7 Cardinal Sins Of List Building

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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. Why? Without even knowing it, they’re committing unholy sins which can only lead to poverty, misery, and despair. But fret not, for within the folds of this episode lies the illumination you seek. We delve into the very essence of these transgressions, revealing the 7 cardinal sins of list building that have ensnared the unsuspecting marketer.

[00:00] In this episode, Igor points out the mistakes list builders unknowingly make that can be detrimental to their success, leading to negative outcomes such as financial difficulties and unhappiness.

[01:05] Advice For List Builders:

  • Believing in the necessity of staying informed and current with prevailing trends, I find it imperative to keep pace. The rapid advancement of society and the accelerated pace of various domains demand continuous attention.
  • It’s not merely a matter of augmenting the existing initiatives, but also introducing an innovative outlook to the proceedings.

[03:39] Igor Loves His Job:

  • This facet of my work, which entails conversations like ours at present, resonates deeply with me.
  • Engaging with experts and engaging in candid dialogues about the inner workings of the marketing landscape is invigorating. These conversations often unveil concealed dimensions that remain hidden from public view.
  • This platform allows me to communicate openly with both my guests and the audience, void of any need for pretense.
  • Here, authenticity reigns supreme, and the experience is gratifyingly devoid of laborious undertones.

[04:09] The Problem With Leads:

  • This practice entails soliciting not only a name but also a phone number on initial contact via squeeze pages. There are fundamental concerns associated with this approach.
  • The foremost challenge is the impression it creates at the outset of the interaction. Typically, this is the initial encounter between the prospect and oneself.
  • Surprisingly, the initial request is for the prospect’s phone number—a rather audacious move. Particularly in the realm of the internet, where trust is a rare commodity, such expectations are unrealistic.
  • My preference lies in exclusively acquiring email addresses. This approach yields not only higher opt-in rates but also diminishes undue pressure. Compelled disclosure of extensive information often undermines results.

[06:30] The Concept Of Double Opt-In:

  • Double opt-in necessitates confirmation of email subscriptions through the activation of a link present in a confirmation email.
  • While this approach is endorsed by some, such as Ben Settle for his “Cheat Sheet,” it contradicts my preferred practice.
  • Single opt-in consistently yields superior results in my experience. Even employing strategies like pop-ups or unblockable windows scarcely improves confirmation rates.
  • Invariably, around 70% decline to confirm, with the best-case scenario hovering around 55%. This inflates lead costs without proportionate benefits. The presumption of greater engagement among double opt-in leads often proves inaccurate.

[10:30] How To Approach The Initial Sequence Of Interactions With New Leads?

  • I adopt a direct approach, plunging into my daily emails without an intermediary sequence. From the outset, I address their predicaments, experiences, insecurities, and fears, establishing a connection based on mutual understanding. This modus operandi resonates better with my strategy than the conventional soap opera sequence. My emails exhibit autonomy, often not interconnected. Yet, they consistently address my target audience’s concerns.

[17:02] The Overwhelming Volume Of Content:

  • It seems like everyone, including their grandmothers, is constantly releasing new material. Actually, I was going to refer to it as “content,” but we’ve moved away from that term.
  • People are continually putting out new resources, and new shows, and it’s challenging to navigate this sea of information.
  • To do that successfully, you must have a very clear message. Or, as you mentioned, you need to adopt the opportunity mindset, which isn’t effective; you need that investor mindset, that long-term approach.

[17:27] Building Connection Over Time:

  • Your goal is to cultivate a deep connection with your brand, to create a bond, and essentially, to foster attachment to the message you’re conveying.
  • However, this isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s not an instant click for most people, although it might be for about 5% of your audience. For the majority, it takes time.
  • You have to grow on them, so to speak, before they really start to listen to you. I’ve had numerous instances when I was selling coaching services, where I found myself saying all the right things, according to the sales textbook.
  • However, I wasn’t closing those deals until I realized that by the time I got to something important, they were already losing interest.
  • So, it was only with those individuals who had consumed at least a week or maybe even two weeks’ worth of my content, such as emails, videos, and other forms of communication, that I was able to engage in meaningful conversations.
  • On the other hand, with the run-of-the-mill prospects, those who had barely seen anything I had put out, there was no conversation. It felt like talking to a wall. This is the distinction between a responsive list and an unresponsive one – the ability to truly connect with their hearts.
  • This is why chasing instant profits is such a huge mistake. Experienced advertisers, particularly in the field of internet marketing, understand that profits come from the backend, breakeven happens midway, and for the most part, you acquire leads and customers at some level of loss, depending on how substantial it is.
  • Of course, you can minimize this loss. My best customer, who reinvests all his earnings back into advertising, typically achieves a breakeven of about 70% to 90%, but he doesn’t break even completely until a few weeks down the road when the backend sales kick in. It’s those backend sales that make all the difference.

[19:51] Using Deceptive Subject Lines:

  • Using a deceptive subject line may get you a click once, but it comes at a cost – trust is broken, and expectations are violated.
  • The next email you send out is unlikely to get opened because of that breach of trust. It’s essentially clickbait.
  • I felt uncomfortable every time I sent out a deceptive email. So, I stopped doing it. I started over from scratch, building lists the right way.
  • Over time, the quality and longevity of leads improved, there was more bonding, more sales, and more engagement, and I never returned to clickbait tactics again.

[23:00] Listen To More Episodes:



Igor Kheifets is an amazon best-selling author of the List Building Lifestyle: Confessions of an Email Millionaire.

He’s also the host of List Building Lifestyle, the podcast for anyone who wants to make more money and have more freedom by leveraging the power of an email list

He’s widely referred to as the go-to authority on building large responsive email lists in record time.

Igor’s passionate about showing people how to live the List Building Lifestyle.