email marketing tips
Project Ignite Podcast by Derek Gehl Ethical Email Marketing Tips To Jumpstart Your Traffic & Sales Without Your Own Email List
00:00:00 00:00:00
  • Episode  49
  • Jonathan Mizel


This episode of the podcast is all about leveraging email marketing when you don’t have your own list. Turns out, this can be an incredibly lucrative way to catch some lifetime customers and build relationships with those customers without having to build that list yourself. Be careful with brokers, but Jonathan Mizel, email marketing expert, has some email marketing tips on how to make your list rentals count.

Transcript of: Email Marketing Tips To Jumpstart Your Traffic and Sales

Welcome to the Project Ignite podcast, a podcast designed to give you real, actionable tips and strategies to help you grow your business and income on the internet. This is your host, Derek Gehl. Today we’re gonna be diving into how to leverage email marketing to grow your business, even if you don’t have your own list.

Today’s guest isn’t only an email marketing ninja, he’s also an internet marketing ninja. He’s a pioneer in the world of internet marketing, coming online in 1993. He was one of the first people I started learning from back in the 1990s. After 22 years, he’s still crushing it on the internet, as well as teaching people how to use strategies that he’s pioneering every day.

Without further ado, I’d like to welcome Jonathan Mizel to the show today.


Thank you Derek. How long have we known each other? 16 years?

Since 1998, probably.

That’s amazing. Folks, there are marketing experts out there that are 16 years old! Well, supposedly. They’re so young now! I’m so honoured to be on your podcast, it’s so great to reconnect. I’m really looking forward to sharing with your audience today.

It’s funny, most of the time I get people out on the show, and I’ll ask them to share their stories, and they’ll say, “it started in 2014.”

So I want to ask you for your story, it’s 22 years long already! I don’t think I know anyone that’s been online as long as you have.

There’s a few of us. It’s been an exciting and wild ride–the internet is a space that continues to get more and more interesting. Some things get easier, some get harder–overall, I don’t think it’s any more difficult today. The rules are different, sure, but there are some things that I’ve been doing for 22 years that I haven’t changed, and they still work.

We’ll be talking about some of those today.

I had Marlon Sanders on the show a few months ago. We were talking about older conferences, and about how so many of those fundamentals are still the same. They’re just applied through different platforms. I agree in that I don’t think it’s necessarily gotten harder, it’s just different. In many cases, it’s a lot easier.

Exactly. In 1993, if you wanted an autoresponder, there was one guy that you’d call. He was in Texas. And it was $4,000 per year. There was no sequential follow up. You’d get 3 autoresponders for $4,000, and they’d respond with a single message. There was no Aweber. There was no mail managers, or social media. There was nothing in terms of technology. Now, if anything, we have too many choices. There are so many different tools available to each marketer.

If those were around when we were younger, I can only imagine what would have happened. We’d own the internet

That’s just it! Especially technically, everything is so much easier. Just to take payment online, that was so hard! Now, it’s nothing. Email marketing, you used to have your list in a CSV and you’d upload it to a mailloop, and hope your ISP didn’t shut you down.

I want to dig in here. You’re an email marketing ninja and you have been for a long time. I want to dig in today to email marketing without a list. How does someone leverage email marketing ethically if they don’t have a list, without breaking spam laws?

Let’s throw away one option right away. Buying a list and trying to mail it yourself. That will get you into a lot of trouble. Nothing we’re going to talk about today has anything to do with buying. So how do you get started?

It’s all about leveraging other people’s lists. That’s how it’s always been. Finding someone else that has a list that will either rent out, trade a mailout, or in a more traditional affiliate program, they’ll mail for you, and they’ll get paid for that performance.

One of my mentors would always say, let’s go to Google. If you’re in the dog training market, and you go look up Dog Training Newsletters, or Dog Training Mailing List. We find people that have lists in that space. When you go to Google–and I’ve never struggled to find someone since I learned this trick–go to Google, your niche plus newsletter, and that’s a list. Not a list you can mail to, but a list of people with a list that you can mail to.

