Affiliate Disclosure: Look, I'm working my ass off delivering value to you. So, yes this blog is monetized through affiliate products. They are true recommendations and if you purchase them, I probably earn a commission (at no additional cost to you).
Unless we are talking about huge content creators & Influencers, any successful online business uses email marketing.
In fact, even most big influencers & content creators will use email marketing to drive more sales.
So, today I wanted to show you how to build an email marketing business for free. I will guide you through every single step, so there will be no excuse not to start.
In this guide, you will learn every single step of building an email marketing business, as well as how you can do so for completely free.
The Email Marketing Business Model
What we are going to be doing is building an email list in a specific niche of your choice.
Once, we have built a list you can then sell (affiliate) products to them to generate commissions.
There are also other ways of monetizing your list, for example selling advertising space & CPA offers.
Don’t worry, I will be showing you how you can do this for free in this step-by-step guide.
Why Build An Email Marketing Business?
1. Email Marketing Drives The Most Sales
(Source: Business Insider)
Next to affiliate marketing, email marketing drives the most amount of sales in digital marketing.
So, building a business around the #1 source of sales will be very profitable and today I will be showing you how to do so for free.
2. Easy To Start
Compared to most other businesses, email marketing is incredibly easy to start. In fact, it is probably the easiest as you do not even need your own product.
3. Free To Start
A lot of businesses out there require tons of upfront investment without any guarantee of succeeding.
You can actually get started for completely free and I will give you all the guidance you need.
4. Value Of Email leads
We have already said that email drives the most amount of sales in online business.
So, that means the value of email leads is very high.
In affiliate marketing, we use the rule of thumb that says the average email address is worth $1 per month.
How Much Money Will I need?
As I said earlier, this guide will show you how you can get started for completely free.
However, that means some of the things that you will need, you will have to create yourself.
For example, a lead magnet, but that’s easy to create and I will show you how you can create one for free.
Also, I will be showing you how you can pay for some things if you don’t want to invest your time.
Whatever option you choose though it’s up to you, it just depends whether you want to invest time or money.
Either is completely fine.
Do I Need To Have My Own Product?
No, I will be showing you how you can actually sell other people’s products for high commissions.
You can sell almost any products that you want as most products in the world have an affiliate program.
Of course, if you have your own products, you can sell them as well.
It’s up to you, it all works completely fine.
How To Build Your Email Marketing Business (Step-By-Step)
Below you will find all the steps that you need to build an email marketing business.
I recommend that you read each step closely so that you understand each step very well and don’t get confused.
In fact, I would even recommend taking notes or bookmarking this page, so that you always know what you have to do.
If you truly want to start an email marketing business, which is probably the easiest online business to start, then you will have to read it closely and maybe even come back to it as I said earlier.
In case, you didn’t know in email marketing we have to use a custom domain name.
If we use a free domain such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.
Our emails will go straight into the spam folder which means that we cannot sell any products as nobody will see our emails.
Luckily, Godaddy is offering domains for $1 for the first year, so I recommend that you go ahead and pick that up.
1. Finding Your Niche
The first step is to find your niche and products. If you have your own products you can probably skip this step.
However, if you don’t then you need to take a good think about what kind of products you want to promote.
It’s always good having a niche that interests you a little so that you know where to find people that are interested in it.
It can be anything you want, however, you need to make sure that there are related products you can sell.
It can be weight loss, self-help & mindset, make money online, whatever you want, but you need to be able to have products that you can sell.
Finding Affiliate Products
To find your niche, I recommend heading over to ClickBank, signing up for an affiliate account and then having a look at the different niches, to find your niche.
Or, you can also promote other products that have affiliate programs too, that’s works too.
However, Amazon Associates offer really low commissions and you will find it hard to get approved on JvZoo or WarriorPlus if you are a beginner.
So, for this guide, we will be going with ClickBank.
Most offers on ClickBank will pay a commission over 50% anyway, so that is another reason why to go with ClickBank.
