Converting email subscribers into paying customers is an uphill battle for a lot of reasons.
First, people are drowning in a tidal wave of emails. Radicati Group’s study published in February 2017 revealed that a staggering 269 billion emails are sent each day globally. The same study estimated that there are over 3.7 billion email users around the globe.
These findings mean that the average user receives more than 72 emails a day. Also, a previous study reported that an average office employee receives 121 emails a day.
Second, a lot of times marketers send emails to lists that they scrape from the web or otherwise acquire without the consent of the users. This practice will most probably make the majority of the messages land in the spam folder.
Third, open rates are low not only because of spam filters but also for the reason that numerous email marketers compete for attention. And if you add so many other online distractions, like social media, the chance of a person actually noticing your email is pretty low.
According to recent email performance benchmarks published by Mailerlite, open rates could range anywhere from 11.23% to 33.71% depending on the industry.
So, it’s definitely hard work to get your reader’s attention, but when you do get it, you don’t want them to skim through your content without caring; you want to get them do something about it, follow your call to action (CTA) and, eventually, become customers.
How to convert email subscribers into customers
With half the population of earth reading email every day it only makes sense to consider email marketing an opportunity for making money.
Email is the one most important element of a person’s online id. Each email address is unique. You use your email for all things online and particularly to sign up for services and applications.
Email is the connective tissue between the user and any type of online business. Cracking the code of engagement and conversion via email is the way to go if you want to make money online.
Is lead conversion puzzling you? Join the free workshop that will demystify the process of attracting, engaging and profiting from new email subscribers by systematically giving them what they want!
In a previous article, we talked about how to write emails that get clicks. We gave you 6 tips for high-converting email content. We’ve also explained why good email copy is important and how to score well, even if you’re not a copywriter. We also talked about the best alternative to a copywriter, i.e. a tool to write the emails for you – that tool is Scriptly.
Now, in this guide, we’ll look at the best ways you can convert email subscribers into paying customers. Let’s get started!
Tip #1 – Focus on a single niche
You need to be very specific with your target market. You can’t kill two birds with one stone; Heck, you can’t be successful at approaching many target markets with different products at the same time, at least not if you are a small business.
The mix of niche and product you choose can either make you or break you. Health, wealth and relationships are the broader areas that you should consider. Start from any of these and narrow down to define your ideal sub-niche.
Tip #2 – Create an offer
It might sound crazy but a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t know exactly what they’re offering. What we mean by that is they haven’t defined their products and they haven’t created specific types of offers. Let’s assume you are a career coach. It’s not enough to market your career coaching services.
You need to create an irresistible offer by productizing and positioning your offer in the marketplace. Know exactly what your product is, how much it costs and how you will deliver it to the client. Use email to communicate the value of your offer and watch subscribers convert into paying clients.
Tip #3 – Offer subscribers real value
Chances are new people coming onto your list don’t know you. You need to give them time to get to know you, trust you and realize that you can provide real value.
To accomplish that, you need to consider marketing tactics that can convert free email subscribers into paying customers.
- Educate your audience and provide tips and tricks via email.
- Offer subscribers a free trial or a free product, to get to see the real work that you do. Periodically, stress the premium features or benefits they’ll get if they decide to become paying customers.
- Provide free trials, training sessions or customer onboarding sessions which will give you the opportunity to pitch your premium plans and services.
- All in all, a proven route to converting email subscribers into customers is to invite subscribers to a free discovery call, otherwise known as consultation call or strategy session.
The strategy session method
The strategy session method will have you bringing in more high-ticket clients, as well as clients who are more aligned with your style and what you have to offer.
Many entrepreneurs have found the strategy session model to be the best way to sell their high-ticket offers and, at the end of the day, convert email subscribers into customers. That is because it’s easier to sell premium services when you speak directly to a person compared to throwing a sales letter at them.
Tip #4 – Tell a good story
If you want people to listen to you and build a deep connection you need to speak to their hearts not their minds. Purchase decisions rely heavily on emotions, and you need to address that in your email marketing conversion strategy.
Purchase decisions are not only the result of thoughtful evaluation of alternatives through some type of cost-benefit analysis. Purchase decisions can appear as an impulse purchase or be instinctively made satisfy basic human needs, like the sense of security.
The tool you need to utilize as an email marketer is storytelling. People connect emotionally with stories. Stories can contribute to converting free email subscribers to paying customers.
The modern consumer wants to buy without being pushed or sold on directly.
Being able to tell a good story in your email is very important if you want to convert email subscribers into customers.
See this infographic that explains how storytelling affects our brain. At the end of the day, good stories can help you create a thriving email list.
The keyword for successful stories, ones that convert email subscribers into customers, is “persuasive.” The story should compel subscribers to want to read more, ideally through the end of your message. So what are the basic components of a compelling story? Incorporate some or all of the following elements.
- A relatable character – You should be composing your story as if writing to one recipient – to your ideal customer avatar.
- A problem – Use a story, your own if possible, to paint the picture of a problem that you (your character) went through.
- Empathy – This is the “I’ve been there too“ part of the story. The aim is to make them feel emotional and realize that their situation is one that others could be facing.
- Connect the dots – Relate the story to the problem, so your reader can understand there is a solution to their problem.
- The vision – Create a vision of how the character in your short story finally managed to overcome the predicament and how it transformed their life.
- The solution – It is the part of your email where you introduce your subscriber to your unique product. This is the solution to the character’s problem, the route to transformation.
- Re-iterate – Bring your email subscriber back from “Once upon a time…“ into reality and challenge them to change their situation.
- Call to action – Place a button or link with a strong CTA. This is the action they need to take to solve their problems. That action is to buy your product.
Tip #5 – Convert more with lower price tags
For some companies, the aim might be to first convert a big percentage of free subscribers into low-end customers and then into repeat customers. For example, there might be a front-end offer for $7 that will essentially prove that the subscriber is ready to trust your brand and use their credit card.
Even with $7 only the mission is accomplished; You now you have a confirmed buyer! You may see this type of affordable products referred to as tripwire offers. The tripwire offer is a low-cost, risk-free offer that is easy for your business lead to buy into.
However, other types of businesses might intend to build more sophisticated funnels, like the one we described above that starts with a strategy session. This sort of funnel may convert fewer subscribers into customers but still, generate a higher revenue.
So, that’s it! With the above tips, along with consistency and quality, you should be able to convert more email subscribers into customers.