How to Convert An Email Subscriber Into A Paying Customer Or Client?
That is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? I can’t count how often I’ve been asked that question. So many entrepreneurs, not only online, struggle with this. And you know why? Because they don’t have a system to get their potential future clients guided through their world.
Think about it like a traffic routing system. In order to avoid traffic jams, accidents, or simply people taking the wrong turn, you need a series of roads, signs, and traffic lights (I skip the bridges, ferries etc. for simplicity reasons).
But how will you know where to put what?
Exactly, you need to understand your traffic. What kind of traffic is it – cars, trucks, busses, taxis, motorcycles, cyclists, eScooter, pedestrians – and the list goes on.
Next, you need to know where your traffic is going. You need to understand who is going from where to where and why. Kids in a school bus have very different requirements and desires compared to a businessman rushing to the airport to catch the next plan, business class of course.
So Martin, where are you heading with this?
I’m glad you are asking. Congratulations. You just got hired as the head of traffic planning for your local village. Are you ready?
No worries, I’m just kidding. Well, maybe not entirely. You are in fact the head of traffic planning, but not for your local village, besides that’s where your passion lays, you are for your business.
Planning how to convert an email subscriber into a paying customer or client is following basically the same or at least very similar processes as planning the traffic network of your local village.
Let me talk you through the process here step by step.
1. Attract your ideal client that is able to pay you
You first need to decide who you want to serve and why. In online business, we refer to this process as defining your industry and market niche. You want to become known famous for one specific product or service within that niche. For example, you are big into marketing, you could decide to become THE expert for Facebook Ads or Pinterest Ads, or YouTube Advertisement. Pick the one that excites you the most.
You don’t have to limit yourself to this one thing, but for your marketing, you will only talk about this single area of exercise you got. You can expand later. We call this pivoting. But that’s for much later, so don’t worry about it now.
Just keep in mind that if you try to help everyone, you will reach no-one, because your message is not clear. You need to focus and become the known expert on that topic within your industry and market niche.
Now you know what exercise you got, you need to understand who is in need for what you have to offer. We would refer to this process as ideal client definition and keyword research. You would actually develop an ideal client avatar, so you can visualize how your ideal client looks like. Next, you will research what exact words your ideal client is using when searching for a solution to their problem.
Problems in this context can also be questions they are searching answers for. The most common are searches starting with “How to…”.
Understand these search questions and develop the respective answers to these. Voilà. Here is your messaging. You will be able to attract exactly the kind of clients you can and want to work with in the future. But first things first. You can’t make them an offer straight away – there are some exceptions to this rule, but for the sage of the example, I won’t cover them today – first, you have to get them know you better.
The best tools to have your ideal client find you are if you are active with extremely valuable and free content providing exactly the answers they are looking for. Not only that. You need to tune into the tone they would use, dress up like them, make them feel you are one of them, you understand where they are coming from, make them feel safe with you, that they can trust your advise as you are the expert and part of the tribe.
Extremely effective ways to attract your ideal clients are social media, YouTube or Podcast, and your Website / Blog if SEO optimized, so your page will be found when searching with Google & Co.
2. Make them subscribe to your email list
Now you attracted your ideal client, they started consuming your free content and get to know you better. Now is the time to ‘hook’ them up. Get them onto your email list, so you can control what they see from you and when. What many forget, email marketing, despite you don’t own the platform, but you own your email list – you can download it at any point and use whatever other systems for sending emails NOW.
This is not to be underestimated. You MUST build up your list outside any closed channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Co. Social media as is YouTube and Google are brilliant when it comes to getting found, but there are extremely risky when you might plan to utilize these as only marketing channels. Don’t. They can decide any time to change something or even kick you out. Then you are left with nothing. Not good.
Your ultimate goal needs to be getting everyone you attract onto your email list, eventually. In order to achieve this, you will need the right, highly valuable content, for free.
We would refer to this as Opt-In or Freebie. Basically a piece of content – a PDF guide, an audio file, video tutorial etc. – that is exactly what your ideal clients need, offering answers to their questions. Quite effective are Checklists or How-To Guides or Tutorials.
The key here is, besides making it relevant to your ideal client, of course, to have the right system on how to add them onto your email list. The name Opt-In is actually a hint. We want them to opt into our process.
To achieve this opt-in, you would typically use a combination of a landing page on your website or dedicated landing page software (such as Leadpages), and your email marketing platform (such as ActiveCampaign).
