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Are Your Subscribers Responsive To You?

This post was most recently updated on July 31st, 2016

Are Your subscribers responsive to your emails?Are your subscribers responsive to you when you send them emails?

How about your Facebook friends?

Do they respond to your posts and share them around?

Don’t forget your Twitter followers, blog visitors and all the other folks you’re in touch with every day.

Are they responsive to you?

I’ve been emailing to many of my lists for a long time and one of the things I always try to do is “talk” to people on my list.

There’s a good reason for this.

You see, I really don’t like to talk about “my list.”

I think it’s much more important to talk about “the people” on my list. These, of course, are my subscribers. But
again, I like to always keep my focus on real people, not “my list.”

I find this makes a big difference when I sit down to write emails.

I write to people, not to “lists.”

Because I write to people, and ask their opinion, their feedback and their questions… they write me back.

They tell me about their challenges, dreams, successes and failures.

It’s a bit difficult for me to explain how this works in real time, so let me show you an actual email I wrote recently to one of my email lists.


 “Focus Group” Feedback

I was kind of blown away this
past weekend by all the sharing
you guys did with me about
your “Friday Blueprints.”

If you were hoping to hear from
me but haven’t yet, I am a bit
behind because I was unexpectedly

Anyway, I just had to thank you
all for the great “Friday Focus
Group” feedback.

Now, one of the big messages I
got from all your comments, is
that a lot of you are working
so hard to build a list for your

But you don’t know where to get
the traffic to your offers.

So, I’ll be sending out a few
emails to help you out a bit
with that, and maybe open some
doors for you.

Yes, traffic is essential.

You’ve gotta have traffic or
you’ve got no business.

It’s a like having a great
little shop in the middle of
town that customers never
walk into.

So, more on that coming up.


Thanks for all your great
feedback this weekend.

If anybody here doesn’t even
know what the “Friday Focus
Group” is about, I’ll copy
that email below.

Talk soon,


-Donna & David-
Whirlwind Success

My “Friday Focus Group”

This is not a “group”
in the official sense.

I didn’t wake up and
say “I think I’ll start
this thing…”

But I’ve been talking
some lately about how
I use Friday as a focus

I create my Blueprint for
the next week each Friday.

Then, starting Monday
morning, I know exactly
what I’ve got to do in
order to accomplish my
goals for the week.

On a larger scale, I see
my weekly goals as baby
steps toward achieving
my “Big Goal”.

I usually set a “Big Goal”
as a 6 to 8 week goal that
I really want to reach.

That, of course, is a milestone
toward achieving my big, big,
big goal… operating a
successful online business.

Now, to operate a successful
online business, it is necessary
to constantly strive to reach
my “Big Goals.”

So you see, it’s all too big
to do unless I put all my focus
on one week at a time.

That’s what my Friday Blueprint
is for.

It keeps me from developing a
“wandering eye” or “jumping
the fence” for each new thing
that looks intriguing or easy.

==> Here’s the thing.

I’m rambling.

Let me stop and tell you what
this email is about.

Lots of folks who are on my
email list = thanks for your
loyalty 🙂 =

Lot of folks on my list have
been replying to my emails to
tell me about their goals and
their own “Friday Blueprints.”

Then they follow up and tell
me how it’s progressing.

A few people have been doing
this every single Friday.

They tell me their goals for
the next week one Friday.

The next Friday, they report
back and tell me how they did,
plus… what their new Blueprint
is for the next week.

So they’ve kind of established
an accountability relationship
with me right from this email

And I’ve seen them grow through
doing this, plus, I give some
feedback from time to time.

(Hey! I usually charge for my
email coaching, so you get a
little freebie here for being
my loyal sub, heehee)

That’s it, really.

You wanna play?

Just reply to any of my Friday
emails and tell me what your
Blueprint is for next week.

Then, make yourself accountable
to me (and to yourself)… by
letting me know how you made out
with it, where you slacked off,
where you exceeded your goals,

Nothing formal.

Nothing to sign up for.

Just do it!

I’ll be happy to be your support
and accountability partner.

Send me your Friday Blueprint
right now.

I love my weekend reading 🙂

Talk soon,


-Donna & David-
Whirlwind Success


Clearly, my subscribers have been very responsive to my message, here.

