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Lisa Barone

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 11 Emailers List-Building


During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

You won’t get far in this industry without hear the phrase “the money’s in the list.” What that means is that you need to build an email list to make the most of the relationship you’re building with your readers. You can use your list for affiliate marketing, selling your own products, or even just driving traffic back to your site. So, today, I have a great group of posts from 2011 that talk about building and using an email list. Enjoy!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing for Bloggers by Paul Cunningham at Blogging Teacher

If you’re new to email marking and only have time to read one post, this is the link for you. In this post, Paul writes about the nuts and bolts to using email to connect with your readers. He goes over everything from how to avoid being called a spammer to what kind of content you should consider sending to your list. From the post:

Your mailing list is like a cup of coffee. Too hot and your subscribers can’t handle it. Too cold and it loses its appeal. But when you get the temperature just right they will enjoy what you serve up to them…

Getting that temperature just right means understanding your audience, and delivering them the right types of content at the right times.

After checking out Paul’s post, you can follow him on Twitter @paulcunningham.


2. 5 Most Powerful Ways To Build an Email List Online by Michael Dunlop at Income Diary

I like this post because it’s a list of tools that you can (and should) consider using to build your own email list. It’s important to remember that not every technique is going to work for every person. In fact, you might not like any of the list-building techniques in Michael’s post. But I think it is important to be aware of your options! Writes Michael,

Sending an email to your list about a product takes literally minutes. The reward is always thousands of dollars for me. If I did it 4 times in a month which isn’t much at all, that’s likely to be at least an additional $10,000 in revenue that month! Hopefully by now your excited about the idea of building a list.

Get out there and build that list, friends! After checking out Michael’s post at Income Diary, You can also find more from him at Retireat21, Fiked, Popup Domination, Site Profit Domination, Expert Photography, and Awesomeweb. You can also find him on Twitter @michaeldunlop.


3. Why the Money Really is in the Email List by Natalie Sisson at The Suitcase Entrepreneur

We keep saying that the money is in the list, but why is that? This post is part of Natalie’s Build Your Online Business (BYOB) series, and it’s a fantastic post to check out if you’re new to list-building and want to do a good job connecting with readers. As Natalie puts it, your list is your tribe, and being about to build that relationship with them is important! Building a list doesn’t have to be spammy. It can be about making real connections. Writes Natalie,

When I think about how many visitors I lost in the early days because I had nothing to offer and no way of being able to contact them again, it makes me kick myself. I also had this strange perception in my head that `list’ and ‘building’ were two dirty words. In fact they are two of the smartest words ever.

Natalie is on Twitter @womanzworld and you can also add her to your circles on Google+. Her Build Your Own Business Guide is available as an audio book, ebook, or complete package with coaching video.


4. Aweber vs. Mailchimp: Which is the Best Email Newsletter Service? by Tom Ewer at WPMU.org

Aweber and Mailchimp aren’t you’re only two choices if you’re interested in starting a new mailing list, but they are two of the biggest brands in the industry. I personally grappled with the choice, and ultimately went with Aweber, but I don’t know that I’ll stay with that decision forever, since Mailchimp is a fantastic services as well. In this post, Tom talks about about the differences between these two services and ultimately gives you his preference. Writes Tom,

Both services are popular with good reason. MailChimp’s no-cost entry level service is a huge attraction to many. But the general consensus leans in favor of AWeber when it comes to the most important aspects of list management, such as tracking and spam management.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tomewer and like his Facebook page. He also blogs at Leaving Work Behind, where you can sign up for his mailing list to download his free guide on keyword research and competition analysis.


5. The #1 Trick for Increasing Email Open Rates by Steve Scott at SteveScottSite.com

Your list doesn’t matter one iota if nobody opens the emails you send. In this post, Steve shares his best top for increasing your open rates – and I have to say, I 100% agree with him! I also love how he uses an analogy to describe what he means, and I think anyone who’s read or watched Game of Thrones will totally understand this post! Writes Steve,

In April, the TV show “Game of Thrones” premiered on HBO.  Like many shows on this network, each episode is part of a large story.  So you have to watch each to understand what’s going on.  In a way, it’s similar to the popular shows like The Sopranos, Lost or 24.

What draws people to shows like these is how they’re set up.  An important part of the plot is to create tension.  The writers introduce a number of storylines that are not resolved for many years.  People watch them because they feel compelled to get answers.

