Brian Edmondson: Secrets of Building a Profitable Business - even with a Small List!
The Internet Master Series welcomed its subscribers to March with a success story based on the faithful execution of basic marketing principles. Lynn Carnes interviewed Brian T. Edmondson, probably best known as the founder of the successful ListProfitAcademy teleseminar series in Summer 2006.
By successfully implementing affiliate and e-mail relationship marketing strategies since June 2005, Brian has turned heads in the Internet Marketing world. His breakthrough Butterfly Marketing and JV Formula campaigns forced established marketers to ask themselves,
"How did he do that?"
List-Building Myth and Reality.
"The Money is in the list", right? It's one of those oft-used Internet Marketing clichés newbies cling to while struggling to generate momentum for their online activity. However, list-building without target marketing and segmentation ends up being an unprofitable numbers game ("My list is bigger than your list, ha-ha!").
Myth: All I have to do is build a large enough list, and the money will immediately start pouring in.
Reality: You will never create a profitable list from spam, e-mail blasters, or 99% of the "hot" leads offered by brokers. The money is in how you build your list, and the relationship you nurture with each and every one of your subscribers.
What does this mean for you? Consider the following:
Traffic generation alone ==> An unresponsive list, regardless of size.
Traffic generation + Sales conversion ==> Short-term profits and income opportunity. NOT A BUSINESS!
Traffic generation + Sales conversion + Sound list-building practices ==> Responsive list ==> Lifetime residual income.
Assertive List-Building...Right from the Start.
Edmondson advises beginners to aim for a RESPONSIVE list right away - subscribers who know, like and trust you. To create this type of list, you must actively solicit feedback and follow-up with subscribers ("What do you want?"). You must have a sales back-end in place: a one-time offer (OTO) in a "Thank You for subscribing" page for starters, then value-added offers that make you stand out.
Marketers need persistence and repetition. Industry experts believe that it takes seven "looks" on average before a prospect commits to buying. So, don't be disappointed if some campaigns are not immediately successful. Staying front and center in a subscriber's mind is key.
List attrition is inevitable in the long run. People subscribe and unsubscribe to lists all the time, and the reasons are often unrelated to your specific e-mail or offer. Brian and other list-building experts suggest that each day brings us closer to our "optimized" opt-in list.
By nature, newbies are tentative with their initial list-building efforts. They assume offers offend people, so they minimize contact for fear of losing "hard-won" subscribers. In response, Brian exclaims:
"Analysis is Paralysis. Don't be afraid to send offers to your list."
- Brian Edmondson
Whether you send out a weekly e-mail or 2-3 letters daily, add some bite to your content so that subscribers can identify you clearly in a crowded Inbox. Treat each list member as your best friend; be respectful but not overly formal in your written conversations.
So, for those who choose to opt-out:
Sorry to see you go;
perhaps some other time...
perhaps some other time...
The Skinny on Brian's Butterfly Marketing Success.
After meeting Mike Filsaime at a live event in December 2005, Brian committed himself to becoming a Butterfly Marketing (BM) protegé and apprentice. He prepared his small list with special "training": newsletters, opinions and insider knowledge about the phenomenon that was to become BM. He kept contact with Filsaime throughout the pre-launch period. Brian's focused effort and determination paid off with a very high rate of subscribers opting into the BM notification list (400 out of 1,300).
Still, Edmondson's expectations were quite low - after all, how could he compete with referral machines like Gary Ambrose, Ewen Chia, and Jeff Walker? Yet, during the first week of the Butterfly Marketing launch (January-February 2006), Brian achieved $15,000 in sales and a Top-20 ranking. Overall, he made more than $20,000 in sales - creating a buzz within the "establishment" that has permitted him to extend his network, entertain numerous joint venture (JV) opportunities, and as a bonus - become an Internet Marketing celebrity.
So, what type of list do we want?
Edmondson is open about his road to success and likes to invoke a favorite concept often attributed to Stephen Covey:
Begin with the End in Mind.
"I want a list of highly responsive, proven buyers who know, like and trust me - or want to be like me."- Brian Edmondson
Practical List-Building Optimization Techniques.
Brian Edmondson's rise from obscurity was achieved using specific strategies that, while not necessarily duplicable, offer people solid options to build their own success:
1. E-zine Advertising.
Communicate with the e-zine owner to determine if you have common marketing goals and outlooks. You are in search of like-minded readers and subscribers, and ways of minimizing your upfront risk. While most e-zines offer solo ads and "Top Ads", Brian has been successful with Bottom Ads (i.e. P.S. ...) and recommends them to beginners. Price and campaign success are not necessarily correlated: Expensive ads do not guarantee optimized list subscribers.
E-books and software downloads are popular enticements for potential marketers. People like Mark Hendricks and Henry Gold are renowned for their massive, seasonally-themed giveaways. Yet, offering "Bonuses" can be a double-edged sword. Brian feels that many well-known marketers have gone overboard, and as a result have unknowingly fostered a 21st-century, "freebie-seeking, tire-clicking" online marketing culture.
To avoid attracting perpetual freebie-seekers, and to prevent your offers from collecting "digital" dust on the hard drives and Inboxs of the world, Edmondson prefers the Voluntary Opt-in approach. That is, give away your "bonus" report without an opt-in obligation. The serious subscriber will read your report to confirm its value and content. Within the report, offer your reader the voluntary opt-in:
"Hey! Like what you read? Why not get more where that
came from - sign up for the ABC Newsletter today!"
came from - sign up for the ABC Newsletter today!"
3. Joint Ventures.
Generally acknowledged as the best way to get into the Internet Marketing "big leagues". Attending live events and face-to-face meetings offer tremendous networking opportunities with like-minded people. If money is an issue, start a local marketing club to create synergies that can help everyone gain confidence and grow their online persona.
More Helpful Hints...
1. Start an online newsletter to gain credibility with your readers. Brian's Butterfly Marketing experience as Mike Filsaime's "apprentice" made him a trusted information source. Perception is reality, and if you are perceived as an expert in a particular niche or for a special product, subscribers will flock to you. Just remember to provide real value and genuine advice.
2. Safelists get mixed reviews, but do offer a list-sharing service for people on limited budgets. Many are free, but require personalized writing to stand out. Over-hyping your invitations is a NO-NO.
3. Creating that elusive "Know, like and trust" factor means making e-mails personal, making e-mails personal, and making e-mails personal. Adopt an informal, conversational writing style that draws people to you ("I just wanted to let you know..."). Include personal stories and anecdotes from daily life to break the ice and show that you are a regular person. Once subscribers start asking you if your broadcasts were personal letters, you have made the big leagues.
4. Only promote things that you have actually read, used, and can personally vouch for. From an ethical, emotional, and sincerity standpoint you will come out ahead.
Many of Internet Marketing's biggest names swear by their lists. It is the one asset serious online entrepreneurs cannot do without, and would be the first thing they would want to recover if they lost everything. Brian Edmondson is now working full-time from home because he developed list-profiting skills that earn him several dollars per subscriber per month.
Having left Corporate America behind, Brian keeps his ear to the ground by picking the brains of his marketing friends and mentors. He is part of Tellman Knudson's exclusive Black Diamond Line coaching staff, and continues to communicate with and nurture his list. With less than 10,000 subscribers currently, Edmondson is living proof of the adage:
Small is Beautiful.
For more details on Brian's Butterfly Marketing breakthrough, access to today's online leaders, and to accelerate your list-profiting ability, join the ListProfitAcademy.
Lynn and Natalie continue to serve up the hottest names and the hottest topics in Internet Marketing. Get 'em while they're HOT! Join the Internet Master Series today.