry about them running off and leaving because they’re wondering who the heck this random person is sending them adverts that are no use to them.
If you’re going to be using this type of list, make one hundred percent sure that it’s right for your business, and the type of promotion you want to carry out. You’ll also find that if your subscribers don’t know you already, or have at least heard of you, they’ll be gone faster than the previous two list types for the simple reason is they don’t understand what you’re offering them with your mailings.
This is definitely a great list type, and does indeed work well. There are many marketers out there, who’s list I’m on right now, that utilize this effectively. Every single one of them however, was either established already when this list type came to life in their marketing efforts, or got established really quickly through recognition and other peoples lists to allow them to do this right off the bat. As you can see it’s a tough balance to make, but once you’ve got it, this can be a great little earner.
An ad list is typically a list that you build and send outside advertisements to without any beneficial content at all. This is easily the quickest approach of list maintenance of all the above, and in spite of a major downer in unsubscription rates, and the challenge of getting people to subscribe in the first place, is still widely used solely for income from ad sales. If you take each and every example that we have used, and everything that I’ve shown you so far, from relationship building, to useful content, personal lists, and your reputation, the ad list throws all of this out the window.
So, you may be wondering why this is even reviewed if it’s so terrible. Well, the reason for me doing so is to show you what your list can turn into if you’re not very careful about managing it. If things get out of balance and get out of hand, and your list turns into an ad list long term, you’ve had it, aside from the cash you’re going to bring in through selling ads, which let me assure you, doesn’t even compare to what you can earn to selling your own products, Jv’s, or promoting other peoples programs.
So what do you get from an ad list? Well, ads really, that about sums it up. All you’re doing here is getting a bunch of people together on a big list, saying ‘forget the relationships, forget JVs, forget my own products, forget useful content or anything of the sorts, my aim is to get the biggest list so I can sell ads for the highest price’.
Despite my apparent lack of enthusiasm for this type of list, some people do still seem to insist it’s the best way to go about things. Maybe if you didn’t know how to create your own products, or how much money is in affiliate promotion (when done correctly) or just didn’t have the time or wanted some quick short term income, this is choice of most with these kinds of attitudes. Let’s take a look at why I’m so harsh about this list type. Oh, and don’t be offended if you’ve been running an ad list, or have run one in the past, just let it be known it is not by far the best way to make money from your list.
Divide & Conquer
Ok, that is the reviews completed on the 4 strategies of list maintenance. Before we move on, I’d like to discuss a couple extra points with you, and of course find out which type of list you’re going to be running. Before that, though, point number one. Remember to divide up your lists for tracking a relevance purposes. If you sell a piece of software and gain a load of subscribers, affiliates, sales and so on through your site, you do not want to then try to mix it all up and sell them onto an online marketing scheme, because you are going off track, losing the reason they subscribed in the first place, and will in the end lose subscribers.
Another reason for doing this is your tracking and testing. We already talked in various key areas about how essential tracking and testing actually is using your list as kind of a market research tool. You do not favor to be asking about online marketing when your list is based on software, no one will have a clue what you are talking about, you will get terrible data, and a bunch of unsubscribes, and in severe cases, strange phone calls.
Don’t be afraid to split your lists up and have two or three smaller ones related to special markets or different areas. This is not unusual at all, and the extra work and maintenance is worth it by far when you look at the possibilities, and the clear research statistics you can gain from each targeted listing individually. Of course, do not get me wrong, there is nothing incorrect with introducing one list to the other and inviting them to join if they’re interested. Don’t randomly mold them into one though, or you may confuse the heck out of people.
Another advantage here is something closer to home and more direct, and that’s simply it allows you to target people specifically for the type of products you’re selling. We all know how important targeting is, and how much of a waste of time it is selling golf clubs to someone who’s interested in fishing equipment, this is just the same. On a deeper level, you’re allowed massive flexibility too. It’s not just for show.
You’ll be able to get more relevant people to spend more on relevant products, earning you even more money and targeted affiliates at the same time. You’re even targeting indirect sales here and your future resource building by doing this in the way of additional subscribers and affiliates as well as direct sales. It doesn’t get any better than this, and it sure beats just throwing them all in the same hat, and hoping the right people read it. The power here is catering to your customers to your needs.
All Done – Now It’s Your Turn
Ok so we’ve been through four main possibilities. I hope that I got across to you what the pros and cons, the upsides and downsides are for each example. Remember they’re all categorized loosely here, you can modify and gel one into the other to make hybrids. What I hoped to have demonstrated though is a picture of what effects what and why, when choosing how to maintain your list. Hopefully also this will be super easy for you. Which one is the best to choose? The one that is best for you and your business, not just now, but in the future. Once you’ve gone down a path for a list, it’s not easy to change. Make the right decision now based on what you have in front of you, and you can sleep easy in the knowledge that your choice will benefit you not just from the day you start building your list, but one, two, five, even ten years or more into the future.
It’s your choice. There is no wrong answer. Pick the one that’s right for you and your business. To implement your list building you must utilize a step by step method for lead generation. Again, take a moment to watch the videos at the link below that will talk about:
- * Preparing the lead magnet
- * Setting up the lead capture page
- * Setting up the email automation
- * Setting up your tracking strategy
- * List building traffic strategies
- * Analyzing results
- * And optimize your campaign.