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Zen Garden > SEMINAR 5 - "THE AWESOME POWER OF LIST BUILDING" featuring Joel Christopher.

This is our fifth International Live Chat Seminar. If you have been following this series right from the start you will remember that I was one of the panelists on the very first International Live Chat Seminar.

I am very keen on presenting this series because so much vital knowledge is shared in them. Again I watched the live chat in real time and again I was impressed by the guest.

This month's guest was Joel Christopher.

Again I am privileged to be the Editor of the seminar. All this means is that I turn spoken words into written words - with, of course, a bit of creative license. I might add here that this does not change the meaning of anything. It just makes it more "readable."

As usual, I want to congratulate Peter and Ben Sinclair for hosting the seminar and praise Joel Christopher for sharing his wonderful information with us.

The seminar is copyright material so it may not be used without permission. However, you may print it out for personal reference or study.

I commend the following seminar to any website owner aspiring to improve their site by understanding the importance of building a quality opt-in list.

This is the edited transcript of the LIVE CHAT conducted by:

Peter Sinclair ( ) on 19 August 2003 with:

Joel Christopher ( )

The chat was scheduled for one hour and the subject was:


[The chat commenced at 11.00 am, Tuesday, 19 August 2003 - Brisbane, Australia time]

Peter Sinclair: Hello everybody. Today it is my great privilege to have with me the man who international best selling author and radio talk show host, Mike Litman, recently nicknamed “The Tony Robbins of Internet Marketing.” His name is Joel Christopher - Director and Owner of and Joel is a consummate entrepreneur who wants to share his passion for self-employment with others because of the time freedom it offers. Welcome Joel.

Joel Christopher: Hi Peter and everyone. Thanks for that great introduction. I am very pleased to be on this live chat with all of you.

(Editor's Note: Mike Litman was featured in Seminar 2.)

Peter Sinclair: Hi Joel. That is quite a recommendation coming from Mike Litman. I also understand that Randy Gilbert of “The Inside Success Show” called you “The Michael Jordan of Internet List Building."

Joel Christopher: They are certainly wonderful accolades. I hope the information that I share today lives up to them!

Peter Sinclair: I'm sure it will. I can hardly wait to get started. Are you ready to jump right into it?

Joel Christopher: Sure.

Peter Sinclair: Joel, in your latest book you stated something I found extremely interesting. You said that in 2002, three of the pioneers of internet marketing, Jonathan Mizel, Stephan Mahaney and Corey Rudl were asked: "If there were a fire in your office, what one thing would you make sure to take with you as you headed out the door?" All of them agreed they would take their subscriber list. That is, their database of "opt-in" email addresses. That was the one thing that all of them said would be most devastating to lose. What are your views on this?

Joel Christopher: Yes. I remember that day in October. I was in Hawaii with them for the Internet Lifestyle Summit. I agree with them 100%. All successful internet marketers would agree that your money is in your list and that your business is built upon your valuable customer and prospect list.

Peter Sinclair: It's that important, huh?

Joel Christopher: It certainly is. In fact, another millionaire businessman told me that if you took away his million-dollar business but left him with his mailing list that he will have his million-dollar business rebuilt in six to twelve months.

Peter Sinclair: That is a powerful statement!

Joel Christopher: Indeed it is. I can honestly say Peter that the lifeblood of my business, and any business for that matter, online or offline, is the LIST.

Peter Sinclair: So Joel, on the internet, you are famous as the man with THE list, what did you do to be branded as "the masterlistbuilder." Everywhere I go on the web your name keeps popping up and you're always connected with the fact that you're the guy that tripled your database in no time flat. How did that all come about? Can you take us right back to the beginning and share with us some highlights of your journey?

Joel Christopher: The MasterListBuilder brand name came about when one of my clients interviewed me on a live tele-seminar. He started that name when he called me the "MasterListBuilder." Right at that moment I went to and saw that the domain name was available. At that point I took the challenge of increasing my list from 10,000 to 20,000 in 90 days.