It’s even better. You don’t have to form millions of relationships. You form relationships with people that have lists. Even if you could buy a CD and mail out to a million names legally, and you never got one spam complaint–which would never, ever happen–there’s no relationship there. That relationship is responsible for most of the conversion rate. People don’t buy from spammers. If you don’t know who an email is from, your natural propensity is to just delete it.

But if it’s coming from someone you know and like, now there’s a recommendation there. So I want to get people to focus on, instead of the lists out there, think about the relationships out there. There are so many different lists that you could mail your offer to.

If you’re in a tiny niche, you might dominate that industry pretty quickly. But you will dominate it. And if you look at a huge niche, you’ll never be able to dominate that. But that’s fine. You can still continue to scale out and build your business.

So that’s the secret. Find people that will let you use their lists and relationships and credibility.

This is revolutionary for so many people. What we’re effectively talking about is solo ads in the internet marketing space, right?

Yes and no. Solo ads have kind of taken on a life of their own. There’s a cottage industry of people that build up small lists and rent them out. Those lists may or may not be good. You can definitely rent solo ads or get email based traffic from some of those players, but I don’t use the terms interchangeably. I use the term “email traffic,” because solo ads have sort of branched off into their own little world.

For most of the people out there, if you’re going to be working with someone who you’ve identified as someone you want to work with, and you say, I want to expose your list to my offer and pay you for the privilege, most of the time, we’re talking about a solo ad.

What a solo ad is, is where you mail your ad with no other ads to a prospect, through someone else’s list, or through a rented list, or a brokered list, or an email network, or even to your own list. If there’s no other ads or content, that’s a solo ad. Solo means only you, only your offer.

When you look at newsletters out there, like NewsMax, you can run solo ads or sponsored ads, where you’re apart of someone else’s content. Solo ads are the best kind of traffic because it’s me to you, with no other distraction. If you like my offer, you’ll probably click through, because you’re interested in it. This article is sponsored by so and so… That doesn’t have the same impact.

You want to be in a situation where someone is sending just your message to their list. That’s ideal.

So to tease this apart a bit, people have heard of solo ads. They google it, they find that cottage industry. So your approach is that there might be some good lists there. You’re doing solo ads, but you’re using good lists specifically, not lists that have been put together solely for advertising.

That’s a great way of putting it. There’s a wonderful internet marketer in the health space that sells many millions of dollars worth of stuff every month. He has a blog, and he recently revealed how he makes extra money. He sells one product, and a secondary product, and a little affiliate program, but twice or three times a month, he rents his list of 3 or 4 million people out. He’ll send his list an offer for a different product, and sometimes, even a competitor.

Not everyone responds to every offer. So, more and more, we’re starting to see large list owners agree to email a third party or non house offer to their list. That’s what you want to look for. There are some great brokers out there that specialize in the bigger niches out there, financial, health, self help, those ones. You can find a bunch of legitimate people in the space that can put together a list of a million high quality people. That’s the offer you want.

You don’t want Joe Blow’s 5,000 names. You’ll drive yourself crazy. You won’t get the conversions. The other thing with small list owners is that it’s just not scaleable. You can’t mail the same good list every day. That’s why NewsMax, or some of the brokers in the business opportunity space, they have large lists. You can go to them and say, I want to spend $500, and if it works, then you can go back to them and email to the rest of their list.

Not that the small players aren’t legitimate, but they have no ability to scale, and there’s also issues with fraud. Who’s got the best traffic on the internet? Google and Facebook. There’s almost no fraud in that network. Not everyone is going to click, but at least you’re not dealing with fraud.

I like to deal with larger people because not only do you eliminate the fraud issue, but you can scale up.

It’s amazing how many owners out there after they’ve mailed their follow ups, they have nothing else to mail. That’s why a lot of these guys, even the largest companies with millions of names are willing to do third party mailings. You can only mail the same offer so many times.

That’s so true. And if they’re not interested in that, you have to find other value in that list.

If we go out into the world of health, what are the criteria you use to decide if a list is worth investing in?

