The Secrets to Building a Thriving Email List of SuperFans in the New Era of Online Business – Week 5 Lesson Revealed!

Hello and welcome back to my blog!!!

If you are new here, my name is Alison Blaire, and I am on a journey, to go from Rookie affiliate marketer to Riches in 1 year. 

Dean Holland is my mentor, and I have joined his group at Internet Profits Accelerator where Dean has created an entire platform called Affiliate Solutions.

Over the past 5 weeks, a select group of students and I have been learning how to use the platform, Affiliate Solutions, and Dean has been walking us through how to set us up for success and go from rookie to riches! 

We have accomplished a lot in the past 5 weeks, and I want to recognize and celebrate all that we have accomplished. I encourage you to do the same! 

Celebrating the steps we take along the way is important, as they help to propel us forward! Success, breads, success!!!

So here is what we have done so far:

We have: 

  1. Chosen and purchase a domain name! I chose
  2. Set up our Owned Digital Asset – which is this blog!  We designed the asset by setting up the theme and layout, added a bunch of plugins for performance and security, and set up the foundational pages (about me, contact, etc). This required some technical stuff, but luckily, Dean and the team created some easy-to-follow videos. If you are like me and have what I refer to as the technological curse, I was thankful for the tech support, where someone actually hopped on Zoom with me to help me get unstuck! 
  3. Published our first blog posts and have done so each week since!!!! 
  4. We created a subdomain and set up our email to be in compliance with the new rules and regulations by adding DMARC, DKIM, and other records into the DNS settings of our domain in Cloudflare. 
  5. Then we got a brief introduction to some really cool features of the Affiliate Systems Platform, which, I have to be honest, are a little overwhelming right now, but I know Dean and the team are gonna walk us through it. This is funnells and email sequences. Dean’s system has ready made list building funnels and lead magnets already set up that we can clone and play with and edit to make it our own. This is to be continued as this step will be one we delve into in great detail in the weeks to come. The most important part of our business is the capture, follow-up, and sales system, so we want to take our time and set these up correctly. But I want to celebrate the possibilities and the time spent playing around, making clones, and trying to edit and customize the provided funnels and emails. I took it on a test drive, and although I have no idea what I am doing yet, I look forward to learning about it. The desire to learn new skills and grow should be celebrated! 

Today, I woke up at 6 AM to attend the weekly Zoom session; as Dean lives in the UK and I live in San Francisco, I find myself having to wake up super early if I want to attend these events live.

I will admit that can be challenging for me, but I do it because these classes are well worth it. And although they are recorded, nothing beats being there live and being able to chat with the group and get my questions answered in real-time! 

Today’s class was packed with so much information….

We talked more about emails and how our strategies as email marketers have to change to be in compliance with the new rules and regulations.

Email marketing is changing.

In the past, like a month ago, the approach was to get as many people on your list as possible. Some would open your emails and others would not, and you would keep sending emails, making offers, and providing value. 

But now, unengaged people on your list will affect your “scorecard” and how email hosts view your credibility and reputation as an email sender.

People who are not engaging, and worse, people marking you as spam, because they are too lazy to find the unsubscribe button, can actually cause you to lose your email-sending capabilities. 

Although this seems like cause for alarm, there are ways to keep this from happening, and that is what we discussed today in class. 

The new regulations require us to maintain a spam complaint rate under 0.3% (no more than three spam reports for every 1,000 messages).

In order to comply with this and make sure our emails get delivered, Dean recommends creating a good sender reputation and “warm up” our audience.

What does it mean to have a good sender reputation and to warm up our audience?

Basically, email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc.,  are tracking your emails and giving you a score. This score essentially dictates what happens to your emails when you send them to your list.

The way your subscribers react to your emails drives how the email service providers judge your reputation. 

We want to increase engagement (people opening our emails, and clicking on the links in them) and eliminate spam complaints.

Spam complaints can cause your emails to land in spam, promotion, and junk folders, and worst-case scenario, they shut off your ability to send emails.

Our GOAL is to achieve and maintain a high score and be marked as a sender with a great reputation to ensure that our emails reach inboxes. This is vital to getting results,  we are putting in a lot of effort crafting these emails, and they are only effective if the people on our list receive them. 

We want people to get emails, open them, and engage with them. 

So how do we build a good sender reputation? How do we get our emails to the right people, who want to open them, and engage with the content? 

The answer is to develop a list of true fans!

Let’s be frank, this is not an easy task. 

