Yes, I know you’re thinking to yourself, email marketing is tricky. Too much selling and you lose your subscriber’s interest. Not enough selling and your income will suffer. How do you know what the right balance is and how can you achieve it? Hold on my friend, let’s take a quick look.

Generally speaking, the bulk of your email messages, roughly 80% to 90% of them, should focus on helping your subscribers by offering them quality solutions to their problems. In doing this, you are connecting with your readers and building a relationship with each and every one of them.

When you provide mostly helpful information without selling, your subscribers will trust you and your opinion. Therefore when you do sell to them, they’ll take notice and buy because they know you won’t steer them wrong. They will look forward to your next product and eagerly read your sales messages.

The remaining 10% to 20% of course is for selling. However, selling doesn’t mean recommend all kinds of random stuff – unless that’s what your list was built for and your subscribers know going in that that is what they’ll receive. Again, the products and services you recommend and sell should be high-quality items that will benefit your subscribers in some way.

There are two methods to splitting your selling and relationship content.

The first method uses solo promotions. The bulk of your messages will be focused on relationship building and problem solving. Once every 5 to 7 messages you would send out an email that strictly sells something. This method still requires you to provide quality information, but it will be in the form of selling them something of value, something they want, need or will help make their life or the operating of their business easier.

This method works well if you’re just starting out, trying to build relationships, establish yourself as an honest, knowledgeable person in your given field or if you don’t have a lot to sell at the moment. It also works best for high dollar products that you may want to promote as a one-time thing, during the product launch or as a joint venture with another business owner. It will typically generate a large amount of revenue at once, but you have to hold your subscribers attention by sending out another promotional email.

The second method is to incorporate selling into most or all of your messages. You have probably seen this done where you’ve signed up for a mailing list and every message you receive has a promotional sentence or two at the end.

This method works well if you sell a lot of products or lower-ticket items that your readers can purchase at any time without breaking the bank. Instead of generating a large amount of revenue in one email, you get a steady flow of sales with every email that you send.

Finding your balance between selling and building relationships can be tough. However, you simply need to test things out, watch the reactions of your subscribers and before you know it, you’ll find what works best for your mailing list.

Still not sure about email marketing? Check out my book, Converting Emails Into Sales.

Felicia Phillips, Master Business Strategist

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