Category Archives: Email Marketing

Are you there for your email list?

I do a lot of email marketing, so naturally I end up paying attention to what others are doing with their emails, and how they’re doing it.

Well this morning I received an email from Perry Marshall of ShowerHacks (Check out his amazing guide on best toilets) – a great email, by the way, using the analogy of flying a plane (or crashing it) in regards to Adwords. I won’t get into it, but it was good.

So I quickly wrote back a short reply, and hit send.

A moment later I got an auto reply saying this email isn’t checked, and if I’d like to comment or if I need support, here’s where to go.

Fair enough.

As a customer, I’m efficiently redirected to where his preferred points of contact.

However, what has been lost (on his part) by turning off the most accessible way to contact him or his staff? Speaking for myself, I’m not going to take the time to head over to his site, re-write my comment and post it somewhere. I just delete the mail and move on.

Now, speaking from the other side of the equation, I do use a live email address to send out all my broadcasts; and yes, I dooften receive replies back. Early on, these replies were crucial and instrumental in my gaining an intimate knowledge of my market; their trials and frustrations, and reasons why they did or didn’t buy what I offered.

Now, I don’t solicit the feedback quite as much, but I’m still open to it. And I appreciate it, because it continues to keep my finger on the pulse of the market.

So there’s my thought for the day (or quarter of the year, at this posting rate!). If you’ve got a list, and are using it, I encourage you to be open to communicating with those people. They are people not just names, and communication is a two-way street.

One MILLION Emails!

One MILLION EmailsA little while ago I found myself chatting with someone who was describing to me their marketing plans & strategies.

The word “million” was getting dropped quite a bit, though it was always in relation to things like “views,” “emails,” and “impressions.”

Those are all nice things, to be sure, but hardly worth focusing on.

None of those actually require any user action… even one million “clicks” would become something to talk about, but that wasn’t once mentioned.

The ability to send out an email blast to one million (of someone else’s) addresses is hardly guaranteed to make you money. Back in the day I tried doing one of these blasts… I think it was a hundred thousand or something that I paid $100 for, I honestly can’t remember the details… except that whatever I spent was well and truly squandered. I saw a few hits to my website, but zero opt ins… and zero sales.

Email can be a very powerful tool in the marketer’s toolbox; however it must be a list that you’ve built yourself and that has placed trust and credibility in you to the point of actually reading what you write, and acting on it. When there is zero relationship present, you might as well expect zero results.

Now, a different side of this story of course is using someone else’s list, but having them mail it for you. Now you’re working off the trust that they’ve developed in their own list, and you’re piggy backing on that. This works great too, but once again, its the relationship principle.

Same thing with views on the internet – you can pop a million banners, and it means jack squat. A million views of the same banner on a targeted website in your niche, now that’s going to perform very differently. Again, same issue here.

Much as I’ve slagged on the guy in the past, Ryan Deiss is currently launching a new product, and the foundation of his sales pitch is developing a huge list of buyers. He’s very correctly pointed out that a list of buyers is FAR more profitable than a list of people who have merely opted in for free information, and yet even that opt in list is exponentially more profitable than a 3rd party list that hasn’t even opted in for anything!

Moral of the story? Re-think how you’re defining the word “targeted” and how that impacts your business. Chances are, the target can be narrowed down… a whole lot.

Protecting Your Customer List

Well I might not blog regularly, but one thing I do every single day, pretty much without fail, is check the daily Dilbert.

Here’s another fun one for you:

Dilbert has this amazing way of making a fun situation out of everyday business topics.

The issue here is how well are you protecting your list (you DO have a list, right?). And by protecting, I’m not talking about selling your names to the highest bidder; hopefully you’re well beyond that point. A responsive list is worth far more to YOU than the few bucks you’ll get by shilling it around.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Syndicate… Frank Kern’s little group of BFF’s who mail for each other night and day ad nauseum.

Or perhaps you’ve been tempted to JV with the first person that asks…

Well, mailing FOR other people is essentially giving your list away, except that you’re not selling it.

