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12 Steps Toward Building an Email List That Yields ROI

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When building an email list, your goal should go beyond simply getting subscribers. To start seeing ROI from these subscribers, you want to build a list of people who are likely to become paying customers. This should be the end goal and focus at hand, as all too often, marketers and brands are blinded by big subscriber numbers and not the actual ROI and results that come from them.

A few ideas on how to improve your email results include deleting old email addresses to increase your open rate, asking your subscribers to opt in twice with an activation link to ensure that they’re interested, and including shareable content that will amplify your reach. The key is making every email and every subscriber count.

These 12 entrepreneurs from YEC offer their best advice for building an email list that will actually yield a solid return on investment.

1. Create a Highly Targeted Opt-In Offer

Building an email list starts with people filling out an opt-in form on your landing page. Your goal isn’t to simply get lots of subscribers but to get people who are likely to become customers. To do this, make your initial offer highly relevant and something that makes them want more. If it’s a report or e-book, it should provide value but also pre-sell the product you’re marketing. – Shawn Porat, Scorely

 

2. Make Every Email Count

When your email list is small, it’s easy to neglect your subscribers’ individual needs. Treat each customer interaction as if it’s your only chance to impress them because it could very much be your last if your marketing emails underwhelm your audience. Therefore, you’ll want to carefully segment your list and challenge yourself to create unique and valuable email content worth consuming. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

 

3. Delete Old Email Addresses

I used to think more email addresses were essential to create a great email list. Recently, we trimmed down our email lists tremendously by deleting the email addresses of those who don’t open up our emails for a predetermined amount of times. Our open rate has soared as a result and our spam rate has plummeted; we have a much better score with ESPs too! Main takeaway: More isn’t always better. – Elliot Bohm, Cardcash.com

 

4. Ensure Your Subscribers Are “Double Opt-Ins”

Whenever you start building an email list, make sure you list only “double opt-ins.” This means that after they put in their initial details (e.g. email address and name), they need to click an activation link sent to them by your autoresponder. This extra security step will avoid building up erroneous email addresses and is one way to really increase your list quality. – Alex Miller, Upgraded Points

 

5. Make Your Offer Clear

Avoid generic e-books and white papers. In order to build a list, you need subscribers that will potentially convert into sales. A list of 2,000 subscribers that all have buyer-intent is much more valuable than a list of 100,000 subscribers that are likely never going to buy from you. Calls-to-action and your “bribe” must be crystal clear and include something of value that will attract prospects. – Jonathan Long, Sexy Smile Kit

 

6. Create Shareable Bite-Sized Content

Create shareable bite-sized chunks of content that are relevant to your audience. With only eight seconds to capture a reader’s attention, choose topics that are informative and directly useful. Engaging information and easy to find sharing buttons will prompt your audience to share among their circles, which quickly amplifies your initial effort, building a better list and generating ROI faster. – Peggy Shell, Creative Alignments

 

7. Focus on a Specific Industry

We build our email list based upon the industry because that is more appealing to the reader. We first send out emails to a small group of around 100 subscribers and then measure the response. If we get a good response, we send emails out to the rest of the subscribers. If we don’t get, we adjust our content until we get one. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

 

8. Set Metrics to Measure

You won’t know your ROI if you don’t set some metrics about how many leads and sales you want to achieve from your email campaigns against the budget you have set and the resources you want to put toward it. Have a list of criteria to measure and the tools to measure so that you can shape how you approach finding people to put on your email list. – Zach Binder, Ranklab

 

9. Segment Your Lists

List segmentation. You want to know exactly where each of the emails in your mailing lists came from. You then want to create different email campaigns based on where each email came from and the type of customer that it belongs to. Sending generalized campaigns to your entire list is generally not the recommended way of doing email marketing anymore. You need to get specific. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

 

10. Get the Right Audience

The most important thing when building a list that converts is getting the right audience and targeting them. Know exactly who your ideal customer is and who is most likely to buy, then focus all your energy on building a list of those exact people. Often I see people build a list of “all entrepreneurs” when their target should be 2% of that – causing spam complaints and low ROE (return on email). – Jeremy Brandt, WeBuyHouses.com

 

11. Link “Giveaway” Ads to an Email Sign-Up

If a business pays for an ad, use that as an advantage to build an email list of the people who are interested in the company/products. Make sure that the landing page of the ad includes an email sign-up that is required before leaving the page. Use that email list to choose a “giveaway” winner and connect with customers moving forward. – Daisy Jing, Banish

 

12. Isolate Your Target Audience

Target audience matters. We had a giveaway with a company outside our field, which gave us many email addresses but few returning consumers. Buying random lists gets a lot of emails, but they might not be real or bring you people looking for your product. We focus on people who want our product and want to sign up with us. – Ashley Ferraro, Dona Jo, Inc.

