Unconventional Guide to Building an E-Mail List – Niches

Start with the Right Market


In the previous lesson, I introduced you to the Unconventional Guide to Building an E-Mail List and I tried to show you WHY it is so different than traditional methods.

The next part is all about your prospect.  This is the most important part of the system as it will determine the quality of your list.

The truth is that most amateur marketers begin with the product: an affiliate program, an e-book, e-course, or something they think will sell. Then then they take the flyover approach.

What is the flyover approach?  

Well, picture one of those tiny airplanes in the sky where people parachute from, and it’s got a boatload of flyers with your offer on it. You’re standing by the door, engines roaring and your goggles are snug. And then you pop open that door, feel the rushing wind and you start heaving your flyers out of the plane.

Brightly colored glitter begins to fall from the sky.

After the cow pastures, lakes, railroads and commercial centers, you are lucky if your flyer reaches 1 in 1000 of the right prospects with your offer.  

This is how most people approach Internet Marketing. Scattershot. Random acts of marketing. And then they wonder why they only get a 2% conversion rate on their fully optimized landing page.

Don’t be that type of marketer.

The Secret is to Start with the Right Market

With the unconventional approach, you don’t start with the product.  You start with exactly the kind of person you want to attract.  

  1. Who is your ideal customer?
  2. Who do you want to attract AND just as important, who do you NOT want to attract?

For example, for this particular series, I’m looking for a Jim type, a frustrated Internet Marketer who has been spinning his wheels trying to “make money online.”  

He’s tried all of the hacks, tips, tricks and strategies, bought tons of programs, tested different campaigns, done some PPC, knows a little of the ropes of the IM space, but he is still stuck and getting little results for his efforts.

He knows this IM stuff works, but it hasn’t worked for him

By the way, if that sounds like you, then you know you are in the right place.  Keep reading.

Focusing in on your ideal prospect gives you the language, the angles, and the emotional connections you need to have SO THAT you speak directly to that person in your e-mails (and in your content like this series).

At the same time, the language and emotional connections are helping you to FILTER OUT those who are not in your target market.  They will not be as attracted to your message.

Finding Your Ideal Customer

The first question you must ask is, in what niche are my ideal prospects?  

A niche is basically a group of easily identifiable people who have common interests, goals, desires and even frustrations.  

They typically have a strong label: mother, Webinarjam user, beginning guitar player, digital marketer, dentist

There is no ambiguity here.  

It’s like having a driver’s license. You either have one or you don’t. You either belong to this group or you don’t and the members have a strong attachment to it.  

They self-identify.  They raise their hand when you call them out. For example, “Hey Mailchimp users. Are you driving your autoresponder in first gear?”

Do you understand?

Go Narrow My Friend

Once you have a strong self-identification label, you must niche down even further, into sub-categories.  

For example, in the mother niche you could separate out single mothers, working mothers with teen-age kids, married soccer moms who drive a mini-van and stay-at-home moms. 

Each of these moms has different needs, challenges and desires and your job is to figure out what those are and fill them with a product or service.  


Do not make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. You want to be laser focused. Your e-mail list should be highly selective.  That’s what will set you apart from everyone. It will also give you a better chance at making a profit because your message and product will be highly targeted.

Your peeps will feel as if you are talking directly to their pain (which of course you will be if you spend time identifying your ideal customer).

Step Into Your Prospect’s Shoes

Now you are going to do something that 99% of marketers never do.

You are going to step into your prospect’s mind at the level of emotions. This goes way beyond demographics or a social network profile. (P.S. people buy based on emotion, then they justify the purchase with logic). 

You want to create something called an empathy map, which delves into your prospect’s thoughts, feelings, desires, fears, pain points and potential objections.  

The pain points are particularly important.  It is what your product or service will solve.

Here is a great video for creating an empathy map. It’s 6 minutes long. Please watch it and do what it says.

If you prefer to read, this is a pretty good article, which outlines the same process.

If you went through the exercise, then you are already ahead of most marketers on the Internet. If not, then you aren’t serious about changing your failing situation.

Demographic and Social Profile

There are two final steps before you can create your ideal customer profile.  You want to understand a few basic demographics as well as your prospect’s social network profile.

For basic demographics take out a sheet of paper and write down these items for your ideal prospects:

  1. Age
  2. Sex
  3. Marital Status
  4. Children (Yes / No and how many)
  5. Profession
  6. Income
  7. Geography (region where prospect lives)
  8. Home type (home, rental, condo, etc)

After this, answer questions about your prospect’s social network profile:

  • What are your prospect’s favorite blogs?
  • What are your prospect’s favorite Facebook groups?
  • What are your prospect’s favorite YouTube videos?
  • What are your prospect’s favorite books or authors?
  • What conferences or seminars does your prospect attend?

Creating Your Ideal Customer Profile

Your last step is to write out a rough one-page description of your ideal customer. This is sometimes called a customer avatar.  It’s a representation of the person you most want to reach.

You basically take the information from the empathy map, demographic profile and social profile and describe your ideal prospect. Give your prospect a name so that he / she becomes more personal.

You can see an example of how to use an ideal customer profile for the Internet Marketing niche in Andre Chaperon’s Frank vs. Matt website.  Notice how the author describes emotions, pains, and typical scenarios.

Also important with this example is that Andre has created two profiles: one for the person he wants to attract (Matt) and one for the person he doesn’t want to attract (Frank). I would argue that he is attracting all of the Franks who want to become Matts.

In any case, the point is how many specific descriptions and emotional connections Andre has layered into these two profiles.

Important Final Words

All right, I’ve thrown a lot at you.

The difference between you and the herd of marketers who are stuck where you are is that you are going to take action.  You are going to set aside the time necessary to truly understand the market you want to serve.

There is literally no way around this. Trust me. I was spinning my wheels for two years going after every hack and program before I discovered this process.  

You have to start with truly understanding your ideal customer at the level of his / her emotions, pains and desires. And the only way to do that is to put in the work and do the research.

In the next lesson, we cover the creation of your pre-sell content series. This is what will give you a great opt-in for your e-mail list or for whatever you have to offer your prospect.

See you in the next lesson.

OK, guard is less up AND I’m very curious as to the next step in the series.