Email list maintenance is one of the most important factors of online marketing. Your email list is your primary and most elementary tool for your promotions. To build an email list is a time consuming task, but forms one of the most powerful resources and profit potentials you have.
Though it may be time consuming and requires a lot of effort, but in time, it will give you the results that you expect, and more. Therefore, it is worth the time that you invest in preparing the list. For every output there needs to be made some kind of input. The email list that you prepare is the input that will give you the output that you expect out of your marketing efforts.
For this reason, we need to understand exactly how it works. You just can’t construct a building without a blueprint. You definitely need a detailed plan and a step by step process to finally get to the outcome. Throughout my time in online marketing, I have tried many different methods. There are good reasons for some methods to come out on the top, while some methods fail miserably.
There is no just a single solution for email list maintenance. Depending on your business, there are several solutions that might be right for you. For this reason, we need to look at the whole process so you can decide which one is going to work for you. Not all the solutions will offer you results.
Let’s take a look at some of the important pointers related to email list maintenance and management. These points will help you understand the need and value of creating a list and the method you could adopt to accomplish this. If you are just getting started, then the below mentioned points will surely give you the initial boost that you need. Remember, getting started is always the hardest part. Once you get a hang of it, you will know what to do to improve and improvise.
Important pointers related to email list maintenance and management -
- To show you why you need to decide which method you are going to use to maintain your list before you even start building it for maximum positive effect.
- To explain why it is so hard to change mid flow, once you have already started.
- To show you how to get people to listen and take notice of you and avoid complaints, there are a few things that you will need to tell to customer before you send them first email.
- To set solid goals for your list, and map out where you want it to go in the future.
- To show you how powerful your list actually is to you, and to display how much more earning potential some methods have over others, and how you're going to capitalize on that.
- To introduce the rating system which will be assisting your decision on how you are going to maintain your email list from the moment the first subscriber arrives.
- To talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the first email list maintenance type and, a standard e-zine, newsletter or personal mixed content to your target market.
- To reveal the first of the most powerful list types that you could possibly have in your hands, and how to deal with the subscribers and make the most out of it.
Understanding Email List Maintenance and Management
Here, in this guide, we will discuss the various methods of email list maintenance and management that have been proven successful for many marketing entrepreneurs, and the upsides and the downsides that come with them. But be aware of the fact that there is no way that me, or any other marketing entrepreneur, or any other person or guide can ever tell you what is the best to do in your business predicament, without knowing you, your business, your strategy, your future plans, and for what you are going to use your list for.
Like any other business or strategy, there is no universal solution. What I mean by that is that there is no single solution for every problem. It is always up to you, your business style and what is best suited for you and the type of business you are going to be running.
That is why analyzing the business and future plans are highly critical. Without it, all you will be doing is constructing the house without a foundation.
Please understand that this is not a technical report. Here I won't be showing you around auto-responders or telling you the best ones to use, or how to use them. Here I made guidelines that are far more important, and will generally help you form the shape of your future promotions and of course how successful they will become, and in what way.
So without further introduction, let’s get started talking about the fundamentals and the type of things you should be looking at for a start. During this guide we will be looking at how each maintenance technique affects your response rate, your customer loyalty, the amount you earn from your list, and what type of promotion it is suited for. This could be your own products, joint ventures or purely affiliate marketing. We will also take into account the money you can earn from selling ads to that list, which is not quite as important as you may think right now.
Always Be Truthful
So, let’s get started. The number one thing that I need to tell you right now, before we even look at these methods is to make 100% sure that the people signing up know what they are getting themselves into. What I mean is that you have to tell them before they sign up, what you are going to send them and how frequently they can expect your next email.
For example, how many e-zines or newsletters have you ever subscribed to, only to find out that they are not actually e-zines and newsletters, that they are just ad lists (which to be honest are not all that bad in particular situations, but we will be getting to that in just a moment).
The choice you make now will shape your business far into the future, but more importantly, whatever you tell your customers and subscribers they will be getting will shape your response rate considerably, and that is obviously something we will want to take into account from the very start. So there we have it. Rule number one, never tell your customers they are getting something, then deny them that, or send them things that they have not requested or did not know about, because not only that will get you into trouble, but it will also affect the loyalty and trust these customers and subscribers have with you, which is so important after all.
What we are aiming to build here is a targeted and effective list that has high response rates depending on what you are promoting. Therefore, it is very crucial that you manage this well and without any loopholes. Take every step as seriously as the others. A minor error at one point could spell disaster down the line. Don't forget this also includes mailing affiliates, which is sometimes even more important and which may form a large part of your affiliate base.
