Anytime I start doing something new I usually do 2
Start searching and recoding what some else is doing.
- thingsRead a for dummies book.
Why for Dummies books. (Maybe I’m a dummy?)
Everyone learns differently.
I am a top down learner. Basically I need to understand from a top level outline of what I’m trying to learn as the first step. Then when I journey down the learning path I have sections to stick things in to make sense of them.
Not everyone learns the same way. Some people are bottom up. Honestly this boggles my mind. But it’s a useful thing to know how you learn so you can use effective strategies to learn faster.
I choose for Dummies books because they quickly give me the framework to dump the parts in. I can usually breeze through a for Dummies book in 2-3 hours from cover to cover. At the end I usually have a really rounded top level understanding.
Study it happening in the marketplace
Once I have that initial framework I go on a fact finding mission. We’re in an amazing industry because almost everything is public and can be reverse engineered. The very nature of advertising is it has to be out there and findable. Yay us!
As a lot of you know I’ve been very focused on media/advertising buying for well over 10 years. One of the main tools I use to be successful at that is studying the marketplace and looking at what’s really happening.
Sure you can get stories all the time from people, affiliate managers, etc. But in my opinion the main place you want to look for what’s working is the placements themselves. I monitor a bunch of placements and sources daily, or more, on the media side.
Step 1 – Identify who is potentially emailing in your market.
- Affiliate networks
- Auto Insurance
I wrote down all the sites that were the tops in these worlds.
If you don’t know who dominates at newsletters for a vertical you’re involved in I’d highly suggest you pop on over to Clickbank, look up your vertical and sign up for those lists. Another good way is if your’e in the CPA world ask your Affiliate Manager who the top dog is in that vertical.
Step 2 – Tracking emails by site.
The thing about email is that people often rebroker out the data to other partners to monetize. Therefore we can’t just track incoming email just for that site. We need to make a fresh email address in order to check.
[side note – if you’re getting on a bulk mailers lost you probably need by domain like yahoo, AOL, gmail, etc. but because we’re following newsletter people they use esp’s (email service providers) that do t have deliver ability issues like bulk]
For tracking I’ve found it best to use gmail or google apps mail and that’s what this walk they revolves around.
With gmail you can add a +whatever to the end of your email and it will come to your inbox. What I do with this is list the the source site after the +.
Eg. If my email was
If use the email
To subscribe to Frank Kerns list. Or I might do
Then I know any mail delivered to that email some how originates with that Frank Kern promotion signup.
Step 3 – Organizing
In gmail there’s a feature called “labels”. If equate these to folders on a PC. They are an easy way for you to organize emails so they do t clutter your inbox.
With labels I created a label called “Lists”.
Once that was done I created another label called “kern” and I selected to neat that label under lists. Essentially making it a sub-folder.
Now I have a nice neat place to organize all these incoming emails.
Step 4 – Automated sorting and organizing.
The next gmail feature we’ll talk about is “filters”. These are an automated way to handle incoming email.
What I do is create a new filter. Then I put the email address we’ve made up in the “to:” box.
I hit next. Then if there’s already emails that match this it will tell you how many.
On this next screen I like to select:
- Apply label = label name
- Skip inbox
- New spam
- Mark as read
This will route the emails to the folder and mark them as read. This way I never get them on my phone or any email location I consider time sensitive. They’re nicely filed away in the library for me to reference when I want to use them.
You can check the box that says apply to current. Then hit the button. This will clean up your inbox and save them all away nicely.
Here’s how it should look when you’re done.
And that’s it. Now we have a simple system for tracking and storing the competitions email lists.
I personally store about 50 different lists and am adding more all the time.
Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions.