DEEP VS. WIDE EMAIL LISTS (WHICH IS BETTER?)

When looking at email lists I like to classify them as being either “Deep” or “Wide.”

Here’s a quick explanation of what I’m talking about.

(And why this concept is so important for marketers.)

1. Deep Lists

Deep lists primarily refer to a list of buyers. More specifically, I’m talking about a list of buyers who have spent serious money. This can be anything from $297 all the way up to $1997, or more. Another feature of these lists is that they are usually small. For example, you often hear people brag about making money with a list of less than a hundred people. This is how they do it.

When I talk about deep lists I’m also talking about your relationship with that list. People with deep lists have cultivated a relationship with their audience over years and sometimes decades. The audience sees them as a valuable source of information and guidance. They are effectively a guru in their industry.

This means that when you mail high ticket offers…well…the list converts.

And with every offer mailed that relationship grows deeper and deeper.

Then, on the other hand, you have…

2. Wide Lists

A wide list refers to a list of people who have yet to convert. It also refers to people who may have bought low ticket offers. It could also mean you have a list of freebie seekers who will never convert. Another feature of these lists is that you have subscribers who don’t read your emails, or who rarely read them.

Now, this type of list can make you money. For example, if you have 10,000 or more subscribers, and you make a low ticket offer, you’re almost guaranteed to make sales.

Will you make as much as you would with a deep list? Probably not, but it really depends on what type of offer you’re mailing…and how many subscribers you have.

Another problem with wide lists is that these types of buyers can be a pain in the butt. These are the people who feel nothing about asking for a refund and ripping you off. Wide lists can also be a problem because running a list takes money.

So now that you understand this concept here is the real question:

Which type of list is better?

Deep or wide…

The truth is that neither is perfect.

What you really want to do is aim for a mixture of both.

To start with, you want to get as many subscribers as possible and build a wide list.

Really build up that subscriber count and never stop doing this.

Ideally, you want new people subscribing on a daily basis.

You then want to start filtering out people, converting your subscribers, and building a deep list

You do this by mailing as often as possible.

People who aren’t interested in what you’ve got will unsubscribe.

(Believe it or not this is actually a good thing.)

You basically want people to stop wasting your time and shit or get off the pot.

This is basically the art of curating and manicuring your list.

You also want to build and strengthen your relationship with your audience.

This means getting them to know, like, and trust you.

Next, sell a mixture of high and low ticket offers.

High ticket offers also help to get rid of people, especially those who were never going to buy.

That being said, you shouldn’t only sell high ticket offers. It’s a good idea to mix in the occasional low ticket offer. You see, there could be people who like what you’re offering, but who aren’t ready to commit to spending a lot of money with you. These people need a taste of what you’ve got to offer, before they commit to a bigger meal. This is why it’s a good idea to occasionally throw in a low ticket offer.

The bottom line is that you have deep and wide lists.

You goal, as a marketer is to build a mixture of both.

By doing this you’ll maximize conversions…

…and ultimately turn your list into a money making machine.

Alastair Walton

MARK ZUCKERBERGS BILLION DOLLAR GAMBLE

Many years ago there was a restaurant in my neighborhood.

This place did business like crazy.

Almost every night there was a queue out the door and down the block.

Then…disaster struck.

What happened was this:

Whoever owned the place decided to shut it down for remodeling. I have no idea how long this took…must have been a month or two. When it opened back up, the momentum was gone and the magic could not be recaptured. The crowd had moved on to somewhere else. And just over six months later this restaurant closed for good. Yes, I’m sure they were making money, but the ripple effect of shutting down eventually took them out.

This example reminds me of what’s happening with Facebook right now.

By all accounts the social media giant is circling the drain.

To start with, their share price has fallen by about 70% during 2022.

What’s more, the company is now planning to begin large-scale layoffs.

(According to reports, thousands of people are being let go.)

But why is all of this happening?

Well, it all goes back to the example I gave at the start of this message.

You see, Facebook isn’t actually Facebook anymore, is it?

Oh no, Mark Zuckerburg decided to “remodel” his business and turn Facebook into Meta…

…and now the magic is gone.

The point here is that you should never up-end your business too much.

Don’t make too many sweeping changes all at once.

You want to avoid altering your core business model or entirely rebranding the business.

Don’t replace what works with something completely untested.

(Does anyone actually want the Metaverse, I don’t think so?)

