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The money is NOT in the list

The money is not in the list

Stop Building Lists

I keep trying to inform people the money, is not in the list.

Its something very few people want to understand. There are so many reasons you should not waste your energy on list building, and that exactly what I want to talk about today.

Everywhere you go, people keep insisting that the money is in the list. People genuinely believe that the money is in their lists, but the fact remains, thats not where the money is. No one at all can convince me otherwise.

Think of your absolute favorite marketing idol. How big is their list? 400,000 subscribers? 1,000,000 subscribers? How big of a list do they have to achieve the level of success they achieve.

What if I told you, the number of subscribers it takes for their success is actually zero. Not only can I say it, if you allow me to, I can prove it to you. In fact I’ll bet if you take a step back, you’ll notice how incredibly accurate what I am going to say really is.

The money is not in the list, the money is in the community. Period. Thats all that really should need be said, but I will take it a few steps further and explain my statement.

You think the money is in the list because big list owners are vastly successful and they tell you the reason behind their success is a big list. You have no reason not to believe that, so your belief is you need a big list.

What if you ask instead, who are the very first people you tell about new launches and programs? Do you think the answer is the list? I’ll bet you its not. Because every real marketer knows, its not the list that makes the money.

Instead what you will find is that the people get on skype, hop on their phones, go to their favorite forums, host a webinar, and otherwise only share their launch with a core set of people. Its THEIR community of marketers. The people they lean on most.

Thats why building a list is a complete waste of time. Because its not the list you should be building, its the community.

Here is my challenge to anyone who is building a list.

My Marketing Challenge

My Marketing Challenge

For 1 week, take a break and stop building a list.

Instead of list building do exactly the following. Find 20 people you are connected to. It doesn’t matter if they are on a social network, from a forum, on a list, in an exchange or anywhere else. Just find 20 people who will engage with you.

Get them in private one on one conversation. Do not pitch to them. Do not ask them to join anything. Do not ask them to buy anything. Instead, spend 30 minutes each day talking to each of these 20 people. Ask them what they do. Ask them how their day is going. You can talk to multiple people at the same time.

Do it consecutively every day for a week.

After that week is up, go back to your regular practice of list building.

Here is what is going to happen. Instantly you are going to realize why list building isn’t effective. Why? Because you are instantly going to learn that those 20 people are going to mean more to you than all the list members you have.

Whats more is, you are going to develop a relationship with them, and when you ask them to check something, they will. Not because they got a link in an email, but because a friend asked them to.

Don’t stop here!

If you are smart, you are going to expand on this practice. Because its not your list size that will make you money, but your personal community of contacts. They are the ones who will spend. They are the ones who will join you in things and help you promote to their own contacts.

The money is NOT in your list, the money is in your personal contacts. It takes daily communication and learning who they are.

I can tell you right this second everyday I speak to certain people. Every single day I know waking up I have friends that I will speak to. I know if I create something, or join something they will absolutely be the very first people who join under me.

They will not question what they are joining because they know I will never bring them in anything bad. They will promote it because they want to succeed, they want others to succeed, and they want to help me succeed. This is how friendship works.

Stats and Facts

Lists are impersonal. You can’t name me 5% of the people on your list. You have never interacted with them outside the list. They don’t know you. They just see your face. You are lucky if they even open your messages.

Did you know the average response rate to an email list is 5% and that is in the industry of hobbies, it gets lower in other industries with marketing being at the absolute bottom of the list with less than a 2% response to emails.

Did you know that the average response to a personal message from a friend is over 85%? Really! These are all factual numbers than can be checked.

So I hope you take the time to really think this over and take what I have said into consideration. Take my challenge and see what the path it leads you down really finds. I promise you will come back to this article in a week and thank me.

Bruce Bates is the original owner of the site where this blog originated. He is also owner of the marketers cooperative. He has been marketing for nearly 20 years and is well known in various marketing circles and social circles.

2 Comments on The money is NOT in the list

  1. If so, then why google adsense starts suspending accounts when ctr is higher than 2 percent? seems 2 percent is already quite unnatural.

    And lists are not equal, i totally agree if you talk about those force autoresponder lists, people intend to put their trash mails in. Thats why i always give people a choice. To either subscribe or simply just read!

  2. When you put out good content that engages, in essence you build a community that wants to hear from you. This is your ‘list’ or community.

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