list building Marketing Tools Traffic & Conversion

One (very valuable) piece of Listbuilding Advice

What I’m about to share with you had a big, immediate impact on me, and what I’m going to do over the next 30 days. I’m sharing it with you because, well, I think it will help you, too. A lot. Especially if you copy me. No hype, by the way, but this little bit […]

What I’m about to share with you had a big, immediate impact on me, and what I’m going to do over the next 30 days. I’m sharing it with you because, well, I think it will help you, too. A lot. Especially if you copy me.

No hype, by the way, but this little bit of advice is golden.  (Don’t discount the advice just because it’s free, please.)

I spent several days last week with some of the top internet marketers in the world. One of them was Tellman Knudson. You may know him as the slightly eccentric, ADD-powered marketer, and the creator of the MyFirstList listbuilding system.

If you don’t know about Tellman’s barefoot run across the USA, or how he went from a marketing newbie with a shaved-head to a millionaire with long hair and a scraggly beard, well you really ought to get to know him better, because he’s a sharp dude.

Really sharp.

And motivated.

Anyway, he was talking to this other new friend of mine, Lisa Sasevich (I’ll tell you about her in another letter) and I overheard him giving her some listbuilding advice. I didn’t catch all of it, but I had heard enough to know that I had to ask him about it later.

With a jack-on-the-rocks in my hand, and a glass of ice-water in his, I asked Tellman to repeat what he had told Lisa. Here’s how our conversation went.

T: Are you Married?
M: Yes.
T: How often do you talk with your wife?
M: Daily and often.
T: How good is the trust and communication between you and your wife?
M: Perfect. 100%.
T: Now…Do you have a list?
M: Yes
T: How often do you talk with your list?
M: Now and then .
T: How is the trust and communication with your list?
M: Could be better.

Point made. Point taken.

This is advice for YOU, as well as me. You should be reading everything in this email and thinking not about me, but about how that affects YOU, and your business, and your mailing list.

So my question is: What are YOU going to do with this advice from one of the world’s top list builders?

Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, and I invite you to copy me.

Ronald Reagan said “Trust, but verify”, and that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to commit to a daily email to my list for at least 30 days. Every day, rain or shine, busy or lazy day, weekday or weekend, something of interest is going to go out to my list. Let’s see how that goes.

You’re probably wondering how you can find something to write about on a daily basis…and you’re probably concerned about being viewed as a spammer.

Well, to that second question, I’ll just say that if your readers don’t want to hear from you, let them unsubscribe. As that relates to me, I’m bumping up against the next service level for my autoresponder anyway, and if my list grows much bigger, I’ll be paying more for the service. So in invite you to unsubscribe if you don’t want to hear what I have to say. You’ll be doing me a favor. (the Unsubscribe link as at the bottom of this and every email I send out.)

As for the first question, well I’ll clue you in on Tellman’s advice about that tomorrow.

One last thing…

I don’t know if this bit of advice was Tellman’s BEST advice, or simply his SIMPLEST advice. Heck, maybe it was both. But I do know that if you’re going to build a list, he’s the man to listen to.

If you want to get more of Tellman’s list building wisdom, you’ll find his wisdom and his free list-building video, here.

To Your Success,

–Mark Widawer

P.S. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s message about what to write about when you’re writing every day. Plus, I’ll also tell you what Tellman told me about getting new traffic to join your list. It’s valuable stuff…but it really pales in comparison to what Tellman gives you in his MyFirstList system.

Remember, the money is in the list. You may as well get some.

Watch his free list-building video here

14 replies on “One (very valuable) piece of Listbuilding Advice”

I won’t be opting out just yet; I’ve been a subscriber for a long time. You were the man who really woke me up to the whole ‘List Power’ concept and, for that, I’ll be eternally grateful.

But my gut feeling is that your plan is going to turn out to be a very bad idea. Everyone is so swamped with email on a daily basis; sending them even more is therefore not necessarily the best plan.

I would say that rather than list managers increasing the quantity of email sent, increasing the quality is the thing to aim for.

I would expect an email once a week with some really compelling information or a compelling offer to win out hands down over a steady stream of daily emails which will, almost inevitably, be less interesting.

Yes, I too talk to my wife every day but most of it is just humdrum day-to-day stuff. The interesting conversations happen when, once or twice a week, we manage to clear some ‘quality time’ in our schedules and have dinner together. Those conversations are worth far more than all the day-to-day chitchat put together.

No, having the day-to-day chitchat isn’t actually going to put me off sparing the time to have a ‘proper’ conversation with her a couple of times a week. But then my wife doesn’t have an ‘Unsubscribe’ link on her bottom!

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be split testing and I’d be very interested to hear the outcome of this experiment. It’s certainly a brave one.

