Turning conventional wisdom on its head might not just be fun. It might by increadibly profitable.

In a nutshell, when everyone learns the same lessons, applying them to the point of religious devotion, there can be opportunity in the opposite.

Farnam Street Blog

The first religous dogma in digital marketing that comes to mind is, “The money’s in the list”.

People spend a lot of time on email. Email marketing is certainly powerful, and all online marketers should be well versed in it…

…but…

Everyone’s so used to it. And they’re kind of sick of it. “Email opt-in blindness” has joined “banner blindness”, and so someone invented the two-step email opt in form. But here’s the kicker. How many times did you click on a “download” button that triggered a pop up email form before you started to mistrust all download buttons?

Probably not many.

If you assume two-step opt ins are the best way to build a profitable list, or even that a list is necessary, remember that an untested assumption is point of weakness.

The assumption might have come from a dogma. Therefore, there might be opportunity in the opposite.

##Opposite Idea 1

How about giving downloads without an email? You can pixel the downloader and re-market “part 2” to them, for which they do need to part with an email. Just an idea. It would be infuriating if this technique spread everywhere, but if you were to try it tomorrow, the people you touch with it won’t have every seen it before. Therefore they wouldn’t have a clear “box” to put it in yet.

That’s why doing what others don’t do can be so powerful.

If it’s actually new, the lead won’t quite know how to “categorise” what’s happening, will be more curious and open to be influenced.

##Opposite Idea 2

What if you made it difficult to get into your list? Sell it with as much skill as you would sell a product. Then make it clear that if they unsubscribe, they’ll be either black-listed and can’t re-join, or some benefit will be removed forever.

It may not make the list as big as it could be, but it would make those that are on it significantly more engaged.

##Opposite Idea 3

What if you offered a menu-bar app instead of getting people on an email list? If it’s useful and they use it, they’ll see it every day, and be reminded of you.

##The Bigger Point / The Process

Whenever you have the time to take a critical look at a belief you suspect you only hold because you’ve heard it from other people many times, run it through this process:

  1. Think of an opposing, or the very opposite belief. Write it down.

  2. If it’s not totally absurd, determine if it can be tested, and how.

  3. If you come across a winner this way, you might have just created an idea that will sky-rocket your results more than any tool or course ever could. Because you’ve just thought of something that works which no one else is doing. You’ve innovated.

  4. Laugh all the way to the bank.