The List Enigma

by Des Menz published in Steps To Business Success


How often do you see or hear the following? "The money is in the list". "Without a list you haven't got a business". "Your list is your business lifeblood".

They're all true. And there are endless courses, ebooks, reports, videos, training, conferences, all dedicated to this topic.

Some people have made a business out of selling what they know about list building. 

But what is a list? 

Successful internet marketers - leaders in their field - say that a list is your most important asset, and that the main focus should be to make a thriving, responsive, and ever-growing list.

But a list is much more than that.

A list not only comprises your customers, clients, followers, subscribers. It also includes people who you exchange communications with, people who want to read or hear what you have to say - whatever that may be - people who are happy to stay with you over the medium to long term, just because they trust you.


The golden ingredient. 

People have to trust what you're delivering. Without it, there's not much of a future to your business. And the people who you may have captured early on will quickly exit - unsubscribe - if a relationship is not developed.

What's meant by "relationship"?

It could mean developing a personal rapport where you know each and every one of your people, what they do, what they aspire to achieve in their businesses. But this will become nigh on impossible once your list gets into the hundreds and then into the thousands. 

Some Internet Marketers focus on building massive lists that can stretch into the 100k or 200k or more mark. These marketers are no different from a corporation - a large business - that in order to survive and profit, they need a critical mass of many potential customers. These marketers rely on a tiny percentage (maybe 1% or less of their list membership) of people to take up an offer that they may make. 

As an example, a list of 100,000 at 0.5% will convert to 500 buyers. Now, for a big ticket item costing $500 (that's not so big actually), this will yield $250,000. Now, 0.5% conversion is quite low and many marketers aim for at least 2% or more. 2% would yield $1m.

Now, to achieve that sort of conversion and income, a "relationship" has to be developed. 

But do you know who it's with?

The marketer's AFFILIATES!

It's the affiliates that drive the penetration into many, many, more potential customers.

List building is one of the toughest assginments you can ever expect, or could ever experience, with an online business.

In my view, the best approach for sole-operator businesses like yours and mine - if you're a single work-at-home person - is to stick to creating SMALL LISTS.

Provide a great service and you'll be rewarded for a long time.

Relationship Between Your List and Email 

In the last two or three years or so, I think there's been a noticeable swing to content-driven email marketing. Why do I say this? 

Well, I'm a hoarder of information, and I have emails going back more than 7 years from some internet marketers. 

Do you have emails going back a few years?

It's interesting looking at old emails and the quality of their content, and importantly, how they have been structured. All of these emails of course, have come from an autoresponder. 

If you haven't got an autoresponder, then you really should get one. 

The one I now use is SendReach which is a very powerful platform. If you at a stage in your online development, have a look at the features at SendReach.

Next would be AWeber - a very good service at a moderate price. 

And speaking of AWeber, things have also changed with them over the years. Today, they offer very good free training in a whole host of areas about email marketing, list building, business building, and adding features to a newsletter (have you started a newsletter?) that will blow you away. 

AWeber is very good at relationship building. They have to be, because that's how they build and retain their customers. They do it by providing great education to their members. 

To find out more, and to see if AWeber is for you, CLICK HERE --> Take Me To AWeber

Now, comparing those old emails I mentioned ealier to present day emails, it's obvious that things have changed. 

Or maybe it's because of the quality of the marketer from whom I receive emails today. I think that might have a degree of substance to it. I scrub my list subscriptions often.

Nevertheless it's clear that credible marketers today generally provide a lot of content in their emails, or links to genuine helpful content. And that has been the big change from past years.

What About Belonging To Other Lists?

When I started out online, I discovered pretty quickly that one of the best ways to learn insider techniques - for example, email marketing - was to belong to a select number of other marketers' lists. 

I've been on several marketers' lists for more than 7 years - and still am - some I was on for a number of years but then removed myself when I felt I was only being sold to, and others who I've tried for short periods just to see what methods were being used.

From time-to-time purge your list memberships, keep them manageable, limit your daily email consumption.

What's the preferred number of lists to be on? There's no single formula, because every person has different priorities, and different objectives.

But if was to put a number on it, I would say around 15 maximum. That may seem a lot, but remember, that doesen't mean you'll get 15 emails every day. Most marketers don't email every day. 

For some lists that I'm on, I'll receive one email per week or fortnight. And that's the way I like it.

I've also found that to control your time you need to control your email Inbox. You have to limit the number of lists that you subscribe to, because if you don't you're going to find yourself in a time-sucker vortex. 

Have your say. What service are you using? And what do you thionk of it?

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