That’s because I was being very authentic, talking about something I do that helps my business, and inviting folks to do the same or similar. Probably, what really made this interactive is that I invited people to get involved… to just reply to my message and let me know what they’re doing with this information.

That shows them that I’m just a real person, here to help them out and carry on a 2-way conversation about it.

Was this a marketing hack?

No… it’s just me. I like people and really like to engage with them. When they’re responsive, it makes this whole thing fun for me, and I can help folks out more once that interaction gets going.

So my email list is just a catalyst to get this chemistry flowing.

It’s just the way I am.

You have to figure out who “you” are in relation to your subscribers, and what the best way is to invite them to be responsive to your email messages, your Facebook posts or whatever other platforms you are using to reach out to them.

Now, if you’re on this email list, you’ve already read the above email message.

You may even be one of the many people who have hit “reply” to it, and corresponded with me directly.

That’s kind of what my “Friday Focus Group” has become.

If you’re not already on my mailing list, you’re being left out 🙁

So if you’d like to join in… just sign up, get on my list, and get in on all my “Friday Focus Group” updates, activities, challenges and chats.

I’ll even send you my bonus “list building” series of emails.

Nothing to lose, and as with any email list, if you decide it’s not a list you like being on, just scroll to the bottom and click “unsubscribe.”

It’s all free, of course…

So click below and join me!

Sign Up Here and Get My Free Newsletter
My Free List Building Guide

So your homework (engagement word, lol) is to leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of all this?

Whether we’re talking about friends, followers, visitors or email list subs… Are your subscribers responsive to you?

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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56 Responses to Are Your Subscribers Responsive To You?

  1. Donna Merrill October 13, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for your kind words. I think people get the feeling that I really like them, and really like helping them… because I do.

    I don’t think you can fake this stuff.

    It’s like if you walk into a party and smile and throw air kisses, but all you’re thinking about is if your makeup is on right… people read you for what you are, not for what you pretend to be.

    So treat “your list” like “your friends” and your business will benefit greatly from it. That’s the way to get engagement, and it’s what makes your readers and subscribers responsive to you.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Your Blog Is Your Business CardMy Profile

  2. Susan cooper
    October 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Great post! I agree with you whole heartedly. Nobody wants to be talked at like they are just random faceless nameless person that makes up your list. You have the knack of really engaging with your subscribers. Your warm personality really shines through and im sure each and everyone of your subscribers feels as if they are special. That’s what gets the responsiveness. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us, Donna. 🙂
    Susan cooper recently posted..Sera Fina Cellars – Cinque Wines: #WineMy Profile

  3. Uttoran Sen
    October 12, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Sometimes as marketers when we build lists, we often forget that these are not just names and numbers – they are real people and they should be treated as such!

    I believe my email list is fairly responsive, as they do what they are asked to. However, I haven’t really asked them to hit the reply button and communicate back. They do it sometimes though, and we have some decent emails back and forth.

    I haven’t really thought much into it yet, and after reading your post it seems like a great idea to start communicating more with my list (people!).

    thank you for the action-able tips,
    Uttoran Sen,
    Uttoran Sen recently posted..$1800 Yearly Budget for Daily Cash ContestMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 13, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      Hi Uttoran,

      Building a real relationship with people on your email list doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s not a matter of clever tactics or ingenious strategy.

      It just takes getting to know the people on your list, and letting them get to know you.

      That means being responsive to their needs and desires, and in turn, they’ll become responsive to you.

      But again, this is just a simple matter of taking time with folks, and trying to help them out. That’s all.

      Unfortunately, too many people think a “list” is a thing they sell stuff to, primarily and endlessly. These people tell their “list”… every time they write an email… that they don’t care about them. They just want them to buy whatever they’re selling.

      Good luck with getting your crowd to be more responsive to you, Uttoran.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Your Blog Is Your Business CardMy Profile

  4. Chery Schmidt
    October 11, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Hello Donna, I am on your list my friend and I will tell you there are not a whole lot of emails that I do open on a regular basis, but your is one of them.

    When I read your emails, I do feel like you are talking right to me.

    As you know I did just get everything set up last month but have yet to start emailing,
    I do have about 5 people I can start talking to though LOL

    Thanks for sharing,
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..8 Techniques To Get More Leads Without Spending A Single CentMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      It is good to know that my emails speak to you. Many Many thanks for that feedback.