Peter Sinclair: That's a 100% increase in just three months.

Joel Christopher: I announced it to my existing subscribers on Oct 3 2001 and, lo and behold, Peter, the steps I took actually tripled my list to more than 30,000 in only 99 days.

Peter Sinclair: Wow! Now, having built and grown your opt-in list to more than 120,000 subscribers in just 3 years, what can someone do to build their own targeted email list quickly and massively and GUARANTEE themselves instant profits every month?

Joel Christopher: I had five people who volunteered to be coached by me at the end of 2001. I made the guarantee to help them build their opt-in lists to 5,000 in 6 months after going through a twelve week coaching program with me. The system I laid out and tested was the birth of my 12-step MasterListbuilder system. People can read all about this at

Peter Sinclair: So, in effect, you set up a structure. What about the speed factor?

Joel Christopher: One of the ways I showed them to increase their list FAST was by applying what I call the concept of co-opetition.

Peter Sinclair: That sounds interesting. Can you explain what that is?

Joel Christopher: What I mean is co-operation with your competition. You can do that by finding people who are aiming at the same target market but don't have directly competitive products. After that you create a system to help each other build a list.

Peter Sinclair: Very interesting. Can you use a concrete example to show what you mean?

Joel Christopher: Sure. A perfect example of what I'm talking about is a project I'm doing with eight other marketers. You can see this at The eight publishers agree to participate in a contest to reward subscribers for joining other members of the co-op. That's one example. Another example I have is a project I just did with Dr. Joe Vitale who also has a relatively large list.

Peter Sinclair: So, you provide ample motivation and plenty of it?

Joel Christopher: Yes Peter. Between Joe and I, in just a matter of days, we generated a sub-list of some 1,300 subscribers merely from doing one joint venture tele-seminar. What it amounts to, in essence, is rewarding people to subscribe to other publishers' eZines.

Peter Sinclair: Now that brings us to your fantastic book. I'd like to ask you a few questions about it, if you don't mind.

Joel Christopher: I'd love to answer any questions about my book.

Peter Sinclair: I'm referring, of course, to "Mining Online Gold with an Offline Shovel."

Joel Christopher: Go right ahead Peter...

Peter Sinclair: Throughout the book you use the terms "clicks" and "bricks" quite prominently. Can you explain the difference between the two terms and then the importance and interrelation of those two terms in the development of a large database?

Joel Christopher: Clicks pertain to the "online" stuff whereas "bricks" pertain to the offline promotions. For example, the way I built my HOT list of high-ticket item buyers is by using offline bricks or what I call "shovels." Let me explain what I mean. I have a subscriber list of about 300 people whom I have met offline at seminars or gatherings. This small list alone bought more than $250,000 worth of products/services from me last year. I generated them OFFLINE (bricks) but I sold them ONLINE (clicks). That's the correlation. I also use postcards to build stronger bonds and relationships with my list.

Peter Sinclair: So're talking about seminars, newspaper advertising, tele-seminars and a whole list of other strategies? What are some others?

Joel Christopher: I even phone them when they purchase a certain amount. As you would know, Peter, most internet marketers shun the telephone. In contrast, I love using the telephone in building relationships with my list. That's why I offer FREE weekly tele-seminars live to my list.

Peter Sinclair: Joel, just getting back to postcards... what strategy do you use to capture not only their email address but more? I guess what I am asking is how much detail do you need?

Joel Christopher: Mostly I get the information I need from webcards, business cards... that sort of thing. Everything I do is geared towards building the list, most especially building, enhancing and strengthening the RELATIONSHIP with list members.

Peter Sinclair: You mentioned webcards, can you tell us more about them?

Joel Christopher: Even better than that I can direct people to or to where you can create your own webcards. People can email me at for more information if they wish.

Peter Sinclair: Thanks Joel, if I am following this correctly, what you have actually done is come out of the shadows and the impersonal nature of the internet and put a voice and a face to yourself. Would that be right?

