A few days back I wrote a post on the importance of building a list and how profitable it can be if done correctly. Not long after I wrote that post I was reminded once again just how powerful a list can be when Jonathan Leger purchased an article marketing ebook that I used to own, discussed some techniques with me and decided to promote it to his list of 40,000 last Friday.
If you read my prior post on list building you know that it’s something that I have some knowledge on, but it’s not something I’ve put a whole lot of effort into in the past few years and that I’ve finally “seen the light” and decided to get serious with it.
Well, after the explosion of sales that Jon’s mailer created I’m more excited than ever to get going with a solid list building campaign.
Jonathan is one of the most honest, intelligent, giving marketers out there, which is something you probably already know if you’re on his list or you keep up with him in any other way.
He’s also extremely good at what he does!! He’s created some of the most popular, useful products out there in the IM niche and I’m honored to have had the chance to learn a little about him.
Jonathan has allowed me to share a short email “interview” (similar to the one I did with CPT. Tim Gorman) with you on the topic of list building. If you have a list or you think you may start one any time soon I highly recommend you take a look and absorb his expert advice on the subject!
My Short “interview” with Jonathan Leger
Josh: Could you give us a short introduction? sites/blog/products that you author.
Jonathan: I’m a computer programmer by trade. Started writing code when I was 8, got my first PC at 12. Wrote my first commercial software at 14. So I’m rather the geek.
I have a lot of products, but my focus right now is 3WayLinks.net. Another “big hit” product of mine is InstantArticleWizard.com. I’ve sold more than 5,000 copies of that software (as of today) in the last 8 months.
Josh: Can you give your thoughts on the effectiveness of the more helpful, personal approach of managing a list compared to the “standard” IM newsletter (sell, sell then sell some more?)
Jonathan: Lack of a personal approach will seriously cut your effectiveness. If you don’t treat each person on your list as a truly valuable list member, encouraging their feedback on blog posts and responding to them when they email you personally — you can expect your response rate on promotions to be 1/10th of what they would be if you were being personable with people.
Teaching people things for FREE, whatever industry your in, establishes you as an expert with your list members. Just as importantly, it lets people know that you are interested in more than just their pocketbook.
Josh: Although I don’t have a list nearly as valuable as yours, I’m sure you’ll agree that the most important aspect of a list is not the number of subscribers, but the conversion rate. Could you share a few tips on how you’ve been able to make your list convert so incredibly well?
Jonathan: I send out, at most, one promotion after every 2 educational emails. I routinely make educational blog posts and invite interaction with my list by encouraging them to post comments to the posts (and RESPONDING to their comments — that’s very important).
Sending promotion after promotion might get some results from the new members on your list, but those new members quickly become old members, grow tired of your greed and stop being responsive.
I know this from personal experience. Take our experience together, when my list of 40k resulted in 700+ sales of your report when another person with a 200k list pulled in less than 1/3 of that. That’s the power of being in touch with your list.
And you have to mean it. You can’t fake interest in them. You really have to care about their success. If you don’t, that’ll show through.
Josh: How often do you contact your list? Is there a schedule you go by that has proven to convert better or do you just write to them when you feel you have something good to say?
Jonathan: I try to write 2 educational articles a week, and send out one promotional email per week at the most. Some weeks I’ll just do 3 mailers. I only send out promotions if I really have something I liked that I think they will benefit from.
I don’t really plan a schedule, no, though lately Monday and Wednesdays have been my article days, and Friday my promotional day. But it won’t stay that way, that’s just how it’s fallen lately. I try and send something to my list 3 times a week, though, to keep them “in touch” and reminded of my presence in their business lives.
Josh: What have you found to be the most effective technique(s) to build a list? ie. free reports, blog etc.
My best list builder to date has been paying affiliates to send people to my site to download a free report. It takes some up-front cash, but really grows your list fast.
If you don’t have the money for that, my next biggest list building is my blog.
Josh: What is the best piece of advice you could give someone who is new to list building, but serious about doing it correctly?
Jonathan: Don’t follow the crowd. Teach, teach, teach your list to be successful BEFORE you ask them to buy anything. Earn their trust and deserve it. I’ve yet to see any better method than that at being a successful list builder.