You have to build an email list.

You know that. I know that. Experienced e-commerce business owners to internet marketing newbies know this. Why?

Because it’s talked about nonstop. Build a list. You need to get an email address from everyone that hits your website.

Growing an email list is great, but you need to know how to actually market to the list in order to make it truly beneficial in terms of revenue and making your business money.

It’s important that you know what to send to your list in order for them to open it and then respond in the manner you desire. Some businesses will just send out promo coupon codes to their list, and that is fine, but when you put those into a newsletter you are able to provide more value than just the code, which in the long run will help you push a larger percentage of the people reading your newsletter to actually use the code and purchase from your website.

Your list wants to hear from you. They expect it. After all, they gave you their email address!

In an effort to help you leverage your email list, and turn it into a revenue source, I have put together a list of eight components that need to all work together.

Focusing on these will help you send out a email newsletter that makes your business money.


1. A List of Subscribers that WANT to Hear from You

I would rather have an email list of 1,000 double opt-in subscribers that want to hear from me every time I send out a newsletter than 100,000 emails subscribers that were added by purchasing them. Purchased lists will never work well. Your open rates will be terrible, and your bounce rate will be through the roof.

I cringe when I hear about business owners buying lists for a couple hundred dollars and then wondering why their results are poor. I can promise you that if a list of 10,000 people in any niche was real and consisted of accurate data, the cost would be far greater than a couple hundred dollars.

Spend the time to create opt-in offers that will help you build a list of subscribers that are fully interested in what you have to offer. You want to be sending your newsletter to people that anticipate it and will be opening it and paying attention to its content. There is no point in just building an email list based on only numbers. Focus on quality subscribers and ones that are going to be interested in the offers you mail out.

To help give you the highest quality email subscribers, make sure that your offer explains what they will receive from you and how often they should expect to hear from you.



2. High Deliverability Rate

The biggest problem with scraping emails and buying lists is that you can’t guarantee that the emails are in fact working email addresses. If you load up a list of 20,000 emails you purchased and mail it out there is a good chance your ISP or email provider will ban your account due to a high bounce rate.

While double opt-in requires that the subscriber physically confirm his or her interest in joining your list, it ensures that the email being added to your list in a valid working email. This isn’t going to automatically mean that they are all going to open the emails that you send, but it does ensure that the emails are not going to bounce and arrive in the recipients’ inboxes.

So many email clients are using highly advanced AI, which can flag your domain if it’s believed to be linked to email spam. It has gotten out of hand over the past few years, so taking the extra effort to make sure you are sending to a clean email list in a wise investment.

Even if you collect all of your emails via a double opt-in process, that doesn’t mean they won’t go bad in the future. People close email accounts and delete domains. I suggest running your list through a scrubbing service, like Never Bounce. It integrates with the most popular email clients to make the process very simple.


3. A Clearly Defined Goal for Each Newsletter

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses making. They will send out a newsletter to a large list. It will have a nicely designed template and look great, but there is no point to it. Simply saying hi to your list or sending them useless fluff isn’t going to accomplish anything.

Even if you don’t have anything to directly sell them or any special offers, you need to make sure that your newsletter has a clearly identified goal, even if it’s just educating. If there is breaking news in your industry or something in the major media that your email list would like to know about, send it out.

Something along the lines of, “Hey, did you hear about this? We just wanted to share this news with you…” works well and shows them that you are there to provide information as well. Now, at the end you can include a call-to-action that allows them to share your website or social media accounts. If you provide value, they will feel inclined to do what you ask.

So, you don’t need to push sales each time you mail. You can receive referral traffic or new followers as well.


4. A Subject Line that Commands Attention in a Crowded Inbox

Ok, so congratulations, you got someone to subscribe to your newsletter. Guess what? They are now subscribed to dozens of them. Every single day, consumers are bombarded with offers, both from companies that they gave permission to market to, and those that are spamming them.

When it comes down to it, most classify all emails in their inbox the same way: as a nuisance. Even if someone gave you permission to mail them, they might be in a bad mood or simply be too busy to give your email the attention it deserves.

Some will skip over them and come back at a later time, while most will simply delete and never look back.

You have mere seconds to stop that person in his or her tracks and get them to press pause and look at your email. The subject line is all you have to accomplish this. Take a look at the promotional emails in your inbox that you actually opened.

Do any of them have something like “Your Newsletter” or “Newsletter: February” in the subject line? Of course not! If you want to get opens, you need to have clever subject lines that get attention and then entice the person to click on them.

