ConstantContact confirmed that Email Marketing has an ROI of $42 for every $1 spent. And if you let that sink in for a second, you’d realize that’s a 42x return.
If I could promise that I would give you 42 dollars every time that you gave me a single dollar, then wouldn’t you give me as many dollars as possible?
With the average open rate across all industries at 17.8%, it pays to understand how to become an email marketing expert and how to make money with email marketing.
There’s a common misconception in the online marketing world that email marketing is “dead”, but I can assure you that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
Whatever the motive behind the sneaky peddlers who’re pushing that myth, there’s no signs that email marketing, as well as making money from email marketing, is going to slow down any time soon.
Did you know that email is used by over 4 billion people? That’s over half of the world’s population…
Haven’t you ever gone into your email inbox and found a nice looking email from your favorite department store?
Before you know it, you’ve whipped out the good ole’ credit card and you’re buying something that you just “gotta have”.
That’s exactly how the email marketing experts do it— They make money with email marketing by getting people like us to sign up to their email lists, and then send an enticing offer to that list to persuade you to buy, right now.
Crafting emails that are designed to bring in more money while keeping your brand image tip top is truly an art.
I’ve been blessed to have worked with a range of brands and businesses large and small which allowed me to create and test emails that have yielded us a lot of money, as well as hard data.
In the above image, you can see two of our email lists. We have been building these lists since September 2020 (as of this writing, it’s December 2020).
After this article, you’ll have learned what it takes to become an email marketing expert, how to make money with email marketing, understand how to build your email database, and you’ll learn about email marketing KPIs and targets you should (realistically) go after.
If you want to learn about how you can take your existing database and monetize them, or if you’re looking to learn how to grow that database and then monetize them, then this article is a must-read.
Are you ready to juice up your email marketing campaigns? Let’s dive right in.
How To Become An Email Marketing Expert
I know that I told you above that there’s a lot of time and effort involved if you’re looking to become the newest master of email marketing.
With that said, there’s things that you will learn below in this article that will have a direct impact on making better email marketers out of you right now, not tomorrow.
The strategies I’ve laid out have been tested and proven to make money with email marketing regardless of the niche and business model.
Let’s go ahead and talk firstly about knowing your email marketing KPIs (key performance indicators)
Knowing The Numbers — Email Marketing KPIs
There’s a few important marketing metrics that you should pay attention to now that you’re trying to make money with email marketing.
What is Click-Through Rate: Click-Through rate is the percentage of people who click on any kind of link inside your email
Why Is Click-Through Rate Important?
Click-Through Rate, or “CTR”, is one of the most important metrics used in email marketing because it tells you exactly how many people are clicking over to your offer.
It doesn’t matter what the “offer” actually is. Any email that you send to your list should have some type of CTA that prompts somebody to do something.
When you have a mediocre CTR you can count on making less money through the email marketing channel.
In layman's terms — Click-Through rate is important because it tells you if the CTA inside your email copy is working. It also tells you if the list you’re emailing is interested in what you have to offer (whether you’re linking them to a product, service, or just free content).
How Would You Determine The Clickthrough Rate?
Google states that, “CTR is the number of clicks that your email receives divided by the number of times your email is sent: clicks divided by sends equals CTR”.
For example, if you had 10 clicks and 200 sends, then your clickthrough rate is going to be 5%.
If you’re looking for some general baselines when it comes to Click-Through rates, the estimate is about 2.5%.
Just remember that your industry has a lot of weight when it comes to the average CTR, but generally speaking a clickthrough rate of 2.5 is average.
Troubleshooting A Low Click-Through Rate:
|Audit List Status||Audit Structure||Audit Content Itself|
|Are you sending sales emails to a cold list?||Do you have a CTA above the fold?||Does your email have a specfic goal?|
|Have you warmed up your email list?||Is your email formatted so that it's visually appealing and easy on |
|Are the content elements (text, pictures, and/or videos) made to reach that goal?|
|Is this list relevant to what you're offering?||--||Is the content high quality (valuable) for your list?|
|Do you routinely clean and maintain this list from bounced emails?||--||--|
|Does this list trust your brand and business?||--||--|
Just by doing the above steps, you’ll identify things that you are doing wrong, or even things that you are not doing that could help you improve your CTR tremendously.