Picking A Product On ClickBank
When you are picking a product on ClickBank, you need to make sure that it fits the criteria below.
- It has a gravity score of over 20 (You can see this in the information below each product. Gravity is how many affiliates are currently successfully selling it)
- It is not a scam and it is a high-quality product. (See Reviews, Demo’s, etc. )
- You don’t need to get approved. (Go on promote, if you can get your link it’s fine. 99% of products on ClickBank don’t need approval)
Once, you have found a product that you want to sell that fits the criteria, that’s great and move onto the next step.If you need help with this you can check out the best converting products on ClickBank.
2. Get A Funnel Builder & Email Marketing Software (Free)
Next, you need a funnel builder & an email marketing software.
As I did say that we are going to be doing this for completely free, I have found the perfect solution for you.
And just in case you didn’t know, a funnel is a type of website that is pin-point focused on getting your visitor to take the action we want them to, so in our case, it would be to give us their email address and then convert them into a sale.
This is super important, as we need to collect email addresses in order to start an email marketing business.
Other than that we will, of course, need a piece of email marketing software.
To do this all for free, we need to use GetResponse.
They offer both funnels & email marketing.
GetResponse offers the longest trial (30 Days) and you have plenty of time to make the cost of your subscription before you are charged.
Join GetResponse For FREE (No credit card required)
3. Create A Lead Magnet (Or purchase one)
The next thing that we need is a lead magnet.
If you don’t know what a lead magnet is it’s something that you give away for free in order to collect somebody’s email address.
It can be a video course, an e-book, or even just a PDF. I also have a guide on creating a lead magnet which will help you make more sales.
But it has to be something of value that people want, otherwise, nobody will enter their email address.
If you just want to create a lead magnet from scratch you can do so in Word and export as a PDF.
For example, if you would be in the weight loss niche, you could create a list of 10 weight loss tips and name it “10 Weight Loss Tips That Made Me Burn 4.5 Stone In 6 Weeks”.
P.S That was just an example, I have no idea if those numbers even make sense.
But you get the drill… You need to make the list or whatever you are using as a lead magnet sound as interesting as possible.
Or, another example would be: “How These 10 Tips Boosted My Conversions By 342% In A Single Month”
The same copy should be applied to any other lead magnet, whether it’s a course or an E-book.
Also, if you are creating PDF’s or E-books try to make them look nice through images, etc. and use large fonts so that they are easy to read.
E-books don’t have to be very long either, I usually make mine around 2000 words, but they can be even shorter like 500 words.
If You Want To Purchase A Lead Magnet
There are three options when it comes to purchasing a lead magnet.
Option 1: Fiverr
If you want to purchase a lead magnet, such as an E-book or something similar then you can head over to Fiverr, find a freelancer that offers the service, and purchase it.
However, I don’t like doing this as it can get pretty costly. Often, you would be looking at $50+ For a low-quality lead magnet.
You can search Fiverr for Keywords such as:
- E-book creation
- PDF Creation
- Spokesperson Videos (and then write a script with the tips or whatever your lead magnet is)
Option 2: Sqribble
Option 2 is probably the best option if you are looking to create e-books
. This option is Sqribble that costs $37.52. Sqribble allows you to create beautiful e-books, including content, design (front and in-book) in minutes.
Usually, Sqribble costs $197, however, they have a special discount on at the moment.
You can even just copy content from a website in seconds and it will convert it into a beautiful looking E-book.
It’s a one-time fee and it is cloud-based software, so you don’t need to download anything.
It’s great for the price, as you can create as many E-books, as you want and even sell your services on freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr.
If you don’t want to create E-books yourself and you want to purchase them, you could consider Sqribble.
Get Sqribble Here (SEE DISCOUNT AT BOTTOM OF THE PAGE)
You can also read my full Sqribble review for more information.
Option 3: PLR
Lastly, you can also purchase the right to use other people’s products.
This is also pretty easy and it works.
So, if you would like to purchase the rights to somebody else’s products visit the link below, where you can get access to over 12500 products for less than 32 cents per product!
