SFR 208: List Management 101 – Stephen Larsen

SFR 208: List Management 101

Jan 15th, 2019 anchorwave

Here’s how I manage all of my lists to see if my follow-up sequences are even working…

Your email list is the real asset in your online business. However, more often than not, people don’t have an effective strategy to manage their list…

Which means knowing who to email can get convoluted and frustrating quicker than you can say, “Money down the toilet!”

Email list management

Today, I’m gonna show you:

  1. How you can simplify your business with ONLY 3 lists
  2. The ninja email sequence I’m creating to introduce people to all my products

But first, I want to show you how quickly list management can get overwhelming…


The first funnel I ever built was a free plus shipping funnel selling a little CD.

  • Once someone bought the CD: They were added to a specific list of people who’d purchased.
  • Then there was an order bump: “Hey, you want to add something else to your order?” Which lead to another list specifically for this bump.


…it started getting messy real quick. You see where I’m going with this, right?

  • The CD Buyers = List
  • The Upsell = List
  • The SECOND order bump = List
  • The Downsell = List
  • People who bought Everything = List

… it was list upon list upon list.

Multiple email list

Lists had gotten together and had babies. There were camps of lists all over the place.

I had so many lists. It was ridiculous. Things got convoluted very quickly.

For a standard low ticket funnel; I would easily have five or more lists per funnel… and that was just for value ladder step two.

So on a 3 step value ladder there’d easily 15 lists for every single thing I I was building…

Too many lists for email marketing

…and then I’d go build for other people!

It got complicated so fast. If I wanted to send out an email, I’d have to try and remember where each person was in each specific list. It was terrible.

Seriously, imagine how intense that gets. It gets stressful.

Every time you want to send an email, you’re stuck selecting from 100 lists. *Time Suck*


One of the first things Russell had me do when started at ClickFunnels (around five months in), was to condense and organize all the lists at ClickFunnels.

There were half a million people spread out across A LOT of lists. I can’t remember the exact number now, but it was well over 50. Don’t quote me on that… but it was a ton of lists.

Half a million customer list

My job was to come up with a procedure to handle all backend email list management.

The funnels we built powerful, but there wasn’t really a system for naming and organizing all the different lists inside someone’s ClickFunnels account, value ladder, or business.

I know this might sound kinda a trivial trial, but it’s NOT! I promise.

Build your email list without a system and see how frustrating it gets when you want to send an email…

Your brain will be so consumed by the next thing you’re building, so going back to remember what you did previously… *Arrgh*

Man, that’s why we have automation.

Email list management automation

I want to show you the automation you can add inside of your funnels to make the whole thing sing… and to make it really really simple.

This is the email list management I still use today.


Recently, I realized that I wasn’t 100% following my own strategy.

So I rehashed all the stuff that in my own ClickFunnels account to make sure that it was set up with the process I’m about to show you.

There was a lot that, just for speed’s sake, I forgot to set up correctly. I found a bunch of old lists; about 40 of the suckers.

So I:

  1. Download them
  2. Combined them
  3. Upload to my Seinfeld list

If you don’t know what a Seinfeld list is, go get the book DotCom Secrets.

If you’re following me and you haven’t read Dot Com Secrets, you should probably go follow someone else…

Email marketing DotCom Secrets

I say that jokingly…. but not really ?


I’m never going to build a funnel and NOT collect an email or some kind of contact information. Whether a Facebook optin or whatever, I’m collecting a list. *ALWAYS*

There’s no point me even making a funnel if I’m not somehow collecting a list.  Even if it’s NOT on page one, they’ll somewhere I’m collecting an optin. There’s a core list I’m always adding to.

And this core list is my Seinfeld list.

That Seinfeld list represents and is added to by EVERY funnel in my value ladder.

Email marketing Seinfeld list

I draw it like a bucket… that’s how I kind of imagine a list.

I have one Seinfeld List for the entirety of the value ladder.

If someone opts in anywhere on any funnel, then all rivers lead to my Seinfeld List.

If you don’t know what a Seinfeld List is, you gotta read DotCom Secrets, it changed my life.

But just to recap real fast:

The Seinfeld list is the general list of all your subscribers. It’s called a Seinfeld list because when we email subscribers, we’re following the “Seinfeld” (as in the show) format of talking to people.

There’s a small micro-story which doesn’t need to relate to the topic of the email; its purpose is to capture attention and edutain.

Email marketing to capture attention

… this is followed by a call to action.

The Seinfeld is the list I consistently hit when I promo my next thing; NOT all of my list.

For example:

For Sales Funnel Radio, when we blast out a general, “Hey, here’s the next episode… this is what it’s about. We go into Clickfunnels, and chose the:

  1. Seinfeld list
  2. Sales Funnel Radio list

Every single funnel I have runs off just a few lists.