 

I hope you enjoyed this recent expert round up. If you did, also be sure to check out one of our larger round ups on “how to start a successful blog” with tips for 82 different industry experts. If you’d like to create a similar post like this one, also be sure to check out my full expert round up guide, that is simple enough for anyone to follow and also shows live examples of how other sites are creating these same types of posts to explode their online reach and brand power.

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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What Is a Blogging Tribe?

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Much talk has been bandied about blogging tribes over the years. People like myself say you need a tribe to succeed. This is true. But you may be confused. What is a blogging tribe?

 Today we will break down the definition to help you understand what goes into building a large, loyal, loving blogging tribe.

 So….. What is a blogging tribe? Basically, a blogging tribe is a group of loyal, loving readers who follow your blog posts, read your blog posts, promote your blog posts, and grow your business. Tribemates are friends and fans who read your blog and spread your word. Tribemates also hire you and buy your stuff. Simple definition, right guys?

 Tribes can be fans. Tribes can be friends. Doesn’t matter. The main point to keep in mind is that growing a tribe requires persistent, generous effort every single day on your part. Tribes do not grow organically unless you help people for free. Please impress that idea on your mind. You grow your tribe. Then as you grow your tribe, your tribe grows itself, as you tend to your tribe.

Help People for Free

 I comment genuinely on blogs to add value to posts and to make friends. Friends I find through this strategy join my tribe. I publish a genuine, generous comment on a blog. My fellow bloggers appreciate the comment and comment on my blog. Said blogger tends to share my post on social media. Sometimes, the blogger mentions me on their blog. In other cases, a blogger asked me to guest post on their blog. My tribe just grew by one member. But I also became a member of their tribe by supporting their blog.

 If you want to build a tribe, become a member of other blogger’s tribes. Promote other bloggers. Comment on other blogs. Give whatever you want. Doesn’t that formula just makes sense?

 Help people for free. Make friends. Attract your blogging tribe by embodying the concept of being generous.

Be Persistent

 Be persistent. Being generous for one day or even one week will not cut it. You need to be generous every day for months to slowly, steadily and organically grow your blogging tribe. Grow on people by being helpful. Publish valuable content to give tribemates a reason to follow you. 

Stay on Topic

Stay on topic. People love specialists. Generalists? Not so much. Every time you change topics you confuse tribe members who expect you to cover a single topic. Avoid doing this. Cover one topic every post to slowly and steadily grow your blogging tribe.

Invest in a Resource

 Buy my tribe building ebook to have a resource handy. Invest money in a system that helps you grow your traffic and profits freely thru tribe-building.  I wrote the ebook to cut through any confusion often seen on Triberr. Bloggers join and wonder how in the heck the site works? I lay out 13 practical, simple tips to follow to drive by traffic through the network and to grow your blogging tribe through Triberr.

Tribe-Building Takes Time

 Building a tribe takes time, patience, persistence and generous effort. Do not rush things. Do not force things. Allow your tribe to go organically over time.  People will follow your blog if you stay on topic, solve their problems and spend a good deal of time off site building friendships. Large, loyal, loving tribes do not grow overnight. See the journey through to build your own loyal, loving tribe and to accelerate your blogging success.

Engage Tribe Mates

Engage tribemates regularly to strengthen bonds. This was one of my mistakes during struggling years. I ignored people who loved what I did and those people disappeared. Lesson learned. Now I answer my tribemate’s questions regularly via email and social media. I thank people who buy my eBooks and courses. I also promote these rocking bloggers if they happen to be skilled bloggers, to strengthen our bond. Keep going back to where you are loved. This is the easiest way to grow loyalty, to strengthen bonds and to grow your tribe. 

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Should You Use AdSense on Your Blog?

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I admit it. I have waffled on this topic a few times. Back in the day I used to call it Ad Cents. But going forward I do see benefits in adding Google AdSense as a low ticket income stream on your blog. Even for newbies. I know, I know. This seems surprising to you.

Think Abundantly

 Think abundance guys. Why not add a few cents here and there to boost your income stream? Please don’t use AdSense as your prime means of income as a new blogger or if you are struggling as a blogging veteran. Cents do not make up a full-time income, as your sole income stream. But if you create courses, coach, and add Google AdSense as an income stream for driving a few bucks each month in the beginning, you are well on your way to seeing steady profits are the channel.