All, you need to do is rebrand them, so change the front cover with your own.
The only problem with this is, you can’t choose the topic of the lead magnet, as you aren’t creating it yourself.
However, usually, there are tons of e-books in different niches, so you can find one that suits your offer.
Also, note that often PLR products are out-of-date and sometimes low-quality.
4. Create A List In GetResponse
The next thing that we need to do for our email marketing business is creating a list in GetResponse.
This is just a list of email leads in your GetResponse account that will be sent to your emails that we will set up in the next step.
So, from your GetResponse dashboard, head over to lists, then create a list and name it something related to your lead magnet.
For example, 10 weight loss tips.
See the Images below for more information.
Then click “Create list” On the top right-hand corner of the screen above “number of contacts”.
Once you have done this step move onto the next step.
5. Create An Automation Sequence
Next, you need to create an Automation Sequence or set up an autoresponder.
Automation sequences usually see a lot better conversions, so I recommend you set that up.
When you upgrade, you will have had made some money anyway though and you will still be in a net profit of $250 per month, which will increase each month.
1. Writing Emails
First of all, in order to prevent your emails going to spam, you need to cloak your affiliate links.
There are paid services out there, but DO NOT USE Bit.ly!
Bit.ly is blacklisted by a lot of email providers, so your emails will go to spam.
If you need to use a free version, I would recommend LinkTrack as they are completely free and not blacklisted.
In order to send emails, you will need to write some emails that will send out automatically when you collect email addresses.
To do that head over to “automation” and then click “create draft”.
Now you will need to write 7 emails.
Below is a rough guideline on creating emails.
Need guidance? Have a look at emails from other businesses in your niche.
This will allow you to get an idea of how to write a nice looking email.
When writing your email, you also need to go to the bottom of the page and where it says “plain text” click on it, and then click “wrap long lines”. Otherwise, your email will go to Spam.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to write 7 emails, you can write more, you can write less, it’s up to you.
You can also, just write the first two or three days of emails and write the rest later on.
Lastly, when writing your emails you need to make sure that you select the list that you created earlier.
Email 1: “Here Is Your list/course/e-book”
In this email, you want to introduce yourself, tell your leads what you do, etc. With a link or button to a download link to the e-magnet.
If you don’t know how to create a download link watch the video below, to learn how to make one in Google drive.
Email 2: You didn’t download your E-book
I will show you how to send specific emails based on the actions of your subscribers, but for now, just write an email reminding them in case they didn’t download their lead magnet.
Say how much value it has and that you believe it will really help them.
You want them to see you as a friend and you want to help them, this will increase trust and trust increases conversions.
Email 3: Did you enjoy it?
Now, you want to send an email asking if they enjoyed their e-book if they have any feedback or questions, etc.
You should ask them to reply to your email and you can even offer them another lead magnet if you have one for doing so.
This will decrease the likeliness of landing in the “Promotions” tab, as they have replied back to you.
Note: You need to reply to all these emails too!
Email 4: Reminder / Did you not receive my last email.
Here you want to just remind them of the previous email and ask the same questions, etc.
You want as many people to reply as possible as this will increase your chances of getting into the main inbox when you are selling.
That will allow you to show your offer to as many people as possible.
Note: You need to reply to all these emails too!
Email 5: My #1 Trick to…
Here is where we finally sell a product for the first time during our email sequence.
Here you should talk about how you remember how it was to be struggling with the pain point, which you know they have as they got your lead magnet.
Then you want to present them with the solution (your affiliate product)
Email 6: Reminder of #1 Trick
Here you just want to remind them in case they didn’t click the link in your email.
Just make it like another version of the previous sales email that is a little bit different.
Email 7: Story
Create a story that in the end leads to your product.
How it has helped you or changed you in whatever way it is meant to change you.
Don’t mention it at the start, just involve it in some sort of way at the end and display the positive impact that it had.
After you have written some emails, you can move onto the next step.
2. Building Your Automation
Next, you need to build your automation sequence.