Which brings me onto one more point, before we look through the four mainly used techniques for different types of email lists through different marketing practices, I'm going to talk to you about the importance of listening to your audience/subscribers.
Listen to Your List
One of the most important things in any business is the feedback from customers or feedback from your audience (potential customers).
You should be able to say –
- I know what to sell to my email list because they tell me what they want.
- I know when my websites suck or look plain ugly because I ask them.
- I know what they're interested in buying, because they tell me.
- I know the most effective headlines and language to use when typing out ads in relation to my email list (who are in effect my target market), because I do surveys periodically.
So you see, again, we are promoting not just for profit, but to learn valuable lessons at the same time. Your list provides as much useful data as your advert tracking, no matter how small. This is your key to developing a successful business that is aimed at your target market, and creating a sales system that works, not just in your eyes, but in the eyes of the people that are most important to you. And that's your customer, the person who, at the end of the day, is going to make a purchase if treated right and informed well.
So here is the deal. Ask. Don't feel bad about sending out mails to your email list that aren't adverts or lessons or news, etc. send them also surveys, ask them for their opinion. To them, not only that they will feel closer to you personally, no matter what technique you use below, (which in turn will have them reading more often) but it will give you really important feedback about your new product or service, your website or even an idea that you have for a product that you would like feedback on before you even start. Use your email list in this way.
Promote to learn, not to make a profit, and you'll end up with far more profit at the end of the year than if you just assume, guess or don't bother (which seems to be practice of many marketers out there). Don't be one of them. Get the knowledge you need to succeed from your customers before they even purchase. It will work wonders for you, your reputation, your knowledge and your budget.
Ask your list if you're not sure. It's so powerful that it would be a complete waste if not utilized properly. If you are right, great, go for it. If you are wrong, your list will tell you so, great again. You can fix it and prosper at the same time. I can't think of a fairer deal than that. Keep it in mind. Your list is more than a bunch of names. It's a bunch of opinions, and real important ones at that.
A bit later I'm going to talk to you about the four main methods successful marketers use to maintain their lists. Each one with a different use and purpose, and each one has its ups and downs. I'm biased towards two of them, and I'll tell you why when we get there. But like I said, there's no way for me to tell you how to run your business. All I can do is to tell you the most effective ways of going about it, and let you decide what's the most convenient for you and where you want your business to go.
The Rating System
Let's also introduce a rating system to make things interesting. As we will discuss each one of these techniques, I will talk to you about their pros and cons, and where they would most likely be used, and you can decide if it will be relevant to you. I am also going to give these a rating system that will show you the most significant stats related to running such a list.
Understand that each list will vary, and these star ratings are only there to give you an idea. After talking to many marketers and each with over a hundred successes with their lists in the following categories I made statistics. The star rating will be one to five (you will see that later in the text):
Un-subscription Rate - One star means a high un-subscription rate per mailing, and five stars means the best - a low un-subscription rate per mailing.
Subscription Rate - How easy it is to get people to subscribe to the list using a variety of different methods. The subscription rate at one star is the hardest, and at five stars is the easiest.
Ad income - Ad income is the amount of money that is earned through selling adverts to the list. One star is the worst, or the least amount of money earned through ad selling, and five stars is the best, or the most amount of money earned through ad selling.
JV Circle (Joint Venture) - This is the ease of using your list as a bargaining tool. For example, in ad swaps or product launches, and specific joint venture opportunities one star is the worst, which is also the least valuable in terms of gaining joint ventures, and five stars is the best, the most valuable that marketers want to get their hands on for joint ventures at all times.
Response Rate over Time - Response rate over time measures how quickly the quality of the list diminishes, for example, when sending endless paid for ads and nothing else, the response rate goes down over time. One star is the worst, where response rate over time goes down badly – five stars is the best, where people keep reading and even wait for your mail to arrive in their inbox in the morning.
General Usefulness - For things such as research, surveys, requesting information, testimonials, etc. five stars is the best, easiest to get results from. One star is the worst, the hardest to get results from.
Maintenance Time - The time it takes per issue (email/publication) to be put together and send out. One star is the worst, taking a lot of time to prepare and send - five stars is the best, the fastest, and the easiest to prepare and send out.
Important note here - These are base figures and your exact results may be higher or lower than the following. It is more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you information about exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earning, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc.
