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Last lesson, we looked at how to build up your mailing list, and why this is important. This lesson however, we are going to look at what to do once people are on your list.
While there is a lot of information online about people telling you you should build a list, there isn’t really much information on how to make money from your list once people are on there. My theory is that ‘gurus’ tell you the benefits of list building simply so they can make that Aweber sale. Aweber do pay a recurring commission you know…
When newbies complain that they aren’t making any money from their list and are thinking of quitting, the response is usually:
“You’re only not making enough money because you list is not big enough. Stick with Aweber, keep building your list, and you WILL make money”.
You rarely however see these people telling you what steps to take in order to monetize your list. Most likely, this is because they don’t know themselves.
In this guide however, I tell you how to do exactly this. There’s no point building list if it won’t benefit you in any way, so let me show you how to make the most out of your email marketing campaign.
Aims Of This Lesson
- Traffic Retention.
This lesson will help you build a group of repeat visitors to your website.
- Income Stability.
This lesson will help you stabilize your monthly income, and give you more consistency.
The Benefits Of Email Marketing
So there’s no point building a list if you’re never going to market to them. While this may sound like common sense to some of you, this is exactly what happens a lot of the time. Whether it’s due to not creating the time to interact with their list, being scared to annoy their list, or simply not knowing what to message their list, a lot of people never send more then a couple emails a year out to their subscribers (If that).
So you know why it’s important to build a list, but let’s look at why it’s just as important to regularly communicate with that list.
- You Can Send A Bunch Of Traffic Where You Want At Will.
The good thing about having a list, is you can get a load of eyeballs to look at something whenever you want. Let’s say for example you have a new blog post you want people to see. If you have a list of say 1000 people, you could easily message that list letting them know, and you’ll gain a load of views for your post within the next 24 hours. While not all of your subscribers will go on to read your email (They may not be interested in that particular subject or they may not see your email etc), you will get a percentage of them doing so. The more subscribers you have, the more people you’ll be able to send where you want with each email message.
- Your Subscribers Will Help You When Needed.
As mentioned above, it’s possible to use your email list to send a flood of traffic to a location of your choice. This becomes particularity handy when you need a favor from your subscribers, such as asking them to fill in a questionnaire for feedback, or when you need people to social share a blog post of yours. If you have a good relationship with your subscribers, simply asking them for their help can give you some good results. Just don’t abuse this power by getting them to run around like headless chicken. Be sure to regularly give back to the community by offering them good value in the emails, and showing them things that will benefit them. Email marketing is a two way process. You help them out, and they’ll often help you out in return.
- You Create Brand Loyalty.
By sending people emails on a weekly basis, you will get people used to your and your brand. If you’re offering what people want in these emails, they will naturally take a liking to you, and become more loyal to your brand. They will start to associate you as the ‘go to’ place when they’re looking for what you’re offering, which means they’ll go straight to you instead of looking at the competition. This is the ultimate aim. Creating loyal visitors and customers means you’ll get regular repeat custom and won’t have to rely on Google traffic again.
- You Can Encourage More Sales By Communicating With Your List.
As well as being able to send traffic where you want at will, communicating with your list can also directly increase your sales. We’re going to be looking at ways to make money from your email list later on in this lesson, so I won’t go into exact tactics now. None of these methods are ones that will encourage mass unsubscribes though, so don’t worry. It’s possible to make money from your list by being helpful to them, and in a way that they will actually thank you for.
If you build a list but won’t take part in email marketing, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. In fact, I’d go as far as saying you’re wasting time and money (On Aweber costs) if you don’t regularly communicate with your list. Because of this, today we’re going to look at how you should be interacting with your list.
The Main Two Paths Of Email Marketing
There are two main paths that people generally take when it comes to email marketing:
- Building A Relationship With Their List.
Offering value to their subscribers, and monetizing their list based on any relationships built.
- Sending Offer After Offer.
Spamming the hell out of people and selling as much as they can to a small percentage of that list.
In all honesty, both methods can work. That said, for the rest of this guide I’m going to be focusing on the first way of monetizing your list. I will explain why…
Why I Don’t Like The Spamming Method
The second method is not one I am too keen on. It requires you to sell any old rubbish to your list, and betrays people’s trust. You get people to earn their hard earned money on what it is you’re promoting, usually knowing full well that it won’t help them in any way. This method requires you to gain a load of new subscribers every day, as you will be having a lot of people leaving your list every day. People will eventually clock that you’re little more then a person trying to make a quick buck, but Google will keep sending you fresh meat every day so it won’t matter much to you. You’ll be making your money.
There are a number of people that rely on this method to make money. They always have a new ‘this will make you rich’ product to flogs to their list. What, didn’t the last product you were promoting make them rich then?
While some people won’t mind taking this route if they have a lot of traffic and it makes them money, I’ve never been comfortable with betraying people’s trust like this. I wouldn’t like it if it was done to me, so I wouldn’t do it to other people.
