In this article, you will learn how to build an email list and make money from it. Email marketing is one of the best ways of building an audience. It is “the best” way to build a relationship with your prospects. It’s very effective and also super profitable. But!
It’s not all rocket science. I see many people online promoting the idea that all you have to do is, build a list, sell to them and you can become the next Elon Musk or Zuckerberg.
The truth is, with email marketing, you can boost the number of sales your business is currently making. And if you don’t have a business, you can sell other people’s products and make commissions.
I’ll explain everything in a minute, for now, just know that I’m not going to show you something that will make you an overnight millionaire. Rather, I want to show you a step-by-step process that you can use to start or grow a strong business.
Without wasting time, let me show you how you can become a successful email marketer.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is simply a form of marketing that is done through emails.
But to me, email marketing is as simple as communicating with your leads from time to time, sharing tips and cool ideas and regularly making them irresistible offers. I love this definition because that’s exactly what I do.
I want you to know that email marketing is very beneficial, that’s why I created the next section which will show you some of the benefits.
What are the benefits of email marketing?
I know that you might have been hearing of email marketing, but you don’t know if it will really be beneficial. Who has the time to read an email anyway? Most people prefer TikTok and Facebook (lol)
Email marketing, when used the right way, is much better and more effective than social media. Especially when you are running ads.
Here are some of the benefits of email marketing
- Builds a relationship between you and your prospects
The rate at which people spend money online has increased due to the lockdown where everybody was required to stay at home.
Even at that, no one will buy anything from someone they don’t know and trust. Amazon has been around for a very long time. People trust them and that’s why they get a lot of sales.
People are very cautious about how they spend their money, especially now that things are hard. Some people will ask you lots of questions before they decide to buy whatever you are selling.
So you have to use email marketing to bridge that gap from when they knew nothing about you to when they become your customers. Don’t stress, we are getting to that part soon.
- Email marketing can help you make more sales consistently
After you’ve built a relationship with your list, you will experience an increase in sales, this is normal. Most times when you run ads for a product you recreated. Not everyone will buy at the same time. This might make you feel like your ad has failed.
Just remember that it’s normal. There are some common-sense reasons why people won’t buy immediately;
- They like the product, but don’t have money at that very moment
- don’t believe you or lack of trust (you are not amazon, LOL)
- they would like to have your product but need more convincing
If you follow up through email, they will begin to know and trust you. And soon enough, buy from you.
How to become an email marketer
I know you are very excited and can’t wait to learn everything there is about email marketing so that you can start making (more) sales.
It’s really simple. If you want to become an email marketer. There are some basic things you need to do before you can proudly call yourself one.
The first is to understand the mindset of an email marketer.
The mindset every email marketer should have
I really want to drill it into your head that EM is not a get rich quick scheme, you have to be willing to help people while subtly promoting your own products along the way.
If your emails are always about how good your product is, the features and the benefits, you are probably doing something wrong.
Your emails should be a combination of your story (to make people “know” you), and a bunch of “FREE” but “USEFUL” advice (for them to “like & trust” you). Then, should you talk about their problems, and how your product(s) might be the solution
No one likes to be sold to but everyone loves an online friend who is constantly giving beneficial advice and good recommendations. That’s who you will become. Now to the details
Three Steps for Becoming a Successful Email Marketer
- Pick a niche
The very first and the most important step is to pick a niche. This will be the main subject you focus on. And it will determine the category of people that will join your email list.
You don’t want everyone to join your email list. We would be attracting people that have a common interest. I like online businesses and I’m subscribed to an email list where I regularly get ideas for my own business.
I also subscribed to the email list of Jumia (a Nigerian based company) because I get notified when there are great deals that I can take advantage of.
You need to pick a niche in a category that you are interested in and you have some knowledge about. You don’t have to be an expert before choosing a niche, as long as you are willing to put in the time and learn more about that topic, you are good to go.
- Build your email list
The next thing you have to do is to build your email list (a.k.a get people to join your list). You have to get people to subscribe so that you can start communicating with them.
Think about it, if you don’t communicate with anyone. How can you make money with email marketing? As we move further in this article, I’m going to show you exactly how you can build your email list.
