Ever wonder why your inbox sizzles with fresh email content, hour after hour?
It’s not because business owners love writing emails (not necessarily). Instead, it all boils down to the incredible six-figure potential email marketing boasts. Each and every sender wants to turn their subscribers (you included) into dollars. Because they know it works.
It’s true — email marketing isn’t a try-your-luck type BS. It’s a proven strategy to indirectly make money from your blog. And yes, it’s even more efficient than ads.
Your blog, in this case, is the means to an end. It’s where your visitors will hopefully opt in (as in fill a form with their name and email address) and subscribe to your email list. That’s where a great email sequence comes into play: when you nurture subscribers with valuable content and connect with them, you become a trusted source. And trust, my friends, is sales fuel.
In fact, several businesses have made six figures with email marketing alone. That’s how powerful it is. But of course, you have to pull the right strings to be successful. I’ll teach you how, right now.
In this article, I’ll talk about proven steps to create kick-ass email marketing campaigns, and how not to be that one person people unsubscribe to at the first opportunity.
But first, let’s debunk the #1 email marketing myth:
You don’t need hundreds of thousands of email subscribers to make money from your email list. Read that again.
What you do need are subscribers. But you already knew that.
But…but…what if I only get 200 subscribers? Or less than that? That’s too little. They won’t ever open any of my newsletters and I won’t sell anything.
Wrong! That’s where many business owners procrastinate their email marketing endeavors. Even a dozen subs are enough when they’re the right subs. Nurture the right people with content you know they’ll love, and you’ve got prospects.
But who would the right subscribers be, in your case? It all depends on your target audience. To learn more about it, scroll down to tip #1.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how to make money with your email list. You may have heard about the ways you can do it, but you’ll benefit from a quick revision.
Here are 3 common ways to make money with email
Creating and marketing your own products. Got a digital course on the works? A physical product? You’re already on your way. Whatever it is you’re trying to sell, email marketing will help. But don’t just develop a product–develop a product you know your audience needs and would be happy to pay for.
Marketing someone else’s product (and getting paid to do it). The formal name for this type of marketing is “affiliate marketing”. It works if you have no product of your own, but want to use your blog or email list popularity to earn a commission. In basic terms, you’re a referral, and all you have to do is link to your affiliates. If you’re using affiliate links, though, it’s important that you start your email with a disclaimer. Unless you want to be an outlaw.
Getting a sponsor. Sponsored mailing lists have informational pieces you’re paid to write about someone else’s product. They can be product reviews, comparisons, and even a subtle brag about the company sponsoring you. They aren’t so in-your-face like an advertisement, but you’ll know it’s a sponsored post due to external links to the company’s landing page, for instance. It’s easier to find sponsors when your list is large or targets an audience they, too, want to impress.
Now that you know the ways you can make money, it’s time to get to the how. The following 5 tips will get you on your feet. Feel free to bookmark this post and come back to them later.
#1: Know who you’re marketing to
You may have slept through that podcast episode that talked about customer personas, but you shouldn’t have.
There’s a reason why every single marketing course starts with knowing your customer persona (or buyer persona, or target audience): if you don’t pinpoint who your subscribers are, it’ll be like working in a vacuum. You won’t create the type of content your audience wants to see, or the products they want to buy. Basically, you’ll be wasting your time and their time.
Knowing your subscribers like the back of your hand is THE most important step of email marketing, or any marketing effort, for that matter.
Let me illustrate.
You say your target audience is “marketers”. Good for you. But what kind of “marketers” are they? Are they expert, seasoned marketers or newbie marketers? Because let me tell you, if you start selling a course called “Marketing 101” to marketing experts…boy, that won’t work.
Your chances of profiting from your course will be higher if you sell it to marketers who are just getting started, want to build a career, but don’t know how to do it yet. See the difference?
So, before you follow any additional steps, know who you want to market to. Be specific.
#2: Forget about selling
Sounds contradictory, right? I’m here talking about turning subscribers into dollars and asking you to avoid sales?
Stay with me.
Like I said in the beginning, trust is sales fuel. If people don’t enjoy your content or find your sales approaches kinda sus, they won’t buy from you. It’s that simple.
Ever had one of those kiosk sales people try to snatch your credit card from your hand and force you to buy one of their sunglasses? If not, good, because that’s what you’d sound like if all your emails said was “buy my product!!!”. Would you ever willingly buy from such a vendor? I hope not. Because they’re not bringing anything of value to the table.
The key is to nurture your subscribers. Inform them with quality content, then subtly lead them to your blog. It’s a sweet way of saying “there’s more where that came from”.