Make too many sweeping changes too quickly and you’ll upset the apple cart.

Anyway, most of this will be of very little use to you.

Just wanted to share my thoughts on something you may find interesting.

Alastair Walton

THE LITTLE KNOWN SALES PAGE TRICK THAT SAVES YOU TIME AND MONEY

Being weird (and a little different) is extremely important when it comes to marketing.

Why?

The simple reason is that it helps you stand out from the crowd.

Something which is highly important in today’s ultra-competitive business environment.

So without any more delay, here’s a simple trick for building sales letters that get attention.

How does it work?

It’s quite simple:

Basically, instead of building a fancy sales page, you use a Google Doc.

All you do is take your sales letter text, dump it into a Doc, add a link to your shopping cart, and send the document off. Now, this might seem a bit pointless, but this method has a number of benefits.

1. There’s no coding required.

The biggest advantage is that you don’t need to hire a designer or funnel builder. Most people can’t code – myself included – but with this method that issue is no longer a problem. Not only that, you can do in minutes what would normally take hours.

2. Let’s you test quickly

Instead of spending days or weeks building your sales page, you can quickly throw up some copy and see if it works. This allows you to quickly test sales letter angles.

3. Slips in under the radar

People don’t expect to be sold to in a Google Doc. I mean, Google Docs is for documents and stuff like that, right? This means your audience’s guard is down. It also means you have a far greater chance of people actually opening, reading, and buying from your Doc.

4. You can add in media

Another big advantage is that you can add in gifs, memes, videos, and other media which increases sales.

5. Promote affiliate offers

With this technique you can also promote certain affiliate offers by email. I’m talking about things that would usually get flagged as spam.

6. Create your own sales pages

You can also create your own sales pages for affiliate offers which have bad copy.

7. Social proof

Google Docs tells you how many people have looked at the document. This provides you with excellent social proof.

8. “Double” sized emails

Emails with a Google Doc attached are double the size of regular emails (if you’ve ever received an email with a Google Doc, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) Using this method is like getting double the amount of advertising space for the same amount of money.

There’s also another amazing advantage.

This alone makes the method worth trying.

You see, this trick can massively increase deliverability. This is simply because Google owns both Gmail and Google Docs. Therefore it makes logical sense that they would send an email with a Google Doc to the primary tab. After all, Google wants people to use their products. And with email deliverability rates at an all-time low, this alone makes the method worth trying. Attaching a Google Doc also makes it seem as if your message is ultra-important. Therefore it has a greater chance of ending up in the primary tab.

The bottom line is that this method works amazingly well.

If you haven’t tried it yet, then maybe you should.

Alastair Walton

WHY RAISING YOUR FEES ISN’T ALWAYS THE ANSWER

If you’ve ever worked with a copywriting coach…

…you’ll know the first thing they tell you is…

Raise your fees!

In fact, it’s often their primary piece of advice.

Raise your fees raise your fees raise your fees.

Get as much money as possible for every job you do.

Take the client for everything they have.

All you have to do is charge more and your problems are solved.

These so called experts usually have a number of reasons to justify this.

They tell you things like:

“Increasing your fees increases your perceived value…”

“Increasing your perceived value increases demand…”

“You get what you pay for…”

“Know your worth…”

But is this actually good advice?

The answer is yes and no.

What most people don’t understand is that there’s a catch to this.

First of all, charging more doesn’t automatically make your more attractive to clients.

What’s more, it can actually have the opposite effect.

You may actually chase away good clients who would hire you.

You see, not everyone is prepared to pay whatever fee or price you quote.

This is especially true if you don’t provide good reasons to justify those fees.

These reasons should include:

  • You’re the best at what you do
  • You’re better than other people providing the same service
  • You deliver faster than others providing the same service
  • You’re easier to deal with than other people
  • Your service is desperately needed
  • You’re recognized as a top expert in your field
  • You’re seen as trustworthy
  • You have a unique advantage over the competition

On the other hand, if there’s no clear difference between you and other copywriters…

…and no perceived advantage to hiring you vs. the other guy…

…then you’re not going to get anywhere by simply raising your fees.

Now this isn’t always the case.

You could argue that a higher price triggers the perception that your service is superior

And in many cases this is actually true.

The problem is that in overcrowded market places it becomes less and less true.

Clients, rather than blindly assuming that more expensive means better, now want you to prove your superiority.

