I’ve decided to write this article from the perspective of an email marketing newbie, addressing my own major aha experience in the field: Building a list is easy. Monetizing the list is the real name of the game.
I would love to share the steps we have taken to move from the initial communicational stupor to the well build “Invisible Sales Machine”. And here it goes…
“Today is the day!” – You think while looking into the mirror. “Is my beard not too short? I shouldn’t have trimmed it before the event. This is not a good omen…
Jeez. What am I thinking about? Focus. Today is the day. I’ve spent so much time and money to make it happen.”
Your phone is ringing. It’s time to leave. You get into your car and drive to the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina where you have rented the whole floor for your Grand Event.
How Exciting! “I should have taken a room in the hotel.”, - You think. “It would spare me the stress of the morning traffic”.
Upon arrival you are taking the elevator and going directly back stage. “I hope people like my intro music” - You think. The music goes on. Your heart is pounding.
You are flying out to the stage. 5000 pairs of eyes looking at you full of anticipation!
“Wait!” – You think. What is this event about?
Silly little story. Isn’t it? Yet it happened to most of us at certain point in our e-com carrier. Why? Because of the “Money is in the list” misunderstanding.
If you take a sharp look at the e-com services landscape – you will find an endless red ocean of lead generating and list building services telling you exactly this one thing: “The money is in the list”.
Yet once the list is there – you may figure out that one little detail is still missing: the money. The red-ocean-list-builders have no idea how to monetize a list.
The cutest of them truly believe that sending out one single offer to a new list will make you rich.
The rudest of them will tell you, that you smell of cabbage, that’s why your offer does not convert.
On the contrary the blue-ocean-list-builders know that building a list without a strategic communication plan is like organizing an event, without any idea what this event is really about.
I don’t have a beard, like the guy in my story, but at a certain point in time – I too found myself in the front of my list having no idea how to talk to it and what to talk to it about.
In fact I had multiple lists gathered in various campaigns, and it was really difficult for me to figure out how to talk to my subscribers as a whole.
On the top of that, I was terrified that people may start unsubscribing once I start mailing them. It sounds silly, is nevertheless one of the most common fears holding a new e-marketer back from mailing.
To sum up, these were the five major questions for me to deal with:
1) How to consolidate all my lists gathered in various campaigns in one flow of communication?
2) How to make sure, my subscribers want to remain subscribed for a long period of time?
3) How to make sure, my subscribers remain engaged for a long period of time?
4) How to structure my communication?
5) How to automate my communication?
About the grand purpose and the long lasting natural engagement
The first three questions are actually addressing three parts of one major topic: long lasting natural engagement.
In order to consolidate all lists and keep people engaged in a natural way over a longer period of time we need a grand purpose; a long lasting incentive going beyond one single download of any lead magnet.
We’ve found such a purpose in an unexpected place: namely in a viral giveaway setting. While a common giveaway would last 7 to 14 days, we have decided to test a never-ending one.
Once entered and as long as subscribers remain in the giveaway – every month they have a new chance to win the grand prize.
Our high value core fashion product (a cutting edge wearable workout supplement) fulfills the role of a lead magnet. The long lasting giveaway with monthly drawings engages participants for a prolonged period of time.
The sharing incentive, built into the body of the giveaway, allows participants to share the giveaway with friends, bringing in more visitors and therefore more giveaway entries.
We‘ve invited all our subscribers into the giveaway and started promoting our giveaway as a lead magnet. Currently everyone on our list enters through the main giveaway gateway.
The giveaway fulfills the role of a grand purpose, a high customer value long lasting incentive. The giveaway became the communication umbrella consolidating all our subscribers on the top level.
Communication: content and structure.
Finally did I know what to talk to my subscribers about! Even if I could not figure out any other topic – I could talk about the giveaway. Isn’t great?
One day you have no idea what to write to your list about, another day you have a giveaway on the go, talking about your giveaway, introducing your cutting edge leg-wear product and building a relationship with your subscribers.
With the giveaway communication on the go – I finally relaxed a bit and went for the best read on the topic of email communication: “Invisible Selling Machine” by Ryan Deiss. Brilliant!
Instead of telling you all about communication content and structure, I invite you to read the book. Ryan has put it out there in the most clean, comprehensive and understandable way.
Next to the top level giveaway communication (the common cause uniting all our subscribers), we have implemented various series introduced by Ryan Deiss in “Invisible Selling Machine”.
These series segment our giveaway members into interest and engagement based groups, enabling us to customize our further communication.
Once we knew what to talk to our subscribers about, it was time for communication automation.
Communication automation is one of the top inventions of our time. It takes away the greatest obstacle in marketing communication – YOU! Automated communication feels like … like flying actually (I love flying).
We are a ClickFunnels gang member. Our email communication is automated by Actionetics. Our funnels are built in ClickFunnels. Our giveaways are running in UpViral.
Shall you find yourself in the same position: Having a list, while having no clue, how to provide value to your list - you may consider the following 8 steps:
1) Start a 12 months viral giveaway in UpViral; with your core product as a monthly grand prize.
2) Invite your current list into the giveaway.
3) Promote your giveaway as a lead magnet.
4) Set up your giveaway communication by broadcasting in Actionetics and bringing your subscribers to your blog page for monthly winner’s announcements.
5) Read Ryan Deiss “Invisible Selling Machine”.
6) Write out email series as introduced by Ryan.
7) Automate your email series in Actionetics.
8) Run, test, analyze and tweak.
Thank you for reading and have a great day! Any questions – PM me on FB or comment below.
Giveaway Soft: UpViral
Thought influencers: Russell Brunson, Ryan Deiss, Wilco de Kreij
CEO at Quantumfactory and Co-Author at Boom! Your Own Fashion Brand in 90 Days: Walkthrough for Hardcore Gamers.