While I'm new to posting on this forum, I have been familiar with this forum since 2013 because this is the place where I have actually started my journey myself like many of you here. The year 2013 was the year when I decided to become an entrepreneur, and ever since then I have been learning and experimenting and multiple launching businesses. For this reason, I believe I have valuable ideas that I could share with this community.
I'm writing this post with beginner online entrepreneurs and online marketers in mind.
This post will outline a type of online marketing business model called email marketing that is done in conjunction with affiliate marketing.
So, why consider starting an online marketing that is business based on emails? It's actually due to the advantages that it has over many of the other types of business models out there.
Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against launching other types of businesses, in fact, I have plans to keep launching new ones in the near future. However, understand that the reason why I'm saying email marketing (done in conjunction with affiliate marketing) has an edge, is because I say this with beginners in mind.
Here are the main advantages I would prefer you consider first, so you could later decide for yourself whether you actually want to pursue this type of business yourself or not.
BUT FIRST QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS BUSINESS
I don't recommend chasing the "easiest" and the "simplest" ways of making money, because get-rich-quick schemes never work. I can't stress this enough how easy it is to fall for all these scams that exist out there that promise you to give the opportunity to make easy money.
But the fact of the matter is that there's no way of making money short of stealing, without creating VALUE that your target audience will be willing to pay for. For this reason, I believe entrepreneurship is the most reliable way that I know of to make money on your terms.
But how do you know what value to create? In some respects it's fairly simple, find out what people are already paying for and you have your answer. If they hadn't been paying for it, they wouldn't have found it valuable. It's worth noting that money is merely a representation of value.
Another way to identify value is by taking a look at all the free content that people are consuming and actually enjoying. If weren't valuable, nobody would be investing their time in consuming such content.
My advice for complete beginners who still haven't figured the most important key aspects of "creating value" is to model after success without copying, without copying and once again without copying! Please don't destroy your own business by and don't be a bad apple that ruins it for everyone. Thoughtful modeling after success is probably one of the best ways to set a foothold in this already seemingly difficult Internet marketing game.
By the way, a quick side note: I found that if I just pretend that whatever I'm trying to achieve is NOT difficult, I lose the fear of failure and as a result, it gets very easy to fixate your eyes on the ultimate goal, and then focus on the next step.
My other recommendation is also viewing online marketing as a business rather than just a bunch of methods or tricks that you can use to try to make money. Take it seriously. If you find yourself jumping from one "method" to make money to another you need to reevaluate your strategy.
You have to treat it as a business that you actually plan, think through and execute and optimize on and on. Whatever your starting point, realize that your initial plan will change shockingly a lot. Most of the change is going to come from continuous optimization, problem-solving, and reflection on "what the heck went wrong this time around! Arghh!! Everything I do seems to be broken!"
HOW THIS BUSINESS MAKES YOU MONEY
First of all, how much can you make? Well, I would expect you to work your backside off until you were making at a minimum a full-time income. There are Internet marketers who are doing $15k+. Are you going to be the one who works their back off to earn your target income?
So how does email marketing can help you make money?
Here's a 30,000-foot view (or 10-kilometer view for peeps from the rest of the world) of how you will make that cash.
Visualize having thousands of email addresses that you can email to pretty much anything (anything that is legal that is)
Let's pretend that those email addresses belong to your friends.
So you in order to make money, you have to find a company (Amazon, Clickbank are great to start with) that would be willing to pay you a percentage of each sale - commissions - that those companies will make because your "friends" will be buying their products as a result of you recommending those products through your emails.
So your job, in a nutshell, is to treat those people (all those email addresses) like friends and then promote QUALITY products (physical goods or digital products like software) once in a while (but don't go overboard to avoid annoying your "friends").
What I have described now is affiliate marketing, since the way you are going to be making money is by becoming an affiliate for brands and companies that you trust and then simply sending people to those businesses. That's how you will make your commissions.
WHY EMAIL MARKETING OVER OTHER TYPES OF BUSINESS MODELS / MONEY MAKING METHODS?
Why should you pursue this business model as a way to earn an income as opposed to other money making methods such as :
- Regular job
- Other types of business?
It all comes down to:
- Costs of creating an income stream
- How long it takes to create an income stream
- The effort needed to create an income stream, e.g., workload, etc.
- Longevity of the income stream
Costs of creating an income stream:
This business can be started for under $200 or even FREE over a limited period of time if you take advantage of various free trials or if you manage to get by with free tools. By then you will probably have enough emails to start generating a couple of sales and have the cash to pay for the paid tools and scale your business.
The time it takes to create an income stream:
Depending on your level of experience it will probably take you anywhere from a few weeks to many, many months.
