Category Archives: Email

How To Easily Make More Money From Any Email List

In case you don’t know me, let me introduce myself. (Sounds like that Rolling Stone’s song, right? LOL!) I’ve been making real money online since ’07. Full time since ’10. (And a damn fine living, if I might add!) Most of what I do revolves in some way or other around email marketing. It’s my marketing method of choice. So, yeah, I actually do know what I’m talking about, although I’m always learning from others, and yes, there are indeed others who know much more than I do.

But still…

Those are my credentials.

Now, let’s get to the topic at hand.

How to make more money from any email list. (Even a teensy weensy one!)

There are probably more false assumptions floating around about email marketing than another other form of marketing online. Most of the stuff you read about Facebook ads is pretty right on. Video marketing, too. But email marketing…wow! What a load of BS!

I’ve been thinking about how to structure this post all day. There’s a small “mountain” near where I live. It’s called Stone Mountain.

Here’s a picture:

I like to climb Stone Mountain. You can’t really see it in this picture, but there’s a more gentle sloping side you can walk up. It’s still quite a slog, though.

So, yeah, I was climbing this today and thinking about how to write this post. You see, I wanted to expose two incredibly damaging misconceptions about email marketing, both of which result in people (businesses) not making nearly as much money off their lists as they could. Hopefully, all this cogitation will come to fruition, and you’ll learn something that will help you out. Help you make some money, or more money, what ever is the case.

To state out with, let me enumerate these two misconceptions. One I would call something like…the list identity problem. The other let’s call “problems with assumptions”. We’ll talk about the List Identity Problem first.


The List Identity Problem

This might hurt some. You are not your list! You are not one of the buyers on your list. You might have been at one point, but as you moved from someone interested in a niche to someone trying (or succeeding) to make money in a niche through email marketing, you also became fundamentally different from your subscribers.

Let’s use an example.

Home Depot is a very large business. They employ buyers who buy the materials and tools they sell. A buyer for Home Depot doesn’t really have to be a carpenter to figure out which belt sander to buy. They just have to deeply understand what kinds of belt sanders Home Depot shoppers will buy. Ditto for a buyer for a home furnishings store. If you went to the house of a home furnishings store buyer, you might not necessarily see their house furnished with the furniture of the business they work for. (You might, but it’s not required.)

What I’m getting at here is this.

The business person running a list isn’t going to be in exactly the same mindset as one of their subscribers. As a matter of fact, they fundamentally can’t be.

Yet, when I talk with people who are in email marketing, or want to be, they constantly confuse themselves with their subscribers.

Case in point.

I was doing a webinar for a membership site of ours about a month ago. Someone on the webinar asked a really great question. Do I feel the need to actually use the products I promote to my list myself in one of my own businesses?

I loved this question, because it pointed to the heart of the list identity problem I’m talking about.

The short answer is no, I don’t. The longer explanation is this. I have a very well oiled business. Parts of which have been running smoothly for years now. So, let’s say I have a specific way I like to make and rank videos, which I do as a matter of fact. Does that mean that I can’t see value in other ways to make and rank videos? Of course not. There’s many ways to do video marketing. I have a specific way which works for me, yet there are other just as valid ways.

Now…would it be wrong of me to promote a really great product to one of my lists if that product focused on a method that I don’t personally use, but which I know to be valid? Of course not. I’m not my list. I do have the responsibility to promote products that I think are valid, but it would be very narrow minded of me to just promote stuff I use. I run a very lean business, and that would mean I’d have maybe one product per year I could be an affiliate of.

Not sure if the CEO of Target is a guy or a gal, but if it’s a guy, he doesn’t have to actually wear all the dresses that his store sells. (Or heck, he might! There’s nothing wrong with that either…but I digress!)

So, get this into your skull. You are not your list! You have an ethical responsibility to promote good products to your list, but they don’t have to be something you’d buy. (Just so you know, I get access to everything I promote in my IM business. Normally, I get comp’d on stuff. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m pretty well known. But if I don’t or can’t get comp’d (rare), I’ll just buy the product so I can look at it. Just being transparent here.)

So, that’s what I call the List Identity problem.

Don’t do that any more!

Next issue…

…what I call the “Problems With Assumptions” problem.


Problems With Assumptions About Your List

This issue is actually very similar to the List Identity Problem.

People make assumptions about their list and about email marketing as a whole that just aren’t valid.

To understand this, let’s have a quick math lesson.

