Do You Want to Have a Vibrant and Growing Email List?
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Hey friend! I am so excited to be spending time with you today!
I want to know if you've ever run into this situation: You've spent a lot of time and effort on building your email list because everyone tells you that's what you need to do to build a successful online business (and they're not wrong!).
But then you went to sell something to your email list and … [crickets]. I have to admit, it's one of the biggest bummers, right? Especially when you've really gone all out and you've planned a big promotion and people aren't responding.
One thing I've noticed recently is that my online shop owner students are getting sales much more easily from their email lists than my blogger and digital product creator students.
Here's my hunch: It's because online shop owners are very clearly selling something. You can see from their Instagram account and from their shop that they have products for sale. So people expect to get emails about products and promotions if they join that person's email list.
Whereas if you're primarily a blogger or an influencer, people expect to just get lots of free content from you. They opted into your email list for a great freebie, but don't you dare try to sell them something, right? Sometimes people are outraged because they're not expecting you to sell to them!
Maybe you haven't primed them to expect that from you. You're a legit business, and while you enjoy helping people and providing value for free, you need to sell things in order to be successful.
So how can we make sure that all the time and effort we're spending on building our list is actually building up a list full of buyers and potential customers who are going to love what we promote to them?
I don't want you to build a list that just expects everything for free from you all the time. I want your list to say, “Yup, this person provides awesome, valuable content, but they sell things to me, and I'm cool with that because I like them. Not only do I not mind buying a product from them, I'm excited to do it when the time comes!”
The 3-Part System to Ensure That You Have Buyers on Your Email List
- You have to have an email freebie that draws your perfect customer to your list. That email freebie needs to be highly related to what you're going to sell.
- You need to have a tripwire. A tripwire is a limited time offer of one of your products for your brand new email subscribers. After they opt into your email list, they're immediately taken to a thank you page. It confirms that they're on the list and are getting their freebie, but for those who want to go to the next level, there's an awesome offering waiting. It's just kind of a surprise — a fun offer that they're not going to find anywhere else.
- You need a profitable welcome series. So you need to hook that reader in, build a relationship with them, get them excited and eager to open your emails, provide valuable content to them, and then you give them another chance to buy a fabulous product from you.
So do you want to know how to do this? Do you want to know how to get this all set up right? Do you want to have this system so that you can bring in those profitable email subscribers every single day?
Just a Girl and Her Blog's Browser to Buyer Course is on Sale!
I'm partnering with my brother and sister-in-law, Donnie and Abby Lawson of justagirlandherblog.com, for their Browser to Buyer course. They walk you through this exact three-part system, give you tangible examples from their own business, and even show you their stats and what works for them!
Donnie and Abby primarily sell organizational products. They have organizational courses, organizational printables, and they do affiliate promotions. So they sell and make a lot of their revenue outside of the business-to-business space, and they are very successful business owners.
Donnie and Abby are a huge reason why I have a thriving business online because they went before me and I saw that it was possible. They've been so important for my business growth.
So not only is the course on sale from Tuesday, July 30, through Monday, August 5 for $79 (it's normally $99!), but they're also doing it LIVE. So there will be a one-hour class each day on August 5, 6, and 7 at 1 PM EST.
On Day 1, they'll talk everything email opt-ins.
On Day 2, they'll help you set up your trip wire that converts.
On Day 3, you'll learn how to create your profitable welcome series.
The Browser to Buyer Course Holds You Accountable to Your Goals
I actually bought this course at the beginning of the year and went through it live. I thought, “OK, this is how I'm actually going to consume this content, hold myself accountable, and make sure I get all my questions answered so I have to take action on what I'm learning.”
The course was so fun, because they have a prerecorded, high quality video (no glitches!), tech tutorials along the way, and a live chat throughout the lesson! Donnie, Abby, and I will be in the live chat August 5-7 to answer all your questions. So you're learning live with a whole community of awesome business owners and getting all of your burning questions answered!
Now, if you're thinking, “OK, I need an email list of buyers, but I can't attend those live class times,” you still want to grab the course because you get the class recordings FOREVER. Plus there's A LOT of bonuses. But you also want to grab it because the sale, right?
To get your hands on this course, you need to go to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B. You want to go directly to that page because that's where the sale is happening.
Donnie and Abby are just doing this for me and the Brilliant Business Moms community, which is so sweet of them! So we've got to show up and show them how awesome we are as a community.
I want us to be the most fun live class that they've ever had. What do you say?
When You Buy the Course, You Get a Couple Bonuses From Beth Anne!
