Affiliate Marketing

Building A Super-Responsive Mailing List

5 Lessons Intermediate

About this course

This is how to do it from scratch, and on an ongoing basis:

1. Decide on the narrow audience of people that you are going to target.

This is the single-biggest thing that most marketers do WRONG by going to wide. But if you DO it,  it will basically REMOVE any indecision about what products you should create or what you should promote to your list…

…because everything you do will be geared up, aimed at, and PERFECT for your list.

I focus on people who want a lifestyle business . They want simplicity and they want to be able to make just enough money to free them up from the 9-5 jobs (at least to start with)

Every product I create or promote is aimed at that group of people.

And I don’t really have to sell anymore, I just let them know when a product that suits them is available and watch the money hit my bank account.

Even better, I’m genuinely helping them at the same time and don’t ever have to sell them on a product that they don’t need. I sleep well at night :)

2. Become an expert in the subject you’re selling.

Because you’re selling to a very narrow audience of people (kite-makers, CPA nerds, German Shepherd breeders, beard-care) you can become an expert very quickly (couple of weeks) by reading everything you need to know and joining every group and forum you can find.

It happens by osmosis almost, especially if you’re interested in it.

Example - some years back when I was looking to buy a small second-hand yacht, I had my mind fixed on a Westerly Centaur because it was a basic, simple boat that I could teach my kids to sail in yet was big enough for us to spend a few nights away from home in her comfortably.

I read everything I could about this boat from websites, blogs, forums, user groups, sales reviews and every where I could find. I had a test sail in one and visited several marinas and spoke to owners.

Within 2 weeks I found I was becoming an expert and knew more about this model than a lot of other sailors did.

I knew about the way you could differentiate between versions by the shape of the portholes, I knew the weaknesses to look for in the coachroof lining when buying a second hand Centaur so you didn’t end up with leaks, I knew which pre-installed engines were the best option and which could give you trouble, etc etc

In short I knew more than enough to produce a very good buyers guide to second hand Centaurs. I also knew which add-on products new buyers would need and whether they had affiliate programs or not ;)

Because it was a small niche I was able to become an expert very quickly

And that’s what you need to do.

Become an expert in the things your list wants/need to know.

Which is another reason to go into a niche or subject area you’re interested in. How great to be immersed in your hobby or area of interest all day, full-time for a living?

3. Sell Without Selling

There’s an easy way to do this.

If you’re targeting a narrow group of people you’re halfway there as discussed above, but there’s an addition you can make that will seal the deal:

Entertain Them.

Forget only including content in  your emails. Even if it’s highly relative to your market, sending dry, boring content emails every day (and you should be mailing daily) is going to bore the pants off your list.

You every wondered why I tell awful jokes, include stories about my life, weird facts, funny, sexy or shocking stories in my emails?

Because people respond to these.

Forget experts who say you won’t be taken seriously if you wander ‘off topic’ or that you must build authority and respect ?

It’s a load of balls.

People read newspapers, watch TV and browse the internet for entertainment more than ANY other reason (yes including porn)

We’re human beings and have been telling jokes, bawdy stories and entertaining each other since long before Chaucer or Shakespeare, and nothing has changed today.

Don’t get me wrong - you MUST teach too, you must inform and help people but for the most part entertain, tell stories and make it interesting and watch the results.

If you’ve been on my list for any length of time you’ll know I’ve done this for years. I wouldn’t have done it for so long if it didn’t work bloody well!

Luckily most email marketers have no idea that this works or don’t have the guts to try.

4. Create An Email Schedule

I used to do this extensively when I first realised the power of email marketing. I still do it but it’s very gut-feel based now.

Here’s how to do it.

Just keep a schedule of WHAT you’re going to mail on each day of the week.

I don’t mean what the actual content it, just the feel of the email.

For example:

Monday - Start your email with a joke

Tuesday - Tell a personal story

Wednesday - Tell a story about the niche you’re in (research)

Thursday - Make it a motivational email

and so on.

Remember you should include a link to click and a product or service to buy in every email you send, but the way you WRAP your offer must be entertaining.

Every day go look at your list and you’ll see that Monday you need to start with a joke - so go and find one and use it to begin your email.

It won’t write your email for you but it’ll let you know what kind of email you need to compose.