How do you build a good reputation as an email sender?

You start, one email at a time.

A brand new email-sending domain must be “warmed up”

Simply put, you are not going to be sending a mass amount of emails in the beginning. 

You want to establish your relationship, and the best way to do that is to start slow and grow.

You must not add a new email-sending domain and then begin mass-emailing a lot of subscribers. This type of behavior puts your sender’s reputation at risk.

You will need to ease into it and take your time. As Dean says, “Don’t chase money. Let money chase you.”

I know, this is a hard concept because I want to hit the ground running, start running ads, and get people on my list so I can eventually make offers and money!

But in this new world, the turtle, not the rabbit, is sure to win the race.

So do it right, take your time, and don’t bypass what you should be doing for what you want – there are no shortcuts in this new world if you want to succeed. 

Especially and most critically because the list you are building is not one of quantity its one of quality. 

The money is not just found in the list; it’s found in the relationship you have with the list. 

A list of superfans is much more profitable than a bunch of strangers.

How do you build a list of superfans?

The first thing we need to do is think about who our target market is and figure out a traffic and capture strategy to target people who can benefit from our product or service. 

This will be something Dean will be covering in the weeks ahead, but it is really important to consider how people are joining your list. How people come to subscribe to your email list matters immensely in this new world. 

Google solo ads, might not be the best tactic anymore in this new landscape.

In this new landscape of email marketing, it is important that those who are on your email list already encountered you before subscribing, know of you by at very least your name, and actually want to be on your email list and hear from you. 

The second thing we need to do is set clear expectations when we get subscribers onto our list.  This can be done before and/or after opting in.  It is important to tell your subscribers what they can expect from you and deliver upon it. 

An example of this would be something like: “Thank you for subscribing; here is what you can expect from me…reality is that I send quite a bit of emails- you will receive emails every day – these emails will be packed with tips and tricks to help you along your affiliate marketing journey……” or something like “In a moment the item you opted for will arrive in your inbox! I will keep in touch once per week and share this, that, and the other thing.” You want to tell them exactly how many times you are going to send emails, and what they are getting in those emails. 

Remember to be consistent in your communication. If you say you will be sending a weekly email, send weekly emails, not monthly or here and there. That is a surefire way to not get your emails open.

Also, don’t do the reverse and say you are going to send weekly emails and then send them daily or multiple times per day. Be upfront, set clear expectations, and follow through.

The third thing we need to do is keep an eye on important metrics, learn lessons from them, take action, and keep your email list “clean.”

Remember my blog post: Know Your Numbers; this is a reminder that you need to keep your eye on things like your email open rates, click-through rates, complaint rates, and bounce rates. Many service providers will alert you, and you might need to manually remove people from your lists. These warnings should not be ignored. Taking action and knowing your sender scorecard is important.

Email list cleaning is the process of removing inactive, bounced, and unengaged contacts from your list. This will improve your sender’s reputation and boost engagement rates.  This reminds me of the Disney show; Loki, when they need to prune the timeline to ensure it functions and they don’t mess up the time loop continuum. With some companies, you will have to do this manually. Thankfully for us, Dean has also built this into the platform. 

When you put in the time and effort to build an email list, the idea of removing people from the list is scary….but in this new world, they can cost you your reputation and, therefore, need to be “pruned” to ensure only people on your list are true fans. 

Statistics have shown that if you have 100-1000 true fans, you can become a millionaire and make 6 figures a year!!! 

There is a tool Dean told us about today. I took it for a test drive today. Unfortunately, it is not for rookies, but once you start sending hundreds of emails, it will provide you with your “score.”


One Last thing we discussed today, in terms of creating a good sender reputation, that you need to consider when setting up your emails is Single vs double opt-in.  

Single opt-in: someone opts into your list via a form online, and they can begin receiving ongoing email communications

Double opt-in: Someone opts into your list via a form online then they are sent an email asking them to click a link to confirm they want to receive your ongoing email communications. 

Double opt-in is good for verifying people want to hear from you moving forward and should create higher engagement on your list. 

Dean said in the past, he has always done single opt-in, and in this new world, there are going to be cases when he continues to do so. He doesn’t want someone who signed up for Affiliate Systems to miss a link to the weekly Zoom session, but he also recognizes that with the new changes, there will be opportunities when he now opts for double opt-in instead.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS….But consider this….

Double opt-in will make your list smaller because not everyone who joins your list when you have double opt-in will confirm.  

For someone to double opt-in, they certainly have a higher desire to be on your email list.

