Email Marketing Mistakes
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One Problem, Two Mistakes and One Big, Fat LIE About Email Marketing

This is an excerpt from my book, Invisible Selling Machine. I wanted to share it here on the DigitalMarketer blog because I think EVERYONE needs to hear this rant.

Want a copy of this rant for yourself? Swipe the PDF here.

Here goes…



Email is an incredible selling medium, but there’s one big, huge glaring problem.

According to Fortune Magazine, the average person receives 147 emails per day.


Remember the early days of email? People logged into their AOL accounts and smiled with excitement when they heard that familiar voice say:

“You’ve got mail!”

Today, we’re drowning in email with billions of messages hurdling through cyberspace on a daily basis. And it won’t be letting up anytime soon. According to a survey published by email service provider, iContact, 56% of businesses plan to increase their email marketing activity next year.


There’s a reason for the massive volume of emails businesses send each day: Email marketing works.

In fact, when you apply a solid process to it, email marketing works like a virtual salesman—driving sales day after day on autopilot. And, if you really do it right, it can become an Invisible Selling Machine.

So, why isn’t everyone doing it?

Most business owners I meet are paralyzed by the “small list” myth. They think they need an enormous list of subscribers to make email marketing work for their business.

Not true.

Okay, I’ll admit it…

All other things being equal—a bigger list is better.

But list size is certainly not the primary driver of email marketing success. I know lots of marketers with great big lists that don’t make a dime because, at the end of the day, it’s not the size of the list that matters… it’s how you use it.

And the simple truth is that most companies don’t know how to use their list. They don’t have a process or a system, and that’s the primary reason business owners declare that email marketing doesn’t work.

The fact is, if you do it wrong, email marketing doesn’t work. That’s why we teach you how to do it right.

But there’s something else we should talk about…

The Great Big Lie

We’ve all heard this before…

“The money is IN the list.”

Don’t fall for it. This is a myth perpetuated by so-called experts peddling lead generation and list building services.

Make no mistake—simply having a list does not guarantee sales. There’s only money to be made from a list if you have a “machine” in place to monetize the list once you have it.

We’ve acquired big businesses with big email lists that were utterly worthless. They had no process to extract money from that list.


This is what most marketers get wrong. They focus all their efforts on building email lists and almost no effort on how they’re going to make money from that list once they have it. So, as backwards as it may seem, your first priority needs to be HOW you will make money from a prospect or lead. You must first have your process down, and then you can focus on how you will get more leads.

This is why you might think list building is difficult. This is why you might feel stuck. It’s not your fault and you’re certainly not alone, you’ve simply been taught to do things backwards.

Building an email list becomes simple when you understand the system I outline in this book. The Invisible Selling Machine will give you an unfair advantage over 98% of your competition by deploying a simple, copy-and-paste “method” I discovered after hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in trial and error of selling my own products and services.

These aren’t sneaky, under-handed “black-hat” tricks and hacks, and you won’t be labeled a spammer. In fact, with this method, you’ll actually mail your list less frequently while making MORE money.

Two Crucial Errors

When most marketers get a lead, they make one of two catastrophic errors.

The first big mistake is that they fail to follow-up.

It sounds crazy, but most of the business owners I know (even some of the really good ones) don’t have a single follow-up campaign in place. They send emails to their list when they “feel like it.”

Again, it sounds crazy, because what’s the point of lead generation if you’re not going to follow-up? The problem is most business owners simply don’t know what to mail or how often they should mail.


Or they’re scared. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard business owners say, “If I email my list, people will unsubscribe.” But if you’re not going to send them emails, what’s the point of building the list in the first place? It’s flawed logic.

The second big mistake marketers make is sending the exact same email to everyone on their list.

The fact is, not every subscriber on your list is created equal. Some are very interested in what you’re selling. Others are somewhat interested and, still, others aren’t interested in what you’re selling at all. At least, not yet.

So should all these subscribers receive the exact same emails at the exact same time? Should they even receive the same number of emails?

Of course not!

Wouldn’t you agree that if a subscriber shows interest in a particular product, service, or topic that they should receive more emails than a less engaged subscriber? And wouldn’t you think if you segmented your subscribers this way that your engaged subscribers would buy more?

And, if you laid off your less engaged subscribers, don’t you think they’d stay on your list longer and maybe even buy something from you at a later date when they’re ready to buy?


And that’s exactly what a “Machine” does and it does it on 100% autopilot.

Ryan Deiss

Ryan Deiss

Ryan Deiss is the Founder and CEO of and Founder and Managing Partner of, a digital media and ecommerce group that owns dozens of properties. Ryan has been called one of the world’s leading digital marketers by Shark Tank star, Daymond John. A best selling author, founder of multiple companies collectively employing hundreds around the globe, and one of the most dynamic speakers on marketing in the United States today, he is undeniably a recognized expert on the digital era. Connect with Ryan on Twitter.

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