Why I Like The Building Relationships Method
The method I prefer is building relationships with your subscribers. This is also a very effective way to monetize your list, and has seen a very low subscriber turn over for most of my sites. Furthermore, you don’t need anywhere near as many subscribers to make a good amount of money.
The aim of this method is to get people on your mailing list, then love them until they will do anything for you!! Well not quite, but you are going to offer them a lot of value in exchange for their email address.
The reason why we do this is simple: It’s human nature to repay kindness. If you’re given something of value for free, you’re will naturally feel the need to repay that debit. Have you ever had someone come up to you and give you a freebie before they try anything that sounds remotely like a sales pitch? That’s because they know it’ll make you more likely to stay around and hear them out.
It also works with kindness. If you are kind to someone and pay them attention, it’ll make it harder for them to walk away. That’s why whenever sales people approach you on the street, you’ll notice they’ll start by asking how you are or making a comment based on something you’re clearly interested in. Let’s say you’re holding a Starbucks cup of coffee for example. They may come up to you and ask I you’re tried the Starbucks hot chocolate. This is a question you will most likely answer as it’s relevant to your life at the time, and they’ll keep building that relationship over the next few sentence swaps. They will then eventually get to their sales pitch. This sales pitch will most likely have nothing to do with Starbucks, but because they’ve already tugged at your heart strings, you will find it hard to turn around and walk away.
When we’re building a relationship with our list however, we won’t be sending them any sales pitches (Unless you’re launching a product) or feeding them anything irrelevant. The theory though is the same:
Build up a relationship with your list, make them trust you, and offer them genuine products that will benefit their lives.
This is win win for everyone involved, they get a load of freebies and clear instruction on doing things that they want to know how to do. The also get a list of tools that will help them do the job even better, and you get a commission based on your product recommendations. You also get the feeling of genuinely benefiting people’s live. Nice. 🙂
As I mentioned before, the rest of this guide will be based on building relationship and monetizing those relationships. This isn’t as hard or time consuming as it may seem, as we can put this relationship building process largely on auto pilot. So let’s look at the fine details on how to effectively email market.
Don’ Be Scared To Email Your Subscribers
One of the fears that a lot of people have is that they will email their list too often and people will get annoyed by them. While this can be true, it shouldn’t stop you from messaging people, especially if you’re offering real value in your emails. After all, they’re on your list because they’re interested in what you have to say, and they feel you can help them. If at any time they feel your list isn’t right for them any more, they will simply unsubscribe. This isn’t the end of the world, as no matter how good your list is, it won’t be suitable for everyone.
As long as you’re offering good value in your emails, you shouldn’t fear messaging your subscribers. If some of your list gets upset that you add in the odd paid offer in your messages, then let them go. It’s that simple. You want to filter out the people who will cause you stress for genuinely offering them a product that will benefit them, and focus on the people who appreciate you offering them lots of helpful advice. These are the people who you can help in life and that can help you back in exchange.
One of the most popular reasons people unsubscribe from email lists, is because they don’t remember who you are, and that they signed up to your list. Because of this, it’s often a better idea to send your subscribers an email regularly, so they recognize your emails and become used to receiving them.
How Often Should You Email Your Subscribers
This is one of the main questions I get asked by people when they start out email marketing. They don’t want to email their list so often so their subscribers get annoyed, but at the same time they do want to make money from their list which means they will need to email them.
In all honesty, there is no right or wrong answer for this question. It really does depend on your niche.
Let’s say for example you’re in the betting or stock trading industry. You may run a paid newsletter, offering trading tips and the latest picks. In this case, you may want to email your subscribers every day. It is a fast moving industry, and one where information can be extremely valuable one day and then completely worthless the next. Because of this, people will expect you to email them on a daily basis.
On the other hand, if you’re in a seasonal niche (For example you’re have a website offering Halloween goods, ideas and tips), your subscribers may only expect you to email them in the run up to Halloween, on the day, and once or twice after the event. Any more then this and you could risk losing subscribers.
If you’re in a generally niche which isn’t seasonal however, I have a suggestion for you:
Email your list once or twice a week. Once every week via your autoresponder, and once again via you manually updating people on the latest.
This suggestion is for people who don’t aren’t sure what is too much mailing or too little. From what I’ve seen, once or twice a week is a good number.
Emailing your list once or twice a week works for a few different reasons:
- It’s Not Enough To Annoy People.
Emailing someone once or twice a week shouldn’t annoy them in the slightest. If it does, then they probably have no real interest in what you have to say. These are the types of people that won’t benefit you, and you won’t be able to help. If they decide to unsubscribe from your list, then it’s in the best interest of all parties involved.
- It Is Enough To Remind People You Exist.
One of the great things about email marketing, is it can be a great reminder to people that you exist. Someone may have visited your website once, signed up to your list, and forgot about you. If you don’t email these people then you have as good as lost a customer. If you email them once or twice a week however, you will remind them you exist and encourage repeat visits to your site.
- It Gives People Time To Miss You.
If you offer people good quality information in your mailing list, they will end up looking forward to your next email. During this time where you are not messaging them, you are creating a feeling of excitement inside them that will lead to them feeling a stronger bond with your brand as a whole. This is a powerful emotion, and one that can really have your subscribers feeling a lot closer to you.
