Review: The Complete Mailing List Toolkit by Barb Drozdowich

Do YOU Need The Complete Mailing List Toolkit?

Anyone involved in online marketing knows that the primary tool to drive business is the email list. Google Adwords and Adsense and their competitors are necessary, promotion with social media is necessary, but none of that is sufficient; direct email to past customers and future prospects is as necessary to your online business as an engine is to a car. 

Knowing that, when I began my foray into online marketing I searched for information on email list building and marketing. I checked out various, low-priced eBooks and found them all, without exception, to be virtually useless. They were poorly written, lacking in information, repetitive, full of typos and grammatical errors—I felt as though I were being taken for a fool. Lesson learned: You get what you pay for.  

That’s why I was glad to receive The Complete Mailing List Toolkit.” Ms Drozdowich has assembled all the information you’ll need to build your email list and start and run a good email campaign for your business. The information focuses on the world of self-publishing, but it’s useful for anyone engaged in marketing or selling anything anywhere. Self-published authors will need this information, but no less will those engaged in selling anything online or even from a brick and mortar store. Though the primary intended audience is self-published authors, the information contained in Ms Drozdowich’s book is useful for anyone engaged in marketing. 

Structure of The Complete Mailing List Toolkit

The book is divided into four “books,” or sections. If I could make one suggestion to the editor of this particular publication, it would be to omit references to the “box set,” a phrase that is used more times in the book than I can count. In fact, this publication is not a box set; all four books are contained in one volume. 

Book One is Strategies to Grow Your List. As with any good guide, this book is well-organized with headings that tell you what you’re going to read in the upcoming section. This also makes review easy, as you can skim the book for the heading you want to read again. In the first part Ms Drozdowich begins with “How to Encourage People to Join Your List” and outlines the three main headings she’ll discuss. Then she expands each of the bullet points and explains them in well-written, easy to understand text. The author follows this pattern throughout the book. I, for one, appreciate that a lot of time and thought that was put into describing the information in a format and order that makes for easy understanding. 

Book Two addresses mail system setup. (The Nuts and Bolts of MailChimp) One of the primary reasons I purchased this book was that it specifically addressed MailChimp, the email service I was using at the time. I’ve since migrated to AWeber, but I found the information presented here, even though it focuses on MailChimp’s interface, is useful in setting up whichever email service you choose. For example, you may want to segregate your list members into separate lists; she covers how and why. She also covers similar information concerning importing list members, sign-up forms, campaigns, RSS, and other topics common to all email systems. This section is extensive and detailed, holding a wealth of information you’ll need no matter which email system you choose. In fact, if you were to read this before selecting a mail system, you would be in a better position to evaluate different systems to ensure whichever you choose has the functionality you’ll need. 

Book Three is titled, Get Your Emails Delivered. How do you give your emails the best chance of being delivered to your clients and not end up in a spam folder, or worse, discarded entirely by Gmail or other email providers? The information provided here is invaluable. Ms Drozdowich leads you through the swamp of the email delivery process and tells you what to watch out for. She defines “deliverability,” “spam,” “user engagement,” and “email legalities,” then goes on to discuss the pros and cons of domain-based or paid email services and much more. You’ll need to understand it all to make the most use of “Strategies to Improve Deliverability,” the point of this section (Book Three).

Finally, Book Four addresses how to compose and structure “Newsletters That Rock.” Before Ms Drozdowich gets into the nuts and bolts of effective ad copy and layout, she discusses “The Science of Reading Electronic Sources.” This is vitally necessary information—something you won’t get from the inexpensive eBooks. We’ve all read millions of words online for years, but how many of us have given any thought to what works and what doesn’t? If you’re going to be at the sending end of electronic written communication, you’ll need this. 

She follows this up with “Basic Structure of a Newsletter,” “The Science of Creating Great Subject Lines,” “The Science of Creating Emails That are Eagerly Anticipated,” and “Tips and Hints to Make a Great Newsletter.” 

The Complete Mailing List Toolkit: My Recommendation

I appreciated the book’s layout—it’s easy to read with well-spaced paragraphs and lots of room to make notes. With that said, I unfortunately do not see a listing for the print version of this book on Amazon, but you can probably find a copy somewhere on the Internet. I read novels and history books on my Kindle, but I find reference books are better in paper. 

I give this book Five Stars and highly recommend it to anyone who’s not already an expert in email marketing. The first link below is to the ISBN numbered edition reviewed, just in case it reappears on Amazon. The second link is for the Kindle version. At $3.99, it's a steal.

This review refers to The Complete Mailing List Toolkit by Barb Drozdowich, ISBN: 978-0-9952077-7-6, published 2017.

Comments 2

  • This looks interesting but I’m not sure I’m ready for a lengthy book. Also, things seem to change so quickly in IM that by the time I get to the last page I’m afraid most of the material will be obsolete.

    Is there anything else you can recommend, maybe something with more video content and up-to-the-minute tips and tricks for growing a list?

    Thank you!

    Tim

    • Hi Tim,

      Thank you for the comment and the question. With regard to the length of the book and its timelines, the book is arranged in bite-size chapters that make it easy to read a little at a time. Also, most of the information contained in it is general enough to be “evergreen,” or will be at least for as long as email is a viable marketing option.

      As for another recommendation, that’s easy. There’s a product called List Building Black Ops from Michael Cheney that includes text and videos, all being up-to-date and full of very powerful information. Mr. Cheney is well-known for his email marketing expertise; theres no better teacher. I have personally purchased and used this course and cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s a little more pricey than the book, but worth it.

      Thank you for reading my reviews!
      DeMar

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