Growing an email list is a lot more simple than most big name marketers make it out to be.
However, even if you can grow a list of 10,000 subscribers, there are no guarantees that you’re going to be able to convert them into actual sales and money in your pocket.
Sending out email after email without seeing any growth in your sales revenue is one of the most frustrating experiences that a new marketer can go through.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can increase the chances that you’re going to make sales instead of just sending out emails to stay in touch with your subscribers.
Go through this list, figure out what you’re not currently doing, and then begin work on implementing each of these steps into your email marketing campaign, and your sales volume will increase.
Just remember to always keep it simple.
Many times, marketers get hung up on trying to complicate their strategies when, in reality, the best and most profitable strategies are usually the most simple way to do things.
Know your audience
The biggest, and most important tip you need to take from this is when it comes time to get to know your audience. Knowing and understanding them will help lead you to more sales than any other tip on this list.
This type of research should really be performed before you start attempting to build your list, but if you’ve already got a few hundred, or even thousand subscribers, don’t fret. You can still figure out exactly what they want to see and then deliver it to them in the form of a paid product or promotion.
In fact, if you already have a list of subscribers, this is going to be easier than if you’re starting out fresh.
When you have a list already, you can send them a poll in a broadcast email, asking questions related to your website, product, or services, and then tailor your campaigns to fit in with the answers they’ve provided.
However, if you don’t already have a list of subscribers, you can figure out what they’ll want to see before you start getting them to sign up for your email list.
When you’re on each of these websites, search for keywords and questions related to your website’s topic, and then spend a few hours going through each of the questions, along with the replies.
Once you’ve dug into the information that Quora and Yahoo! Answers is giving you, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to be providing your audience, and what types of problems you can solve in their life.
Both Yahoo! Answers and Quora are literal gold mines of information when you’re trying to figure out your audience, but haven’t yet started to build them on your own site yet.
Ask Them Questions To Reveal Their Pain Points
Nothing sells better than figuring out a problem that your subscribers and readers are having, and then providing a solution to that problem in the form of a product or service.
To get that information, though, you’re likely going to need to reach out and actually ask your readers what it is that’s bother them.
If your blog has been active for a while and you have a regular stream of readers that are leaving comments on your blog posts, the information you seek is likely contained inside of those comments.
You may need to decipher it to find the problems people are having but, in some cases, you’re going to need to decipher the comments to identify problems they’re having.
Some of them will come out and directly present you with a problem that they need your help with.
In those cases, when you consistently start seeing the same questions, you can safely guess that more than a few readers are having the same problem.
You can also create a blog post, or social media post directly asking your readers what problems they’re having, and how you can help them.
If you already have an email list built, send out an email similar to the one mentioned above, in regards to polling them and asking specific questions. Then, pay attention to the replies that you’re getting — you’re working with a gold mine of information.
Make a list of the replies that you’re getting, and then pay attention to any patterns that may be showing up. You’ll want to cater new content, emails, and your product around those replies.
Send Them Regular Emails To Keep Them Engaged
When it comes to how often you should email your list, there are opinions that are all across the board.
Some marketers say you should only email once per month, some say once every 2 weeks, while others say once a week. Some marketers even email a couple times per week.
If you really want to keep your audience engaged, you’re going to need to be a bit bolder than most marketers. People’s inboxes are flooded everyday, so you’ll need a new way to stand out.
The way that you can easily stand out is by emailing your audience daily. Sometimes, you can email them more than once on the same day.
Now, you’ll hear most big name marketers preach about how emailing daily will “burn” your email list and cause your subscribers to leave, but that’s actually a good thing for you.
A smaller email list is easier to manage, and when you’re driving subscribers off of your list, the people that stay are even more dedicated to you, open your emails more often, and will purchase the products that you offer.
The subscribers that bailed on you because you emailed them daily were likely never going to convert, and were only taking up space on your list, dropping your open rate, and messing with your metrics.
Creating daily emails isn’t necessarily easy to accomplish, but the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Then, as you get better, you’re going to get even more feedback from the subscribers that do love you, and can use that information to customize the content that you’re giving them.
This is a strategy that may be hard for a lot of people reading this to actually grasp onto and start implementing, but once you do start sending out daily emails, you’re going to be a convert for life.
A smaller list of engaged subscribers is always going to be more profitable than a list 10 times it’s size but full of people that don’t remember you, don’t care about what you have to say, and won’t purchase products that you offer to them.