But before that, let’s see the last thing you must do before you can call yourself an email marketer.
- Get products to sell
Most online businesses are based on this single thing – Selling products. You will make money when you sell things, If you don’t sell things, you won’t make money.
If you don’t have any products to sell, no worries. I will show you how to make money with affiliate marketing when you don’t have products to sell.
THE TECHNICAL PART: LET’S GET TO WORK
How to build your own email list
When it comes to building your email list. We simply mean getting people to sign up for your email list. There are several ways to do this and I’m going to show you how.
Different ways to get people to signup
- Newsletter on your website
The first way to get people to join your email list is by telling people to sign up for your email newsletter. This way, when people land on your website, there will be an option for them to subscribe to your newsletter.
When they join your newsletter, you will have their email address that you can send emails later on.
- Create a competition or do a giveaway
People love to join competitions that have a reward. But they love giveaways more. When you create a giveaway, you can get people to sign up before they will be permitted to join the giveaway.
You can easily build your email list using this strategy, but using this method will only attract broad audiences.
- Give a freebie
Another way to get people to join your email list voluntarily is to offer something for free. We call this the lead magnet (a.k.a freebie). Give people something that they really need and they will definitely join your email list.
To do this you will need a simple landing page. Read on and I will show you free softwares that you can use to create your landing page. Let’s move.
How to create a lead magnet to build your email list
Now you know how to get people to join your email list. But the next logical question is – how to create a lead magnet?
What is a lead magnet?
This is your typical bribe. It is what you will use to persuade people to join your email list. It must be free to get the best results. And most importantly, it must be related to your niche.
You can’t be selling phones and promoting cooking recipes as your lead magnet, there’s no connection. Rather, it will be reasonable to give a guide that will show people how to check and compare the specifications of mobile phones.
Types of lead magnets
If you want to create a lead magnet, there are different options for you. There are different things you can use as your lead magnet. Things like free software, a free course and things like that.
Creating a free course and free software requires much work and time. So I will recommend you create a simple checklist or report.
To create a free report, you can use WordPress on your laptop, WPS on your phone or google docs.
It will be very easy to accomplish, just create a new word document, and start typing. Once you are done, save it as a pdf and move to the next step.
Your freebie will need to have a visual representation so that people will see what they are getting even before they opt-in. That brings us to creating a cover for it.
How to edit a cover for your freebie
And to create the image of your report, you should use canva for free. I use canva to edit all my images for free.
Canva is very easy to use, and you don’t need any tutorial to be able to use it. Once you get to the landing page, search for a book cover. You’ll find many free templates that you can customize to suit your taste.
If you don’t like the templates, you can easily design your own cover from scratch.
Once you’ve created your cover, it’s time to upload it and start promoting your freebie.
How to upload your freebie
Just go to google drive and sign in. upload it there and set the link sharing to anyone with the link. Easy right? That all. Now whenever anyone clicks on your link, they’ll be able to download your guide.
How to get people to signup
It’s time to get people signing up to get your freebie and joining your email list. In this section you will create a simple landing page and link your freebie to it.
So let me show you how you can create your landing page. I personally use getresponse to build my email list on my website, and systeme.io for other projects.
Systeme.io is very cheap and they have a free plan that offers everything you need as an email marketer.
The reason I started using getresponse is because they are just like systeme.io, every easy to use, straight forward and cheap. The only difference is, getresponse codes can be embedded on your website while systeme.io doesn’t allow it. That why I use both, otherwise, I would have used only systeme.io.
How to create a landing page to build your email list.
So you can use getresponse if you have a website. But if your business is based on social media or offline. You can use systeme. Or, you could just link to your systeme.io landing page from your website. Still cool.
In this article I will show you how easy it is to create a landing page on systeme.
How to create a landing page to build your email list with System.io
I want to show you something that won’t cost a dime. So if you are ready to build your own landing page that will help build your list, follow up with me.
Step 1. Go to systeme
With systeme.io you can create free landing pages, you can also do email automation for free and collect up to 2000 emails on your list. To me, systeme.io is the best sales funnel builder for beginners without without a website.
So go to systeme and sign up for a free account, it won’t take more than 2 minutes.