Main Methods of Email List Maintenance
The two main methods for email list maintenance are a) e-zine (electronic magazine) and b) Newsletter. Later we will talk about Personal Mixed Content method.
The e-zine and newsletter are publications that are generally about one main topic of interest to its subscribers (your target market – your audience) and it is created and sent on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.
As mentioned, they contain information related to your target market or market segment, so mainly they contain written material around one topic of interest to your audience. Your business might cover a few topics of interest, so you will have separated email subscriber lists for each topic and each segment will receive those publications of their area of interest. How to separate those from your main email list I talk in section Email List Segmentation, so let’s go back to email list maintenance.
The idea is that useful content that you send to your audience keep them reading and opening your email each time, which by the way, keeping your response rates and read rates high.
So, the key of the most online marketers, before they hit the big (sometimes even after), is the e-zine or newsletter. You probably already know from reading the intro here that this method itself can actually become a lot of work. When it gets to a particular point, it may not be prudent for you to run an e-zine or newsletter anymore. This however is a good place to start if you have the time.
Expect to make and deliver an issue of your e-zine every week or two weeks and avoid leaving long gaps in between mailings, otherwise, quite simply people will forget you. This is a great place to start if you are starting out. For the simple reason, people like free info, and it's so much easier to get people to subscribe to this type of list compared to others, even when there's freebies involved. Of course, you will have to know a lot about your field of expertise to present regular useful information in issues, or even pull in outside articles from publishers to use as content.
The catch is, you will have to be on the top of things, and it does take some time to come up with good content for issues. The up side to this is that the people will be waiting for your e-zine or newsletter.
Ads in E-zines and Newsletters
If publication is well made and keeps people reading content, it's a reliable way to keep response rates up and to make a connection with your subscribers. The personal touch is important because it is unique, and in turn will add up to trust and a higher purchase rate for your own products.
The next upside to this is that you can sell ads for cash. It's an instant, quick way to earn cash, by selling large solo ads that go out separately from the e-zine, to smaller ads that precede each issue, and even cheaper, mid and smaller ads contained within the issue. The downside here is that many e-zines turn into ad lists (which I will talk about later). When the ads massively outnumber the useful content, subscribers start to feel cheated and leave. And they are right. I've seen it many times before, and if you've tested out or subscribed to some e-zines before you may have seen this too.
Note – Don’t put a lot of ads, neither in e-zine nor in newsletters. Keep it professional and don’t abuse the trust of your audience.
Another great thing here is prospects. Your e-zine is attracting people who are in your field of expertise and may have email lists of their own. This in turn might increase chances that your prospects want to go into a joint venture with you. Besides meeting new contacts, it can sometimes grow into good partnership.
Another great thing about the newsletter and e-zine is that it can be quite personal. As the readers/subscribers get used to you as a publisher, and you become white listed (in their spam filers and in their minds) you will see a greater interest in your products, because after all, you're not just another marketer out there spreading rubbish to everyone to make a quick buck. You are trusted publisher in an authoritative role, and people will listen to you, and buy your products/services eventually. This takes time though. Don't expect to become well known to all your subscribers overnight.
Note – Never, ever forget to be honest all the time with your audience. How you expect that other people behave towards you, you do the same towards them – the same principle is in offline business and private life.
Key Issues Related to E-zines and Newsletters
Let’s take a look at some of the key issues related to e-zines and newsletters that you should certainly be aware of -
Un-subscription Rate: Many e-zines have become successful because of their great response rates and low un-subscription rates due to good content. A small lapse though, and this can all go bad, especially when it starts to turn into an ad list and subscribers trust is broken.
Subscription Rate: A higher than the average subscription rate is good news. Reasons for this include the fact that people like to get useful content for free. Once you have proven to them that this is the case, it's not unlikely that they will tell their friends about you. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. With so many e-zines out there that are just ad lists, it can be hard to persuade people that your publication is of quality.
Ad income: Excellent and steady ad income from your subscriber base. Compared to other lists that don't even sell ads, this is a great way to bring in the few extra bucks per month. Be careful not to overdo this though, as subscribers may start deleting emails from you on the basis they think it's an ad rather than anything useful.
JV Circle (Joint Venture): Only two stars here for a few reasons. The main one being if you're already selling ads, it's quite likely that your joint ventures or any ad swaps you may do with other marketers may reflect the cost at which you sell your ads. Personal non public lists are far more desirable in general, and are much more valuable when put on the bargaining table. There is, however, an income through joint venture affiliate promotion, a free ad for a percentage of the profits. If your list is particularly good though, and your ad cost low enough, the promoter may instead opt just to buy the ad themselves and bypass the need to pay you a percentage of each sale.