And the more proof you have the more deals you’ll close.

Bottom line:

Raising your prices isn’t always the key to success.

It doesn’t always help you gain a competitive advantage…

…and may actually work against you.

Here’s a better strategy:

Actually increase the quality and value of your services.

Doing this will trigger increased demand and build your reputation as a go-to provider.

Only at that point should you consider raising your fees.

Got it?

Alastair Walton

THINKING OF CANCELLING YOUR NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTION?

Netflix seems to be in a death spiral.

Yes, according to recent news articles, their share price has plunged dramatically. Not only that, subscribers (even decades long subscribers) are cancelling by the thousands. But is it really the end for this pioneering streaming platform?

More importantly, why is this happening?

Well IMHO, here are some of the reasons why Netflix is going down.

(Plus some ideas on how they can turn things around.)

1. The Binge Model

The problem with Netflix is that the platform is really a victim of its own success. One of the reasons why streaming became so popular was because you could binge watch shows. This created an entirely new dynamic compared to watching traditional TV. In fact, it was one of the major selling points of streaming.

Unfortunately, this success is also a double edged sword. The reason why is because being able to watch every episode at once, also means you don’t have to subscribe for very long.

If there’s something you’re really interested in you can sign up, watch it in a day, and cancel. Another problem is that, in order to keep up with the insatiable level of consumption, Netflix started pumping out as much content as possible. Which brings us to the second point.

2. Garbage Content

The big joke is that Netflix will green light literally anything. And this is really the problem. It doesn’t pay to pump out garbage content. It’s about quality not quantity. This is the real reason why so many people are unsubscribing. Netflix originals equal garbage and people know it. Even worse, they’ve developed a reputation for…

3. Cancelling Shows

Netflix is notorious for cancelling shows. If you search for “list of cancelled Netflix shows” you’ll discover that the platform has done away with more than 50+ shows over the years. This is a big problem if you want subscribers to stick around. You see, you need to get them invested…and…this isn’t going to happen if you immediately cancel everything.

Not only is this bad for the platform and bad for subscribers, it’s also bad for creators. If you had a killer idea for a show…and…you knew Netflix would more than likely end up cancelling you…well…would you even bother approaching them? Probably not. These issues are also compounded by the fact that they’re now facing…

4. Massively Increased Competition

Back in the day Netflix was the top dog, numero uno of the streaming world. Today there are dozens of streaming platforms. HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and the list goes on (even CNN had a streaming platform for about 5 minutes.) Not only are these platforms competing with Netflix, but they’re also pulling licensed content.  And to deal with these issues Netflix is…

5. Raising Prices.

This isn’t nearly as much of a problem as people think it is. Most customers are happy to accept a reasonable price increase – provided you’re selling a quality product. As we’ve seen, Netflix isn’t providing quality. Which is why price increases are a major reason why people are unsubscribing.

These are just a few of the challenges facing our beloved streaming platform.

But will Netflix survive?

To be honest, it’s hard to see what the future holds. They may turn things around or continue to decline. Whether or not this happens will really depend on the people in charge. The fact is that subscribers must be weaned off the binge model. Netflix needs to release less, higher quality content. In addition to this they need to stop raising prices.

And this is the lesson for internet marketers

You absolutely cannot pump out garbage content.

Remember, content is king and the biggest reason why Netflix is failing is because their content sucks. Another lesson is that you need to stay on your toes. Just because you’re the market leader today, doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way forever.

What’s more, you need to continually examine your business model and look for weak spots.

What’s working today may not necessarily work tomorrow.

Alastair Walton

P.S. It’s hard to know how much of this is actually true. You see, part of the reason why Netflix is in decline is because of the competition. What I’m trying to say is that a lot of these stories may be negative PR planted by other streaming platforms. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but who knows what the truth is?

THIS GUY WROTE FOR 17 YEARS (BEFORE EARNING A PENNY) HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM HIM)

Steven Pressfield is an American author of historical fiction.

Like most writers, success did not come easy. In fact, it was 17 years before he earned a penny from writing and another 27 before his first novel got published (The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was later turned into a movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.)

But his real break-through came when he wrote a book called “The War of Art.”

Maybe you’ve heard of it?

To give you a brief summary, this book is basically a guide to pressing through the barriers which hold you back from doing creative work. It’s sold well over a million copies and even after all these years, is still incredibly popular.

