Ethical Bribe: Why You Need One

Ethical Bribe: Why You Need One

The Fortune Is In The Followup

I know you’ve heard that before. Did you know it’s especially true online? Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s oh so very true. To have any kind of serious success online, you really need to be able to follow up over time, with permission.

Without the ability to follow up with your potential customers, you have only one shot at making the sale. They land on your beautiful site full of great content and see what you have to offer. If your copy doesn’t sell them right then and there, then — as soon as they click off your site, they are gone. For good.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

You can offer them something they want, in exchange for their name and email address, and follow up with them over time. Then you can educate them over time about the benefits of your product or service.

A couple of things you should keep in mind though.

  • The *bribe* should match your product or service.
  • It should be ethical and meaningful
  • It should provide value
  • It should benefit them AND dovetail with whatever it is you are marketing

Remember that this is going to be a long term relationship, so think in terms of months, not days. Broaden your view of your market to include information and products across the entire spectrum of that market.

Internet Marketing Boils Down To This

There are really only three steps to being successful online. On yeah, there are lots of little technologies and tools, lots of techniques and a ton of baby steps that go into this, but Internet Marketing boils down to this:

  • Build a List
  • Build a Relationship with that list
  • Market to that list

And no, I didn’t coin that phrase, Mike Dillard did. Just because Mike does Network Marketing, doesn’t make the concept any less true for Internet Marketing. And yes, before you write in to tell me I’ve over simplified things, let me go ahead and agree, to a point.

But, when you back up to the 5000 foot overview and look at the steps to success at their most basic, it’s just these three things.

Build A List

Build A List : Email MarketingThere are lots of goo-roo’s out there publishing the how to’s on this part. However, I advise you to use your head. This is the foundation of your online business. Build it right, so you don’t have to start over and build it again. You can build your list with, you guessed it, an ethical bribe.

And remember, this needs to match your target market. And your niche. It doesn’t make sense to offer a free Search Engine Optimization eBook to readers of your chicken coop blog. However, a free eBook related to incubation techniques using household items is a much better fit.

Build A Relationship With That List

Build Relationship With Your ListOffer email’s that serve your list readers. Additional help, how to articles, videos you found that they might like. These types of emails are the one’s that help you build a relationship with your readers. As you send good information to them, they will come to know, like and trust you. Once you have a relationship with them, they will listen when you recommend something.

If you send 4 marketing messages or recommendations and 1 “content piece” each week, they won’t remain on your list for long. And rightly so. You just moved into the area of spammer. No one likes a spammer.

Market To That List

Market To Your ListThere is no hard and fast rule for how soon you can start making recommendations, but here is my rule of thumb in a new niche. I send 10 helpful emails first. Then I send 1 recommendation or affiliate plug. After that, I make sure the ratio is well balanced. I will send 5-7 content pieces and then another marketing piece.

I make sure the marketing email’s are related to my niche. I try to think of cross platform products as well. For example, a pregnant woman market allows me to offer lotions to reduce stretch marks and natural supplements to reduce water gain.

Later, this list of women who were pregnant, becomes another market altogether. Now, they are Mom’s. With little kids. Now, I can market a whole new set of affiliate or personal products.

Executive Summary

You need an ethical bribe to distinguish yourself from the spammers on the Internet. Offer something of value for their name and email address. Don’t abuse the trust of your readers. Continue offering help, valuable content and discounts or special offers to retain your list.

Please note: Some will “fall off” over time. This is normal. Don’t take it personal. However, I would keep an eye on when they leave. If 50% of the folks that leave your list, leave after the 12th message, you might do well to evaluate what’s in that message. Is it too soon? Too spammy? To agressive?

If you have found a reason for the Ethical Bribe I didn’t list, I would love to hear from you. Just drop your reason into the comments below.

About This Diva

Cenay Nailor offers Online Marketing and Personal Branding Tips and Insights

Cenay Nailor is an Online Marketing & Blogging Coach with mad technical skills she loves sharing with Videos and How To Articles. Naturally, she loves connecting with other online marketers and potential Divas. Feel free to contact her for help with your projects.


  1. Excellant piece Cenay! I will share it with the people I am training Skype Permission marketing and list building to as well. It all boils down to the relationship, know like and trust. You gotta follow up to do that. You gotta offer value to accomplish that. The sales will come.

    Am I an IM lady Diva?

    Can I join the club? How about a Skype Room? You know I’ll build one for you for free. Just for you though, because your are awesomely helpful to all the internet marketers and bloggers in my Skype room where you are the local Blog Expert Geek Diva! (smile)

    • Hey Julie,

      thanks for sharing Cenay’s article with your group.

      Although I’m pretty sure you are already an IM Diva, at the moment, we’re just getting started and not looking to have too many Divas on board. That may change in the future or it may not.

      However, we will be open to taking guest posts if that is something that would interest you?

  2. Cenay Nailor

    I am a guest here Julie, and can’t invite anyone to the party, though I do appreciate the shout out about this piece.

    As always, happy you got something out of it.

  3. Love the article Cenay. One of the things I learned early on in my IM career was the importance of relationships.

    I hate it when folks try to make out the ‘money is in the list’. YUK!

    Try making money off a list of subscribers you have no relationship with – see how much you make before they unsubscribe.

    • Cenay Nailor

      @san, I considered something like that for the title, but realized that was just too pat an answer. I don’t want anyone accusing the IM Ladies of just laying down an answer because it’s easy.

      Although I confess, this article was a little on the easy side. What can I say… I just wanted to put a toe in the water. =)

  4. I bet this is true, because I have “fallen” for those bribes many times. Too many because I get too many emails now LOL
    My problem is not to be able to produce such a bribe. But I really liked how you described this process in simple words and clear pictures. Well done Cenay. Hope you get to write more.

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