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Cort: With me today is Bo Bennett, who not only has been successful on the Net but also off the Net! I have been a student of Bo’s free site YearToSuccess.com where I have learned very valuable insights from Bo, who was a millionaire before he started his latest web businesses.
So Bo, what was the offline business that led you to become interested in the Net?
Bo: I had a graphic design business that was doing very well. I discovered the Net in 1995 and realized it was an ideal tool to share my work with my clients.
Cort: Did you see the value of Email Marketing almost immediately after it appeared? What made you get involved with Email Marketing?
Bo: Actually my first exposure to e-mail marketing was a “spam” I got in 1995 trying to sell me hair cream to stop baldness. I remember because I sent a very long reply thanking the person for thinking of me, but they must have “incorrect information” because I was a 22 year old with a full head of hair and was not in need of such a product.
It wasn’t until subsequent invites from “hot women in my neighborhood” and notices that I won a “lottery” that I started to discover how easily Email marketing can be abused. Shortly after, I began to realize how powerful legitimate email marketing can be and began to use it extensively to keep customers updated, share information, and get new business.
Cort: We all know that here in the States Congress is trying to get tough with Spammers. Do you think that they have gone far enough? If not, what should they do? Do you think that there will ever be an INTERNATIONAL Spam Law? If so, would you be in favor or opposed. Why?
Bo: If there was an international agency setup to police e-mail already in place, I would be all for it. Stopping the abuse of spamming will ultimately make legitimate e-mail marketing more useful and more accepted. I am not sure what Congress – a law-making body that covers the USA only, can really do. International policies and laws are what are needed.
Cort: What are your feelings about Plain vs. HTML Email Marketing? What about the Audio and Visual Email?
Bo: I still prefer plain text because the messages I send to members of my service may not have the technical capability to read such messages formatted in HTML or contain A/V. If I were sending a blanket message that was not urgent for users to read, I would think A/V would be fine, and preferred, assuming the right encoding format was used.
Cort: What have been your biggest successes in your business and why? Failures? What would you do differently if you could do things over?
Bo: Being in the right place at the right time. Having vision has helped me to see where the market was going as well as allowed me to see when to get out (sold my company in 2001).
My failure was in starting the same type of business thinking that the market did not change – it did. If I could do things over, I would still do everything the same because the lessons learned from the “mistakes” were well worth it.
Cort: What would be your advice to Internet “newbies” concerning Email Marketing?
Bo: Find out everything you can about spamming and avoid it at all costs. Legitimate email marketing is a subjective term. However, when email marketing is done correctly it can be extremely profitable while enhancing, not destroying, your firm’s reputation.
Cort: Bo share with our audience how you came to offer YearToSuccess.com which Donald Trump says of your book based on this site: “"This book is a great accomplishment and will be an inspiration to every person who reads it. It's also a great read, and I recommend it to anyone who aspires to success, no matter what their field. Bo Bennett has done a terrific job with an often elusive subject, giving concrete and insightful advice."
YearToSuccess is a result of almost 20 years of notes, ideas, and thoughts from my first “business” of selling key racks at age 10 to the company I sold for $20 million dollars at age 29.
I wanted this material to be free to everyone that wants it – and using the Internet that is possible. I do not believe people should be forced to buy information on how to live a successful life.
Cort: Bo, you and another partner are offering another unique free service called Bellado, which is not a new coffee from Starbucks. How did that come about?
The other partner is my wife, Kimberly. It started because both Kim and I are not “religious” people, but we feel the need to teach our children and practice ourselves many of the principles taught in such religions.
Even those who are followers of a religion put in their one hour a week and tend to forget about how important it is to be a good person and help others. Bellado.org is a way to remind us how fun helping others can be.
Cort: You have used a very successful Email Marketing campaign for YearToSuccess. I receive a daily reminder to read your invaluable insights and do my exercises. What would you tell a person about successfully doing their Internet marketing with this same format?
Maintain a clean list. Give users an easy option for ceasing the e-mails and changing their e-mail address. Stay away from free services that attach their marketing messages to your messages – this upsets your members and takes away from your message. And if you do not understand the technology behind e-mail marketing, just work with someone who does – don’t ignore the tool because it will help you succeed!
Cort: Thanks, Bo! Since Bo’s sites are free join them and you will not regret it! http://www.yeartosuccess.com and http://www.bellado.org.
Cort McCadden is the co-founder of a new AV/TV production company called Avmagination that will be specializing in producing HDDVD – High Definition DVD – for “edu-entertainment” info products like his soon to be released Barter Wealth.
You can reach him at email@example.com and visit the website at http://www.usprepared.com to be on his mailing list to receive his newly updated FREE Ebook Survival Manual for the Third Millennium.
In this ebook you will find preparation for hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. Cort is a recognized authority on survival and has made appearances on Art Bell Coast to Coast.
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