I was scared to admit this at first.

A huge part of my business is setting up email marketing campaigns for people.

Unfortunately, within the last 6 months, other marketing channels have outperformed my email campaigns by as much as 82.33%.

This makes sense though …

Email has been around a loooong time.

Heck, I personally have 12 different email addresses, four strictly for “junk” – but, I'm a marketer and sign up for a ton of crap just to see what happens.

While I'm probably not the norm, you have to assume most people have at least two email addresses, one for “real” email and the other for “junk”.

When people are opting-in for your lead magnets, I'm willing to bet a pretty penny that 90% of the time, they're giving you their “junk” email address.

It's the nature of the beast and the sooner you accept it, the sooner you can move on to bigger and better things!

So, is email marketing really dead-dead?

No. It's not dead-dead.

But, should “growing your email list” be your sole focus? Absolutely not!

This post will explain how to approach list building in this incredible era!

How's It Going To Be “OK”?



Layers make it all OK.

Here's the deal …

You probably have a lot of “stuff” on the Internet.

Everything from blog posts, to various sales and squeeze pages, to products and services, to videos and images, and more.

Typically, when someone looks at, opts-in for, or buys something … it's because they're interested in that topic/product/service/etc.

And, whenever someone …

  • looks at
  • opts-in for
  • buys something

… you can add them to one, or many, lists.

These lists form your layers.

Here Are The Layers (Lists)

Looks At

“Looks at” is the simplest and easiest layer to enact because the individual only has to “look at” something of yours to be added to your lists.

Whenever an individual lands on any page, you're able to tag them via a retargeting pixel.

In layman's terms, a retargeting pixel is a piece of code placed on a website so when a visitor lands on a particular page, they're added to a list.

You can then show ads specifically to those individuals, bringing them back to your site again, and again.

For example, Joe Schmo looks at one of your digital courses, but doesn't buy it. A day later, he's on CNN.com when he sees an ad for your course. He thinks to himself, “Oh, yeah – that course looked great! I'll go buy it now!”

Now, you have a customer you otherwise wouldn't have had you not retargeted him!

Retargeting Tools & Resources

Opts-in For

“Opts-in for” is the second layer of this marketing equation.

Gathering the details for this layer is a bit harder than the “looks at” layer because the individual has to give you their contact information.

This is where email marketing first shows up because email is typically the easiest piece of information to request.

However, opt-in forms can also request other contact info like name, phone, and even physical address.

As alluded to earlier, the problem with “opt-in” information is that it can be bogus or people may only give you their “junk” email address.

  • ActiveCampaign – Emails, texts, and even automated voicemails with the right webhooks

Buys Something

“Buys something” is the third layer and final layer. It's also the “best” way to gather contact information.

Having a list of known buyers is the crown jewel of lists because the information is almost always legit – people give you their “real” contact information because they want to make sure they get what they paid for.

Having a list of people you know are willing and able to spend money is priceless.

The type of contact information gathered in this layer can include name, email, phone, physical address, and more.

  • Lob – Send direct mail (postcards, letters, etc.)

A Practical Example


Joe Schmo is trying to figure out how to run Facebook ads for his business; he's online, Googling all sorts of Facebook ads “stuff”.

He eventually comes across an article on your site that describes a method for optimizing Facebook campaigns. He thinks to himself, “Hmm, interesting” – then he moves onto the next site.

Unbeknownst to him, you were smart and had a retargeting pixel installed on your site!

While you may not know Joe's name or have his contact information (yet) – you do know he's looking at Facebook ads “stuff” and he's on your retargeting list. So, you start showing him ads about Facebook marketing.

He clicks on one of your ads, arrives on a squeeze page for “101 top performing Facebook Ads of all time”. Joe opts-in because this will come in handy once he's up and running on Facebook's ad platform.

You now have Joe on your retargeting list AND your email list!

You now shift your retargeting ads to advertise your upcoming webinar about launching your first Facebook campaign while simultaneously sending emails about the same webinar.

Unable to avoid your ads and emails, he opts-in to attend your webinar and enters his phone number for text notification when the webinar is live.

You now have Joe on your retargeting list, email list, and phone list!

Since you're able to remind Joe of the upcoming webinar via these three lists, he remembers it, attends, and buys your Facebook Ads course!

As part of the checkout process, he has to enter his billing information which includes his address.

Now, you know have a buyer on your list with all his correct contact information!

Aren't All These Layers Expensive?

Yes, they can be.

Of course, sticking with just retargeting, or just email marketing would be “cheaper” – but, as previously discussed, it's not as effective.

The multi-layer/list approach is the best approach possible.

So, how do you solve this “expensive” problem?

You need to make your sales count.


You need the right overarching strategy.

You need a value ladder.

You need to optimize your point of sale to increase average order size.

Simply selling one product or service at a time doesn't work anymore. You need to have systems, processes, and procedures in place to increase sales and maximize customer lifetime value.

Bottom line? You need a sales funnel.


Email marketing isn't dead-dead. In fact, transactional emails are one of my key areas of emphasis because they deal with point of sale optimization and increasing average order size. More importantly, they work.

However, using email marketing as your sole marketing channel is dead (or, at least dying).

This is OK. By using a layered approach to your marketing, you're able to convert more individuals into paying customers!

Unfortunately, the layered approach costs more than using only one marketing channel; however, by having the right strategy, value ladder, and focusing on point of sale optimization … you'll dominate!

Want to learn more about marketing strategy, value ladders, point of sale optimization, and sales funnels?

Checkout the Sales Funnel Training Vault!