But there’s a good reason for this.

First of all, the title – which is basically a play on the “Art of War” – is brilliant.

Second, this book is primarily aimed at people in the creative field – writers, artists etc.

(More specifically, it’s aimed at people who want to write or make art.)

And this is really why the book is so popular.

You see, these kinds of products are a dime a dozen. There are literally hundreds on goal setting, motivation, success, and spirituality. Unfortunately, 99% of these books sink without a trace. But the reason why the War of Art succeeds – and continues to succeed – is because if differentiates itself.

Instead of being aimed at the general public, this book targets people in the creative field.

And this is why it continues to sell…year after year after year.

Moral of the story?

Whether you’re writing a book, creating a course, or designing a new product, it’s critical that you do something different. Whether it’s targeting a subset of the market (like The War of Art does) your packaging, or what the product does, you have to find a way to make yourself different and stand out.

Do this and you’ll drastically increase your chances of success.

Alastair Walton  

HOW TO BUILD YOUR LIST WITH A STRATEGY USED BY THE WORLD’S BIGGEST RETAILERS

A “loss leader” is essentially an item sold at or below cost.

These products are primarily used to attract new customers.

Their purpose is simply to get you through the door in the hope that you’ll buy more products.

(This is also why they’re known as “door busters.”)

This strategy is widely used in the retail industry and has worked for decades.

It’s also a strategy which online entrepreneurs can use with equal success. More importantly, it’s a fantastic way to build your list. Remember, the bigger your list, the more money you’ll make. Not only that, people who have already purchased something are more likely to purchase something else. Another benefit of this idea is that it’s cheaper than advertising on Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you’re interested in using this strategy, then here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Find affiliates and joint venture partners

Look for people with big lists who sell similar products to yours. Get in contact with these people and let them know what you have on offer (just note that it’s best to establish a relationship before you launch into the business side of things.)

2. Create your product

At this point you should already have a product to sell. Price this product at $39 (I’ll explain why in minute.) If you don’t have a product then it’s time to create one. The most important thing is that your book is highly valuable and appeals to the market. Creating a quality product also increases the chance that affiliates will choose to promote it.

3. Offer affiliates 100% commission

Approach affiliates and suggest they sell your $39 book to their subscribers for only $19. This way they can give their subscribers a $20 discount. Doing this greatly increases the appeal of your product. Also tell these affiliates that you’re not going to offer the usual 50% commission. Instead you’ll give them 100% commission. This also greatly increases your chances of recruiting affiliates.

4. Provide email swipes

Most affiliates are lazy and don’t want to write their own emails. This why it’s a good idea to provide them with email swipes. Writing these also increases your chances of making sales. After all, as the product creator you’re the person most familiar with your product…and can therefore write the best copy.

At this point you’re set.

If everything goes according to plan, affiliates will send out your emails, make sales…

…and you’ll add hundreds of names to your list.

(With almost no effort.)

What’s more, you can then market additional products to these subscribers…

…and actually start making some real money.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton  

WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THIS REPUBLICAN GUERILLA MARKETING CAMPAIGN

The other day I spotted a brilliant piece of viral marketing…

In fact, this idea is so downright clever, I wish that I had thought of it.

You see, there’s a guy out there selling Joe Biden stickers.

To give you an idea of what they look like, these stickers feature Joe Biden pointing with his index finger, and the words “I did that” written beneath. The idea is that you place the sticker on a gas pump with Biden’s finger directed at the gas price (i.e. the idea being that Biden is responsible for high gas prices.) These stickers retail at $6.99, come in packs of 100, and going by Amazon reviews, are selling by the hundreds. I have no idea who’s behind this, but they’re obviously making money (actually according to the Boston Herald these stickers are part of a Republican guerrilla campaign to undermine the Democratic administration.)

What’s brilliant about this idea is that it takes advantage of deeply held emotions.

For example, let’s say you’re a foaming at the mouth Trump supporter.

(Or maybe you’re a diehard Republican or someone who really, really hates Joe Biden.)

There’s a reasonably good chance that you’d buy these stickers and gleefully cover as many gas pumps as possible. In fact, you’d probably put them wherever you could (The New York Post recently reported that they were spotted on a cop car in NYC.) Not only that, when you finish the stickers, you’ll more than likely go out and buy more.

Ka-Ching!