      It doesn’t matter if it is five of five thousand people on your list. You just start crafting them and as more and more people join your list they will get that first email too. So keep on going my friend.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Your Blog Is Your Business CardMy Profile

  5. Joy Healey
    October 11, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is an area I know I need to improve on!

    I’ve just written a completely new set of emails and this time I had very vividly in mind two actual people I was writing to.

    One was a friend who I would like to join my business, because I saw how hard she worked when I joined her business some years ago.

    The other was “me”, because it occurred to me that sometimes I’m trying to write to people that I don’t connect with at all – and I guess that comes through.

    So I’m rewriting the emails to appeal to people like me (that’s not meant to sound as if I’m blowing my own trumpet), I’m re-doing the landing page, even changing where I get my traffic from, and let’s see if that get me the sort of people I want to find.

    Joy Healey recently posted..Promoting Premier Cashback OfflineMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      I sure do believe the way you are writing to a friend and yourself is very effective. You are not blowing your own trumpet at all. Rather, you know how you felt when you needed some structure and that is what you are relaying to others.

      I think that is the best way to reach people!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Your Blog Is Your Business CardMy Profile

  6. Deborah A. Ten Brink
    October 11, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

    Hello Donna!

    Great post, as always! The first thing that struck me about this post is that thankfully, your list is a list of people not a “thing” or a “number.” I think that’s the very best way to look at an email list!

    Secondly, I just stopped by after visiting David’s blog about his lists and how he organizes them and stays focused. What a great team you are! I have found both of your posts very valuable Donna. I for one appreciate when others share such value and open up about tips, organization, and ways to be more productive.

    Thank you very much for sharing your methods here. It’s a never ending source of practical yet powerful ways to be a better blogger.

    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted..How To Choose The Most Effective Blog CategoriesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      I do see lots of articles about lists and they are considered numbers. But wait…they are people!!! And I do believe they need to be well deserving of all our time because they have opted into us.

      I’m so glad you liked this and David’s post. When something works for us we share it. Why keep it secret? lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Your Blog Is Your Business CardMy Profile

  7. Kathryn Maclean
    October 11, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Some great tips here, as always!
    Start on friday set a goal for the next week As I change my weekly tracking sheets on Sundays I would do it then for the next week. In the morning before I get busy with something else.
    Big goal 6- 8 weeks Focus on one week goal at a time. That is goal gold. I will put that on my weekly tracking sheets at the top.
    Friday blueprints – goals for the next week – Accountability I attend the 5% club for this one.
    That is just the way you are Donna -super nice! Great post!
    Kathryn Maclean recently posted..How to Improve Your Facebook Engagement – Quickly!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      Hi Kathryn,

      So glad you enjoyed these tips. I like to share what has worked for me personally and for some of my clients. Then I will blog about it. Goals are so important to write down. Then we can work backwards to achieve them.

      If it weren’t for my daily tasks written down, I would be spending more time working and less time enjoying this fine weather.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Your Blog Is Your Business CardMy Profile

  8. Donna Merrill October 11, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi Monna,

    I am so glad you are motivated by my emails. The “Friday Focus Group” is a great way to reach out and ask questions to me and Daid!

    We sure do have to keep up emailing our lists, otherwise we are forgotten lol. It is fun to get people to not only open them, but to respond as well.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  9. Monna Ellithorpe
    October 10, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Of course I get your emails and also keep them to read later. You are still a great inspiration and motivation for me.

    I didn’t respond to your “Friday Focus Group” but I did make a note of it. Right now I usually do one day at a time. Before I close up shop for the night, I plan my next day. One of these days I will be able to plan a whole week at a time.

    This turned out to be such a coincidence. I’m am just finishing up on an email that I am adding to my autoresponder. I am still deciding if to send it as a broadcast or a follow up email. Anyway the point is, I decided to go back and read it again after reading your post about being more in touch and personal.

    Thank you again for all you do.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..Have You Been Scoping YetMy Profile

  10. Ryan Biddulph
    October 8, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I love that you included an example, and here’s why: we see the reason why your subscribers are responsive. You write and act like you’re bonding with people. Totally different energy, versus emailing your list.

    I emailed my list for about 7 months. Not good, not good at all. I didn’t see many clicks. Or, I saw SO few clicks compared to the size of my list. Then something funny happened. I saw my subscribers as people. I wrote newsletters from a caring, thoughtful space. Wow, what a difference. I added 35 new subs/people in a short period of time and I saw my clicks double, really quickly.