If it’s a very general interest deal, like weight loss, you can probably go to a general interest list like NewsMax, where you’re not spending a ton of money for a targeted ad, because you’re just looking for general prospects. With weight loss, you can almost mail any random list. It’s true. I’ve done very well taking offers and broadening them up like that.

So, I think depending on what you’re selling, if it’s very general, you can go to a list that’s not specifically targeted. There’s another benefit to that, too. If you go to a NewsMax list, which is more politically conservative, you’ll find a lot of older people there. They get hit up for all kinds of stuff there. Join this group, donate to this politician… It’s not a specific health list, which means there won’t be a lot of people hitting up that list.

There’s something to that too. When you get the targeted lists, you’re often the fortieth guy to try to sell to that list. Quite often, I look for related lists. These are lists of prospects who are the same prospects you’d be going for, but the person you’re renting the list from sells a different product. Maybe they sell information products on joint pain, and I come in and offer to sell a supplement. I offer to overpay, because I want to get that customer. In essence, what that person does by recommending you to their list, is they take everyone that’s predisposed to buy a joint pain supplement and they hand them over on a silver platter.

If your product is good, you might overpay for those relationships, but now those customers are yours for the rest of your life. When they buy their fifth bottle of your supplements, you’re in a situation where you may have overpaid on the front end, but now you’re in profit. Then, you can introduce those people to you and your product.

A lot of times, people want to see what you’re selling to their list. You need to impress them, and you are going to need to pay–so you need to be making some money and making some good sales, or you’ll not make any money.

So you want to be targeting someone that sells to your potential customers, but doesn’t sell exactly your product.
email marketing tips

So we’ve touched on this a bit, but I know it’s a question out there. I find someone with a good list, what should I be paying for? Clicks? Leads? What’s the ballpark you should be expecting?

Good question. This is usually with an ad agency: the phrase is prevailing rate. You can go to, and you can look at some of the metrics that are out there that people will expect. People with lists look at metrics. They’ll never look at your conversion rate, but they care about how much money they make per click.

You’re gonna pay about a dollar for a really great quality click. If Google is charging $3, you’re not gonna get it for less than a buck. Look at the prevailing rate. MaxBounty is one of my favourite CPA networks. Look at what the average earning rate per click is. If the affiliates are earning $1 per click, that should be your starting point.

If your partners aren’t going to be earning that, you need to fix your offers to make them that much money. Otherwise you’ll be spending money, bringing in clicks, but those people won’t convert. If you’re a host company and everyone else is paying $150 for a new customer, you won’t have much luck trying to pay $20.

You have to look at what the market has out there. You use tools like CPA networks and OfferVault. Ideally, you’ll look at the networks and sign up for their affiliate programs, and when they have a launch, they’ll tell you what they average per click. If you look at market rates, and you pay absolutely as much money as you possibly can afford to acquire the customer. Then, you win. That’s how you win this game.

If everyone else is paying $1 per click, and you’re paying $1.50, everyone is going to give you their traffic. You have to have a process for making that money, of course, you have to have a squeeze page and up sells, and all that stuff. But if you have that process–I’ve had affiliates worry about me because I’m paying so much for each customer. They’ve called me up and asked… How are you making money? And I just say, well, I’m a generous guy! But what they don’t know is what I do to extract as much money as I can from my customers.

We had a client going to AdTech, a big advertising seminar, and the guy said, how do I get people to promote my life insurance offer? He had a great process. I asked him what the prevailing rate was, and he said $90. I asked him how much he could pay, and he said, I can pay $140.

I said, you need to go around and make a little one sheet that says, have you heard about this nut that overpays for life insurance leads?

Be the guy that when they’re in a meeting, and they’re saying, we need to increase our third party income, that someone stands up and says I met this crazy guy that’s paying $140 when everyone else is paying $90.

Start with a good product or a good funnel, and like all sales jobs, it’s a numbers game. Use Google, AdWords, discussion boards, Facebook… That’s the key. Instead of thinking about, how many names can I collect, think about, how many list owners can I collect to start mailing to their list with their blessing and endorsement?

