Edition #55 – 5/29/2006
Lately we’ve been talking a lot about list building. Today I want to review a certain list-building strategy that I tried recently, and that you should avoid like the plague…
Don’t buy a co-reg list!
First of all, what is “co-reg”? Co-reg is short for co-registration, and it comes in several different forms.
Essentially, co-registration is when a person subscribes to one email publication and is simultaneously subscribed to others. Sometimes it is called co-reg when marketers mutually send subscribers to each other’s opt-in pages (this is explained in Keith Wellman’s ListFX manual), but that’s not what I’m talking about. That’s really more of a co-promo than a co-registration.
In the best case scenario, a co-reg would involve voluntarily checking boxes where the specific co-reg publication is named. In other words, the subscriber knows exactly what they’re getting.
However, in most cases it involves checking a box in order to get more information about a certain topic, without knowing exactly what you’ll be getting. You can easily see this practice if you sign up for Hotmail or almost any free email provider. They ask you to check the boxes which correspond to your interests.
Unbeknownst to most users, they are registering for any number of ezines and other email publications, which will soon be flooding their inbox.
In other cases, there is no “box checking” involved. The terms of service (a tiny link at the bottom of the page) explains that they will be sharing or selling your information to other companies.
What may happen then is they will sell these leads to spammers, or to legitimate internet marketers like me who haven’t learned their lesson yet.
Let me tell you about my experience…
A few months ago I came across a site called YourNewList.com, which is run by Jane Mark and Phil Basten of JPE Advertising. In a nutshell the site offers an opportunity to instantly own an opt-in list of 50,000 or more subscribers. You can get a 50,000 member list for $795 all the way up to a 150,000 member list for $1795.
I had been considering ordering a solo email campaign with one of JPE Advertising’s other sites when I came across this offer. Since I was very interested in building my list, and the deal sounded “too good to be true” I emailed Jane about it. I was concerned mainly about the quality of the leads.
This was her reply to me…
Your New list is the best leads you can get. They are leads for a permanent list with a list mananger. You can add your own members to the list and you can order more leads and add them whenever you like. They come with our training and our introductory letters. It’s a whole different ball game than simply running a solo ad . It’s your own list that you manage and control and mail to and there is nothing like this on the net today.
The solo ads are a one time thing
We have pretty responsive lists but to be frank with you, if you can swing getting one of these New Lists, I would drop the solo add run and apply the money to this.
Having your own list of 50,000 is what we have been working to get our clients for two years and now it’s here.
It took us 4 years and a lot of money to grow our lists to 350,000 plus and now our clients can do virtually the same thing in 30 days with a much much samller investment.
We are very excited about this and if you have a long term vision for your business on the net, Your New List is where you should be but,…
You will need to take time to develop a relationship with the list so no mailing of ads for at least 1 to 2 months just introductory letterse and free offers, that kin of thing.
As I looked at her offer, I decided it must be a good deal, even if the leads were only mediocre quality. My remaining concern was regarding the autoresponder service, which was a mandatory part of the deal (and another $69.95/month starting immediately plus a $15 setup fee). I was skeptical whether it was on par with AWeber, which is where my other lists are hosted.
Jane had this to say…
I checked with Phil and here are some of the features you get with the autoresponder.
You can schedule your mailings send in html or text or both
Personalize and track them
Get demographic data collection
Gerenate a custom sign up form to put on your webiste
Manually ad an email address
manually delete an address
Basically it does what Awebber does and it has easy set up instructions.
These lists are coming in much faster than we expected and since you really don’t need a lot of training on this, I certainly think it has much more value than any other advertising we offer.
Our frist three oders alreay have their lists in 48 hours and we expect all of the others to be in within 7 days. Thsi will slow down as we get a lot orders but right now we are only 48 hours into this and it is moving.
We are setting up three new list of our own of 150K so you know we like it.
OK, I was assured the leads were good and the autoresponder was good, so I went for the $1795 plan (plus $69.95/month).
Unfortunately, I have to report that this investment was an utter waste of my time and money.
Please understand that Jane and Phil are well-known marketers who have been doing business as long as I’ve been alive. They generally conduct business in a professional manner from what I’ve seen. They’ve also got a lot of friends, which means I’m probably burning a few bridges with this review…so please understand that I’m putting my relationship with you above some potential future joint ventures. But as far as I’m concerned, $1795 is a lot of money, and I want you to avoid making the same mistake.
First, regarding the leads. Were they good quality? No. These were the least responsive, disconnected, unmotivated leads I’ve ever emailed.
Before you start thinking I treated them the wrong way, let me make something clear. I took Jane’s advice and sought to build a relationship with these people. I sent them introductory letters, and a slew of free stuff.
In case you’re wondering whether I sent them good content, and well-written newsletters… I sent them the EXACT same material that was sent at the same time to my primary list which resulted in these testimonials: www.ericstips.com/testimonials/.
I’m sure that’s more than 99% of internet marketers have to show for their work… I assure you that if this was going to be done, at least I did it the “right” way.
I also did the “right” thing by closely monitoring every bounced message that resulted from my mailings. I literally spent hours sifting through bounce messages, email filter confirmations, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. I did this after every message I sent.
The results were dismal, with virtually no profit being generated from this list.
As for the autoresponder, the service is run through A1eBiz, owned by Doc Phelps. Jane said it basically does what Aweber does. Well let me tell you that it basically DOESN’T do what Aweber does.
The service was missing several key features that I rely on at Aweber. For example…
-I was unable to schedule an email to be sent at a certain time
-I was unable to see the history of any emails I’d sent
-I was unable to track open rates
-I was unable to see if a message had successfully been placed in the queue
It was really an inconvenience, and did not meet the needs of my newsletter.
However, I do need to mention that I’m not putting down A1eBiz or Doc Phelps. It’s not Doc’s fault that it was portrayed in a different way to me. In fact, I found Doc to be a cool guy who was always there to help. When I had a problem with the mailer one day, Doc made it up to me by giving me an extra 150,000 leads for free.
I will even go so far as to say that if you have a legitimate reason for needing a service that allows you to import purchased leads (AWeber does not allow you to do this), A1eBiz is a viable solution.
You can also buy these same leads directly from Doc for a much lower price. He has them listed on his site for $600 for 100k, but if you buy them regularly he told me he sells them for half of that! They are MLM co-reg leads, so if you’re running an MLM business and you don’t mind being called a spammer then you might want to look into it.
OK, so the list wasn’t responsive, and I was paying $69.95/month to keep it going, so I decided to bring as many subscribers as possible into my Aweber account. There were about 275,000 subscribers left on my A1ebiz list. Out of that number, exactly 71 people opted to continue receiving Eric’s Tips…and that was even after a final bribe.
Again these people received the same newsletter that received accolades from my “real” subscribers. So if you’re one of those 71 people who made the move, thank you! As for the other 274,929, I guess they weren’t reading it or just weren’t interested in making money online.
Here’s the final result:
$2019.85 spent for the list and 3 months of service
At least a dozen hours pruning the list of bad emails, etc.
Several spam complaints
That’s an average of $28.45 per subscriber AND I had to work hard for them. To be honest, those subscribers may be worth more than $28 over a lifetime, but there’s a LOT of easier and cheaper ways to get subscribers.
I also do not like being called a spammer (apparently some marketers don’t mind), and for that alone the project would not be not worth it for me.
Bottom line: the point of this review is not to bash any particular marketers, but to educate you about co-reg lists. Maybe Jane and Phil will learn something from it too.
As always you can leave comments here in the blog.
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