Yes, most internet marketing gurus tell use that “the money is in the list”. As a product creator or affiliate marketer, an email list is your most valuable asset. It represents an available target market that you can market your products and services to over and over again.
However, email marketing can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t understand how it works. Of course the bigger your list the more money you make, but sometimes people make a LOT of money with very small lists.
What do they know that you don’t?
Well, the money is in the list alright, but more importantly, the money is in the relationship with the list. To build a relationship with the list, you must first do these things:
1) Understand What They Want
Each target market want different things. You have to understand what your list members want, and the cheapest way to do this is to look closely at the replies they have sent you over the last couple of months.
What is their primary problem that they are trying to solve? What do they need desperately? Look back at some of the inquiries or complaints you’ve received. Are you already giving your list what they want, or is there something else that you’ve missed?
If you have an extra couple of bucks to spare, you can also use some sort of survey software like the ASK Database or Wufoo to survey your list to find out their wants and needs. Surveying your list is an easier way to find out what they want directly from them, instead of guessing the right answer. By sending them a survey question and offering a reward for taking the survey, you’ll be amazed by how much more you can find out about your list.
Maybe you’ve been selling them the wrong product, and that’s why you never made much money from them.The more you survey and interact with your list, the more you’ll discover what types of products they would pay for.
2) Create / Find a Product That Fulfills Their Need
If you can, create your own product that fulfills the need of your target market.
I sent out a survey some time back and discovered that what people really wanted to know about using WordPress is where and how to put their Adsense ads. As a result of that one survey, I created a product called WordPress Adsense System (http://adsense.easywordpress.com) and currently make $2500 – $3500 a month from it.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, find other people’s products or services that your list may be interested in, and recommend it to them. In fact, unless you’re pretty sure what your list wants, recommending affiliate products is a safer way of getting to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Do a review of a product you’ve used, and tell them your experiences. See if they buy from your affiliate link. Send out another follow-up email and watch your response again. If they do not seem to respond to the product, move on to another one. Hey – no one said it’s going to be easy!
3) Always Keep in Touch
Your list members are going to forget all about you if they don’t hear from you in 4-8 weeks. You can blame them either; they have their own lives to lead and the average person seeking information on the Internet is so overwhelmed by different offers from different people.
Stay on their minds, and they will respond better to you.
If you have nothing to sell or promote to them, just tell them something about your life and how you’ve been doing the past one week.
Have a competition, give away some prizes. Let them get something from you and they will return the favor later.
Send them to your blog to read an article you just wrote. Although it may not amount to much, your list members may end up clicking on one of your Adsense ads, and this could produce some extra money for you. Of, you could slip in some affiliate links and see if they convert. However, make sure your articles are more editorial in nature instead of blatant promotions.
The article doesn’t always have to be about serious stuff, sometimes if works if you make them laugh! You could (though not very often) put in pictures of your kid or your pet, and just tell your readers something about them. They more they know you, the more they love you!
If you can do those things well, then you don’t need to keep looking for new opt-in subscribers every day. Most will come looking for you, Some will even become your affiliate, marketing your products and bringing in the traffic and subscribers you want.
Stop dreaming of a huge, bulky email list. Try building a high-quality, small one first, and you’ll soon figure out that a lot of people make a full time living on the Internet with much smaller lists that respond to them and trust them.