Joel Christopher: Yes Peter. I put a voice, a face and most importantly, a PERSONALITY to internet marketing. I call it AUTO-HUMANIZATION which is basically automation with humanization. Just to explain a bit further... automation pertains to the technology - such as the website, email, autoresponder etc and humanization is the human touch.

Peter Sinclair: Can you explain how you utilize your concept of "Auto-Humanization" to profit from your list handsomely?

Joel Christopher: One example would be to send buyers a THANK YOU postcard through the normal mail for purchases made. I would do that in addition to a thank you email. My customers are so impressed with that they just love it! It makes you unique because no one else does it. Also, if they purchase a high-ticket item from me, I personally thank them on the telephone. What impresses a lot of people is that I have my toll free phone number in every email or eZine I send because I encourage my list members to talk with me.

Peter Sinclair: You are certainly very contactable.

Joel Christopher: Yes, I feel that it is important. The net is a cold environment. You need to keep your list members warm.

Peter Sinclair: You are saying, therefore, that contactability and the personal touch adds up to a lifetime of customer loyalty.

Joel Christopher: That's how they get to know you, like you and then TRUST you.

Peter Sinclair: Trust!

Joel Christopher: That's the bottom line Peter. It's all about TRUST.

Peter Sinclair: Joel, one of the most important things that I want to ask you is what is the greatest driving force that has enabled you to amass such a large database is such a short period of time?

Joel Christopher: I did that by speaking in seminars, offline. Last year alone, I spoke at 15 seminars within 13 months. What I did OFFLINE translated into a lot of branding online. That was the driving force.

Peter Sinclair: That would certainly add to your credibility too. Is that right?

Joel Christopher: Right. For me to build my list and thus my business is internal more than external.

Peter Sinclair: Can you expand on that a bit?

Joel Christopher: Sure Peter. Eleven years ago, I sat down and wrote my mission statement and vision statement. I did that after reading Steve Covey's book called "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." This was further developed after going through Tony Robbins' "Life Mastery" program.

Peter Sinclair: Are you prepared to share with us what that mission statement was or is it too personal?

Joel Christopher: Not at all Peter. In fact, I am happy to tell you. My mission is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. My vision is to send 50 poor kids from my hometown in the Philippines to school over the next 50 years that I expect to live. So far I've started with about seven of them and two have graduated from accounting school. By building my list and my business I will realize my mission of helping many others and also I will have the wherewithal to send poor kids to school through college. My book is actually funding my educational foundation so I like it when people love reading my book. It helps me make a difference in two ways. Credibility is important to me Peter.

Peter Sinclair: Thank you for sharing that with us. Would you agree that what you are doing is what Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hansen call "an enlightened millionaire's goal and mission?"

Joel Christopher: Yes but the overwhelming feeling is more of contribution to a greater number of people.

Peter Sinclair: Do you believe that the vehicle of the internet will allow you to achieve your goals faster?

Joel Christopher: Undoubtedly. It is the fastest vehicle we have.

Peter Sinclair: Do you believe in mentors?

Joel Christopher: Yes Peter. Mentors are definitely important. I think you already know that I have partnered with Ted Nicholas, the famous copywriter.

Peter Sinclair: What, in your experience, is the advantage of having a mentor or mentors?

Joel Christopher: Mentors allow a person to achieve goals and missions faster than would otherwise be possible. What is fascinating is that the larger your list, the easier it is to attract these mentors to you.

Peter Sinclair: Please tell us about that event with Ted. After that I'd like to ask you about your book and what happened at

Joel Christopher: On October 10-12 this year (2003) I'm doing a Small Business Success Summit with Ted Nicholas, the four billion dollar man, at the Marriott Hotel in San Francisco. It's about "how to become a small business millionaire starting from scratch." I don't know anybody who is better qualified than Ted Nicholas to do that seminar. He has founded and sold 23 companies in his lifetime and sold more than four billion dollars worth of products and services. You can read more about this at

Peter Sinclair: Thanks Joel, now can you explain to us how you used the process of C.O.I.N. (Center of Influence Networking) to get your book "Mining Online Gold With an Offline Shovel" to the top of the best-seller list in only 13 hours?

