Do you know what the best way of making money online is? There are one too many options for you to choose from: a big social media presence, using SEO to rank first in Google searches, and paying for ads.
Which one is the right option, then?
Truth be told, none of them are as good as you would think! Social media is way too overcrowded, SEO is ever-changing and impossible to figure out for long, and ads are getting more expensive by the minute.
Forget about all of that. Let beginner entrepreneurs lose their time with that stuff.
The right option is something else entirely. And the best thing is, you already have the tool for the job. It’s an email list! That’s right: you don’t need anything fancier than sending emails to make a sale.
How can you use your email list to make money? Read down below to figure it out.
The right way to do business
Let me ask you something: is it better to run a brick-and-mortar store or to be a door-to-door salesman?
If you own a store, you have a bigger presence and you only have to wait for customers to come in. Then again, people have to go to your business; otherwise, you’re on your way to bankruptcy. And, owning a store costs money.
A door-to-door salesman has zero costs compared to running a store and he solely depends on his ability to make a sale. But, most people will close their door on his face – and that takes a toll on your morale. On the bright side, when someone invites him inside, the door-to-door salesman knows he’s about to make a sale.
There’s no right answer to the question. The best-case scenario would be to mix the best of both worlds. Having a big presence and people invite you to come into their house to buy your goods.
Well, you can have the best of both worlds (and none of the bad). Because that is what you’ll experience when you’re running a big email list.
What is an email list?
An email list is a subscription-based newsletter. People get offered the opportunity to join a newsletter, they write down their email, and soon enough, they receive content from the list’s owner.
Simple enough, right? Think about it: with an email list, you’re running a business where people come to ask you to sell them stuff – and they want to hear from you all the time! As long as you send them interesting stuff, you’re golden.
You don’t even have to sell your products through your email list. You can build a big enough list for other entrepreneurs to approach you. They’ll pay you to sell their stuff – to the very people who subscribed to your list so they can buy stuff from you!
Running a successful email list makes you the perfect middleman. You charge money from one end, turn around, and charge money at the other end. And that’s the main perk of having one; there are countless other benefits you’ll enjoy.
The many benefits of having an email list
Running your email list will cost you zero dollars. It’ll require no ads, no money down, and no nonsense.
Yes, it will take effort to build your list – but, don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to grow your list like no other down below.
A one-on-one relationship with your customers
Adding a nice touch to your emails (like greeting people and using their first name, e.g., “Hi, Lisa!”) will go a long way in creating a relationship with your customers. Sending an email, every now and then, to check up on your subscribers helps a ton too.
A more personal relationship means more receptive subscribers – and more sales down the line.
Perfect opportunity to target segmented markets
When you start having enough people subscribed to your email list, you can ask them to opt-in to different options.
For example, let’s say you’re running a music-related email list; certain subscribers will prefer rock, others will prefer rap.
By making them choose one instead of the other, you’ll have laser-focused offers for them. If you were using, for example, Instagram, your rock fans would lose perfects offers for them amidst rap-related stuff.
This way, you ensure one perfect channel for your subscriber with no noise.
No customer left behind
Whether you’re running a website, several social media platforms, or an email list, customers tend to forget about you. No matter how good you are, you will lose people every now and then. They’ll simply lose their focus.
The good thing about email lists is that there are several tools to track down this behavior. And when you do, you can send them a little personalized email to say hello. This works wonders to bring back old customers who forgot about you.
Nobody is going to replace emails anytime soon
First, we had MySpace. Then, Facebook. Soon after, Snapchat. After that one, Twitter and Instagram. Now, TikTok. The next big thing is probably around the corner.
The email was first created in 1971. It survived through the dot-com crash and countless social media booms. In the future, it will survive anything life will throw at it.
This is not going anywhere soon, so you better start thinking about a long-term strategy.
You’ll make real money
When it comes to an email list, you’ll get out as much as you put in. Do you want this to be a side-gig to make a couple hundred per month? Sure, you can. Do you want to grow this business into a six-figure income? Sure, you can. A lot of people have done both in the past.
What can I do with an email list?
You can do anything you want with your email list! That’s the beauty of it all, it’s yours.
You don’t have to read countless pages’ worth of content policy from Facebook. You don’t have to get acquainted with the ever-changing SEO landscape from Google. You don’t have to fear losing a million followers because you broke an obscure Twitter rule.
It’s your email list, you make the rules!
