Opt-In List Builder Tested

Section 2 (Analysis)


So do we recommend the List Builder Program? Is it an effective way to grow your list? We tracked 1082 of our original 1600+ names to determine the following:

  1. The unsubscribe ratio
  2. The undeliverable ratio
  3. The secondary (free email address) ratio
  4. The AOL address ratio
  5. The conversion ratio (How many subscribers made a purchase?)

We also analyzed two version of ad copy in an A/B split test. Here is what we learned about the profitability of this program.

What was the unsubscribe ratio for the List Builder Program?

In the 70 days immediately following our List Builder Program we lost 5% of the new subscribers. We estimate this number to be more than 10 times our average unsubscribe ratio, but it could still be a reasonable loss depending upon the productivity of the list.

What was the undeliverable ratio for the List Builder Program?

Here is an analysis of the net subscribers

Subscribers Ordered 1000
Subscribers Delivered 1103
Duplicates -21
Bad Addresses -130
NET Subscribers 952

13% of the new subscribers were undeliverable, BUT List Builder delivered an extra 103 subscribers. Our net loss was 4.8%.

List Builder typically “pads” each order by 10% to negate the undeliverable factor. In this case, it wasn’t quite enough.

What was the percentage of secondary, free email addresses for the List Builder Program?

Sometimes subscribers, concerned about their privacy, will provide a secondary email address from one of the FREE email providers. This can present a problem for publishers, as these secondary addresses are sometimes neglected by the subscriber — often going for weeks “unchecked”. (*2)

Our researchers examined each address and determined the following:

Total Subscribers Less Duplicates 1082
Yahoo Addresses 290
Hotmail Addresses 152
Total Yahoo/Hotmail Addresses 322
Percentage of Yahoo/Hotmail Addresses 30%

What was the percentage of AOL addresses for List Builder?

AOL addresses (though valuable) can pose a daunting challenge for the publisher. There are at least two reasons:

  1. It can be difficult to send HTML based messages to an AOL address.
  2. AOL maintains certain filters that can screen out your plain text email message and treat it as SPAM.

Our researchers discovered the following:

Total Subscribers Less Duplicates 1082
AOL Addresses 152
Percentage of AOL Addresses 15%

How do you write effective copy for the List Builder Program?

OK, Marketing Pro, which ad will pull the greater response?


Marketing Experiments Journal – We test GoTo, Google, Ezine Ads, Sales Copy, Banners, Web Cards… Find out what works.


Researchers conduct scientific Internet marketing tests and publish the results – saving you time, money, effort.

ADV A was prepared by our staff; ADV B was prepared by the co-creator of the List Builder Program, Marty Foley.

We ran an A/B split test. and ADV A “out-pulled” ADV B by more than 20%. But why? What was the difference?

While ADV A followed the traditional marketing approach stressing benefits. ADV B provided specific facts.

We agree that stressing benefits is the holy and sacred obligation of the marketer… but we have (sadly) discovered that stressing benefits is of NO value if the prospect does not believe you.

We suggest that when you have only 15 words to make your point, SERVE the prospect with specific, concrete facts that clearly INFER the benefits.

Let him draw his own conclusions. The prospect is more apt to believe his opinion than yours.

What are other advertisers with List Builder writing in their copy?

Here is a sample of the ezines currently advertising with List Builder’s partner, Freedback. Your ezine ad would be competing with ads like these:

