(12 Minute Read)
There are tens of thousands of successful online marketers in the world and we all argue a lot about things like where to get traffic, how to drive more leads or sales, where to look for undervalued attention etc. etc…BUT there is one thing that every successful online marketer who ever lived agrees on and that is the power of HAVING A LIST! If you ever hear marketers talk about a “List” before and don’t know what they are talking about, they are simply just talking about an email list. If you are somewhat into internet / digital marketing then you have definitely heard the saying, “The power is in the list!” That is quite literally ….100% true and if you ever find an “Expert” online marketer who says otherwise, do yourself a favor and never talk to them again.
The power of having an email list is seriously invaluable. For the eCommerce product companies I have, if it’s a slow day with Facebook ads and sales aren’t really coming in, we hop over to our Aweber account , put together a promotional email for 15% off and blast the shit out of it to thousands of people and BOOM! …Just from one click of the mouse we will literally bring in $5,000.00+ in sales alone. Now you’re probably asking why don’t we do that daily? Well… you don’t want to constantly be blasting your email lists with promotional emails or else you will saturate the list and everyone will unsubscribe, be we will get into that more later on.
I want to get into the specifics of having an email list so I am going to talk about a few things:
- How to pick a niche for an email list.
- How to grow an email list.
- What content to email to your audience
- How to make money doing it
Part 1: Picking A Niche
Okay so the first part is you need to decide what the hell you want this email list to be about! The most clichè but true statement is pick something you’re passionate / interested in! The reason you want to do this is because for example, if you love ice hockey then you will be able to constantly come up with content about ice hockey because you’re into it, you follow it and you KNOW it. If you can pick a niche / industry that you are an expert in that is interesting then the more power to you my friend!
When you are picking a niche you want to make sure the niche is broad enough. You don’t want to pick something that is really small and only relates to a small amount of people. You want to make sure your niche is something many people follow daily and are passionate about.
Once you have a niche you then can move to growing your email list!
Part 2: How To Grow Your List
There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to grow an email list. I am going to focus in on a few of the ways I have built an email list very cheaply but at the same time, keeping everyone on my list very TARGETED. By FAR the most important aspect of growing an email list is making sure everyone joining your list is high quality and TARGETED. When I say “Targeted” I mean they are passionate as hell about what your list is about. Using the ice hockey example again (I like ice hockey obviously… go Flyers!), if you are getting people on your ice hockey list who love basketball, when you go to sell them shit…they are NOT going to buy… for obvious reasons!
The main way I grow my own email lists and grow my client’s email lists are through Facebook advertisements. The reason why Facebook ads work so well is because you can TARGET people by exactly what their demographics are like age, gender, location and most importantly… what their “Interests” are aka what they love and are passionate about!
Here is what the Facebook targeting dashboard looks like:
As you can see there are literally a TON of targeting options and these all determine exactly who sees our ad!
So if we want to build up an email list of everyone who loves ice hockey, because we eventually want to sell them hockey stuff from Amazon and get a commission (More on that in a bit), then what we want to do is target people who love hockey! But wait…if we just put in “Hockey” or even “Ice Hockey” that is WAY too broad. We are going to get people in our audience who “Like” hockey, who “Love” hockey and then honestly we might get people in our audience who don’t like hockey at all. So using the Facebook interest “Hockey” isn’t what we want to do.
Instead we want to get more specific! How do we do that? We can target specific TEAMS, PLAYERS, COACHES etc. A die hard hockey fan or someone who plays hockey is much more likely to “like” and follow a specific team, player or even coach.
So that’s what this looks like below when we are targeting 3 specific hockey players that are somewhat well known but still not the MOST FAMOUS hockey players because remember… we want to be specific and targeted as hell!
So once you figure out exactly who you are targeting then what?
Well, then it’s time to put something in front of those people to get them to buy things right? …… NO!!!
No? …. Correct…. NO! … (NOT YET)
We are NOT trying to sell them on anything upfront. Why? Because first of all, no one knows who you are, right now you are a complete stranger that has given your audience ZERO value. It’s like walking into a dinner party and right away going up to someone you have never met before and saying “Hey do you like hockey” and they say “Sure” and then you say “Well go to this link and buy these gloves because they are awesome man!”
That person would say “no thanks” and walk right away from you.
What if you walked up to that guy or gal at the dinner party, introduced yourself, talked with him or her for a while about hockey and actually had a REAL CONVERSATION about the topic and then after talking with them for 30 minutes or more… you finally say “Well hey if you are looking for a new pair of gloves I would seriously recommend these ABC’s, I have tried them and they are by far the best, you can actually get them pretty cheap at this website or link.”
