Before we get on with monetize the list and actually profiting for all our hard work, let’s look at a few extra ways you can increase your income and grow your list… These are ‘growth hacks’ and ways you can spend money to promote your list very quickly, as opposed to long-term marketing strategies. They can be just as effective though!
Using Your Existing Contacts
A great place to start is with your existing contacts! Don’t make the mistake of being too shy to show your business to your friends and family – if you can’t promote yourself to them, how do you expect to promote yourself to complete strangers?
The great thing about existing contacts is that they’re more likely to be friends or colleagues who know you and who want to help. This means they’ll be more likely to forward emails or to encourage their friends to sign up too!
Ask Your Email List
Another tip is to ask your email list to help you promote and grow the list. Ask people to forward your messages if they enjoy them and make sure you show people how they can sign up if they’ve been passed on the message. Likewise, just request that your subscribers put in a good word for you if they enjoy your content. If you’ve built a strong community, then this can be much more effective than you might expect.
Alternatively, if you’d like to add a little incentive, why not invite your subscribers to pass on your list and turn it into a contest of some sort? For every 100 subscribers you get, you could send a free gift to everyone on the list for example. This way, everyone wins!
Meeting People in the Real World
Another unexpected place to find subscribers is in the ‘real world’. In other words, when you’re networking you should make an effort to collect emails and ask if they’d mind being added to your list. This is not only a great way to get some key influencers onto that list, but also to develop a relationship with people who will be becoming subscribers.
For businesses you can even invite your customers to join your list. Why not give them that option when they pay at the till? You can even give them a discount in exchange for doing so (which is also an incentive that ecommerce stores can use FYI).
Guest posting is a type of ‘influencer marketing’. This means that you’re finding someone who already has a big audience and a lot of influence and you’re that way reaching many more people than you otherwise could. This can be very effective as it allows you to communicate with an audience of thousands on day one.
Guest posting specifically involves writing unique content for websites and giving it to bloggers for free. This provides them with value they can offer their audience and saves them writing the content themselves and in exchange, they will hopefully agree to let you put your opt-in form at the bottom of the message. Not only do you get the exposure this way, but if the audience of that blog is very loyal then you’ll also get the benefit of association with that brand.
Ad Swaps and Solo Ads
An ad swap is another form of influencer marketing.
In the case of an ad swap, you benefit from the influencer by offering to do the same in return.
So you get to send a message to everyone on your list, and in return they do the same through your list. That way, you both get a recommendation to each others’ lists and
hopefully a lot of new direct subscribers.
Don’t do this too often though, or your subscribers will get fed up of receiving lots of messages from people they never agreed to hear from.
A solo ad is the exact same thing, except here you’re paying for your message so that you don’t have to have someone mail your list.
Pro Tip: Check out www.clickonomy.com for solo ads in a variety of niches.
Are these good strategies?
That all depends on your list!
Just make sure you do your research first and ensure that the list is highly targeted and that it is relevant to your topic. You also need to make sure that the blogger is treating their list well and that they’re getting good engagement as a result.
The best way to make sure of this is to join the list yourself and to see what it’s like to be a subscriber. This can also be a great way to get inspiration and ideas for your own messages.
Another tip is to ask to see the stats from that marketer’s autoresponder. This way you can make sure their emails are valid and their subscribers are active and engaged. If they won’t show you this data, then be suspicious!
Another option is to outright buy your emails. Is this a good strategy? The short answer is no.
When you buy an email list, you’ll find that it immediately loses all of its value. The reason for this is that it’s no longer at all targeted when you do this and something very key is missing – permission.
Check out my Blog post 10 Email Marketing Best Practices for Affiliate Marketers for more info on why this is BAD, and what other GOOD things you should be doing!
While the subscriber will likely have said it’s okay for their email to be sold or passed on, what they haven’t done is to explicitly give permission for you to email them. Likewise, they won’t have any idea who you are and they won’t have seen the value you offer. They haven’t tried your ‘free samples’. This makes it very hard for you not to get ignored – and that’s why emails are often sold in bulk loads of 1,000 or more on Fiverr for just $5. Don’t waste your money