Why Your Email List is Growing But Not Making Money

by | May 6, 2024 | Email Marketing | 0 comments

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If your email list is exploding but your bank account isn’t, we’ve got problems.

I see this crap all the time.

You burn yourself trying to build a huge email list but can’t convert those subscribers into paying customers. Why?

Here’s what’s happening here:

  • You finally grew your list to over 10,000 subscribers (nice job!)
  • You blast non-stop emails to everyone on it (yikes)

But in return?

You’re making pennies or nothing at all (crap).

Why isn’t this working? Two reasons:

  1. You treat every new subscriber the same with a generic “one-message-fits-all” approach. This does nothing to make them believe in and trust you.
  2. You never challenge or shift anyone’s beliefs to truly understand the value you provide. So they never buy.

This strategy fails 99% of the time.

(Been there, done that)

That’s not what you deserve.

You deserve better results after putting in all that hard work. But first, we need to fix the real problem here, which is…

Why It’s Happening

This crappy result happens because you take a lazy, spammy approach from the start. Let me explain…

You probably:

1) Blast the same 2-3 email sequences to every new subscriber who signs up

This is dumb.

You don’t personalise anything based on:

⇢ Who these people are or what they need ⇢ What’s their intent (if they even have one)

Why would they stick around or buy from you?

2) Pitch products randomly without context

Slow your roll!

Don’t push sales offers without first testing intent, and building trust and belief in your abilities.

3) Never tailor your content based on subscriber segments

One message for all only works for the spam folder.

Get smarter about speaking directly to different groups.

4) Focus only on growing your list bigger and bigger

A big list means nothing if you aren’t monetizing it well!

Shift your priorities to revenue and lifetime value.

This generalised approach works when you first start out, but soon backfires. It tanks your open and click-through rates. And it leaves subscribers confused about who you are or why to care.

Time to fix it:

Segment From the Start

The fix here is obvious: get targeted from day one.

When someone new signs up, get smart about exactly who they are and what they need.

Here’s what to do:

Use your sign-up forms & thank-you page wisely to collect information about your subscribers.

Once you have your answers, put people into different segments. This helps you customise messaging.

For example:

  • Price-sensitive buyers
  • Technical feature-focused users
  • People looking for accountability or support
  • Tag subscribers, or give them custom fields, and sort them

Getting granular is key. This transforms how you nurture and convert subscribers into loyal customers over time.

Once your audience is segmented, you use the ‘condition’ operation in your email automation to deliver the right email sequence to the right segment.

It works like this:

  • If they have segment A → Add them to sequence A
  • If they have segment B → Add them to sequence B
  • And so on…

It also sets you apart from the desperate masses blasting the same junk mail to every random email address on their list.

Tools we use to make this happen:

  1. Formaloo ⇢ To collect data on the thank-you page
  2. Make ⇢ To send that data to the email marketing tool
  3. ConvertKit ⇢ To segment the audience based on the data and create conditional automation

Shift Beliefs with Sequences

Now that you’ve segmented your list, it’s time to leverage those subscriber groups to shift beliefs in your favour. This is how you turn cold leads into first-time buyers and repeat customers.

Here are two must-have sequences to implement:

1) New Subscriber Relationship Builder

When attracting strangers from the internet, you must create trust fast.

Welcome new subscribers with a 3-5 part onboarding series that focuses on one thing — Align your subscribers’ current beliefs with what they need to believe about you/your brand.

  • What do you stand for?
  • Why are their current beliefs wrong? (Give proof and use an enemy)
  • Why should they listen to you?

NO direct selling here.

The goal here is crafting messages specifically to make new readers BELIEVE in you and your abilities to transform their lives.

2) Evergreen Promo Sequence

This 4-6 part series targets people who show intent by clicking the transition links in your relationship builder sequence.

Transition links: These are links scattered in your emails to test subscriber intent. There’s no hard selling though. A simple “If you need help with [desire/pain point], here’s how I can you”. If they click, the previous sequence gets paused and this new promo sequence gets triggered.

The focus is on WHY your offer is the absolute best solution for them.

  • The value prop and transformation promise
  • Deep dive into offer details
  • Debunk objections and concerns
  • Share in-depth use cases and results
  • Share what need to believe to choose your offer

Put scepticism to rest. Leave zero doubt your offer can deliver incredible results.

Get messaging down to a science, speaking directly to the beliefs that influence each group’s buying decisions. This kind of precision and personalisation pays off hugely.

Remember, they already showed interest by clicking your transition link.

email sequence flow

These sequences have two things in common:

  1. There’s no hard-selling, scarcity, or FOMO tactics
  2. Narrative storytelling that logically shifts subscribers’ beliefs

That’s what makes them so powerful.

Measure Real Metrics

The last piece of this puzzle is tracking the right success metrics. All the targeting and personalisation mean nothing if you’re still chasing vanity stats.

It’s time to focus on customer lifetime value, not just list size. Here are the metrics that matter:

1) Lifetime Value

Calculate the revenue generated per subscriber across their entire relationship with you. This helps optimise long-term nurture streams.

2) Repurchase/Cross-Sell Rates

What % of customers return to buy again? How many invest in add-ons after the initial purchase?

3) Email ROI

How much revenue is a promo email, or sequence directly contributing to?

Our clients get custom dashboards where we track the email ROI and so far we’ve made a revenue impact of $3M+.

Just driving up your subscriptions or email send numbers means nothing. Pay attention to the metrics that fuel sustainable revenue growth.

The money was there all along — you just have to work smarter to pocket it.

Wrapping it Up

If you’re investing tons of effort to grow your list but aren’t making a bank, something’s broken.

Chasing every email address on the planet doesn’t mean squat if you fail to build real relationships and convert them into paying customers.

First, clearly define who your ideal customers are and what makes them tick. Use this intel to segment new signups instead of treating everyone the same. This lets you nurture subscribers based on their specific needs and motivations.

Next, shift beliefs in your favour with targeted sequences.

Finally, track customer lifetime value over vanity metrics like list size. Optimise based on email ROI, and repeat purchase rate.

Implementing these strategies requires some upfront work. But I promise it’s worth it. The profits you’ve been leaving on the table will more than cover your efforts.

You’ve got this.

Join The Email Fundamentals Newsletter for FREE. Learn how to write better emails with unique strategic frameworks and turn more email subscribers into paying customers. With only one power-packed email per week. Every Tuesday. 

(No daily spam or jargon… just pure value!)

Rahul Choudhary

Rahul Choudhary

Founder, Beef Up Media

With almost 6 whole years of experience in the online marketing world & specialising in email marketing + funnels, I’ve seen most – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

My goal?

Try to share as much of my knowledge & experience as possible.

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media. ↓

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