Shantell was a pastry chef who had recently begun creating pastry-making courses to sell online. She’d heard the expression “the money is in the list” several times but she wasn’t sure what it meant. What exactly was a list and why was there money in it?
Fortunately, Shantell had a business coach who answered her question. Her coach explained that this expression refers to a “mailing list”. A mailing list is a list of people who have shared their email address with the informed consent they’ll receive messages from you.
A mailing list can be quite profitable, which you may have also heard the expression that “the money is in the list”. But exactly how lucrative is having an email list?
According to HubSpot, businesses typically see $38 in profit for every $1 spent on emails. This means that a mailing list is one of the most profitable business assets that you can develop.
Why Does Email Marketing Work?
Email marketing is effective because an email address is similar to having an ID. It’s necessary to do almost everything online. From joining social media sites, leaving reviews, or even browsing Pinterest, an email address is required.
Many people have more than one email account. Often, people have email addresses for work, personal, and other projects.
Email marketing works because almost everyone has an email address, and they check it daily. Some people even check their email multiple times as a day as their device dings and sends a notification that there’s a new message.
Isn’t Social Media Just As Good?
You may hear some marketers and business coaches tell you that email marketing is dead. They will encourage you to be on social media.
The problem with this approach is that you don’t own the contact information for your followers on social media. This means that if you ever have your account canceled for some reason beyond your control, you have no way to get in touch with your followers. You’re stuck rebuilding your audience all over again.
But with a mailing list, you have contact information for your subscribers. Even if you get kicked off a social media account or your website goes down, you still have a way to make sales and continue to bring in additional income.
How Do You Get a Mailing List?
To get a mailing list, you’ll sign up for a list service. This list service will store the names and email addresses of your subscribers. You can sign up for an account with any of these services:
Some of the services above will offer you a free account. This allows you to get started building your list right now.
Find Your 1000 True Fans
Once you have an account and set up your list, you’ll need to get subscribers. You might think this is as simple as looking up email addresses online and adding them manually. You might even think you can take the email addresses of contacts in your address book and add them to your mailing list.
However, the idea behind an email list is that subscribers are on there with informed consent, meaning they entered their email address in a form on your website or blog. This means you cannot simply import your address book to jumpstart your new mailing list.
It’s also important to note that many countries have specific spam laws you must follow. If you don’t follow these regulations, you could be fined. If you live within the US, familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act. Those outside the US should check with their local legislation to see which regulations apply.
Get More Subscribers on Your List?
In the early days of the internet, you could put a form on your website or blog and ask visitors to subscribe for updates. But thanks to the creation of spam messages, many people don’t like to share their email addresses anymore. This means you need to find a way to get people on your mailing list by offering them something valuable in return.
Some websites offer exclusive discounts. Others offer free content such as an eBook, report, or video course. The important thing when offering a free gift is to make it relevant to your website.
For example, Stacy teaches art classes. For her opt-in gift, she could offer a report on pet care. But the problem is these subscribers who are looking for pet care tips aren’t looking for art classes.
You want to make sure that your free gift matches what you plan to offer later on. If you want to sell low-carb cookbooks, then a short 3-day low-carb meal plan is a great free gift. It’s relevant and it’s likely to attract the kind of visitors who will go on to buy your cookbooks.
Create Attention-Grabbing Lead Magnets
A good opt-in gift is one that helps your visitors reach their goals and encourages them to explore your offers. For example, if you’re a money coach that specializes in helping entrepreneurs get their finances in order, then you’ll want to offer a worksheet to overcoming money blocks. The worksheet could then reference your low-cost webinar on the topic of healing money blocks.
When you have a good opt-in gift, it naturally leads your subscribers onto your next offer. This offer can be a free or paid resource, depending on what works best for your audience. Some communities may need to consume multiple free resources from you before they’re willing to make a purchase.
Your opt-in gift will work best if it’s something short and easy to consume. Consider offering one of these gifts to your visitors…
- Affirmations List
- Action Guide
Most of these gifts are easy to make and don’t require a lot of time to create. In fact, your worksheet could be as simple as 3-5 questions. Use a template from a site like Canva and you have your opt-in gift created in minutes!
Create Mouth-Watering Offers
As you work to create products and content and build your list with smart lead magnets, learning how to create mouth-watering offers (focusing on the benefits of your offers) will help you a lot. You’ve likely heard the phrase “benefits over features” during your business studies. This is exactly what we’re talking about here.
The main reason you must focus on benefits over features when explaining your offers is that your audience doesn’t care about you or much about how. They only care about what you offer them and the results of those offers. “What’s in it for them?” is the central question you need to answer.
The first thing you’ll need to learn so that you can differentiate from features and benefits is how to identify a benefit. The best way to think about this is how the feature you’ve created impacts the user. The impact is the benefit. The impact is what you want to focus on when marketing to your audience because that’s what they care about the most.