So, you need to head over to Automation and then “create workflow”.
GetResponse has an interactive tutorial inside of the workflow area which will be activated when you create your first workflow.
I suggest that you just follow through it and read it carefully.
As GetResponse has an interactive tutorial, I will not be explaining it here.
However, just make sure that the email with your lead magnet download link, doesn’t have a wait block before it, as you want it to send instantly.
Also, if you have any reminder emails, the actions that you can choose from are If opened or If Clicked.
Lastly, before moving onto the next step, you will want to test your automation emails and see that they go to your inbox.
If they don’t you will have to tweak them a little and keep testing them.
You can then test them with your separate Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail accounts to make sure that they hit the inbox.
Once, you have built and tested your automation workflow, or the beginning of it, move onto the next step.
6. Create A Funnel In GetResponse That Links To Your List
We got the software ✔
Our emails are ready ✔
The workflow is set up✔
So, now we need the funnel, or landing page, whatever you want to call it.
The place where we collect our emails.
Because we are using GetResponse, we can easily create these through their drag and drop editor.
In your GetResponse dashboard, just click “Create” and then click “Landing page”.
Then just watch the video below by GetResponse, to learn how to build a landing page.
It’s pretty easy.
All you need is a place, where they can enter their email address and maybe their first name, so you can personalize the emails if you wanted to and a “Thank you” page. And make sure to link it to the same list, as your workflow is in.
Make Money Through Your Thank You Page
If you want to make more money, then you can add a little video and a button to your Thank you page.
In the video, you can already introduce yourself and tell your leads a bit about you.
Then as the video goes on you can tell them, how your affiliate product has helped you and that you have a special one-time offer and that they can pick it up using the button below.
Or you could even just say that if you want to use my #1 recommendation to do… Click the button below.
Then link this button to a sales page of your affiliate offer with an affiliate link of yours.
7. How To Build Your Email List
We got the software ✔
Our emails are ready ✔
The workflow is set up✔
Landing Page created✔
If you made it until here, I would like to congratulate you as you have your email marketing business set up. Now that it is set up we need to get people to enter their email address in it.
You can do this through paid traffic, but for this guide, I will be showing you how to use free traffic to do so. As we have an amazing lead magnet, we can just use social media to message people or post in groups.
I mean, it will not be that hard to get people to say yes, it’s free.
Social Media Platforms To Use
Sorry to tell you, we don’t have a magic software that will collect all the leads for you.
However, what we do have is social media and guess what?
I can guarantee that your ideal customer is hanging out on a social media platform, so we just need to find them!
Platforms that we can use to get free leads:
I am sure that you probably use a few others or you might not. Just pick two or three that you want to use.
Personally, if I would be doing this all again, I would use:
- One platform where you can follow users quickly (i.e Twitter or Instagram)
- (Facebook) – depending on if there are a lot of active groups in your niche
- Pinterest – Pinterest works really well for driving traffic, so I would include it.
I would use these platforms as it gives you a good mixture. Also, if you choose all three of these, you’re probably always going to have something that you can do.
Our List Building Strategy
What we will be doing is driving traffic to our landing page through our social media accounts.
We will be doing this every day for 30 days. In these 30 days, we are going to be aiming to collect 20 emails per day.
If you have more time, I would even recommend collecting more.
The more emails you collect, the more money you will make.
By posting interesting and valuable content while following other users we will start to grow our social media accounts.
After we gain some followers we can then send them to our landing page where they can get our lead magnet by entering their email address.
It will be fairly easy to get our social media followers to opt into our landing page as we have already posted content that they found interesting or valuable.
So, they will naturally want to see what’s inside of our lead magnet.
If our lead magnet is good too, then that increases the chance of our customers wanting to buy from us.
Setting Up Our Accounts
When setting up your accounts, of course, it’s a little different for each social media platform.
However, I will explain how to set up your accounts in a more general way that can be applied to all social media platforms.
So, before you start following loads of accounts or posting in groups, you will want to make your profile look “complete”.
