7 Cardinal Sins Of List Building

List building can be the most rewarding job in the world.

But it can also be the most ungrateful way to spend your
time and money if you’re not careful.

Most marketers who attempt list building are digging their
own graves.


Because without even knowing it, they’re committing un-holy
sins which can only lead to poverty, misery and despair.

This episode reveals the 7 cardinal sins of list building you
ought to fix right away to build your own stairway to financial heaven.


This program is brought to you by the ThePodcastFactory.com.

Jonathan: You are listening to List Building Lifestyle with the chief List Builder himself, Mr. Igor Kheifets. What is up, brother?

Igor: Hey Jonathan. What’s up List Builders?

Jonathan: I feel like we haven’t talked in ages. You got guests on the show nowadays. You’re all fancy with all these big shots. I feel honored to be here with you today.

Igor: Well yeah, I’m guilty by association so to speak, you know. [laughter]

Jonathan: I like it, man. I like it. You’ve had a lot of cool people lined up and have even more coming up. I like how you’re mixing it up even going to two shows a week. What is the reasoning behind that Igor? Why did you decide to go to two shows a week?

Igor: Well, simply because I believe in order to keep up with what’s going on, you just got to. Society is just moving along so fast, everything is fast. I’m just struggling to keep up, I really am. The marketplace is changing so dramatically fast every single day that I said, “Look I can’t do this alone.” I’ve got to bring in some smart people that can also besides of course contributing to the show. In addition to what we’ve already got going on here, they bring a fresh perspective to the table, right? These are smart cookies, I’m talking guys like John Carlton, Andre Chaperon, these guys know what they are doing. So to have our List Builders have the complete picture, the complete puzzle if you will because in marketing in general is usually like an incomplete puzzle where you’re just given the piece or a couple of pieces and you’ve got a bunch of them missing. I decided to start inviting more guests on the show to deliver even more value so we can help our List Builders succeed faster and easier than ever before.

Jonathan: Boy that is some commitment! Most people start out with a bunch of shows and then they are like damn this is a lot of work and then cut back and you’re the opposite. You’re like this ain’t enough work, I want more. [laughter]

Igor: Honestly Jonathan, it doesn’t feel like work to me.

Jonathan: Man, that’s awesome.

Igor: You know this part of my “job” is probably the one I enjoy most, probably more than I enjoy writing emails and crafting promotions.

Jonathan: Wow!

Igor: I do enjoy getting on the phone with you, rapping about this stuff, you know inviting experts and just sitting down and having a down to earth conversation about how the marketing world really works because that’s the kind of stuff that they keep behind the curtain often enough. They don’t talk about that stuff. Just being able to openly [03:00] communicate with my guests and with my audience in a way that I don’t have to pretend I’m someone else like I actually have to when I go to those parties with my wife and people are just hypocritical and full of shit. I have to be one of them and I have to agree with them and they would talk about things like money and their jobs and I have to stand there and listen to it and actually nod my head in agreement when I don’t agree. I don’t like that. I don’t like being that sort of person.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: So this is an escape for me and it just doesn’t feel like work, man.

Jonathan: Wow, that’s says a lot especially since you like to write email. So what do you have in store for us today, Igor?

Igor: Oh today I’ve got something truly exciting. We are going to be talking about “Seven Cardinal Sins of List Building” and these are by far not all of them. I see hundreds of sins every single day when I examine campaigns and overlook what people are doing but today to keep it brief, to keep it concise and simple, you know, we are going to talk about the seven ones that annoy me the most.

Jonathan: Oh, this should be fun. [laughter] Igor is gettin’ annoyed.

Igor: Oh yeah, absolutely. I really grinds my gears. [laughter] So the first sin is when I see people collecting a name and a phone number on their squeeze page. There are two reasons why it is actually fundamentally wrong to do something like that. First off, it’s the very first thing that they see, it’s the very first thing the prospect really sees, it’s the first encounter they have with you and the first thing you do is you ask them for phone number, really? When was the last time a complete stranger when you approached them just gave you their phone number? It’s not going to happen and over the internet, come on. The trust issues in the real world are multiplied by a thousand on the internet. So obviously, no one is going to give you their real name and their real phone number just because you asked for it because you gave them no reason to yet. So that is why I prefer to collect email only which not only increases my opt in rates but also removes that pressure and I get more real emails than if I were asking for more information, okay?

Jonathan: Yeah, you know what I think is interesting, Igor, since you mentioned that these people that are collecting phone number how many of them actually use them?

Igor: No idea.