Basically, an Opt-In is the evolution of a Newsletter – I have a specific blog post on exactly this topic here. Nowadays people are quite protective of their email addresses. They would only sign-up (or opt-in in email marketing terms), if they get value in return. A monthly or weekly, even daily newsletter, is not necessarily seen as added value anymore.
Instead, the model has shifted to offering the content of value, aligned to the individual’s needs. Now where they see the value – like the answer to their most pressing question – they much more willing to share their email address with you.
The moment you get your ideal client onto your email list, it’s down to you to keep them on. The most effective way to achieve this is to keep sharing extremely valuable and aligned content to their needs and wants.
3. Get your new subscribers onto a journey to keep them
Congratulations, you got a new subscriber onto your email list. That’s been the hardest part, well, kind of. While it is the hardest part attracting your ideal clients to your list, it’s super easy to lose them again, if they don’t see continuous value staying on. But you have one huge advantage: You know who they are as you have their email address.
Now it’s down to you. If you have done your homework, you will have attracted the exact right future client of yours. The one who wants exactly what you have to offer, and equally important, will also be able and willing to pay for it. What does it help if you attract ideal clients that want what you have but can’t or don’t want to pay for it.
If you have done your research right, you know exactly what your new subscriber needs next. Just give it to them. That’s how simple it is. This is called ‘New Client Journey” or “ Onboarding Nurture Sequence”.
It’s pretty much a series of emails this new subscriber will receive in the right cadence to get from “I don’t know anything about how to solve my problem!” to “I’m so glad I found THE expert and I want to work with her/him, where can I buy?”
A great onboarding nurture sequence would typically start with you sharing who you are and why you do what you do. In the second phase, you move into the topic, providing extremely valuable content, totally aligned to what your ideal client’s problem is. In the third and last phase, you start preparing them for the next step: Getting ready to buy.
Typically, I would build with my clients first the client journey – what are the kind of products or services we will offer when, paid and free ones – before developing the onboarding nurture sequence content, aligned to the client journey.
After the new subscriber completed the onboarding nurture sequence, we would typically offer them free online training. This could be a webinar, masterclass, challenge etc. That’s exactly what we gonna cover in step 4.
4. Get your subscribers to see you in action
It is one thing to consume emails or social media posts, even short videos or recorded video tutorials. It is a completely different one to experience you, THE expert, live.
This is why live events are so effective when it comes to strengthening the relationship with your ideal clients. It builds trust and makes them feel they know you already. That’s good.
The best way of achieving this is by going live. This could be an online training, webinar, masterclass, or challenge (or whatever name you want to give it). Whatever you do, plan to go live sharing valuable content aligned to your ideal client needs. The key is that they get value from the session and at the same time get one step closer to you and your world.
In my experience, it works best if you offer a series of live online trainings, instead of just one. Most effective for my clients and myself have either been:
- 4 to 6 Weeks of Weekly Online Trainings (2 times 60 minutes)
- 3-Part Online Training Series (2 times 60 minutes plus 1 time 2-3 hours)
- 5-Day Challenge Live (Daily 30-60 minutes for 5 days)
Whatever option you choose, just be aware of the fact that more touchpoint will accelerate the trust-building and get to know you period.
A great way to accelerate this process is by adding to your live online training a community only for participants – that makes it feel exclusive and relevant to the audience. This could be a Facebook Group or a dedicated solution such as Mighty Networks or your website membership area.
As with everything, I always recommend selecting the platform you use based on what your ideal client’s preference is. If you are not a big Facebook fan and because of your own preference, decide to go with a different solution, but the majority of your ideal clients love Facebook and are on there all the time, you’re making a big mistake.
The golden rule is: Be where your ideal clients are!
Never forget, despite it’s your business and you decide, it is a business, and all the top businesses know what their ideal clients want, where to find them, and give them exactly that. They make it
easy for them to make that decision to join your online training, read the post, or purchase what you have to offer. Keep that in mind.
5. Now make your first paid offer – you waited long enough
After all, you are now allowed to sell. If you followed my advice from step 1 to 4, you have now segmented your subscribers. You most likely now got three different groups of people:
- Your ideal clients, super engaged, love what you do, simply waiting for you to make them an offer, so they can finally pay you for all the value you provided already. They feel they owe you. This is your most desirable group of subscribers. They are like you. It’s pure joy engaging with them. This is why we do what we do. Put all your focus on this group to make them stay and attract more of this type of subscribers. They are your true asset. Treat them like that.
