18 Epic Email Marketing Hacks To Turn Subscribers Into Paying Customers (without running a sale)

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From the moment I started to build Thrive Lounge, I looked for ways to put my entirely-too-nerdy-for-words marketing brain to work.

I started off marketing the blog through social media marketing. I spent months posting to Facebook, engaging in conversations on Twitter, creating beautiful images with 30 relevant hashtags and posting in real time on Instagram.

The only thing I gained from the hours spent on social were a few "likes" from people I'd never heard of, some "you go girl" DMs and countless "love what you're doing in the community" comments in response to a picture of me looking away and smiling subtly in a rustic alley. (After months of IG posting, I had mastered every version of the gaze-and-smize pose imaginable.) 

Still, I continued testing different marketing platforms. 

The testing FINALLY paid off when I started email marketing with ConvertKit.

What the heck is email marketing? 

Email marketing is when a business collects emails from prospects (people who might be interested in their product or service) to be able to provide additional value to them over time.

Email marketing is a bit better than social media marketing in my opinion because you have the benefit of knowing who is on your list - and can contact them at any time. This is totally different from social media where the only way you're reaching your audience is if the social media gods allow. On social, algorithms choose who sees your content and when, but through email the power is all yours. 

What is ConvertKit? 

ConvertKit is the email marketing service I use to collect emails through my site, manage my email subscribers and implement my marketing campaigns. 

I switched from Mailchip to ConvertKit 6 months into my blog and immediately saw a huge jump in subscribers, engagement from my audience (they were actually emailing me back for once) and sales! #WootWoot

Related: Six Simple Steps To Gain 500+ Email Subscribers Per Month On Autopilot


Making the Sale

The real change came for me when I created my first e-book and started selling the book - only to my email list. Within the first two months I had made $500 - JUST THROUGH MY EMAIL LIST (more than I'd made in an entire year before then).

Here are 18 ways you, too, can turn your subscribers who already know and love you into proud owners of your products.

I've divided the tips into easy, medium and hard options. Depending on how familiar you are with email marketing so you can start where you are and grow from there.  



These are some of the most simple email marketing tactics. Even if you're new to working with email or you don't really know what to email your customers, there is something here for you! 


1. Actually sell something

My biggest mistake when I first started blogging was to get started with absolutely no product to sell. I always thought that no one would buy my product and that people on the internet only want free stuff. It turns out that was not true at all.

The moment I got up the courage to create a product and put it out there into the world, I was able to start making sales. 


2. Write better copy

If you already have products to sell and you're letting your email list know about those products - and they're still not buying - then your copy might not be enticing enough. 

Email copy is the wording that you use to talk about your products and services. Try tweaking the way you talk about your products and how your product will add value for the person buying. 


3. Affiliate Links

Even if you have no product to sell, you can always start practicing by selling other people's products through affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is where you tell your audience about products you're currently using - and if they click through your link to purchase the product, the company will pay you a commission or referral fee.

Pro Tip: Michelle Schroeder-Garderner is currently making anywhere from $30K-60K monthly in affiliate sales alone. I took her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course earlier this year and I'm currently in the process of implementing what I've learned. I'll definitely keep you guys updated once I start to see results.


4. Use the holidays

People are usually in a buying kind of mood around the holidays. Christmas and New years are always great times to remind your email list about your product, but there are several other holidays like Valentines Day or Mother's Day where people are primed to take out their card and start swiping for their loved ones. 


5. Sell in the PS.

I love adding a PS to my emails. It's a delightful way to add a little something extra to the end of an email. Sometimes sending an entire email telling people all about your product can be scary.

What if they don't like it or (even worse) what if they unsubscribe? 

If you're not ready to go super gangster and directly tell your audience about your product, you can always start small with a gentle nudge in the PS.

PS. If you're still trying to find your path and define your big vision, click here to order The Vision Board Planner Bundle. (#LeadByExample

6. Share Testimonials

One of the greatest ways to let your audience know how awesome your product is is to show them the impact your product is making on the people who have already bought it. 

Ask the people that have already experienced your product for a review and send a collection of reviews as an email to your audience. Not only does this keep them aware of the product, but it lets them know that you're not the only one who loves your product. 



If you've got a little bit of experience under your belt - and you've already tried a lot of the first few ideas - you'll want to give some of these intermediate emails a try. 


7. Teaching emails

The people who came to your website and ultimately signed up for your email list because they believe you had something of value to offer them. Maybe it's the information that you're offering or the easy way you break down complex concepts - either way, you want to continue adding that value to each one of your subscribers. 

Teaching emails are a great way to do this. 

Rather than sending a basic email talking about what you did this weekend teach them something new. This will help build more trust with your audience so that when you do sell something to them (maybe in the PS.) they are more excited about buying from you because you've already established yourself as a great wealth of knowledge and giving teacher. 


8. Helping above and beyond

It's pretty easy to help your audience above and beyond, you just have to look for the opportunities to do it. 

When someone emails you on your list, take the time to email them back. 

For example, I email all of my new subscribers and ask them about their goals so I can learn more about them. I always email back. I've been known to hop on a call or two with readers. Then I try to incorporate their goals, questions and feedback into the content I produce on the blog over time.