Jonathan: [laughter] They’re not picking up the phone and calling anybody. Who’re they trying to fool? [laughter]

Igor: Yeah, it’s funny like I was talking to a friend of mine who is a top earner in a company and when someone joins the company they get a phone number. So one of the biggest issues right now it turns out is that when someone joins your business opportunity through the internet is to actually get them to pick up the damn phone. No wonder to be honest because like if you don’t expect a call, you’re not picking up. I’m not picking up.

Jonathan: Right.

Igor: We got sick spam, phone spam happening right here in Israel right now. It seems like the phone companies, what they do is resell your information [06:00] to their competitors and not only their own competitors like other phone companies but the internet company, the cable company, the postman. Everybody’s got your phone number now and you’ll literally get spammed. So I downloaded this great app called “True Dialer” and so when someone calls me I can actually find out who that is even if I don’t have their number in my phonebook and like 30% of the time right now when my phone rings I don’t pick it up I just check the “True Dialer” and it’s spam. It would actually you know say something like stock market spam or cable people spam like you can actually mark numbers for other people to know about. The other day, you know who called me? The Cadillac dealership called me. Probably because I drive a Buick, probably has something to do with that but man, it’s so annoying. It’s so annoying.

Jonathan: [laughter] Oh man, cool. I didn’t mean to get you sidetracked but the phone number thing was funny.

Igor: Well, funny and annoying. So number two, sin number two, the cardinal sin which is actually going to cost you a lot of money is doing double opt in. Double opt in meaning that you require your subscribers to go and check their email and click on the confirmation link in order to get whatever it is you wanted to give them.

Now, I know this a controversial topic and I know that for example Ben Settle, you know, he’s doing double opt in when he’s giving away the “Cheat Sheet” and if it works for Ben great for me it’s a big no, no. Single opt in has always made me more money than double. I don’t know why but 70% of people just don’t confirm no matter how I try, no matter what tricks I put in place like pop ups and unblockable windows and stuff like that never helped. I could bribe them with the most amazing, sizzling hot widget and nothing just nothing. Seventy percent, best case scenario 55% still never confirm but you pay for the traffic anyway so your cost per lead doubles and you know you’d argue with me Jonathan and you’d say, “But Igor, if it’s double opt in, they probably open their emails, they’re more aggressive, they probably don’t hit the spam button as much, they don’t unsubscribe, they want to hear from you and no, there is no difference. No difference in the response rates.

Jonathan: I’m not going to argue with Igor. In fact I was running paid ads and I had double opt ins by mistake and my leads were costing me four times as much. I got smart quick and knocked that out.

Igor: Good on you, man. Good on you. You’re a very smart cookie.

Jonathan: [laughter] I don’t like throwing money away, bro. [laughter]

Igor: Yeah, show me who does, right. But never the less, I see a lot of people do double opt in out of fear. They are just afraid to piss people off. They are afraid of getting in trouble and they think that unless you double opt in a lead they will get in trouble with the spam authorities or the FTC or whatever. But that’s not true. There’s no law that say that you shouldn’t do single opt in, it just the auto-responder companies kind of enforce it sometimes [09:00] to protect themselves because people tend to abuse the system.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Igor: So the cardinal sin number 3 is not mailing every day now that is not something new of course, we’ve spoke about this many, many times before on the show but it’s worth repeating. Mail every single day. If they got on your list….

Jonathan: Ahhhh.

Igor: If they got on your list…

Jonathan: That’s scary.

Igor: They’ve got a problem and you keep talking about their problems and the solution to that problem and you’re not just talking about yourself for your system all of the time, keep mailing every day and you will make more money. Not only that, you will create a much stronger bond with your audience this way. Top of the mind awareness is what my coach, Tom Beal says you know, “As long as you’re on the top of their mind, as long as you’re constantly in their face, they cannot ignore you, they cannot forget about you.” That’s a good way to make sure that by the time they decide to take action they are going to take that action with you.

Jonathan: I can dig it.

Igor: So number four, building your list on cheap foundation. Now that is very simple. Whenever I talk to advertisers and that includes veteran advertisers by the way too, they come to me and they talk to be about ROI and so 99% of the time they talk to me about my price because that’s where they believe the ROI is at meaning as long as they can get cheap traffic they will be able to create good positive ROI. But the truth of the matter is cheap traffic never converts. Maybe you can still get cheap traffic for a limited period of time before the marketplace changes and if you have that source by all means milk it but for the most part good advertising, good leads, high quality traffic costs top dollar. So you must now playing the game on how to pay the cheapest price and still make money but now you have to get in the game of how can I pay more for a lead and still make a ton of money. So you’re basically unless you can actually buy your customers, unless you can afford to buy your leads and your customers, you really ain’t got a business in the first place.