They are going to be MUCH MORE likely to buy and take your advice in scenario two. So if that is how the real world works… why not use that same exact philosophy online when it comes to marketing?
A TON of people fail when it comes to online marketing and it’s for that reason alone! Think about it right now, in the first scenario I just discussed would you buy from that person? Hell no you wouldn’t! But would you possibly buy from the person in scenario two? I bet you might…
So if we aren’t selling them on anything how do we get them on our email list? How do we get them to give us their email information?
We use what is called a “Lead Magnet.” A lead magnet by definition is “an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. The goal of the Lead Magnet is to maximize the number of targeted leads you are getting for an offer.”
A lead magnet could be a Free guide, checklist, swipe file, cheat sheet / handout, toolkit / resource list, video training, software download / free trial or a quiz / survey.
So now you need to think about how you can create a lead magnet for your specific TARGETED audience. If we’re using the ice hockey example, you could create a lead magnet that is a “Free Guide on How to Saucer Pass Like The Pro’s” or “Free video shows exactly how to score on every break away.”
Now think about those two lead magnets for a second, they are ONLY targeting people who like hockey … and PLAY hockey currently, right? Someone who loves hockey but no longer plays the game for one reason or another wouldn’t need to know how to score on a breakaway or saucer pass the puck. So those are specific lead magnets to only people who play. Make sure you put this tip into context for whatever YOUR niche is! Make sure it appeals to everyone you want to target.
Once you have your lead magnet done, the next thing is to build the web-page (also known as a landing page) that supports the lead magnet. I recommend using Unbounce.com, it is by far the EASIEST platform to build landing pages with. You do not need to know how to code at all. The platform is 100% drag and drop and they even give you templates to get started.
Here’s an example of a lead magnet and landing page that my marketing team at Social Vantage created to build out Social Vantage’s email list of TARGETED business owners interested in social media marketing:
Part 3: What Content Do I Send To My List?
This is probably the most simple, yet also the most difficult aspect of having an email list. In regards to what you send you email list…send them emails about shit they would be interested in! If you have a ton of people who opted in on an ice hockey lead magnet, you know they have raised their hand and said “Hey I’m interested in ice hockey stuff!”
However, what you DO NOT want to do is constantly blast them with emails for amazon products and promotions. If you do nothing but send them links to buy shit they are going to unsubscribe from your list faster than you can blink!
That is why I recommend sending them what I call “SVB’s,” …Standard Value-Based emails. What is an SVB? It’s basically you just sending them more free shit that they get value out of! If you know they are interested in hockey then send them emails about hockey stuff but do NOT sell them on anything! Email them about trade rumors, scores, tips on how to get cheap tickets, tips on how to shoot a puck correctly etc. etc. just give your audience VALUE guys! If they are on your email list it is because you provided them VALUE at one point or another in the form of a lead magnet. If you stop giving them value… they are going to leave your email list!
I recommend setting up an email autoresponder “Follow Up” sequence in Aweber so that you don’t have to send emails manually every day. If you don’t know how to put together an AR sequence I will have a video training on that shortly!
A good rule of thumb to follow is for every promotional (Buy my shit) email you send out, make sure you send out 3 SVB’s before you send your next promotional email. So what I like to do is setup a 10-15 email AR sequence in Aweber so when someone joins my list all of the emails are already pre-loaded and sending out to them daily or every other day!
Here is an example of what that looks like in Aweber….
Part 4: How To Make Money Doing It!
Okay so now we get to the final part you have all been waiting for… how do we make some money! I think by now you have a pretty decent idea about how the whole process works. Once you have a targeted email list of people all interested in the same interest / passion, you can then send them emails to help them fuel and feed their passion!
For all of you saying “But Grant I don’t sell anything I don’t have a product or service to give these people.” No worries… congratulations, you are about to become what’s called an “Affiliate Marketer.” An “Affiliate Marketer” sells other people’s products and services and gets paid for it!
One of the biggest affiliate programs in the entire world is run by Amazon! I would recommend signing up for their affiliate program here > https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/welcome
Once you sign up for Amazon you can basically sell ANYTHING on their website and get paid for it. So if you want to sell ice hockey products to your ice hockey list, go to amazon, find a good product, maybe do a video review or blog post review about the product and then recommend it to your list by emailing them your review and talk about it!
It’s really as simple as that guys! A simple way to make money online by being an affiliate with Amazon. Amazon is the largest retail marketplace in the world. You can find ANYTHING on there and that means you have EVERYTHING to sell at your disposal.
There’s a lot here so don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you have about this below in the comments.