Detachment

 The key is to think detachment. New bloggers in many developing nations see Google AdSense as the Holy Grail of monetizing. Why? Mostly, because it seems easy to make money through a channel involving no creation or human interaction on your part. Think about it. All you do is post the ad and create content. Money should flow to you easily, right? The ultimate wake up call is experiencing one, two, or three cent AdSense months. Then you realize big earnings flow through blogs with a huge amount of targeted, hyper-focused traffic. This is why you need to detach from Google AdSense as your prime income stream. Big bucks flow through the channel after years of generous, patient, persistent effort on your part.

Take the Cents with AdSense

 As a newbie, pennies will flow through your AdSense profits for your first few months. In most cases. But take the cents because cents add up to dollars. Dollars add up to hundreds of dollars. Hundreds of dollars add up to thousands of dollars. Think like an abundant blogger. Keep adding small ticket and big ticket income streams to boost your overall blogging income.

Everything Adds Up

 I wrote a post recently discussing why wealthy bloggers take the time and effort to add affiliate links even if they earn pennies on the link. Between their ever-expanding presence and abundance mindset, the pennies add up to thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars over the long haul. Think this way with AdSense. Everything adds up. Again, just don’t make Google AdSense your prime income stream because as the pennies add up you’re better off earning more money through channels like coaching, consulting, freelancing, writing and selling eBooks or creating and publishing courses.

Remember This

Ultimately, successful blogging is creating and connecting generously. Never believe that an income stream makes money. Income streams are passive, completely subject to your command, and pretty much worthless on their own. An income stream cannot do anything, including make money. You make the money with your generous effort. Practice writing, create helpful content and build meaningful connections with top blogger generously every single day over the course of years. No matter the income streams you open, your blogging profits will increase over time if you stick to the fundamentals.

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How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging

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Why Do People Still Sleep on Blog Commenting?

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Chapters 2 and 3 of my eBook:

How to Build an Online Empire through Blog Commenting

dissect both my commenting success stories and why to comment on blogs from your niche. I lead in with a clear primer prepping you for the blogging journey, commenting-wise.

Why do bloggers still ignore the immense power of commenting? A few reasons reveal themselves but at the core, bloggers fear nobody will read their blog comments. Seriously; do you genuinely believe folks read all blog comments? Of course not because folks sometimes skip over comments. But a percentage of bloggers and readers do scan comments or take apart comments word by word, getting to know fellow bloggers. At the core though, fear rings strong, guys. Bloggers fear wasting time. I get it. I too have to catch myself, to remind myself of these sweet blog commenting benefits.

Benefits of Blog Commenting

Ready guys:

  1. bond with top bloggers through an underused vehicle, often ignored, but totally free of gatekeepers, unlike trying to reach someone through email or phone
  2. anybody can comment on a blog; new blogger, struggling veteran blogger, etc
  3. anybody can impress with comments at any stage of your career; any human being can share their thoughts in genuine fashion
  4. blog comments are forever; evergreen content
  5. blog comments serve as branding and bonding vehicles
  6. blog commenting is a free method for connecting with bloggers
  7. blog commenting on blogs with raving communities ejects you into the blogger’s tribe
  8. people who buy your stuff often need to see you are legit, active and social online; enter blog commenting

Those are but a few reasons why you want to comment on top blogs from your niche. Do your best to dwell on these reasons if you want to mail it in, skipping on blog commenting because you feel like commenting on a top blog wastes your time.

Still?

I just find it weird that years into me discussing blog commenting as a viable means to bond and grow business, bloggers scoff at it. I do have an idea why, though. Bloggers focus on things over people. Bloggers want links and do not put in the time and energy to develop connections with other human beings. Put in the time, and you will be golden. But if you want to deal with things to manipulate people you will have a terrible time getting traction online because business may flow through things, but business originates in humans. Think that one through for just a moment.

Comment Genuinely

Commenting works if you comment genuinely on blogs from your niche. Nobody likes someone who wants to publish a link, and to leave. We call these guys comment drive-bys. Stick around. Write a few sentences. Be genuine. Be helpful. Be warm. The more you give to blog commenting, the more you get from blog commenting. Do you see how it works? The process is quite simple but you need to be onboard, fully, to be a generous, genuine blog commentor.

Be present. Imagine yourself speaking to another human being, in person. How should that feel? Good, methinks. Bask in that feeling as you publish a few sentences or paragraphs via a blog comment. Feel the fun in connecting with humans. Blogging is 100% in the connections. Never forget that.

Clients, customers, business and traffic find you through genuine, generous, frequent comments. I am living proof. Peep my example if you want to comment but believe commenting will be a waste of your time. Trust me; it won’t.

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