Engage & Connect… Then Sell

Now that you’re bringing in new subscribers… every single day… your next challenge is to get them to Open AND Read your emails.

This is the part no one wants to talk about.

The List Building Gurus will never mention it. Likewise the traditional blast ’em til they quit Email Marketers won’t bother with it. And I seriously doubt the Swipe File Sellers have ever considered it…

Because they’re all peddling quick fixes and easy solutions, and this isn’t easy!

It takes real time and effort to craft quality content that will engage a subscriber and make a real long-term connection.

There are ways to make it easier and even to automate much of the process… but if you don’t put in the work up front, it’s just not going to happen.

And you’ll forever be chasing new subscribers, just to replace the ones you lost from the last email you sent…

So your top priority MUST be to engage with your readers right from the start. You want to make a genuine connection so they’ll appreciate your efforts and look forward to your emails.

Only then will they consistently open and read them

And only then can you make money from this kind of marketing.

Because it should be clear…

If your subscribers aren’t reading your content emails…

They are NEVER going to click your offer emails.

It’s all about engagement and authenticity.

When you have an audience who are genuinely interested in what you have to say…

People who believe you are genuine in wanting to share good information…

Those are people who’ll also take your advice and recommendations on other relevant subjects…

Because you’ve set yourself apart from all the other money-grubbing marketers who bombard them with one tacky email after another.

You can’t fake that authenticity though.

It needs to be earned.

So here’s 6 key ways you can do that from your very first email…

1. Focus On Solving Problems

You always want to provide practical value that people will appreciate immediately… so the fastest way to get there is to provide solutions to common problems you know your audience might be facing.

This value-connection is especially important early on when they don’t know you.

The fact is they probably don’t want to know you.

They just want to know what you can do for them.

The personal connection comes later…

To begin with they are very much in WIIFM mode…

You are asking for their attention and time, so they want to know that you’re going to give them something of value in return.

So right from the very first Email… the very first Subject Line… make sure they see exactly What’s In It For Me if I open and read this persons emails?

2. Keep it Real and Relaxed

Write your emails as if if you were sitting down explaining something to a friend. The content and style should a little more formal than a chat over a drink… but not so business-like or technical to make it awkward.

If in doubt, just read it out loud. If it feels uncomfortable then you probably need to dial it back a bit. Especially on the personal stories…

I always smile when a new marketer starts out by telling me some long-winded personal story.

Their kid said something profound that morning over breakfast it really made them reassess their business strategy and the whole meaning of life…

Yep, I smile all the way to the unsubscribe link at the bottom…

Maybe if there’s some sort of relationship there I’d give them the benefit of the doubt, but early on, life is short, time is precious… and this stranger needs to be giving me a reason to hang around.

Fake or forced personal stories won’t do that!

3. Share Your Relevant Experiences

That’s not to say you don’t want to get personal… you do… but you must keep it relevant.

i.e. Don’t waste your readers’ time talking about your kid…

Instead tell them how you faced this same issue and found a way to deal with it.

You can actually make it extremely personal… sharing your emotions: frustration or anger or impatience etc, will help you connect… as long as it’s relevant.

If your reader can relate to your experience they will pay very close attention. Especially if they start to think there’s even a slim chance you can help them move past whatever problem they’re facing…

Again, just keep thinking WIIFM… for them…

4. Provide Real and Relevant Resources

It makes sense that you’ll link to various online resources when you’re helping people do stuff online.

This is a great way to add value… by providing easy access to PROVEN Resources… ie. stuff you’ve tested yourself to make sure they work! That’s a big help to your reader.

Just be careful to never recommend anything you can’t totally vouch for, because one dud recommendation will kill you with any subscribers who click a link that just doesn’t deliver.

Some of these will be affiliate links and that’s fine. That’s just how it works and no one will fault you for it.

As long as it’s natural and relevant.

As soon as it starts to feel at all forced or irrelevant, your reader’s will question your motives and you’ll lose authenticity.

It’s all about Adding Value… For Your Reader!

So if it’s a resource they can use to address the problem you’ve been talking about, free or paid, it won’t matter.

But anything else and it will be painfully obvious to your readers that the entire exercise was just a ruse to get them to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

5. Write Like You’ve Got 1000 Subscribers!

You cannot wait until you have big list to start treating your subscribers right.

From your very first subscriber, you need to write like you’ve got 1000+ people eagerly waiting to see what you’ve got for them.

That means both content and frequency.

Content-wise you emails should read like you know you have a lot of people hoping you can help them! If you think of it as only a handful of people…so it kind of doesn’t really matter yet… that will come through in what you write.

Every single subscriber is important!

Similarly, your frequency shouldn’t depend on the size of your list either…

Best option there is to use an autoresponder, to make sure you have emails going out regularly, WHILE you build your list.

You can always send broadcast emails later, but to begin with, start out like you intend to continue.

How often should you mail?

Everyone offering advice on this seems to want to operate on a fixed schedule…

The Gurus will tell you to mail every day… but I usually get off those lists pretty quickly .

While the lists I’ve stayed subscribed to for years mostly only email once a week…

But I the lists I buy from email me whenever they’ve got something really good to share

The best schedule for you will depend on you, your list, your content etc, so just don’t feel you need to stick to a daily, weekly, monthly time frame.  Email as often as you’ve got great content to share!

If you’re light on for content, spread it out while you put some more together.

Just don’t email rubbish just for the sake of meeting some imaginary schedule…

Email when you’ve got something to say or share that your audience will appreciate.

Personally, I like to mix it up…

If I’m sending a series of related emails, I’ll send them daily so everything is fresh and connected for the reader.

But after that I’ll back off a bit and spread them out…

So you don’t get sick of me! 😉

Plus I think it probably helps you stand out from the crowd if you aren’t totally predictable…

6. Invite Direct Contact

The biggest red flag for me is the NoReply email address. The ‘Sender’ will show as noreply@somedomain.com …

If I see that, I’m out of there!

They obviously don’t see this developing as a two-way conversation.

They have zero interest in what I might think… or answering my questions.

So it’s pretty clear they are only in this to sell me stuff

So you should be trying hard to create a real conversation with each individual subscriber!

In reality you’ll only ever hear directly from a fraction of them, but for every person you do hear from, I promise you there are 20+ more who saw and appreciated your offer to connect.

That really is priceless…

I can tell you, after over 22 years operating all kinds of different businesses online, my income has always grown in direct proportion to the number of personal emails I’ve written.

These businesses have mostly been membership sites and it was brutally clear, the more conversations I’d have going one month, the more sign-ups I’d get the next.

And the opposite was true as well… at times when I was too busy for the emails, the related business ALWAYS dropped off soon after.

But as soon as I start reaching out and asking for the response, the conversations would start again and inevitably the cash would flow again.

I’ve had businesses in all kinds of niches as well as the general MMO field, and I’m a firm believer…

Conversations create Connections that lead to Cashflow!

And often that is just the start. You’ll find a lot of your readers will have ideas and resources they want to share with you… and you’ll probably make some amazing friends through the process as well.

So trust me on this and just do it

Ask your readers questions that you’d genuinely like answered?

Invite people to offer their own feedback or ideas?

Do whatever it takes to create a situation where your readers want to connect with you?

Because that’s when you move from building a marketing list to building a network…

And building a real business!


OK, next we’ll look at the logical conclusion to all this…  the right way to make your offers, so you can monetize your list… without undoing all your good work!

It’s actually easier than you might think…

How To Craft Your Offers So People Will Thank You!