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Are They Burning Their Email Lists?

Don’t Burn Your Email List!
(image credit)

Something must be up in the air this spring.

Too much is too much.

Last week I advised you to write more often to your email list members. This week it seems like I say exactly the opposite.

Many friends and colleagues are complaining that they are getting too many sales pitches in their email inbox. They are fed up and told me they have unsubscribed massively from the email lists of company A, marketer B, blogger C, and so forth.

Too Many Affiliate Promotions

The main culprit seems to be those affiliate promotions,
“He’s my friend, a great guy, his product rocks! This helped me so much when I was in the same situation like you are in right now. Really, it’s a steal, you are crazy if you don’t buy this now before it’s sold out. Buy it now, don’t wait!”

It continues the next day:
“I cannot believe that you are still sitting on the fence. You cannot let that go. It’s a once in a life time opportunity. And it’s so affordable. Imagine how you will feel when you finally get the results you and your family deserve.”

Seen in weight loss, make money, find the better job, learn X,Y,Z, …, you name it. C’mon.

And so on.

And once you start not opening and reading their emails, they figure that out and send you the same email again with a different subject line. And again, …

Companies and marketers are loosing customers that way all the time.

For example, a friend told me,
“He and … try to sell me something every day. It’s almost like they are whoring themselves out. If they concentrated on their own products and customer service - which is awful by the way - I think I would be more interested in them.

I clicked Remove Me From List. Done.

Emotional Bank Account

As a marketing professional you have to understand this. You have an emotional bank account with your email list members and whenever you promote something to them, it will cost you points. You must ensure that your subscribers keep getting way more value from you over time than what you withdraw with every promotion you do. This balance should remain high and ideally continue to grow.

For example:

When Maria just has opted-in to your email newsletter or bought something from you. Think about:
  • Does she really need this product right now.
  • Can she take advantage of it?
  • Does she need it?

It doesn’t make sense to promote an advance course to someone who just has bought your beginner product and normally wouldn’t even have finished to consume your program at this point.

… Webinars and Tele-Classes

Really? Webinars or tele-classes with special, free information are part of so many promotions today.

Honestly, how many time can one listen to the same “old story” over and over again. The content wears out quickly over time and what’s left is a 40, 60, 90 minute sales pitch,

That hurts a lot.

Costs many of those points in the emotional bank account you have with your email subscribers.

And even if your subscribers don’t watch the video, webinar or read the promotions, once the balance in that bank account is low, they start thinking that you want to steal their time and money. There goes your credibility as trusted adviser and friend.

This is not good.

Think about it.

John W. Furst

P.S.: There is a fine balance between sending too few and too many emails and it all has to do with the type of content you send along the way. I shall write more about this in the future.

Image source: Based on Playing With Fire, ©2009 by catsegovia/flickr. Modifications ©2010 by John W. Furst - Some rights reserved. - CC-BY-SA 3.0.


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Martin on :


Yesterday I got really angry after I have I dialed in for such a teleseminar. There was no new information at all. You named it John: “big time wasters.”

John W. Furst on :


I hear you Martin. I have been in the same situation many times.

But I admit that I usually wait for the replay, download it, listen to it quickly, and pick the good parts only.

Without a replay "they" usually don't get a hold of me anyway. (Not only because of the timezone difference.) No replay is equivalent with "harder selling." No, thanks, unless I am really interested in buying what is promoted OR I KNOW that the content will be excellent.

What I like a lot is when the host "grills" the vendor and asks tricky questions. E.g. Gauher Chaudry (PPC/CPA marketer) does this in an excellent way and always, gets some extra value for the people on his list that way. I'm not into CPA marketing, but I still enjoy being on his list and get a lot of value out of it.

Anyway, I have to run. Thanks for your comment.

Greg Digneo on :


John and Martin, I think that you two are correct. There is no real new information about marketing. What I would like to do, and I don't have the logistics laid out yet is do an hour long teleseminar where I speak for 10-15 minutes just to lay out background information and then open it up to questions and answers for the next 45-50 minutes.

John W. Furst on :



your teleseminar idea sounds great. Maybe you should also collect some questions upfront when people sign up. Then you can prepare better and answer common question before you open up the call for everybody.

Keep me in the loop that sounds definitely interesting.


Jodi Kaplan on :


I can't tell you how many teleseminars or webinars I've listened to and gotten nothing but a sales pitch - or else a lot of giggling (!) about how paying $$$$$ for marketer A's 8-CD set and private consulting led to a 7-figure annual income.

Tell me something, even a small thing, I can actually use! Feh!

I've stopped signing up unless it's someone I really trust.

Greg's idea sounds much better!

John W. Furst on :


Thanks, Jodi!

The giggling part can be really annoying. But since you asked, what you can do right now. Let me tell, you...

What about putting a TOP 10/WORST 10 list of webinar hosts together?

Even could be a tribal project.

What do you think?



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