5 Ways to Turn New Email Subscribers into Customers

Pol Cousineau, CPA (Quebec)

President of The Digital Navigator

We’re going to tackle on how to get from A to Z with new email subscribers. There’s no guarantee that you could close a sale with just a single email. You need to get new email subscribers in a position where they would want to know more about your business and the solutions you can offer to their problems.

As an online business your email list can generate reliable income while being an impressive motor for the growth of your business year over year. That doesn’t mean it should be taken for granted as it’s worth depends on how many subscribers become customers.


I’m sure there are hidden treasures in your email list. Increasing your subscriber to customer conversion rate from 2% to 3% represents a 50% increase in your sales while going from 5% to 6% is a 20% increase.

It doesn’t matter which way you slice it your bottom line will be grateful for these strategies.

1. Welcome your new subscribers and set expectations

First time subscribers are likely to be new to your brand. They’ve seen a few of your posts, perhaps they listened to an interview you gave or they saw one of your ads. Since they just signed up they are also excited about what you have to offer.

This is when they are most receptive and likely to open your emails. Give them a proper welcome with an Indoctrination campaign. In this automated email sequence you’ll want to cover some basics.

  • Confirm what’s in it for them
  • Share your brand vision as it relates to helping them move towards their goal
  • Have them add your email to their safelist, whitelist or contact list
  • Give them valuable content

You should only use this type of campaign for people that are completely new subscribers as it will otherwise annoy people. Your email marketing system should have a setting that sends out these 1 to 5 emails automatically when people subscribe to any of your lists and tag them accordingly to avoid duplicate emailing.

2. Give them what they want

Consider how your subscribers got on your list in the first place. This gives you hints as to what they are trying to achieve and what they consider valuable. Consider all the ways people give you their contact information. Whenever someone enters one of these doorways they should receive a tag that flags a particular interest.

This is where I’ve seen many businesses stop. They collect all this information but they treat everyone the same way. Segmentation can seem intimidating and in all honesty it is a lot of work because it requires careful planning, sequencing and some technological magic.

To convert more subscribers into clients, start with a simple series of emails that makes a targeted offer based on each entry-point, the reasons why people gave you their email address.

For example one of our clients, Manufacturing Millionaires, provides an Innovation Risk Score to inventors and innovators that are concerned about their project risk as there is a significant amount of time and money required to bring their ideas to completion. This tool gives his audience an understanding of their higher risk areas, provides customized feedback as well as recommended next action steps. This is highly valuable due to the personalized nature which ensures that people actually read through their report once they get their score… and it helps them with their goal of minimizing risk!

As a follow-up to this, a series of emails gets sent out which encourages the innovator to schedule a coaching call with the purpose of diving deeper into the results. This conversion continues to be relevant as it is on the topic of risk reduction and there is a level of personalization based on their overall risk category: red, yellow or green.

During the coaching call the innovator can further engage in a client relationship such as through a commissioned Feasibility Study. This is a natural flow since his audience is interested in reducing their project risks and each step of the process leads to this outcome in incremental steps.

You can get a process overview on of how to do this with your core offer by reviewing the Building Blocks and Communication sections of our Digital Content Sales System Blueprint.

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3. Give out free valuable content after promotional cycles

When you see a direct correlation between your sales and email promotions you send out to your list, we can make the honest mistake of getting too zealous with sending out offers. When all you do is sell it can cause what we call “list burnout”. You know this is happening to you if your email open rates drop and your unsubscribe and spam rates go up.

When no one opens your emails it will decrease the value of what used to be a profitable list of prospects and customers. To avoid this, you must continually give value to your email subscribers. If you’ve been promoting non-stop take a break and send them a free training video, article, checklist or list of recommended podcasts.

This doesn’t mean that you should send your offer only once and give up. In most situations you will want to send your offer at least 3 times. Once you are done with your sales cycle, such as after a 5 email campaign, you can bank some value points by giving out your valuable content.

Always keep in mind, why am I sharing this? How will this be valuable for my readers? How will this move them towards their goals?

4. Provide value while you sell

If you’re simultaneously selling to your subscribers while providing value it gives them an incentive to continue opening and reading your emails. Whenever you are deducting points for making an offer you are also adding back points resources that help move your readers towards their intended goal.

In most instances I recommend that you let your list cool down from any promotional cycle so you don’t burn them out like I previously shared. There are always exceptions to the rules, and Marc Mawhinney from Natural Born Coaches is an inspiring example of this. At the time of writing this he promotes a service in each and every email… but it doesn’t stop there! He also sends emails every single day!!!

Another model for offering value while selling is hosting a virtual summit. This often involves giving free access to several trainings during a limited time, such as 24 to 72 hours, combined with the ability to buy lifetime access passes to all the content. We’ve worked with the Insurance Agent Summit which provides you an example on how to execute this strategy. Every day of the event they send out email announcements with the free trainings while also giving the option to buy a VIP pass.

5. Get your subscribers’ opinion and give them what they want

People don’t buy from you because they don’t find what you are offering appealing. There’s many reasons why this occur and guessing won’t cut it when your business dollars are at stake. Most people love to give their opinion, feedback and advice. Knowing this is an opportunity for you to create a win-win scenario.

By asking your prospects and clients what they want, you ensure that your communication is relevant, tailored and that your product or services is exactly what they’ve been dying to get. Each time you engage with them you can use the information they gave you to demonstrate that you understand them.

How do you do this exactly?

A good starting point is by getting a small percentage of your target market to answer a Deep Dive Question. We learned this method from Ryan Levesque which can surprise you with it’s apparent simplicity. The simplest execution is for you to ask your prospects to share what their biggest challenge is in a specific area. You’ll have to be careful not to be too broad or too specific. Avoid asking “What is your single biggest challenge in running your business?” or “What is your single biggest challenge in embedding Vimeo players on your blog page?”.

You can ask this question right after a person exchanges their email information to enter your list. You can also send out an email to your existing email list accompanied by a promise to provide future resources and content to address the top challenges. Once you have enough data you’ll want to analyze the answers from those that are most passionate and distill it in a few key categories. This process can become more advanced as you deploy methods for categorizing people in these buckets.

Armed with this information you can increase the relevancy of your communication while making targeted offers that convert more clients. To do this look at the flow of information within your systems, software, processes and team. Strive for maximum integration and avoid silos as much as possible.

In our Digital Content Sales System Blueprint we emphasize the fusing of your checkout system and content delivery platform so that you have a performant system rather than a web of various software. Once you obtain this information on the biggest challenges of your market you can implement these suggestions to get more bang for your buck:

  • Send the information to your marketing email system and/or CRM
  • Create promotional campaigns targeted at specific challenges
  • Encourage your sales team to consult the particular prospect’s challenges when engaging with them by email, LiveChat or phone
  • Break down a larger product such as a paid all-access pass to a virtual summit or series of workshops into new specialized products of 3 to 5 trainings
  • Use or avoid specific keywords during a sales presentation or webinar

Download our Digital Content Sales System Blueprint and get a bird’s eye view of a system for selling digital content that focuses on getting and retaining happy customers.

Want some help on implementing these strategies?

If you want to save time in executing marketing strategies then you could be a good fit for a strategy session to increase the lifetime value of your customers. This is for you if:

  • You sell online training, coaching, virtual summits, workshops or digital content
  • You invested in online marketing and software to grow you rbusiness
  • You have an existing product that has been generating sales

If this is you, then click on the button to schedule your Digital Content Sales Strategy consultation.


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