What I mean by “complete” is you don’t want your profile to look empty.
So, add a profile picture (either of yourself or a logo), add a cover picture, and anything else of that sort.
Next, you will want to add your bio. In your bio, you will want to add a quick description of what you do or something related to your niche.
Then you will also want to add a description of your lead magnet and a link to it.
The reason for this is that you will get additional email leads when people visit your profile.
Adding Some Pictures
Once you have made your profile look nice, you now need to add a few posts. Otherwise, your profile will still look empty.
This varies from platform to platform in terms of what you have to do.
On Instagram, you will have to add 6 posts to make your profile look nice.
If you are on Twitter, you can just retweet niche related content and maybe add 1-2 tweets yourself.
On Pinterest, just create 3 boards related to your niche, but you can add other people’s pins into them.
For Facebook, you will have to just add a few posts and share some niche related content.
Also, don’t create a Facebook page, otherwise, you will have to pay to show your content to your followers.
Facebook optimizes for revenue. If you have a personal account your content will be shown to more users.
After, you have set up your accounts, move onto the next step.
Creating Content Guide
In order to do this, you will have to create content.
Not a lot, we are just talking about social media posts, but you will have to create them.
Again, I will be giving you a guide on what I would do depending on each platform, however, it’s up to you what you do, so feel free to do something else.
If you are using Instagram, you will want to post once or twice per day. They don’t have to be your pictures, they can be somebody else’s.
If you use content from other pages, make sure to give them credit though. When I was growing Instagram accounts, I was using pictures from google.
However, I made sure that these pictures did not have any persons face in them. Also, before using other people’s images, please read this guide on using photos from others.
Also, occasionally, you will want to post something that is related to your lead magnet.
In this post, you can then remind your audience that the link to your lead magnet is in your bio.
If you are using Twitter, you will want to tweet 3 to 4 times per day and retweet a couple of tweets too.
The tweets that you post should be niche related, but they can be very short.
You can even just share your own or other people’s content.
Now and again, you can also post your landing page link directly to twitter.
However, make sure to make the post around it look nice so people actually read the post!
Full guide: Affiliate marketing on Twitter
Affiliate marketing on Pinterest can also be extremely profitable.
On Pinterest, you will want to create 2 to 4 pins per day that are your own, again these should be niche related.
Also, you can pin other users’ pins into your board. However, I would still recommend creating 2-4 pins per day.
You can use a free tool such as Canva to create them.
When creating pins, you can create attractive looking pins that are related to your lead magnet and link to your landing page.
Facebook is probably the social network where you can post the least.
I would say once per day or twice, you don’t really need to post any more than that.
It can just be a written post, an image with some writing or maybe a video.
The choice is yours, but you want to make a post at least once per day.
Sometimes this post can also contain a link to your lead magnet at the end.
Again, just make sure to make the post look nice so that people read it until the end. If people just see a link by itself, people usually ignore it.
Following Users Guide
Next, we need to talk about following users.
If we don’t follow anybody and we are a completely new account, then nobody will see our posts. Or, a very little amount of people will see them, so it will be hard to build an email list.
If we follow other people, they will see our account. Some people will follow us back no matter what, others will see if our content seems interesting (which it will).
Instagram & Twitter
Instagram and twitter are in the same category because they both let you follow a lot of users quickly and easily.
All you need to do is find a page or profile related to your niche and start following accounts connected to their profile.
Following Users From Recent Posts
I always recommend following users by going onto the most recent post and following users that engaged with it.
The reason for this is so that you are following active users who engage with content. These are the kind of followers we are looking for.
If you just follow their “followers” a lot of these accounts may be inactive, or they don’t engage in content posted.
I like to set four alarms throughout the day, on each of these alarms I follow 50-60 users.
This literally takes about 2 or 3 minutes. If you do this, you should be following around 200 people per day.
From my experience around 25% follow you back, meaning you will gain 50 followers per day.
So, after 30 days you will also have a social media account with 1,500 followers. This alone should get you 200-500 email opt-ins.