Let’s say your list is 5000 emails. Let’s say you normally make $8000 per month out of your affiliate mailings. So, your dollars per subscriber per month would be $8000/5000. That’s a buck sixty per subscriber per month, which according to the age of the list (the average age of acquisition of the emails) is okay.

That metric right there…dollars/subscriber/month…is the ONLY metric that’s important with email marketing.


🙂 (Just having a little fun!)

For real, the only reason you do anything to better your email marketing revenue is to make that one metric bigger.

So, how do you do that?

Two ways. (Two…not three or twenty-seven.)

You can do one of two things. You make more money per subscriber per sale, or you can make more sales.

Let’s break these down.

More money per sub per sale is the result of either upselling or cross selling to the same subscriber in the same time period (month). So, if we raise the price of our products and keep selling the same number of units, we’ll raise the dollars/sub/month.

And…and this one’s really really important…if we make more sales, sell more units in the same time period, then we’ll make more dollars/sub/month.

How do you do that?

Easy…and this is going to piss a few people off because most everyone is operating under a very false assumption on this issue…YOU MAIL TO YOUR LIST MORE FREQUENTLY!

More mailings per month, per week, per day.

You give the people on your list more options to buy stuff.

If you do that, you’ll sell more units.

I know, I know, everyone thinks the following…

“But Lee, if I mail to my list more they’ll unsubscribe, they won’t like me, they’ll hate me, they’ll send me hate mail (or email),….yada, yada, yada.”


Got some news for you, bud. I used to teach math. I’m seriously good with two things. Numbers and patterns. I’ve done the tests on this for years now.

Here’s the truth.

  1. If you’re not getting at least a little hate mail from your list, you’re mailing too infrequently. Dan Kennedy, the great direct mail guru, says that if your refund rate isn’t 8% or more, you’re not selling hard enough. Same idea here. If you’re not pushing out enough emails with enough opportunities for people to buy, you’re missing a massive amount of income. Why? All because you’re scared of your list!
  2. There are two groups of people on your list. Buyers and tire kickers. Buyers are the ones you care about. The tire kickers are just taking up space and creating more CO2 for no reason.
  3. You’re not here to make friends or be liked. You’re here to sell stuff. The two don’t really go together. The only people who think they do are spineless. Spineless people don’t make good entrepreneurs. Just like weaklings don’t make good heavy weight boxers. Own who you are. Change who you are. Just don’t make assumptions about how to make money based on spinelessness.

Here’s the deal.

People (you perhaps) are on my list because they like to buy the stuff I promote. They like to buy my stuff and the other stuff that I promote. If I can give them more of what they like to buy faster, they’ll buy more faster. If I can give them more expensive stuff to buy, they’ll spend more money. They’ll be happier because they get more of what they want. I’ll be happier because I’ll have more moolah in my pocket, or bank account.


It really is this simple. Business really is this simple.

When someone goes into a shoe store and walks out with five pair of shoes, it’s not incumbent on the salesperson to ask the buyer if they really, really need that many shoes. They might. They might not. It’s none of my freaking business, if I’m the store owner. My business is selling shoes. The more the better. More shoes per customer. More expensive shoes per customer. My only goal is to raise more revenue.

Your only goal from your list is to make more money from it. Quit making assumptions that you are your list and you know what’s good for them, or that what’s good for you is good for them, or whatever, and just honor them by selling them more of what they want to buy.

Create more products they’ll love to buy. Do that more often. Sell them for more money, or sell more units, or both. Ditto with affiliate products.

Start treating your subscribers like adults instead of hapless children.

Make them happier by giving them more of what they want and you happier by making more money in the process.

It’s value for value! That’s the way that real entrepreneurship works.

As always your comments (agreeing or not) are welcome! Post below!


My Email Marketing Moving Forward

The engine of my information marketing business is email marketing. I use email to sell both my own products and products for which I am an affiliate. A store has to have a way to get people in the door. Advertising. For me, that’s email!

For years (since ’07) I’ve been using Aweber. Also, GetResponse since probably about three years ago. Late last year, however, I felt the need to update my whole email marketing back end to my business. Silly me, I thought this would be about a two week upgrade. Turns out it’s been at least four months, and I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I thought I’d highlight some of this journey for you. You might run a similar business, or at least a business that relies heavily on email. Or you might want to some day. Either way, I hope a little information about my decision to change up how I did email marketing and the bumps and pitfalls I encountered along the way will be educational. Let’s start with an brief explanation of list based email platforms vs contact based platforms.

