I have been doing email marketing for a LONG time. And I truly believe that it’s the best online business model.
Over the years, I have found great success—but not without putting in a lot of hard work.
In the early days, I really had to hustle to build my email list. I was active on many different forums, interacting with people every day and building my list one person at a time. I paid for solo ads to be sent out by others who had their own email lists. I put in so much time and effort. I did it all and…
Slowly but surely, I built a list of 10,100 people from scratch.
For how much work I put in, that’s really not that many people.
But everyone on this list was a high-quality, engaged subscriber. Why? I didn’t just sell to them. In fact, I spent a lot of time sending them good content without promoting anything. All I wanted to do was connect with them.
Then, when I finally chose to promote an affiliate product, I made $36,000 in 5 days!
How awesome is that? But here’s the thing, if the sole focus is that dollar amount, we’re missing the whole point.
The real success came from how I interacted with the people who were on it. That quick influx of money made was only possible because of the value I gave to them.
Here’s something that most people overlook. Before I even promoted the product, the job of selling was half done. By that I mean I had developed a great relationship with my email list. I developed a deep level of trust with them.
Then I took the time to warm them up to the affiliate product. I sent content about the product. For a few days leading up to the actual promotion, I just informed them.
When I finally sent the promotion, I added bonuses to it. This created even more incentive for the people on my email list to make the purchase. And the result was…
$36,000 in sales in just 5 days through this one promotion!
All it took was providing great value to people, a bit of persistence and an email marketing formula that works.
What Is Email Marketing
These days the online experience is all about social media. Everyone is fixated on Google and Facebook advertising, mobile apps and whatever else is the new thing right now. But how does email marketing stand up against these other marketing channels? Well, it doesn’t just stand up against them. Email marketing towers over social media. Here’s why…
Email is the very best way to start an online business. And the reasons are simple. First, our email list consists of people who have given their permission to be contacted. They have opted into the list.
They’re already interested. No other form of online marketing offers the ability to do this.
Ownership & Control
We have full ownership of our list. No one else controls it. No one can change the rules overnight. No one can shut down our campaign. And this type of thing DOES happen.
I had a Google advertising campaign shut down literally overnight with no explanation. This was an affiliate campaign that was generating $60,000 a month! NET income!
This won’t happen when someone owns an email list.
With an email list, we also have the ability to market to the same people over and over again at no extra cost. If we market through Facebook or Google ads, someone might click on the ad. They might even purchase our product. But when we have another promotion to offer, we will have to place another ad and they will have to click on that ad all over again.
Plus, if we ever decide to sell our business, that list can be worth A LOT of money.
This is all fabulous. But I haven’t even gotten into the most important thing about email marketing, yet.
The most important factor in email marketing is our relationship with our list!
When someone clicks on an ad, there is no relationship. When someone purchases a product, it’s usually just a transaction, not the start of a relationship. These are short-term interactions that result in short-term success. Relationships are what create long-term success.
A relationship involves communication. A relationship involves giving, not just taking. Relationships allow us to transcend beyond the mere transaction and create a tribe of people that are eager to buy whatever we promote.
Relationships hold true marketing power…
The Power of Relationships
Relationships are the secret weapon of email marketing.
None of the success I’ve achieved would have happened without relationships. This is true for everyone.
When we have a list of people to whom we can reach out to via email, the possibilities are endless.
Just remember that an email relationship is just like any other relationship. It’s a two-way street. There is give and take on both sides. That means we aren’t just pushing products onto people and expecting them to buy.
We need to give our subscribers something of real value.
Think about it. Good relationships are based on trust. When someone trusts us, they are going to be more inclined to listen to us. They will be more likely to buy something we promote because they believe that we are doing what is in their best interest.
How do we gain their trust? By providing them with value. It doesn’t work to just email them when we want something from them. We must give first. And sometimes that giving won’t come back to us immediately, but it will come back eventually.
We might want to teach them about some aspect of our niche market. We might want to share our own experience so that they don’t make the same mistakes we made. We might want to share breakthroughs in our industry or niche that will benefit them.
The key is to do this without strings attached. Just share with them and leave it at that. They will begin to trust. They will begin to see us as an expert. And when we have a product to offer, they will buy.
With our email list, we are building a mutually beneficial relationship.
But in order to have a healthy relationship, we need to understand what I call the 7 Pillars of a Healthy List Relationship.