They also must open your email and click a link to confirm, and this shows Gmail, Yahoo, and all those companies that you have an engaged audience, thus building points on your scorecard and increasing your reputation. 

You will need to consider the PROS AND CONS and make a decision that fits you best…I think I am going to start with double opt-in, especially as I start building a list from scratch because I don’t want to wind up on the naughty list, risking my email-sending capabilities being shut off and having to start all over again. 

The cool thing about the Affiliate Systems platform is that you can set things up in a way that enables you to have double opt-in… and at the same time, you can still email those that do not confirm, so you have both options at the same time in a way. Whether you choose to email those that do not confirm or not is another question. 

So now that we have an understanding of the new rules of the game.

It’s time to start strategizing. 

The first thing we need to figure out in building this new email list of superfans is….

How do you get the right people on our list?

For this, we need two things: 

  1. A way for people to join our list (opt-in page/form, funnel)
  2. A reason for people to join our list (lead magnet/giveaway/ something of value to exchange for their coveted email address)

Of course, once we have them on our list, we will want to email them, but we are not there yet. So, for now, we are thinking and coming up with a strategy; what can we offer of value that will attract the right people and get them excited to join our list and want to open our emails? 

Then we will set up an email sequence, one in which we warm up our audience, letting them know what they can expect from our emails, how often they will receive emails, and we don’t make any offers, at least not until we have built up a rapport, and have started building know like and trust and creating our superfans. 

Lucky for us at Affiliate Systems, Dean has created a bunch of opt-in pages/funnels and lead magnets that we can choose from. We can leave them as is, or we can customize them. 

But just in case this is your very first time hearing the word lead magnet let me explain what it is. 

A Lead Magnet is an incentive to give away to people in order to get their email addresses. It is something of value, preferable that solves a problem of our customer. Think of it as an ethical bribe of sorts: “Give us your email address, and we’ll give you this”

There are many different things that can be used as lead magnets….here are examples:

We covered a lot today, and I cannot wait to get started on the homework assignments. 

But I want to leave you with one more thing: don’t forget last week’s lesson; that help is here if you get stuck or have any questions. See that contact button above or the comments section below; use them.  I am here to help you get unstuck, and if I don’t know the answer, I have a team of people I can ask. So please, ask for help when needed.

This week’s homework:

For me, it will vary a little since I am using the Affiliate Systems platform. For me, I will be publishing my email subscriber management flows, choosing a lead magnet and uploading it to my affiliate system platform, choosing a list-building funnel from the platform and customizing it, using the templates to create a basic fan-focused follow-up, and adding my list-building funnel to my blog.

For you:, your homework this week:

  1. Start thinking about all these new rules of the game, and decide if you want single opt-in or double opt-in
  2. Choose a lead magnet. What do you have to offer of value, that you can give away in exchange for emails? What can you use as a “bribe” to get the right people on your list?
  3. What will your first email be to introduce yourself and set the stage for what they can expect?  How often do you plan on sending emails? 

Before I leave you to start considering these three things, I want to celebrate and recognize all that we have accomplished so far.

And if you are just starting out, I want to celebrate you, for reading my blog post.

It is so important to celebrate each and every small step that we take on this journey to creating the life we want to live. 

We are so close to finishing the building blocks and setting ourselves up for success. Once these initial things are set up we can focus on the process! .

And a reminder that no matter how tough things have been along the way if you keep going and don’t give up…you will get to the finish line! 

So give yourself a big pat on the back for selecting that domain name, setting up that owned asset, and making your first blog post, or social media post, all these steps lead to great things, over time. 

It’s time to take action; what are your wins for this week? What have you accomplished? Please share them so we can celebrate you!!1

What do you think about the new email rules and regulations? Are you going to choose single opt-in or double opt-in? What lead magnet ideas do you have??? Please comment and share below. I would love to hear all about your journey and anyway I can help.

And one last thing,,,

Next week I will be learning more about the “Fan Focused Follow-up Campaign” and sharing all the strategies for email marketing and how to build know like and trust, and later in January, we are going to be starting to learn all about TRAFFIC!!!!

So stay tuned; more is coming, and by the end, you will have everything you need to make a full income online! 

Let’s do this together, and ride from rookie to riches!


Alison Blaire






18 Responses

  1. great work, and thanks for the info on email – I need to make sure I’ve got my email set up correctly to comply with the new rules – so thanks for this incredibly helpful resource.

