Should You Manually Add Emails?


So this week I was asked “how do you get people who give you their email address at a live event, how do you get them onto your list?”

Let’s start with the reason that you’re speaking. What is that reason? If the reason is to move your BUSINESS forward, then we have room to talk.

If it’s for any other reason (like ego or for fun) then the answer to your question is to click on the email subscription button on your website and input their email address into that form. To make sure they click the subscription button, make sure the “verification email” they will get says “Thanks for coming to the presentation today” and then “please click here to start getting coupons and deals”. And hope for the best. :)Now if you’re speaking in an effort to increase your revenue, there’s only one circumstance that I would suggest using Feedburner and manually adding the names. If cash is really tight and your only monetization plan is AdSense and ad clicks, then the Feedburner plan would be OK.

But even then the open rate of Feedburner emails is quite low because you don’t have too many ways to customize the subject lines, parse customers or send broadcast emails. That means you can’t really “grow” your customer list over time because people stop clicking the emails as fast as you add new people to the funnel.

That brings us back to the reason you’re speaking. If traffic and Adsense is your monetization goal, then speaking to 30 people is not going to increase your income but pennies per month. So getting them on your RSS list is only good if you plan to speak to 10 groups per month forever. Otherwise increasing your list by 30 each month isn’t that important – you’d probably be better off scheduling the speaking time for writing guest blog posts or doing videos.

If your goal is to sell them an e-book or Kindle book, then I’d write 4 or 5 emails save them as “canned responses” in gmail and then send them 1 every couple days to the group (straight out of gmail) to get them to buy the book. You won’t really be able to follow-up with them if they buy it, but it would make you a couple bucks probably.

So that brings me to what I would hope is your ideal plan. I hope you’re speaking to build an army of people whose lives you can change for the better. But to do that you have to understand the process of going from where they are to where you want them to be. How many steps is that and how do you get them there?

Because when you do that, those people share their experiences on Facebook and Twitter. They provide testimonials, go to weekend events you put on and pay lots of money to be there. They buy your DVD’s and CD’s and subscribe to your podcast. They go to to your Webinars and become the audience corporations want to see when they sponsor you.

That’s when you need a more robust system like AWeber or Infusionsoft or OfficeAutoPilot. You need the ability to sell ebooks, track affiliates, cut out e-junkie, and parse your customers into specific lists. You need to be able to send one group an automated list of emails specific to them and the speech they just heard you give while others get your blog posts.

You need that audience to start getting your blog post emails once you’ve trained them in the basics and perhaps after you’ve trained them how to use your website.

You need to send different subject lines to the professional moms than you do to the career moms whose kids are at a sitter all day. You need to know who is a homeschooler and who isn’t. You need to know which people are going to buy a home in the next 60 days and which ones just like looking.

You need a good system.

Then you can monetize traffic with AdSense and monetize communities with other things. 30 people on an email can far exceed the income of AdSense or an ad network. Some of my customers know they make $6 in the first 30 days of their average customer, $11 in the first 60 days and $50 in the first 90. Multiply that by 30 from each speaking gig and you’re starting to make some money.

Especially if that’s 90 new people in the first 3 months (30 people per month using those numbers would mean you would make you $1,830 from email alone). Oh, and one of my customers averages $27,000 in the first 90 days from each group of 30 customers he brings into the funnel. That’s way more than me by the way. :)

But if you’re doing that then your speech reflects that. You talk about the value of the emails you send out and the ladder you help them climb. You mention the email they’ll get in the 6th week is all about X and they’ll know they are making progress when they get that email and they’re ready to take that step. You talk about the value of the welcome email and the links they need to click. And you tell them about the free ebook they’ll get with the notes from your speech and the action steps they need to take right away when they sign up for it.

Then you hand out a red sheet of paper with the web address where you want them to go and sign-up, with an asterisk that says “also click the link in the verification email”. That’s how you get them on the list.

And you tell them to share that link with all their friends who couldn’t make it. And you tell them that you’ll give away a free 20 minute call to the person who shares it on twitter with the hashtag #thissiterocks in the next 2 days. ¬†More info on the consumer buying process. ¬†

And that’s just the beginning. You never want to hand enter their names. You might need to today, but if you get asked to speak at the Walmart annual meeting, you want to have a system. And when you record your speeches and put them on YouTube you want the instructions to be clear. And when you stream it live to BlogTalkRadio – you want the instructions to be clear.

I recommend and am and affiliate for AWeber. It’s the best in my opinion (and does offer RSS integration). It’s not free, but it’s not expensive. My affiliate link for that is

The next best service is 1ShoppingCart. It has an affiliate program, but I don’t do affiliate links to my #2 recommendation.

InfusionSoft, SendPepper and OfficeAutopilot are super robust but cost about $299/month. I do recommend them and have an affiliate link for those but think we should talk before you undertake those.

So start thinking about what you really want to achive – and then do that.