The lesson here is that you have to find out what your audience loves…

…more importantly, you need to understand what they HATE.

For example, let’s say you’re selling diet products.

In this market diet gurus are a dime a dozen.

Dr. Atkins is probably the first person who comes to mind.

In this case, all you have to do is mention the person in your copy…

…write negative things about them…

…and point out why your product is the superior option.

(Just be careful of going overboard.)

Basically people LOVE it when you tear down their enemies.

This is why market research is so critical.

You need to learn what your market hates…

…and mention that you feel EXACTLY the same way.

Doing this helps you connect with your audience.

What’s more, it also creates an almost unbreakable bond.

See you later…

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WHY SELLING CHEAP DIGITAL PRODUCTS IS HURTING YOUR BUSINESS

A lot of people think that selling cheap digital products is the easy way to make money online

But there’s a huge problem with this business model.

You see, I once knew a guy who was literally ADDICTED to downloading. His lounge was like an Aladdin’s cave for digital hoarders. I’m serious. Along with about 10 or 11 hard drive’s there were stacks and stacks of CD-ROMs. This guy would go onto torrent site’s and grab anything he could get. Movies, TV shows, books, install files, magazines, digital products you name it. And even though he received numerous letters from his ISP nothing ever happened to him. The funniest thing was that he was completely unable to use any of this stuff. For example, it would have taken him about 20 years to watch all of the TV shows and movies he collected.

(Let alone read the books and magazines or use the software!)

In fact, most of it was dumped on this ever growing collection of hard drives.

And this brings me to the point:

What you have to understand is that there are hundreds of guys like this.

In a quest to make money online these guys will grab whatever they can find.

A few of them may even pay money for this stuff.

But here’s the problem:

They immediately forget about it and do nothing.

The digital product sits on their computer growing digital cobwebs.

There’s a good reason why this happens.

Very few people care about digital content. Your product may seem highly appealing, but there’s very little chance that anyone will engage with it. These types of products are seen as low value (which is why they are so cheap in the first place) and this is a massive problem if you’re in the business of selling information.

After all, if no one engages with your product then no one benefits from it.

If customers don’t benefit they get buyer’s remorse.

The customer feels as if they’ve wasted their money.

And the next thing you know they want a refund.

In this way THIER laziness becomes YOUR problem.

Even worse, these customers aren’t going to buy more products.

So what’s the solution to these problems?

First of all, raise your prices.

Doing this will weed out lazy people.

More importantly, you need to start selling physical products.

People don’t forget about physical products.

This is because your product is REAL.

It’s not some abstract collection of 1s and 0s on a computer.

What’s more, every time they see your product the buyer knows they actually got something.

They’re reminded that it’s their responsibility to consume the product.

They are the one at fault…not YOU.

And eventually they may even read the book or go through your course…

…have a great experience and buy more stuff.

The takeaway is this:

You need to start selling physical products.

This is the key to increasing engagement as well as growing your brand and business.

Make sense?

Cheers,

Alastair Walton  

THE BEST WAY TO WRITE A NURTURE EMAIL SEQUENCE

What’s the best way to write a nurture email sequence?

In case you don’t know this is a series of emails designed to warm up prospects.

The idea is that you use this sequence to build a relationship, get people interested in your product…and…at some point ask for the sale. But how do you do this? Most copywriters have their own opinion on writing these sequences…

…but IMHO the easiest way is simply not to bother.

You see, if you want to “nurture” leads all you have to do is email them at regular intervals.

This is because the best buyers don’t need “warming up.”

Serious people are usually ready to buy from the get go.

(Not only that, if you take too long to ask for the sale you may end up losing it.)

Sending out a sequence of 3,5,10 or however many emails isn’t going do anything.

People who want your product will buy it immediately…

On the other hand you have people who are less keen.

These people will never buy or will buy at a later stage.

Converting them is far more difficult…

…but that doesn’t mean you need some special sequence of emails.

All you have to do is continue emailing them.

Doing this will build a relationship all by itself.

The bottom line is this:

Don’t worry about creating a fancy nurture email sequence.

It’s completely pointless.

People who are ready to buy will buy.

People who are less ready will buy later on.

People who were never going to buy…well…will never buy.

The most important thing is that you simply continue to email.

Whether you’re sending daily or weekly emails the idea is that you carry on going.

Over time you’ll naturally build a relationship…

…without really even trying.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton