Well good morning everybody and welcome to Lesson 4, Build your Email List with Free Products, of our class on How to Sell Your Digital Products with WP eStore. Today we will be talking about email marketing and building your list both with free products and by adding members to your site or people to your list when they purchase your products.
Determine the Purpose for your Email Marketing
I’m sure that you’ve heard, if you’ve been around the business very much, there’s all kinds of people who talk about how important it is to build your list. There are lots of things you can pay for to help you build your list and so on and so forth. But before you decide that you want to do any kind of email marketing, you need to make sure you have a purpose.
This may seem self-evident but I’ve run into this many times in the last couple of years where people say, ‘Okay, I need to set up my email marketing list. I got to get my list set up and get people signed up.’ And I ask them, “Well, what are you going to do with it?” Often the response is “Well, I don’t know.”
Just because email marketing sounds like something you need to do, you plunge ahead and decide you’re going to go about doing it. But I strongly advise you to have first, figured out why you’re doing it and what you’re going to do with that list once you get it.
What to Consider
So once you add somebody to your list think about the following:
- What are going to do with that list?
- What are they going to get from you?
- How are you going to use your email marketing system?
I wanted to start this whole thing off with a quote from Seth Godin. Several years ago he said “Permission marketing is the privilege, not the right, of delivering anticipated personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.”
Be Personal and Relevant
So that’s the only thing you want to do with this list. You want to send email messages to people who actually want to receive those emails and the people should be anticipating them. The email should be personal so they should be specific to their wants and needs and they should be relevant. That is, they should be something that is useful or important to them.
Read Seth Godin’s Article on Permission Marketing
Let’s go over to Lesson 4 where I have link for you on the site to Seth Godin’s article on Permission Marketing. And I strongly recommend it. It’s very short so I strongly recommend that you take a few minutes and go and read this article. Use this as your guiding principle for what you are doing with your email list and why you are creating an email list. And you can get to that link right here in Lesson Resources and Lesson 4 at the bottom, Seth Godin’s article in Permission Marketing. It’s absolutely critical to effectively implementing what we’re going to be talking about today.
3 Scenarios for Incorporating Email Marketing
In this digital product store with WP eStore, there are really sort of 3 scenarios in which you can incorporate email marketing into this system. And the first one is the way that WP eStore was designed.
Deliver Free Products Through WP eStore in Exchange for Emails
It’s the WP eStore way and essentially that is delivering free products in exchange for emails. It starts off with a download now squeeze page. So, essentially, it creates a little form where they put their name and email address in it and then click the download now button. The customer enters their information and the download link is delivered in an email. So they get an encrypted link and an email from WP eStore that allows them to simply click on it and download the product.
Now this can be integrated with AWeber although it does not have to be. You can essentially create an email list as your customer list and just capture it yourself without integrating with an email marketing system. You can do that. But you can also integrate it with AWeber or some other email marketing system.
Why I Don’t Recommend It
And from my perspective, this scenario has a couple of disadvantages and it’s why I don’t use it and why I don’t particularly teach it. I can explain it to people and I’ll help you figure it out if it’s what you want to do. But it’s not the one that I recommend.
The primary reason is that it adds the customer to the customer database. So if somebody is downloading a free product, it takes the name and email address and sticks it in your customer database, which I think is essentially useless.
The customer database can get pretty large anyway and you may need to search through customer transactions. And if you have that cluttered up with people who are downloading your free ebook or whatever it can become very cumbersome sorting through all that information. So that’s the principal problem with it.
The second problem is that it actually provides no specific request for permission to send emails and that’s because it’s not really what it’s set up for. This download now function is set up exclusively for you getting an email address and you giving them a product. But you aren’t telling them what you want their email address for and you aren’t getting their permission to send them emails.
So I think those are both disadvantages significant enough to make it to render the WP eStore method something that you shouldn’t really do.
Although there is one advantage to it and that advantage is you only end up needing one email list because you’re not depending upon the list registration process to direct the people to the correct email or the correct download.
As you’ll see in a few minutes, if we’ve got a bunch of free products then you’re probably going to want to have a list for each of those free products and then they’re essentially a feeder list. And then when people download something off a feeder list, they get automatically added to your main list. Well, this system, if it integrates to AWeber, it does allow you to simply create one list because it’s no longer relying on AWeber for delivering the download information.
The Traditional Way – Registration Sign Up Form
Scenario two is really the traditional way that happens and that is there’s some sort of a registration sign up form on the product page. And the customer enters their information and then you essentially put the download link in your welcome email.
This entirely bypasses all of WP eStore and it’s not really a product. It’s a way of handling this if you’re giving something away free and it’s not part of a regular store where you have products for sale. And it’s a perfectly acceptable way to do it in the context of it not being a product.
But what we’re really talking about is having free products in a product catalog that people can click on a product and then they can download it for free. And in that case, it’s a little bit more cumbersome than if it’s outside of the context of a store.
If you don’t have a store, this is really the typical way of providing a free ebook or something like that in exchange of an email and it’s just a squeeze page form for somebody to sign up their information. Once they confirm their information with your auto responder then their download link is delivered in the follow up or the welcome email.
Rick’s Way – Multiple Lists
Now, I have a way too. I call it Rick’s way and this way involves having multiple lists. You have one list for paying customers and you have another list for each of your free products.
Feeder Lists for Free Products
And what happens is if you only have one free product then you have two lists, right? Your paying customers and your free customers. If you’ve got more than one free product, you have one list for each product. And when they sign up for one product, they go on to that list, that feeder list, and then they’re added to the main list.
Somebody may sign up for all of your feeder lists because they may download all of your free products and then they are added to the main list except that AWeber doesn’t add them more than once. So if it gets a duplicate, it simply doesn’t add the duplicate.
Product Linked to Sign Up Form
So anyway, you have multiple lists. You have a product button, a regular, old, add to cart or download or buy now button on your product itself inside the product category, just like the regular add to cart buttons. But that button actually gets redirected to a signup form so when they click on an add to cart button, they don’t actually add it to the cart that directs them immediately to a form where they sign up.
The customer enters their information and then the download link is both on the confirmation page, similar to what we just did with the purchase where once the purchase was made, they were redirected back to the thank you page and it had a download link.
It would work similar to this way where they would be redirected to a thank you page once they confirm their email address. And they would be able to download it from that thank you page. And it’ll also include a link to that product or a link to that download, directly inside the email so that if they weren’t automatically redirected properly or if something happened, they’d still have the link in the email.
Keeps Your Product Catalog Whole
So this is my system and I like it best primarily for a couple of reasons. One of them is that it keeps your product catalog whole. Your free products and your paid products are interspersed in the catalog. So somebody could search for WordPress instruction and one product may cost $50 and one product may be free but they’re both under WordPress instruction. And the presentation looks the same. And the only difference is that when you click on the free product to buy it, instead of going to the cart, it goes to the page where they signed up.
Explicitly Asks for Permission
The second thing it does is it explicitly asks for permission before it sends out any emails. So it doesn’t just capture their information. It asks them for their permission. And I f they don’t grant their permission then they don’t end up on the list and you’re not sending emails to somebody who hasn’t said, “Yes, please send me emails.” That makes your list much more useful.
If people grant you permission overtly, specifically to send them emails then you know those people want to get your email and you start meeting the criteria that Seth Godin suggests.
What You’ll Need for Your Email Marketing System to Work
So this puzzle has a number of pieces and you need to have them all in order for them to work.
- You need a free product (obviously)
- You need some kind of email marketing system such as AWeber or MailChimp the like
- You need a sign up form for that email marketing system and
- You need a mechanism for product delivery
And that’s what we’re going to work on next. We’ll start by creating an AWeber list.