In order to understand my move in email marketing, you have to understand the difference between an list based email platform and a contact based platform.

Aweber and GetResponse are both list based platforms. So are Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc. The “unit of currency” on these platforms is the list. Over time, on both Aweber and later on GetResponse, I built accounts with thousands of emails on each account. At one time, I had three Aweber accounts and one GetResponse account. This isn’t counting the very short lived Constant Contact account I had. (They decided they didn’t like me and shut me down!)

Marketing on these types of platforms is “list-centric”. By that I mean, let’s say I sold a product about press releases. Everyone who bought went on a certain list. Let’s say that I’ve got a new product, say about using video with press releases. I’d want to inform the buyers of the press release product about the new product, right. Well, on Aweber and GetResponse my only real option would be to send an email about this to the whole original press release list.


Let’s say I sold the press release product two months before pitching the video product. So, during those two months a lot can happen with the individuals on the press release list. They’re all not going to be in the same frame of mind they were in when they first bought. Sally might have gotten into CPA marketing, while Bob dropped off the face of the earth entirely. So, just pitching a product to a whole list is a much more average (as in law of averages) way of doing business marketing. I have no way of knowing what each individual person’s interests in the current moment are.

Now, let’s say I’ve had all of these guys on a CRM type platform, like ActiveCampaign, InfusionSoft, or whatnot. And, let’s say during the two months between the sale of the press release product and the video product, I’ve sent, oh, 50 or 60 emails to this list. With a platform like this I can actually track what emails a specific subscriber opens. I can see who clicks what. And, most importantly, I can build intelligence about what people are interested in.

What if no one clicks on follow up emails about press releases, but if I sent out some information about CPA marketing I got a ton of clicks, and not only that, what if I were able to tag the people who had displayed an interest in the CPA marketing?

Do you see how cool that is?

With Aweber, GetResponse, etc, all you can do is make a whole ton of not necessarily warranted assumptions about what people are interested in. With ActiveCampaign, or Drip, or whatnot, you can actually tag people and thus focus your marketing efforts a lot more.

So, that’s a general rundown, with an example of the difference between the two. (Note: Both Aweber and GetResponse have various features that tend toward doing what a CRM does. But, it’s not really the same thing. Kind of like saying that a tricycle and a Ferrari are both vehicles.)

Sometime around last September, I had the idea to switch over. Again, I thought this would take a couple of weeks, and now here it is mid-January. Well, just like all good things, there’s a massive difference between a great idea and great execution of said idea.

My online business focuses on Internet marketing. This world is very focused on what’s selling right now. Hello…launches? Any given day, five to ten new products launch. Some of them are pretty good stuff too!

CRM’s by their very nature are more focused on long term selling to subscribers. So, someone buys the press release training. A CRM would be great at upselling them over the next week, then selling them related products from my back catalogue. You don’t really need a CRM to blast your list with whatever today’s hot selling product, right?

So, over the past few months and behind the scenes, I’ve been making hundreds of experiments about what to sell to my list, how to sell to my list, etc. Building sort of a manual CRM approach. Talk about work! I would mail, then look at stats on a spreadsheet and analyze the daylights out of them. One thing that I’m very careful about is assumptions. So many marketers believe they know what’s going on, where all they’re doing is seeking to validate spurious assumptions. I thought I knew too. Boy oh boy was I wrong!

I was wrong about virtually everything. What my list bought. What times were the best times to mail. How many times per day were the right times to mail. Etc, etc, etc. By running a sort of manual CRM for a few months, I was able to see what was just a stupid assumption on my part and differentiate that from what actually worked. Now that I’m done, I’m ready to start testing various automations I’ve programmed into my back end.

Which brings me to this article.

If you came here from my list, I now know a few things. I know you open my emails. (Thank you!) If you clicked over to this article, I know that you’re interested enough to check this out. I know these two automations work, and I now know a little bit more about you.

Might sound spooky, except here’s what this will do for you. It’s actually very simple. In my email marketing business I only make money when you buy something. So, it behooves me to mail you personally more of what you’re interested in and less of what you’re not. It’s massively better for you too! You won’t notice a difference right away, but over time I think you’ll notice that you get less crap that’s just not your bag and more gems that feel like they’re perfectly suited for you. That’s the goal right there, to use the Internet and automation to better serve my market!

Thanks for reading this!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.