What I learned about email marketing after losing $135,000 a day

October 7, 2014 - Get free updates of new posts here

6 years ago I started a company called Kickflip Inc. At the time, I was the #1 largest Facebook app developer.

Every week Facebook changed its API and we had to change our apps and games constantly. We were forced to play by their rules and they governed how we interacted with our own customers/players.

Kickflip eventually morphed into Gambit — a payments company that worked with Zynga, Tagged, Gaia Online, Disney and more.

Then one day Facebook banned us.

Sayonara Gambit

Within 24 hours, our daily revenue dropped from $150,000 to $15,000.

Imagine losing an extra $135,000 every day!

We had to play by THEIR rules. It was their home turf advantage.

This was a valuable lesson and I was determined not to repeat my mistake.

When you rely on other channels to obtain customers, you’re at the mercy of those channels:

  • What if Google moves you to page 2?
  • What if Facebook reduces the amount of exposure to your fans?
  • What if Twitter decides to block your url? (this happened to us yesterday)
  • What if Tacos were extinct? (false!)
  • Etc, etc..

How can you avoid making the same mistake?

Control your own destiny for your business.

The best way to control your own destiny is to have direct communication with your customers and not depend on other platforms for your success.

For online marketing, the best way is to build and grow your own email list.

Email Marketing gives you the most effective way to talk directly to all of your customers. It’s been the #1 way AppSumo grew to a 7-figure business.

So, yesterday, I launched a free course, Email1K – 30 days to double your email list.

You’ll see the exact tactics I’ve used to grow OkDork to over 50,000+ amazing subscribers in 8 months.

The course features strategic lessons from the top email list growth experts (some you’ve seen on OkDork before) such as:

  • Andrew Chen: Viral Marketing
  • James Clear: Syndication Saint
  • Brian Dean: Internet Professor
  • Joanna Wiebe: Conversion Copywriter
  • and more…

Each expert will share the strategies he or she has used to grow their own email lists and businesses.

The course closes in 5 days.

Click here to sign up for Email1K now.



P.S. If you’ve already signed up, please forward this email to 1 person who you really care about. 🙂

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17 responses to “What I learned about email marketing after losing $135,000 a day

  1. Alexandr Misiyuk Reply

    Seems like a promo post.. A company that gain 150k*30=4’500.000,00$ per month didn’t make a client db..

    Anyway, for my next project Cibo 24 I plan to use SMS list marketing instead of mail list..
    And I removed any social plugin of fast signup…

  2. Ryan Biddulph Reply

    Hi Noah,

    So happy you’re back to creating on your own real estate. Many forget, we’re all renters. We can only rent, when we depend on Facebook, Google or any other network created and owned by other folks. Point blank; unless we own it, we are not really free, because the people who own these networks, well, when they choose to make changes, we are at their mercy. Keep on creating through your self-hosted blog. That’s why I spend most of my day creating on Blogging from Paradise and posting comments on relevant, authority blogs. We all own our real estate, and unless we choose to change our values, or our niches, nothing doing on this front, which I dig.

    Not the same deal with any network created, and owned, by other folks. That was a ton of money to bleed but it taught you a valued lesson in the process. Create on your own real estate, be an owner, and your life will become infinitely easier. Sure, you’ll need to work, and create, and connect, but you won’t have the wave of worry forever hanging over you, forcing you to flip out when one of the Big Boys decides to make a change which forever affects your online business.

    Smart guys. Thanks for the power share. Tweeting soon, and signing off from Savusavu, Fiji.


  3. Michael Reply

    What do you think abut the changes with Gmail. First the tabs, now the new App “Inbox”.

    The result: Google and other companies can influence (in a negative way) the open rates of your mails.

  4. Larry G. Maguire Reply

    Hey dude, you don’t hide your SumoMe badge in the bottom left hand corner. I was gonna suggest that I loan you the 10 bucks! HeeHee… but you’ve probably it on show as a micro marketing tactic or something… Then again the share bar is there also…

    Seriously though….do you need a couple dollars?….


  5. Chris Reply

    Even though I came in late, I just wanna add that sumome definitely changed the game for my blog. It helped me grew my email list tremendously but I’m kind of stuck now…how to figure out how to move past this barrier. Noah, thank you for everything you do!

    P.S.: Folks, Jeff Walker has a book on launching products and he’s basically supporting the ideas of Noah: that we can rely on google and facebook with our business. Email is the new and old school of growing online.

  6. Hanna Reply

    Awesome post man, I agree email marketing gives you the most effective way to get in touch with your clients. In my email marketing, I am also using email targeting/display advertising for them to show my brand.
    I will consider this, I think I will try it 🙂

  7. Steve Faber Reply

    Great stuff (as usual).
    The 3 of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs can make when starting a business:
    1) Over-reliance on one customer, traffic, or prospect source
    2) Building the org’s website on a domain you don’t own, or using social media properties instead of a “real” site on a reliable webhost.
    3) Relying primarily on a single marketing platform.

    Yes, these are all putting your eggs in one basket on someone else’s property. While you CAN build a large, successful business this way, and many have done so, you can also lose it much more easily due to factors outside your control. Convincing investors to contribute funding to your venture is a much greater struggle as well, as most astute investors do risk/reward calculations, and such behavior balances the equation too heavily on the risk side.

  8. William Reply

    this was my fav line in this post: “The best way to control your own destiny is to have direct communication with your customers and not depend on other platforms for your success.”


  9. Tyler Reply

    I’ve used the email 1k course to go from 0 emails and 0 visitors 10/01/2014 to over 2k emails and 30k visitors a month as of today. Thanks Noah!