  • Secrets of the Big Dogs Revealed. Proven network marketing biz offering the most D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S book on the Internet, plus 11 backend affiliate income streams!
  • Hot Stix: NASDAQ Investment Reports. Weekly NASDAQ U.S. stock market analysis report reveals simple, powerful strategies for profiting from the stock market – whether down or up!
  • Multiple Streams of Income. Free wealth creation training newsletter by Robert G. Allen, America’s #1 millionaire maker!
  • 30 Second Bargains. Free offers and bargains delivered by email every other day — readable in 30 seconds!
  • SavvyConsumers Newsletter. Free advice on saving money on the best products/services for your needs, consumer protection, investments, finances, more.
  • A+ Marketplace. Weekly E-Pub for hard core MLM’ers and serious direct response Internet marketers.
  • How to Write a Book Fast. How to write a book on anything in 14 days or less — guaranteed, plus free 120 day membership in PIP Tips Writers’ Club.
  • Great Speaking. The electronic magazine for presentation skills, tips, public speaking, speaking for money, and speaker marketing.
  • Business Success Chronicles. Proven business opportunities and success strategies for making a living in your own small or homebased business!
  • Access-2-Success eZine. This free ezine is the ultimate no-nonsense Netbusiness success guide for Internet marketing beginners!
  • Trafficology.com. We pay $1,000.00 for everyone’s best web site traffic ideas… then publish these great ideas… FREE!
  • Instant Internet Empires. My unprofessional homemade web site earned $115,467.21 last year. Get a replica of my site + resell rights, without spending a fortune! Free bonus ebook!
  • DEMC E-Magazine. Make your small business profitable. Valuable insight & techniques on running successful, money making operations.
  • Learn How to Cash In Online. Everything you need to know about Affiliate Programs and getting your share of the Internet goldmine.
  • Home Business for the New Millennium 45-Second Newsletter. Discover the best Internet resources about your home business — in 45 seconds a week!
  • Amazing Fatloss & Fitness Tips. Learn proven secrets to getting the dream body you want. Look & feel better with this free mini-course!
  • CRM.Insight — Customer Relationship Management. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a key to success in ANY business. Subscribe now and get a free CRM Solutions Guide.
  • Email Profits Course. Discover how to explode the size of your opt-in email list and multiply your email marketing profits – without spamming anyone!

What was the conversion ratio for the List Builder Program?

We acquired 1600 new subscribers and, for 70 days, presented them with carefully crafted offers. Our objective was to determine how many sales we could generate.

Just how productive was this new list?

To answer that question, we need to COMPARE this list with another (average) list acquired through web traffic alone.

Total names analyzed 1000
Total sales 20
Total revenue (annualized) $2392
Conversion Ratio .02
Total names analyzed 1082
Total sales 1
Total revenue (annualized) $119.60
Conversion Ratio .00092

How profitable was the List Builder Program?

If you have correctly interpreted the above data then the viability of the List Builder Program may seem bleak. Our homegrown subscribers were 2000 times better than the ListBuilder subscribers.

Still, there are several factors you should consider:

  1. The best way to determine the value of this program is to subtract costs from revenue. If you spend $197 for 800 names, and if you acquire only one customer, with a lifetime value of $250, you have achieved a 50% return on your investment, (excluding the present value of capital).
  2. We try to carefully measure our results, but we may have missed some sales. This would happen if the customer entered an email address that was different from the one with which they subscribed.
  3. We have only had one purchase from the new list, but we “own” the names and we will continue to present new offers. We could eventually convert a larger percentage of these subscribers. Had we spent the money on an ad campaign, we would have had only one chance.
  4. The higher the lifetime value of your customer, the higher your chances of gaining a profit with the List Builder Program.

Marty Foley, co-creator of the List Builder Program was extremely ethical in his help with our research, and we were impressed by his integrity. When we called (out of courtesy) to summarize our results, Marty did not try to dissuade us in any way. He encouraged us to publish exactly what we discovered.

Marty candidly stated that the List Builder Program does not work for every advertiser, and that they are working on ways to improve ad targeting. In the meantime, he has accumulated many testimonials from satisfied publishers.

(*1) Please note that MEC accepts no commission or compensation from List Builder.

(*2) The last version of Hotmail could not interpret mailto options). In the new version of Hotmail, Microsoft uses advanced JavaScript filters to edit all email that goes through its system. The result is that mailto options are not included in the tag link.

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