Here are a couple of ideas you can use for your email list:
- Sell your products and services
- Look for other high-quality products and sell them on commission
- Send your subscribers different affiliate links
- Get multiple sponsors and get paid to talk about them
- Create a VIP email list and charge money to join in
How can I get people to subscribe to my email list?
You now know what an email list is, the many benefits it has, and that it’s a great way to make money online.
So, you decide to start your own. You rush to your email list, you start to write your first email, and you realize you have no audience, no subscribers, and no customers. That’s when an important question pops in your head: how can I get people to subscribe to my list?
If you ever went out fishing, you know the answer!
If not, let me paint you a picture: you’re out on a lake, sailing on a small boat. There’s not a single human around and you’re surrounded by fish swimming in the water. You take out your rod, give it a big swing, and let it go in the water.
An hour goes by, no bites. Two hours go by, nothing. Three hours go by, still nothing. What went wrong? You forgot about the bait!
That’s what you need to grow your email list: bait. You shouldn’t use the same bait as a fishermen would, people don’t find worms enticing. You need a lead magnet, something you promise your soon-to-be subscriber in exchange for him or her to subscribe to your email list.
How to create the perfect lead magnet
A lead magnet is a fresh, unique piece of content nobody could resist. Something your visitors or customers would see and would not think twice about getting it.
It should be such a good thing that people would consider paying money for it. But you won’t ask for money, you’ll ask for people’s emails instead. Yes, you’re losing one sale – but you’ll soon make dozens over that one.
Your lead magnet should be the solution to a problem. You can’t create a generic lead magnet and expect your email list to grow. First, figure out who your audience is. Second, wonder what problems they have. And third, solve their problem through your lead magnet.
A lead magnet example
Let’s say you’re in the finance niche, a place filled with people who want to get money.
So, you offer a webinar for people who want to understand key concepts of the stock market (so they can make money). If you join my email list, the first email you get will have the webinar in it – and future emails will help you get even more money than before.
That’s what gets you your first subscriber and the many more to come.
Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? But what can you possibly offer? Well, you can have these 12 great ideas right now that I’m willing to give for free!
Twelve great lead magnet ideas you can use to grow your email list
This one is self-explanatory, right? You just joined my email list to get this eBook! Don’t worry, though. I’ll explain how you can write the perfect one for your email list.
An eBook seems like a daunting task. That’s because most people think creating one means writing 200 pages or more – but that’s not true!
You only need to write a little eBook to create the perfect lead magnet.
Your eBook should cover the following: an introduction to the subject you want to talk about, why it’s important, how it benefits the reader, and how the reader can use it to his advantage.
Bonus points if you decide to add a nice cover. The eBook’s presentation is important!
If you’re running a graphic-design-related email list, an eBook isn’t quite going to cut it. Remember, you have to know your audience for the lead magnet to work.
A more graphic-friendly lead magnet would be a printable. This is a nice, creative way to show your skills (and also a nice way to test if you can sell other printable products in the future).
It doesn’t have to be unique, but it sure does have to be yours. Even if you’re offering a printable to organize your grocery list shopping, make sure you are allowed to share it with others.
Don’t stop at just one printable, though! Offer a bundle full of them. The more, the merrier. And what’s more, instead of offering all of them at once, send them one at a time. That’ll make your subscribers pay extra attention to your future emails.
3. Worksheets and checklists
Similar to the printable lead magnet, you can offer one worksheet or checklist for your subscribers to enjoy. You can also offer plenty of them, so you can send them throughout the coming days or weeks.
You should pay more attention to the content of it, not the presentation. A printable needs to look good, a worksheet needs to work. They are two different things (that’s why they’re not in the same section).
For example, let’s say your lead magnet is a 10-step checklist to run a marathon. Make sure each step builds from the previous one – and that the tenth step is running the marathon.
Worksheets are not that different from checklists. Instead of telling people what to do, you have to let them connect the dots. It’s a learning experience for the user.
4. eCourses and webinars
This is the example we used before. eCourse and webinars are in high demand right now. People find video more appealing than text. Well, that’s no surprise, since we are living in the YouTube and Instagram era.
If you’re a little camera shy, there’s no need to record yourself. You can bring your editing weapons to the battlefield and record your voice over pictures, videos, and a PowerPoint presentation. As long as you can get your points across, it’ll work.
Now, if you don’t want to record your face and voice, you can solve that problem too. It’ll cost money, though. Because you’ll have to hire someone to do it for you. Or you can ask a friend to do it for free.
Then again, if you’re trying to build a reputation (and your reputation is important when you’re running authority-based businesses like an email list), it’s highly recommended that you become the face behind your lead magnet and other products.
