Most online businesses and entrepreneurs are publishing online and email content for the sole purpose of earning money. Philanthropists and hobbyists aside – the content you produce needs to drive revenue and sales. Email marketing is the best way to make money with your content. Creating Email sequences and sales funnels is the best way to get results.
To earn money publishing online content and sending email – you’re going to need a purposeful strategy.
Using automated, sequenced email sales funnels are an important tool for achieving success. Consider these statistics:
77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns. – DMA
In part one of this article series, I am going to show you how to create a solid plan and definitive pathways for your content to lead and convert your readers from prospects to customers. In parts two and three I will show you how to use your content pathway over time with effective email sales funnel sequence strategies. Let’s begin…
Creating Pathways with Your Content
The most expedient and direct way to gather a tribe of followers and build an email list is by providing value to your readers.
To provide value, you need to help your readers with their concerns and problems. You need to understand what your readers want. Your written content needs to center on helping your reader first – not selling your product. Your topics, of course, are in the same niche as your product. Indeed, your product will eventually help your readers. But the first place to start is not trying to ask them to buy right off the bat.
You’ll find more information on the subject of gaining your reader’s trust here: How to encourage people to join your email list, and tips for the best types of offers to make to your readers here: Techniques : How to Hook Subscribers. I recommend reading those two sections as well as this article to gain a full understanding of this section of the lesson.
3 Core Locations of Prospects
All of your prospects fall into three core locations along your content pathway. The following graphic uses a funnel analogy to show where they enter and where you need to lead them:
Your audience starts as: Blog readers/nonsubscribers. Next, they become email subscribers. From there, you convert them into customers/clients.
The “Real” Job of Your Blog
Sure, your blog needs to attract readers by offering the most helpful information possible. But for your business, your blog has a more crucial task. The real job of your blog is to turn readers into subscribers. The content you produce for your blog needs to suggest the information readers will get by subscribing is way more valuable. In other words, by subscribing they get the “good stuff.” Bonuses and “insider” information they need most.
The main takeaway is this: besides being as helpful as possible, your blog needs to convince people to sign up for your email list – in every article you publish. Make them an offer of irresistible information and content in exchange for subscribing.
How to Use Content to Drive Sales
Create your content to include all the following:
☑ Topic centers on your niche and/or product or services.
☑ Provides value to your reader.
☑ Helps reader, not just talking about your product or service.
☑ Contains an opt-in offer to encourage reader to subscribe to email list.
☑ Opt-in offer is free helpful content and can be e-book, guide, checklist, etc.
☑ Content uses an Email sequence to lead your reader through a sales funnel after sign-up.
The following graphic shows the pathway for your content:
Someone comes to your site to read a blog post. The person likes the information they find and they decide to subscribe (opt-in) to get the free gift and additional content you are offering. Their subscription adds them to an automated email sequence. At the end of the email sales funnel sequence, ideally, they take your desired action such as buying your product (end goal).
What Offers to Make in an Email Sequence
A good email sequence usually consists of two categories of content:
- Bonus content. At first, before the email sequence begins, there is a free offer of information or content for immediate download which entices the reader to subscribe. (E-book, cheat sheet, guide, a resource list, instructional video, etc.). During the sequence, you may also give away additional bonus content.
- Core content. Information promised to the reader in the initial offer. It will be a topic related to your niche or products or services. It may be a series of tips or a course.
Choose an Email Sequence Topic
There are many different ideas for the content of your email sequence. For example, you can offer a series of tips or lessons. Courses lend themselves quite well to sequenced emails.
A course idea might be: “How to leash train your dog.” You might send 10 lessons over the course of a dozen emails (introduction being the first, sales pitch being the last).
Another approach is to provide a valuable tip or lesson for your niche in each email. Perhaps it’s: “Easily de-clutter your home in five days!” You can send a new email each day.
