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.
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!
…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.
EVERYTHING ELSE. EVERY OTHER MEASURE AND METRIC. EXISTS ONLY TO MAKE THE DOLLARS PER SUBSCRIBER PER MONTH BBBBIIIIIGGGGGGGGEEERRRR!
🙂 (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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!