You can also check out Steve’s 45 Ways to Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level or download his free online income guide. He’s on Twitter @stevescott1, and you can also like his blog on Facebook and add him to your circles on Google+.


6. Are You in the Three Danger Zones of Spamminess? by Phil Hollows at Feedblitz

This list is actually part of entire awesome blog post series about list building for bloggers by Phil, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight this one because I think a lot of list-builders are definitely in the danger zone. Your subscribers signed up for your mailing list. They want to hear from you. Don’t be too afraid to email them! But if you aren’t careful, email programs could accidentally label you as spam, and this means your message will be less likely to reach your readers. Writes Phil,

The thing is, of course, is that most bloggers are untrained as marketers. Specifically, we’re largely not trained as email marketers. We put up our subscription forms and hope for the best. Usually, that’s fine.

But sometimes that lack of expertise can hurt, because it can lead us to create content that ends up setting off content filters. It’s actually all too easy to do, in fact, because in social media we can easily add widgets and plugins that are designed for the web, but which can completely foul up your feed and eviscerate your mailings.

In addition to checking out this post and others in the list building for bloggers series, you can also buy Phil’s List Building for Bloggers ebook. He’s on Twitter @phollows and you can check out the Feedblitz Facebook Ap here.


7. Sephora’s Beauty Roulette: A Creative Email List Builing Tactic by DJ Waldow at Waldow Social

In this post, DJ offers a screencast mini case study on one company’s interesting way to get people to sign up on their email list. He talks about what Sephora (a makeup company) does write, along with what he believes they could be doing better. Hopefully, this will inspire you to think of some of your own creative ways to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. From DJ’s post:

You can have the most compelling email creative and copy, the best subject line, the highest inbox deliverability; however, if you don’t have an email list to send to … well … you have nothing….

My friend and Social Fresh president, Jason Keath, shared this super-creative email list building technique from Sephora with me last week. The landing page has some dynamic aspects to it, so I figured it would be best to show you via a screencast (thanks, Screenr!).

You can find DJ on Twitter @djwaldow and is the original Social Butterfly Guy.


8. How to Get a Clean Email List – 3 Mailing List Maintenance Tips You Should Do by Paul Ventura at Converting Copy

This post was definitely a kick in the pants for me, because I’ve been neglecting my email list maintenance. Depending on the email management company you use, some of Paul’s tips might even help you save money! At the very list, his recommendations can help you understand your audience better and connect with them in a more relevant way. Writes Paul,

Just like anything else in your life, your website or business’ mailing list can become cluttered and require upkeep from time to time to continue working in your best interest. Here are a few mailing list maintenance tips you can use to get a clean email list.

You can get Paul’s free 10 Day Fast Track Affiliate Course if you want to read more from him, and you can also find him on Twitter @convertcopy and like his blog on Facebook.


9. The Most Important, Can’t-Ignore Law of Email Marketing by Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media

The “law” Lisa shares in this post may at first seem like common sense, but it is a law that is broken so often that I think it is super important to include on this list. Before you ever send a single message to your email list, make sure you understand Lisa’s post and make sure you don’t make the mistake made by so many so-called “experts” out there. Lisa writes,

Hey you! Yes…you, the one sending out all those email newsletters. We need to talk.

I mean, sure, we’ve already talked to some degree. We’ve talked about best practices for email marketing, how email is NOT dead and why it’s actually the Batman to social media’s Robin, but NONE of that matters if you ignore the most important email marketing law of them all. Get this wrong and the rest of it simply doesn’t matter.

Lisa is the co-founder of Outspoken Media and can be found on Twitter @lisabarone. You can also like Outspoken Media on Facebook and follow the company on Twitter @outspokenmedia.


10. Call It What You Want, It’s the Future of Email Marketing by Garry Lee at RedEye (Guest Post for Unbounce)

Grab a cup of coffee and sink your teeth into this post. It’s super smart and full of tips about what Garry calls “behavioural emails.” Yes, you can just mass email your list once or twice a week, but how effective are you really being? More importantly, how effective could you be if you did a little research? From Garry’s post:

In the past few years behavioural email has become one of the most effective forms of email marketing. Resulting in ROI figures as high as 750% and open rates of 70% it is certainly a strategy that online marketers are realising is essential to their online marketing (not just email) strategies.

Garry is the Director of Analytics and Usability at RedEye and you can find him on Twitter @garrylee316.


