Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Lifeblood of a Million Dollar List

(This article was written by Rob Eagar of Wildfire Marketing and is reprinted with his permission.)

If you're new to the idea of building a million dollar email list, here's a principle that is crucial to success regardless of whether you're an author, business, or non-profit: List revenue follows list growth.

You must constantly add new subscribers to grow revenue. There are constant forces at work against your list that will reduce the size of your list size and its performance—unless you actively combat it. The industry term is sometimes called the "churn rate," which refers to the amount of people who stop responding to your emails. Every list naturally decreases over time for various reasons beyond your control:
  • People may decide your emails are no longer a good fit and unsubscribe. 
  • People may change their email and forget to tell you the new address. 
  • People may get enamored with other newsletters and ignore your emails. 
  • People may forget to whitelist your emails and your stuff goes into a junk folder. 
Since you can't control this natural attrition, how do you keep your email list and revenue growing over time? Maintain a focus on constantly adding new subscribers. Your list always needs new blood.

This principle was proven by ground-breaking research from Dr. Byron Sharp, the world's leading authority on brand growth and the author of "How Brands Grow." Through exhaustive studies, Dr. Sharp found that the world's top brands, such as Coke, Proctor & Gamble, and Apple, are successful due to a little-known secret. They are superior at expanding their reach and attracting larger amounts of all types of buyers. But it's not the heavy buyers who make the difference. Sure, they have lots of loyal customers. But those companies are #1 because they attract the most light, infrequent customers. They live by the principle of always adding new blood to their customer base.

This same dynamic applies to building a million dollar list. Your success hinges upon how well you add new subscribers. Always make this focus your top priority. Attracting new subscribers is based on creating and promoting irresistible incentives. Be ruthless about your incentives. Don't stick with something that isn't working. If you offer a new incentive for 14 days and it doesn't get a strong response, kill it quickly and try something else. Continually experiment with new incentive ideas to find what entices your audience the most.

Give yourself a minimum goal to add at least 1,000 new subscribers per month. Otherwise, your list will stagnate over time. In contrast, growing your list creates a chain reaction of these positive results:
  • More people to open your emails. 
  • More people to click on purchase links in your emails. 
  • More people to forward and share your emails. 
  • More people to provide helpful research and feedback you conduct by email. 
  • More people to test new and buy new products. 
  • More people to build a larger list that creates greater passive income. 
Your car won't run without adding new fuel. Your body won't function without adding new food. Keep feeding your list with new subscribers, and you'll provide the lifeblood to build a million dollar list.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 16 of 16)

May and Can. We might as well give up on this rule because the can-ites won the war. No one seems to have trouble with can, but my guess is that the use of may sounds too formal.

In school, most of us learned that may referred to authorization or permission while can denoted physical or mental ability.

“May I have this dance?” asks permission. But if you asked, “Can I have this dance?” you inquired about the potential partner’s physical ability.

Strict grammarians still insist on may as the polite way to ask for permission; however, for as long as most of us have been alive, either is now acceptable, except in formal situations.

This is a case where usage overturned rules.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 15 of 16)

Dropping or keeping the final e in words can be troublesome. Many words end with a silent e— brave, move, late, rinse. The general rule is to drop the final e when you add endings that begin with a vowel.

Advise + able = advisable.

Guide + ance = guidance.

Force + able = forcible.

If the final silent e is followed by an ending that begins with a consonant, keep the e.

Like + ness = likeness.

Accurate + ly = accurately.

Care + ful = careful.

In English, we seem to have exceptions for every rule, so here they are.

Sometimes, we retain the silent e before an ending beginning with a vowel to avoid confusion with another word.

Dye + ing = dyeing. (Otherwise it looks like dying.)

Another reason is to prevent mispronunciation of words, like mile + age to become mileage.

To further complicate the rule, we sometimes retain the silent e after a soft c or g. That’s to show that those two letters aren’t pronounced with a hard sound.

Courage to courageous, and the list includes changeable, noticeable, manageable, embraceable.

One more exception. We often drop the silent e before an ending that begins with a consonant, if it’s preceded by another vowel.

True + ly = truly.

Argue + ment = argument.

Due + ly = duly.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 14 of 16)

Let’s look at sentences that begin with there is or there was. I suggest you avoid using that construction for three reasons.

1. It adds nothing to the value of the sentence.

2. It makes sentences longer. (And today, the rule is short sentences, or bite-sized.)

3. Using that construction means you put the verb before the subject, which is normally not the way we write or speak in English.

Here are examples of ways to make your sentences better.

There are your keys on the desk. 
Better: Your keys (subject) are (verb) on the desk.

There will be 500 people attending the meeting. 
Better: Five hundred people will attend the meeting.

It was disappointing that Elsa wasn’t nominated. 
Better: Elsa’s not being nominated was disappointing.

Here’s an example of wordiness. 

There were delays and cost overruns that troubled the tunnel’s builders. 
Try this: Delays and costs troubled the tunnel’s builders.

How about this one?

It was the fear of investors they wouldn’t earn profits once the tunnel opened. 
Change it to: Investors feared they wouldn’t earn profits once the tunnel opened.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 13 of 16)

For a long time, I was unsure of the correct way to finish this sentence: Helen is shorter than . . . Shorter than me or shorter than I?

The proper term for this construction is an elliptical clause. That’s a grammarian’s way to say, “Finish the sentence to get the meaning.” Technically, it means that some words are left out because they’re understood.

In the sentence above, complete the thought: Helen is shorter than me am short or Helen is shorter than I am short. If you do that, you'll see that the obvious answer is Helen is shorter than I.