For everyone listening, keep in mind that Jonathan gets to play in these really great competitive markets. But for everyone playing in less competitive niches, it gets a lot easier. You don’t need to play with giants and compete for lists. If you’re in smaller niches that aren’t as attuned to what we’re talking about here, it’s easier to get those mailings.

That’s true. If we talk about anyone in internet marketing, they’re all on the same page. They’ve seen the templates you’re using, and your ClickFunnels, all of that. The first thing in other industries is that you don’t have that level of audience sophistication. That audience has seen it all before, but in the model train market, it’s a lot easier to get them on your list. They’ve never seen the upsells, and that stuff will still work. In internet marketing, it hardly works anymore because everyone has already seen it.

If you’ve got a really good quality product, you then have this list owner that built his list because he had this blog–not for renting out. And you have model train plans. Now, when he recommends you, he’s really recommending you. You’re someone that can really help his list. This isn’t my weekly email, this is me helping my list.

Often, these more targeted lists don’t always get a ton of emails from smaller owners like that. And that’s very different from lists in the health space. It still works, you still make money.

But for people in smaller niches, you’ve got a great opportunity, because your audience isn’t as sophisticated. Maybe you pay the list owners cost per click. Corey Rudl used to say, I’d call someone at a car site, and say, I want to buy a banner. The guy would say, I want $100 per month, and Corey would give it to him because he’d get 300 extra visitors per day.

That stuff probably doesn’t happen as much anymore, but there are still windfalls. Those happen in those smaller niches.

I love it when I’m playing in those niches because everything is easier. You don’t have that level of sophistication in the audience. I love getting outside the IM space.

We’re almost out of time here but I have one more question. When you’re putting these offers together, are you just trying to capture that lead so you have them indefinitely?

It depends on the strategy we’re using and what we’re trying to achieve. There are list owners that are just selling clicks. They’ll want $.50 per click. If I have to pay on that basis, I’m gonna do everything I can to squeeze those people. I’ll give them a big promise, I’ll probably upsell them. If someone is just mailing for me and I’m paying for each email that goes out, I’ll start with a squeeze and I may or may not use an immediate upsell. I’ll build a self liquidating funnel.

But I don’t have to. Sometimes I just want to build that relationship. There are times when I might want to put someone through a 15 step followup to get them into the place where I want to sell. If I’m able to buy on that basis, then I’ll make it more of a list collection. But if I’m paying commission, I’d better have some money to give them!

So I’ll try to go with some kind of immediate sale, low cost. We’re testing a really inexpensive book in the health space right now, and ideally, I’d be able to give all of that money to the list owners. If it’s a rev-share thing, I’m gonna absolutely sell something. If I’m just gonna pay per click, then I’ll probably play the long game and really try to develop those relationships with the prospects. Does that make sense?

Absolutely. Thank you. We’re out of time, but where can our listeners find out more about you? Can people get on your list for your email academy?

Go to and get on our list. We provide unlimited coaching to all of our students. We don’t just fill it up, because I’d never have my own free time. So we do limit our amount of students. We open it up every few months. If you get on our waitlist, you can come to one of our webinars when we open up again. We’d be glad to let you in, and you can join us as well.

We also have a more basic broad based traffic course called Traffic Evolution, and you can opt-in at The academy is really exciting, and it’s where we give you the A to Z steps of setting up your funnel, your follow ups, and then finding people to run those lists for you.

Awesome. Thank you so much for all of that information, Jonathan. I’ve paid for courses that gave me less information than you just did. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much, Derek. You rock.


Okay everyone, that was Jonathan Mizel. As always, all of our links will be in the shownotes and the transcript of this episode, which can be found at You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud. If you have subscribed, please leave us a review or a rating!

Now, it’s time to make this stuff work for you! Take what you learned here today, set a deadline, take action, get it done, and see some real results. Go forth, take action, and we’ll see you in the next episode.
This is Derek Gehl, signing off.

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