I am going to answer 2 questions for the price of one visit.

Who Speaks on Cruise Ships?

I get asked to give lectures, hold seminars, speak on cruise ships. In truth, with no sense of false humility, I am nobody special. I have been around the block a few times, done some things, and know how to tell stories. I now get invited to be a guest lecturer on these behemoths that sail the ocean blue ... literally.

I talk about social media.

I have traveled to Alaska and back, around the Caribbean a few times, and across the Atlantic. In a couple of weeks, I will be going from San Francisco, my home port, to the Mexican Riviera and back. Tough gig. Really. But somebody has to do it.

My biggest problem is I eat so much the captain makes me stay in the middle of the ship. You might be surprised at how few people get that joke or how long it takes some to get it.

Experts get asked to deliver talks on cruise ships. Invariably, because of my influence I get asked, "How did you get this gig?"

Does Email Marketing Work?

I created a web site to answer the question. That answer is not the 1st or 2nd point of this article. The 2nd point of this article is to answer a second question -"Does email marketing work?"

In about 2 years time, a buddy and I gathered over 300 emails.

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These people opted in, gave us their email, sometimes for free and sometimes in exchange for a free ebook. High quality, faithful, interested people.

Some dropped out. No biggie. There's no good to be had by emailing people who have asked to not be emailed.

Still, we had 187 email addresses. Too small a control group? You decide.

I am not very smart but ...

I am not very smart, but I can read. And I can follow directions.

I understand how to create anticipation, scarcity, reciprocity and employ other influencer triggers.

In the course of 10 days we emailed out at appropriate intervals a very short email about a very reasonable offer that my friend and I had put together.

Transparent Email Marketing Results

Results - Open rates were in the 30-40%. That's actually pretty good. Ten people opted out. That's fine.

Sales - 5.

We sold 5 products at a $47 price point = $235.

For all our work, we made $235. We paid $5/month or so for hosting x 24 months = $120. We paid $15/month for an email client x 24 months = $600. And we put hours of time into preparation and delivery and such = $idunno.

Not counting our time we spent $720 and got $235 back.

Either we are no good, which is possible, or email marketing is not all it's cracked up to be.

What say you?

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