Response Rate over Time: Response rate over time have to be higher than average in those types of email list maintenance methods. Of course, this statistic varies a lot depending on if your subscribers are actually interested in what you are sending to them or not. If they are not interested, you may see your response rates go down. Another danger here is the use of freebies. Make a list of non spenders and freebie seekers. When you send too many special free offers and free reports they will come to expect it. This will also have an effect on your profits. Same applies to outside ads that people may have no interest in. This can only be bad for your subscriber base.
General Usefulness: It is very useful to get all important information (feedback) from your subscribers through periodical surveys. Many marketers have asked why their subscribers never write to them. I say to those marketers that they need to ask their audience to write to them about something that affects them, and they will. Again, third party ads can be a distraction, but, if your content is good and people are reading it, it can be prime research material - not quite as personal as some of the other list types, so it can bring in a lower response.
Maintenance Time: You want people to keep reading your e-zine or newsletter? Well, you have to make sure they stay interested, balance the amount of adverts with the amount of content, write articles or organize participation from third parties. If you are a writer and enjoy this, great, go for it. But many people just don't have the time to write a fully featured e-zine or newsletter every week, because they are busy with other products and projects. It is hard work alright, but if you don't believe there is anything more productive that you can be doing, or enjoy writing and editing your e-zine or newsletter, keep at it. The results and income from your own ads is worth it in the long run and also in the short run.
Summary: Either of those two methods are the great place to start if you have no list at all right now. The ease of pulling subscribers when you are giving them good content beats any other type of list out there. If you don't mind high maintenance and putting a lot of time into this, the e-zine or newsletter may just be for you. If however you are short on time, or don't enjoy writing articles, try outsourcing, or the other methods may be more up to your liking.
The results, however, from running this type of list are plain to see and are very encouraging. Just be careful how you balance out ads and content. And hey, if things get too much in the future, you can always slowly evolve the e-zine or newsletter into one of the other list types. But those two email list maintenance methods are used by many marketers to start out. It is hard work, but a great little earner, and an investment for the future.
Personal Mixed Content List
Personal mixed content list is a list only gathered by you, that you don't use to sell outside ads to on a regular basis. Mailings on this email list maintenance method should contain research, new product/service information for your customers, articles that you write, new projects that you are going to get involved, the tips here and there, testimonial requests, and of course the ads for your own products/services. Mailings are very similar to an e-zine or newsletter, except for the mixed content and the lower or none sales of ads to third parties. This method also requires less content on your part.
This is one of the most used email list maintenance types by specialist marketing entrepreneurs, and in my personal opinion, definitely one of the most interesting and most robust. Imagine having a list on your own, which generally comprises of customers that know who you are, trust your word - many of them having bought from you before or subscribed to your list for the simple sake of following the progress and watching what you do as an authoritative figure in your chosen field of expertise/niche. All of these factors come together to make a highly responsive method of email list maintenance and one heck of a joint venture bargaining tool.
Those types of lists are usually an evolution of some sort, either from previously published e-zines or newsletters. You can go down this route right away if you already have a customer base and you think it will be beneficial, which most likely will be.
What we have here is the quality without having to do much work, and in some cases, considering the content you will be sent to your list, is solely related to you and the projects you get involved in. It is more personal and has higher response rates than even some of the best e-zines or newsletters, especially when your subscribers get to know you, or you make your mark as an authority. The bottom line is – you don't have to spend ages publishing a newsletter every week, packing it with masses of useful content to arrive at profitable list.
Of course, you first have to build your reputation and have some base of customers to start using this method of email list maintenance. See also guide “Email List Building” - section Personal List - Ad Content.
Do It Honestly, Openly and Properly
See if you play your cards right and gain the trust you need over time. You should not seduce people with masses of content, they are just happy to be receiving something for free from a respected marketer. That is great news for you, because the more you mail them, the more you teach them, share with them and have contact with them, and then the more trust you will get. Usually this comes in the form of short articles, snippets or insights into what you are doing to succeed or what you learned that is not effective so that your audience get aware of that.
Share all you know in your market niche with your audience, help them, and reward will come on its own. Online marketing is same like offline marketing and it’s same as everyday life. What I want to say it is that if you are good to people, which everybody should, people will respect that and be even better for you. I mean it is a core concept of life of human beings. Honest business should be the same. Well, I just got too philosophical now. Let’s go back to the topic.