What is Conversion Rate: Conversion Rate is the number of people that clicked through your email and took the desired action on your page.
That desired action could be a number of different things. Of course, we have product or service purchases, filling out a form (lead gen), and requesting more info.
Why is Conversion Rate Important?
Everything you do when it comes to marketing for your business should be geared towards converting. Most of you reading this article are going to be focusing on selling products or services to your email lists.
That being said, we can’t deny the fact that everything you do for your email marketing efforts is to convert as high as possible (make as much money as possible).
Because even if you’re trying to generate leads — what do you want from those leads? You want them to buy what you’re selling.
So at this point, I’m sure that you’re nodding your head in agreement that it’s critical to the survival of your business, to strive after the highest conversion rate possible.
Anything less than that should be criminal!
Should You Use A Conversion Rate Optimization Agency?
Before hiring anybody to do anything for you, whether that’s helping you get a better conversion rate, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
Question #1: Have I exhausted my efforts to raise my conversion rate myself?
Question #2: Is my list warm and ready to buy?
Question #3: Do I have the budget for a conversion rate optimization agency?
If you’re a startup or a small business and you’re running bootstrapped (operating with little to no capital to work with) then I think you’d be better off trying to do everything you could before hiring somebody else.
Nine out of ten people that are reading this can think of things they could test to try and improve their conversion rate before spending any additional investment that might not work.
As we all know, there’s risk with every venture, but email marketing is especially risky IF you don’t know the status of your email list.
If you’re looking for the best possible conversion on your email marketing, then you need to make sure that your list is cleaned and maintained, and has actually opted into your website (no buying lists!), and is familiar with your brand.
Trust me on this. I’ve already tried all the email scraping, cold emailing, and tactics that are worse than watching paint dry.
Offer real value and build your audience the right way. Even if you did make money with email marketing from a scraped list, it’s always going to be short lived.
What is Bounce Rate: Bounce Rate is the amount of emails that were not successfully delivered to the recipients on the list.
Why is Bounce Rate Important?
The importance of bounce rate cannot be understated. In 2021 and beyond, there’s very strict rules regarding spam mail.
If you aren’t cleaning and maintaining your list then you run the risk of hitting the spam traps, AKA, “filters” that flag your email service provider.
I can tell you this from experience, because when I was new to email marketing I was brought on-board by a client who had a rather large email list (about 400k emails).
Infusionsoft, or, “Confusionsoft”, actually put my client’s account on hold and had me verify information about the bounce rate being so high.
That was the day that I learned the email service providers take spam very seriously. Obviously, it’s due to all the legalities when it comes to sending people emails that never gave you their email address.
Tips On How To Lower Your Email Bounce Rate
Keeping a healthy and clean list is the full stop preventative measure from a high bounce rate.
The whole purpose of cleaning your list is to get rid of emails that are invalid (which means they will bounce).
My recommendation is to clean your list once a week (depending on how many opt-ins you get each day) to keep things on the right track.
While that’s best practice, you really have to neglect list maintenance for a long time for your email bounce rate to get to a point where you’ll have any repercussions.
What is Open Rate: Open rate is the amount of people who’ve opened your email vs the number of total emails sent.
Because people don’t have the ability to click through or convert if they don’t open the email, your open rate directly affects all your other email marketing metrics.
Why is Open Rate Important?
As mentioned above, when your open rate is sub-par, it really hurts your overall metrics. Without opens, your CTR will suffer, and your email deliverability is sure to take a hit.
Since email service providers like Gmail are algorithm based, they correlate a low open rate to irrelevant mail being sent.
In other words — a low open rate equals lower all around metrics.
Additionally, open rate is one of the most mainstream metrics that people pay attention to.
If you’re doing email marketing consultations and your customer wants to know about the open rate, well then, you’d better know what it is and why it’s either high or low.