5. My Trick For Getting That ‘Personal’ Feel

This is easy but WOW it’s powerful.

To get the personal feel that I (think) I have in my emails, you just need to find yourself a ‘Bob’

This can be someone you know or a made-up character of the ideal person you wish to target.

And when you write your emails, FORGET that you’re writing it to a 10,000 strong list, and just imagine you’re writing a personal email to Bob.

Dump any formal language you might use because it won’t seem natural.

Have you seen crime witnesses interviewed by TV reports and they’ll say

And then we saw the suspect proceeding northwards in a suspicious manner after the offence took place’.

Who the hell speaks like that in real life???

It’s because they’re in front of a camera and feel they should be formal.

Also look at the scene in The Wolf Of Wall Street where Jordan Belfort’s dad affects a British accent whenever he answers the phone to see what I mean!

Yet most email marketers turn into formal (boring) writers when it comes to sending emails. If you don’t fall into the trap you instantly gain an advantage.

6. Sell In Every Email

How does this help your list to be responsive?

Because if you get your entertainment and content levels right, they won’t care that there’s a sales link in every email.

What they don’t like, and what you don’t like and I certainly don’t like, are blatant pitches in every email.

As long as you’re building relationships with people, and your emails are interesting, engaging and entertaining, they’ll come to expect a sales link in every email and it won’t be a problem.

Yes, I’m talking a link to your product in every single email you send.

The traditional ‘send two content emails then a pitch, then three more contentemails before you send another pitch’ approach is old hat and people just use it without thinking or testing.

(More good news for us)

Here’s the reality:

Content is everywhere these days, and it’s free.

But paid content - the act of BUYING information - is what motivates people to take action. You pay for an info product, you value it.

Your list understand this more than you think they do - and they WANT to see your offers. It won’t bug them - that’s WHY they’re on your list!

Besides, not every email you send is going to be opened by every person on your list every time. Nowhere near in fact.

Even your rabid fans don’t open every email they get from you.

That’s just the way it is.

So think about this -  if you don’t put a link to your product in every email you send, then quite simply that’s an email where you just lost a potential sale.

The trick is to engage and entertain – and then subtly promote your product with a little blurb at the end of the email. You’ll have seen me not mentioning any product until I come to the P.S. section of the email. That works extremely well.

As long as you’re emailing often, and engaging your subscribers, they certainly won’t mind you putting a link to your product in every email.

And if they do, and if they unsubscribe, so what?

There’s no point in marketing to people who don’t want to buy your products?

Put a link in every product.

7. The Content And The Offer Don’t Have To Be Connected

It’s always nice if you can segue into an offer from a nicely crafted content email but the truth is it’s bloody hard to do.

I’ve successfully told jokes about religion that sway nicely into a promo for one of my products. See what I mean below:

It’s all about getting their attention then redirecting that attention onto your product.

It doesn’t have to be related at all, although you can link ANY content to ANY offer using phrases such as

‘And speaking of interesting items…’


‘Now here’s ANOTHER thing you should pay attention to’

They’re clunky but as your experience grows you’ll find connector words and phrases of your own that really work and your list gets used to.

Grab their attention then redirect it to your offer.

8. No unsubscribes? Then it’s not working…

You just have to look at your OWN reactions to unsubscribing.

What do you do if you’re subscribed to a marketer who’s emails are so boring, gouging your own eyeballs out with a chocolate dildo seems like a fun afternoon?

You unsubscribe of course.

So why wouldn’t you expect your OWN subscribers to do the same if you’re not keeping your eye on the ball?

The second reason is more productive:


Your attraction/repulsion machine (discussed earlier) should be constantly switched on. This means you’ll resonate with many people on your list with every email you send, but you’ll also REPELL those who don’t understand or like your message.

So unsubs is a healthy sign that this is happening.

I constantly get emails from people who don’t like that I use swear words, sex words in my emails, or take the piss out of royalty, religion and other professions that involve silly hats.

I usually ignore these and smile. Because I’m being true to myself.

Trust me, if you meet me in the pub for a pint I’m not going to suddenly turn into a politically correct model citizen :)

Likewise if you ever read an email from a marketer apologising for saying something in a previous email then keep a wary eye on him (unless it’s a sales device) because the chances are he’s responding to a complaint or two.

And that means he’s not confident in what he does and thinks.