Jonathan: Hmm.

Igor: Number five: Pay no attention to your follow up sequence. That seems like list building 101, Jonathan but …

Jonathan: [laughter] What? You’ve got to follow up? What is this shit?

Igor: Come on, how many times do I need to repeat myself and say you absolutely have to follow up with the leads. That’s the purpose of building a list in the first place. They will not buy from you on the very first time they encounter your offer or yourself. They will probably be skeptical as hell when they see your offer and they see your videos or read your emails. So you have to win them over by proper communication and positions which we are going to be discussing in future episodes very, very soon. So you can never, ever, ever underestimate the importance of a great carefully crafted strategic follow up sequence because [12:00] that is like where 70% of your sales will come through. I’ve told you, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Wow.

Igor: How I’ve had this lady reach out to me saying how she’s been on my list for one year and eight months.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Igor: And she finally, finally summed up the courage to buy her first ad.

Jonathan: Let me ask you something specifically here, Igor that I’m sure the List Builders are interested in. So when you get somebody who comes in wherever the traffic source is do you put them through a sort of like welcome campaign or soap opera sequence like Andre Chaperon will talk about or do they go straight into your dailies?

Igor: Well, they go straight into my dailies and what I do is I do what Perry Marshall says you should do and that is talk about their problems. I try to spend a lot of time in my prospect’s world as Ben Settle says you should do and as the Jim Camp, the world’s most bad ass negotiator, you know he talks about how a negotiation – in the negotiation process you have to spend a lot of time or all of your time in the adversaries world. So I try to always at all times send out emails that talk about problems, experiences, insecurities and fears and commonalities is that relate directly to my target audience. It’s rare for me to do a soap opera sequence. I was never good at that stuff; it’s too complicated for me.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: We have featured an episode with Andre Chaperon where we spoke about this but I was never ever good at soap operas. I can’t open the loop, I can’t close the loop. I can’t tell a story.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: I mean I can lose track halfway through the story and have to be reminded where I left off. So I’m not the best person to be telling these long soap opera-style stories. I just mail every day and my emails are not ever connected in between meaning that today I might email about something and the next day I will email about something completely different and I can interchange them. So can actually build a sequence, a follow up sequence like 100 days long if I wanted to out of all my daily emails. They are just a good fit because they always talk about the prospects problems.

Jonathan: Yeah, so what you’re describing there is what Russell Brunson calls the “Seinfeld” style where it’s an email about nothing just what went on today, except you’re in their world talking about their problems, focusing on them.

Igor: Well, it might seem like it’s about nothing but obviously it clicks a button so it is about something that they care about. We talk a lot about how long the pitch is supposed to be, how long the email is supposed to be, how long the sales letter is supposed to be and I had this argument just earlier today with Dennis. We are working on your page and I’m looking at the page like dude something is weird about this page. I just wrote the copy for it yesterday I think something is missing. He’s like, “Oh yeah, I had this part that you put in right here.” It was really two paragraphs and he is like, “I took it out”.

Jonathan: Ooo!

Igor: I was like, [15:00] “Why would you do that?”

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: And he’s like, “Well, because it was too long.” I’m like, “Who cares if it’s long?” If it’s interesting to them and if you talk about what they want to hear like if you say things they want to hear, if you talk about their problems, if you spend time in their world, they will read the copy, they will read the emails, they will listen to the videos and they will listen to podcasts probably so never, ever, ever just you know feel like that so anyway that was a side note.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: But back to the emails, you can say these emails are about nothing because you sort of like make content if you would will. I don’t like the word “content” but like you create communication out of nothing like a conversation happens about things that aren’t necessarily considered to be high quality content where you give them like tutorials and hard teaching but it’s communication at its best that really, really gets the attention and holds the attention and drives the prospect to action which in my case of course is clicking that link.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Igor: Number six: Chase instant profits. This is another huge sin. Inexperienced advertisers believe that you’re supposed to make all of your money back right away meaning that they want to purchase a solo ad or a Facebook ad or whatever and they want to make all of their money back immediately and reinvest that right back into the business. That’s how they believe how you’re supposed to grow a business.

Now 50 years ago, you’d be right to assume that. You’d probably grow a business because the cost of advertising was much lower, the competition was less fierce. The marketplace wasn’t as saturated as most marketplaces are today with the developing of the internet and mobile apps and stuff like that. Even the podcast market place, Jonathan, you’re the podcast guy, tell them how difficult it is to climb up the categories and the charts right now if you have a podcast.