- The ‘I don’t want to miss out’ type. These are the ones who subscribe to you in the first place as they got attracted by you (not what you think, well, maybe it is, anyway) and your content, but then lost their path. They either got busy with other stuff, plan to check out your content later, or simply are copycats who want to, let’s say, ‘leverage’ your excellent content as inspiration for their work. Don’t waste your time and money on these. Have a process to remove them from your list if they didn’t open any of your emails in the last 90-days (I can show you how).
- The Freebie Hunters, are the least desirable group of subscribers, who typically unsubscribe right after they downloaded your free content. Despite they could need your help, but they somehow decided to keep looking around as the other side might be greener. Eventually, they will realize that this strategy is gonna result in nothing. They will drain in free content and will never do anything with it. God, enlighten them, so we can finally help them achieve their goals and live the life of their dreams.
Now you are allowed to extend an offer. Despite you are sending it to your entire list, the ones it’s tailored towards is group number one: Your Ideal Clients. That’s all you gonna focus on. The others are welcome to buy as well but won’t get any special treatment. They either buy as is, or they don’t. Don’t waste your time here.
I don’t want to sound arrogant, I’m just concerned about your time, energy, and money. That’s why I want you to focus all the above on the ones that are ready for it.
In my experience, it’s best to offer a so-called ‘Low Price Offer’. Something that’s easy to consume and cost below $100.
I typically advise my clients to work with a 2-step approach:
- Mini-Course (1 Module only) for between $9 and $29
- Mini-Course (4+ Modules) for between $29 and $97
What’s a Mini-Course you might ask. Thanks for doing so. A Mini-Course is pretty much a subset of your already existing or to be developed online training course – and yes, it’s totally fine to pre-sell something that’s not ready yet, as long as you state that upfront.
To give you an example. I do have one and the same online training course, sliced into three pieces:
1.List building with ActiveCampaign for $997 includes:
- Know Your Ideal Client
- The Perfect Process Flow
- Top 10 Email Marketing Platforms & Why ActiveCampaign
- Write Emails That Engage And Sell
- Organic Reach – Social Media, Email, Blog And More With 2h A Week
- Paid Traffic with Facebook & Instagram Ads
- Test & Optimize
- Resources, Tips & Tricks for Advanced Users
2.ActiveCampaign START Mini-Course for $47 includes:
- Welcome to ActiveCampaign
- ActiveCampaign Registration & Basic Setup
- Bonus: Email Campaign Segmented With Tags
- Bonus: Add Tags To One Or More Contacts
3.ActiveCampaign 1h Setup Mini-Course for $29 includes:
- Welcome to ActiveCampaign
- ActiveCampaign Registration & Basic Setup
Did I water your mouth? I’m sorry. You can get access now by visiting my e-learning platform here: https://martinmeitza.thinkific.com
You are nearly there if you are still with me. It’s quite a process, but it works. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut. Having said this, I think it is actually very fortunate that there isn’t. Why? Because only the ones willing to put in the work and follow all the steps, do not rush it, give the ‘seed’ time to grow, will see the results.
It’s not enough to plant the seed, you have to nurture it to be able to harvest. Now it’s harvest time. YEAH…!!!
6. It’s harvest time – get your wallet ready
Congratulations. You made it all the way to the end and are one of not that many who will see the results, the money in their pockets. Now you deserve to make the real deal offer. The one that will make you, when done right, independent of any other source of income.
It’s time to make the so-called ‘High Price Offer’ or ‘High Ticket Offer’.
You went through quite an intense process of research, onboarding, nurturing, giving away tons of highly valuable but free content, time, and money. Now it’s payday!
If you followed all my steps above, you have now segmented a highly engaged, massively excited, and totally ready to buy a group of ideal clients. Some might already have taken you up on the low price offer, and are now ready for the big commitment. They want more. So give it to them.
Now is the time to offer your most valuable and most expensive products and/or services. Because you went to all the five steps prior, at this point, you know exactly what that offer need to look like.
High Price Offers are typically prices between $1,000 and $10,000 when you are in coaching, consulting, or course creation. This might vary for other industries and/or niches.
To give you an example, I currently do have three different High Price Offers:
- Done-with-You 90-Days 1:1 Coaching at $2,997
- Done-for-You 90-Days 1:1 Coaching at $5,000
- VIP — 12-Month 1:1 Coaching at $10,000
Here you have it. My 6 easy tips on how to convert an email subscriber into a paying customer or client.
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Can’t wait to hear from you!
Until next time,