And you need to be extremely aware of who and what is being exposed to your list, because long term, the profits off a single JV simply don’t compare to keeping the integrity of your list intact.

You mail out an offer that turns out to be rather questionable, and you go down several notches in your subscriber’s eyes… every single time. Pretty soon, this can be a recipe for a non-responsive list.

I recently received one of these “JV Invitation” style emails. In it the guy was talking about the product owner’s own list, which was apparently over 100,000 names. Apparently, this gave him the ability to send hordes of traffic with a single email.

I would have been marginally impressed, if he had left it there. However, he quickly jumped in and defined “hordes” as being “over 5000 clicks.”

Wait a sec, did he say “5000”? That’s only a 5% click through rate! Actually, it’s less, considering his list is apparently bigger than 100k… In my world, 5% is darn near dead. I routinely get more volume than this out of lists a quarter the size.

Interesting though eh? Of course I’m jumping in making assumptions here, because I really don’t know all the details in this particular case, but in general, I’ll say that if you participate in the mailing frenzy each and every time they ask, pretty soon there’s nothing that differentiates you from everyone else anymore, and at that point, why bother reading what you have to say?

The True Guru Marketing Strategy

Salty Droid

I don’t consider myself to be as naive as most in the internet marketing crowd appear to be these days, though I’ve been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. After all, back in the day, Google Cash is the make money ebook that got my ball rolling to start with.

That said, until quite recently I had at least a semblance (and in some cases, a bit more than that) of respect for the likes of StomperNet, Kern & Co and some of the other big names in our industry.

That was until I was introduced to the Salty Droid. Yes, it is indeed quite salty, but at the same time, a bit of an eye opener. Regardless of what you may think of the Droid himself, his writing style, or his caustic method of name-calling, you can’t really argue too much with the PDFs he’s posted of actual legal documents that reveal some of the goings-on behind the scenes at StomperNet. Feel free to read for yourself, if you’re bored or interested. It’s not really the thrust of this post.

All that got me to thinking though. These gooroos, when was the last time you saw them running a PPC campaign? How about out-seoing each other for top spot in one of the launches? Nope, the only action you see from them is via their list.

These guys have built up massive lists, mostly back in the heyday, and now their prime contribution to the internet marketing niche is their ability to drive traffic via their list to whatever offer they choose.

Which got me to thinking… what’s the real winning strategy in internet marketing?

Well, you might say it is SEO, or PPC, or PPV, CPV, or some other acronym with a couple hundred dollar price tag, but in reality the winning strategy is having a list, and knowing what to do with it. Add to that having your own product.

The best education you can get from these gooroos is to watch them rather than transact with them.

At the end of the day, your long term security comes from having a list. Google can slap you silly, but they can’t take your list. Perhaps an affiliate manager dumps you – still they can’t take your list. It doesn’t really matter what kind of nasties come your way, if you can hang onto your list, and maintain a trustworthy connection with them, then you will be ok, long term.

Sure, there are many different means of listbuilding. I’ve chosen PPC primarily for my own, because it is *fairly* dependable. Ideal? No, free would be nice. But SEO is a wizardry that I’ve yet to master, and in the meantime, I’ve got PPC. Perhaps you choose JV traffic, or something else. But build yourself a list.

Next up, have a product. Having your own list puts cards in your hand. Having your own product(s) gives you jokers. Or aces. Or whatever is good in your game of choice.

If you look closely, this is the true strategy that the gooroos are using. They’ve got products, and they’ve got lists. Between those two things, their methods vary slightly, but that is the basic idea. You can bet your bottom dollar they didn’t get rich by gaming the system with some new-fangled software that now rules the interwebz. Afterall – how often have you even seen them using these tactics they flaunt so frequently?

Ok, time for review:

Build a list, get a product. Order is not important.

Another One Bites The Dust

Another One Bites The Dust

I think I’m going to start a list of GooRoos who have joined the A-list’s ‘jump when I say jump’ fan club.