11. Episode 19 of The Daily Interaction: Savvy Email Etiquette by Farnoosh Brock at Prolific Living

This last link I wanted to share about email is actually a podcast from Farnoosh about a topic that is very important no matter what kinds of emails you’re sending: etiquette. This post is not about list-building or even about email marketing, but I think this is one of the most important topic matters you can ever understand if you use email, whether you’re emailing your list or just emailing with your friends. From Farnoosh’s show notes:

What is the most sensible, smart, savvy and professional way to use email in today’s world? I give you tips around things that have worked very well for me as well as things that have made me, well, you know, take a second look at my own approach, to say the least.

After listening to the podcast, you can check out more episode of The Daily Interaction here. Farnoosh is also the author of the Fear-Crushing Travel Guide, Motivation: From Goals to Greatness, and The 10 Minute Daily Invigorator, as well as the Comprehensive Guide to Green Juicing. She’s on Twitter @prolificliving.

Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing for Bloggers by Paul Cunningham (@paulcunningham)
  2. 5 Most Powerful Ways To Build an Email List Online by Michael Dunlop (@michaeldunlop)
  3. Why the Money Really is in the Email List by Natalie Sisson (@womanzworld)
  4. Aweber vs. Mailchimp: Which is the Best Email Newsletter Service? by Tom Ewer (@tomewer)
  5. The #1 Trick for Increasing Email Open Rates by Steve Scott (@stevescott1)
  6. Are You in the Three Danger Zones of Spamminess? by Phil Hollows (@phollows)
  7. Sephora’s Beauty Roulette: A Creative Email List Builing Tactic by DJ Waldow (@djwaldow)
  8. How to Get a Clean Email List – 3 Mailing List Maintenance Tips You Should Do by Paul Ventura (@convertcopy)
  9. The Most Important, Can’t-Ignore Law of Email Marketing by Lisa Barone (@lisabarone)
  10. Call It What You Want, It’s the Future of Email Marketing by Garry Lee (@garrylee316)
  11. Episode 19 of The Daily Interaction: Savvy Email Etiquette by Farnoosh Brock (@prolificliving)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building (this post)
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (email marking and list building), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

Lisa Barone on Authenticity


“Authenticy in marketing is telling a story people want to hear.” – Seth Godin

Lisa Barone’s session at BlogWorld LA 2011, “Creating Your Blogging Superhero,” covered the topic that seems to have become a buzzword in the new media world lately: authenticity. Authentic scares some people because they think it means airing their dirty laundry, but as Lisa teaches, you can be authentic in a really smart way to become a blogging superhero to your readers.

It reminds me of something Brian Clark said at BlogWorld 2010 – I’m paraphrasing, but basically, what he said is that you need to be the best “you” possible online. I think it’s really smart advice. Here are Lisa’s four tips to creating your blogging superhero:

1. Identify your place in the market.

What makes you different? What do you want your audience to know about you – and more importantly, what do you want your audience to remember about you? Says Lisa, “We live in a crowded complex world. Your audience is only going to be able to remember a few things about you.” Before you can create your blogging superhero, you need to identify your place in the reader’s world.

2. Identify the traits and experiences that help you epitomize that.

What traits do you have as a blogger that help you show that you’re perfect for that place in the market? Those are the traits that you’re going to what to show online. According to Lisa, “Being a successful marketer doesn’t mean letting all the nasty bits hang out.” The traits you display should relate back to your core goal as a blogger.

3. Build a story that ties it together, emphasizing the traits that allow you to be the best version of yourself.

“That’s what marketing is – using yourself to show people their desired outcome,” says Lisa

You don’t have to lie to your readers – you just should be selective about how much you want to reveal about yourself. It isn’t inauthentic to want to show your best traits. You act differently around “the boys” or “the girls” than you do around your children, and you act differently around your children than you do around your boss. Tell a story using the pieces of you that make sense for your readers.

4. Lose everything that does not relate back to what you want to show. It’s a distraction.

Lastly, remember that you don’t have to share anything that doesn’t relate back to your goal, even if it isn’t necessarily bad information about yourself. Remember, people can only remember a few things about you, so think about how you want to be known in your niche or industry. Says Lisa, “Too much irrelevant information distracts from your core goal.”

If you missed BlogWorld LA 2011 or were in another session when Lisa talked, check out the virtual ticket. You can listen to her entire presentation there, as well as see sessions with other speakers.

Why Authenticity Is A Lie (Bad) Marketers Tell


Session: Creating Your Blogging Superhero
Speaker: Lisa Barone

Hi, I’m Lisa. It’s time for an intervention.

