3 Myths of Subscriber Burnout

If I ask someone why an email I sent didn't get a lot of clicks or why an offer I'm promoting didn't get as many sales as I would like or even when a blog post doesn't get as many comments as I'm used to, the usual cop-out I hear from other marketers is "your list must be burned out."

We've all wondered about this at one point or another. In fact, at one time, Lance and I thought we had burned out our list when we're mailing for a $200 training course.

Then, flash forward 6 months later when we're launching a $997 training course 1 week, a $497 training course a couple weeks later, and a $27 per month membership site at the same time and everyone is buying in, and in fact, the people who buy now tell us the price should be higher.

What's the difference? The difference between that $200 era and the $1000 era is that we trained our list not just to receive these offers but also to purchase and be happy at a certain price point.

Burnout Myth #1: Non-Responsive List

If you think your list is non-responsive, the problem is either from your traffic source or from your marketing.

I have seen way too many marketers come out of the gate one day and say, "here you go, here is my $1000 training course."

They have no teaching, no build-up and no pre-launch and they just expect people to purchase their $1000 course at a moment's notice. When people tell me that they do not purchase a certain product because of price, the problem could be that they can't afford it and would never buy under any circumstances or it could be they just did not have enough advanced notice to clear their credit card or save up that money.

That's why you need a pre-launch sequence and you need to mail more often.

This leads me to many marketers recommending that you only mail your list once a month or once a week. But the problem with that is we need to push a lot of people into buying an offer quickly, you really do need to mail them once a day during your launch sequence, and I see marketers try to get by with mailing just once a week or just once a month, and then when they have to mail once a day, the subscribers aren't used to it.

The solution is to mail everyday, whether you're selling, teaching, or doing a little bit of both.

Mail everyday, mail more often, and mail on topic. If somebody is telling you to buy their AdWords product over and over again and then one day turned around and tried to buy a product about forum marketing and there was no transition whatsoever, there is no consistent marketing message.

Have a real launch, email every day, and email at least 5 times when you're promoting something new.

Burnout Myth #2: It's Too Expensive

If no one is buying the things you have to offer at any price, consider where your traffic is coming from. I built my traffic up from a free forum but what I did differently is most of my subscribers had to buy something from me before they could get on my list.

They were all people who have been proven to have a credit card, have room in their credit card, and trust me enough to pay me. If you're building a list from ad swaps, safe lists, or JV Giveaways, you're getting the worst subscribers possible.

You're getting people who have not been proven to buy anything but who you do know get dozens, if not hundreds, of emails everyday for other free offers. You need to build a better list. Build a list that gets traffic from a better neighborhood. Get joint ventures. And above all, make a better offer.

It's one thing to offer a 100-page eBook or 5 hours of videos but what will those videos allow me to do? If you just tell me you are selling a real estate course, that's not very exciting, but if you told me that this course could get me to find the perfect property to flip in one day and I could flip it in one week and make a certain amount of money, that would be more exciting for me.

You need to position your offer to be more benefit-based and to be more exciting and fast and explain the answer to the question "what's in it for me?"

You might have to weed out freebie stickers. If there are some subscribers who yell at you or ask you repeatedly to drop the price, there's nothing wrong with removing them from your list if they are never going to buy from you. It seems harsh but you are doing them a favor because they don't like your emails.

Burnout Myth #3: The Wrong Niche

If I subscribe to your email list about copywriting and one day, you started emailing me about stock market trading, why should I even care? I didn't come to you as the authority for stock trading. I came to you as the authority to copywriting. You need to give your subscribers what they want.

If somebody joined your list because you offered them a free report on copywriting, give them more stuff about copywriting, give them a course they can join on that same subject.

Don't hop around in different niches. Give them the same stuff that they want and need. And build your list from the correct source. If you have a copywriting product, build your list from a copywriting forum, not from a stock trading forum and vice-versa.

You might not have to give up and change your niche overnight... just start offering your list what they want.  What they'll buy.

Did this post help you overcome any of the 3 myths of subscriber burnout? They were a non-responsive list, a list that thinks your stuff is too expensive, and a list that's in the wrong niche. Which one applies the best to you, 1, 2, or 3? And what are you going to do now?

Comment below telling me, please!

Filed in: List BuildingProduct Launches

Comments (10)

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  1. I think it’s good idea to warn about burn-out. I have also introduced the concept of community blogs to many of my readers thanks to inspiration from Britt Malka.
    This can help people avoid total burn out. đŸ™‚

  2. Great post, Robert.

    I spent the weekend following your advice quite closely, and set up my list to mail on autopilot for the rest of the year, just to make sure I don’t lose contact. Ok, it’s not quite a daily post, but I’ve loaded my blog with fortnightly posts, each of which has a ‘check my blog tomorrow’, an ‘it’s live’ and a ‘did you check yesterday?’ type message associated with it.

    The rest of the gaps are being filled with more timely content. So, I’m very hopeful of keeping in continual contact with my list.

  3. Killer read today, Robert!

    Just jumped in with both feet on my first joint venture and looking ahead to building a much more solid, focused, responsive list of subscribers.

    Can’t thank you enough for addressing Burnout Myth #3. I’m on lists (but not for long) that send me emails on everything but the kitchen sink — to the extent that I can’t even remember why I got on the list in the first place. The initial offers must have been about something that’s up my alley. But …

    Once someone starts changing horses midstream, there’s an instant loss of credibility in my mind.


  4. William says:

    Hey Robert,
    I hear exactly what you are saying. Recently I ran into S #3 with my blog. I was placing post that were not on topic with my blog. Off topic subjects = no traffic and no comments.

    Although Thom Lancaster posted a comment on one of my marketing strategies to gain local new clients. Thanks Thom.

    After reviewing my blog, I am making some changes. So, 3 would apply to me. Please forgive me…

  5. Rob says:

    Hi Robert,

    I completely agree with point number 3. I completely disagree with point number 1 – sorry.
    I don’t want to hear from anybody everyday, let alone somebody trying to sell me something. I am on lists that mail me every day and I’m very unlikely to buy from them.
    Maybe it’s just me!
    Maybe you can mail once a day for a week, or so, if something is genuinely big,but after that … please don’t do it.. and don’t stop the first daily email after a week and then start the next big thing the next day, every day … no, just don’t do it …

    just my thoughts



  6. I like hearing from you everyday! I never feel like you are just trying to sell me something.

    I always learn tons from you. And besides the products I have bought are fabulous.

    The key has been value, you give value. And give it in abundance.

  7. rosie says:

    You have given me hope. Thanks

  8. Robert,
    Thanks for the information on burnout. I am in the process of building a list. Your idea of using an open forum to generate a list is intriguing. Can you expand on how you got your new sign ups to buy first? Perhaps that would make a good topic for another blog post.

  9. HelenRappy says:

    A really good post and the information is really key. I learned a lot from the comments too, like you can’t please everyone and you can’t even try.. people all have different expectations and different wants and needs.

    Just best to be yourself and those that are meant to stick with you will and those that don’t really like your style will unsubscribe. I am sure there are some things you can do to make sure they stick around, but you can’t lose who you are or what message you want to convey!

    Thanks Robert!!

  10. Thomas says:

    Great points as always. And valuable information.
    Makes one rethink having a free site or low priced products.
    One of the things that I have noticed about IMer’s that sell low priced products is that everyday they are emailing a new product, and their customer service is weak and impersonal or what I would call, YUK..

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