If you’re not sure how often to email your subscribers, try once or twice a week and see how it goes. From here you can adjust the frequency you email them, and gauge the results from there. Which one encourages more interaction from your list? Which one makes the most people unsubscribe? This will depend on what niche you’re in, so give it a try and see which frequency works best for you.
HTML Or Plain Text Emails
When you’re sending out emails, you will have the choice of sending your subscribers HTML emails (Emails that look fancy, and can include pictures and colored background etc) or plain text email (Emails with no fancy formatting).
There are arguments for using both. Many marketers prefer to go with the plain text emails, as it is the way friends would email each other. A friend wouldn’t send an email with a neat HTML design, so by doing the same, you’re trying to position yourself as one of their friends. This could subconsciously make people think of you as such.
On the other hand, other marketers argue that HTML emails are a lot more functional. They can be visually more pleasing, and remind people that you are an authority on the subject.
I personally recommend you go with the HTML emails. While plain text emails can work for some people, there are a few reasons I prefer HTML:
- You Can Add In Additional Information.
With a HTML email, it’s possible to put a sidebar in your email. This is great for adding in additional information, such as buttons to your social website, reminders about your products, or anything else you want to share with your subscribers.
- You Give Off A Certain Image.
As mentioned before, you want to remind people you are someone important within your niche. This will encourage them to listen to what you have to say, and go to you for the what it is they need. This isn’t to say that you can’t still be personal, as the text you write in your emails will still do this. It’s just about getting the best of both worlds, and using them both to your advantage.
All the popular email marketing software services will provide you with pre-designed HTML email templates if you decide to use them, as well as allow you to customize them to suit your needs. Most also allow you to deliver a plain text email alongside your HTML one for those that can’t display HTML properly.
Personalizing Your Emails
All of the top email marketing software providers allow you to do one very important thing: Personalize your emails to each individual subscriber. If you collect their name alongside their email address (Which I suggest you do), you will be given the option to insert each subscriber’s name in the email you send them. This is achieved by adding a given code wherever you want in the email. When this message gets send out, instead of seeing the inserted code, the subscriber will see their own name.
This is good for two reasons:
- It Helps The User Identify Your Mail As A Genuine Communication.
If they don’t initially recognize who the email is from, they’re more likely to still give it a chance as it’s addressed to them personally.
- It Feels More Personal.
Instead of sending emails where it sounds like you’re not talking to anyone in particular, why not make your emails sound as personal as possible? Instead of saying ‘people’, say ‘you’. Instead of saying ‘Dear subscriber’, say ‘Hi’ followed by their name. While a lot of people are clued up that it’s still a message that goes to everyone, it still feels a lot more personal, and people often react better to this.
Most email marketing software providers also allow you to add in other personal details, so have a look at the personalization options available to you.
It doesn’t take much effort to personalize your emails, so if you want the best possible chance of building up a relationship with your subscribers, I suggest you give it a go.
Getting Your Subject Line Right
As the subject line of your email (Also known as your header) is something that will get seen before anything else, it makes sense that we should put some effort into making this as enticing as possible.
We talked above about personalizing your emails, and opening header is the perfect place to get started with this. By adding the person’s name right at the front of the email header, you have immediately got their attention. It’s like you’re talking directly to them, so they’re more likely to see your email and go on to read the rest of the subject line. If it’s something that interests them, they’ll go on to open your email.
As well as personalizing the subject line, you need to make sure the rest of it is also attention grabbing for your subscribers.
One way to do this is by making it clear what that person is going to get when they open your email. If you’re going to offer them tips on how to create a good cream for example, there’s no point heading your message:
‘My News Letter Part 4’.
This header doesn’t do much to make that person want to open, and will most likely decrease your open rate by quite a bit. On the other hand, here’s an example of a better subject line:
‘NAME, Here’s My Top Tip To Making A Cream You’ll Love’.
This one lets you know exactly what you’re going to get inside, and makes it sound exciting. It shows them they’re going to get involved, and also learn a new skill. If you’re into cream making, this will be a email you will want to open right away!
Another good tactic is to ask a question in your email header, or make a bold statement. Both of these things will have your subscribers wondering what the rest of the message will include, and increase the chances of them opening it.
Experiment with your subject line types, and you’ll find a style that works best for you.
Tip: If you send out an email to your subscribers and they aren’t opened by a percentage of your subscribers, you can always resend this email to those that didn’t open it the first time around. BUT this time include a different header! The first time around the header may not have grabbed the attention of some, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have enjoyed the content inside if they saw it. So send it out a couple of days later only to those that didn’t open it initially, and see if you can get any more opens. Just be sure to make the header different enough that people won’t realize it’s the same email you sent out before. If they didn’t open the first email though, they won’t know you sent out the same email twice. Nice. 🙂
This lesson is continued in Lesson 6 Part 2: Email Marketing For Small Business, What To Send Newsletter Subscribers.