Bloggers and social media-types will stand on their heads to tell you that what your audience really wants is a more authentic, transparent version of your brand. They want you to bare it all on your blog, on Twitter and on Facebook so they can connect with you, engage with you, and so that you can become friends with your customer.

It’s a sham. All of it. And you need to get over yourself.

The truth is your customers do not want to know the depths of your soul or what keeps you up at night. Not even your mother wants to know that much about you, truly. What your customers want is the best version of you. The version of you that allows them to see themselves, where they want to be, and which helps them achieve their goals.

That’s what marketing is — Using yourself to show people their desired outcome. Even if that outcome is just your customer with a finally-working dishwasher.

As a marketer, you provide that experience by giving up the hokey authenticity act and creating a characterized version of yourself that exudes who your audience wants to be.

Whether you want to increase sales, build a community, or find new customers, building a sellable character, a caricaturized version of yourself, is how you do it.

Creating this caricature allows you to do a few things.

  • It gives you the freedom to magnify the personality traits you already possess to attract people.
  • It allows you to play on your strengths to establish a point of difference.
  • It makes your personality appear larger than life.
  • It gives you a cushion so that when the Internet gets mean (which it will), you’re not absorbing all the shots with your true self.

Said simpler – It makes your brand magnetic.

The characterized You is a heightened version of yourself. It’s where all the right traits are highlighted and where the ones that don’t fit the brand are simply deemphasized. It’s the You after you’ve had a few too many, when suddenly you know all the punchlines and you’re not afraid to take risks. That’s who you need to be to your audience. That’s who we’re drawn to.

No, you don’t need to be drunk, just compelling.

Wait! How can you relate to customers if you’re not being your “true authentic self” and are acting like a character?! You can’t just MAKE UP who you are!

Sure you can. You do it every day. Only you don’t call it acting. You call it being an adult.

  • You show one set of personality traits when you’re working at the office.
  • Another set when you’re at home playing with your children.
  • A different set when meeting your friends at the bar for Happy Hour.

It’s not deceptive there, is it? You’re not any less you, are you? You’re simply the right you for the right audience.

Same thing.

The authenticity lie has allowed too many marketers to make total blunders of their online persona, encouraging them to partake in Twitter rants, social media flame wars, and constant whining. Your 20 minute Twitter tirade about the bad service you received at your favorite restaurant doesn’t make you “transparent” or “more relatable”, it makes you appear unstable. Actually, sometimes it makes you an a**hole.

Which, fine, you probably are, but why broadcast that to the rest of the world?

Being a successful marketer doesn’t mean disrobing and letting all the nasty bits hang out. It means simply understanding what your audience needs and then identifying which traits that you possess that help you to be that person.

  • Blogworld speaker Shane Ketterman connects with people at Rewire Business by being so vulnerable and human that we can’t help but relate and be inspired by his words.
  • The Bloggess connects with people by being that person who says what we wish we could and by making us believe it’s okay if we’re a little off.
  • Chris Brogan connects with people by laying down in the middle of the road for his audience and being the most helpful guy on the planet.

I can pretty much assure you that there are days where Chris Brogan wakes up and doesn’t want to help or talk to a single person that day. But you never see them. Not because he’s not authentic or because he’s secretly a robot with no soul, but because those days aren’t part of the brand. And because of that, he keeps them out.

What you need to figure out is who YOUR character is. What natural traits do you possess that are helpful to your audience? What can you highlight about yourself that will help someone else achieve something? Because that’s what authenticity really is – it’s undisputed credibility. It’s you giving your audience the parts about you they need, and removing anything else that will distract them or take away from that credibility.

So maybe it’s not authenticity that’s a lie. It’s just our perception of what authenticity really means.

What traits make up your brand’s character?

Lisa Barone if the Co-Founder and Chief Branding Officer at SEO consulting firm Outspoken Media. You can catch her blogging about marketing at the Outspoken Media blog or on Twitter at @lisabarone.

I Like Bubble Baths, the Color Pink, and Titanic – and I’ll Blog Circles Around You


Lisa Barone has been one of my favorite bloggers since I first started habitually reading the Outspoken Media blog back in December. Why didn’t you people tell me about her blog sooner? Jerks. Anyway, earlier this week, she wrote a post that resonated with me to the point where I felt like I had to sleep on it before leaving a comment. And because I have some kind of genetic mutation that makes me incapable of writing brief comments like most normal people, that initial thought grew overnight into it’s own post…this post…a post that it pretty important to me, so thanks in advance for taking a moment to read it.