I don’t want to learn from someone like that. Do you?

They’re pleasers. And that means they’re more likely to be saying what they think people want to hear, NOT what they should be saying, which is the truth.

You will also get unsubscribes because they don’t like YOU.

This is possibly the hardest one to take when you start marketing. But you already know not everyone you meet in life will like you, so why should you think it will be any different online.

They wouldn’t have bought from you anyway. That’s the cliche you hear from the experts right?

But they never tell you WHY they wouldn’t have bought from you.

Here’s why:

Because they won’t buy FROM you until they buy YOU.

And you don’t buy from people you don’t like or respect.

Another good reason for being the TRUE YOU in your email marketing.

which brings us on to the next point:

9. Stop Being Professional - Get Casual.

The next biggest reason for people unsubscribing from my list is calling me ‘unprofessional’. They think typos, bad language, lack of ‘proper’ photographs of me and the like mean I’m unprofessional.

I once had an argument with an old style guru, (who in his defence was a complete nobber and couldn’t really help himself)…

He said that when you present on stage you should always wear a suit because it looks professional, and promotes trust.

When I pointed out that the suit-wearers in my life also happen to be the people who try to take money from me in the form of tax men or officials or sell me shit I don’t want upset him a bit and he spilt a beer down the front of his suit in anger. Wouldn’t have to to dry-clean a T-shirt eh?

In short, and especially in you’re in the IM niche, ‘slick’ feels mucky.

It feels like someone is trying to fleece you.

If I watch a video of someone in a suit using formal language and being very earnest I instant make sure my wallet is still in place because it’s WRONG for this time in business history.

When the head of Apple and Facebook (to name just two) speak and dress informally you have to wonder why ‘professional’ and formal still cuts it at all.

Sure your behind the scenes SYSTEMS and FUNNELS should be professional, but I honestly believe that your persona and delivery (unless you’re in the funeral industry), simply CANNOT be too formal or appear too professional because it actively works against you when it comes to resonating with your list.

In email marketing terms this means making your emails casual and friendly

I realise that will rankle with some people but you have to get your personality across.

10. ALWAYS Keep A Swipe File

I’ve made tens of thousands od dollars - maybe hundreds of thousands - from repurposing emails I sent years ago.

Hell just this week I’m getting amazing comments, sales and subscribers from re-purposing old emails to my list,  onto my Facebook page for new readers to see.

Once you’ve written a good email, you can use it time and time again.

Whatever offer you use in your P.S. after a GOOD email will convert better because you’re diverting all the positive, feel-good energy into your offer link.

11. ASK Them To Get In Touch

This one simple thing has made a HUGE difference to my business.

If you look on most of my emails you’ll see the line (just before the sign-off) that says:

“As always, if you’ve any Q’s just hit reply and I’ll do my best to help”

Or something like that. But the whole thing of me being available has been just MASSIVE when it comes to my list being responsive, making sales and getting feedback.

The thing of course is you have to DO the replying that you promise, but since this builds a relationship with your list it’s no major hassle.

Not to mention the sales and coaching jobs that come out of it.

It also (I’m reliably told) lets companies such as Gmail know that your email is from a trusted source ;)

So go build a super-responsive list.


Because most marketers never do.


Learn more

Course Structure

List Building


So if you took away all my products, my sites, the content I’ve written, my blog, and even my beloved MacBook…

Took away everything, except for my email list, I’d be back and earning good money within days.

That’s the power of having a responsive email list.

List Building

Do Squeeze Pages Still Work?

Yes and no

The mistake is the process of putting up a squeeze page offering a lead magnet that appeals to an audience that is TOO WIDE in an attempt to get new subscribers.

List Building

How To Consistently Out-Sell Your Competition With Your Emails

This is so simple to do, yet because most marketers who think they have an ‘individual style’ are actually herd animals, this following method is easy to win with because VERY FEW do it:

List Building

But You Haven’t Mentioned How To Actually Build A List Yet

Actually I have.

I’ve already given you quite a bit of info about how you should set the level of your list, who you want to repel or attract and how everything you do should scream out who you are.

List Building

Pulling All This Together Into A Strategy For Building A Super-Responsive Email List From Scratch

This is how to do it from scratch, and on an ongoing basis:

1. Decide on the narrow audience of people that you are going to target.