For example, many of these lists, often owned by well-known marketing entrepreneurs, send small snippets of the letters they receive, their ad tracking results for a particular project, some small tips, and interesting stories that applies to the subscribers’ interests that they learned that day or that week. It totally depends on whether your goal is to sell, educate, recruit affiliates or get them to tell their friends about you and talk (which is most powerful publicity) etc. The fact is that it is interesting material for an audience to read or watch. Reality TV, even though on a larger scale, is a big hit. It definitely has its entertainment value, but goes even further through to education.
Who do you admire? Is there someone you want to be like or at least follow in the footsteps of - someone that is already doing something you want to do, and doing it well? If you had a choice, would you want to get on his/her e-zine or newsletter list that sends you a list of outside published articles each week or on their personal list where you get an insight into what they are doing and what makes them successful? I know which I would choose.
So you see, again, the underlying features are the same. It's a list of people you're going to get to buy your stuff, but this time around, it's far more focused on you, and the type of people that are subscribed here are the performers - the people that are interested in what you have to say. This is something very powerful that also contributes to the response rate that comes from these lists when selling your products.
Well, you have to be open and definitely, totally honest and revealing to your audience, but you also have to earn your buck, so give your best in anything you do. People will recognize that and appreciate that.
Do Not Procrastinate, Just Do It
So, aside from the eased workload, more time to concentrate on your product creation, developing new ideas, and the increased response rate and trust you gain from your valuable subscribers, what else do we have? Well, let me tell you that when you are ready and choose the Personal Mixed Content method it will be big progress. It will take time, but be patient. See also guide “Email List Building” - section Personal List - Ad Content.
Your list, your personal list that you don't allow anyone to access, which is packed with people that trust you and ready to take your word that something is good and will help them, or that something is worth buying is an important moment in your business.
See, once before you started list building, you had to exchange products and high commissions for joint ventures or affiliates solely related to sales. Now, though, not only will your in demand list (that no one has access to, but you) put you ahead in the exchange process of gaining joint ventures, but it will also sell your products, increase your reputation and allow your resources to grow even further. So once you start with this type of email list maintenance, expect it to grow and also it will be far easier for you to build on this in the future.
You might say to me “I don't have a reputation to go on. People won't listen to me unless I have a reputation or unless they think I have something useful to say”. You are quite right, but you can fix that problem.
For example, way back when I first started out with online marketing, a friend of mine started up a website with a free option and a paid option. I joined up and sat back for a few months thinking what to do, like I was back then, when I had no concept or strategy for actual work. I had the knowledge and expertise in certain areas but still. A few months later I had a chat with this friend. He informed me that he added a mail option for me. He told me that I could mail his subscribers a training series or two if I wanted in order to convert some free members into paid members. I agreed, of course.
The problem was I didn't know much back then on how to transfer my knowledge to others and I also didn’t know how to do that online. The only thing I knew for certain and I was counting on was my knowledge. Then what happen, I had all these free members piling up. So I figured I would teach them what I know, and send them a few guides, which is exactly what I did, and they listened, for the simple reason I included a screenshot of my inbox from the previous weeks of free members signing up in my down line.
It was a shot on my inbox with messages like 'You have a new member' subject lines. That was it. Everyone’s ears were pricked and paying attention. I started receiving requests to join my list, joint venture offers, people asking me what to do via emails, if they could have more, and when I will be sending further issues. All I did was demonstrating that what I was saying actually worked, not to mention they were only free sign-ups not paid ones that I was showing them, yet they were still so interested.
Joint Ventures (JV Circle)
I have taken that lesson everywhere with me ever since that day, and it's served me well. Provide proof that you have the answers to others’ questions, even on a small scale, and people will listen to you. So you see, it doesn't matter if this is your first day in online marketing. If you sent me a mail in a week’s time telling me you have arranged 5 successful JV's in one week, come up with 4 new products and have already developed two of them, each one ready to launch and sell at $99, I would listen if you showed me the proof.
See how that is not even directly related to how much money you're earning? This is one way on how to run one of these lists. I hope that I gave you a little insight to my thoughts and how you can get started without being a big well known marketing entrepreneur that everyone already trusts. This list email maintenance method is by no means out of anybody’s league that knows what they are talking about in their current field of expertise.