I am including a bonus training with this offer to show you how to structure Facebook Ad campaigns.
I'll also be doing a bonus live Q&A call on Zoom the week after Donnie and Abby's live class so that you can strategize with me! And you only get in on this call if you grab the course!
So head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B and we'll get you there!
Just a Girl and Her Blog is Run By a Husband-and-Wife Team
I'm so excited to have two guests on today's episode that I happen to know quite well! Donnie and Abby Lawson are the husband-and-wife team behind JustaGirlandherBlog.com, and they're also my brother and sister-in-law!
Just A Girl and Her Blog primarily focuses on organization, productivity, and home decor, but Donnie and Abby also share their blogging strategies to help newer bloggers learn how to grow.
Abby started her blog in 2013 while she was a stay-at-home mom to two young boys. It was supposed to be a side project that she worked on while the kids napped, but she caught the blogging bug pretty quickly!
2 years into blogging, Donnie joined Abby to work full time on the technical side of the blog. Donnie and Abby’s online business has supported their family full-time since 2015!
Your Email List is a Powerful Tool for Sales
I think that new online business owners often have the wrong focus when it comes to building their business and making more sales.
Many new biz owners focus on building up a huge social media following — assuming those follower counts will lead to revenue.
Other new business owners focus solely on traffic to their blog — assuming they’ll make money from ad revenue and sponsored posts on their site.
But here’s a secret experience business owners know: Your email list will likely be the BIGGEST driver of revenue in your business! Don’t overlook it.
Revenue Breakdown: How Successful Bloggers Make Money
Like I mentioned above, new business owners tend to focus on growth in all the wrong places … and I can’t blame them.
When you’re just starting out, you might not realize what areas of your business will be the biggest drivers of revenue.
Donnie and Abby break down their blogging income for you:
- 10-20% from display ads on their site
- 10% affiliate income from the blog
- 20% digital product sales on the blog
- 20% affiliate income via email marketing
- 30% digital product sales via email marketing
For the majority of their revenue, they focus on affiliate sales and product sales.
Note: These are approximations, and the breakdown can vary a bit from month to month, depending on what Donnie and Abby are promoting.
Your Email List Can Build Your Business in Many Ways!
Abby says their email list is HUGE in driving revenue, since it's their main point of contact with their customers!
It also drives a lot of traffic to their blog, which translates into more potential ad, affiliate, and shop revenue.
The blog has tons of valuable content, which helps Donnie and Abby build deeper relationships with their customers. (It's not JUST about sales, remember? Relationships are key!)
Then, customers can share that highly valuable content with others, spreading the traffic even more!
If blog visitors don't end up on your email list, they don't have any chance to become a loyal reader who's visiting your site on a consistent basis.
But by nourishing a relationship with their list, Donnie and Abby hope to become a one-stop shop for their readers' organization needs.
There are so many different angles for how your email list can support your business!
To recap, you can use your email list to:
- Sell your own products
- Promote affiliate offers
- Drive traffic back to your site
- Direct your audience to share-worthy content, so your brand grows even more as they share!
- Increase ad revenue on your site (since your list is growing your site traffic!)
- Increase affiliate and product sales on your site.
- Build deeper relationships with your audience
Umm … whoa! If you’re not focused on building your email list and emailing your people regularly, you’re missing out, friend!
Weekly Emails Build Stronger Relationships with Your Subscribers (and create an audience who looks forward to hearing from you!)
Every Saturday morning, Abby send out her weekly newsletter to her Just a Girl and her Blog Subscribers.
Abby’s weekly email newsletter includes:
- A new blog post (or two!) from the past week.
- Related blog content (older content that is seasonal or related to current content in some way)
- Something new or fun from a different blogger or content creator (spread the love and introduce new people!)
- Sales or promotions (if applicable for that week)
Abby uses her weekly email as a relationship-building check-in with her list, where they get to know her a little bit better. They have already expressed that they're interested in organizing, so she tries to give them tools that she has found helpful.
“Hopefully, when they see my name pop up in their inbox, they know it's going to be good and they're willing to open it and see what it's all about,” Abby says.
I think because Abby works so hard to put out awesome content that’s super helpful, her subscribers look forward to getting that email from her each week. (I know I do!)
Sales Are Possible Without Being Pushy
I’ve been a part of several Ultimate Bundle Sales with Donnie and Abby, and they tend to top that affiliate leaderboard! But, as someone who's on their email list, their emails feel much more casual and friendly compared to the other affiliates I see promoting bundle sales.
