I did an interview yesterday with a magazine that specializes in marketing. They’ve got hundreds of thousands of readers, most in the direct mail business.

The reporter didn’t like the answer I gave her about how to build a email marketing list. I told her that the first step was to offer something in your email newsletter that people would actually want to read. That the second step was to promise people exactly what you intended to give them. And the third step was to create content that was so remarkable that people wanted to share it. I explained that if you take your time and keep your promises, it’ll build if it deserves to build.

She wanted to know about shortcuts.

At least three times she asked me what the shortcuts were. How to do it if you were in a hurry. Most important, how to do it if your message wasn’t that interesting.


It appears that marketing America still has plenty of time to do it over, but not nearly enough time to do it right.

If there were shortcuts, people smarter than you and me would have found them already. There aren’t. Sorry.