3 ways to sell to new subscribers

Published 3 months ago • 3 min read

Selling to new subscribers on your email list early can be an effective way to build a strong foundation of loyal customers and generate revenue.

Unfortunately, the bro-marketers and gurus tell you must give a ton of your stuff away for free first. (Yet aren't they the ones asking for the sale the first time you run into one? 🤔).

Here's the problem with giving away too much free content:

  • You inadvertently devalue your paid offerings, making converting subscribers later tricky.
  • You delay getting sales, potentially creating cash flow issues.
  • Subscribers become used to not paying, creating a mindset to expect everything for free.

The "Fear" of selling

Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of promoting their products and services.

"What if it's not good?"

"What if I only sell a few?"

"What if no one buys?"

It all hurts the ego we all have.

So focusing on free content allows for avoiding the perceived risk of being too pushy or salesy and hurt feelings.

Even the best business minds "get hurt" more times than they win.

And it's important, because the sales are the true measure of how your audience sees the value you provide.

One example of a successful entrepreneur who emphasizes the importance of generating revenue early on is Ramit Sethi, the author of "I Will Teach You to Be Rich" and founder of GrowthLab.

He encourages creators to focus on finding their target audience and selling to them from the start rather than only providing free content.

Gary V says, "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook."

It's not jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab…

Here are three strategies to help you sell early to your new email subscribers, especially if you have given a ton of free content away and your list isn't converting into customers.

1. Workshops: Build Authority, Trust & Value:

The webinar that sells has its place. But you can give away free content by holding a workshop.

Offer a free live workshop that provides valuable information and insights that give the attendees a quick win.

While you're giving away value, it's natural to talk about paid products.

At the end of the workshop, you can pitch a course, coaching program, or membership that dives much deeper into that topic.

Offering a bonus for the attendees can encourage them to take advantage of the offer.

The workshop itself is a product you can also sell.

Use that as a bonus, upsell, or cross-sell.

Josh Spector has Skill Sessions, one-hour video workshops in which he shares simple systems you can follow to accomplish specific goals.

He introduces these within the first couple of weeks of receiving his newsletter. Since you most likely got value from his tweets or podcast, putting this offer out early further builds that authority on the topic, increasing the perceived value of his paid offerings.

2. Email as a freemium product: Grow your audience

This strategy for Justin Moore, founder of Creator Wizard, works brilliantly to grow his audience.

He gives away paid sponsorship opportunities for free in some newsletters.

But then shows you this …

Giving an incentive for his reader to share his newsletter to grow his list.

This helped grow his list tremendously. Basically grew from 12k to 30k in 6 months in 2023.

However, what he's doing is further segmenting which in turn allows him to understand who is motivated to get more sponsorships which is what Brand Deal Wizard, his 4-week course helps accomplish.

3. Focus on helping: Be The Anti-Bro

One of the best ways to overcome selling fears is to stop thinking of promotions.

Many don't like the Bro-marketers because everything they do comes off like they are selling.

Instead, focus on your course, program, or membership's value.

In other words, focus on helping your audience.

Emphasize how it can help solve problems, reach goals, or improve lives.

📚 Educate your audience

🎯 Tackle concerns head-on

🥼 Establish authority in your niche

🤝 Be your audience's trusted advisor

💡 Showcase advantages and unique value

🌱 Naturally mention and integrate promotions

You'll see who engages most by focusing on the value your paid product provides.

Through that segmentation, you can create a VIP experience or unique sales sequence that helps your subscriber to become a customer without being overly salesy.

I’ve done this with several clients, including one that has completely stopped doing any kinds of manual launches.

Another client has a membership and she's naturally selling next to all her free content at a compounding rate.

Evaluating any advice critically is essential. For me, hearing the advice of someone telling me that I need to give free value away while they are selling me a course on how to do it, makes my skin crawl.

What it really does though is make me consider how to sell in a way that's right, feels good, and comfortable.

By understanding the potential downsides of giving away too much free content, you can make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and strike a balance between providing value and generating revenue.


by Jason Resnick

I'm on a mission to simplify email marketing and automation. You don't need to know everything, but I'm here to help you understand the 80% that matters. Whether you’re a Creator selling courses, memberships, or programs online, Evergreen turns automation from daunting to doable through relatable stories and lessons six-times-a-week in no more than 2 minutes.

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