So … how are they raking in so many affiliate sales without being pushy?
Abby says this is a personality thing. She won’t ever be pushy or salesy because it’s just not her style.
Instead, she chooses to promote only those products that she thinks will be genuinely helpful to her audience.
Next, she structures her emails by starting with a story about herself, or sharing a personal experience of how the product she's promoting has helped her.
“I probably would fail a real sales class, but I just hope that through that method, people can see that I'm being genuine and sharing a product that will improve their lives. And we get to keep doing what we love and blogging by making a commission off of that. So it's a win for everyone,” Abby says.
The Key to Effective Emails is Quality Over Quantity
The number of emails sent during a promotion is very important, Donnie says. The majority of the sales they make during a promotion come at the very beginning and the very end of that promotional period.
So, Donnie and Abby send one email on the first day of a promotion, their weekly Saturday morning newsletter will mention the promotion, and then they’ll send two emails on the last day (one in the morning and one in the evening).
“Doing [three emails + our weekly newsletter] generally works as well as if we send eight different emails over the course of the promotion. We always have unsubscribers with every email we send, so the more emails we send, the more unsubscribes we get,” Donnie says.
“We've found that sweet spot for us is that we don't really need to email all that much. We just want people to know about the opportunity, pique their interest, and then let them decide if it's a good fit for them.”
“I want to be respectful of their inbox. Maybe we're leaving money on the table, but it has seemed to work well for us,” Abby says.
Sidenote from Beth Anne: I DO find that when I email more frequently during a promotion — every day for a 4 day promotion + twice on the last day, and at least 5-6 times for a 5-10 day promotion, I tend to earn more sales.
But every audience is different, and I DO think that once you’ve built up your passive revenue streams behind the scenes like Donnie and Abby have (and you’re less dependent on those big promotions), and once you’re in a rhythm where your subscribers look forward to and open that weekly email from you, you won’t need to send as many emails to make a big impact.
Donnie and Abby have earned that huge response from just sending a few emails about a promotion, because they consistently show up week after week and provide incredible value to their people.
What to Do When a Promotion Doesn't Perform As Expected
Donnie and Abby make an exception to the three-email rule if a promotion doesn't seem to be taking off like they'd expected.
If their audience doesn't resonate with a product right away and sales aren’t coming in, they abandon ship and don't try to force it onto their audience. (Smart move for keeping those relationships strong!)
Sometimes a product that they're not too sure about performs better than they thought! Through this process, Donnie and Abby have learned to be flexible and pay attention to what their audience is saying.
You can't always predict what's going to work best. Just put it out there and see what happens!
How Do I Start Building My Email List?
I know I have listeners who are thinking, “OK, great. Donnie and Abby have this big email list and it's driving a ton of revenue for them every month. But how do I do that? How would I even begin to start building my email list?”
As far as getting numbers on their list, Donnie and Abby started by paying attention to their audience's needs, and then offering them a freebie that met those needs.
For example, every subscriber gets access to their FREE organizational printables library!
When it comes to creating freebies, look for:
- What's already working. Then create more content + freebies with a similar bent.
- The content people are asking for. Create that content + an awesome freebie to go with it!
- What readers seem to like. (Give the people what they want!) 🙂
- Which posts are performing well. Create a highly related freebie to go with that post.
- What you already have that can be put into a more convenient format — like bundling your printables or freebies together into a library.
- Freebies that create a shortcut for your reader and make their lives a little easier.
Donnie and Abby say that your opt-in percentage rate (the number of people visiting your blog post versus the number who opt-in to your email list) is a great indicator of whether your freebie is a great fit for that piece of content, and whether your audience is really interested in it.
Donnie says that even when everything on a blog post is optimized, and there are multiple images and mentions of the freebie on the post, as well as an exit-intent pop-up, the very BEST freebie opt-in rate that you’ll see for a blog post is 20 percent.
However, if your freebie isn’t that great, doesn’t resonate with your audience, or isn’t a great fit for that piece of content, you could see freebie opt-in rates of just 1-3 percent.
Pay attention to Donnie and Abby’s advice and create the right freebie. It makes a world of difference for turning more site visitors into subscribers.
An Effective Email Freebie Leads to Sales
It costs money to run a blog and maintain a list. Whatever is being offered as a freebie should also be closely related to a product that you offer for sale.
“Our goal is to grow our list, but we also need to be able to make revenue on that list,” Abby says. (And in her and Donnie’s case, their blog is their full-time income!)