Step 2. Build a landing page based on your requirements
System has a lot of beautiful prebuilt templates that you can choose from and tweak to your satisfaction.
The most important thing is to build a landing page that can collect emails. You can add any design you like to the page. Just don’t forget the spot for the email opt in box
How to increase the conversion rate of your page: The slow way
After you create your landing page, you would notice that the conversion rate is low. Meaning that a lot of people enter your page and only a few end up on your list.
This is very normal, but the problem is, there is no single solution to this problem. So, I can’t tell you to tweak your heading or the color of your page.
You will come up with a solution yourself, because you will have to continue editing your page as you go. Always improve your page to increase conversions. You can do this by running little split tests.
Did you use a certain word in your tittle, change it and see if your conversion rate will increase. If your background color read, maybe people are having a hard time reading, why not change it to white. And so on.
Just keep changing things until you find one that will bring the highest opt ins.
How to increase the conversion rate of your page: The fast way
Another problem is, that method would require you to have lots of traffic entering that page. You’ll also need more time to know the outcome of your campaigns.
A much faster way to get a high converting page is to see what others are doing, check other opt in pages. How are they structured? What colors are they using? And so on
Then, model the page structure to create your own. This process is called funnel hacking. And if you want to learn more about it, read this
How to promote your landing page
The system has been set up correctly, you’ve linked the freebie to your landing page and people will get it immediately they sign up to your email list. The next thing now is to promote that page to start getting people to opt in.
I’m going to show you both the free and the paid ways to promote your landing page. So, read on
How to promote your landing page for free
With the methods I’m going to show you, you won’t be required to pay a dime to start getting opt ins to your email list. Actually, they are three main methods.
Method 1: Social media
I’m very sure you are in one social media platform. You know, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and the likes
Inside these social media platforms, you have friends or followers, this will be the first set of people that are likely to join your email list. That’s if they are interested in your freebie.
Why I like using Facebook
I like to use Facebook especially, because they have groups with thousands and sometimes millions of members that can join my email list.
But this is where most people get it wrong..
They join different Facebook groups and begin to spam their link everywhere. That is a bad strategy and it’s surely going to get you banned.
Instead of using that strategy, the best thing is to give value and make people “notice” you inside the groups.
Never post links inside any Facebook group without permission from the admin
Once people notice you inside the groups, they will begin to check your profile. And if you have a post telling them to download your freebie with a link to your landing page (which you should) guess what will happen…
Yeah… they will click and download whatever free guide you are offering. That’s the strategy I use myself and it’s really working. The key is to be consistent and wait for the snowball effect.
Method 2: Blogging
With a blog, you can get free organic traffic from google to the landing page of your freebie. Really, this is an amazing strategy.
Imagine you had a free guide about passive income, and you wrote an article telling people about it.
Think of the number of people searching every day for ways to make passive income. If your page begins to rank on google for that term, you will be getting free consistent traffic to your website and new opt ins every single day.
I prefer blogging to social media, or YouTube, because a blog is a digital asset. It belongs to you unlike social media where you could be kicked out at any time. If you don’t show up for a week on social media, your reach reduces or even dies down.
But if your blog is getting 100 visitors daily, even if you fail to create a new blog this month, it would still get about 100 visitors or more.
Luckily for me and you, it’s very easy to start a blog. Especially a WordPress based blog, plus it’s super cheap compared to starting an offline business.
Method 3; YouTube
Yes, YouTube is a very popular platform. Getting views is very easy on the platform.
All you have to do is create quality and valuable videos that people will spend more time watching.
While creating the videos, tell people about your freebie and link to it in the description of your video. The more views you get on the video, the more opt ins you can get. Also, creating videos on YouTube is free. So you can try it for yourself if writing is not your thing.
How to promote your landing page with paid methods
Now to paid methods.
To be honest, I don’t have much experience in this aspect (as of writing this article) because I haven’t used paid ads that much.
So most of what I will say here is based on what I learnt from the 2 to 3 times I ran an ad.
The best, cheapest and profitable platform to run ads
It’s Facebook ads
Yes, you read that right and I can prove it. Let me do that with one simple question.
Do you have a Facebook account? You probably have one and so does the other millions of Facebook users.
