It’s exciting to start up a mailing list. It’s exciting to watch it grow. It’s exciting to think about how much money you’ll make with your list.
What’s NOT exciting is the day you realize you’ve poured your heart and soul into growing your mailing list, but it’s not meeting your profit expectations. Fortunately, you can avoid the vast majority of mistakes that lead to low profits by following these dos and don’ts…
Do test, track and tweak
The only way to know for sure what really works with your list is to experiment with everything and track your results. Here are some of the top items to test:
- Your subject lines.
- Your openers.
- The product you’re promoting within the email.
- The price of the product.
- The title of the product.
- Your call to action.
- Your postscript.
- The design of your email (where applicable).
- HTML vs text emails.
TIP: Most major email service providers (such as Aweber) include built-in tracking tools so you can test your open rates and click-through rates.
Do get personal with your list
You don’t need to share intimate details of your life, but sharing personal stories from time to time help your list get to know you. For example:
- Share a story about a hobby.
- Share a pic or two from a recent vacation.
- Post a video of yourself sharing information, which is more personal than a text newsletter.
- Invite your list members to talk to join you on social media.
Don’t be afraid to promote paid products
Some email marketers think you should “nurture your list” in the sense that you don’t even dare promote a paid product until you’ve given your list members a ton of free content.
Guess what? Taking that approach just trains your readers to expect free stuff from you. Worse yet, you’re doing them a disservice if you’re withholding the BEST solution from them just because it’s a paid product.
All you need to do is focus on providing the BEST content and solutions to your list, and that means sharing and promoting both free and paid resources that meet this guideline. Your list will thank you for it.
Don’t get blinded by big commissions
Sometimes you’re going to be tempted to promote a product because it has a big price tag, high conversions and huge commissions. In other words, it’s easy money.
But forget about the money for a moment. Instead, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this a useful, high-quality product?
- Would I recommend this product to my best friend or a family member?
If you answer no to either of those questions, then don’t recommend the product to your list. Promoting it today might put money in your pocket, but it will destroy your reputation and kill your long-term sales. Once trust is lost with your list, it’s very hard to get back.
Do set expectations upfront
When your prospects join your list, your lead page as well as your first few emails should be very clear about what your subscribers can expect. For example:
- How often will they receive a newsletter from you?
- What kind of content can they expect in the newsletter?
- What sort of promos will they receive?
- What is your newsletter focused on (what topic)?
Your subscribers will be very comfortable receiving just about any type of content, as long as you make them aware of it upfront. Problems arise, however, if you don’t give them what they’re expecting.
For example, maybe you tell your readers they’ll get “tips, tricks and secrets” for achieving some goal. But then all you end up doing is sending them product reviews. End result? You’re going to have readers who’re disappointed because they’re not getting what they expected to get. And that means you’ll end up with a low-response list.
The profits are indeed in the list, IF you know how to tap into those profits. You just discovered the top dos and don’ts for maximizing your list profits.