    I recalled the people behind the numbers; that made all the difference.

    Thanks so much Donna.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..13 Cheap and Easy Ways to Increase Blog TrafficMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 9, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

      Hey Ryan

      That is the way to see things….see them as people…each person is valuable on our list and deserves our full attention.

      I know what you mean. We were taught to build numbers but when we realized that those numbers are people…real ones…we then communicate in a different way and do get the communication flowing.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  11. lisa thomson
    October 7, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    Hi Donna, what a great topic! My email subscriber list is mainly to send out notices for my new blog posts. They’re the first to get the fresh content. Once in a while I send out a hello, how are you notice. For the most part, my people mainly get on the blog and talk to me there. I only send out notices once per week. I enjoy your emails Donna. They’re fun to read. Personally, my Escapees, as I like to call them, interact a lot with me on facebook. So, I take that into consideration when I’m posting on social media. I will read all the comments here because I’m interested in what other bloggers do to reach their subscribers. Thanks Donna!
    lisa thomson recently posted..Let’s Talk About The ‘M’ WordMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 8, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      Hi Lisa,

      I used to do the same thing on my list…send out a notice of my latest blog post. And once in a while say a friendly hello.

      But as I studied list engagement a light bulb shined on top of my head a while back. Why not engage more there where people did make an effort to follow me? After all these people do deserve special treatment? So I put it into action. I’ve seen more open rates and conversations going on and it just makes it all great.

      Plus I can see from questions people ask me what to write about in my blogs.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  12. Dana
    October 7, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I think this post is an excellent way to get people to subscribe if they hadn’t already.

    I’m going to keep this comment short and simply say that I’m aware that I have a lot to learn in regard to the technical aspects of things.

    Writing, sharing and communicating come easily to me. It’s organizing everything, the way people like you and Adrienne (and others) do that I must learn.

    I love the structure of your emails. Simple and easy – not too wordy.

    That I can handle 🙂
    Dana recently posted..Do You Love Chocolate? Try This Easy Organic Chocolate Coconut “Nibs” RecipeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 8, 2015 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Dana,

      Thanks for the feedback on my emails. Yes they are short and simple because no one has the time to read those long emails that go on and on. I even like to keep my blog posts short and to the point.

      When it comes to organization, I find the best way is to write things down and stick to a plan. If I woke up this morning and didn’t have a plan of action for the day, I would spend most of my time spinning the wheels in my head thinking of what I should do.

      Best practice is to write your goal (something you want to accomplish in your business) That’s the biggie. Then work backwards. Think of all the things you need to do to complete this goal on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.

      Each day you can visit a certain number of blogs, get on social media for a limited time two or three times per day (up to you) But have that list written down and check off your tasks. Whatever they are.

      Sometimes you can work in “batches” i.e. write a few emails if you have a list at one sitting and have them ready to go. Or do some videos (if that is something you do) at one sitting and put them up on your blog and social media. Of course you can download them to Youtube and create a Youtube card (you can find that out on previous posts I’ve done here) This helps with Search engines.

      OK…these are a few ideas. The best thing you can do is to plan.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  13. Lea Bullen
    October 7, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

    Hi Donna

    This is a great topic. You hear so much about building your list so you can make money but if they’re not responsive they probably won’t buy.

    I think this is awesome. I would always want to keep my list engaged. When ever I get asked questions or people reply I talk to them in the same manner, like person to person, and keep it going. I love hearing back from them.

    Lea Bullen recently posted..6 Surprising Reasons Why You Need To Be StressedMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 8, 2015 at 9:59 am #

      Hi Lea,

      It is so great to be able to engage with people on our list, especially if they ask a question or reply. It makes the list alive and we get to know these people more intimately.

      Indeed, when we see the word list, we usually equate it with how to make money. But the truth is, if you take care of people on your list, somehow money will follow one way or another.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  14. ikechi
    October 7, 2015 at 4:53 am #

    Hi Donna

    I joined your list recently and let me tell you that it was so engaging that I could not just delete till I read them again.

    I always look forward to your mails because you make them so engaging like you are having a conversation. I know that you are always ready to help people and this shows in your mail

    I agree that getting responses from subscribers only happens when they see one as authentic and engaging. In my list, I have been working towards being engaging and it is a work in progress.