The most effective ways to do this is by incorporating the recipient’s first name in the subject along with a question. Then, you can also use emojis to really get attention. Think outside of the box and use some wild and obscure emojis. If anything, they get the person to stop for a minute and pay attention to your email. Every little bit helps.



5. A Message that is Personal and Solves a Problem by Offering a Solution

Ok, so you have a clean email list and you successfully inbox a high percentage of your recipients, and then some of them click to open because you wrote a great subject line. Now what?

The body of your message has to first connect to the reader on a personal level and then it needs to solve a problem that the majority of your subscribers have, and you need an offer in the form of a solution that they can take advantage of that results in generating revenue for your business.

You also don’t need to get too complex when it comes to this. I will use my own newsletter of an example, showing you how short, sweet and simple can result in a lot of revenue every time you send mail.

The majority of my newsletter subscribers are business owners or SEO agencies that have the need for high quality authority links. I send out a weekly newsletter that has special offers as well as one-off link buying opportunities.

Since my subscriber list is highly targeted and my open rate is strong, every blast to my list generates my agency money. When you are able to have this kind of result, your email list building pays off, and your monthly revenue will constantly increase as your list size grows.


6. A Professional Image (Design and Content)

Just like you, your competitors are sending out newsletters, and there is a good chance that a high percent of your subscribers also receive newsletters sent by companies you go head to head with.

You need to do everything possible to stand out. Always paying attention to your image, in both designs and your content, will help give you the edge. You can even take that a step further by making sure you are consistent. If you say that you send your weekly newsletter out every Wednesday, you better honor that claim and make sure you never miss a day.

All major mail clients allow you to upload a custom template and I highly recommend you spend the money to have one designed to match your website and branding. There is nothing worse than receiving a newsletter and seeing the same stock Mailchimp template used by several businesses. This does nothing to help separate you from the other emails.

Hire a freelancer (you can have highly customizable Mailchimp templates designed for less than a couple hundred dollars) to handle the task and then make sure whomever is writing your newsletter uses correct grammar and focuses on presentation. This all comes full circle in terms of your image.


7. A Message that is Part of a Story (Personal or Brand)

The approach you take on this will vary depending on what type of business you are. A consultant, for example, is going to rely heavily on his personal story and personal wins in order to build trust and then eventually get someone reading his newsletter to hire him or her.

Someone like that doesn’t have several product lines or offerings. They are a one-man band so to speak, so they can focus their newsletter around personal story telling and a one-dimensional approach can be effective.

An e-commerce store, though, is going to have a very different approach, and this is where segmenting your email list will greatly benefit your results. If you have a list of people that have previously purchased from your store in the past, then they are not going to require trust building the same way a cold lead would need. They already trust you, as they have previously purchased and hopefully had a great experience.

Then, emailing cold leads that haven’t purchased from your website and be massaged a bit more, and even given a special offer to encourage that first conversion.


8. One Strong Call-to-Action that is Impossible to Miss

No matter what strategy you are using in terms of your newsletter content, you need to make sure you only have one call-to-action and that it is impossible to miss.

So, using the examples in the last point: A consultant would want to have a huge “REQUEST CONSULTATION” button at the end of the newsletter, with a conversion goal of booking consultations.

An e-commerce brand sending an email to a segment of their list that has purchased before will want to have an offer for a relevant product based on previous purchases. An image of the product and then a big “Buy Now” button works well. If you are sending to a cold segment of the list that has never purchased you might want to include a coupon code and also build some trust signs, like the BBB logo or SSL seals and certificates that give the person confidence in your company, helping to encourage the click-through.


Final Thoughts

Everyone talks about how important building an email list is, and while this is 100 percent true, you need to know how to market to that list in order to make the time and investment worth it.

Blindly firing off emails without any thought put behind them won’t only result in little to no revenue, but you will also cause a large percent of your engaged subscribers to remove themselves from your list.

Not only do you need to get them to open your email (by coming up with an effective subject line), but then the body of the email needs to cause them to click-through and connect with your offer.

There are so many steps that all must work together in order to turn your email list into a revenue generating asset for your business. Combine all of the above components and watch your email newsletter make money for your business every time you send it out.

Have you successfully built an additional revenue stream with your email newsletter? If so, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below. How often do you send yours out? What is your typical open rate and click-through rate? Let’s get the discussion started.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

© SerpLogic 2023. All Rights Reserved.