    1. Hi Nathan! I am so glad you found this helpful! The new rules can seem daunting, but nothing we can’t handle! Let me know if you need any help!

  2. My goodness, what an incredible amount you have achieved I such a short time. Thank you so much for writing such a detailed blog with so many actionable points. I would be interested to know how long it takes you to write a blog like this….it must be hours.

    I look forward to following along and learing more about you adventure.

    1. I love what you are doing, here. Your videos are fantastic. Is the Google postmaster thingy necessary within the Affiliate System? I definitely missed that. Your mind for detail is amazing. Are you a Virgo? Lol

  3. Hi, Alison! I think these new email rules will help those focused on building relationships with our subscribers. I see a transition period as online marketers adjust, and we’ll be ahead of the game.

    I think I’ll go with a double opt-in for my lead magnet because I want that opportunity to explain what someone can expect if they sign up with me.

    In my blog this week, I was writing that I need accountability partners to encourage me and help me focus and believe in myself, so I think I’ll present my initial list as a chance to be an accountability partner with me. It sounds kind of cheesy if I question it, but I think I like it.

  4. Hi Alison Blaire: I must congratulate you on your note taking ability. I thought I was the best at note taking, but I think you beat me in note taking. I don’t think you missed anything from what I heard. Your note taking ability is really great. Keep up the good work. I wish I had you in school with me while i was attending school. Good louk in your future.

    1. Hi Jesse, I am one of those people in class that loves to write everything down, so I can re-read it, and digest it. I often find that the first time I hear things I pick up different things then the next, does this happen to you? On this journey I don’t want to miss a thing, and I am thinking about you, the reader, and all the steps someone will need to replicate the same task! Glad I didn’t miss a thing 🙃

  5. Hey Alison, what a nice and detailed description you have done there. All serious affiliate marketers will need to adapt to these new requirements, mostly benefiting beginners who have the advantage of just starting to build their list and your post will undoubtedly help in this way. It has even the potential to become a reference, no kidding. Good work as always!

  6. WOW! you have really grasped everything so well – far better than I have!
    What a great goal you have – I know it’s a massive change for you but I also know we never set ourselves a challenge that we cannot achieve no matter how big it seems at the start. There will be obstacles along the way, they exist to make us stronger, and when we look back on them they have turned from mountains into mole hills.
    Go girl, you inspire me – I want to read about your success.
    God bless.

    1. Graham! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. You are so right “There will be obstacles along the way, they exist to make us stronger, and when we look back on them they have turned from mountains into mole hills.” Love your words!!!!! Look forward to sharing this journey together, as we ride from rookie to riches!

  7. Thank you for the detailed sharing.

    In the past, I have always used single opt in because when you use double opt in, you can end up losing many subscribers just because they didn’t click the confirmation button. Those lost subscribers can end up becoming great customers with proper follow up. So I used to think that the benefits of double opt in doesn’t outweigh the benefits of single opt in.

    But now that the rules have changed, it makes sense to switch to double opt in.

    I like the fact that Affiliate System allows you to email people who didn’t click the confirmation button, so you won’t lose as many subscribers.

    1. Thank you Martin! Look forward to learning and sharing the Traffic secrets to getting those quality superfan’s on my list! I will be sure to share every detail in my upcoming blog posts!

  8. Alison, great blog and I love the addition of the video which is really really good. So, shame you have to wake up so early for the zoom calls. I’m lucky I am in the UK like Dean is so it’s a bit more convenient for me but like you said it’s well worth being there live. That was a really good summary of Fridays, zoom call and you’ve covered all the areas really really well. It’s great value and great advice for people. It was a great idea to go through the Google tool on the video, even though we don’t have the data yet, but it was great to see it. So thanks for that.. see you again soon. Thanks Atif

  9. Wow Alison,

    That was a great blog. Wow again – you covered so much. This sounds so exciting. Can’t wait to see what happen on your next blog.

    Thanks Sandy

  10. ALISON,

    Great job!!! You have come so far from where you started in just a few weeks time. This says a lot about you and your diligence but it also says a lot about your mentor.

    One defiantly needs to celebrate the big wins but especially the small ones. Each steppingstone is one step to success that leads to your dreams. Each of the things you’ve accomplished this far is a win that needs to be celebrated.

    I also wanted to congratulate your video. Nicely done.

  11. Hi Alison!
    It seems like you are creating a firm foundation for your online business. Thank you for the included video and the information on the new email regulations. I look forward to your future insights.
    All the best!
    Milissa Neirotti

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