    Thanks for sharing. Take Care
    ikechi recently posted..How To Be Clingy, Have No Friends and Slowly Destroy Your EssenceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 8, 2015 at 9:45 am #

      Hi Ikechi.

      What a great compliment…thank you so much. I’m so glad you like the emails I send to you.

      Working on being engaging may be difficult at first…it will depend on your list too. But asking a question, giving some cal to action or just copy my email above and put your name on it may increase engagement.

      I know you are a kind and loving person, so it will come easy for you because you do care about others.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  15. Kore Duke
    October 6, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    While reading this post I realized I’ve not signed up for your email list so am goimg to do that right away.

    From what you’ve said I see you are an engaging person who loves to help people.

    I’ll be looking forward to reading your mails and responding to them.

    Thanks for sharing

    Have a great day
    Kore Duke recently posted..4 Ways to Thwart Comment Spam Once and For AllMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 8, 2015 at 9:42 am #

      Hi Kore,

      Thanks for signing up to my list. I do try my best there to give more information to people than anywhere else. And please, feel free to ask questions on the Focus Group. Many do it and there is no question that is too small or large.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  16. Sherman Smith October 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    You’re a prime example of someone that loves to engage people. Your emails for your Friday Focus group is a prime example of how all of us should connect with each person in our list.

    You’re right that’s it’s about each of us are in relation to each subscriber. Depending on how we come across to them will determine if they’re going to be responsive or hoe they respond to us.

    As much as we focus on this as a routine thing, it goes way beyond this and in this sense this is how we keep growing ourselves.

    Thanks for the share Donna! Have a great week!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Blogging Strategies: 6 Extremely Powerful Fail-Proof TipsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 7, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      Yes I do love to engage with others and especially those people on my list. They are people who took a step and signed up. I’m grateful for that and treasure each and every person on there.

      I’m glad you mentioned that this is how we keep growing ourselves. We sure do and it feels so great.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  17. Don Purdum
    October 6, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I’ll tell you what I think; this is genius!!!!

    I am still not there… I’ve been focusing on so many other things I continue to neglect this area in spite of tremendously high open rates on my email lists. They are running between 50-60% on each list.

    I know I’m missing it in this area still. So, your example was really very helpful to me. It’s something I definitely need to think about and consider.

    I do a lot of things really well, this one has not been unfortunately.

    Thanks for the concrete samples! It’s exactly what I needed.

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..Is it Time to Re-Think Your Search Strategies?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 7, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

      Hi Don,

      List writing is easy once you get into the motion. At first we stumble and may not think of what to write about. We even feel redundant … but then..Bingo! We find our way with the people on our list.

      I find that asking a question or doing something that gets them involved is the best way to engage.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  18. Jasper Oldersom
    October 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This post just made me realize i’m not on your list yet! I signed up right away 🙂

    I love the examples you gave. It’s like you’re chatting with them, very personal.

    When people talk about a “list” it does sound kind of mechanical….

    You seem to be very authentic in your emails indeed, so I look forward to them.

    I’m still working on a new and improved autoresponder sequence, but my first attempt did quite well when it comes to being personal.

    Especially the first email, where I ask them what their #1 issue often gets a response.

    Excellent post Donna!

    – Jasper
    Jasper Oldersom recently posted..Are You Keeping This in Mind When Selling Your Products or Services Online?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      Hi Jasper,

      Thanks so much for signing into my list. It is no surprise that your first email was a question to your list and it did well. That’s it…people do like to engage. They do want to have their say, so that question you asked was genius!

      It is difficult to keep coming up with ideas so that your list is engaging. But if you have one idea and go with it for a week or so, the engagement increases. The next week can be a different topic and so on.

      We have to write more to the people on our lists than we do anywhere else.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  19. Mi Muba
    October 6, 2015 at 5:33 am #

    Hi Donna

    Very sensitive topic you have picked for this post and it also clears a lot of misperception on just fattening the email list without knowing its responsiveness.

    It is rightly said that this is an era of responsiveness and one-way communication can never bring the desired results especially for an online marketer.

    I once read somewhere be aware of a person who keeps nodding while listening to you because he actually is in no mood to take you seriously and just getting rid of what you are saying. The real target should be the one who disagrees with your viewpoint so that you can convince him and then convert him to achieve your goals of conversion.

