How Email Marketing can build a solid revenue stream for freelancers – SWC 36June 13, 2019 June 13, 2019 /
So, I sent an email of around 100 words with two small paragraphs to my email subscribers and within 15 minutes I made more than $200 (and way more on other occasions). I know this sounds a little click bait or too good to be true. But guess what, it is true once you discover the power of Email Marketing and how it fits in your business.
Email marketing can be very powerful, provided you do it the right way with some passion investment. If your heart is missing in the emails that you’re sending, it won’t convert, and it won’t make you any money. When done right, email marketing can build a solid revenue stream for a freelancer or even agency owners.
01. The backstory of Email Marketing
I always thought that email marketing is just a waste of time. Why? Because I’m writing something exclusively for a bunch of people on my email list. Why shouldn’t I write the same thing on my website and let everyone have access to it via Google search and build my web property?
Well, that’s a fair argument, but email list serves a different kind of purpose. In addition to that, I felt email marketing is spam, spam, and spam activity.
02. Boring Beginning to Email Marketing
When I started a niche website like four to five years ago, I added an email sign box to the website. Guess what? after that I did nothing. So, that was like a boring beginning for me with regard to email marketing.
This is a similar story for most of us, put an email sign up box and follow up with nothing. Forget about sparring time to check who signed up and even sending emails to start the conversation. I didn’t have an idea on what to write in emails as I was preoccupied with a lot of other things. So, it was like DOA (Dead on Arrival).
Plus I read too many of clickbait articles like build 10,000 email subscriber list within two hours and so on. To be honest, this never went into my head because it all sounded impractical. But, guess what? those articles are true in some sense. Yes, you can build a big email list within a few hours or day but would it be useful for you, well no.
03. The right start to Email Marketing
So, the real story started when I launched a niche website ProBeaver.com – which is basically a resource website for Beaver Builder product users. On this website from the very start, I had an email subscription box, like slapped at the top part and few other places on the website.
With passion in this project, I focussed more on all aspects of this website including checking people joining the email list. Since this was a niche project, people who joined email list were interested in a specific topic of Beaver Builder.
I actually asked a few people on my email list, what is the value that I am giving to you. To my surprise, most said they want to know time and date when you publish the next edition of “ProBeaver Weekly”. Even though ProBeaver Weekly was published as a blog post on the website, they just wanted an email alert when the new edition is begin published.
04. The trap of building bigger Email List
We all want to run faster than we can or we should. So, the trap of the need for faster email growth caught me. I read a lot of articles on how to make your email list grow faster and faster. Even today, if you google about email marketing, and search for how to build an email list faster, most would suggest a lead magnet like download-able resources, cheatsheet, or PDF ebook.
So I made a PDF guide called “Beaver Builder Resource Guide”. It was made rather quickly thanks to the Google help for tips to make a resource ebook. I took five or six blog posts from the website and put that into an ebook format. My earlier email list used Mailchimp and I decided to use Gumroad for offering this lead magnet (ebook guide).
So, this new way of email list building resulted in one more email list in addition to the existing email list powered by MailChimp. So, now I had two email lists and I was on cloud nine… oh man, I have so many email subscribers. Well, the bubble was about to burst.
05. Quality vs Quantity in Email Marketing
Not many people focus on email list quality, everyone is obsessed with list numbers. The hard numbers made me realize about the quality aspect. So, here I am comparing two email lists, one made via more natural way with no promise for any tangible stuff in return and other email list made with the instant tangible benefit of PDF resource ebook.
The email list made via ebook offering had terrible open rates and almost close to zero conversion. While the other email list built via more natural way performed better than standard statistics.
Things to Note: Email Marketing
- Focus on building an email list with higher quality than quantity (as shared in detail above).
- Write your email is normal layman language instead of geek jargon. The best tip would be, write an email as if you are talking to a friend.
- Fancy email design is a big NO as normal text emails convert the best. Just ask yourself, do you like reading normal text emails or emails laden with glossy graphics? And remember, this is email, not a web-page where design is more important.
- Consistency is key in email marketing, out of sight is out of mind. Of course, I don’t have the capacity to email daily but I try to stick to one email per week routine with few exceptions.
- Don’t abuse the benefit of direct email inbox access. Make sure your emails provide value because straight money making or selling pitches will irk your email subscribers and will eventually make them unsubscribe from your list.
- Email Unsubscribe is not a sad moment. It will feel like a sad or bad moment in the beginning with questions like What did I do wrong to make that person unsubscribe? Well, you didn’t do anything wrong. It is just that person wasn’t a good fit for the content you were sharing via email newsletters. Just look at the brighter side, when someone unsubscribes – it indirectly helps you clean up the email list.
- Don’t get caught up with which tool to use for email marketing. Start with the most basic like MailChimp which comes at a wonderful price of $0 up to 2K subscribers. You don’t need to know about triggers, conditionals, drip and all such kind of things when starting out with email marketing. If you are looking for a robust Mailchimp alternative, then look for ConvertKit.
Real world examples: Email Marketing
#1 Use email marketing to build a connection with your website visitors. This can be used to send them small packets of information which you would not otherwise publish on the website. Also, leverage this relationship to promote your own stuff like digital products, courses, and services.
#2 What if you do not have own products or services to promote (yet)? Well, use your current email marketing setup to promote other trusted people’s products thereby starting the affiliate marketing earning cycle.
#3 If you run an agency, make an email list of all your clients. Use that to send important information like changes in internet space, policies and so on to keep your connection going. Further, you can use this relationship setup via email marketing to upsell new services and maintaining delivery of recurring services.
#4 Even if you don’t have an own website, or agency set up, or products or services – you can still start building email list via your social media profiles. Just start sharing landing page URL of the email sign up box (created via email service you use) on your social media profile via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. A good way to start building an email list and once you have people on the list, ideas to broadcast messages in the form of emails will automatically emerge.
Well, are you stuck at email marketing or not sure how email marketing fit in your current online activities? Feel free to reach out and lets clear the fog together.