One great example of a lucrative freebie would be Donnie and Abby's library of organizational printables. This freebie is a perfect fit for their audience, because they run a blog that focuses on organization and have several organizational products to sell.
But for another blogger, creating organizational printables just because they seem popular could be an awful waste of time. It’s all about relating that freebie to the end product you want to sell, and drawing in just the right people to your email list.
It's better to have a smaller number of opt-ins that are genuinely interested in your topic rather than a large number of subscribers who aren't invested in what you're doing.
You don’t want to pay for subscribers who simply don’t care. Draw in just the right people, be genuine and build relationships with them, keep them engaged, and of course, sell your fabulous products to them.
An Effective Welcome Email Series Leaves Subscribers Wanting More
Abby writes all the emails that go out to new email subscribers. (That was my hunch, because I know what a talented writer she is! She laughed and asked if the hearts and smiley faces gave her away!)
Within those welcome emails, Abby:
- Provides value by helping her audience with a pain point they might be facing.
- Gives away a lot of free content.
- Hints at the end of each email that something good is coming in the next email — so they’re ready and waiting for it.
- Gives surprise, extra freebies away.
- Isn't afraid to talk about the products she has for sale!
Abby says hooking your audience into the next email is key! You have to give them a reason to stay engaged.
“We give them what they asked for in that first email, but we also give a hook and say, ‘Hey, we're so glad you're here, and we have even more valuable things to give you. We're going to send you another email tomorrow that is going to have a bonus gift for you,'” Abby says.
Once they've nurtured their audience for a few days with value-packed emails, then they have the opportunity to offer the organizational products they have for sale.
Donnie says using email hooks is similar to how Netflix gets you to binge watch a show. An episode never ends on a clean, wrapped-up note. There's always a little bit of a cliffhanger, right? It leaves you wanting more!
Running a Business as a Married Couple is Challenging and Rewarding
I know you're curious: How do Donnie and Abby balance working together with having their own space and time? How do they function as a couple and as business partners?
“The beginning was the hardest,” Abby says. “The blog started out as my thing and then all of a sudden Donnie came into the picture, and I was like an only child who had never shared my toys. He started trying to work on things and I was like, ‘No, that's mine! Don't touch that!'”
It took Abby a little bit of time to let things go, but as she watched Donnie work, she realized that they had different and complementary skill sets. So she sticks to what she likes and is good at, and Donnie sticks to what he likes and is good at.
“We have no interest in doing what the other person is doing, but we're also confident in the other person's abilities in that area. We trust the other person to do their job,” Abby says.
Donnie says a lot of people think it's harder than it is. It's easier for him to maintain the relationship at home than when he was at an office all day, because he feels like they’re no longer leading these totally separate lives during the day.
“Even though we've added this whole business relationship to everything, I honestly think it makes life a little bit easier,” Donnie says.
Donnie also looks to other couples with similar business models to see how they run things together, like Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum.
“It's so hard to completely blaze your own trail. It's a lot easier to have someone in front of you that has done it,” Donnie says.
I couldn’t agree more! And I’m always watching Donnie and Abby to learn from them! I know for sure I wouldn’t have built my online business if I hadn’t watched them dive in first, and didn’t realize just how possible it is to be successful.
Connect with Donnie and Abby Online
Enroll in the Browser to Buyer Course Before the Sale Ends!
Was that not an incredible interview? Donnie and Abby are just so smart and so intentional. I love their approach to online business and I am always learning new things from them.
My mind was a little blown by Donnie's self-paced email series idea. Was anyone else's mind blown? I am so excited to structure that in my email sequences!
But if you're not there yet, then you, my brilliant friend, are the perfect person for the Browser to Buyer Course. It's a 3-part system for getting the right subscribers on your email list and how to build that list.
It'll show you some cool tech tools and how to optimize your site, how to create a great trip wire offer to get sales immediately from your new subscribers, and then how to write a high converting email sequence on the back end.
Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B to enroll in Browser to Buyer. It's $20 off until Monday, August 5, and you also have the chance to take part in the live component.
Get this done, my friend. Building up a profitable email list full of buyers is so important, right? Because all of your best-laid business plans will be in vain if you don't have a list of buyers. So let's build that list with Donnie and Abby's amazing course + some amazing bonuses from me!
If you're reading this after Monday, August 5, you can still use this link to go grab the course (it just won't be on sale and there won't be the live component). It's still going to be an amazing, valuable course, but I want to see you there live and I want to help you and answer your questions.
So let's do this! Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B and we'll build your email list of buyers.
And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!