Joel Christopher: I'd be glad to Peter. What we did was ask for the help of many people to help us get the book to the top of in just one day. We used my circle of influence to make it happen. Just to explain that more fully, in my circle of influence at that time was my list of 110,000 people. We also had big list owners with huge mailing lists who are in my circle of influence. That helped enormously. We must have sent out about half a million emails on March 27 to get the book to the top of

Peter Sinclair: It was obviously a very targeted campaign.

Joel Christopher: Yes. One key concept to building a massive list and also sell a lot of products is to have a SUPER-list. In other words, a sub-list of people who also have big lists. By accessing their centers of influence, you can reach a lot more people. It all boils down to my relationships with these people. They were willing to help out because at one time or another I've helped them out in the past.

Peter Sinclair: It was a remarkable effort!

Joel Christopher: It sure was. In 13 hours we reached the number one position in three Amazon categories and the number two position in the big list. The only book that outsold us was the pre-release of the latest Harry Potter novel. But that was all right. Who could beat the "boy wizard" anyway?

Peter Sinclair: So, give and it shall be given?

Joel Christopher: Yes Peter. We utilized the Law of Reciprocity - give and take.

Peter Sinclair: That's awesome information. Thank you Joel. Now, getting back to basics, if someone was starting with a database of zero, how would you advise them to build that database? What would be the first steps that would give them a quick-start program for success?

Joel Christopher: The first step would be to TARGET your market using the PIPE principle. You determine your target market according to your Passion, Interest, Past job/experience history and Expertise. Next, you create web-copy to capture the attention of your target market. You do this by writing a benefit statement of your offer. Show people why they would want to be on your list. After that you can start asking people you know personally to get on your list.

Peter Sinclair: Can you explain the reason for that Joel?

Joel Christopher: Sure. When I launched my website and list on January the first, 2000 I had about 40 people - relatives, friends, co-workers, associates on my list. I almost begged them to join (laughing). Who would have though that this small list of 40 would blossom into 150,000+ in only three and a half years?

Peter Sinclair: Is that it? What else did you do?

Joel Christopher: I added an opt-in form on the site, I wrote articles, I gave testimonials, and I gave away e-books for viral marketing. So, in effect, I did everything possible to give people a reason to visit the site and sign up.

Peter Sinclair: What are you working on at the moment Joel?

Joel Christopher: I'm glad you asked that! Dr Joe Vitale and I will be launching a multi-media e-book viral marketing campaign at in a few days. It's the audio e-book version of our tele-seminar last month that generated 1,300 list members in a matter of days. With the viral effect, I foresee building a list of 20,000 in a few months with that project. We're launching that in the next few days.

Peter Sinclair: I am beginning to see how much work you do with others. Has that been the major launch pad for you? Is association the key?

Joel Christopher: Yes absolutely! Peter, as you know, you can help build a bigger database by working with others - especially the right people. Two, three, four or more heads are better than one. Having your own affiliate program and doing joint ventures with other list owners is a sure way of increasing your own subscriber base. Even my book that became a best seller the day it was published (Mining Online Gold...) was a work in association with another partner.

Peter Sinclair: So Joel how important then is the product when it comes to marketing? In the development of products, how do you identify what your market wants?

Joel Christopher: Ahh... good question! Having input from list members for a target market is absolutely vital. For example, do you know how I came up with my 12-step master-list-builder system?

Peter Sinclair: No, but I am sure our visitors and readers would be as intrigued as me to find out...

Joel Christopher: I did a one-question survey. I asked my list at that time: "What is your biggest problem right now?" About 600 of my 10,000 list at that time responded. Of the 600, about two-thirds asked: "How can I build an opt-in list from scratch?"

Peter Sinclair: Brilliant question! Then you get to solve it. Voila... product!

