Which list do you build and what do you do with it?

In comparing a couple of different business models, I’ve noticed some major differences. Namely, how much effort do you put into building a list of email addresses and/or ezine lists. And once you have them, what do you do with them.

A few differences:

  • James Brausch: collects email addresses but almost always only uses them to announce a new post has been added to his blog.
  • Jimmy Brown: doesn’t have a blog that I’m aware of and sends content/offers to his list. Dan Kennedy also does this but it was excessive the two times I subscribed over the years. His funnel and upsale autoresponders were very effect but now that I bought his course on small reports, they haven’t stopped. Hmm.
  • Joe Vitale: has a blog that has separate content from what he sends his email list. Sometimes he sends his email list blog update announcements. A significat portion of the posts are kind of out there in terms of showcasing his personal interests. I mean I like cars and guitars, but I don’t subscribe to blogs to read about them.
  • Matt Furey: last I checked, he sends identical emails as his blog posts so I unsubscribed from his email list. Lately, he’s been posting in batches which is a bit annoying to keep up with.
  • Clayton Makepeace: sends daily article snippets that lead you to the full article on his site. He also sends multiple offers and sneaks a few more in under his wife’s name.
  • Agora Publishing: recently, Early to Rise had an article entitled "How I Built a 100,000+ E-mail List WITHOUT a Website ." Evidently they did something similar to the old GoogleCash model and collected addresses after people clicked on their ad and then sent them on to an affiliate site. The implication is that they make their money through emailing their list (ie. no blog or website necessary).
  • Guys like John Carlton and Tim Ferriss only post up to a couple of times a week. I’m not sure if that produces ongoing income for them or not. Tim’s usually solicit more reader involvement.

Everyone on that list is making a lot of money online. I’m going to guess that James Brausch and Tim Ferriss spend the least amount of time doing it. I’m also going to guess that James’s ezine list is much more valuable to him than his email list. With the former, he can create mega traffic overnight to almost any new venture. He says he has a list of over 20,000 ezines. I’m reluctant to admit that I have no idea how long it would take to build a list that big. But then once you’ve done it, you’re just about set with his model.

The question here is how you want your business model to work. The advantage I can see to being blog based instead of email list based is that all your messages will be recorded and searchable for the folks who find you later down the line. You’ll also have more content for search engines.

There’s also the question of referring others. For another blog I’m creating, I wanted to list Jimmy Brown as an income resource. But all he has are landing pages. That makes it look like I’m only after an affiliate sale. James Brausch has a content rich site where you can send people to get educated. That’s a big difference. James’ post on Joint Ventures was especially helpful in thinking about all that.

One thing I will say for Jimmy is that his emails were very good. He even used the NLP tactic of therapeutic metaphors in which he described someone who tries to push many different cars and never ends up getting any of them going. The story contrasts that with another person who sticks to pushing only on car and eventually makes good progress as it gets easier with momentum.

The lesson here is to get started and keep going. You can always incorporate new things you learn but you have to focus on something that works for you. And chances are that if someone else is making it work, you can too.

International Living’s 17 year control NLP copywriting case study

Here’s one more example of winning copy that works NLP into the ad.

I read this letter has been a control for 17 years. I’ve received it 3 times via email that I can remember. Here’s how it goes…

You look out your window, past your gardener, who is busily pruning the lemon, cherry, and fig trees…amidst the splendor of gardenias, hibiscus, and hollyhocks. The sky is clear blue.

The sea is a deeper blue, sparkling with sunlight.

A gentle breeze comes drifting in from the ocean, clean and refreshing, as your maid brings you breakfast in bed.

For a moment, you think you have died and gone to heaven.

But this paradise is real. And affordable.
In fact, it costs only half as much to live this dream lifestyle…
as it would to stay in your own home!

You may be wondering how this is NLP. This is pacing and leading. But, you say, this isn’t pacing any experience you’ve had before.

That’s an NLP tactic. You can pace a hypothetical experience. If you’re telling a story, your reader automatically accepts your story – especially in a case like this where the implication is that you’re imagining or dreaming.

If you’re reading this lead, you can’t be looking out your window. Your brain realizes you’re imagining this scenario. And it doesn’t matter much what you pace once you’re dealing with the imagination. I mean, what’s a hollyhock?

Can you see where the pacing turns into a lead? Go back and see. It’s, "For a moment…" because it switched to telling you what you’re thinking instead of simply experiencing in this paradise.

The writer follows by addressing the two most immediate objections which are 1) those kinds of places only exist in the movies and 2) I couldn’t possibly afford it.

There are situations when it’s more appropriate to pace an imagination versus your prospect’s actual experience. If you can’t be specific about your prospect’s current experience, it could be better to pace the promise instead.

How could you’d pace this target market in their current experience? Would you talk about dead end jobs, political disillusionment or vacation opportunities? You’d be guessing at best.

Conversely, if you have a well defined prospect, pacing their current experience in a problem/solution format would work well.

Either way, we’re back to storytelling. Pacing and leading is simply telling the story the prospect is either familiar with or can imagine.