Engagement is a crucial part of the sales funnel. Remember: people will never make a purchase unless something engages them beforehand.
The one goal of your emails should be to keep leading subscribers deeper into your site. Take a look:
- A visitor subscribes to your newsletter through your blog.
- They receive an email where you offer a roundup of your most-viewed blog posts that week. Interested, they click a link that takes them to a specific blog post.
- In that blog post, you subtly link to your product page, or to your services page. They decide to check it out, because they’ve been looking for something you offer. And who better than you to give it to them?
(That exact sequence might not happen the first time around, but eventually, it will.)
Of course, you can link straight to your product page (or services page) in an email every now and again. But don’t overdo it. The main purpose with email is to inform and nurture subscribers, not to sell to them directly.
#3: Create mouthwatering email opt-ins
When it comes to earning subscribers, your email opt-ins are the main gateway. Before they’re subscribers, they’re merely visitors waiting to be wowed.
Let’s put ourselves in their shoes for a moment.
As they’re browsing the web, your potential visitor’s attention is always torn between opt-in forms, chat bots, pop ups, ads…all of which they could click on. They could. But they don’t, because not all of them grab their attention.
If you want someone to join your email list, you must persuade them. An irresistible opt-in form will do that for you. When putting yours together, keep the following things in mind:
- Don’t be brief. Simply saying “subscribe to our newsletter” doesn’t cut it anymore. Specify what the subscriber will get in return for their valuable email address. Is it a free ebook? A free course? Exclusive content mailed directly to their inbox?
- Down the road, you can add social proof to increase conversions. If someone writes you something nice about your emails, ask them if you could use it as a testimonial on your opt-in form. That will trigger visitors to think “hey, if this person (with aspirations similar to mine) finds this helpful, it really must be”.
- THIS IS IMPORTANT. Give your visitors a no-spam guarantee. Nothing puts them off more than a fear of being spammed. They don’t need any more useless emails littering their inboxes.
And speaking of which…
#4: Do NOT spam, for Christ sakes
You hate being spammed. We all do. Spammy emails are the culprits behind the little +1000 sign on top of our Gmail app. You don’t want to contribute to that, or you’ll end up in the trash with all the others.
What to do?
Stick to sending your email list once a week, and set a specific day and specific time. For example, you could send yours every Saturday morning. Whatever you choose, stick to that, and try not to miss any weeks.
However, some people get so caught up in not spamming subscribers that they send their emails once every two months. Don’t do that, either. Consistency is key.
#5: Write engaging emails, starting from the subject line
Just because you work so damn hard on writing email content, it doesn’t mean people will open them. Frowny face.
For your work to pay off (and the money to flood in), you’ll need to write persuasively, starting from the subject line.
The most annoying and unclickable subject lines are desperate-sounding. You don’t need to put them in all caps, by the way. If they’re smartly written, they’ll draw attention.
In your lifetime, you’ve probably stumbled across subject lines that sounded similar to this:
(Your Name), THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO MAKE S….
Dot, dot, dot. Even though it’s your last chance to do something, you won’t bother checking. You probably subscribed to whoever that is on a whim, anyway. And besides, don’t all pushy-salesy subject lines sound just like that?
Now, what if it looked something like…
This marketing mistake cost me $100,000.
You might not click on it. But if you’re a dedicated marketer who wants to avoid as many mistakes as possible, that would make you salivate a bit, wouldn’t it?
Keep them short and alluring, like Scarlett Johansson.
Now, for the body text of your emails, here are a few points to jot down:
- Don’t write in huge text blocks, especially if your audience isn’t too fond of reading or is usually short of spare time. Forget what you’ve learned in school–you’re allowed to write one-sentence paragraphs.
- If you have a lot to say, break down your text with visuals. Gifs, images, and eye-catching templates are great alternatives.
- Don’t be afraid to pepper your emails with personality. Be authentic. Crack a joke now and again. You’re trying to connect with your subscribers, not write an academic essay.
If it fits within your budget, you’ll benefit from some copywriting training. But if you put the above tips into practice, your email copy will improve.
Making money off email isn’t easy or quick. But it sure is effective. If you’re going to make an effort to cash in on it, your email subscribers are your BFFs and you should treat them as such.
That’s why you need to carve these tips in the deepest grooves of your brain (wait, do brains have grooves?)
- Know your audience and their problems, and make offers that you know will solve them.
- The goal of an email list is to inform and nurture. The selling comes later.
- Work hard on your opt-in forms.
- Don’t spam your subscribers. EVER.
- Train yourself to write persuasively and with a personal tone.
Which tips would you add to this chunk?