You’ve done a ton of work at this point to build your email list, now what? Now is where the selling comes in and that’s how you’re going to monetize your list and make a profit from it.
I am going to give some tips on how to sell to your list without being looked at as a sleazy asshole who wants to get into people’s pockets and get some money. This is exactly how you’ll have to develop the trust and the authority for your brand so that you can be effective in your selling going forward.
Providing value is what makes people want to keep reading your emails and you need to keep doing this to keep them interested and on board.
So when it comes to selling time, you don’t want to just suddenly change tact and hit them with the hard sell. Instead, you need to gently introduce them to your products and you need to get them interested in buying. All the while, you’ll still be providing value via your emails.
This is where ‘AIDA’ comes in. AIDA is an acronym that stands for:
Were you to create a ‘sales page’ to sell a product, you would attempt to fit all of these stages into your persuasive writing. For an email list though, you have the space and flexibility to handle each step in a different email.
So you’ve been sending lots of emails, providing great value and building your relationship with your readers.
Now you want them to be AWARE of an exciting new product coming up, so the next step is to mention casually at the end of your message, that you’ve got something new and exciting in the works that you’ll talk about more in future. This won’t put any one off or have them clamouring for the unsubscribe button, but it will warm them up to the next stage.
Next comes interest. In this email the ratio of value to marketing will move a little further towards the marketing, so you’ll give yourself a bit more space to talk about what this new product does and why people should care. Keep things a little vague but at the same time, make sure they get enough information to be interested and to look forward to the next message.
Then comes desire. This is where you start going in for the slightly harder sale – and focussing on your value proposition. A value proposition basically means that you’re going to focus on how your product will make life better and how it really provides value.
You don’t sell hats – you sell warm heads. What does your product do that will get people to really want it and to imagine themselves owning it?
This is the great part because they still can’t buy the product at this point but they really want it. The -time between your ‘desire’ and ‘action’ emails will work to increase anticipation and gradually ramp up the excitement. Then, when the action email comes through providing a quick and easy way to buy the product, you’ll see a rush of people who want to buy the product. That’s the idea anyway…
The other great thing is that you can do all this through an autoresponder sequence. This essentially means that your autoresponder is going to automatically send out your messages on your behalf, with just the right amount of time in between them.
That means you could send out a sequence of five emails to build trust and provide value and then follow this up immediately with your AIDA sales funnel that will convince them to buy. This not only means that you can leave your website up and earn money from it without needing to create anything new (which is what we call passive income) but it also means that you can avoid the scenario where someone joins your mailing list at the ‘desire stage’ and is thereby put off by being sold a product they’ve never heard of as the first email they receive.
You can combine autoresponder sequences with ‘regular’ emails, or you can use just one technique or the other. Of course autoresponder sequences also lend themselves well to email courses where you provide a different piece of information each week.
At the very least, you want to auto-generate one message for everyone who signs up to your list, welcoming them to it and thanking them for getting involved. This also happens to be a great way to get them more psyched and excited for your mailing list – and this is an excellent opportunity for you to ask them to whitelist you.
Upselling is a strategy you can use to increase the amount of money you make from a successful sale. Essentially, it involves ‘striking while the iron is hot’ and promoting an additional offer to someone who has already just made a purchase.
The logic behind this is that it’s much easier to sell to someone who has just bought a product or who is going through the process of buying one, than it is to sell to someone ‘cold’ who has shown no previous interest in buying from you.
The key thing to consider here are the ‘barriers to sale’. These are anything that put someone off of buying and that make them less likely to want to make a purchase. A typical selection of barriers to sale in your case would include:
- Lack of trust, not knowing the seller
- Concern over the quality of your products/recommendations
- Not wanting to make the effort to get out a credit card
- Not wanting to spend money
Someone who is just now buying a product though, is going to have already overcome many of these options. Send them a follow up email and invite them to add to their order or buy something extra! You can also often upsell as soon as someone subscribes as they’re clearly taking time out to engage with your brand at this point.
More Ways to Monetize a Mailing List
Keep in mind of course that there are more ways you can monetize your mailing list besides selling products and promoting affiliate products. And there are also many other uses you can get from mailing lists as well.
One way to earn money is of course to sell solo ads, and likewise you can get paid by sponsors to promote certain goods. These are good ways to make some money but not as lucrative as selling your own items and you should avoid selling out too much for fear of driving subscribers away.
Another option is to sell your mailing list. We’ve already discussed that mailing lists will lose their value when you sell them and as a rule, you can earn much more from a list than you stand to gain from selling them.
But the exception to this rule is when you sell your whole business. Especially if your brand is not a ‘personal brand’ – then selling your mailing list along with your business will increase its value and is a great ‘exit strategy’.