Because people who have no idea about how to correctly do email marketing have heard of the open rate, it makes our job as email marketing experts harder.
Think about it this way:
Jimmy John is your client and you’ve been busting your butt trying to get an open rate of 20% (which is above average).
Mr. John has heard of an open rate, but he has know idea that the average is about 15%, so he probes into why the rate is so low.
And typically, Jimmy John will give you a whole heap of complaints and lower your morale because he thinks you’re slacking off.
Anyways, that analogy is if you’re running email marketing campaigns for other people, but you get the point.
Troubleshooting A Low Open Rate:
There’s really only a few things that you can troubleshoot (very easily) if you have a low open rate. They are as follows:
|Audit Subject Lines||Audit List Health||Audit Deliverability|
|Are they enticing somebody to open the email?||Does your list have disengaged contacts?||Have you checked with your email service provider to ensure deliverability?|
|Are they promoting curiosity and urging somebody to open?||Is your list cleand of bounced and inactive emails?||Are you hitting spam traps?|
|Are they using the person's name?||Did you purchase or scrape email contacts?||Has your open rate recently dropped by a big margin?|
At the end of the day, your open rate is super simple to troubleshoot because there’s only a few reasons as to why people aren’t opening your email.
As I mentioned above, if you’re doing everything right with your subject lines and your list is legit and healthy, then odds are your deliverability is no good.
Reach out to your email service provider and they can provide more insight as to if your emails are being delivered or not.
Building Your Email Database, AKA, “Email List”
Obviously, this is the most important aspect of becoming an email marketing expert. If you don’t have any emails to send to, then how will you be able to actually make money with email marketing?
You won’t have any data and you’ll have no way to practice and improve your skill set, so building your email list (audience), in my opinion, the most important aspect of not only email marketing, but also being successful online.
So the question then becomes:
How Do You Build Your Email List?
There’s a variety of ways that you can build your email list into a highly engaged community of people that are seeking out your valuable advice.
More importantly, these same people will spend money with you because they’ll TRUST you.
We’ll talk more about trust below, but for now…
Let’s talk about some specific methods that you can use to build your email list:
1. Be Specific in your CTA (call-to-action)
Because your traffic is looking for a specific means to an end; it’s your job to know what they want and then offer them what they want.
Once you know what that is, you can offer that for free in exchange for their email (opt-in).
There’s tons of different things that you can offer somebody if you’re trying to get their email.
|Popular Offers To Build Your Email List|
All of the above will give you a great chance to collect emails without spending a dime on paid ads.
Furthermore, you can combine some of those things above together with running, let’s say, paid traffic to supercharge your list building efforts.
2. Create a Pop-Up On Your Website
There’s a lot of people that are getting traffic and aren’t taking advantage of building their lists. I see it time and time again, and it makes me cringe.
If you’re blessed with traffic, then you absolutely have to be collecting emails. I guess there’s people out there that aren’t aware of just how much of a money printing machine email marketing really is.
Another great way to grab those email contacts is by simply adding a pop-up “modal” or a slide-in to your website.
Take OptinMonster for example. They are a company that created a WordPress Plugin that helps convert your visitors into subscribers and customers.
The image above is a pop-up that shows up upon the person’s exit of their website (otherwise known as exit intent)
“Remember: Exit Intent Pop-Ups are a last resort. You should still be providing your traffic a reason to opt-in before they go to leave your website.”
Because of the hefty abuse of pop-up opt-in forms on websites today, they are becoming less effective.
I’ve found that if you are running a pop-up opt-in box, then it’s best to wait until the person has been browsing for about 10 seconds, or hits more than one page.
Our goal here in building our email list is not to bombard people with crap that they can “x” off, but to provide them legit value that makes them want to join your email database community.
3. Create a Slide-In On Your Website
Slide-in email opt forms are doing pretty well these days. The key thing to remember is that you need to place these slide-ins at strategic locations inside your web pages.
The name of the game with slide-in forms to build your email database is to be relevant to each specific post that it appears on.
Is your article about how to get more traffic? If so, then why would you have a slide in that tries to get somebody to download the best dropshipping blueprint?