    People also debate that should a blogger offer a highly valuable product for free as an incentive to make email subscribers because many of them just unsubscribe you after getting that product. So one has to be very cautious while selecting the product as an incentive.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this post on a very important topic

    Have a great day
    Mi Muba recently posted..What to sell and what to offer free to your blog visitors?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      I’m glad you raised the point about the free lead magnet you use to get people onto your list. Like you said, many people get the free “thing” and never open another email, or they unsubscribe after a short time. Some of the early lists I developed, people didn’t even bother opening the “welcome” email to get their free offer!

      Email marketers typically get very annoyed with people like this and wonder “what’s wrong with these people on my list?”

      The real issue here is congruence.

      Your free offer must be congruent with the person you’re trying to get onto your list.

      If I’m really anxious to start building up my business as an exercise expert, but I ask you to join my list to get a free video called “How To Live Each Day With Passion”… I’m not being terribly congruent, am I?

      I mean, MAYBE you are interested in living a life of passion AND exercising more. But maybe not. Maybe you were really interested in spiritual growth or neurolinguistic programming… but you don’t think exercise has anything to do with living a life of passion.

      Two things now happen.

      1. I have to work really hard to convince you that exercise is a great way to live a more passionate life (this is a really hard job)
      2. You either did or did not like my free giveaway, but either way, you have no interest in following my exercise email, so you totally disengage or unsubscribe.

      Think how different this plays out if my free offer had been “My Early Morning 10-minute Exercise Program That Gets My Day Off On The Right Foot… Every Day).

      This is much more congruent with the person I want to talk to via my free offer PLUS in my daily emails that I’ll be sending them.

      It’s a really, really important distinction, and one that I so often see people miss the mark on… So thanks for bringing it up, Mi Muba.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  20. Sylviane Nuccio
    October 6, 2015 at 3:01 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Not surprised at all that you’re getting so much feedback and responses, because I know that we get back what we send out and you are very giving.

    You do share other people’s content a lot and you are very active with your friends on facebook and other platforms, so it’s only natural that they respond back.

    I’m always amazed about how hard it is to some people to even give a little “like” to their friends on facebook, so we can only imagine how hard it imust be to get something back for those, but in your case, you’re doing great my friend.

    I like the fact that you refer to your list as “people” a lot of us also forget about that 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How Being Crazy Productive Can Make Your Blog Go From Meh To NoticeableMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      Hi Sylviane,

      Yes, we do get back what we send out energetically in every aspect of our lives. Having empathy and putting others first always wins no matter what one is doing.

      I do have to agree with you that some people won’t even click a like on Facebook. He He He it only takes a second, plus a little comment doesn’t take much time either if you truly like something. That’s what social media is all about. Being social!

      Yes, I do refer my list as people because they are. I never liked chasing numbers, rather engaging with people one to one as much as possible. It is just something I enjoy.


      P.S. I love the pastry shop you posted on Facebook. I wanted pastry all day, but nothing here would compare with France 🙁
      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  21. Harleena Singh
    October 6, 2015 at 1:52 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Wonderful post indeed 🙂

    Oh yes – I’m on your list, and let me confess, it’s always a pleasure to read you my friend, though I may not reply – just being a little caught up all the time, but it’s always a gradual learning process for me as well.

    You are right, people do respond back when you send a personal kind of mail – a newsletter that is just not about the usual, but a little more conversational, and I noticed that on my new blog a great deal – still have to get down to being more regular with it though – one area I need to improve on!

    Not to mention, you are awesome at it, and also on your Facebook – where I may not reply to keep away the several notifications, but I read them all 🙂

    Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..How to Live a Meaningful Life Without Knowing Your Life’s PurposeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 11:01 am #

      Hi Harleena,

      Many thanks for your kind words. I do find to improve on more responsive emails, I do write a few of them at one sitting. I have to think of something and then write write write. Then I break it all down otherwise the email would be a novel lol.

      I just had to post this as an example of how to get more communication from our lists.

      Facebook…thanks for that mention. I do have a strategy put in place there that I’ve been using for the past year. It keeps things alive and it’s all about consistency.

