Your search rankings will come and go.
The Adwords rules will continue to change.
But your email list is forever!
It always strikes me as ironic that as SEO and PPC “gurus” all of the businesses that Dan and I have individually and jointly built over the years have been built using email. SEO and PPC have served us well to get leads, but it’s email that we rely on to actually make money.
Why? Because email is the easiest, most reliable, and most profitable channel ever invented.
If you are not making money with email right now, you are missing out on your single biggest revenue opportunity and in a few hundred words today, plus an in-depth video presentation
Thursday (register here)[replay posted here], I’ll show you how to solve that problem once and for all.
There are exactly three things to get right to profit from email
- You need a list of addresses to mail,
- Those people have to want to read your emails, and
- You have to know how to sell without being a jerk.
If you’re not emailing now, or if you’re not making any money from email, it is one or more of those three things that you’re not doing right. It is NOT “my market is different” or “no one reads email anymore”.
I don’t care what your market is but I bet it’s humans! And humans read email multiple times per day on a growing number of devices and device types. Not only is email not “dead,” it’s actually growing in importance. I’ll show you real stats on
Thursday’s Hangout in the video. Until then, here’s your homework…
Your Email Marketing Triage
Let’s start with collecting addresses. There are two kinds, customers and prospects, and you should have both.
Customers is easy. Opt them in when they complete a transaction. You do not even need to ask for permission under CAN-SPAM rules as this is covered by “existing commercial relationship” but feel free to ask if you’d like.
Prospects is another matter and hence the focus of this post. You have to give them some reason to give you their address. To do that, you’ll need to offer something of value for free and that is likely where most of you stall out. We can fix that.
There are three methods we use to create downloadable items that have real value to prospects while also being simple, fast, and cheap to create. On Thursday’s Hangout I’ll show you all three. For you e-commerce people, it can be as simple as a printable version of your catalog!
But giving just one thing of value does not train your prospects to open your mail. You need to create an effect called “commitment and consistency” and that requires that your prospects have a positive experience from reading multiple emails over some number of days.
Sound like more impossibly hard work? Not at all. It starts with what we call a “consumption sequence”. This is a series of emails that reminds the prospect of the value you just gave them, summarizes some key points, and encourages them to read the whole thing. Depending on the item you gave them, this series will be delivered over 5-10 days.
But then what? Then you have to stay in touch with them on a regular basis until they either die or unsubscribe. This is your “nurturing sequence”.
Nurturing Your List
Your prospects and customers will only open your email if they expect there to be something in it for them. They are not going to read your email to do you a favor. They are serving their own needs, wants, and desires, and the only way for you to get anything out of the deal is to help them first.
Nurturing emails have to provide value with no obligation. Get this wrong, and they stop listening to you, but if it you get it right, your readers will open everything you send. Why? Because it serves their own self interest. Your job is to figure out what that interest is so you can serve it.
That’s Great, But Let’s Sell Something Already!
I know, you’re getting anxious. We did a free ebook. We then wrote a bunch of free emails for the free ebook. Then we wrote even more free content emails so people would love us and continue to read our emails. So when do we get to the part where “the money is in the list?”
Patience Grasshopper, we’re almost there.
By giving great value and relevant content we’ve established trust, positioned our brand as the expert in our market, and created a feeling of reciprocity in our prospects. Taken together, these factors predispose them to accept what we say as true and to want a deeper – even commercial – relationship with us. This is a natural and normal human characteristic.
The final piece of the puzzle then is to sell while preserving that positive relationship we’ve worked so hard to create. There are a number of ways to do that, but the easiest is to “sell in content” – yes, that’s right, even more content!
It works like this: give something of value, be it educational, entertaining, or actionable, and then make a related offer. The vital point is that your content has to have value absent the offer which means the content can not be a mere “infomercial.”
Most of your readers will just act on your content and thank you for it – still no money in that list, right? But some people will accept your offer and thank you for that too! In both cases, you’ve preserved (and even enhanced) the relationship with your list, but you are now (finally!) making money in the process.
But don’t think for a moment that your mindset while selling can be anything different than the one you had while delivering straight content. If it is, your prospects will see right through it, and up goes their guard. Your offer has to be just another way you “serve the people in your market.”
The Rest of the Story
A thousand words and one simple graphic is not the whole story. It’s really just an intro. If you want the rest of the story,
join us for our Live Hangout this Thursday at 3pm Eastern watch the replay.
- Three simple ways to build a downloadable item to use in building your list
- A cookie-cutter method for writing the consumption sequence
- The process we use for constructing a nurturing sequence
- How to piggy-back promotions onto content
- And how to select content that’s perfect for promotions!
If you are making money with email now then you already know the huge value in getting just one more idea so I’m sure you’ve already registered, right? 🙂
Or maybe you’re not mailing now. That’s so sad. You have no idea how much money you’ve already lost, how much more you are losing every single day, and how much you could gain by getting started right now. So I hope to see you Thursday and help you fix that!
Like all of our Hangouts, there will be a Live Q&A following the presentation.