I’m sure you get the point, but you have to think strategically about what you can offer in the slide in for each category of content you’re producing.
Now that we know a few ways that you can build your email database, let’s talk about how to build your offer in a way that gives you the best conversion rate (and makes you more money).
Creating The Right Email Offer For Your List
Geeking out on offers is typically reserved for somebody like, Steve Larsen, but I think there’s a lot to be aware of when you’re creating an offer.
Whether that offer is being sent to your email database, or if the offer is being seen by the traffic that visits your website, you need to keep one thing in mind:
“Remember: Everything you give to your audience is an offer, whether free or paid.”
Once again, I see a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners fail because they aren’t providing an offer that has enough perceived value.
When your offer slacks in value, it’s just not going to convert at the highest rate possible. Forget the design of your website and everything else, if the offer is sh*t then it’s not going to convert. It’s that simple.
Yeah, you might get a few bites, but we’re hunting for that “big daddy” conversion rate.
How To Create The Right Offer For Your List
Knowing how important it is to craft an offer that makes your list (and traffic) go nuts is the best way to make more money with email marketing.
Using these strategies, you can expect to get the best conversion possible:
1. Know Your Audience
This one is straightforward, but you’d be surprised to know just how many entrepreneurs and small business owners lack the knowledge of who they’re trying to sell to.
“Remember: Learn your audience, understand your audience, become your audience.”
When you learn about your audience, you can understand their behavior, their spending habits, and what makes them tick.
It’s the first step to creating an offer that makes you money.
But in the case you’re trying to build your email database, knowing your audience is the first step in creating an offer that people will trade their email for.
2. Keep Up With Trends
Knowing your audience is important, but keeping up with trends is equally so.
If you can anticipate what your audience is going to need before they KNOW they need it, then you can get a head start on creating the content or packaging pre-existing content into your offer.
Successful offers always provide your audience with more. Whether that’s more products or services, more is always better.
“Remember: While more is better, the more perceived value you can provide with your core products or services, the more attractive your whole offer will look.”
Doing the due-diligence to know what your audience will need before they need it will cement you as an authority and a trust figure on the topic.
On top of that, it gives you more to add to your core offer.
3. Pack On The Bonuses
I’m a firm believer in a strong “core” offer. Bonuses should be, well, bonuses. If your core offer is lacking in value then the offer is fundamentally flawed.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll get people paying with a flawed offer, should you have a nice bonus stack. But I think that we can agree that a bonus stack can only get you so far.
Your traffic is looking for a specific outcome, and that’s what your core offer needs to provide for them.
A lot of novice digital marketers provide huge amounts of digital products inside their offers, but they’re really just junk PLR, or, “Private Label Rights” content.
It’s cookie cutter trash. Maybe the regular person can’t tell the difference, but we’re all about creating high quality offers, and that means high quality content.
Not only is the product design typically disgusting, but the content itself is slapped together like lipstick on a pig.
“Remember: Endorse the quality over quantity mindset when creating your offers.”
I’m all for a solid bonus stack, but not a bonus stacked with PLR.
If you don’t have enough bonuses to stack without using PLR, you can try partnering with other people who have already created the content you’re trying to add to your offer and work out some kind of deal to work together.
Why Email Marketing Is Important
As I mentioned above — half of the world’s population uses email. That means your audience is without a doubt using email.
Whether you are looking to become an email marketing expert, or make money with email marketing, it should be one of the core channels in your marketing efforts.
Doing email marketing the right way will provide you to build trust with your traffic. Along with that you’ll be able to literally take any relevant product or service, push the offer to your audience, and make money doing it.
If you have the desire to do email marketing consultations, then becoming an email marketing expert will help you get more clients and drive better results.
Building Trust With Your Audience
I touched on trust a bit higher in the article, but now we’ll dive deeper so that you can get an understanding on just how important trust is when it comes to making money with email marketing.
SurveyMonkey states: 68% of adults in the U.S. say that trust in a brand has “a great deal” or “a lot” of influence in their decision when making a big purchase.
Furthermore, they also state that 26% of adults in the US alone have no trust at all for a brand with no website.
And to put the final nail in the coffin:
65% of individuals in America have a direct effect on getting their family and friends to spend money.
What does that mean for you?
Not only having a strong web presence, but also a branding image of trust and service matters a hell of a lot.
And since we just talked about how crappy PLR products are, 81% of people in the US lost trust in a company due to a poor experience with their product.
The best way to build trust with your email list, and anybody for that matter, is to provide real value.
Value can come in many forms. In my opinion, value is anything you do that helps your audience solve a problem that they face.
Whether that’s giving them content that helps them solve that problem, selling them a product or service that helps them solve that problem, or simply solving that problem on their behalf — providing value is the number one way to build trust with your audience.
Show That You Care
Aside from value, when your audience knows that you’re there for them in any situation, they immediately feel it.
That in turn quickly builds trust with them. On the contrary, when you aren’t there for them, it can quickly turn a trusting relationship into the opposite.
Having empathy for your audience, responding to their questions and inquiries quickly, and resolving their problems in a way that satisfies them is critical to showing that you care.
If you want to build an army of life-long subscribers then the best way to do it is to provide them value and show that you care about them.
Making More Money Without Spending A Dime On Ads
Email marketing is important because it enables your business to make money without spending a dime on paid traffic.
As we should all know, traffic is the key to being successful online.
Without traffic, nothing else matters.
Over the course of time I’ve been building websites and trying to grow businesses online, I never had the missing link that kept me from success.
My OCD was focused solely on creating an amazing website (which I did, everytime), but ultimately no business can survive without traffic.
So, anyways, back to what I was saying:
When you have an email list, you can turn on traffic when you click the “send” button.
And the best part is that when you use your email database to drive traffic, it’s free (aside from the price you pay your email service provider).
Compare that with spending huge amounts of money on paid ads with Facebook or Google.
I’m not saying that using Facebook or Google ads are not a good method of making money online.
But what I’m saying is that if you can build an email list of people who trust you and what you sell, then you’ll never find yourself with a money problem again.
Converting Prospects That Otherwise Wouldn’t Have Bought
What happens when you’re driving traffic, but nothing is converting?
Enter email marketing.
“Remember: While email marketing is a great way to convert people after their first point of contact, that doesn’t change the fact that website conversion optimization is still a key aspect of achieving the highest conversion rate.”
Did you know that, on average, your prospect needs to see or hear about your products or service seven times before they take buy (or opt-in).
When you become an email marketing expert, you understand that having a strong abandoned cart or “non-converter” sequence will directly affect your website conversion rate and your overall bottom line.
Abandoned cart sequences are a great way to maximize your marketing ROI because these sequences (automations) have an average open rate of 41%, or roughly 3 times the standard average for email marketing.
Pair that with an average CTR (click-through rate) of 9.5% and you can see why these are so important.
Creating a strong abandoned cart sequence is the push your audience needs to take advantage of your offer.
Whether that offer is asking them to pull out their credit card to give you money or simply fill out a lead gen form, running the right email automation sequences will, without a doubt, make you more money with email marketing.
The Best Way to Make Money With Email Marketing
I think we can all agree that there’s a bunch of ways that you can be successful by emailing your list.
But, as stated before, the name of the game is making money with email marketing. That’s the main mission, wouldn’t you agree?
So let’s talk about things that you can do that gives you the best chance to make money with email marketing.
Find Out What Your Audience Wants — And Sell It To Them
Piggybacking off the earlier section about knowing your audience, finding out what your audience wants is just as important.
Once you find that out, you will be able to sell it to them.
And when you can sell it to them, you’ll make money.
There’s nothing worse than sending out a core offer to your email database that’s taken you months to create, just to have no sales.
It’s happened before and I know it will happen again.
So, how can you combat that?
Survey Your Email List
“Remember: Surveying is a great way to ask your audience what they want, directly.”
When you survey your audience, whatever way you do it, you can expect gold in return.
There’s nothing better than thoughtfully responded answers from your target market directly.
