Your list is the biggest asset of your business.

Companies can come and go.

Your downline can leave at a moment's notice, leaving you feeling empty and taking a big chunk out of your residual income.

But your email list is YOURS and you need to treat people on your list with the care that you would your own heart.  

Indeed, your list is the heart of your business.

Let's get to some email list secrets!

email list secrets

Email List Secret #1:  Surprise Your List!

It's human nature to want to feel recognized and special.   If you do this with people on your email list, you cannot go wrong.

My mantra with my marketing is to “under-promise and over-deliver.”  

I use this same philosophy with my email subscriber list.

But let's take a step back.

If you promise something to entice people to subscribe to your list, be sure you DELIVER on your promise.

If you can't do this, you'll get a lot of unsubscribes as a result.  The people remaining on your list won't trust you.

Now that that's been said, let's get back to the surprises.

Surprises are a great way to make your list members feel special and help you develop that trust that will be essential later on when you ask them to take an action (like buying an affiliate product, supporting you with a cause, etc.).

I try to surprise my list members as often as possible.  It doesn't have to be much — just something that provides value and is an unexpected benefit.

For example, the attraction marketing system we use does an amazing job at this.  

Every 2 weeks or so, I get a text message from them announcing another bonus.  

It makes me feel great whenever I get these texts and the bonuses have been really valuable, as well.

So think about how you can surprise your email list members — write a free report, do a training video, whatever.  

And every once in a while, surprise them!


Email List Secret #2:  Give them Exclusive Training!

Nothing makes people feel like they're part of a special group than to give them something that the general public can't lay their hands on.

Just yesterday, I created a private page on this blog called “The Vault”.

This is a password-protected page that contains some of my best training.  And it will only be available to my list members.

So what does this do?

It gives people an additional incentive to join my list.

And that means I am increasing my business' biggest asset on a regular basis.

Think about it — don't you feel more special when you have something others can't get ahold of?  And wouldn't you trust the person who gave you access?

Of course, you would, and that's the power of this email list secret.

What's the Problem?

I've received several emails from readers who are confused.  

They are building their list but no one is buying anything they offer.

What could be the problem?

Almost always, this is a problem of TRUST.  

You need to develop trust with people on your list before they'll even consider purchasing anything you offer.

Most people ask too soon.

You must develop trust and this takes time and patience.  

Using these 2 email list secrets is a great way to speed up the process of developing trust. 

Want More?

If you want to go deeper into learning email marketing, I have a course that's perfect for you.


It's a 2-day recorded Workshop that I did recently and was very popular with my audience.



If building your email list and making it a major income stream for your business (like it is for me), you'll definitely want to consider The Email Playground!

I've thrown in some cool bonuses for you, as well.


It's Your Time to SHINE!


Dr. Bob Clarke


Join our Part-Time Essentials Facebook Group


This post may contain affiliate links to products or services that I trust.  This means that if you make a purchase using the links included in this post, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for the support!


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Audience First - how to build a tribe of buyers on Facebook and Pinterest (with Kim Ward)

The Focus and Implementation 1-Hour Challenge Recordings - boost your focus and extinguish procrastination in 1 Hour

    33 replies to "Email List Secrets: How to Transform Your List Members into Loyal Followers"

    • Emilia

      What’s been said about “under promise and over deliver” can’t be said enough! These are wise words, Bob. Having people in your mailing list should mean that quality content is developed! Good reminders. Engrossing read. Thanks!

    • Don

      I have subscribed to several sites that interest me in more ways than one and I can definitely attest that most of them send nothing but invitations to buy which can be disappointing. What we actually need are relevant and beneficial emails and these are the only ones I actually read and take seriously. Thanks for discussing this matter.

    • Kristine

      Being a part of numerous mailing lists myself, I appreciate receiving significant and personalized content. This never fails to sustain my interest and leaves me eagerly waiting for follow-up emails. Brilliant post as usual. Thanks!

      • Bob

        Thanks! People are on so many lists right now that it’s important to stand out and do things the right way.

    • Liz Tererk

      Great post. If you are looking forward to get a trusted follower, one of the email list secret is to do what you have promise. Once you provide the promise you state in your email for sure there are a lot of followers will stay and will get in touch to your upcoming products to market. That is the best thing to do in order to be successful.