Jonathan: Yeah, it’s so saturated like you said. It’s like everybody and their grandmother is putting out a new resource, a new show. How do you wade through all of that? You got to have a very clear message or you’ve got to have that what you’re describing there the opportunity mindset which is no good. You’ve got to have that investor mindset or that long term approach at this.

Igor: Absolutely and you want to create an affinity towards your brand. You want to create a bond. You want to basically create attachment to the message that you’re putting out. Now that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not like an instant click which it might be for like 5% of the people you’re communicating with but for most people it will take some time. You have to grow on them if you will.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: So they have to consume you for a little bit before they even listen to you. When I was selling coaching, I found myself talking to people and I’m saying all the right things [18:00] textbook-wise, the sales textbook, I was saying all of the right things. The thing was I was not closing those deals. Until I realized, you know, they were drifting away by the time I was getting into something important. So it was only with the folks that really consumed at least a weeks’ maybe two weeks’ worth of me as in emails, videos and any other style of communication that actually listened. We ended up having a conversation. But the run of the mill prospects, the people that were sort of like bypassing, they were never on my list, never seen anything that I ever put out. There was no conversation. It was me just talking to a wall. They would nod of course. They would nod their head, metaphorically of course because it was all done over the phone but they would say “yes” and mhh mhh. But I was not getting through their skull if you will. I was not getting to their mind and heart.

This is the difference between the good list, a list that behaves and a list that doesn’t is that you can actually get to their heart. Now this is why chasing instant profits is such a mistake. The experienced advertisers especially in the internet marketing space know that the profits come from the back end. The breakeven comes midway through and you know for the most part you acquire leads and customers at a loss of some sort depending how big it is you can minimize that. My best customer who has been reinvesting all of this money back into advertising usually gets close to about 70 to 90 % breakeven but even he is not breaking even completely until a couple of weeks down the road until the backend kicks in and he makes those big sales.

Jonathan: Wow!

Igor: So those slack adjuster sales if you will.

Jonathan: Man, that’s some amazing insight, there.

Igor: Last but not least we got the use of deceptive subject lines. That sort of goes without saying, right? But I guess people still don’t get this that to use a deceptive subjective line once and they’re going to fall for it but guess what is going to happen? The trust has been breached. There was a violation of expectation. And the next email you send out is unlikely, unlikely to get opened.

Jonathan: Click bait.

Igor: That’s right, click bait. There used to be a time several years ago when I tried this. I was really desperate some clicks. Things were changing for me, weren’t going too well and I tried this for a brief period of time. I got to tell you first off, you just killed the list almost instantly. Second, it just feels bad, it feels yucky. I walked away from my computer feeling very dirty.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: Every time I sent out a deceptive email like that so I quit doing that. I started over from scratch and before you know it the quality and longevity of leads grew over time there was bond, [21:00] more sales, more engagement and I never went to click bait, never went back to click bait ever since.

Jonathan: Wow. Good stuff. So Igor what do you have coming up for us next time?

Igor: Well, next time, we got something sweet coming up actually. I’m going to be talking to a person who is very dear to my heart, Ross Bowring. This guy, first off, he taught me how to write copy. He was the first person I was ever able to sit down on a Skype call. He would take my copy, rip it apart. He is the only guy in the world that made me cry. He was really ruthless. I remember there was one time I wrote a piece of copy and I was really proud of it. I was jumping up and down, I sent him the word file, we got on the call and he said, he’s very cool and laid back guy, and he says, “Hmm, yeah, this is good but it can be better.” The next thing he is doing. He rewrites the whole thing. I’m talking 16 pages, 16 pages of copy and he rewrote that in I think 2 hours and I’ve watched him do it when he shared the screen. Man, the guy is unmatched. You know he’s way, way, way up there alongside the John Carletons, Dan Kennedys and the guys who lead the way. He is one of those and he is one of my heroes so I’m really excited about the upcoming episode.

Jonathan: All right, sounds awesome. That is a wrap for List Building Lifestyle. We will be back in your earbuds shortly.

Thanks for tuning into The List Building Lifestyle show, if you’re digging what you’re hearing your next step is to go to iTunes and in the search bar type List Building Lifestyle. You’ll see Igor’s face smiling at you. Go ahead and click on that, subscribe to the show and if you’re feeling really generous and you want to help us out, give us your ratings and review to help other smart people like you find the show. Thanks for tuning in and we will see you on the next one.

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Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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