You may be offering email customer service to your customers, but what impact does that offer have on your customers? Does it give them time freedom? Does your customer service give them peace of mind? What is the impact of your offer on them ultimately?
Create Landing Pages for Your Freebies
Hmmm…so what is a Landing or Opt-In Page?
The best way to get visitors to share their email address is to create landing pages for your freebies – design a dedicated opt-in page. This is sometimes called a “lead magnet page”. But don’t let the name confuse you—it’s still a free gift you’re offering subscribers.
Ideally, your opt-in page will be short with just a paragraph or two describing your free gift, a screenshot of the gift, and a place for visitors to enter their email address.
Remember that this page should not have your normal navigation area. In fact, the only option for visitors should be to sign up or click away. This distraction-free approach makes it more likely that you’ll get subscribers on your list.
How Many Landing Pages Does Your Website Need?
As you work on creating your lead magnets and landing pages to build your list and get your first or next 1000 subscribers, let’s think about why you need landing pages and look at what the research suggests about landing pages.
A landing page is simply a page on your site that is very precise and directed toward a specific purpose. It’s a stand-alone page that you make just for marketing and advertising one thing. When your visitor lands on this page, they will be able to educate themselves on the offer without distractions and convert into a lead through the sign-up form.
According to Hubspot.com, the more landing pages you have on your website, the more traffic you’ll receive and the more conversions you’ll get. In fact, studies show that websites with more than 40 landing pages will increase their conversions by over 500 percent.
Ensure that you follow the rules of landing pages to ensure they really do convert. Optimize the landing pages you create for SEO, sound design, effective CTAS, and of course, make sure the landing page copy speaks directly to the audience member you want to convert, focusing on the benefits to them your offer gives them.
Segment Your Landing Pages
Specifically, create a new landing page for each traffic source you want to attract, even if it’s the same freebie. You want each visitor to your landing page to feel unique and important to you. Therefore, the people who come to get your freebie from a guest blog post see information important to them compared to the people who visit from your email list.
If you segment the landing pages and write the copy for your audience of one, based on where they’re coming from and where they are in their buying journey, you’ll be more successful converting your visitors to leads.
To be successful, create at least one landing page for each segment you want to download your freebie and follow the rules for a well-made and highly converting landing page.
- Focus on your Unique Selling Point – What makes you different?
- Use Compelling Images and Video – Use directional images that relate to your audience.
- Tell Them What’s In It for Them – Benefits over features.
- Develop Effective Calls to Action – Practice writing CTAs and test them.
- Include Social Proof – Who else likes it? Why you?
- Optimize for SEO – Search engine optimization helps everyone. Learn all you can about on-page and off-page SEO.
When you do this, you will be very successful in converting people to your list. Remember, once you get them on your list, you need to keep them there by providing interesting and informative information every day.
How to Turn Browsers Into Buyers?
How do you grow your audience of buyers? Here are two starter tips…
1) Publish content that naturally lends itself to the promotion of your products. Teach your audience how to solve their problems and accomplish their goals. Specifically, focus on the problems and goals that your products make it easier to accomplish. Additionally, if you want your email list to buy from you, there are basically only 4 kinds of emails you need to send on a regular basis:
- Email Type #1: Asset Share
- Email Type #2:Tool Recommendation
- Email Type #3:The “Buy or Do” CTA
- Email Type #4:The Video Discovery
Bryan Harris calls these 4 emails the “Minimum Viable Content Plan” because literally, anybody can write them. They don’t need to be a thousand words long. They don’t need to feature genius-level copywriting. They don’t take more than an hour to write. But, when executed properly, they accomplish something that’s CRITICAL to consistently generating sales from your list:
They build trust.
And at the end of the day, that’s the most important ingredient you need to turn lukewarm leads into hot buyers
2). Focus on more commercial platforms to grow your audience. By that I mean, platforms where people don’t mind and even expect to see product promotions. Things like your mailing list, articles/blog posts on your website, Pinterest, podcasts, YouTube videos.
Focus on being helpful with your products bolstering that helpfulness and you’ll build yourself a loyal, buying audience.
Related: 6 Strategic Ways to Actually Make Money With Your Email List
Whether you need to make extra money so you can stop living paycheck to paycheck, if you’re looking to bulk up your savings, build a side hustle, or something else, there are many reasons for wanting to make extra money in your spare time.
Now you have an opt-in page with an amazing gift. You have a mailing list service and you’re starting to see a tiny trickle of new subscribers. You’d like to turn them into paying customers as soon as possible. But you’re not sure how to do that.
The more ways you can offer opportunities for your audience to buy something you recommend, the more money you’re going to make. That’s just math. Make more offers, make more money.
You can use my latest workbook, How to Turn Browsers Into Buyers to learn all my best secrets and advice for this. It’s exactly what you need to turn your mailing list into raving fans who actually buy your products or services!