Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
30th May 2007
Filed under: Internet Marketing — Ben @ 6:55 pm

I got an email recently from a subscriber who asked:

“Where can I buy good email lists from?”

And it is a question I am asked a lot. So, I thought I would answer it on the blog to clear up a couple of points.

Simple answer to the question is – you can’t buy good email lists!

You can’t buy and legally use email lists because the recipients will not have specifically requested your emails.

The end result of emailing to big lists that you have “bought” is that you will be, quite rightly, labelled a spammer.

You need to build an email list or, failing that, arrange a joint venture with someone who has an email list.

Another option is to pay for an advertisement in an ezine that targets your specific market.

Whatever you do, don’t buy email lists and mass mail to them. You will get in trouble.

To build your very own list, what you need to do is put up a web-page which advertises your email newsletter.

You then use sales copy on that website to gently persuade visitors that they really want to subscribe to your newsletter.

Make sure that all subscribers MUST be double opt-in to get on your list… which means they must click on a link in the first email that you send to them to 100% confirm that they really do want to be added to your email list.

If they do not click the link, they do not get added to your list.

I would advise you that you should only ever email somebody who has double opted into your email list.

Don’t bother collecting names with a single opt-in, ensure from the beginning that all your prospects have confirmed that they want to receive your emails.

Having double opted-in subscribers gives you a nice clean list. And one which is less susceptible to spam complaints.

A subscriber cannot accuse you of spamming them because you can quote the exact time and place where they opted-into your newsletter.

Also, you will know that your subscribers actually want to receive email from you, that they will probably read it and they also are likely to click on the links that you send to them.

All of my email lists are double opt-in, without exception.

I rarely encounter a problem from any of my subscribers because they know that they can unsubscribe from the list with just one click.

Having all of the confirmation details of each subscriber also comes in very handy when someone forgets why you are emailing them.

One subscriber recently asked:

“Hi Ben,I’m already subscribing to Andrew Reynolds’ Cash-On-Demand course have seen what Tim Lowe has done with his little classified ads I’ve also been invited to Bournemouth conference which i intend to go to but any information regarding what Tim is doing would be appreciated.

By the way, where did you get my details from?”


Now, if I had simply emailed this person out of the blue or “bought a list”, he could rightfully report me for spamming him.

However, because I had all of his confirmation details, I could fire off a quick email to remind him where he found me:

Hi [subscriber’s name],Thanks for the email.

You signed up for my email newsletter on the 4th March 2007 at the following website:



I can’t go to the Bournemouth conference unfortunately and I am a bit miffed about it! I’m sure it will be a great learning experience and at a VERY attractive price.It would be great to hear how it goes!

As for Tim, check out the main site at:



and click on the Tim Lowe related links to the left.Hope this helps!




I use AWeber to run all of my email newsletters.

It’s inexpensive, very easy to use and automates almost everything to do with email marketing. You don’t have to mess about hosting any scripts on your own server or anything like that – they do it all for you.

More importantly perhaps, AWeber can be setup to ensure that everybody has to double opt-in to get onto your email list and it also makes it very easy for subscribers to unsubscribe.

And, if that wasn’t enough, I hear that AWeber has one of the best email deliverability rates of all the autoresponder providers.


22nd May 2007
Filed under: Property — Ben @ 8:45 pm

Very recently I completed the purchase of my first property. It’s only a small house but it’s on a nice estate and in the area that I wanted to live in. I have to admit that I only bought the house after reading Andy Shaw’s book “Money For Nothing and Your Property for Free”.

For a couple of years I was convinced that there was an impending house price crash and was subconciously “waiting” for it to occur. After a while though I decided just to jump in.

Now that I have my name on the deeds and a hefty mortgage to pay, I have had a look around to see what others are saying about this so-called “crash”.

It has been quite enlightening.

On one particular forum, several extremely bearish individuals called the housing market top towards the middle of 2002 and they are still desperately waiting for this alleged crash to occur. Many of them sold up in 2002 and are renting, praying for a crash so they can buy back their properties.

What has actually happened is that they have missed triple digit growth in many areas. Must be a really bitter pill to swallow.

A friend mentioned that they were selling up as they thought that the crash was coming very soon.

I don’t think there will be a crash – I can’t see it happening due to several factors:

  • If the price was to fall by 20-30% (a massive crash by any standard), many investors including myself would jump right in as soon as the market started to increase again after the fall. This would speed up the market rise back to the price before the fall
  • No-one is creating any more land. This country is very small and starting to get over-crowded but people will always need somewhere to live. There is very little land left to build on so existing properties will become more expensive. It’s all down to supply and demand. No supply, the price will rise. No demand, the price will fall. In the UK the demand is always increasing yet the supply of housing cannot keep up.
  • Interest rates may have risen a little since the all-time low a few years ago but they are nowhere near the 16% they got to at one point. Could they get there again? I doubt it, but I am no economist 🙂

So, as you can see I am bullish on house prices and I am looking to invest in some buy-to-lets in the very near future. I realise that I have only just bought my first property but the process was pretty straightforward and nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be.

And if I don’t take the chance I don’t want to be kicking myself in 10 years thinking about what “could’ve been”…

17th May 2007
Filed under: Direct Mail — Ben @ 2:28 pm

Before I start talking about today’s topic I want to state that I have never done a direct mailing campaign.

Of course, I have read many business opportunity manuals which deal with direct mail and all are adamant that it is a very lucrative field to get into – providing you do it correctly.

So, if I was to take the plunge and spend several thousands of pounds sending out a mailing I would make 100% sure that everything was perfect.

Judging by the amount of direct mail I receive, I am on several big mailing lists. I get loads of business opportunity sales letters through the post every week. Most are very well packaged and written – whoever sent them took the time to make sure everything was perfect before they got the printers to start preparing their mailings.

Every so often, though, I get a sales letter which seems to have slipped through the proof-reader’s net.

It makes me wonder why somebody would take the time to prepare a mailing, spend a whole load of money to send out several thousand direct mail pieces and basically risk a load of money but neglect to check their mailing for mistakes.

Take for example a recent direct mail sales letter I got – I won’t say who sent it or what business opportunity it was trying to sell but this was from a big name in the business.

First page of the printed letter said:

“In the 5 minutes it takes to read this website…”

So, obviously this has simply been lifted from a website and printed onto A4 before being sent.

Onto page 9:

“…I have shown you [proof] and you can see the actual national press articles that have been written about me…”

Problem is that the articles and proof mentioned here is freely available on the web but not in this printed sales letter so it makes no sense and this sentence should have been removed because the reader cannot see the proof mentioned here.

There were more little slip ups in the text but the best mistake was saved for the back page, on the order form it says:

“Please rush me [name of biz opp] for an unbeatable £347”

And then a couple of lines down it says:

“I enclose a cheque/postal order(s) to the sum of £397…”

and then:

“Or, please debit my credit/debit card with the sum of £397…”

In just 4 inches of paper, the price increased by £50 and probably confused the vast majority of people who may have been ready to order.

Had this been an email campaign then it is pretty easy to rectify – you can just send a follow-up email pointing out the mistake and apologising.

However, direct mail campaigns are expensive and a follow-up here would cost the same again, doubling the cost of the campaign.

The point is – if you are going to mail out some sales packages make sure that everything is 100% correct. Read through the pack thoroughly and then get a couple of other people to do the same.

Better yet, find a proofreader to do it for you and you can avoid huge mistakes like putting the wrong price on the order form!