Even though I consider paying someone else to record themselves in your webinar a viable option, it’s not something I would 100% recommend. Truth be told, it’s not something that I would do – so I won’t tell you to do it either.
Tutorials are a nice back-up plan if the webinar idea isn’t right for you. This is a great option: you don’t have to record yourself, you can practice your writing skills, and it’s easier to do.
If you’re going down this route, make sure you explain every little detail. Your tutorial should be good enough to get the point across to a 5-year-old.
Don’t disregard tutorials so quickly, though! If you don’t know what your lead magnet should be, starting here is the best option you have. Your tutorial could develop into an eBook or a webinar down the line. Or it could end up as a tutorial, that’s just as good.
6. Master resource list
If you’re positioning yourself as an expert, you should be able to provide a master resource list.
The idea behind a resource list is simple. It’s a bundle of sorts. You put tons of material together and offer it as a crash course or a Swiss knife kind of thing. Then, you market it as the ultimate resource for beginners to become experts.
This list should be filled with your content. You can also use someone else’s, but you need to have permission to distribute that stuff. Don’t steal other people’s content and use it in your master resource list – you can (and will) get caught.
Not having enough stuff to put in your master resource list isn’t necessarily a problem. It could be an opportunity. Look for other entrepreneurs running email lists and pool your content together. Whenever someone subscribes to one of these email lists you’re working with, tell them to talk about yours as well.
Working with other email lists is something you’ll have to do if you want to grow, whether you go the joint resource list or not.
There are countless template options you can use as a lead magnet. It could be in a printable form or in text form.
The key behind a great template is being flexible enough so it can be used by anyone (without making them sound like they are imitating someone else) but rigid enough so it doesn’t fail because someone took too many liberties with it.
Simply put, a template should allow your subscriber to easily fill in the blanks and succeed in whatever task he wants to do.
Before you offer it as a lead magnet, take it out for a test drive. Give it to a friend for him to try. If he succeeds, you can go ahead and use it.
This is usually the best option for fitness niches or productivity niches. You have to encourage your subscriber to do something, then challenge him to do a certain amount of tasks to get it done.
For example, let’s say you’re dealing with fitness enthusiasts. You offer a 7-day challenge for hard rock abs. Your lead magnet should detail each day, what the results will look like, and what happens if someone fails the challenge.
Remember, it’s always better to send several emails one day at a time instead of everything at once (at least, if you can do it). If you offer a 7-day challenge, send one email per day, and a final 8th mail to evaluate your subscriber’s results.
9. Social media graphics
This is a little tricky because there are a lot of people offering social media graphics right now. There are entire websites dedicated to giving these out for free, and most of the time they’re personalized.
That’s not a problem, though. You can spin this to your advantage. Offer a social media graphic and teach people how to capitalize by using it. Instead of offering just social media graphics, explain (through multiple emails) why this is important and how it will benefit the user.
When it comes to lead magnets, you have to understand you’re not offering just one product. You’re setting the tone for the many more to come.
A lead magnet should solve a problem. It should also make the subscriber aware of any other possible issues (and that’s when you promise to solve them in the future, so they stay tuned for more emails).
10. Exclusive content
This one is obvious. Content is what makes or breaks an email list. If what you offer is exclusive and unique, people will rush to subscribe to your email list.
The only downside is that nobody can tell you what that would be for you. Exclusive content is exclusive for a reason: you alone can come up with it.
11. Exclusive flash promotions
This one is great. Simply put, it’s a unique opportunity. It has a product, a time restraint, and you’re the one offering it all. “Subscribe to my email list in the next 10 minutes and get 50% off in…”
Visitors will rush to subscribe and you will probably make a sale out of it! Make sure this is a real flash promotion, though. Most people will catch on to your methods when your 15-minute exclusive deal has been running for six months.
12. Affiliate offerings
A great way to start making money right off the bat is through affiliate offerings. You’ll ask people to sign up to your email list and offer a discount on different services in exchange for that. You can also offer exclusive products through Amazon affiliate links.
The great thing about this option is that you’ll get a new subscriber for your email list and a commission if they use your affiliate link.
Ready to Create an Email list and Start Collecting Leads?
There are many tools on the market that help you create an email list, manage newsletters, send emails on autopilot and create capture pages and forms to collect email addresses on your blog.
I am personally using Getresponse and I am really pleased with their software, very intuitive and it’s very easy to integrate with WordPress.
Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about Getresponse, They have many tutorials and also an instant chat support.