How To Use Email Marketing Correctly To Double Your Conversions

transforming your conversion rates

Today I've got a post from Ian Pribyl, someone I know has been doing great things online for over a decade. I asked him if he'd stop by and teach you all about conversions, and he kindly agreed. The rest of this article is all him.

I didn't get really good at increasing my conversion rates by choice. A couple of years ago one of my main sites was hit pretty hard by Penguin 2.0 (an algorithmic update that lowered my rankings) leaving me with two options: Get more traffic or do more with the traffic I was already receiving. If I hadn't chosen the latter, I wouldn't be qualified to write this post today.

Everything I'm going to share below has been tested over time and will absolutely generate results if executed properly. I wish I could say that I'm the creative genius that figured all of this out on my own, but what you'll read below is a mixture of my personal experiences after being in this industry for 10 years as well as what my mentors and various blogs/books I've read have taught me.

Today's Lesson: Dramatically Increasing Conversions

If you follow everything I lay out in this post carefully, the average affiliate marketer can learn how to double or triple their conversion rates – potentially even more depending on your starting point. If you're ahead of the curve and have been doing this for a while, you still might be able to glean a “measly” 10-50% boost as well.

It's not easy, but with some work and a slight mindset shift you can turn a website that's making a little money into a site that's making a lot of money.

Becoming an expert at practicing and implementing all of the steps below will create massive improvements in your overall conversion rate. To simplify matters, if you want to make more money, listen up.

Nothing Can Replace Good Content


Your conversion rates are determined from the moment your website visitor lands on your site. First impressions are always important, but they're especially important if you want to make money as a website owner. People make immediate judgments about how helpful you are or whether you're just in it for the money.

If your website visitor determines that you're just in it for the money or that you won't help them, any shot you had at making a conversion is obliterated, and you'll probably never see that opportunity with that person again.

Your content needs to solve their problems and not serve any purpose but helping them. You can still introduce someone to your conversion funnels while trying to help them, it just requires caring about helping your website visitors more than you care about making money.

I can't emphasize this enough – if you're developing your content around making sales off of your content, your website stinks of it. If your content strategy emphasizes helping your visitors over making money off of them, it's noticeable and is an essential first step in having the best conversion rates possible.

Step 1: Make sure your content prioritizes helping your website visitors solve their problems above putting more money in your bank account.

Get the Visitor to Subscribe to Your Email List


Don't have an email list? Let me introduce you to the final resting place of your conversion opportunities – the vast majority of them are dying here.

Yes it takes practice, and no – you probably won't make money with your email marketing service the first month you're paying for it, but if your website is getting any traffic at all you're really hurting yourself by not having one.

I've used a lot of different ways to incentivize opt-ins, but the most effective are high-quality eBooks and free training courses. Typically what I'll do is get the subscriber to opt-in by giving away an extraordinarily high-quality, highly relevant free eBook and follow that up with a free training course that's sent every-other day for 1-2 weeks. I'll explain why this is so effective later.

Remember, your #1 concern when interacting with people through your website needs to be helping them. Notice I don't say you need to pretend to be interested in helping them.

I don't do anything on my site for the sole purpose of making more money or getting more opt-ins – people opting in to my email list are better off than a one-time interaction because they'll get significantly more help and clarity if they subscribe to my email list. If you can't say that about your email autoresponder sequence or your free giveaway, your conversions are suffering.

Step 2: Get people to opt-in by offering extremely high-quality, highly relevant free information.

Build Your Relationship with Free Information


I don't mean low-quality information your visitors can find anywhere, I mean stuff that's so high quality that they'd usually have to pay to gain access. This builds your credibility, gains trust, and strengthens your relationship with your recent website visitor. Conversions are a relationship game – if you do a good job building a trusting relationship, your conversion rates will soar.

Remember dating? Maybe you're dating right now. Do you propose or try to jump into bed the second you sit down for your first date? The obvious answer here is “no”, and if you answered otherwise, well, that's a completely different website owner's problem to solve.

Email marketing is the same way. If you're going for a conversion immediately, you're doing it wrong. I recommend sending at least 1-2 weeks worth of highly engaging, incredibly relevant, paid-quality free information before sending any product pitches.

I usually send an email every-other day early on, which comes out to about seven emails. I try not to overload people by emailing them daily, and typically I'm providing such high quality information that they need a couple of days between each message to digest and apply what I'm teaching.

Step 3: Strengthen your relationship by giving away paid-quality information for free for at least 1-2 weeks.

Only Send Highly Relevant, Helpful Offers


Are you starting to pick up on the relevance/quality theme here? I've seen people promote Subway restaurant contests on magic sites – WHAT?!

If it's not relevant, don't send it. If it only serves to earn you a commission and doesn't add value to their lives or help them in any way, don't send it. I don't care how much the affiliate offer pays, relevance is absolutely key for conversions. If it's not highly related to the niche you're in and/or the information your subscriber initially expressed interest in, it won't convert.

The greater the difference in relevance between your audience's interests and the affiliate offers you're promoting, the lower your conversion rates are going to be.

Don't send a sales-driven, “Hey check out this cool new product I found!” message either. Continue sending paid-quality free lessons, but work the tools or services you're promoting into your lessons. It's a much “softer” sell which preserves your relationship with the subscriber and shows that you care more about referring them to helpful resources than you do about making a commission off of them.

Step 4: Send helpful resources that are relevant to your subscriber's interests, even if the offers don't pay quite as well. Sacrifice the quick dollar for a longer-term, higher-paying relationship with your subscribers.

Send 2-3 Free Lessons for Every Pitch


If you think giving away free information is just for the early stages, you're wrong. If you want your subscribers to keep opening emails and trusting you, you need to send at least 2-3 free lessons or resources for every paid offer you promote. If you don't give away at least twice as much high-quality, free information as the number of “pitch” emails you're sending, your conversion rates are going to suffer dramatically. Ultimately people will just unsubscribe or stop opening your messages, which means you'll never have a successful conversion with that subscriber again.

I know this is hard work, but it's essential for maintaining a strong relationship and optimizing your conversion rates. Just remember that if you do this, you'll make more money. Your financial worth is directly influenced by how much value you're offering the world.

Step 5: Keep giving away free information if you want to keep making money – at least two free lessons or tools sent for every paid product or service you recommend.

Never Betray Your Subscriber's Trust


The moment someone buys a product or service that you recommended and has a negative experience, you've probably lost that subscriber forever. If you repeatedly send offers or information that your subscribers haven't expressed an interest in and have no need for, you'll probably lose that subscriber forever. Noticing another pattern?

Remember, you need to maintain that strong relationship if you want someone to continue opening your messages and generating commissions. The moment you lose sight of that you risk your entire stream of revenue from this website begins to crumble.

Step 6: Never betray your subscriber's trust by sending low-quality or unrelated product offers just so that you can make more money. You won't make more money this way, and you'll jeopardize your income.

Now Go Forth, Add Value, and Boost Conversions


You now have all of the information you need to start making considerably more money by boosting your conversions. I didn't mention it earlier in the post, but ALL of your conversion rates will boost if you focus on value and helping your subscriber.

For example if you pitch one offer early in your email sequence but don't pitch anything else although you continue emailing high-quality, free information that first conversion point will convert much better than it would have if you stopped emailing or followed-up with more emails persuading them to buy. I've seen this time and time again in my sales funnels.

You have all of the information you need here to take your business to an entirely new level. With some time and testing I hope your conversions increase massively, but more importantly I hope you begin helping a lot more people solve their problems and improve their lives. That's what the most successful bloggers in the world are best at.