Don’t Be Afraid To Sell To Them
I’ve seen it countless times. People reaching out for help, only to find out that they are actually afraid to pitch their products and services to their list of subscribers.
Having this fear is going to kill your chances of ever making a sale. The only way to overcome it is to simply start pitching.
Now, there are a couple different schools of thought on how and when you should include a pitch in your emails.
Some marketers believe you should build up to the sale, providing valuable emails and information and then asking for the sale after a few value emails have been sent out.
Other marketers believe you should pitch in every single email that you send. This is one of the most profitable methods you can use, and should be thought of the same way you think about emailing daily.
Sure, you may turn off some of your subscribers by sending them a pitch in every email, but those subscribers weren’t likely going to purchase from you anyways.
How you structure your pitch has a big role in whether or not it converts, or turns off your subscribers and forces them to leave, too.
You do not want to send out blatant pitches in every single email. That will burn a large portion of your list, and even run off people that may have bought something from you.
Instead, you’ll want to tie in valuable information into each email, and then parlay into a smaller pitch at the end of the message.
One of the best marketers in the industry, Frank Kern, prefers to use the last 10% of his emails to ask for the sale, and does it with incredible results. If it works for him, chances are high that it will work for you, too.
Build A Gradually Increasing Sales Funnel
Some marketers and copywriters are good enough at what they do, and have precisely identified the problems that they’re solving so that they’re able to sell high-end products and training programs without having to use a sales funnel.
However, when you’re just starting out and learning the ropes, using a gradually increasing sales funnel is one of the best ways to start turning your subscribers into paying customers.
If you’re not familiar with what the term “sales funnel” means, think of a funnel that you use to pour water into a bottle with. It starts off large at the top, and gets smaller towards the bottom. A sales funnel works exactly the same.
At the top of your funnel you will have a lower priced product or service. Most times, these are between $5 and $20. The price needs to be enticing enough to appeal to a large audience.
When customers make their first purchase from you, your odds of them making even more purchases in the future go up dramatically.
Then, as your sales funnel progresses, the pricing of the products and services you’re offering will increase, as well.
Once you get towards the end of the funnel, you’ll end up making less sales overall, but you will make more money as subscribers turn into customers, and then progressively spend more money on your more expensive offers.
Since the initial offering is low priced, more of your subscribers will feel less risk and be more inclined to make a purchase, converting them from a subscriber into a paying customer.
Your only job after they’ve bought your lowest price offer is to continue building the relationship you have with them, and earning their trust while providing solutions to the problems they’re having, so they are more inclined to purchase your higher priced offers.
Segment Your Email Lists Into Different Sections
If your website is like so many others, you may not have one specific topic that you’re covering, or problem that your solving.
For instance, let’s assume you built a website based around fishing.
Some people may be interested in bass fishing, some people may be interested in fly fishing, and some people may be interested in saltwater fishing.
When this happens, you’re going to have to send general fishing content that may appeal to some people on your list, but is probably going to be too general to appeal to each of the different types of subscribers you have.
That’s where list segmenting comes in to help you manage the different subsections of your market and your readers interests, or the problems that they’re having.
You could use different segments to separate the people that love fly fishing, from the people that love bass fishing, and the people that love saltwater fishing, then send them each highly targeted content that is more likely to result in keeping their attention and keeping them engaged.
You can spend out fly fishing specific emails and marketing campaigns to people that love fly fishing, while the people on the bass fishing and saltwater fishing segments of your list never know that the email went out.
To do this, though, you’re going to need to start by changing up the optin forms on your website, and then creating new lists in your email service provider.
Use Dedicated Landing Pages, Optin Forms, and Lead Magnets
If you’re paying for advertising to grow your email list, and are using landing pages that entice people to optin, you’re going to need to create a few new dedicated landing pages for the new email lists that you’ve created.
Going back to our example with the fishing website, you would want to create a landing page dedicated to fly fishing, another one dedicated to bass fishing, and finally a new one dedicated specifically to saltwater fishing.
However, if you’re using your blog and organic traffic to grow your email list, you will need to implement new optin forms on your different blog posts.
Blog posts that are catered to bass fishing can have an optin form that appeals to people that love bass fishing, while posts that are catered to fly fishing will use an optin form that appeals to people that love fly fishing.
Then, when a person subscribes, they’ll be added to the specific list on your email service provider.
Once you’ve begun segmenting your lists, you can create specific offers to each segment.
This will help increase your conversion rates across the board, and keep your engagement rate high, since you’ll be creating very specific content that each person on the different segment wants to see.
Use Testimonials and Case Studies From Past Customers.
Another great way to turn subscribers into paying customers is to report how well your previous customers are doing since they’ve purchased your products or services.
You have to use legitimate case studies and testimonials, though, because your subscribers are smarter than most people think and can sniff out bogus claims from a mile away.
If you don’t already have people emailing you, letting you know how good the results have been after purchasing your products or services, don’t be afraid to solicit them and ask for a testimonial.
Then, when you get responses, send out an email that lets your subscribers know about how much your products or services have impacted the lives of the customers that have already bought.
People love seeing social proof, and if you’ve implemented a proper sales funnel, sending out testimonials and case studies should help push people on the fence into becoming paying customers.
Run Limited Access and Time Sensitive Offers
Another great way to get people off of the fence and into your programs, or to purchase your products is to run limited access sales, or put a time sensitive deadline on them.
For instance, you can open up your products or services, but let your subscribers know that only the first 100 people will be accepted.
Or you can let them know that the sale you’re running is only valid for a week, and then the price goes back up to normal.
If you’ve built enough value into your products and services, and have let your subscribers see that value before you open the doors to a limited number of people or push a time sensitive sales price, you will get people that were debating about making a purchase to actually become a paying customer.
You have to stick to your word, though, and limit the amount of times you’re actually running these types of specials, or your subscribers will become trained and realize that they only have to wait until the next one to come around.
If you let more than 100 people into your program, for instance, you are creating false scarcity, which is actually illegal in some countries. Even if it isn’t illegal, your subscribers will begin losing trust in you, and consider you another “hype based” marketer. That will kill your sales.
Likewise, if you’re always running sales, you’re going to get to the point where you can only generate new paying customers during times that you’ve discounted your offerings.
When these strategies are used sparingly, they’re a great way to get a nice influx of cash into your business, and convert some of those subscribers into paying customers.
Be Bold With Your Calls To Action
If you’re already selling and pitching your offers to your subscribers in your emails, there is a small trick you can implement that will help you get more of them to take action.
Most marketers simply write out their emails, and then include a “call to action” along the lines of “click here to read more”. That works, sometimes. However, there are ways that are a lot more effective in getting people to take action.
Let’s go back to the fishing website example, and assume that you’re sending an email to people who are interested in fly fishing. You know that they have a problem seeing the flies that they’re tying while they are working at the fly tying bench.
The solution to this problem would be a magnifying glass.
A standard email and call to action would be something along the lines of “click here to purchase this magnifying glass”.
Sure, it may work, but here’s a better way.
Instead of simply telling them to “click here”, lay out the problem that they’re having, and then use your call to action to present the magnifying glass as a solution to that problem.
Take a look at this example…
“Click here to see this magnifying glass in action, and learn how it will help you see those intricate fly patterns up close and personal”.
See how much of an impact that makes? It addresses the problem that your subscribers are having — being able to see the small flies they’re tying — and lays out how the magnifying glass will solve that problem — learn how it will help you see those flies up close and personal.
It’s going to be a lot more effective at getting people to not only click the link, but also remind them of the problem they’re having so they are more apt to make a purchase when they do click the link.
Converting Subscribers Into Customers Takes Work, But It’s Not Impossible.
When you’re working with your email list, keep all of the tips that I’ve just laid out for you in mind.
Spend more time getting to know your subscribers, their wants, their needs, their desires, and the problems that they have, and your job of making sales is going to be substantially easier.
Likewise, start off by providing a lower priced solution that doesn’t present as much risk, so people get accustomed to purchasing from you and seeing the value that you deliver.
Then, segment your list into different sections so you can address different problems that people are having, while catering your email content specifically to them, instead of sending out general emails that appeal to only a very small portion of your audience.
Never be afraid to pitch the solutions that you’re providing, and get bold with your calls to action so you can specifically address those problems and position your offer as the solution.
If you practice sending emails on a daily basis, you’ll get better at email marketing, and converting subscribers into paying customers will become more natural for you.
Andrew James: entrepreneur, digital marketer, wine enthusiast, hustler (in a good way) & the guy behind BrandBuilders.io – a website that helps aspiring entrepreneurs jumpstart their online business.