The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

EXECUTION Building and monetizing an email list

Fotis

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 26, 2014
134
265
174
31
Howdy fellas,

Right now, I have two income sources:
  1. Greek fitness page that's almost 100% email driven
  2. Freelancing as an email copywriter
Even though they both take me minimum time and pay the bills, I want to add an extra income source. I'm financially supporting my mom a bit right now, but in a few years, I'll have to fully support her.

So, I decided to build an email list and monetize it. This thread will describe how I do so. I doubt I'll have something new to say every day but hey - as a model, is very lean and takes minimal money to start.

Here are some extra details (alternating bold and normal text for eye relief) :
  • The email list will be built using solo ads. They are a great list building tool, especially in the Internet Marketing space, which I'll be going after. I bought 150 clicks and in a couple days, we'll see what happens
  • Since I don't know yet my lists needs and wants, I will be promoting 2-3 different products, as an affiliate. No need to spend a ton of time creating products beforehand
  • I will email daily (even twice a day if I feel like it)
  • My email philosophy is influenced by the Dreadfull Ben "Elbenbo" Settle and the Sainty Terry "One Of The Grandfathers of Internet Marketing Even Though He's In His 40's" Dean. My email copywriting client is also a great copywriter in the internet marketing space who loves my writing so, this gives me extra confidence
  • I have already written 4-5 emails promoting the first product
  • The opt-in page is hosted on a Wordpress website, owned by a friend. I wanted to spend as little money as possible, upfront
  • I will be using Aweber to send the emails. MailChimp would have been better, delivery wise, but they don't allow the products I'm promoting -_-
  • Even though it's a tradition in the niche, I WON'T lie in my emails. No fake claims or poop like that
  • I'm Greek. And you better be damn sure I'm going to use this in my emails. Plus, even if I make horrible syntax/grammar/spelling mistakes, they'll add personality to my writing
And that's all folks.

Stumbling block #1 will be how many people actually sign up for my list. I couldn't test my opt-in page so I'll wait and see. If it goes horribly, I'll ask the solo ad provider to show me some examples of successful opt-in pages and we'll go from there.

Finally:

I have no idea what kind of experience you (yes, you dear reader) have with everything I've mentioned so far. So, if you are unsure of something and Google fails you, let me know and I'll do my best to answer.

Cheers folks
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

rogue synthetic

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2017
351
1,059
363
Watching this one! Good luck moving forward.
 
OP
OP
Fotis

Fotis

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 26, 2014
134
265
174
31
Oh boy, one day left till my solo ad clicks. I'm excited!

Alright gang, let's get cracking.

Today I "wrote" 2 extra emails (I use "" because when I'm writing, it looks like word-vomit. It's the editing that polishes whatever I wrote) and brainstormed a few ideas for future emails.

Every time I write an email, I follow this process:

1) Come up with an idea
2) Write like a fiend
3) Come up with a subject headline
4) Edit whatever I wrote (sometimes I even read it out loud)

Let's examine item number three, coming up with an attention-grabbing subject headline that stands out like a fart in the library (but in a flower-smelling way)

There are various ways of doing so, but here's a very simple one:

1) Go to google
2) Type in the name of a famous magazine (ideally, one that's relevant to your niche)
3) Look at the headlines used on the cover
4) Tweak them in order to fit your email

Let's go wild and take Cosmopolitan for example.

Here is an example:

The one sex act Hollywood doesn't want you to see

Oh mai, oh mai. Sounds kinky. Now, let's tweak this into:

The one traffic source gurus don't want you to discover

That's intriguing, right? Much better than FINAL DAY, <your name>you won!, Huge Response! etc

By the way, the more tuned up (or is it "in"? Gosh, I suck at American syntax) you are with your lists/markets wants, the better. If my list is looking for new traffic sources, then bingo - this email will be interesting to them. But if they don't give a rat's glute about traffic? You can have the best subject headline in the world, and it will be ignored.

Alright, lunging forward:

Guilt free one-night stands - do they exist?

Oh sheesh! Where was this article last week when I had a one night stand with this beautiful 35-year old girl? She told me she's not interested in casual sex (are they ever?) and haven't heard from her ever since.

Anyway, we can judo-flip it into:

100% hands-free online income - is it a possibility in 2018?

OK, and here's another one:

Jessica Alba shares her billion-dollar success secret

She's a billionaire? I wonder if marrying her would be considered Fastlane? Let's flip it into:

Neal Patel shares his multi-million-dollar blogging secret

Full disclosure: I don't like Patel. But he's known in the internet marketing space and adding proof in your subject line gives additional oomph.

Of course, there are more ways of writing subject headlines.

And after a while, you get into the groove and begin crafting some really amazing ones, without needing any templates. But, if you're a newbie and struggle with writing good subject headlines, this will hopefully help you.

Write to you soon guys and gals
 
OP
OP
Fotis

Fotis

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 26, 2014
134
265
174
31
I logged in my Aweber account and checked my stats.

Remember, I've ordered 150 clicks.

To my disappointment, I only saw 4 new subscribers.

"Oh well. I guess my optin page wasn't that strong"

But then, when I dove deep into the stats, I noticed this: I had 10+ subscriptions pending.

Quick explanation: When building an email list, you can ask of two types of confirmations from your subscribers. Either a single optin (where they just give their email to you and they're subscribed) or a double optin (where they give the email and have to confirm by clicking "Yes, I agree to subscribe" to an automated email you send) I wanted to go single optin, but since I'm a new Aweber user, they only allow me a double optin.

