list-building-bbqAfter much deliberation and discussion between Robin and I on the subject of list building we decided that we absolutely had to do a full on ‘list building & email marketing BBQ’. What the heck is that, right?

Have you ever heard of the term ‘sacred cow’?

Wikipedia defines this as:

A figurative sacred cow is something that is considered immune from question or criticism, especially unreasonably – so basically this is an idea or thought that never gets questioned or tested.

So being the ‘against the grainers’ that we are, we wanted to add a little flair to the idea and ‘barbecue the sacred cows’ by way of pulling out the most common misconceptions, untruths and un-tested ideas circulating around this hot topic of list-building & email marketing.

We are huge advocates (and teach our clients regularly) that you absolutely MUST be list building. Always! At all times! For online businesses and even those who do any sort of relationship building or continuous communication with your tribe, your list is the life-blood of email marketing – and a continued conversation.

I’m not going to venture too much into ‘why’ you should be list building because like I said this is a BBQ 🙂 So grab your spatula, your tongs and some of your favorite BBQ sauce and let’s throw down. 🙂

List Building and Email Marketing Misconception #1

“It takes 7-9 touches before a customer is ready to buy from you.” Ehhhhhhh! Sorry! Totally NOT true!

We have tested this time after time, and you can absolutely make sales on that very first ‘touch’ with someone completely NEW to you. We’ve helped our clients generate 4–figure sales from upsells, cross sells and OTOs (one-time-offers) created especially for new subscribers.

This is what one client said after we had her set up a special offer that gets presented to people RIGHT AFTER THEY OPT-IN… yes, these are brand new people… so how many ‘touches’ is this?  The FIRST TOUCH… She set it up… and within 24 hours it was already making her money… yes, on the FIRST TOUCH…


You see so many folks have heard this un-truth rehashed over and over again at seminars, on webinars, in blogs etc. that very few have actually put this to the test. You just believe that you should be cramming content down the mouths of your new subscribers like baby birds, and that one day they will just have an ‘epiphany’ that they should buy from you. Not happening.

First of all, there is a SPECIFIC kind of ‘content’ you should be giving folks in your emails if you plan on making any money with your list… and just ‘feeding them’ with free advice and tips that fill them up and satisfy them is only going to hurt you in the long run. I won’t go over details about this content strategy here in this blog because we’re on a different topic… but just know that there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE in ‘giving content’ versus ‘pre-selling with problem-based content’.

But back on track here… The real key in debunking this LIE is that you MUST set the tone from the very minute someone subscribes, opts-in or whatever…. that you clearly have things to sell and that you are definitely going to make offers. This way folks know what to expect. Getting an email offer from you won’t be ‘jarring’ and unwanted because you set the tone from the very beginning.

And the cool thing is that while you are ‘setting that selling intent’… you will ALSO MAKE SALES! So don’t buy the lies – barbecue that sacred cow right now – and start making offers sooner. Don’t wait ‘7-9 touches’ just because someone said you had to. It’s a nice little surprise to see PayPal notifications coming through at random times throughout the day, from people who just got introduced to you. And do you think this is creating a well-performing, BUYING list, or what?

List Building and Email Marketing Misconception #2

“Sending ‘too many’ emails will annoy customers and cause unsubscribes”

Here’s a good rule of thumb as to how often you should send out emails… as often as you have something USEFUL and RELEVANT to share with your audience. If you have something they can use, something they need, a solution to their problem, or a special announcement every single day… then by all means, send an email every single day!

If you’re building your list correctly from the get-go (getting the right people, and setting the ‘selling intent’)… and if you’re following the rule above, then you really can’t ever send ‘too many’ emails.

Will some folks unsubscribe? Sure! But who gives a crap? Remember, you’re in business to make money. The reason you spend time doing all the ‘tactics’ like list building, email marketing, blogging, etc… is to make money.

You ONLY want people on your list who love you and what you have to offer. The ones who leave were never going to buy from you anyways. So say ‘good riddance’ to them and focus on the ones who are salivating every time they see an email arrive from you.

Besides, if you’re focusing on never-ending list building, as you should be, and you’re constantly bringing in new people onto your list… Think of sending frequent emails as a way to clean your list regularly and make sure it stays high quality, filled with potential buyers. Embrace the unsubscribes, get that dead weight out of here.

Sending emails will always make you money. Hands down. Focus on what you are trying to accomplish, rather that what you’re afraid of.

List Building and Email Marketing Misconception #3

“If you build it they will come”

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard people teaching ‘list building’ and all they teach you is how to put a form or opt-in box on your website. Listen folks, putting up a ‘Mailchimp’ form on your home page is NOT list building. 🙂 Yeah it may be one step toward list building but whenever you hear this taught as though “just put it up and the opt-ins will come” run, run I say, run for the hills. 🙂

Putting a form on your home page is really just the beginning of your list building endeavor. It’s a pretty passive way to get subscribers. And furthermore, it relies solely on your web traffic. How much web traffic are you getting? How many unique people visit your website per day? How many people will visit that exact page where your opt-in form is located? How many people will even notice that opt-in form in the midst of all the other things on the page screaming for their attention?

For a more intentional and aggressive approach that guarantees a never-ending supply of new subscribers, you need a full-on list building strategy.

You’ll actually want to create a separate landing page and then drive targeted traffic to it on a regular basis. This way you’re not sitting around just waiting for folks to stumble upon your website, and hoping they notice your opt-in form, and hoping they take action.

Good landing pages are built for performance, for conversions, for people to take action. Good landing pages don’t rely on chance, they don’t rely on luck. They get the job done. But all the details on how to do that is for another day and another blog 😉

I hope you enjoyed our BBQ. These three were just the most common misconceptions and un-truths we hear on a regular basis. I’m certain there are more nonsense lies floating around the online world in this area, so you can bet there will definitely be another BBQ to come.

If you’re totally digging what you read and want to learn how to design your own personal list building strategy… then you definitely want to check out ‘List Building Machine’

And of course, leave your comments, ah-has (and even disagreements) below… 🙂 🙂 🙂

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