      One of the things a mentor told me was to do a video a day. I started and then along came Periscope. That sure made it easier because of the live streaming and interaction with others while I’m doing a “video”

      Then I post it on Facebook or G+ and give out a few minutes of information. It is working wonders.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  22. Shann
    October 6, 2015 at 12:27 am #

    You bring such great value to your subscribers. You are really engaged with them and therefore they reciprocate. So awesome. I’m signing up!
    Shann recently posted..Micro Preemie Mondays and HenryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Shann,

      Awww how sweet of you Shann. I do feel like my subscribers are the most important people in the world.. I love engaging on my blog and social media, but when it comes to my email list, there is where I put more of my time and energy.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  23. Marquita Herald
    October 5, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    Terrific post Donna and as others have mentioned, knowing how personable you are with all of your communication it doesn’t surprise me that you would have a high response rate from your followers. This is definitely an area I’d like to improve on. I’ve been so concerned about over communicating that i drifted a little too far the other direction. If fact I was a little surprised to see that in the results of the participant survey from my recent Self-Care Challenge one of the things they liked most was the daily motivational emails from me! Learn something new everyday! Thanks for the great advice and examples.
    Marquita Herald recently posted..What Will Your Legacy to Life Be?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Marquita.

      Doing a survey on your list is a wonderful idea. Yes, sometimes it is surprising of what people want to know. in your case it was daily motivational emails. So you just go with it.

      This is how you help others and they will be loyal to you. Great stuff as always Marquita,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  24. Joan Harrington
    October 5, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Totally in agreement with you on this post! It makes such a difference when you talk to the people on your list and engage with them, makes them feel special and more comfortable reaching out to you, which is a very good thing 🙂 Thanks for sharing your value my friend!!
    Joan Harrington recently posted..Why Should You Be Blogging?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Hi Joan,

      You are spot on…reaching out to your list and engaging with them sure makes them feel special. And they are special because these are the people who took the effort to join the list and actually open our emails and read them.

      We all want to monetize on our lists and that’s a given, but engagement is the key. Getting to know the needs of others is more important than anything.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  25. Mark
    October 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    Hey Donna what an awesome post and concept!

    I really like the way you’ve laid out your “Friday Blueprint” concept!

    And it makes perfect sense, in terms of using smaller achievable goals
    to help consistently reach and achieve a much loftier goals!

    I think I will definitely try and incorporate that process into more of
    my weekly routine!

    And I am absolutely not surprised to hear that your list has and is responding
    favorably to your invitation, to actively engage with and be a part of your process!

    I think that is such a terrific marketing concept and tremendous way to over deliver some
    “go the extra mile” customer service!

    That is just sadly lacking in the online niche!I really got a lot out of this excellent post!LOL! Thanks so much for sharing some incredibly powerful insights and processes!
    Mark recently posted..So What Actually Happens When Inventory Control Issues Team Up With Marketing Know How!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:32 am #

      Hi Mark,

      I just had to share this idea of email marketing! If we go the extra mile with our list and do something like this, open rates increase and also people will be responding.

      The main reason we have a list is to engage with others…give more information to our list than we do anywhere else. It is reasonable to go that extra mile because the people on our list were kind enough to opt in.

      This is where we really need to communicate so why not have some fun doing it and having a conversation.

      I just had to share this for others because some people are getting stuck with their email list and not getting even an open rate.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  26. Corina Ramos
    October 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I am on your email list, yay me. 🙂 I haven’t read email today but I’ll get to it tonight and send you my goals. I love the thought of being held accountable. Sometimes, it’s the kick in the pants I need because I tend to get laxed, hehe.

    I just finished reading a post about finishing strong this last quarter with what I took from that post and being a part of your Friday Focus Group, it think it’s going to be the push I need. 🙂

    For the most part I do get a response from my subscribers but I would love more people to engage. I’ll just keep tweaking and trying out new things to see what works.

    Thanks for such a great post, as always :). Hope you’re having a great day!

    Corina Ramos recently posted..A Good First Impression Starts With A Firm Hand Shake and Good Oral Health CareMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Hi Cori,

      I’m so happy that I gave you a kick in the pants lol. I do feel deeply that we all need that from time to time.

      Being accountable is something that does push us forward. Indeed, send me those goals and work on them in baby steps every day. I am so glad you are part of my Friday Focus Group. I like working together with people.