7 Pillars of a Healthy List Relationship
To have a healthy relationship with the people on our email list, we need to have a solid foundation. The 7 Pillars are that foundation. Here they are:
- Valuable Content
- Selective Promotions
Each of these is vital in creating a fully mutual relationship of give and take. Both sides receive value and feel valued. Let’s take a closer look at each pillar and how we can use it to help create a solid relationship with our email subscribers.
And as we go through each of these, remember one very important thing.
People buy based on relationships. Period. Would someone buy something just based on what some stranger on the street says? Or would they buy something based on what their neighbor of 12 years or their best friend recommends?
Relationships are everything in this world. And that includes the world of marketing.
To build a solid relationship with our email list, we need…
Relationships are built upon trust.
Just think about it. If we don’t trust someone, we aren’t going to want to be around them. We aren’t going to want to talk to them. And we certainly aren’t going to believe anything they have to say.
If people trust us, it’s priceless. There is no way to put a number on that type of relationship. But to achieve this level of trust, we absolutely have to put the interests of our list first. ALWAYS.
I take this very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that I recently sat down with my Director of Marketing. We talked about the way we promote to our email list. And we decided to change our approach.
Our decision was to create our Success Weekly program and invest heavily in our blog. To do this, we have had to pass up on some money. But it was worth it. The changes we made have really added tons of value to the list.
When it comes down to it, this is all about credibility. When we are honest with people, when we give them information with no strings attached, when we present ourselves as an expert who is looking out for their best interests, then we will be credible in the eyes of our subscribers.
That is how TRUST forms.
An unfortunate belief with online marketers is that they aren’t authentic. Most marketers simply put on a show just to impress their subscribers.
Now, I’m not saying that no one likes these marketers. Sure, some do. But people won’t feel passionately about them or completely trust them. And they won’t go out of their way to interact with them or buy their products.
This is not the way to truly engage people and build relationships.
People want to feel that they can relate to someone. Relationships are based on relating. And they can’t truly do that if we aren’t our authentic selves.
I have been successful by fearlessly being myself. There are people who don’t like me, but I also have raving fans. These are the rewards and costs of authenticity. Just like in the real world, not everyone is going to like us. And that’s completely fine.
The key is to give our subscribers opportunities to get to know us.
I made a video when I was on my honeymoon that I sent out to my subscribers. It was just a short video, but it let them have a glimpse of the real me. My wife was a great sport and filmed it for me while we were on a gondola ride in Venice.
The response I got was amazing. The video let them see a side of my personal life that helped make the connection I have with them deeper.
Even if we don’t want to get too personal, telling stories is a great way to connect and build authenticity. People love stories. Of course, these have to be real stories. There is no faking it here.
Ultimately, our goal is to be unique. To stand out from the crowd as the real deal. As someone who is not of the same mold as everyone else. As someone who cares.
This level of authenticity will help us build incredible trust and rapport with our subscribers.
3. Valuable Content
If we want to build a relationship with people, we can’t always sell to them.
Again, this is about taking it from just a transactional level to something far more personal. If all we are doing is selling, that’s a great way to drive people away.
But what if we show our subscribers we value them by providing them with great content? If we do this, we will find that when we do promote something, our sales will roll in.
Remember, this is free content we are providing. There are no strings attached. Send emails out that do nothing more than provide information that can help subscribers. This is something they will truly appreciate and find value in.
And when we send out this content, we aren’t just helping them. We are also helping ourselves. Through the content we provide, we will build credibility, learn more about the topics we discuss and enhance our relationships with our subscribers.
For an example of what I am talking about, take a look at the blog content we post here at Lurn, as well as our Success Weekly’s. We provide this content because we genuinely care and want to offer great information that will help our subscribers.
Simply put, when subscribers get used to receiving phenomenal content, they will actually look forward to receiving our emails. And when we do send something promotional, they will be eager to find out more.
I mentioned stories above and I will mention them again here. Stories are invaluable. There is an element of the personal in a story. People can see themselves. They can empathize. Everyone can relate to a story.
And if they can relate to a story, they can relate on a deeper level with the storyteller.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to build rapport. And a personal story means we are bearing our soul. The more we put ourselves out there, the deeper the relationship we will build.
The story method really is the fastest way to build a relationship with subscribers. They will see us as a real person, rather than a faceless corporation.
When we share our experiences in the form of a story, it’s pure gold. They will see how we struggled. They will see how we found our way to success. And they will learn what we learned along the way.