      • Bob

        NEVER promise something to your readers or email list that you’re not sure you can keep.

        Once you go back on a promise, you lose their TRUST… and that’s hard to regain.

        I learned this lesson early on!

    • Aayna

      This is an outstanding post. The words you used “under promise” and “over deliver” are like words of wisdom. These words are the start up points for building trust. Thanks for providing these secrets. Indeed very helpful.

      • Bob

        Got that right, Aayna… underpromise and overdeliver can never steer you wrong.

    • richa

      Hey Bob

      These are great secrets for email lists. I follow the same mantra of under promise and over deliver and this has proved to be very useful for me. Email marketing is a tough thing to do and requires the trust of the customers for its success. Thanks for this great share.

      • Bob

        That seems to have resonated with many people, Richa… overdeliver and underpromise. Can’t go wrong.

    • prakriti

      Thanks for sharing this informative post. Building trust is the key thing. It is also crucially vital at keeping a check on the interest of the customers. I completely agree with you on this part.

      • Bob

        Trust has always been the key in all types of sales and marketing, going back to the earliest time. While you many occasionally buy on price, given the choice you’ll always buy from someone you know and trust.

    • Abhishek

      Great post, Bob . Your under-promise and overdeliver mantra is inspiring in truest sense and can undoubtedly make a significant difference .Moreover giving them something that the general public can’t lay their hands on is also quite thoughtful in terms of some training or tips . This share of yours has helped me gain insight on various fronts . Nice share .

      • Bob

        Thanks, Abhhishek glad you found it useful. Appreciate the comment.

    • Amanda Walken

      These are really useful tips. These could really help individuals to list members into loyal followers. It is very important that you state the right thing to your email in order to get the trust of the follower and will stay on you.

      • Bob

        Being honest with your list is crucial, Amanda. If you lost their trust, you’re finished.

        Appreciate the comment.

    • Elana G.

      You are completely right, TRUST is the issue these days for people’s willingness to subscribe to “any” list. I have signed up with sites before only to start receiving spam in my inbox from others, who I’m guessing acquired my information from someone I just subscribed to. The little note about “we hate spammers, your information is never sold” cannot always be trusted. Just because it’s there, doesn’t always mean it’s true. Great post!

    • Sammie

      Great post, Bob! Email marketing is pretty tough, but if you give your subscribers a reason to look forward to YOUR emails (like surprising them!) you definitely have it licked. Thanks for the fast and dirty tips….I am going to subscribe so I can see the rest of your ideas.

    • Joy

      Thanks for sharing this informative post. Building trust is the key thing. It is also important to keep the interest of the customers by creating eye catching emails. You can’t just stop after creating a list. I completely agree with you on the surprising part.

    • Jessica Smith

      Not many understands that you don’t just need to create a list but you also need to communicate with them frequently. You may not succeed at your first try, 1 by 1 you’ll attract them to listen to your thoughts and ideas until the idea becomes broad.

    • Born27

      Thank you so much Bob for the great content of your post. These tips are very useful to me. Though I had a hard time in sending emails, ‘coz sometimes it didn’t paid back. But you secret here, may do a big difference.

    • Dickie

      Ever since the Panda update in mid-March I have redesigned my Internet Marketing business to focus on list building for the exact same reasons as you present at the start of this post. However, now that I have a pretty consistent number of people signing up to my list on a daily basis, I’m now trying to focus on how to turn them into fanatical “tribe” members and these two tips are great ways to do just that. My wife has always preached to me the “under-promise and overdeliver” principle, but it’s never really sunk in until now (sometimes I tune her out, what can I say). I’ve sent out free programs and other bonuses before and with a great response, but nothing consistent. Do you have any suggestions on the frequency? Thanks Dr. Bob.

    • Karl

      Great post Bob! Your tips here are very much helpful to all marketers. Sending emails are quite risky but if you can do this secret, I’m sure this will be a big hit to us! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Carol Lynn

      Great ideas, Bob. One thing I know I don’t spend as much time doing as I should is nurturing that list. I have a “set it and forget it” campaign that shoots off an email whenever a post goes live on my blog but I know I need to do more. I want to do more! Usually time is the thing. But I love your ideas and I especially think the idea of “surprising” people can be done simply and effectively. I’m sure just one note from me would be a nice break in between all those blog posts 🙂

      Ok, so you’ve inspired me to pay more attention to this precious list. Thanks!

