The $1,000,000 Question: How to Build a Killer Email List?

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Ever felt lost in the whirlwind of list building, desperately seeking the elusive formula for success? Imagine toiling endlessly with content creation, mastering web platforms, and waging a social media battle to attract visitors to your site, only to find them slipping away without converting. That’s the conundrum we’re tackling in this episode. Igor shares his journey, navigating the two divergent paths of free strategies and the high-stakes world of paid traffic. But the real twist lies in the fascinating realm of customer habits, drawn from the passion of car enthusiasts, revealing the incredible potential of upselling—introducing additional products at precisely the right moment. If you’re ready to decode list building and supercharge your marketing strategy, this episode is your compass in the digital wilderness.

[00:00] In this episode, Igor discusses his experiences and challenges with list building, which refers to the process of creating and growing a mailing list of subscribers for marketing purposes. 

[01:23] Cracking the Code of List Building:

  • At one point, I found myself in the same position as many others, trying to crack the code of list building. I realized that there were essentially two routes to take. First, the free route, which required an immense amount of content creation.

  • I embarked on this path and for approximately a year, I went all out. I was blogging fervently every day, learning the ins and outs of WordPress, and optimizing my website to rank for various keywords. As a result, I started receiving a few hundred visitors daily.

  • However, the problem was that these visitors weren’t converting into a list of subscribers. Something was amiss; the bounce rate was high. 

[01:53] A Year of Content Creation and Frustration:

  • However, here’s the catch: while I was successful in attracting visitors, the challenge lay in turning them into subscribers. There seemed to be a disconnect.

  • Despite my efforts, I couldn’t convert these visitors into paying customers or engaged subscribers. I even tried to bolster my strategy with a social media approach, putting in considerable elbow grease. But the core issue remained – these visitors just weren’t transforming into responsive subscribers.
  • After a year of intense effort, my list had grown to about 1,000 people. However, when I sent out emails to this list, the results were disheartening. 
  • It was evident that there was no engagement or response from my audience. Frustrated by this outcome, I made the tough decision to scrap the list and start fresh.

[02:43] The Pivot to Paid Traffic:

  • That’s when I ventured into paid traffic, hoping for a different outcome. However, I quickly realized that this path came with its own set of challenges, primarily the substantial cost involved.
  • This concept resonates strongly with me. I recall one of the newsletters that made a similar point, highlighting that the best customer to buy a Cadillac is often the person who already owns four Cadillacs.

  • It’s fascinating how people develop these habits and stick to them. For instance, I had a mentor who was a Corvette enthusiast. He subscribed to the Corvette magazine, bought a second Corvette, and eventually sold one of his Corvettes just to make room for a third one. It’s amusing, but it makes perfect sense.
  • What you’re getting at is that the person most likely to purchase your product is someone who has recently bought a similar product. This pattern applies not only to cars but also to other areas like food, supplements, and various consumer goods. Customers tend to follow this pattern in their buying decisions.

[04:37] The Power of Customer Habits:

  • Now, some may mistakenly believe that if someone else acquires a customer, it means they’ve lost that customer. But the truth is, when someone else warms up the customer, it actually benefits you.

  • The ideal time to introduce another product to your customer is right after they’ve made their initial purchase.

  • I learned this when I built my own sales funnel and started selling my own product. Initially, I had just one product in the pipeline, a low-cost one priced at $9.95. But then I began thinking, “How can I maximize my earnings with more traffic?” So, I decided to introduce an upsell, another informational product. It turned out that 25% to 30% of people who bought the first product also purchased the second one. This was a clear sign that I was onto something.
  • Over time, that funnel expanded into a four-offer funnel. Remarkably, with the same amount of traffic, it started generating significantly more revenue. This is precisely how you achieve exponential growth, as you mentioned.

[06:03] Igor’s Book On Email Marketing:



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.