006 This 1 sales strategy generates multiple 6-figures in my online business
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Hey ladies, welcome to episode number 6! Today we’re talking all about the ONE sales strategy that generates multiple 6-figures on my online business.
So let’s be real, if you’re looking to build an online business, you’re going to need to make some sales. So today, I’m stoked to be sharing something I REALLY think you need to hear.
No you don’t need to be paying for ads or influencers or affiliates to sell your products and services. In fact, I’d suggest you DON’T go for those paid sales strategies right off the bat. Instead I suggest you use a more organic, not paid, sales strategy to start, and honestly, even in the long-term I think this strategy needs to be a serious focus for you too.
So what’s the secret to how I sell multiple 6 figures in a year? How am I doing it?
I’m doing it through EMAIL!
Now I know that this does not sound like a sexy topic, but today we’re going to be talking legit one of my favorite business topics, and that is EMAIL LISTS! We’re going to talk all about just how crazy effective email is, why I use it and prefer it as my sales strategy as well as some stats you need to hear about email as a sales strategy.
Now I want to be clear, I’m not saying that social media doesn’t have a place in the world of marketing these days, but I see sooo many people spending all their time and focus on their Instagram following and I need to be straight with you, I think that’s an exceptionally terrible idea.
Yes, social media and even paid ads are beneficial and can be very effective, social media is indeed where people are hanging out these days, BUT I would not build the backbone of your business on social.
And I think people need to put a significantly greater focus on their email list.
+ full transcript
Okay, so first things first, I want to share some of the impact of email marketing that I’ve seen in my own business.
I’ve sold both services and products through email. I’ve booked 1:1 web design projects with clients worth multiple thousands through email and I’ve also done course launches which have brought in over $100,000 per launch, all through email.
Back when I offered services, I was offering 1:1 Squarespace website designs.
People could book consultation calls or send me a message saying they want to book straight through my site, but most sales came through people subscribing to my email list, getting super familiar with me via the weekly emails I’d send and then eventually when I let my email list know that I had a new web design space open, email subscribers would be the ones booking the open spots.
Now I sell more digital products, in my case specifically I sell online courses, and while I do host webinars and boost a couple posts on Facebook during launches, I’d attribute at least 95% of our sales during our launches to email marketing.
And again, we’ve done multiple 6 figures in course sales in the past couple years. So email is working hellah-well for us.
Now, how do I know that email is driving the sales? Every time we send out an email during a course launch, we see a spike in sales in the hour after.
We also have seen a direct correlation between the number of email subscribers we have and the course enrollment numbers we get. We can predict with crazy accuracy how many sales we’ll get for a course based on how many email subscribers we have.
Now I hope that gets you a bit intrigued as to what email marketing could do for sales in your business.
Next up what I want to share with you however is the 4 vital reasons you should focus on your email list, along with some stats which will hopefully drive home the importance of email to you.
Oh and by the way, I did my research on this one and compiled sources, so I legit feel like a college student again.
I’m going to be mentioning some stats throughout this, and you can see the links to those sources in the show notes if you head to paigebrunton.com/6. Again that’s paigebrunton.com/the number six, that’s where I’ll have all the links to these sources for you.
So, reason number 1 you should focus on your email list? You can deliver a customized message, based on each of your subscribers interests.
I think the big contender with email is social media. And while I absolutely think social media has a value for some reasons, I find that people tend to focus on social too much and email too little. And here’s one of the major reasons why.
Do you now or potentially in the future have a few topics you’ll be speaking about? I knew when I started as a Squarespace designer that 10 years away, that’s probably not what I wanted to be doing. Not that there’s anything wrong with Squarespace, I just didn’t see my life working with clients one on one forever on custom sites.
So I have this slight feeling that one day I’d change directions. And I have. Now I talk about a couple different things. I talk about building fabulous Squarespace sites, I talk about how to build a Squarespace web design business, and I also talk a lot now about more general online business. I’m also superrr passionate about personal finance and financial responsibility, so that’s something you’re likely to see from me in the future too. Oh and I like to work and travel at the same time, so I chat about that now and again here too.
So clearly I have a few different topics I talk about. And some people may be interested in all of those, but others might just be interested in one specifically. So how does this relate to email?
With email, as opposed to social media, you can send tailored messages to your people, based on their interests.
Say one of y’all are interested to build an online business, but you have no interested in being a web designer and your website is built on Showit, so you’re also not so interested to hear from me about Squarespace. Cool beans bro.
