Prerequisites: Affiliate Marketing 101 Course (free!)
You wouldn’t believe how many product owners and email list owners who DON’T understand the idea of list management. In fact, I know more than a few people who have turned ‘list management’ into a very lucrative business model.
So for all you local marketers and consultants out there who are looking for a new service offering, here you go!
Anyway… Back to managing lists.
There are definite best practices when it comes to managing your subscribers, and it’s important to understand that each list is different.
Things may work well for your list that don’t work for others. In turn, you might here people tell you what you need to do, and it might backfire.
With that, let’s get started:
Understanding Your List
Email List Management can be a pain sometimes. If you’ve got lots of products or websites, you’ve inevitably got quite a few lists that are segmented a million different ways and have lots of autoresponder sequences set up.
Keep in mind, your list is probably your company’s most valuable asset!
Now, I know there are countless experts around the web trying to convince you that you need to build your list. But once you have it, what should you do?
Should you email them once a week? Should you write long emails? Should the content be formal or conversational? Should you put your logo at the top and make it look pretty? Should you hire someone to manage the list?
There’s so many variables, and we’ll be getting into them in a minute!
How To Properly Segment Your List
How you arrange your list matters. The person how has the best control over their list wins at the end of the day.
Buyers vs. Prospects
Think about this. Who is a better prospect – someone who has bought from you in the past or someone who hasn’t?
Someone who has bought from you! Of course! They’ve shown you that they value your information or products or services or whatever. They’re not afraid to buy something online. Plus, they have the resources to actually purchase something!
That means your buyer list should be your absolute most coveted list!
The folks who’ve never bought anything from you then have a lower weight in terms of list value. Those folks found you for a variety of reasons… Maybe you gave away a free report or a piece of software or something, and they just signed up to get that something for free.
Realistically speaking, just having those two lists is a big deal. You’ll treat your buyers and prospects different. You might send something to your prospects that you don’t send to your buyers and vice-versa.
So, at minimum, you should have a buyers list and prospects list.
Now, let’s break them down even more.
Let’s face it, not every person is interested in the same thing! In the Internet marketing space, some folks are interested in free traffic. Others in paid traffic. Still others in list building or product development.
The more control you have over what your list is interested in, the better you can market to them.
For instance, the last 7-days was on Facebook marketing. If I rounded up everyone who opened one of my Facebook emails and tagged them as being interested in Facebook, I could just send Facebook training to them!
Some email platforms like OfficeAutoPilot make this pretty easy.
All you have to do is create a group of everyone who opened at least one of the seven emails and apply a tag to them! Check it out:
Active vs. Inactive Leads
With email, on most platforms including OfficeAutoPilot, you have to pay once you hit a number of emails sent.
For example, included in the cost for OAP is the ability to send 100,000 emails without an extra cost. Once we hit that 100K cap, we pay $99 for each additional 100K emails sent.
There are months we’ll spend another $700 on email! Crazy, huh?
Plus, if you send email to folks who don’t open them, it hurts your deliverability rates. One time I hit the wrong button and only about 55% of my email was actually delivered.
(Email deliverability is important :0) )
One way to curb both those things, extra costs and low deliverability rates, is to only send email to your active subscribers.
Let’s face it. If someone hasn’t opened your email in the last 4 months, they probably aren’t going to.
I know it hurts but just delete them out of your system. They’re gone. And if they come back, they’ll sign up for your stuff again.
If you can’t bring yourself to delete them, then set their email status to ‘No’ or unsubscribe them or whatever.
How Did They Find You?
Another way I’ll do it since we work with some affiliates is tag leads according to who sent them. It’s funny to go through and see how many people are on how many lists!
In fact, when we were doing a lot of webinars a few years ago, less and less people were actually new to me! It got to the point where we’d run an import of the people who signed up and only about 30% were new leads!!
You wouldn’t believe how many people signed up for the same webinar 4 and 5 times through different affiliates! (maybe you were one of them? – there’s nothing wrong with it by the way!)
Additional List Management Tips…
Here are some additional list management tips that have worked for me. Two of these are going to sound excessive, but I guarantee you they work.
Email Your List Often
The first time I heard this, I almost laughed. If I email my list everyday, people will unsubscribe! They’ll report my emails as spam. I worked so hard to get them on – I don’t want to piss them off!
What I can tell you is that the people who unsubscribe would have done so anyway, sooner or later. There’s no way you can continue to give away content week after week without asking them to take action in some way. Maybe that’s through an affiliate link or by selling your own products.
The point is, you’re in business to make money, right? That’s what keeps the lights on and a roof over your head. Your true prospects, friends and customers will understand that.
Use ‘Personal’ Copy
Emails that are too salesy or corporate hardly ever get read (unless they’re Newegg Deals or Tiffany’s catalog emails). You want to do your best to write your email as you would write to a friend.
Every time I sit down to write something up for one of my lists, I think about what I would write to my buddy Frank. When I send Frank an email, it’s usually a couple quick sentences and a link. (If I close the email) I usually close it with something like ‘jd’ or ‘Jason.’
That’s it! Make it personal!
Keep Things Current
If you don’t plan on writing to your list every day or every couple days, set up an autoresponder series that does it for you. The worst thing you can do is let people forget who you are.
Actually, just this morning, I got two emails – one from Tony Robbins with a direct link to a video and one from another email marketer with a opt-in which forwarded you to the video.
Keep in mind, this is the first email I got from the marketer and I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t remember signing up for anything of his. I didn’t recognize his name at first. And I was a bit weirded out because he was making me signup for something I already had a link to. I thought maybe he was trying to grow his list off of Tony’s video.
So, after twenty minutes of checking nameservers and digging, I finally remembered who this guy was (and it’s cool…). I just didn’t remember what I was doing on his list!
There are lots and lots of best practices out there – but the only way for you to find out what works in your niche, for your clients, is to test things out.
If you try to email your prospects every day and get some unsubscribes, don’t worry. They were traveling down that road anyway.
But if you find something that doubles your income overnight – keep doing it! That’s how fortunes are made.
Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about email copywriting… How to write. What to write. How to structure your emails. All that!
It’s going to be fun!
Do you have 1 strategy that you could share with us? Something that’s worked for you or a client of yours? Maybe it’s a list management tip or something you’ve tested?