About the Author of this Lesson


Ian Pribyl runs his affiliate marketing business out of Austin, TX in the United States and is the author of the consumer education website where he provides 100% honest, unbiased internet marketing product reviews and advice. He's saved thousands of people from getting scammed by low-quality product publishers and focuses on helping people build legitimate, thriving internet marketing businesses.

Have a Conversion Tip You're Willing to Share?

Leave it in a comment below! Also, if you have any questions or need some clarity on any of the points above, feel free to ask it below in the comments section.

10 thoughts on “How To Use Email Marketing Correctly To Double Your Conversions”

  1. Some seriously good insights in this Ian, both in the article itself, and in the advice you’ve given to Mark below. Thanks so much for sticking around to answer questions!

  2. I have been toying with the idea of working with a list for a while now. The thing is I own an eBay shop and have been selling for a while now. These sales give me email addresses which I have used to send out a newsletter from outlook and a spreadsheet…classy right?

    Well I put together a few articles and posted them out mainly to get traffic to my website which reviews and promotes the products on ebay. Squaring the circle so to speak. However I found little or no spikes in traffic and increases in sales. I did not have any analytics hooked into it so can’t really comment on opens, clicks etc. However I feel the majority of emails were unopened.

    OK that was the past now to the future I want to try the process again and signed up to an autoresponder Trafficwave. which for what I need seemed to be a good fit. I am now at the stage of building the sequence of emails and was glad I came upon this post..thanks Bryon for sending the email…I did open it and found myself here.

    My question is how do I write emails of FREE information that doesn’t promote my ebay shop or sales items? The website does have how to do posts and mostly helpful I think. My point is really that the customer has already bought from me possibly because they wanted the item listed anyway and nothing to do with being directed from my site some on the other hand may have come from the site and bought. The thing is they have all already bought.

    Should I then keep promoting items on sales, discounted or newly arrived as well as write helpful emails. I know its a question of trial and error but I don’t want to loose too many of my list due to stupidity. Have you any experience in lists for shops and how to manage them versus lists from a website. Any advice would be helpful.

    Great post I learned a lot and its given me something more to work from before pressing the button on my list.

    1. Hey Mark, before answering this I think it’s important to ask: Are all of the items you sell on eBay tied to a specific niche/industry? Or do you sell all different types of items across several, unrelated categories?

      Also, now that you have an autoresponder are you still adding these people to your list manually? Or are you getting them to opt-in on their own accord before you begin sending them emails?

      1. Hey Ian the items are all niche related, fly fishing. At the moment they are being added manually. I intend to put on opt-in form on the ebay listings when I have the series in place.

        1. Hey again Mark! I’m glad to hear they’re all related and tied to a certain industry – otherwise it would be fairly difficult to implement what I recommend in this post.

          Depending on the level of experience of most people buying your items, you might introduce them to your list with a very helpful, extremely high quality eBook that applies to their current level of experience. If they’re fairly advanced, give several tips and tricks that they might not have heard all in one place before that will really help them and open their eyes. Give it an attractive title and explain how they’ll benefit from it in the first message you send them. If they’re typically earlier in their fly fishing experience, it will be even easier to give really helpful, thought-provoking advice.

          You could also compile something like “The 10 Best Fly Fishing Destinations that Every Fisherman Should Fish Before They Die” – or something along those lines. Include pictures, bios of the places, other neat things to do nearby while they’re in town, etc…

          It’s all about thinking about it from your audience’s perspective – if I bought one thing from some guy on Ebay and I randomly start receiving solicitation emails from him without my consent – I’m going to unsubscribe immediately and quite possibly mark his message as spam. But if he sends me a message that explains I purchased something from him on Ebay a couple of days ago, he’s a fellow fly fisherman and he has some really neat experiences/suggestions/tips/tricks to share with me, I’m MUCH more likely to open his messages and interact with him. If he sent me helpful information once every week or two for the first month or two and then, one day, I receive a product recommendation from him along with detailed training/instructions on how it will help me become a better fisherman or enjoy myself more while on the river, I’m much more likely to buy it now because we’ve established somewhat of a relationship.

          Now, to delve slightly deeper into something I’ve touched on above, you will never have remotely as high of engagement within your list or remotely as high conversion rates than someone else (or even you) that runs a site offering the same information, but the subscriber CHOSE to opt-in. I’ve never run a list that I added people to manually – my subscribers have always opted in on one of my websites. The quality of list you’re building right now is probably only slightly higher quality than a list that someone paid to buy/rent (as compared to a list someone opted-in to voluntarily), which are very tough to convert and something that most experienced internet marketers don’t recommend or pursue due to the difficulty.

          Also, I’m not an attorney so I can’t give legal advice, but you may seek some advice on whether this is a privacy violation that Ebay could get you for down the road or something that you need to disclose through a link on your listings to limit your legal liability. All of this stuff is pretty regulated and there are a lot of rules to follow, so you may consider looking into that based on what I’ve heard so far.

          Anyways, sorry for the long rant but I hope this helps you, Mark! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

          1. Hey Ian thanks for the great response. Given me loads to think about. Couple of ideas if you could indulge me a bit more. I’m thinking of coming at this two ways now, an opt in form on the website based at beginner fly anglers with an e-book on great tips or something similar.

            (seen your idea on plr and have been digging around there to see if there is anything good. May use some of it and re-write my own e-book.)

            Continue to build a series on products to improve the beginner experience as you say places to fish, how to guides, tackle and such.

            Then on the eBay shop load an opt in form for a discount voucher say 10-20% off your next order. Then continue with a series on helpful guides product reviews and direct them to products on the ebay shop where I can get anywhere from 10-25% profit.

            On the emails collected already I have tried to use this list in the past and did send out an optin starting email to ask if it was OK to email them. Anyone wanting to be unsubscribed was given a link to do so. On that I think I am OK to use these names as already opted in. I will use the opt in forms to continue to grow the list rather than gather them from eBay a safer way I agree.

            The thing I am uncertain about now is in another article you talk about only promoting one product on the website to get the opt ins working. As my site is promoting several products and links to the ebay shop I am wondering will I need to re-address those links and strip them all out for promoting the opt in newsletter. As it is then do you not sell items from your websites but use the email list to do that part.

            Thanks again

          2. Hey Mark, everything you’ve typed up here is right on track. It’s just a matter of testing different aspects of your conversion and sales funnels (as discussed in the article you saw on my site) to see what combination(s) work best.

            To touch on your final point, you could take this one of two ways. You could promote your Ebay store on the whole (that would be promoting one thing – your brand) which would be a viable option, or promoting exclusively the most broadly-appealing item you have to sell on the front-end, then using your sales funnel to pitch related items they might be in while also providing high quality information as this post discusses. I wish I could tell you which of the two paths were best but they should both perform well if executed properly and, as with so many things in internet marketing, only testing them against one another will provide a clear answer.

            It seems like you’re really “getting it” – I hope you found all of this helpful!

  3. I think that last image will hurt the conversions of this post…lol. Just kidding bro!

    I have never been very good at email marketing…well, at least my list makes me feel that way. Perhaps I give away too much (or not enough), or don’t hit up the sales pitch hard enough, but I feel like most folks enjoy the free info, but aren’t interested in anything I have to offer.

    Still trying to figure out this whole email marketing thing. They say the money is in the list, but I haven’t seen it so far!

    1. You know what Nate, I’m going to really dig into some of your emails soon and touch base with you about this. I agree that you give a lot away for free, which is awesome, but I feel like there might be something missing as far as engagement or relationship that’s causing this disparity between desired conversion rates and where you’re sitting now. Maybe it has to do with the type of email content you’re sending – I’m not sure, but I’m going to go over some of your emails that are in my inbox and try to brainstorm some ideas that you might consider testing or that you’ve considered in the past. If that’s okay, of course!

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