With email, I can tag subscribers based on their interests. For example, if you opt-in to my Start your Squarespace website workbook, which btw if you’re interested you can grab that at https://paigebrunton.com/start, you’ll be tagged in my email system with ‘interested in Squarespace’ and then I’ll know to send you more Squarespace-related content. Or, in my welcome series, I send out links to some of my most popular blog posts, and again, if you click certain things, you’ll be tagged with the relevant interests. I also am an affiliate for and promote Ashlyn Carter’s Copywriting for Creatives course every year, because I took it myself and it was a game changer for my business, so I send out an email with info on her course and if you click one of the links with info on the course, I’ll know you’re interested in it and send more info related to it. If you don’t click the link, I know not to send you more about that topic.
So, as you can tell, this is super not possible with social media.
With an email list you can get to know each and every one of your subscribers interests individually, and send them more content related to that topic. You’ll no longer be shouting one message out into the masses, but can tailor your messages to your people.
So if you’re running a business that has multiple different services, like copywriting and photography and web design, this is important for you. Or if you have services and products at very different price points, this is important for you. Or, if you have people at very different stages in their business journey, this is also super important for you.
I love in Pat Flynn’s welcome email, he gets you to click a link to let him know at what stage you’re at in your business. Pat has an insane amount of content and different offerings, but if you’re just starting a blog and are clueless on the business side of blogging, he really needs to send you different content than someone who has built a multiple six figure business who wants to scale their company.
Because Pat’s audience is massive these days and he’s serving people at all different stages, being able to get to know where people are is super important.
And once you begin to tailor content, it will do fabulous things for your bottom line. Did you know that “marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalization.” (https://www.monetate.com/blog/the-tipping-point-for-personalized-website-experiences) That means if you’re sending personalized and customized content, you could expect to see your sales increase by 20%!
So again, reason number 1 you should focus on your email list is because you can deliver a customized message, based on each of your subscribers specific interests.
Reason number 2 to focus on your email list? Because you own it and have control over it.
Again, in comparison to social media which a lot of y’all are focusing so much on, I want to make the argument that you reallyyy can’t rely solely on it.
Here’s the thing. Remember Vine and Periscope? Yeah, they were a thing for a while. People built up huge followings on them. And then the landscape changed. Other social platforms won out and followings on platforms like Vine and Periscope are pretty much worthless these days.
Different social media platforms go through phases and trends. We can already see the trend towards people hopping ship on Facebook and moving to Instagram. Facebook still has value these days, but what about in 5 years? What about Instagram in 5 years? What if the newer, better Instagram comes out? And you spent ages building up a following on a platform that is suddenly some old fad. You can’t bring your Facebook following over to Instagram, even though they’re technically the same company. Basically, with social, your followers don’t come with you when one platform dies out and becomes irrelevant.
Let me ask you a question though, when was the last time you changed your email address? I have people on my email list with some pretty hilarious emails that they clearly created when they were 15 and never changed, because it’s annoying to change your email address.
And on the same vein of owning your email list versus owning your social media, let me ask you, what happens if a platform doesn’t go extinct, but your account gets shut down? … It’s happened to people. They did something against the terms of service of Instagram, and no more Instagram for them.
With your email list, you don’t need to worry about someone shutting it down and closing your account. You can also back up your email list and bring it to any other email platform with you.
And when you build a following on someone else’s platform, what can you do if Mark Zuckerberg decides to destroy your organic reach? Organic reach wasn’t a thing back in the day. If you liked a page on Facebook, you’d see their posts, because you showed an interest in the business.
Now, “only 6% of social media posts are even seen by your audience. (https://jennakutcherblog.com/email101/) And a message is 5x more likely to be seen in an email than via Facebook?” (http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Email-Statistics-Report-2013-2017-Executive-Summary.pdf)
So organic reach used to be 100% and now it’s down to 6%? I think that trend is only going to continue. Why? Because Mark Zuckerberg and co are in the business of making money. And they have literally no benefit from showing your business pages content to your followers, unless you pay them for it.
And then even when you do run an ad or boost a post to show your content to the people who followed your page, do you know what happens to your posts right after that? Their reach is terrible. I’ve seen it myself. Once you start paying for ads, Facebook wants you to continue doing so, so they lower the reach of your other non-boosted posts to encourage you to put money behind them too.
You have no control over any of this. No matter how many people throw a stink and complain, everyone who builds their following purely on a social platform are really just at the mercy of the decision makers in that company.