Steven Larsen email marketing best practices

I stopped collecting unique lists for every OTO or downsell because it gets terrible real fast.

Here how I manage my email list #simply…


The first thing that I do anyone opts into a funnel is add them to a general optin list for the specific funnel.

Each value ladder funnel has its own optin list…

Then after about five, six, seven, or sometimes ten days, (however long it takes for this specific campaign to end), I automatically add them to my Seinfeld list.

Email list soap opera series

So let’s say that there’s an email soap opera series that’s dropping out over five days; on day six, I would automatically tell ClickFunnels:

Add that contact to my Seinfeld list, and on day seven remove them from my optin list.

I want to know EXACTLY where people are inside of my funnel.

There are not many occurrences where I want someone to be on multiple lists at one time. There are only 3 Lists they could be on at the same time:

  • An optin list.
  • A Seinfeld list
  • A buyers list

… that’s it.

If they’re on one list and they suddenly get on the list for my high-ticket offer, that’s fine as long as they’re going through the funnel still.

Email marketing best practices

I don’t want them to be there 10 weeks later just sitting and chillin’.

That doesn’t give me an accurate description of where the flow is happening inside of my value ladder. Does that make sense?

If it’s just a general optin with nothing to purchase with and a six-day email sequence, after day six, I’m going to have ClickFunnels automatically add that contact to my Seinfeld List, and then on day seven remove then from the first list.

…I don’t want them on both lists.

Email marketing one list

It’s Seinfeld or optin, NOT both at the same time.

If they optin in general, I’m still gonna add them to the optin list. I’m NEVER not gonna collect the data.


But let’s say a lead purchases something, then I add them to a buyer’s list. I want to know who my specific buyers are.

I want to speak to my buyers in a very specific manner; so I’m gonna add these guys to their own list.

I’m NOT going to create a specific buyer list for each individual product in my entire funnel because that’s a total nightmare.

Email list nightmare

The real asset in any business is the buyer’s list

So there you have it, my simple and effective strategy for email list management.

So let’s walk through a few scenarios next…


Let’s say someone opts in and they get added to the optin list where they experience an email sequence or follow-up sequence.

Maybe they’re hitting all my Facebook ads for a while, and then once the lead kinda dies down, I realize they’re kinda cooled off, and they’re NOT really in a buying state anymore.

Optin email marketing best practices

I want to get them off the list. I don’t want them on the optin list.

I don’t want them to be a representation of people who are in the funnel. They’re NOT active in the funnel, so I don’t want them in the list…

However long the email series has been, once it’s over, I’ll:

  1. Automatically have ClickFunnels add that contact to my Seinfeld list.
  2. Then on the next day, remove them from the list they came from.

That way, everyone else who’s left in the list is still experiencing the funnel. I’m still trying to sell them.

All rivers continue to add to the Seinfeld list and remove from the original optin list of that value ladder.

Selling through email marketing

I can look at my ClickFunnels account, and see:

  • There’s a ton of people right here at the bottom on my value ladder = that’s great.
  • There’s almost no one in the middle and tons of people at the top = Why are they not ascending from this space to the next easily?

Does that make sense? It lets me see things more accurately.

I don’t want lists all over the place. That’s crappy. It’ll literally clog my funnel.


The buyer’s list is the one list that no one is EVER removed from.

Email list glue

When someone makes a purchase they’re added to the buyer’s list. If they buy the next OTO, they’re already on the buyer’s list. I’m DON’T add them again.

  1. For each value ladder step, there’s a specific buyer’s list – so I know how many people are buying on each step
  2. Then there’s one Seinfeld list for all of them
  3. Then there’s one optin list for each of them

…And that’s literally how I run it.

They can stay in a buyers list forever. I hope they’ll never opt out.

There’s an optin list on each value ladder step, but eventually, that optin list expires for that session, and that person gets added to the Seinfeld list.

I use those three lists to I manage all my stuff.


As I’m building the funnel, I walk through several scenarios to see where the dead ends are. I don’t want my leads to get stuck somewhere and stay there forever.

There should be no dead ends.

Customer list three lists

From an optin, the only place that a lead should end up is in a Seinfeld list or buyers list. That’s it. There has to be flow.

Now I’m able to sit back and see, “Holy crap, look at this! They’re going from here to here, but then NOT from here to there. What’s wrong with this series?”

I want to be able to figure where people get stuck.

I’m gonna go one level deeper on this …


There’s one other piece that makes the whole thing sing, and it’s something that can really help you guys as you start to move forward

Email list management ninja strategy

Check this out:

Each value ladder has a list for:

  1. Optins
  2. Buyers.

That optin list will auto-dump people out to the Seinfeld list. I don’t want them to stay in the optin long term.

