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How to Get an Email List That Converts at 5% or Better

How to Get an Email List That Converts at 5% or Better

Hey there, my name is Clayton, and I run a lifestyle design blog where I write about marketing and making money online.

I have to admit it. I’ve been converted.

I’m not talking about a religious experience, though the realization I had just about shattered my understanding of marketing.

It all started about a year ago.

An internet marketing guru somehow stumbled across one of my websites. He thanked me for promoting his niche product on my site and wanted to have his assistant set up a call on Skype to help me make more money.

I was anxious. I never really talked to someone who was making an insane amount of money online before (or even the assistant of such a person!)...

But this opportunity was too big to ignore, so I agreed.

What happened was that I was essentially browbeat for 30 minutes about how I need to start building an email list...


Was I that much of a failure as a marketer? I mean, what I was doing paid for a cool trip I took to Thailand in 2010. I couldn’t be that bad, right?

Who needs an email list when you can just slap a banner ad on your site and call it done, right?

Well, it turns out building an email list is such a huge asset these days.

With all the Google hijinks going on these days, search rankings can just vanish overnight if you’re not careful.

But after I walked away from my Skype call with my tail between my legs, I immediately set up my newsletter series.

And you know what? It worked!

Not at first, anyway, but with some trial and error, I got a pretty good autoresponder.

I was able to get about a 5% conversion from someone who opted-in to my newsletter!

Maybe email is better than banners...

Anyway, my point here isn’t to win you over to the virtues of email marketing. After all, it’s probably not important that you can do webinars, participate in launches, and essentially leverage your list to flood any website you want with hundreds of visitors and make money with a simple email that you send out at any time you like.

Maybe that’s not important for you.

But if it is, how do you get a really responsive email list? One that pays attention when you recommend something?

The first thing you need to do is to take your ego out of the equation.

It’s normal to assume that since your website is in a certain market, your subscribers would want to buy the top product in that market right?

Not necessarily!

What I’m going to recommend you do is to stop assuming that you know them and to actually start listening to them.

You really have two choices.

First, as soon as they join your list, you could ask them to send you an email tell you their biggest problem that they’re experiencing.

You’ll get a lot of in-the-trenches interaction with your list (which is a good thing for understanding them).

But, maybe you’re hesitant about doing this because, you know, it actually involves interacting with humans.

I mean, isn’t there an easy way to do this?

Well before you become overwhelmed with nightmares of spending every free moment completely overwhelmed with emails from your subscribers and their desperate pleas for help...

There is another option.

The second option is to set up a survey.

You can do this for free in about five minutes in Google Docs.

Just create a survey for someone who is new to your email list.

Tell them that you’re trying to get to know them better so you’d appreciate if they filled out your survey.

Sounds good, but what do you put on your survey?

I like to start with 3 questions:

  1. What’s the biggest problem you have with ______ (your niche)?
  2. What’s your ideal outcome that you’d like to have?
  3. What do you feel is the biggest thing holding you back from this?

Now you can just kick back and wait for your subscribers to respond to your survey.

Maybe you need to wait a day, maybe you need to wait a few weeks, but after awhile, you’ll have at least 20 or more responses to your survey.

Now What?

Well, sit down and read over the responses.

Look for common patterns and themes.

For example, if you have a weight loss website, you might discover that most of your subscribers are women. You might also discover that they really just want to look more attractive so they can improve their dating life.

When you know this, you can stop promoting products geared toward men who just want to get ripped or get a six pack.

Instead you can focus your offers in your autoresponder to target women.

And you could even add products helping women attract men too.

A strange thing starts to happen when you recommend products that your subscribers actually want...

They start to buy things!

So, take the time to stop assuming that you know exactly what your audience wants.

Use a survey or any other means to actually start listening to them and leaning what your subscribers really want to buy.

You’ll see a huge improvement in your conversions.

When I'm not reading Affilorama, you can find me on my blog Journey of My Own. I've been an Affilorama member since 2009 and did AffiloBlueprint for one year and it completely changed my life. Stop by my blog and say "hi."

7 Comments Add your comment
  • Reply admin212615 days ago

    Thank you for the helpful tips.
    Ps. I love your blog:)

    Clayton A Terao2584 days ago

    Hi Admin21, Thanks for the comment, and thank you for checking out my blog :)

  • Reply Murphy Mose2599 days ago

    You know, I've been mulling over the idea of a survey for some time. Your post was very encouraging, to the point that I have finally put it on my 2Do list for this 1st week of June! I'm pretty glad that I read your post. Love Affilorama, too!

    P.S. talk to humans!?!?! I talk to the dog, and she talks back, but just like my list, can't understand a woof (word) that's being said!

    Oh yeah...great blog site!


    Clayton A Terao2584 days ago

    @elearning, Ha ha! I like your humor. I hope you get some good results with your survey :)

  • Reply hfergusonsr • 2571 days ago

    Thanks for writing this article, because I was just beginning to seriously "step up my game" in email marketing. Your article was not only timely, but very informative. If you have any more tips or suggestions, I will be looking for them. Thanks again for such an interesting article.

  • Reply Goatherd • 2544 days ago

    YES, That's ALL VERY WELL, BUT, HOW do you get people in their hundreds or thousands to get to/ find your web site???

    "How to Get an Email List That Converts at 5% or Better"
    Reading your headline, I thought that just maybe you could help.... sadly no!

    How about, how to build an email list.............for starters!
    All these GURUS, toss various ways of building an email list at you, but DON'T tell you the best easiest way to do it......

  • Reply John Terrey2496 days ago

    But .. How do you get your list in the first place to send them the survey?

  • Reply John Terrey2496 days ago

    Yes I agree with goatherd.

  • Reply John • 2492 days ago

    I also need to get an actual list.


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