Grow Your Mailing List Without Trying Too Hard

Email still is the most preferred medium of communication. People spend 45% of their online activities on sending or reading emails. I don’t know about you, but I check my email first thing in the morning before Facebook, Twitter. Oh. Yes!

I’m just amazed that some people don’t use the opportunity to collect email addresses at different touch points of their activities. Jeffrey Gitomer, the sales guru says that “Over the next millennium, the single most valuable asset you and your company will posses is your email list. Build it, grow it and guard it with your life.”

Email marketing is probably the cheapest, easiest and most effective way to build relationship with prospects, customers, members, and clients. 

Barack Obama’s campaign was probably the best political campaign – ever. The campaign has built their list to a huge list – some 3M people are on the list. We know the results. He is now our President. Every time he was scheduled to speak at an event – there would be volunteers out there scouring the crowd collecting ‘personal’ information – the kind of permission-based information that would be used later for voters’ outreach, volunteers recruitment and for contributions. The list is then used over and over and over again. 

We’re no Barack Obama, but we can certainly grow our email list from at various touch points. 

Here are “The 5 tips for Building a High-Quality List that Leads to Sales, via Constant Contact.  

  1. When you network, ask people you meet if you can sign them up for your newsletter. The number one cardinal sin in networking is trying to close the sale right after meeting someone new. Rather than push your services, push your newsletter. It’s a great way to have people get to know you on a “trial-basis.”
  2. Contact your professional trade organization for their member list. A few trade organizations provide their chapter lists to members for free while others charge a modest fee for the national list. Once you get the list, send your colleagues a direct mail letter, with your free newsletter being the offer.
  3. Recommend other good newsletters in your newsletter. I’m a firm believer in “sharing the wealth.” If you think your readers would enjoy another newsletter, by all means, recommend it. Usually people are so surprised at being positively noticed, they’ll give you a reciprocal recommendation, resulting in many new subscribers.
  4. For presentations, include your newsletter info on the last PowerPoint slide. That last slide on PowerPoint presentations is valuable real estate. Don’t use it to list only your name and company name. Put your newsletter URL there instead.
  5. Develop a no-cost guide people can download at your site. Offering high-value content on your site is always a good thing. Write a press release about your no-cost guide or report and send it to trade publications. Give people the option of subscribing to your newsletter at the same time they download the guide.

The other few places where you can collect email information:


The best thing right now is you have social networking sites at your disposal, where you can connect or reconnect easily with people, that were not available before. You can exchange emails with your social networking connections. LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, Twitter – just to name a few sites. 


There is this symbiotic relationships between blogging and email. Darren Rowse with ProBlogger, is using email alongside his blog. His blog helps him to drive up people to sign up for his newsletter. And the email drives people back to his blog. He was able to grow his subscriber base by 800 people per day using this technique.


image: ProBlogger Continue reading “Grow Your Mailing List Without Trying Too Hard”


Green Words That Sell… in the UK

While the U.S., we have six Americas when it comes to conversation about global warming. People in the UK have a simpler way of liking and understanding the words that get them talk about sustainability. 


 Bold are some of the words that I think might work over here. 

  • Zero Waste
  • Less is More
  • Second Chance Rubbish
  • Smart Appliances
  • Energy-greedy Appliances
  • Flight Addict
  • Savvy Driving
  • In-house Generation
  • Independent Power
  • Citizens Consumers
  • Green Life Style
  • One Planet Living
  • Globally Alert 
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Positive Footprint


image: Futerra

For details, check out here.

3 Tips for Communicating Sustainable Development

A while back (5 years ago), UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) commissioned Futerra of UK produced this guide on communicating sustainability that is use for public campaign. So no small task here.

“Informed, motivated, and committed people can help us achieve our sustainable goals. However communicating effectively about sustainable lifestyles is a challenge. One needs to consider not only what to communicate, but how to communicate it.” –  Klaus Topfer, UNEP

The top 3 tips for communicating sustainable development:

1. Targeting works.

“Targeting a specific audience with a defined message is often more effective – and cheaper – than raising awareness on a grand scale through advertising.”

Segment audience by demographics, i.e. age, gender. Each group will respond to different message, tone and voice. Word your messages and choose your communication channels carefully. Defining your message is also important. It’s not necessary to communicate the entire concept all at once, but rather doing it in a single issue. 

2. Be inspiring.

Tell a story. Use the drama of the challenges and the excitement of the solutions. Suggestion: you may need to link sustainability (or sustainable development) with other issues, i.e. health, wealth or jobs, or aspirations such as home, or self, or improvement. 

Annie Leonard, with The Story of Stuff project, is a good story teller. She uses cartoon to illustrate very serious subject. Check this one out, her recent video on the Story of Cosmetics

3. Make it personal and practical

It’s what’s-in-it-for-me kind of thing. Valuable lessons from psychology that people are motivated:

  • To know and understand what is going on; they hate being confused.
  • To learn, discover, and explore: they prefer information getting information at their own pace and answering their own questions. 
  • To participate and play a key role in what’s going on around them; they hate feeling incompetent  or helpless. 

This campaign below from New Zealand received an overwhelming response from the public. Based on their research, Continue reading “3 Tips for Communicating Sustainable Development”

Sustainability for Business: Reason #2


The other week, we talked about the number one reason for business to start thinking about sustainability. That is growing population. Today’s world population is approximately at 6.8 billion people (and counting) with 2 billion people in the emerging middle class.