So basically what I want to say is, build a following that will last through social media trends, and changing algorithms. Build a following that you have direct contact with and can bring with you, no matter what. If I wanted to, I could print out or write down the addresses of my thousands of subscribers, and no company stands between me and my people.
Alright moving right on to reason 3. Email is more cost efficient that ads.
Clearly, only focusing on organic reach isn’t a solid long-term strategy for your business, which means at some point, you’re going to need to start paying for ads if you really want to scale up the sales in your business.
But here’s the thing, ads are a heck of a lot more expensive than email marketing. I use ConvertKit for my email marketing, and I pay about $50/month for it. I send tens of thousands of emails in a month to my list, and those emails results in thousands of clicks to my site and sales pages. I’m paying a fraction of a cent for a click to my site. I would absolutely not be getting that type of ROI from ads.
But the best part? With email marketing, it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world, my cost for my email list stays the same.
Let me ask you this, have you ever run an ad during Black Friday? Or another very busy season for ads? Just like Uber surge pricing, the prices go up for ads based on demand at that time, so ad prices rise during heavy sales seasons like Black Friday. That’s not the case for email.
Now unrelated to surge pricing for ads at popular marketing times, ad prices in general are rising too. Why? “Facebook also said in the past that it’s running out of places to put ads in News Feed” so “The cost of a thousand ad impressions was up 122 percent year over year.” (Source)
I can tell you the price of my email marketing service sure didn’t rise 122% over a year! And even if it did, again, I could take my email list with me to a more cost-effective platform!
But here’s the thing, there’s currently no other FB. If you get annoyed with FB’s pricing, your option is to run ads or don’t run ads, there’s no other platform like Facebook which you can switch to to reach people through as well. If Facebook ups the pricing, you’re pretty much just stuck at their mercy to pay it.
Alrighty, moving on to reason #4 to focus on your email list. Email is proven to drive sales like cray.
Here’s some stats you seriously need to know related to sales via email.
“When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more.” (Source)
“Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.” (Source)
“4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something compared to only 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media” (Source)
“Email marketing generates $44 for every $1 spent.” (Source)
I don’t know about you, but I will absolutely trade $1 to make $44 any day of the week! That’s a great ROI!
“The average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.” (Source)
(So basically if you have a more expensive product or service, get on the email train friend!)
Now I’ve got a few theories on why this is the case, why emails drives so many sales, here’s the thing.
With email, you can deliver a longer message and really communicate with your people. I send longgg emails, I get in depth to issues my audience struggles with, and deliver quality content. I can’t as in depth in an Instagram story as I can in email. And when I go to sell through email, I can get details into what’s in my product, what students can expect to achieve if they go through my courses, share testimonials from past students, show images of what exactly is included in the course and more. I can’t do that in Insta DM’s or a Facebook messenger bot or a feed post.
I also can customize content to each person. Meaning I’m not annoying them with irrelevant information and am giving them everything they want and nothing they don’t meaning they’ll stick around and follow longer.
I also can deliver a coherent message over time. Again, when it comes to sales email, I have a series of 11-15 emails I send. I write these emails all at once, and there’s a real story and arch and journey I’m taking people through in the emails. One leads into the next and conquers fears and hesitations as they come up for people through a course sales cycle. With social, because of the algorithm, every posts is veryyy unlikely to be seen by every person, and they’re getting spotty information here and there.
So friends, email works. I think social media is a good compliment to email. Social is a good way for people to find you, but the sales happen through email.
Let me give you one last example of this to drive my point home. When I created my first course, I went through a program with a few other very accomplished business owners to build and launch courses. At the beginning, I felt like the small fish in the group. The other group members had over 20,000 Instagram followers, another had thousands following her on YouTube. I had an email list of 2,000 people and a pretty abysmal social following. But when it came time to make sales, who made the most? I did by a long shot.
Now I don’t by any means say this to brag or put the other business owners down. They also had fabulous, valuable life-changing courses, great sales pages and a super targeted marketing message. But I enrolled 36 students, and the next person in the group enrolled I think it was 6 people. My enrollment did 10 times that of some of the other business owners, and the only thing that differentiated me from them? I had focused on my email list, not social.
But I do want to say, if you have a good social following now, that’s fabulous and you’ve got a bit of a head start. But now it’s your job to get those people from social over to subscribing to your email list.
I promise you that if you focus on your email list as much as you are on how many people are following you on Instagram, your business will be a heck of a lot better off.
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