That's a bummer, right?

I mean, my confirmation email probably got lost into their inboxes. And who knows, they might confirm the subscription or they might not.

Well not so fast.

Since I already can see their email addresses...

...and a single optin was what I originally intended to do...

...I'm gonna manually add them to my list.

So, unless the numbers change, here are my first solo ads results:
  • 150 clicks bought
  • 14 people subscribed
This gives me a 9% conversion rate.

Honestly, I wanted it to be higher (who doesn't?) But it's a start. In the future, I can split test different optin pages and see which one converts better.

The plan for today is to wait 2-3 hours...manually add those "pending confirmation" subscribers...and email them for the first time at 5 pm Greek time (it's 11:05 am now)

See ya folks
 
OP
OP
Fotis

Fotis

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 26, 2014
134
265
174
31
A few quick updates:

1. Turns out the solo ad vendor didn't send all 150 clicks. He emailed me to tell me that he'll send more clicks my way in the next 48 hours, plus a few more as a sorry. I had forgotten to add site stats on the blog so I didn't notice. So I will probably get some extra subscribers.

2. The Aweber "hack" didn't work. If they don't confirm their subscription, I can't add them. But I found another solution: I took the emails and added them to a Mailchimp list which I messaged yesterday and today. I also got in touch with Aweber support, asking if they can activate my "single subscription" optin

3. Lousy open rates in yesterday's (1 person opened it) and today's emails (zero so far). I'm not sure if I'm emailing at a bad time...if my emails land on the promotional folder...if they gave secondary email addresses...or if my subject lines are just weak and get ignored. Either way, for now, the two things I can control are when to email and writing better subject headlines
 
OP
OP
Fotis

Fotis

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 26, 2014
134
265
174
31
So far I have two lists, one in Aweber consisting of 10 people (one is me) and one in Mailchimp with 22 people.

I emailed daily most of the time (I skipped two days) and I got zero or one persons opening them. This was true even in two days, when I emailed twice.

At that point, I was kinda sad but decided to test different sending times.

So today, I sent an email at 08:45 am (Greek time) and to my surprise 14 people in my Mailchimp list opened it!

Was it the time? The subject headline ("Read this or die empty", inspired by Jim Rutz)? Something else?

I don't know.

But I will send tomorrow's email at that time as well and see how it goes. For the time being, I'm happy to know that my emails are actually being seen. Second step to see some consistent open rates...then click rates...and eventually sales.

One final thing: it seems like a good part of my subscribers are from countries like Malaysia, Nigeria, and India. Ideally, I'd want people from the U.S., the U.K., Canada etc since those countries have a lot of dough. Unfortunately, it's a solo ads provider thing so, unless I choose another one, there's not much I can do.

***

Another update: I realized that as a project, building and monetizing this list is very simple. I have to invest $$$ in solo ads and send one measly email per day. That's kinda boring though since I have a lot of free time.

So, I decided to start a second list-building project!

Some guys I follow on Twitter have build huge lists (10,000+ subscribers) thanks to tweeting a lot everyday. I want to reverse engineer what they did and build a list this way.

Here are some details:

* Instead of generic internet marketing, with the new list I will try and build a brand around myself. So I will talk about topics that interest me and, I think, many others. More specifically, I will focus on the holy trinity of niches (dating, building a hot body, and making money)

* I will build a simple opt-in page and connect it with my Twitter signature

* Tweeting all day long is probably not that smart at the beginning, since I only have 5 followers (and 3 of them look like bots) An alternative I came up with is to write huge threads, talking about tips I gained from various guys and gals. Then, I will tag them in the tweet and, who knows, they might retweet it and help me gain some traction and followers
 

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
8,716
36,798
4,306
Ireland

MTF

Never give up
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 1, 2011
2,762
13,409
2,804
One final thing: it seems like a good part of my subscribers are from countries like Malaysia, Nigeria, and India. Ideally, I'd want people from the U.S., the U.K., Canada etc since those countries have a lot of dough. Unfortunately, it's a solo ads provider thing so, unless I choose another one, there's not much I can do.
Then change your provider because your list quality is going to be very low. Subscribers from countries like India or Nigeria usually can't afford to buy anything online, and even if they can, there are often technical difficulties that prevent them from doing so.
 
OP
OP
Fotis

Fotis

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 26, 2014
134
265
174
31
To be honest, my first thought was to get defensive "Ugh, I don't need more material" but I realized how stupid that thought was. Will listen to it today and post on your thread. thank you for this

Then change your provider because your list quality is going to be very low. Subscribers from countries like India or Nigeria usually can't afford to buy anything online, and even if they can, there are often technical difficulties that prevent them from doing so.
I agree 43298432%

To be fair, I'm not sure how accurate Aweber and Mailchimp are when showing the countries. For example, I have my Greek list on Mailchimp and by Golly, 40% of them live in the U.K 30% in Cyprus etc which is false. I know my list and like 95% live in Greece.

My plan for this month is to invest in the best solo ads provider (I have an idea of who he is) and watch what happens. The problem is that he's picky with who he works with so there's a good chance I won't be chosen. Oh well, will have to work with whatever I got.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Sponsored Offers

Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
-- HALLOWEEN SPECIAL STARTS TODAY! Get any of my courses at Udemy's current best price through Friday! Use code: HALLOWEEN Use any of the links...
Top Bottom