With Facebook ads you can reach people with different interests and different countries. If you would be running ads, you need a budget to start getting people to sign up.
That’s why I prefer blogging because, you can make a lot of mistakes and still make money when you blog. Unlike, ads where you spend money and once you make a mistake, you still have to pay.
Anyways the strategy for paid ads is quite simple.
Create an attractive ad that will entice people to click, send them to the opt in page. Continue to tweak the page to increase conversions. Rinse and repeat.
The more you tweak the page, the higher your conversion rate will be and your list will grow faster.
Now, after getting people to join your email list, you still have a lot of work to do to make money from the list. Before I show you how you can monetize your list.
Here are some tips that will help you succeed as an email marketer.
Some tips for success
- #1 rule of email marketing: Spam not thy list and nurture them long
Your emails should not be about your products all the time. They should be filled with value and at the same time, help you to promote and sell products.
A really cool way to do this is to share valuable resources with your leads every time. Teach your leads something new, share fresh ideas and then promote things that will be useful to them
- Make an offer immediately they signup
Immediately they sign up to your email list, they should be made an offer that is related to the freebie you are giving.
You will be surprised as to the number of people that will buy what you are offering. This is because people don’t like reading. They just want something that will give them fast results.
- Make irresistible offers
The question now is, what makes an offer irresistible?
That this example:
Someone who is in a supermarket, he wants to buy an apple for $20 dollars. Chances are he loves apples. But the problem now is, there are 5 stands selling the apple.
If one stand offers people an apple plus a free recipe for apple juice still for that same $20 dollars, who do you think the person will buy from.
To make irresistible offers, you just need to add more spices to your own offer and make it irresistible. There are many creative ways to make an offer irresistible, just get creative and your sales will go through the roof.
Top three ways to make money with an email list
We’ve covered a lot, but we are just getting started. In the next section, I want to share different ways to monetize your email list. It is one thing to build an email list but it’s another to make money from it.
There are two main ways to be profitable with email marketing. Let’s learn them
Direct ways to make money with email marketing
The direct ways will be right inside the emails. Once people click on the links on your emails they will be redirected to a sales page where they can buy the product immediately.
With the direct method, you can make sales in two ways.
Sell your own products or services
When you talk to people about products or services, they can buy the products inside your emails.
Sell products for others
This is called affiliate marketing, it’s a very simple business model where you sell products for other people and get a commission.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t have to create the product or stress yourself with delivery. Just make people buy the product and that’s it.
Indirect ways to make money with email marketing
The indirect ways are somehow extended. This is when you send people to your other online assets to teach them something before selling.
You can use these methods to nurture your email list and make them trust you. Let’s see some cool ways to do this.
You can do this when buy sending people to your YouTube video which will show them how your product will benefit them.
Also, you can send people to your blog. Just like this email marketing tutorial, if you have a course on email marketing, you can send your prospects to your blog to show them the benefit of email marketing before telling them about your course.
Is email marketing profitable?
It is super profitable. You can use it to build your brand and grow your audience. With email marketing, you can generate cash flow on regular bases.
Just keep nurturing your email list, and when you have a product, tell them about it. You will make a lot of sales.
How long does it take to build an email list?
This is one of those questions without an exact answer. Some people might grow their list to thousands within a month while others could take a whole year.
It all depends on the approach you take. If you are using paid strategies, it will be a lot faster to grow your email list.
Whereas, if you are using free strategies, you will be it could take a long time to build a large list.
To sum up
Here is a recap of what we talked about
We covered the benefits of email, the mindset every email marketer should have and I showed you exactly how you can start building your own email list for free.
It’s now up to you to take action. Start by choosing your niche and creating your freebie. Then use the methods I shared with you to get traffic to your landing page.
Email marketing is fun and profitable if done right, so make sure you don’t miss any of the step I shared. If you enjoyed reading, share it with those you think might love it as well.
I think this article was the ultimate guide to email marketing, I would like to hear your opinion. What do you think?
Gideon, thank you so much for this article. Indeed, I like it for it’s message. And, may I ask, do permit me to share it with others?
Thanks a lot!
Thank you too. You are free to share it with others.