Email marketing business is one of the quickest business models to launch because it doesn't require that you create your own products. You don't even have to write your own sales pitches in order to pitch people products. All of that is handled by the company that you will be promoting (Amazon, Clickbank, etc.)
Effort needed to create an income stream, e.g., workload, etc.:
You can leverage the hard work that has already been put in by your affiliate companies. They will take care of the selling, product creation, fulfillment, customer service, etc.
The amount of time you will have to spend getting your business up and running is minimal relative to other types traditional businesses that you could start that would require you to lease an office/building, manufacture/create a product, provide customer support, fulfillment, etc.
Longevity of the income stream:
In all likelihood, an email marketing that is built on solid foundations may turn out to be profitable for many years to come. I mean, as long as you don't do something seriously wrong, there should be no reason why it would not, in fact, last many decades!
STARTING MAKING MONEY WITH EMAIL MARKETING STEP-BY-STEP
Allow me to give you an overview of the steps involved in the entire job of launching an email marketing business:
1. Select a market (niche) to pursue
It's best to start with something you are passionate about and especially something you are somewhat knowledgeable about. This is very important if you want to cut the time it will take you to start making money. The reason for this is simple. You don't have to learn anything new so that you could write quality content on and be able to distinguish a good quality affiliate offer from a bad one.
2. Select an affiliate offering
When you're done selecting a niche to pursue, your next step is to choose an offering to promote. This is the thing that you will be selling in order to generate revenue.
When looking for great offers, keep in mind the following criteria to ensure that the affiliate offer is indeed quality:
- ethical and high-quality product - think of the buyer, how would they feel if they got ripped off?
- commission size in $ (how much are YOU actually going earning on each sale?)
- commission payout schedule
- honest and transparent business (one that you're promoting - don't associate yourself with crooks to avoid having their poo-poo reputation rub off on you)
- great customer support offered by the business that you're promoting
Find products that meet the criteria above and any other that you find important.
3. Determine how/where to get traffic
You have to understand where your target market is hanging out. How will you reach them? Where will you reach them? You have to develop a basic marketing strategy (don't bother with super sophisticated marketing plans, especially when you are starting out - they almost never work out)
4. Build a free gift (also known as a lead magnet, e.g., guide, video course, report, etc.)
You see, you have incentivized people to give you their email addresses in exchange for something of value for free. Remember that this is an email marketing business, and email addresses are the life-blood of your business. The larger your subscriber base, the more your virtual "cash register" is going to ring Ka-Ching!
The three main types of lead magnets (free gifts) that are most popular among online businesses:
a. Educational email series (it's just text)
b. Free downloadable report/guide (PDF)
c. Educational video series
Choose the type of free gift that you will want to create based on your current abilities to create content in the mediums of interest, the time you are able to commit, the degree to which it will enable the customer to solve their problem. (e.g., Some problems call for video because you need to show something visually, for others, text is more appropriate, etc.)
5. Build an email capture page
The whole purpose of such a page is to communicate the value of your free gift (lead magnet) as well as your email newsletter (what is your newsletter in it for them?) and give people the option to subscribe.
An email capture page usually has two fields for your prospective subscribers to fill in: one for their name and one for their email address.
6. Build an email funnel
An email funnel is just a series of emails sent out automatically that are designed to establish a relationship with your readers as well as help your readers appreciate the value of your products or services (or your affiliate offers).
Your email funnel will consist of two types of emails:
1. Automated emails that your subscribers will receive shortly after they subscribe. These types of emails are meant to provide value for new subscribers
2. Broadcasting - this is the act of writing an email and hitting send whenever you have something good to say, promote (affiliate offers), or show, etc.
7. Drive traffic
Having your email funnel built, your email capture page made, your freebie created, and having your affiliate offer ready to be sold is all nice and dandy, but how will you get people to your business in the first place? How are people going to come to your email capture page?
There the two types of traffic available to you.
-Building an audience on social media, e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.
My recommendation would be to experiment with free traffic sources until you know your sales skills are solid enough for you to switch over to paid traffic. Paid traffic namely is much more efficient and it holds a lot more potential for revenue.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NEXT?
It would obviously be insane to try to cram all the possible knowledge and information on this topic in this one post. Instead, the purpose of this post was to give you a general idea of how this email marketing works. It was also meant to help you consider whether this way of making money is something for you or not.
At this point, you might still be looking for a good way to make your first money as an online entrepreneur or online marketer (if you prefer to identify yourself as such).
My honest recommendation would be picking something as quickly as possible and just get started. In my experience, the more you analyze the more you get caught up in analysis paralysis and it only gets worse and worse like a downward spiral with each new "fancy" method of making money that you discover.
It doesn't really matter whether or not you have the "perfect" business model, what matters is whether you are making money or not (as well as contributing value to this world).
Thank you for reading!