When I use the story method, I inject it throughout the email, but I keep it short. The rest of the story follows when they click on the link. And that really is the ultimate goal of email marketing—to get them to click on the link.
Which takes them to our promotion.
5. Selective Promotions
We will be delivering a lot of valuable content to our subscribers. But there will come a time when we will want to promote something. When we do, we need to make sure these products are of the utmost quality.
They must be top-notch quality!
We must be incredibly selective when choosing the products we will promote. And we must sample these products before we promote them.
After all, how can we possibly recommend something we haven’t tried?
If we promote something that is not high quality, our reputation will suffer. We spoke about building trust. If we have a list full of people who trust us and we promote an inferior product, we WILL lose their trust. And we won’t be able to gain it back.
It’s important to not allow ourselves to be lured in by the prospect of making more money up front. Sure, we can do this with an inferior product, but then our customers won’t come back.
The long-term vision is what is important. And keeping our subscribers happy and trusting over the long-term will earn us far more money in the long run.
When we have a list full of subscribers, we want to maintain our relationship. The best way to maintain a relationship is through regular contact.
Don’t be a stranger!
Just think about high schools friends. Which ones do we still have a relationship with? The ones we kept in touch with!
No relationship will last if we don’t keep in constant and consistent contact. That means we need to email our list on a regular basis. We need to email them multiple times per week.
But do NOT promote products in every email.
If we do this, our email subscribers will definitely get annoyed. When they get annoyed, they will stop opening our emails. They might even unsubscribe.
Email regularly and send interesting, intriguing, informative content. Remember, it is all about giving them value.
The first six pillars are about building relationships through trust and authenticity. We have talked about providing value and promoting exceptional products.
And all of this boils down to INTERACTION.
The more genuine interaction we have with our list, the better our relationship will be. And the more personal the interaction is, the better.
Personally respond to subscribers as much as possible!
This is easier with a smaller list, because it’s just not possible to respond to thousands of people every day. However, every chance we get to have 1-on-1 interaction is powerful. This will build trust and credibility better and faster than anything else ever could.
Don’t pass up these opportunities for interaction because they offer the best method of building relationships.
Warming the Relationship
Naturally, there will be times when we will send out promotional material in the hopes of making sales. We are running a business, after all.
Just know that all of the trust, authenticity, and valuable content we have sent out has warmed our list up to us. If we have done this properly, making the sale should be much easier than if we had a cold click from an ad.
However, we don’t want to stun our list by sending an email out of the blue asking them to buy something. Instead, we want to warm them up to the promotion by sending them content related to the product we are promoting.
Spend a few days sending related content. Give them information about it. Tell them a personal story about the product. Or tell them another person’s story. Make them see how useful that product would be in their life.
Once we have warmed our list up to the product, we can promote.This is when we use bonuses with the promotion to warm them up even more. These bonuses will provide more incentive to buy and will increase our sales.
Return on Relationship
We have all heard the term “return on investment.” It’s all anyone ever talks about in the world of business. But no one ever talks about the return on relationship.
I believe that return on relationship is more important than return on investment. In fact, it is critical to an email marketer’s long-term success.
People buy based on relationships.
They buy from the people they trust. Part of the reason they do this is that they want to support someone they know and trust. Why would they give their hard-earned cash to a big corporation when they can give it to someone they know?
As long as we have a good relationship with the people on our email list, we will inevitably see plenty of paydays.
The key is to change our focus from the short-term gains to the long-term success.
We must properly build an email list and invest in the relationships with those subscribers. In this way, we will create a situation that has a massive potential for success.
Relationships Above All Else…
I hope by now everyone sees the importance of building relationships with the people on our email list. The deeper the relationships are, the more powerful they are. But to establish and build these relationships, we need the 7 Pillars of a Healthy List Relationship:
- Valuable Content
- Selective Promotions
Practice applying these pillars. By using them, I was able to make $36,000 in 5 days! The more we use them, the better we will become at building relationships and the better the results we will see.
And the more hands-on we can get, the better. Which is why we are offering a 2-week workshop we have called the Profit Insider Workshop.
This workshop will be a deeper dive into everything related to growing a profitable online business, including relationship building.
It’s a tremendous opportunity to learn from experts and master email marketing skills.
This is a potentially life-changing opportunity!
Register now for Week 1 of this amazing 2-week Profit Insider Workshop.
Take that next step today.