It’s like having all the answers on your college math final.
Talk about easy!
Just keep in mind that it’s not enough to survey them. What you do with their replies is equally, if not more important.
It’s easy to survey a market, but will you take the necessary action to create your core offer around what they’re asking for?
Borrow Other People’s Email Lists
What if you have no list and no money to market your website?
One thing that I learned the hard way was that it takes money to make it online.
It never occurred to me that I couldn’t create a website and be successful straight away.
Traffic costs money. The internet is such a competitive space, it’s really tough to break through all the noise.
And trust me, there’s tons of noise.
Partnering with other people that already have an established list (with trust that’s been built and authority that’s established)
When I discovered that I didn’t have to have my own email list to start marketing my products or services, everything changed.
How to JV With Other People
JV, otherwise known as, “joint venture” is basically a partnership. Hence, joint venue.
And it’s a great way to combine forces to make money with email marketing.
Maybe you know somebody that’s in your same market that has an email list, but he/she doesn’t have a solid product to offer.
If you have that solid product or service, but no launchpad to get off the ground, then there’s a great potential to make something happen.
“Remember: JV’s or any partnerships need to be a win-win-WIN, the third win being for the customer.”
Give Away Free Content That Has Massive Perceived Value
Since the goal, aside from making money, is to build as big of a targeted email database as possible, we have to talk about giving away content that has massive perceived value.
Because people are always willing to trade their email address in exchange for *valuable* content, it’s up to us to use the strategies laid forth above (know your audience, keep up with trends, sell them what they want) to create “lead magnets” that have massive perceived value.
The key word here is “perceived”, because it doesn’t have to cost you anything to provide something that has massive value to somebody.
Take this article for example:
The content that I have written inside this article will teach anybody how to become an email marketing expert.
That is valuable. If you read this article you will be able to understand things that took me years of trial and effort along with spending a lot of money.
That’s given away, for free.
Technically, it did cost me the time, effort, and money of learning over the years, but it didn’t cost me anything except a few hours to write this.
Finding free ways that you can do to provide value to somebody is a great way to build your email list.
What is a Hard Bounce in Email Marketing?
A hard bounce is a reason an email cannot be delivered, permanently. Examples and common reasons that an email will hard bounce are:
1. User’s email no longer exists
2. The user’s email server blocked the delivery
As you already know, bounce rates need to be as low as possible in order to keep a clean and healthy list that’s maintained correctly.
Neglecting the proper list maintenance techniques will land you in spam jail and play host to a number of deliverability issues.
How To Stop Hard Bounces
Stopping a hard bounce is as simple as cleaning your email list on the regular. Don’t be shy about keeping things up to date.
Is A “Soft Bounce” The Same As A “Hard Bounce”?
No, soft bounces are not the same as a hard bounce. Like I said above, a hard bounce indicates a permanent reason why the email cannot be delivered to a specific recipient.
Whereas, a soft bounce is telling you that there’s a temporary issue when it comes to delivering the email to this specific recipient.
Think things like:
|Soft Bounce||Hard Bounce|
|Email inbox full||User's email no longer exists|
|Email inbox configured incorrectly||The user's email server blocked delivery|
|Inactive email inbox||Any other permanent issue with user|
|Email server offline||--|
|Email server reached message limit||--|
With that said, a consistent soft bounce will trigger your email provider to end up considering it a hard bounce, although it takes upwards of 14 or so emails before the system will convert it to a hard bounce.
At the end of the day, if you want to become an email marketing expert or if you want to make money with email marketing, then building your list is step one.
After you start building your list, you should learn about your audience so that you can know what type of stuff they’re looking for.
Maybe they want products and services, or maybe they’re looking for valuable content that can educate them on the said topic.
In any case, the only way that you can learn how to do email marketing and drive revenue for your business is by sending emails to that list.
Without using your email database as a test bed of trying things you think would have a good response with your audience, you’re not moving the needle forward.
Keeping in mind that you need to build trust, care about your subscribers, and sell them what they want — anybody can succeed and make money with email marketing.