John Fancher, to whose list I subscribe, ran a similar experiment a few months ago, having got the idea from Perry. He did it on an opt-in basis on a new list though. And, being immediately adverse to the concept, I never subscribed to that new list…

If I sent you an email once a week that improved your business by 1%, that’d be a good thing, I think we’d all agree.
Would you specifically ask me not to help you improve your business by 1% a day?
I mean, that’s the point of what I’ll be writing.
And some of that will be about marketing directly. Some of it will be about using your PC. Some will be about offline advertising. Some might be about quality of life.
All of it will be written with the intention of helping you.
I hope you ultimately agree.
And you can tell me tomorrow!

Thanks for a fine post. It got me thinking.

On the surface, his analogy seems good. You and your wife talk often, therefore trust is high. But there is a big difference between talking to a loved one, and hearing from a vendor all the time. I can have a strong relationship with people I buy products and services from, but if they are in my face too often I get tired of hearing from them. (I hear there are marriages like that too.)

I wondered why that was. And I recalled a service I purchased from a vendor. Nice guy. Great service. I was pleased to do business with him. But, as he introduced a new service I began to hear from him every day as he approach the launch.

When he sent me advice that could help my business, I was delighted to hear from him. But, when he littered my in-box with sales pitches (no matter how conversational and soft-self,) my willingness to read anything from him starts to diminish. Soon I was unread e-mails from him over to a “read later” file, which in my office, means “delete someday without reading.”

To extend the analogy, if a husband and wife only talked about what they needed the other to do for them – fix the drain, pick up the dry cleaning, etc. etc. – frequent contact could get tiring as well.

Hi Rick!
How nice to hear from you. It’s been far too long. I hope you and your change management business are both doing well.
As for your comments, really the whole point is to make meaningful communication, not meaningless communication.
The truth of the matter is this…Tellman is freakishly successful. He has some practices that are different from mine. I figure it’s better not to argue with him, but instead to emulate him.
I refuse to grow my hair as long as his (I couldn’t if I tried), or run across the country barefoot (also ain’t gonna happen), but I can certainly duplicate his business practices that produce results for both him and his customers.
I figure the more I talk with you and people like you, the better off we’ll all be.

Current marketing mantra seems to be that more is better. But is this what people on their list really want or is this what the marketers really want – i.e more selling opportunities? Why don’t marketers suggest surveying their list to see what they want? Could it be because they might not like the answer? If their list was to answer back that twice a week is just right and the marketer is currently pounding them every day well that presents a problem for them. Personally I don’t mind getting an email every day as long as there is a true educational component in addition to the sales pitch with each email. Unfortunately many IMers now think it’s perfectly fine to just pound their list with an offer a day. I guess they figure that as long as their building their list faster than the attrition rate, it’s a net gain so just do it. But wouldn’t it make more sense to survey the list and segment accordingly?

This answer is for you and the many other responses to this post…
The point is not about more or less. The point that Tellman was making was that the trust and closeness that you create with frequent and meaningful communication is a simple thing to do, and the benefits outweigh the detriments.
As for marketers vs the people they serve, if both don’t benefit, then neither truly benefit.
If the marketer sends out emails that the reader doesn’t care about, the reader will stop reading or unsubscribe. If the marketer doesn’t communicate frequently enough, then he becomes (or remains) a stranger to his readers.
The point that I was making about unsubscribing is this…
I am going to write about marketing and related things. If you (or any reader) isn’t interested in what I’m saying, then you really should unsubscribe. I’d frankly rather you unsubscribe, than remain on my list and never read what I say. You’d be taking up a spot that someone else would benefit from.
I write for a reason — to help you. And just to be totally clear, helping you is what my business is all about. I make my living by helping you make your living.
I hope that all makes sense, and that on the whole you like what you hear from me.
Best Wishes.

I am not sure if I am qualified to answer here (43 never been married) and really quite new to all this computer stuff,
I know I need to improve on my list for sure, and I have to admit, I was going to take your offer to unsubscribe,
being still in my first year at this, I can’t believe how much comes at us,
but before I got to unsubscribe,
I read the posts here, and for you other newbies out there, these are what we really need to pay attention too.
So from what I have read from your comments from us, I will be back and looking forward to more.
Oh and Mark thanks as well.

If you could improve my business by just 1% a month then I’d listen! If you could improve it by 1% a day then I’d probably divorce my wife and ask you to marry me.
I look forward to seeing your emails over the next month. I think it’s going to be a very interesting experiment.
Good luck!

Hey Mark,
Its your other new Green Room friend, Lisa Sasevich.So happy you’re going to test this for us! I loved Tellman’s analogy, advice and most of all his generosity in sharing it. But where I’m going to start is with some great advice YOU gave me about split testing my opt in page for my current launch.

God only knows how we did $2 mil plus in sales last year with NO TESTING! “The Queen of Sales Conversion” is excited to see what’s possible for my business with some actual marketing intel.

Thanks for inspiring me to start looking behind the curtain! Look fwd to learning more from you.


Hi Dear Mark!

That of my website up there is also a social one and that kind of communication is easier to my lie understand difficult listbuilding strategies and being under an opressing , that when I forgt the deadline of 30 days and will have cut on my credit card which many are feed up.

I prefer peacefulness. Many Greetings and Successes for You! Thank You very much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *