Every marketing guru and their cousin spouts it over and over… the money is in the list, the money is in the list.
And if you’ve read my ramblings over the last 25 years online, you know that I agree. Email is probably the easiest way to guarantee income online — if you grow your list the way I’ll show you in this post.
But first, you may be wondering. If there’s so much money in email, why do so few people build their own email lists?
It comes down to a few factors really…
For starters, it takes a little work and a little time to build an email list.
You need to set up an account with an email marketing service provider, get a good freebie to give away, put some follow-up emails in place. You know, work. A solid days worth at least.
Then you need to drive traffic and be patient as your list grows.
Time and patience. Two things 90% of online marketers don’t have.
But for the few who do… well, the payoff is almost always bigger than anticipated.
That’s because list building gives you the means to contact an ever-growing pool of highly-interested leads and customers – which is a huge asset on your journey to making money online.
Make no mistake, email marketing is one of the most profitable types of marketing available in the world.
Just take a look at the statistics:
- E-mail marketing has a ‘return on investment’ of 4,300%
- 91% of web users check their e-mail AT LEAST once a day…
- When surveyed, companies rate email marketing as being more profitable than: PPC advertising, content marketing, display advertising, mobile ads, social media marketing or direct mail marketing!
- 66% of US consumers say they have made purchases as the direct result of an e-mail.
Perhaps the most outstanding of these figures is that amazing ROI (return on investment).
How can e-mail marketing possibly net you 4,300% returns? Of course the answer all comes down to the incredibly low entry price. Building a list costs you very little.
You can even use one of the web’s top email marketing platforms for free up to 500 subscribers. And because you’re communicating personally with an audience that wants to hear from you, the conversion rate is very high.
When people give you their e-mail address, it creates a subtle but VERY powerful psychological shift. Instead of being annoyed to hear from you, they will be expecting to hear from you.
When they see your name in their inbox it will spark recognition and they may even then be excited to see what you have to say.
What’s more, they will have likely read your website or blog or they will have seen you on social media. You will have already demonstrated yourself to be a good authority on your subject and showed them value for their attention.
One more big benefit of email marketing that many don’t consider is the control factor.
With email marketing, you’re not contacting your audience through a third-party platform such as Facebook or Twitter.
That means you completely control the relationship and there is no way that changes from those third party sites can cause you to lose your contacts.
That alone should be enough motivation for you to start growing your own list.
OK, So What’s The Right Way To Build a Profitable List?
Build Rapport First, Then Monetize
Most people considering list building want to start monetizing from day one. That’s a mistake. Monetizing your list is not as simple as sending a message out and asking everyone to buy your product.
Instead, you need to think carefully about how to establish a relationship and build rapport with your list members first. You want them to look forward to your messages and trust what you have to say.
The absolute masters of email marketing will use a sequence of automated follow-up emails that gradually develops and establishes this trust before they even consider monetizing. It doesn’t take long to get to the profits, but there is a “warm up” period you should observe with all new list members.
Email marketing expert Andy Waring breaks down this process of relationship building further. He writes…
There is one single, often overlooked, skill that makes being a success in business a hell of a lot easier.
Indeed, this ability makes life in general a whole heap easier!
This is a skill that is not difficult to possess.
It’s an ability we are born with yet very seldom even give a second thought to.
What I’m talking about is the ability to develop and grow relationships and rapport with others.
We may take this for granted, but if we spend time cultivating the ability, it WILL pay dividends.
To give you an illustration of what I’m talking about, let’s imagine I meet you for the first time in the street, and I ask you to give me a lift to a destination 100’s of miles away.
The vast majority of us would respond with an answer in the negative, probably ending in ‘…… off’!
But now replace the stranger with your best friend.
Now you are very likely to help your friend get to his desired destination.
Depending on the strength of your relationship, you may even volunteer to drive them all the way.
The stronger the relationship, the rapport, the connection between you and the people in your life, the more they will do for you.
Now let’s imagine this in a purely business context.
When you make the effort to build a relationship, the people you deal with are more prepared to listen to what you have to say.
They will be more prepared to trust you and go along with your suggestions.
Ultimately, they will be more willing to spend their hard earned cash on products or services that you are promoting.
Of course, the upshot of all this is, as I mentioned earlier, it makes your life as a marketer much easier.
You don’t have to rely on ‘strategies’ and ‘tricks’ and ‘hypnosis’ or whatever other techniques people come up with to make people part with their cash.
People like buying, but they don’t like being sold to.
And people also buy from people they like.
Building relationships is very much the oil that will make sure your marketing engine runs smoothly.
Here’s the bad news though…
Try to build relationships purely as a strategy rather something you genuinely want to do, and you will get spotted a mile off.
We can spot fakes.
We all know that shark-like smile of the second-hand car salesman.
…and in these situations our shutters go up.
So how can you build relationships to benefit your marketing?
The simple answer is to have a GENUINE interest in the people you deal with.
Focus on the long-term relationship and not trying to the make a quick buck.
In the long term, the value of a relationship is going to be worth much more than a single transaction.
I understand that when cash is tight and you are desperately trying to make it online, that the focus can easily slip from the people to the profit.
But once profit becomes the only focus, the relationship with your customer suffers.
Hopefully it is fairly obvious that being ‘decent’ and taking the time to build relationships and rapport, is not at odds with being business-like. On the contrary, in the long term it actually makes your success that much easier.
So if you are not doing it already… start consciously thinking about your list as real people.
Think about their wants and needs. Then try your best to meet those wants and needs.
It’s never to start doing it the right way. If you’d like a little help with this, download Andy’s guide to building rapport with your audience. It’s free for my readers and it will help you more than you know.