So there we have it, great JV (Joint Venture) prospects, not too much work for anyone, great response rates, build up trust and reputation. Amazing stuff, as strong as the upsides are, the downsides equal it. Firstly, your ad income is going to be cut drastically compared to the standard e-zine or newsletter, unless you start actually selling ads, which defeats the object and devalues your joint venture prospects if done often or over long periods of time. This isn't really a huge downer though, because you will likely be getting a lot more out of it than you would simply selling $100 solo ads twice a week through your e-zines, but in the way of JV income and resources.
Here is the real problem though. If you screw up, you are in big trouble and you may in extreme circumstances have to start all over again. You are being an authoritative figure, taking all that time to build up trust, and after one bad decision, one bad joint venture with the wrong person or company, your reputation gets in big trouble and you have a lot of groveling to do to the subscribers to make up for it.
I can think of several examples where marketers’ reputations have been destroyed, some even to the point of them quitting the business, because this important resource they built up over the years was destroyed by a JV (Joint Venture) with someone unreliable or with a bad reputation that they did not know about. Do your research, don't take joint ventures lightly, and this won't happen to you. Remember, in-depth research will never fail you - ever. However, ensure that you have given it enough time and the respect it deserves.
NOTE – Choose your Joint Venture (JV) partners wisely.
Critical Issues Related to Personal Mixed Content
Let’s take a look at some of the key issues related to Personal Mixed Content that you should certainly be aware of -
Un-subscription Rate: Generally you will find, once you have built the trust with your subscribers that they won't leave unless you particularly annoy them or do something insolent. Beware though, bad news travels faster than good news, and a mistake here could cost you a lot.
Subscription Rate: Getting subscribers here can be a lot harder, but the rewards greater. As these lists are generally smaller than a large sized e-zine or newsletter lists, the numbers can seem a little off, but it's far better to have a list of 100 dedicated, loyal customers that buy from you over and over, then a list of 100k who don't even read your mailings. Remember, quality over quantity. Many subscribers may have also bought from you before.
Ad income: Virtually zero direct ad income. It's possible to sell small ads to people if you get short of cash, but it can be harder to do if your list is smaller and more focused than some of the e-zines out there. It's even harder to charge the price it is worth for this very same reason. If you do decide to sell ads here and there, keep it rare. Very rare, or your list will lose its purpose and subscribers will move on. Don't forget to push your response rate tracking stats too, or you may find people don't buy at your higher prices for smaller numbers and stick with an e-zine ad, which to an uneducated eye, provides better value for money.
JV Circle (Joint Venture): Due to the personal nature of this list, it's easy to start talking to people, specific subscribers even, and to become a target for other marketers with similar lists in the similar or related category. Don't be surprised to find yourself in high demand as this is prime territory to create a profitable joint venture. That list of people I was sending reports to (we talked about earlier), that was my first mailing, and I still have a bunch of them on my messenger contact list (from just one mailing). Not bad, huh? This is what joint venture prospects look like and it is by far the most effective way to get to them.
Response Rate over Time: Great response rates over time are expected due to the trust you build with your subscribers in such a personal manner. Unless you mess something up big time, loose their trust, annoy them or suddenly stop offering them the insight and knowledge they are looking for, they will keep reading what you have to say, they will keep buying your products or services, and they will check out your recommendations. This is especially useful for inflating the value of your email list to your JV (Joint Venture) circle. Watch what you mail very carefully though. One mistake or bad move and it could all be gone.
General usefulness: Who's more responsive? Your friends and acquaintances or random people you put questions on the street? Again, this is where the personal touch is important. As far as they are concerned, they are getting something very important from you. Make sure to ask for something in return in the form of surveys or questionnaire (as we talked before) which should be aimed in the general direction of assisting the subscribers in some way, even if you are publishing the results for their use – a great research tool at your fingertips.
Maintenance Time: Sometimes it can take you fifteen minutes to write an email, sometimes less, sometimes a lot more, depending on what you have to say - which makes maintenance time hard to judge unless seeing each circumstance on its own. Not as bad as a fully-featured e-zine, though not as quick as some of the lists we have yet to talk about. This is a good thing if you're short on time, or want to dedicate your days to something more productive, or just don't like writing e-zines or newsletters and doing research and using outside articles.
Important note here - These are base figures and your exact results may be higher or lower than the stated. It's more to give you some insight into aiming your business in the right direction than to give you exact figures and numbers and guaranteed base earning, response rate, income, number of JV prospects etc. which is not possible.
See also guide “Email List Building”.