      We all are seeking more engagement from our subscribers. This is why I shared this post. It may stir up some ideas for you and others to get people to engage more.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  27. Enstine Muki
    October 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    Hey Donna,
    One of the things I love with your mails is the formatting.
    Maybe that explains why they get straight to my inbox. My spam filters are blind or surely on holidays each time your mails arrive 😉

    Yes, the formatting always makes it easy for me to read and I’m sure that’s same for others. Not only that, you sound real. Reading one of your mails, I almost forgot it was a newsletter. I thought at one moment that you sent me a direct PM.

    But you just called my attention to one thing – interacting ! and that’s what I’ll try to do hence.

    While waiting for the next in the series, do have a wonderful week 😉
    Enstine Muki recently posted..WordPress Vs Blogger ~ Choosing a blogging platform!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:13 am #

      Hi Enstine,

      Thanks so much for your feedback of my emails. When I write I try my best to be talking to people like a friend. Guess it’s working lol.

      I’m glad you like the format too. I want people to read something quick and easy…simple to do or act upon. I know there is only 24 hours in a day and it is difficult to keep up with all we have to do.

      Interacting…the best thing we can do with our email list. This is why I wanted to share what’s been working for me and David in this series. People are liking it and we are interacting like crazy. I just hope that if people are stuck with their emails they can pirate this idea lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  28. Adrienne
    October 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I’m not surprised by this at all actually.

    I know how genuine, caring, kind and thoughtful you truly are. I know that your goal is to help those that want it the most. We all would only hope that if someone has subscribed to your list then they have a darn good reason for doing so. They want to learn from you, they want to keep hearing from you and when you make them feel special and heard then that goes a very long way.

    I’m sure you get a lot of responses from anything you put out there. You’re always eager to engage with others so of course they want to do the same with you.

    I for one appreciate what you shared here and it’s the perfect example of what others should hopefully be doing as well. Helping your readers, subscribers, blogging friends and good buddies. Be there for them, answer their questions and help them if you can. That’s how you’ll continue to keep them on your list and coming back for more time and time again.

    Great share Donna and I continue to wish you and David the very best with your business.

    Adrienne recently posted..How to Really Succeed With Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:09 am #

      Hi Adrienne,

      I’m not surprised that you can resonate with this one. You actually will call people on the phone and they are so grateful to you. Many people in our circles have been surprised at how much you care about them, even if they visit your blog.

      That’s because you are genuine and do care about others. This is what makes your business a strong one.

      I just had to share this idea to others because sometimes people get stuck when it comes to their emails. They ask what should I do or say. Because this has been a “big hit” on my list, I wanted to offer it as an example to others so that they can have an active list.

      Thank you so much Adrienne for your kind words. I appreciate all you do.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  29. Stella Chiu
    October 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    Hi, Donna

    Glad that you are offering one of the best lead magnets of e-mail marketing. it is great because of the generous offers, the authenticity of your offer, and authenticity presentation of yourself as a coach. I believe many people will sign up for that.

    I just have one marketing question: what is the advantage of placing the offer on lead pages over just on the blog e-mail sign up.

    Have an awesome week!

    Stella Chiu recently posted..The Biggest Wealth Secret Which Most of Us Don’t KnowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:05 am #

      Hi Sella,

      I have found this particular email very responsive so that’s why I like sharing it with others. It is working so well with open rates and conversations from this one thing I do a week. And it’s a great way to get to know others on my list on a deeper level.

      As for the lead pages opt-in form, I use it because I like using a 2-step optin process more than a single squeeze page or optin form. I find it more simple and clear for my users. I can do this very easily and quickly with lead pages and not need any extra plugins to jam up my website and slow it down 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

  30. Connor Rickett
    October 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm #


    Having the right mindset is incredibly important to communicating with people. Sounds like you’re approaching it all from the right direction. The first email anyone who signs up for my site gets is one inviting them to connect with me directly and ask any questions they have about writing or freelancing.

    I’m not really blogging in order to pontificate to a silent crowd, I like to interact with my readers.

    Connor Rickett recently posted..How a Little Screw Became a Big ScrewMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 6, 2015 at 10:01 am #

      Hi Connor,

      Indeed, the first email has to be one of “open doors” so to speak, to invite a person to connect to us directly. It does take a while to form a good relationship with our email list.

      Interacting with readers is the best thing we can do with our blogs. Our comment section is very powerful!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..It’s Not What You Say, But The Way That You Say ItMy Profile

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