Now I can accurately see how people are moving inside of my value ladder, but there is one other piece here that’s actually super cool…

If you go to – *DON’T LOGIN*

On the front page, you’ll see a new quiz.

ClickFunnels email list onboarding sequences

Clickfunnels has created 10 unique onboarding sequences based on the different industries; which is very very clever.

For example:

If you click on Network Marketing, you’ll be onboarded to ClickFunnels in the specific language of that industry. Massive project. Not a small feat to pull off. Amazing that Russell did that.

Listen up…

So, let’s say somebody comes to a specific funnel of mine, I need to create a sequence inside of each funnel to sell them on what’s that particular funnel. That’s the purpose of the optin.

When somebody opts into my application based funnel (I get two to three applications per day asking people to join some things that I do) when they optin, I have a 10-day series continually pitching them to join my thing.

So now, I’m making a series for each value ladder step, but I’m also making a series in between each value ladder step.

It’s one of the things that I’m gonna be doing in 2019 which I’m really pumped about. There’s yellow paper all over my floor as I’m planning this next move out.

Customer list

I’ve started to put together an onboarding series so that regardless of where you come into my funnel, you’ll find easy ways to consume my entire value ladder. NOT just that one step! Does that make sense?

I want one of those big long email series to take you through the whole journey.

For example:

  • The first 3 emails sell you on why you should start my value ladder.
  • The next 3 emails sell you on why you should come purchase in the middle of the value ladder.
  • The final 3 emails sell you on why you should come up to the very top level of my value ladder.

… So there’s a tie-in list between each step which can be attached to the Seinfeld list.

I have the value ladder steps already built out, but the thing I’m stoked to be working on for 2019, is this piece:

  1. When you get into my world, and I need you to go build an offer.
  2. Q: What’s the easiest way for you to do that? A: Go buy my book (which we’re working on right now which I’m super stoked about).
  3. Q: What should you do next? A: You should probably come to OfferMind in all reality.
  4. Q: What should you do after next? A: We got this sweet thing called OfferLab where I actually help build your thing. I’ll fly out to you, or you fly out to me, or and you can come to a three-day event with just a small group of people.
  5. Q: What should you do next? A: Oh, you know what, it looks like Steve Larsen’s got a mastermind (which I’m gonna have soon).

…That’s the part of the value ladder I’ve been designing.

So, if someone was to start at the very beginning of my value ladder, there’ll be a BIG Sequence to pull them through and showcase every single area of the value ladder, and all the things that are in it.

Big email marketing sequence

I’ve watched a lot of people build one of these big sequences, and I’m looking forward to doing the same soon.

This year I’m gonna be building out an awesome onboarding sequence, which is not aggressive, but it showcases, “Boom! Once you get this, did you know I have this? Did you know I have this?”

A lot of people have no idea what I even sell, or they have no idea of all the products I sell or the things I offer. That’s a problem! Don’t have it in your business.

One of the ways you can solve that is by having one of these cool onboarding sequences as well.


So that’s how I manage my lists, and how I’m going to optimize them moving forward into 2019.

I know this is a bit more technical than usual, but hopefully, it’ll spur you on to organize your lists more.

BUT REMEMBER, It’s NOT just organization for organization’s sake.

It’ll help you to see the effectiveness of you upsells, NOT just in your funnel, but from value ladder step to value ladder step.

You literally can run your entire business with three lists.

More often than not when I log into someone’s ClickFunnels account, and there’s have no setup. I have no idea where people are getting stuck in their business, and it’s hard for us to maneuver.

Email marketing best practices mess

I don’t know who to send emails to and who to not to. I don’t want to send an email to the entire list when they’re still inside a funnel. I want them to focus on that purchase.

I don’t wanna come around with, “Hey, I know you’re about to scratch the buyer’s itch with a $15,000 thing. Why don’t you come buy my book for $7.95?” *NO!*

There are specific people you should NOT be talking to who are inside of your sequences right now.

That’s exactly why I wanted to do this episode. So you guys can see from a top-level that each part of the funnel and each part of the value ladder is super similar.

It’s the way that I’m able to go and only talk to specific people – that’s super key.

Until Next Time – Make Sure You’re Talking To The Right People!

Hey, there’s more marketing resources than there are sands of the sea, am I right? Okay, maybe not, but there’s a lot…

So how do you know if you’re paying for good ones?

Recently, I went to my business bank statement, and I counted 51 Internet tools and resources that I used to run my business every day and actually keep my team size small.

Email list

If you want to see the list, I actually filmed an individual video teaching you why I use each tool and the strategy behind it, and then I dropped a link straight to the source right below it.

If you want to see the list, then see what you can use yourself, go to That’s

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