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Free Is NOT The New F-Word!

Posted on 12 Feb 2011 In: Internet Marketing

Right before I was getting ready to leave for the Jelly Belly Factory tour in Fairfield, CA the other day, I was having a discussion with another marketer about the misconception a lot of people have about "freebie seekers" and in general the bad rap that "Free ANYTHING" has been getting lately in Internet Marketing circles.

Coincidentally, as the day progressed, my position on this subject was reinforced magnificently and like all good marketers I spent most of the tour pondering the techniques that were being used on me (quite successfully I might add) and thinking about writing this very blog post about it when I returned home.

First, before we move one step further together – understand the following:

1. I don't even like jelly beans all that much!
2. Using freebies in marketing is not new – it's been around since the dawn of time
3. There are 2 sides to the "free" debate – and together we'll address them both today

So let's get started…

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There's a raging debate going on amongst my marketing colleagues recently, but as near as I can tell – none of them have put this issue to their subscribers. So I thought today, I'd ask you to weigh in on the subject and give me your opinions – because for me, that's the one that counts most!

At issue here is the topic of Email Subject Lines…

We all know that IM is fiercely competitive and a lot of people are vying for your attention in your Inbox daily. So it seem that for many marketers, the gloves have come off and the subject lines have gotten more, um, shall we say… extreme?

Instead of simply being creative or compelling, some marketers have started using lines like:

You've got commission (…when you don't)
Here are your order details Sally (…when you haven't bought anything)
Hi Joe – RESPONSE REQUIRED (…when it's not an opt-in confirmation email)

And so on… I'm sure you've seen the ones I'm talking about.

Essentially, the email subject line is designed to trick you into opening it – or at the very least to make you think that opening the particular email is the second step in something you already initiated.

But here's were the debate gets interesting…

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I'm currently sitting in 1st PLACE in a contest and there's a "bounty" on  my head to see if anyone can topple me and it's based on getting people to signup for this FREE Gift Here:

Now here's a question that my 9-year old daughter Marina (a mini marketer herself) asked me last night:

"Mommy, what's more important – winning or helping people on your list?"

Whoa! Indeed!


Now, you have to understand a little background as to why she'd even ask this question…

First, I've always played a little game with these leads contests that only a few people know about.

I don't count winning prize money as part of my income – it's a perk that I've always used as a learning experience for our two daughters.

So anytime I win a leaderboard contest – the money goes to them. And it's NOT for a toy or some "fluff" that will be forgotten on a shelf in a week – we usually pick something together that we'll enjoy as a family – building a memory, having a learning experience together or something that will enhance our lives or someone else's life.

The message has always been: Set a goal, work to achieve it and when you succeed use the rewards to better yourself or others.

Cool message that always worked real well… until recently which brings me to my second point… :-(

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[Second post in my series of sharing with you some profound lessons learned by our house disaster]

If you've been a subscriber of mine for any period of time, you know that I rank List Building as one of the most important assets you have for your online (and offline) business.

But as one of my valued subscribers, you also know quite a bit more about me too.

You've likely watched our baby girls grow into young ladies, delighted in their online endeavors, watched as my husband Greg and I have reach milestones with our own business and personal life, and followed our motorhome travels and speaking appearances as we have traversed the United States. 

In short – you are part of our online family!

And I've always taken great pride in the fact that a new subscriber is not just another number to add to the notch on our belt. In fact, I am so passionate about how you treat your list (that most important asset, as I call it) that I even wrote an entire mini course called "The Care and Feeding Of Your Opt In List" and it's still one of my best sellers to this day.

But the message here goes deeper here…

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