Guys who promote a product – using the affiliate-manager-supplied email copy word for word – without a thought to their integrity, or even to reality for that matter. This list is seriously going to be difficult for me to make though, because I’ve unsubscribed nearly every list I was ever on, so I don’t really get that much email anymore (thank goodness! the stuff I do get goes to a separate account that I check just for kicks every now and again). So help me out here. If you come across the kind of thing I’m looking for, send it my way. Thanks in advance.

On the chopping block today is one Howie Schwartz. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Not guilty of all the above, but one charge in particular – ignoring reality in favor of hype.

I received an email today entitled “email marketing is DEAD

There are a few things at play here – in case you hadn’t guessed it, he’s promoting mobile marketing, the new buzzword craze that is hitting the cyberstreets all around us. The Cyber Essentials Plus can help anybody take care of their website.

First things first. I don’t have any issue with mobile marketing. Personally, I’ve never done it, and can’t comment on its efficacy. (It doesn’t yet seem appropriate enough for my market). However, from what I’ve read, yes, it is going to be a wave of the future. Notice that little one letter word I snuck in there? Yeah. A wave.

Is Marketing Dead?

More to the point, and the reason for this post is this current attitude that “email marketing is dead,” “Google Adwords is dead,” “XYZ marketing method is dead.”

Frankly, you can’t say a marketing medium is dead until it is bringing negative return on investment. Last I checked, and it wasn’t that long ago, one major industry journal was being quoted as saying marketing brought an average 5100% ROI across industries. Oh yeah, and they’d done a large survey and study on the issue. Sorry, I don’t have a reference link, but I was suitably impressed enough to use the stat as the title of my own report on email marketing for small businesses.

Hmm… 5100% about as far from negative as I can imagine.

Pre-dating this lot were the guys claiming that direct mail was dead. Apparently those guys never notice the small mountain of mailings that no doubt arrive in their mailboxes each week. Marketers aren’t dumb. They don’t just send those things for kicks you know!

Even more to the point: GooRoo hypocrisy. Promoting one thing to the IM newbie crowd one week, then (and you can just about set your clock on these) approximately 2 weeks later, promoting yet another magical fix. In the case of the Facebook vs Adwords flurry a few weeks back, this was exactly what happened. One day, Gmail targeting is the bomb. The next? Adwords sucks, and they’re scared poopless that Facebook is going to crush them. You can read my rant on that here.

Wait – wasn’t the $197 course I purchased last week supposed to land me in a shiny red convertible? Oh… I see, I need this one now as well. Ok Mr. GooRoo.

The Problem With Our Industry

You see, I’m coming from the perspective of having been an IM newbie. Having been essentially addicted, (can YOU think of a better term to describe it?) to new information products, many of which now pitifully sit in the corner, dust-covered… having spent more than $30,000 in a single year on information. Was all that wasted? No – I’ve learned a lot from it. Was it necessary? Nope.

But you know what? None of that got me on the right track. In fact, it served to keep me effectively off it. In fact, all that information wasn’t enough to keep me on track when factors out of my control effectively shut down my very comfortable revenue stream.

Long term progress started happening when I put my head down, chose a plan, and stuck with it. I already knew more than I needed – all that was lacking was to do it. In a clear, determined manner.

You see, the problem with GooRoos is that people trust them. For whatever reason that may be… compelling copy, testimonials of one in a million results, incredible Clickbank screenshots – you name it. But GooRoos get a certain authority. And they use it… and many abuse it. This is, in my opinion, one of the primary reasons we have such a healthy ‘Floundering IM Newbie Squad” around. Why the Warrior Forum has 100,000 people who still don’t understand the value of a list.

So what to do about this most common of phenomenons? Unsubscribe from nearly everything you can (except my newsletter of course =). Pick your niche, your strategy, and run far and fast with it. Selectively choose whom you will trust for information. Wait at least 24-48 hrs before making any IM purchase, and even more importantly – explain to somebody how it is going to help you achieve your stated business goals this year.

Have you had any run ins with the GooRoos? Tell me about it in the comments.