Pinterest is a little bit harder in terms of following users.
From my experience, Pinterest only allows you to follow about 10 users, before saying that you can’t follow anymore.
I still recommend following users whenever you can though.
You could add this to your daily four alarms, as it will let you follow users for about a minute. So, there’s not a lot of added work.
On Pinterest, you usually grow more through creating and pinning content. So, if you are using Pinterest, make sure to put your focus on that.
On Facebook, you have a couple of options.
You can search for niche related groups and add active members from that group.
Additionally, you can also find people to add through pages that are related to your niche, or even searching for specific posts.
Again, I would set an alarm for four times per day.
Engage in Conversations Guide
So, we know how to follow the right amount of users and how much content to create, now we need to have a look at engaging in conversations.
On all these platforms you should be engaging in other people’s posts if they relate to your niche.
This will get attention to your account.
Their followers will see your comments or replies and they will often follow you.
Also, this is helpful for the algorithms and as you grow, you will be suggested to more and more people that are interested in your niche.
In these conversations, when the time is right, you can also involve your lead magnet.
For example, let’s say that you’re in the weight loss niche.
You see somebody talking about losing weight.
You can engage in the conversation, maybe with some tips or maybe with your experience.
As the conversation goes on, you can then say something along these lines: “Yeah this tip actually works wonders, I also covered this in my free guide alongside 19 other tips.
If you want to grab it, the link is in my bio!”
This is a great way to get additional leads for free.
Also, just DM 5-10 of your followers per day and say: “Hey I saw that you are interested in [niche], I just wanted to let you know that I am actually offering [your lead magnet] for completely free at the moment.
If you would like to go ahead and grab it, the link is in my bio!
What If I Don’t Make Any Sales?
If you aren’t getting any sales after a good amount of leads entering your funnel, then there is something wrong with your email sequence.
So, you need to have a look at your open rates, click-through rates, etc. and identify the problem.
For example, if your emails have a low open rate, then your emails might not be delivered to your leads.
So, you will have to test it as I said earlier with separate email accounts that are your own.
If they are still low, then it might be your headlines.
If your click-through rates are low, but your open rates are not, then it might be the copy of the emails, or the call-to-action is not clear enough.
It’s all about identifying the problems and solving them. You can also read my guide on writing an affiliate email that converts.
What Should I Do After The Email Sequence Is Over?
After the email sequence is over, you can sell other related affiliate products in your niche, in fact, you have their email address, so you can sell to your audience as many times as you want.
You can also utilize CPA offers and make money that way or sell solo ads, email ads that other businesses will pay you for.
However, I wouldn’t recommend that you sell products in every single email, otherwise, your leads will start to get annoyed and unsubscribe.
So, sometimes just send emails with value.
Emails that will help your leads for free.
Another thing that you can do is use your email list to help your online assets such as your blog or your YouTube channel grow.
On your blog or YouTube channel, you can then make money through more affiliate links or Google AdSense.
By doing this, you are creating more sources of Income as the assets themselves will start to grow and pull in organic traffic from Google or YouTube.
Finally, when you have made some profits, I just wanted to talk you through how you can reinvest profits to grow your email list even quicker.
I would recommend that you do reinvest your profits as it will allow you to grow your email list as quickly as possible, but it’s up to you.
The way you can reinvest your profits is by running ads to your landing page.
Below are some examples of ways that you can run ads and drive even more traffic:
- Facebook ads
- YouTube ads
- Google ads
- Solo ads
- Influencer marketing
There are tons of other ways too, but I recommend that you learn them well before jumping into them.
It will be pretty easy to get cheap leads with paid advertising if you have a good lead magnet.
This is a real business, so I can almost guarantee that you will run into some sort of trouble along the way, but that’s part of the process.
You have 30 days risk-free of trying to get people to opt into your landing page.
It’s literally such an easy way to build a valuable email list, so I recommend that you take action.
I hope that this post has helped you and that you found some value. If you did enjoy this post, I would really appreciate it if you share it!