Listen to your audience and find a way to go above and beyond for them. These are your future customers so treat them with care.


9. Keep them engaged

In ConvertKit, you can create a sequence that will continue to share great information with your audience over time on autopilot. You can easily create a 10-email sequence to reach out to each person on your list and share a great article or teach them something new on your topic. 

That way, when you do email them to offer a product they're not wondering "who the heck is this emailing me?" Instead they'll be accustomed to seeing your helpful emails on an ongoing basis and , in turn, are more likely to open your emails and purchase your product.   


10. Selling Sequences

If you're constantly providing value to your audience, you're doing yourself a huge disservice if you're not taking the initiative to sell your product. People who are reading your content and loving your email list are probably waiting for your email about your products.

Create a selling sequence that will introduce your product to your subscribers and then strategically sell it to them in multiple emails. 


11. Hard Sell Email

I first got one of these emails from Marie Forleo when I ever-so-kindly signed up for more information about The Copy Cure product with zero intention to buy any time soon (I mean, it's $500 and my copy is just not struggling THAT BAD). 

After signing up I received weeks of emails where she gave me some great tips and advice for how to improve my sales copy + writing in general. I'm not gonna lie... those emails were pure gold! 

Then came the day when I got my last email and it was a hard sell.

Basically the email said "Hey, this is the last email, we've gave you some great tips - and that's only a small fraction of what's offered in the full course. Are you going to buy?"

Unlike a soft sell, where you're gently nudging your reader to buy your product, this one is very in yo' face. It lets your reader know if you're serious, it's time to buy. And if you don't want the product, there will be no more free tips comin' your way!


12. Cross Sell

Cross selling is when you take a person that has purchased one product and then offer them a different product. This can be an upgrade to the product they already have or a different type of product entirely. 

It's great to send a cross sell email to your current customers because these people have already trusted you once before in the past (and loved your product because it's super awesome).

If you're using ConvertKit, you can automatically tag people who have purchased your products and easily create a filter to only message those people to offer them a new product. 


13. Give away free stuff

If someone has never purchased any of your products before you can entice them to test it out by offering them a "fremium" version of the product. For example, if you're selling an ebook you may want to give away chapter one. 

This gives your subscribers an opportunity to learn more about what you have to offer at no cost to them - and you can put your product in front of them even more!


14. Reminder emails

Don't always assume people must not want your products because they didn't buy the first time you sent an email. I always send 2-3 emails (especially if it's a great time of year where my products can make a difference for someone) to remind people to grab my products if they want it. 


15. Time sensitive - by giving away a bonus

One of the greatest ways to get someone to get off their butt and grab their credit card is to create a sense of urgency. A common way to do this is by giving your audience a 24-48 hour sale, but I want to talk about one other way that's used less often. 

Give away a time-sensitive bonus to your product. 

For example, if you're giving away an ebook, throw in a 1 hour live group call that you only get if you buy in the next 48 hours. 

Often, people do want to buy your product and they're waiting for something. Maybe it's payday. Maybe it's for a huge need to come up. Offering a time-sensitive bonus could make today the day they buy.



These tactics will be a little more difficult for someone that's new to email marketing but it's perfect for someone that has already been using a lot of the intermediate methods and are ready to take their influence and marketing to the next level. 

I've also included my all time fav tip that helps me make sales on autopilot here!


16. Send out a webinar email

Webinars are a great way to connect with your audience in an authentic way that gets them to buy. First, you FINALLY get to show a bit of your personality (and your face) to the people who have been reading your content for a long time. Second, they get to talk back. (I love using Crowdcast for video trainings because you can create polls, have full on conversations in the chat window and pull people into the video!) Third, you get to strut your stuff and show your audience how much you really know and then anser their questions directly


17. Email the right people (using tags) 

There is nothing worse than purchasing a product... and then seeing an email that the product you JUST BOUGHT has gone on sale! As you start to make sales, you don't want to be one of those people.

Instead, use tagging to make sure that you're sending the right offer to the right person EVERY TIME. ConvertKit makes it incredibly easy to know who's on your list. 


18. Create automatons

Automation is the real MVP of email marketing. 

A visual automation in ConvertKit will track the entire customer journey FOR EVERY SUBSCRIBER ON YOUR LIST. 

For example, if a reader signs up to receive a vision board checklist on my site, my visual automation will put them into a welcome sequence that teaches them how to plan out their goals and create a vision board. Then they'll enter a sales sequence to sell my vision board planner. 

(Here's the best part.)

If they purchase the planner at any time, my automation will move that person out of the sales sequence and put them into a post-sales sequence that checks in on them, asks for a testimonial and supports them in accomplishing their goals. 

Once your customer journey is set up in an automation, you can continue to sell to each person on your email list over and over again - without lifting a finger. #Magic


Your email list is a gold mine. It's a place where you can build relationships, talk directly to your audience (whenever you want to) and give them the absolute best you have to offer. You'll notice that the more you provide value, the more people will WANT to buy your products. Email marketing is the best tool to get those products in front of them and make it super easy to close the deal. 

Grow Your Email List By 500+ Monthly

Join the FREE 5-Day Email Explosion course that teaches my simple process to increase my email list by 500+ subscribers EVERY MONTH. Subscribe to the newsletter to start the course!

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