    • Shane

      These tips are really a huge help and I’ll surely do all these when doing e-mail marketing. Do you still have any tips aside from you mentioned above? Nevertheless, I learned tons of things already. Thanks for sharing.

    • Elena Anne

      Thanks for the tips! Surprising members is a great thing to do. Eye catching emails are important for maintaining customer interest. I appreciate that you also brought up trust, an issue often forgotten.

    • Kim

      Maxwell has a point, I’ve tried it too. With hundred’s of emails a sent, one 2 returned back. I realized that just like me, my inbox is getting spammed and maybe so do they. Maybe, I should be picking the ones that I should send emails to. But having a private tutorial to subscribed clients is a great way of establishing a good businessman-client relationship. I salute to this.

    • Donna Merrill

      Great tips Bob!
      I’m sure that your email list is getting a wonderful education from you.
      Email lists are tricky. The titles have to pull the reader in. They need to know you are there for solving their problems, ergo the effective go giving. And they want to know who you are and why your doing this.

      All this builds trust. I think some people get frustrated if their first email goes out and they don’t get a good response. Change the title, change the text, etc until you get it right. But one thing; Never give up.

      This is wonderful advice you have given. And thanks for bringing up this subject because as we all know, the money is in the list!


    • Adrienne

      I have no doubt that you spoil your list to death Bob and are always offering valuable content. Trust is definitely the key factor and not slamming them all the time with promotion after promotion.

      List building seems to be something a lot of people struggle with so those who want to really learn how it’s done better jump on your list quick. Just think of all the juicy stuff their missing out on.

      Thanks for sharing these tips with us and I have no doubt there’s plenty more in store behind the scenes.


    • Joan Lopez

      Good article.. It will be very helpful for us, especially to those people who use email marketing for their businesses. You need to have a good email etiquette to get the interest of the people in your mail list. Thanks for sharing.. 🙂

    • Jane

      Trust is the key to make an email list work. Not just about making sales but for building a stable business online. Earning subscribers’ trust takes some serious effort and it should not be taken so lightly (as most online entrepreneurs do these days).

      Thanks for the wonderful tips Bob!

    • Sonia

      These are great tips and something I have to implement with mine. For me its about frequency, although I know others send emails either on a daily basis or every few days. I was on one list that sent something every day and it was so annoying that it filled up my inbox. Now, not everyone is like that and I assumed their list was solely to push their product, but it was a huge turn-off. I learned allot from them actually of what to do and what not to do, but you hit it on the nail with Trust.

      People buy from people they like and trust and your message has to add value or it won’t matter what you say. You don’t want valuable information to go on deaf ears because they think you are trying to push something else. That’s when you get people start running for cover and unsubscribing. You shared some awesome details and new ideas for me Bob. Thank you!

    • Maxwell Ivey

      Hi bob; When i first started working on building an email list, most people wouldn’t even return my initial emails. I finally decided that in order to get the list going i would have to give them something they needed but of course something that didn’t cost me any cash money. so, what i started doing was adding pages of links on my site to businesses that might by my products such as carnivals, circuses, fun fairs, amusement parks, family fun centers, and party rental companies. I worked off of other site’s lists. I would send the company an email saying here is your link on my site. Its free, all i ask is that you receive occasional emails about new additions to site. I go on to promise that no matter what they won’t get more than one a week. This has worked very well and now i have over 3,000 amusement based businesses worldwide on my mailing lists. I have them broken down by categories because not all items appeal to or can even be used by all the groups. Also from time to time i send out emails asking if there is anything i can do to make the emails easier on the people receiving. I ask for suggestions and have implemented several of them. My best responses come when i post that i have a buyer for a particular piece of equipment. I think these are the reason a lot of people who think about unsubscribing decide not to. But I could use suggestions from an expert like you to make them better. Just this week I mentioned the blog post about the casey jones train in my emails hoping to get the item to go viral as they say. since i haven’t received much response from people on the lists to the blog post, I’m assuming i still have a ways to go with a lot of my subscribers. guess the best thing i can tell people is to always ask how to make it better and to look at the emails as if you would be receiving them in your own mailbox. thanks again for the great posts. take care, max

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