Naturally, what use choose to offer will center on your products, services or niche. I’m sure you will have many ideas that will work for your niche. Whatever you choose – it needs to be what your ideal prospects need most.
Remember, you are creating content that your readers will value and consider important – not what you think is important. Always put your reader first.
Setting Your End Goals
Before planning your content and your content pathway, you need to know the final destination – which is your end goal. To define an end goal it is: an action you want your reader to take. You must make every piece of content you create push your subscriber toward that end goal.
5 Examples of End Goals:
☑ Buy your product or service.
☑ Sign up for a webinar (where you sell your product or service).
☑ Sign up for a free consultation.
☑ Opt-in for a content upgrade (become part of a VIP email list that might include your most engaged or best prospects).
☑ Sign up for a free trial.
To lead the reader along your content pathway and towards your end goal, you give the reader valuable tips and information along the way. Each should logically lead to the next and toward your end goal. The main job of the final piece of information is to convince them to take your desired action.
Once the reader reaches the end of your content pathway, you deliver your key message. You let the reader know that the most important ingredient they need to help them with their needs or problem is to take your desired action. (Which usually is to buy your product or services). Once you get to this stage, you should have gained the reader’s trust, convincing them of your expertise and knowledge, and they are now ready to buy from you.
Solving Your Reader’s Problems
Another primary goal of your content is to earn your reader’s trust. You do so by providing readers with solutions to their problems. To do this well, you need to understand your niche, the needs within it, and what problems your readers are most likely to have. You can read a detailed lesson on how to identify and solve reader’s problems.
To get started, decide who your ideal client or prospect is. From there, solve the problems your ideal prospect is likely to have. If you are unsure, you may want to research and identify the top 10 problems within your niche for your ideal customer.
To make your subscriber take your desired action, you’ll need to understand what will motivate them to take that action. This can be any number of factors. These factors may vary by niche. For example, the desire for pleasure. (benefits gained or life better when problem is eliminated). A common emotion is fear. (fear of loss or missing out). A time-limited offer works well combined with fear.
Try to understand the strongest emotional motivators of your ideal prospect and use them to your advantage. Ask yourself: “What emotional triggers can you use to motivate your prospect to take action?”
You may want to consider the following questions about your prospects for any email content that you create:
• What are their biggest pain points?
• What are they struggling with?
• What are their goals?
• Why did they subscribe?
• What are their key interests?
• What problem will I solve in this email?
• What is the main benefit in this email?
• What is the main reason they should read this email?
With any content that you create, it must prove to your readers that you fully understand their problems. Your content needs to show them how to solve those problems. Ultimately, one of the strongest or best solutions will be for the prospect to use your products or services with the other free tips and advice you have given them.
Dealing With Objections
Your content should also overcome the common objections your prospects are likely to have. One technique is to phrase objections as questions, then provide the answers.
Common objections will likely involve these issues:
• Lack of time.
• Shortage of money.
• Reluctance to spend.
• Uncertainty of result.
• Comparison to competitors.
Those are broad examples. You need to consider your niche in great detail and find specific examples that you are certain will arise. You need to put yourself in your customer’s position and examine possible issues from their viewpoint.
Now you have a basic understanding of the content you need to create and what your content needs to do.
Here are the key ingredients we have covered thus far to include in planning your content pathway for your email sequence sales funnel:
☑ Know which type(s) of prospect(s) you are creating the content for.
☑ Blog content must persuade readers to subscribe to your email list.
☑ Have an end goal in mind – a desired action for the prospect to take.
☑ Identify a strong topic for an email sequence – such as a series of tips or a course.
☑ Identify the most important needs of your prospects and have a plan to help them.
☑ Know the pain points of your prospects, as well as, the emotional triggers to entice them into taking action.
☑ Identify the main objections prospects will have and give convincing answers to counter them.
Coming up Next
In part two, we’ll look at how to spread your content out over time by creating email sequences and sales funnels. I’ll show you specific techniques for creating a pathway which leads your reader towards your desired end goal.