7 Steps to a Worthless Email List


When writing a comment on your Facebook page, blog or email list, you should:

1. Target everyone:
Why not? Compete with everyone?

Get or build a list that is “smart”. Sure, your targets may be harder to convince but when you do they will be there for longer and you can up sell. The market is such that quality will beat out quantity.

2. Give away garbage information or bribes.
Why not cobble something together quickly? Just get it out there. Maybe something you wrote three years ago and didn’t even bother to edit at the time. You were in a bad mood and it reflects in your report?

The gift you give people for signing up is one that reflects on you and them. Make those first impressions count. If you want value in your email list, give them value in return. Give them valuable insight into what you know.

Sure, some will now think that they can DIY it, but how long did it take you to learn and become an expert in what you are doing? Have the confidence to understand that some will and some won’t…. and keep giving.

3. Be nice to all.
Sure, tell them what they already know. Tell them what they think they know. You do not want anyone to unsubscribe or say something bad about you!

You cannot be all things to all people.

4. Send out daily “deals” to everyone.
Pitch…pitch….pitch…promise away. Sure, some will buy and some won’t but so what?

You need to give them valuable content – regularly, timely and consistently. Create original content, themes and messaging. Whether it’s a contest, a charitable cause or a theme take the time and show that you care about your community and your “contacts” on the list.

5. Contact them quarterly.
If you notice that people unsubscribe when you send multiple emails per week, you might decide that you will get less people to unsubscribe if you send them monthly, or better yet quarterly. Then people will not complain about not having time to read your emails.

Unless it is your mother unsubscribing, learn to live with it. People and circumstances change. Do not take it personally. You might consider some list building exercises to augment your list with more relevant subscribers. In this day of continuous information you should not let them forget who you are before you update them. (By the way, call your mother and find out why she unsubscribed).

6. Data, information and facts.
‘Just the facts, ma’am.’ Even those of us too young to know where this line comes from (Dragnet) have heard it. And that is what your newsletter and communications should be like. Strive to be the New York Times of your segment – after all the NYT are not that good and their budget is not that big!

You need to share your personality or the personality of your USP (unique selling proposition) message. The characters and their stories, interests and insights may help your audience get to know and connect with you. Those that do not will unsubscribe – that is okay, you are building quality with those that remain.

7. Ignore your goals.
Keep publishing away and eventually someone will “Google” you to find out if you have any books, products or services to help them with their business. After all you do not want to “ask” them for anything as you do not want to be seen to be pushy or offensive! The subscribers will figure out that they should call you and set up a meeting to buy…so what if it is only a $19.95 eBook – it is a start!

If you want to waste your time, ignore your goals. Just publish content and do not worry about the sales, but if you are running a business and you want to grow that business you need to ask for the sale. You want to turn those subscribers into buyers and buyers into customers and customers into clients and clients into centers of influence that will refer you new customers…

Sure there are many other things that you can do, but if you decide to build a subscriber list, it should be a profit center and not just a soapbox for you to expose your views. Do remember that those views can become part of your USP.


Thanks to Terry Dean for inspiration and the 7 step model.

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