Which reminds me, I need to thank you all for reading more often. That’s a post for another day.

If you haven’t read Lisa’s post, I invite you to do so now. The gist of it is that we need to stop thinking of solutions to the “problems” of being a career-mined woman (especially a woman in a tech-related field) because the gender stereotypes are just that – stereotypes. Being meek, being someone who has trouble speaking up, being bad at math/science…they’re personality traits, not predispositions for women. Furthermore, as women we need to stop dragging one another down.

And she’s right, every word of it (at least in my opinion).

I enjoy being a girl. 🙂

Except there’s one problem. I fit almost every female gender stereotype out there. I love taking long bubble baths with a glass of white wine, wearing lots of mascara and pink frilly dresses, and crying my eyes out as I recite every word of Titanic. I used to think I was more of a tomboy because I like video games and zombie movies, but let’s be honest; there are tons of geeky girls out there just like me. Some of my hobbies might be less common, but I still fit into the glittery girl column.

But we’re talking about business here. So in business? Well, yes, I do often choose a less financially rewarding route and instead go for jobs were I love the community feeling. Yes, I do often choose to associate with those “below” me rather than those “above” me. Yes, my work does sometimes get put off because I need to get housework done.

Here’s the thing though: whether these are indicative of being a woman or not…why do they have to be negative things? “Stereotype” is a word associated with negative qualities, but I think the things that make me fit the female stereotype make me better at my job as a blogger. Perhaps it is because I’m female that I can blog circles around you. Okay, maybe not you, dear reader, because you know I love you…but a general “you” – as humbly as I can make this sound and although I still have tons to learn, I think I’m damn good at my job. I’m proud of what I do in this industry.

And part of my accomplishments are directly related to these “female qualities” that Lisa suggests are not inherently female at all and others suggest that are challenges we need to overcome. For example:

  • I choose to work for clients that pay me less but give me a better social climate. As a result, I feel more comfortable with what I’m writing, make friends more easily despite my social anxiety, and feel happier to wake up for work every day…and because of those things, my comfort and happiness shines through in my work and I land more clients.
  • I often don’t speak up right away, like a man would in a business meeting (or so some people believe). Because I choose to listen a reserve my thoughts, I learn more about the situation and can give a composed argument stating my case later. I like to joke that I’m always right…but the reason I win most arguments is because I take time to think about things and don’t argue points when I’ve taken some time to realize that my gut reaction was wrong.
  • I’m bad at math and science; it’s true. But because I’m female, I’m more likely to ask for help (or so the stereotype says), and overall, that makes me a strong employee to have around because I get the job done faster and better than someone who plows through things alone.
  • I’m an emotional person. Because of that, I’ve written some blog posts that tap into this emotion and really connect with people. Someone who’s not as emotional as me couldn’t do that.
  • I often choose to work with people who I can help (i.e., friending “down”) rather than people who can help me (i.e., friending “up”), but I’ve found that this creates really karmic relationships. People don’t forget that I’ve helped them, and although they might not be able to do anything for me today, but you don’t know where that person will be in life tomorrow. Really great people are willing to help me today because I’ve helped them in the past when they needed it – and now they’re able to do so.

I could go on, but my point is this: Why do we have to see then things that make us “female” as bad?

Men and women are statistically different when you look at averages, but for some reason, women always seem to twist it to be that women aren’t as good as men. We are; we’re just different. Why isn’t that okay? In fact, why isn’t that celebrated in the blogging world? Why, when the conversation turns to gender, do the posts fall into one of two categories: 1) Females in business have to work hard to overcome more problems then men or 2) Too many females are perpetuating the stereotype.

I don’t want to overcome anything and I don’t think I need to change who I am. I’m an awesome business owner without need to be more “male.”

Why, instead of seeing all these challenges that we have as female, don’t we see blessings?

Why isn’t it okay for me to be stereotypically female and for Lisa to give the middle finger to the gender rules (at least in her business life, because I have no idea how much pink is in her wardrobe)? Why can’t we both be awesome at our jobs?

We can. We are.

There doesn’t need to be a line drawn in the sand. It doesn’t have to be right versus wrong. Neither of us have to change. We’re both strong entrepreneurs, whether we have traditional female qualities or not.

I’m a successful feminine business owner – and I’m proud of that.

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