So we have rising population, increasing living standard and higher resources demand to deal with.

As more people climbing up the middle class ladder consumer consumption also goes up. Higher consumer consumption puts more stress on the existing social and economical infrastructure threatening the supplies of food, natural resources such as fresh water, energy, wood and fish. 


image: World Business Council for Sustainable Development – Vision 2050 [Click on image for larger view]



Forget about the demand for fossil-fuel based for awhile. Let’s just see where we get our resources from. Then you understand why we have a big problem.


Via McKinsey Quarterly:

Just four countriesIran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela hold some 50 percent of known oil and gas reserves. Nationally-owned companies now control 85 percent of them. Many of the key providers are highly exposed to broader political instability, which makes security of supply a major risk

emphasis added

Security of supply affects market pricing.


Source of materials include whatever nature provide to people and business. Fresh water, fish, food, energy and wood.

Demand vs. supply

According to Global Footprint Network:

In 2006, humanity’s Ecological Footprint worldwide was 17.1 billion hectares (gha); with world’s population at 6.6 billion people the average person’s Footprint was 2.6 global hectares. But there were only 11.9 billion gha of biocapacity available that year, or 1.8 gha per person. This overshoot of approximately 40% means that in 2006 humanity used the equivalent of 1.4 Earths to support its consumption. It took Earth approximately a year and four months to regenerate resources used by humanity (that’s us) in that year. 

emphasis added

To put it in a plain language: We’re screwed! We’ve overdrawn our natural resources. Basically, we are in the red. In monetary language, we spend more than we can afford. We are in deficit.

In graphic, here’s what we’re looking at. 


If we continue do business-as-usual, we could lose the Earth. We might have to relocate to Mars 🙂


graphic: Global Footprint Network

Continue reading “Sustainability for Business: Reason #2”

Green Stimulus? We Need More of It

The chart below is buried in the World’s Bank report on World Development 2010“Understanding the links between climate change and development.”

This might be the reason why China is leading the green race. The amount of green stimulus they spend is a little bit over twice the amount that the U.S. budgeted. 

China’s green stimulus $221.3 billion vs. U.S. green stimulus $94.1 billion. Big difference!

The World’s Green Spending, via World Bank.


(Click on image for larger view).

This is how China allocates their green stimulus that is related to climate change technologies (read: reducing climate change):

$85 billion to rail transport as a low carbon alternative to transportation and to ease up transportation bottlenecks

$70 billion for new electricity grid that improves efficiency and availability of electricity. 

In the U.S. the green stimulus is allocated to create jobs. From the $94 billion and some change, $6.7 billion is for renovating federal buildings and $6.2 billion for weatherizing. 

Maybe if China’s argument won’t fly. Because they have too much money and their economy is supposedly the strongest in the world. Let’s just look elsewhere for comparison on how we prioritize our economic developments.

How about South Korea? A small country in comparison to the two world’s most populous countries, China (1.3B) and the U.S. South Korea’s population stands at 48 million or about one-sixth of the U.S. The U.S. population according to 2009 census is 307 million.

They have similar goals like the U.S. The government is also about creating jobs with 960,000 jobs are expected to be created in the next 4 years. The bulk of their fiscal – 80.5% of their budget! hello..- is going to green projects.

These are the big 3 big projects:

  • river restoration
  • expansion of mass transit
  • energy conservation in villages and schools

Note to lawmakers (who are struggling to make the case on climate bill): maybe it’s time that they should be looking at the economic developments from a global context rather from “just” the U.S. It’s about global competition. 

We need to look at the big picture. Where will they want to see U.S. economy in the world map? 

Besides that. Climate change waits for no one

Marketing Strategy Planning (Template)

WebInkNow aka David Meerman Scott, have put together this template to help us get started. Been thinking about blogging? How about using social media tools? This template gives you direction the who-what-where-etc. to get you started. 

The idea is to put customers back in the focus. It’s about rethinking your approach. 

I created this as a way to get marketers goals oriented to reaching buyers directly. I want everyone to shift out of the comfort zone of preaching about products and services and advertising features and benefits.

 Template is on the Commons, so feel free to download it and share it.

Download this file

David is interested in some feedback, so you can go there from here

On-Page SEO: Cheatsheet

The expert over at Conversation Marketing put together the cheat sheet below, so that we all can learn what goes under the hood. The strategy to put together content includes the kind of ‘relevant’ phrases, keywords in your line of business, so people will click on your content. 

Here’s the summary of the ‘On-Page SEO cheatsheet,’ via Conversation Marketing. h/t Who’s Blogging What, where I found this article from. This applies to blogging as well. 

1. The headline should contain your key phrase.

2. Navigation links matter. 

3. Images should have fully descriptive ALT attributes and file name. Microblogging platform like Posterous (the one I use) don’t have that feature yet, but full-fledged blogging platforms – i.e. WordPress, Typepad, etc. – do. 

4. Use your key phrases in headings further down the page and paragraphs, too, if it makes sense. Note: don’t go crazy on this. 

5. The title tag is the single most important element in on-page SEO. Make sure your key phrases come first. But also make sure that the title-tag is well written and would people want to click, because it will show up in the search results. 

All this and relevancy matter. Everything has to be relevant. Beyond that there’s only good – valuable – content, if you want your visitors to keep coming back.

You can read the rest of “On-Page SEO” below. 

Download this file