How would your life change if you could make money while you sleep?
Would you spend more time with your family and friends? Would you travel the world? Would you do more good for those in need? Or maybe you would simply like to sit back and relax for once.
If you’re reading this, you’re already onboard with making money in your sleep, but the idea can feel daunting. Most creators are a one-person show, and everything that goes into running a business already makes for a pretty long to-do list. Here’s some good news for you: automation and email marketing are here to save the day.
I’m Candace Junée, award-winning digital marketing and automation strategist and founder of Epic Fab Girl, and today I’m sharing practical insights for creators and small business owners to use with their own work and business.
Don’t sleep on the power of digital products
So much of our work happens digitally these days. Especially for creators, the key to unlocking this digital world to better work for you is email marketing. If you’re still skeptical, pay attention to these notable stats:
- Four billion people use email daily to send, receive, or monitor communications.
- Four out of five marketers said if they had to choose, they would rather give up social media than email marketing.
The power of email marketing is undeniable. Social media is absolutely important and valuable, yes—but it’s over-saturated and can feel like it’s algorithmically wired against you. Email marketing, on the other hand, is a one-to-one communication method, and if you’re doing it the right way, your subscribers have signed up specifically to hear from you because they want to. That’s a pretty engaged audience, if you ask me. With the right email marketing strategies, you can effectively grow your email list and engage your email subscribers to drive sales in your business.
With digital communication comes digital products. I aim to give everyone I work with a passive income strategy that they can walk away with and begin implementing immediately. Digital products are one of my favorite ways to do this. They are always available, easy to update and promote, and sidestep production and supply chain issues.
One of my most successful digital products was a free webinar I had previously done. I put it behind a paywall to see if it would sell to different audiences, and it gave me $5,000 in income. I had already done the work for it, and I didn’t have to put any more effort in—I simply packaged my existing content in a new way.
How to increase and automate your income with email marketing and digital products
Digital products helped me scale from zero to six figures in under a year. I want to spill some of my secrets that helped me get there.
1. Build your digital product tripwire funnel
To start, let’s define two important terms I’ll use throughout the rest of this article: marketing automation and income automation.
Marketing automation is a technology that enables you to create marketing campaigns that flow automatically without human interaction on the front end. Customers and potential customers will take a specific action, causing these automation campaigns to trigger.
Income automation is the act of passively making income through those automated marketing campaigns. Passive income is often a term used interchangeably with income automation.
You don’t have to be present to market to your customers, but you do need to create triggers based on their behaviors, so you can get leads while they’re hot.
When you’re just getting started, working on these campaigns and building out a marketing and sales funnel may seem overwhelming—it was for me at first. With a little direction, though, funnel-building can be broken down into more manageable tasks.
As you build your funnel, you will often work from awareness to intent and, hopefully, decision and action. What a more traditional funnel gets wrong is the time ascribed between awareness and decision with continuous email marketing.
With my business, I like to hook people in immediately with what I call a digital product tripwire. A tripwire is an upselling presented to a customer right after a specific moment or action, such as opting in for a freebie or lead magnet. These tripwires free up creators to not need to be as present with their sales cycles as they’re off doing other things.
The goal with a freebie or lead magnet you offer is to get someone interested, educated, and on the road to know, like, and trust your brand. This freebie is like bait, and you’re trying to reel them in.
My top three lead magnet ideas are:
- Checklist: Help your customer get a quick win with a list that helps them reach a small goal.
- Ebook: Educate your customer in order to reach a goal. Free ebooks are typically detailed and include text and images.
- Video training: Educate your audience in a video form to give them details on a specific topic in a more engaging way than in an ebook.
Once you’ve chosen the type of lead magnet you want to offer, get to work on creating it—or repurposing it, if it already exists. Start promoting that lead offer in a way that makes sense for you.
You don’t need to give away everything—just enough to entice people to sign up for your email list.
This is where you decide on your tripwire product or offering. Once someone has filled out your form to receive that freebie, present a new offer to them—a consultation call, toolkit, live training, or masterclass—right in the moment while you and your business are fresh on their minds.
2. Turn a free offer into an instant sale
When I was building out my digital product tripwire, ConvertKit was a savior for me. I depend heavily on ConvertKit because my business would not be what it is without it. When you’re getting started and choosing an email platform, my recommendation is to choose a tool based on where you feel you’re headed, not where you are now. I was able to scale my business on ConvertKit instead of constantly switching tools as I grew, which saved me a lot of headache.
Once you have the right tool in place and a lead magnet built out, you can start on your automated income funnel with your digital product tripwire.
Here are the steps I recommend:
- Promote your freebie through your channel of choice such as social media or in person at a conference.
- Send people to the freebie’s landing page where they can give you their contact information.
- Present the tripwire to your new subscribers immediately after someone fills out the form. This will typically replace a regular checkout page.
- Email the freebie to them and add them to your email list.
- If they didn’t bite with the tripwire, create a sales page for your paid digital product and engage them through their inbox with reminders.
Take what you have in your head and bring it onto paper or in video form. People want access to that information because it brings value to them.
Finally, it’s important to add an incentive to those emails. Let’s talk about that.
3. Make it count with special or limited time offers
Sometimes, the most enticing tripwire isn’t centered around the type of product you have, but the exclusivity of it.
With your tripwire digital product, be sure that it adds value, aligns with your main offer, and is an offer that makes sense with your brand and positioning. Next you will want to add an incentive to your offer.
3 ideas for incentives:
- A discount on something you already offer that someone could otherwise get on your website at full cost
- A special offer you exclusively sell as a tripwire, something that isn’t discoverable anywhere else on your website or in your promotions
- A limited time offer or an offer that disappears after a certain amount of time (usually one to two days)
If your free offer isn’t converting well, revisit your lead magnet to see what might need improvement. Send it to trusted friends and colleagues, both inside and outside of your industry, and ask them to give you feedback on its perceived value and how you can improve it to become more compelling to your ideal customer.
Bring the same level of energy you have when you’re promoting a paid product when promoting your free offers.
Always ask for feedback and reviews from your customers and subscribers, too. You’ll be able to find out what your customers want and what they think about the offer. Plus, you’ll show you’re engaged and interested in helping your customers out in the best way you can.