ROARlocal Ecommerce Agency

'One is not amused at how little you make from your mailing list...'

Why You’re Not Making Enough Money From Your Subscribers (And What To Do About It This Week)

'One is not amused at how little you make from your mailing list...'
‘One is not amused at how little you make from your mailing list…’

Just before I took over the running of RoarLocal UK, I was speaking to a client for whom I was consulting on Facebook Ads. We’d also created some landing pages for him.

Let’s call him ‘Jeff’ (because that name is funny to me, ever since seeing Eddie Izzard do stand-up).

Anyway, Jeff has been building a mailing list for his business (very slowly) until we came along.

He was recommended to us by another happy customer, and he was eager to have us run his Facebook Ads for him because he’d heard of the results we’re getting.

To be totally clear with you, we’d set up a campaign whereby people could subscribe and get a one-off discount offer on his services. People have to actively enter their name and e-mail and click a button to get the offer. When they do, they go onto a mailing list that gives them occasional updates about the service for which they got the offer in the first place.

All of this is made clear to them in the sign-up process and they can unsubscribe at any time (because we’re good little marketers and that’s what you should do).

However, just as the campaign was about to go live, I get a panicky e-mail that (among countless other gems) said this:

‘I’m very nervous about “subscribing” people unless they have consented to subscribe. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal… People will get pissed off if I start spamming them.’


(Incidentally, I’d already answered his questions in the initial brief and the answers were also written into the contract under the ‘What We’re Going To Do For You’ part. Oh, and yes it is illegal to spam people. That’s why we do consent-based e-mail marketing instead. which is totally legal and used by the world’s best marketing experts. Anyway…)

This e-mail set off my internal ‘Early Warning System’.

It made me realise that Jeff wasn’t the only one who thought like this. OK, he’s on the extreme side, but many people are scared to build a list and then even more scared to mail it.

And that thought process is killing your business.

So, here I am, telling you what I told him:

Why You’re Not Making Enough Money From Your Subscribers

Your Relationship With Them Is Crap

If you and I wanted to build a friendship, do you think that it would happen faster if:

A) We spoke regularly and shared our respective lives/journeys with each other?

B) We only spoke once per month and only talked about one specific part of my business?

I can only trust that you answered A.

With that in mind, why would you think that your subscribers are any different?

In order to get people to know, like and trust you, you need to regularly demonstrate:

  • Who you are and what you know
  • That you’re likeable
  • That you’re trustworthy

That might sound blazingly obvious and to be honest, it should. There’s no two ways about it: You need to build a relationship with your list.

Here are some simple ways to start building the rapport that you need in order to get people to buy from you:

Tell Stories – Notice how I contextualised the tips that I’m giving you here by telling you a story at the start of this post? Stories really work for several psychological reasons, including the fact that the human brain loves narratives. Stories are way more engaging than a bare list of strategies, because stories fire both sides of the brain with creative stimuli and practical lessons. Use them when communicating with your subscribers.

Mail Regularly – Being trustworthy and providing engaging content is great, but if you only do it once every couple of months, people will forget about you. Then when you do mail, you’ll get loads of unsubscribes because they can’t remember why they should listen to you. Send e-mail at least once per week, ideally more often. As with everything, test the frequency with which you mail to find the optimum for your niche.

Give Them Quick Wins – Provide your subscribers with strategies that they can apply that will get them results quickly. It doesn’t have to be a major breakthrough. Simply helping them increase something in their business is good enough. A 10% increase in conversions or opt-ins is a great win that you could help people achieve, simply by showing them how to split test. Make it really easy for them to implement and you’ll have loyal subscribers for life.

When You Do Mail Them, You Don’t Add Value To Their Life

If you only ever send out newsletters or sales pitches to your list, the chances are that you’re not really adding value to their lives.

In the digital age, there are so many great ways to create value for your subscribers. Here are just a few:

  • Provide tips and case studies via e-mail that aren’t available to anyone else.
  • Create a podcast and make sure your subscribers are the first to know about it.
  • Ask them what quick things they need to know and deliver it to them via a PDF download (only available to your subscribers). This helps to give them some ‘quick wins’ like I mentioned earlier.

Find out what your subscribers’ wants and needs are, then make sure that you help them reach their goals/desires in some way with every e-mail you send.

You Don’t Give Them Enough Opportunities To Buy

This is probably the biggest reason why you’re not making enough money from your list:

Like Jeff, you’re scared to mail them offers because you think it’s ‘spamming’. As a result, you don’t give your subscribers enough opportunity to actually buy something.

If that describes you then listen…

If they’ve opted-in to your mailing list and you’ve told them that they’ll be sent e-mail from you and that they can unsubscribe at any time, you have permission to mail them.

So e-mail them, dammit!

Find out the problems that your subscribers have and then find solutions that will help them solve that problem. In our market, people always want more qualified traffic, so I can sell courses on traffic like our Traffic Mastery.

Find out what people want and cater to that want. Don’t try and sell them what they need unless they happen to want it. Wants trump needs every time.

By the way, your offers don’t always have to be explicit…

I’ve placed an ‘incidental’ sales offer into this blog post. I’m not doing a big promotion of it, but I was talking about traffic so I linked to our traffic courses. If we didn’t have courses of our own, we could easily have got an affiliate link for another good course that we’d used.

You can place the same ‘incidental’ offers into your e-mails or blog posts. That way, you don’t need to do a big sell, but you’re still selling a solution that your subscribers want.

Oh, and if you are going to mail out affiliate offers, make sure that you’ve used the product, as you don’t want to be associated with crap products.

* * * * *

Seriously, stop being scared to talk to your list, and even more scared to mail them. E-mail them regularly (not just once per month). Provide them with great value that they can’t get elsewhere. And once every couple of weeks, sell them something that will help them reach their goals.

It’s not rocket science, but it might just make you a lot more money.

So, did I miss anything out? Or do you have a question or comment about these strategies? If you do, leave a comment below and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible.

Image credit: Money (2011) by Howard Lake (CC BY SA 2.0 cropped)

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