How I Survived 49 Email Autoresponder Bans
Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, a podcast
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Welcome back to another addition of the List Building Lifestyle with your host, Igor Kheifets. So if you're an email marketer, and especially if you're an affiliate marketer, or if you're promoting online income opportunities or network marketing opportunities, or anything controversial like weight loss or supplements, anything, you will eventually get banned by your email auto-responder provider or by your email ISP or whatever. So I mean I've been doing email marketing for what, ten years now, successfully for about seven or eight, and one of the most common things that all internet marketers or email marketers share in common, is that we all eventually get banned from pretty much everywhere.
So I've been banned literally from every place imaginable, including the Warrior Forum, including Aweber, Get Response, Infusion Soft have banned me twice. The first time, the very first ban that I got was from Imnica Mail. And I don't think that that company even exists anymore. But Imnica Mail was an up and coming auto-responder that wanted to help affiliate marketers and they were really doing well, when they first got started for two reasons. The first reason is they allowed you to import their list. So you didn't really need to prove that it was your list, you could just get a list anywhere and import it. Although it helped if you did prove that it was your list actually.
But the second thing that they allowed you to do, was they allowed you to change your from name and email every single time you sent out an email. And they actually allowed you to mail from anywhere, anywhere that you wanted. Meaning that if your name is John Doe and your email is [email protected], then you could have easily changed your from name in that auto-responder to Jane Doe and emailed from [email protected] even if janedoe.com doesn't exist. And Imnica Mail didn't check that.
Now that was a big mistake, as they later discovered because what it created ... I mean just all hell broke loose as a result. And I remember, at the time I was just kind of picking up pace with my online business. And I got into this mentoring relationship with a friend, well who later became a friend obviously, but who showed me the ropes of SO lists and list building. And so this person says, "Okay so you've got this list on Aweber for about 5000 people, why don't you import it into Imnica Mail and email that list with a different from name?" I'm like "What? Are you allowed to do that?" And he's like "Yeah. Just sign up here and here's what you do."
So what I've done is I've started an Imnica Mail account and I started mailing that list under a different from name. And often times, I didn't even use my name or anyone's name. I just used things like Access System. I just used really generic phrases and it worked. It worked like gang busters. Because I literally doubled my income within just a week. I started generating twice as many clicks, things were great, life was great. I felt free. I felt like I was really succeeding. So the next thing I've done was the only logical thing to do and I started another Imnica Mail account. I imported the same list and I started mailing out lists from yet another from name. And I'm not sure exactly how I came up with that idea, but eventually I did something really stupid.
So what I've done is, I started mailing that list, through Imnica Mail, pretending to be the Warrior Forum. Basically what I made the message look like, I went into my Warrior Forum inbox ... Because the Warrior Forum has an internal inbox, internal messenger system just like any forum platform. And I copied and pasted the entire layout of the message. And whenever I would email that list, and I would do it once a day, it would look like it's coming from the Warrior Forum, but it's endorsing a Warrior Forum product.
So at the time, you could also sign up to promote the Warrior Forum products. They were called W-SOS, so Warrior Special Offers, and most of these W-SOS had some sort of an affiliate program attached to them. So it could have been a $10 or $20 product that paid out 70 or 80 or even 100% commissions. So I would basically pretend to be the Warrior Forum, I would email that list and I would make a ton of sales. I would literally make 40, 50, sometimes 80 sales from a single email, endorsing a product, pretending to be the Warrior Forum.
Until obviously, Imnica Mail caught up and shut me down. Shut down both of my accounts, didn't want to do anything, didn't want to have anything in common with me. Eventually by the way, the owner of the Warrior Forum found out as well, a couple of years later. And he said "People are telling me you're emailing and you're pretending to be the Warrior Forum," et cetera. I was like "Yeah but that was like three years ago when I was an idiot." He's like "Oh cool."
So he was really cool about it, thankfully. But yeah I did all these stupid things for sure and at the time they made sense because all I wanted to do was I wanted to make some money.
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Not to mention that going through these experiences, I kind of look back at it now, taught me a bunch of really cool lessons about what email marketing is, what email marketing isn't and what you can and cannot do. And what it really taught me, one of the best things that I learned in those years, was that the auto-responder companies aren't necessarily interested in you making money, right. They don't really care whether you make money or not. They just want you to play by the rules and all they want is for you to preserve the quality of their IP addresses and for you to play it so you don't get spam complaints.
Now if you play this game with the mindset or the purpose of not getting spam complaints, and not getting unsubscribes, then obviously you're not going to get ahead. Or you're just not going to make money because then it doesn't make any sense to mail at all. So I must have been banned for like 49 times and that's just an estimate right, it's probably a little bit more. And what I learned from this entire experience is that no ban is ever fatal. When they tell you, you can't mail anymore, it's never the last thing about your business. It's not going to end you. It's not going to ruin you. And here's why.
With email marketing, the one thing you have that you don't have with pretty much any other strategy, is control. You don't have control over Facebook, you don't have control over AdWords, you don't have control over any of these networks because they control both the audience and the means of getting in front of the audience. But as an email marketer, you do have that control. Because even if you get banned from say Get Response, or Aweber, you still get to keep your list. And then all you need to do is find another platform to import your list into. And as long as there is relationship between you and your audience, you will be back on track within just a day or two.
I've had it happen so many times now that getting banned from auto-responders is just no longer something that shoots up my blood pressure or anything like that. It used to. It used to be the scariest thing, that I've ever ... I mean I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, checking my Aweber account and making sure that I still have it. Because at the time I had like 100,000 opt-in Aweber account that was making me a lot of money every day. But even that account got banned eventually. I woke up one day and that account was no more and when I contacted them, I pleaded, I almost cried on the phone, I begged. I said "Let me talk to Josh. Let me convince him." It was no use. It was really no use because you see there's, again the purpose of the auto-responder companies is not to help you make money.
Just like the purpose of Facebook ads, just like the purpose of AdWords is not to help you make money. It is always to create a user experience for the end-user, which is not you. You are the marketer. You are the person who wants to bend the rules in order to get in front of that audience, in order to make as much money as possible while those companies try to preserve their reputation, their whatever, whatever they're doing at that time. So Facebook wants more user engagement, auto-responder companies want to preserve their IPs. Point being is that, they will never run their business with you being the highest priority. Even though you're the person who's paying their bills.
They will always run their business with their own priorities in mind, no matter what. But again, the good news is that, what I'm seeing right now is that the industry is changing. Because I'm seeing at least three other companies, three new auto-responder companies that are rising, that will in 2019, really push back and really give a fight to a lot of the old dogs in the market, like Get Response and Aweber and Infusion Soft. A lot of these companies will lose clientele for these up-and-comers because the up-and-comers are now building their companies with the user, with us, with the marketers in mind. Of which I'm really, really hopeful that they will succeed and I will support them by inviting their founders and CEOs onto this show, by endorsing their services to my audiences.
So you will be hearing more from me about that and I just wanted to share that. If you got banned in the past, if you just got banned, if you're expecting to get banned, don't worry because the marketplace is rolling in the right direction and things are looking up.
so on that optimistic note, it's time to end the show. This is Igor Kheifets, thank you so much for your time and attention today and until next time want you to have a good one.
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