Joel Christopher: Asking your target market what they want is absolutely essential to your product success. Then I came up with my twelve week coaching tele-seminar which gave birth to my best selling product to date - the masterlistbuilder system. You will notice the product at is actually a transcript of my seventy-minute tele-seminar. In the first hour of its release, as an audio-ebook, it sold 200 copies. It has sold thousands since because I asked my target market what they wanted!

Peter Sinclair: That is great information Joel. Now, can you recommend a tele-seminar company that you've found useful and reliable?

Joel Christopher: The one I'm using is Black and White. I'll give you their number. I'm sorry I just don't have it with me right now.

Peter Sinclair: I'd be grateful if you would email it to me then I can pass it on to our participants today. Joel, we have time for just one more question...

Joel Christopher: OK Peter. Go ahead.

Peter Sinclair: In your book you quote: "Genius is not a not a matter of doing one thing one hundred percent better than everyone else. It's a matter of doing one hundred things one percent better than everyone else." Does this sum up your marketing strategies that has taken you from zero to 130,000 subscribers? Can you expand on this a little?

Joel Christopher: Yes Peter. Many people ask me: "What is the best way to build your list fast?" or "What is the one big secret you have in building a massive list?" Well, I've got news for them...there is NO ONE big secret. If there is, it's the combination of many little things. My friend and mentor Ted Nicholas calls it the "success margin." I call it "mastery" and mastery is doing the many basic things over and over and over again. It's not one event. It's a series of events in a systematic manner. The difference between a mediocre list builder and a master list builder is the consistency of action the masters take to build their lists.

Peter Sinclair:... which we can find in your book, right?

Joel Christopher: Right! You only have to be a small measurable amount better than mediocrity and you've got it made!

Peter Sinclair: Thank you Joel. Well that's all the time we have today. It has been a real honor to spend this time with you and I know for a fact that we have all benefited greatly from the hour you have given us of your precious time. You are AWESOME!

Joel Christopher: Thanks Peter. I enjoyed every minute of this chat. Bye Peter and Ben.

Peter Sinclair: Bye Joel. Thank you.

[The chat concluded at 12.07pm, Tuesday 19 August 2003 - Brisbane, Australia time]

Biographies of the LIVE CHAT participants:

Joel Christopher:

International best-selling Author and Radio Talk Show Host Mike Litman recently nicknamed Joel Christopher “The Tony Robbins of Internet Marketing” and Randy Gilbert of “The Inside Success Show” called “The Michael Jordan of Internet ListBuilding”. His name is Joel Christopher - ‘The MasterListBuilder’, and the Director and Owner of and Joel is a consummate entrepreneur who has built his own list from 40 to 130,000 in three and a half years.

Peter Sinclair:

Peter Sinclair is a student of success and an entrepreneur. His vision is to help others reach their full potential and the driving force of his life and his work is to lift people. Peter is renowned and respected as a dynamic writer & speaker, having his articles already featured in hundreds of ezines and magazines internationally. Thousands of people every week receive his Motivational Memos as Peter loves to impart wisdom into the lives of people all around the world. He is constantly creating and researching new methods to achieve that goal.

Ben Sinclair:

Ben Sinclair is the webmaster for Peter Sinclair's Website and the technician behind the chat session and the mastermind behind the forum and the chat forum.

This LIVE CHAT was edited by:

Gary Simpson:

Gary Simpson is the author of eight books. He is a prolific writer who has for many years been published in many magazines and newspapers across Australia and now rapidly around the world. Gary became involved in several network marketing companies in the late 80's which led him into a deep research of personal development. He is an avid reader with hundreds of self help books in an ever growing library. Gary lives in Perth, Western Australia and is a Company Director. He has professional experience in many diverse areas such as the public service, retail, private investigation, insurance and franchising. He is also a senior karate instructor with more than 35 years of continuous training. Gary's "Motivation & Self Esteem for Success" Website is located at

Gary Simpson is a 7th Dan karate master who teaches self defense, motivation, self help and wealth building to students around the world through home study courses. You may reprint this article as you include this author credit and an active link to his web site.

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