Swallowed by the subscriber storm - Trial and Eureka

Swallowed by the subscriber storm

By Alp | List-building

While getting flooded by the summer storm on Tuesday, I thought about you and your email lists.

And perhaps you’ll find a useful marketing lesson here:

Istanbul was recently swept away by the third mega-storm this summer. Wind speeds reached up to 75kph... Torrential downpours choked the city’s major transport arteries…

I was answering emails when the downpour started. I stopped what I was doing, and looked out the window.

Must have watched the storm for a good half hour.

I have a corner office, which kind of only has one wall. The rest of the office is more less floor-to-ceiling windows. And the building itself sits at the intersection of three streets.

So when I look up from my desk, I see a long street stretching for maybe 200-300 metres before it curves away. It’s lined by buildings on each side and a double row of trees.

Then if I turn my head to the right, I can see the second street stretching to the distance. Broader. Fewer trees.

And if I press my face to that windoor (which btw should totally be a word) on the right, and follow the contour of the building with my eyes, I can see the third street.

But I wasn’t looking at any of that.

My attention was fixed on an object about 50 metres straight ahead.

A recycling bin the size of a baby elephant was ricocheting between the second floor walls of the buildings facing each other across the street.

Soon it was blotted out by the heavy downpour.

Within minutes you couldn’t see anything.

Total chaos outside.

But you know what?

That elephant of a bin didn’t knock me out.

The torrential rains didn’t soak me.

I was safe, at peace and dry behind the windows.

On the other hand:

If I had left the windoor open, the storm would have flooded in. It would have swallowed the furniture whole, and swept me out like Dorothy into Oz.

So that would NOT have been ideal.

(It would have ruined the furniture.)

It would have cost a lot of frustration, time and money to clean up.

And I would NOT be able to go back to work on my business the next day.

But WHY would I leave the windoor wide open?

I don’t gain anything by letting the soot-soaked downpour in.

It’s a destructive force.

And make no mistake, so it is with email lists:

You don’t want to leave your opt-in wide open and let the wrong subscribers in.

They’re a destructive force.

They’re not an asset. They’re an expense.

They don’t buy anything. They leave you misleading feedback in surveys. And they kick up a storm the moment you try to sell anything.

And you know what?

This can happen to any one of us. My list isn’t immune to riffraff. And neither is yours. 

But we can try to prevent their entry. We can close the windoor in their face with the right positioning and copy.

Yes, it IS possible to craft opt-in offers strategically to bring in buyers and bar out destructive rabble.

To see how I’m doing it, check out: