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Early to rise

If you have an online business, you’ve probably come across the expression “The money is in the list.” This refers to the database of names, e-mail addresses, and other information you collect from customers and prospects.

Building a list is the core principle behind the Early to Rise Model of Internet marketing. And, all other things being equal, the bigger your list, the more money you will make.

That’s great for marketers and list owners who have thousands, tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of subscribers. But what if you are just getting started? Can you make money with a small list?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes.

In fact, I’ve done it myself. I built a small list (about 5,000 subscribers) that generated six figures yearly. And with another list of only about 1,200 subscribers, I generated over $15,000 in sales in one month.

It wasn’t difficult. I simply drove traffic to my website and captured the names and e-mail addresses of my visitors. Then I sent them follow-up e-mails with quality content and relevant sales promotions.

Just to give you a frame of reference, most online marketers will tell you that if you can earn an average of $1 per subscriber per month, you are doing well. So if I had generated about $1,200 in sales from my 1,200 subscribers, that would have been par for the course. The $15,000 I actually generated is more than 10 times the industry average.

I was able to do it because size isn’t the only thing that determines how much money you can make with a list. The responsiveness of the list is a key factor.

Responsiveness refers to the number of people who open your e-mails and take the action you want them to take – by subscribing to your newsletter, for example, or making a purchase.

One of best ways to increase the responsiveness of your list is to develop a relationship with your subscribers. The easier you make it for them to know, like, and trust you, the more likely they will be to open your e-mails and click on your links.

So how, exactly, do you develop a relationship with the people on your list?

Get personal!

When you write copy for your website or for an e-mail that you’ll be sending to your list, write it as if you were having a conversation with your reader, face to face. And look for ways to incorporate your personal story and your personality into the copy.

I make my websites and e-letters personal by keeping my readers updated on where I am and what I’m doing. I also share information about my background, such as the fact that I’m a Penn State grad. (Go Lions!) And I share my opinions on current events.

The bond this creates is extremely powerful.

You’ve probably noticed that Michael Masterson frequently shares information about his life and travels with his ETR readers. (And keep in mind that Early to Rise started as a personal letter from Michael to a few of his colleagues.)

Start your e-mails with a quick personal update. Then go into your content or sales message. On your website, the “About” page is a great place for your personal background information. Include a picture, or pictures, of yourself (especially on the home page) to help put a face to the name. You could even have videos.

People come up to me at events and tell me that they remember me because of something I mentioned in my e-mails or on my website – something completely unrelated to business. And customers often tell me that the reason they purchased something from me was not because of the offer, but because they felt like they actually got to know me as a real human being.

Getting personal can help you and your website stand out in a cold and crowded digital world. While it’s true that “the money is in the list,” you’ll quickly discover that there is more money in your relationship with the people on that list.

[Ed. Note: As Internet marketing expert Brian T. Edmondson says, it IS possible to make serious money online, even if your e-mail list is still small. In fact, Brian, Director of ETR’s Internet Money Club, can show you how to start making money – even if you have no list at all. The Internet Money Club’s next class is getting ready to launch just a few weeks from now. Keep an eye on your inbox for exclusive news and updates.]

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