When you sell something online, you have a seemingly endless array of options to improve sales and online marketing results. Regardless of whether you sell books, software, an information product, or physical goods…tiny tweaks can have amazing results.
In other words, once you’ve figured out what to sell, you begin the exciting game of marketing it.
And that journey introduces the beauty and power of passive income. You may earn $100 per month in January. But with a few tweaks, you bump that to $2,000 in February. That holds steady, followed by a few tweaks that get you to $5,000 per month in May. Assuming you have a great product and great marketing, you can find yourself like MJ Demarco, sitting on a money machine generating $200,000+ per month while only requiring a few hours of attention from you.
But that journey from $100 isn’t easy. And figuring out which path to take is confusing.
Because there are thousands of ways to tweak and adjust your marketing.
There are experts in each of these super-niche areas all competing for your attention and trying to sell you that “one quick approach” that will shortcut the journey.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve personally banged my head against my desk…wanting to sell more but unsure what I should focus on. In times of despair, I stray away from marketing fundamentals and chase after shiny objects…maybe chatbots will solve everything!
Being overwhelmed causes inaction.
With too many ways to go, I lose sight of my goal and do nothing at all.
And I’m not alone…when it comes to getting stuff done, here’s what’s on top of psychologists’ lists:
“…don’t choose anything so complex that just thinking about it makes you feel overwhelmed.” Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. Psychology Today
No matter how seasoned, pretty much everyone I know selling something online also gets overwhelmed.
To put it another way, online marketing isn’t much different than taking a bad road trip in your car. We all start off headed to a specific destination. But along the way, we get lost, stop the car, get out, and scratch our heads.
And what happens?
Like magic, 100 experts all show up, crowding around you and giving you totally different directions and suggestions:
- You should go left.
- You should go right.
- Are you sure you really want to go there? This place is much better. That’s where everyone is going now.
- You don’t have enough gas.
- You have the wrong tires.
- You don’t know what you’re doing…just pay me and I’ll drive you.
- Heck, what are you doing in a car? You need a plane!
- Etc… Etc…
The best $1 online marketing revelation I’ve had…
When you’re stuck or confused, nothing beats the objective nature of numbers. Metrics and benchmarks cut the clutter and give you direction.
And Russell Brunson taught me the simplest one I know…
But don’t let its simplicity fool you. As I talk to many online marketing novices and experts alike, nothing has provider greater clarity and direction.
Here it is: you should be earning $1 per email subscriber per month.
Why is this online marketing metric so powerful?
It gives you direction.
- If you’re making less than $1 per month per email subscriber, you need to optimize your platform.
- If you’re making more than $1 per month per email subscriber, you need to grow your subscriber base. You need more traffic.
So if you have 4,000 people on your email list, you should be able to hit $4,000 per month in revenue.
That’s just 10% of your people giving you $10 per month.
What if you sell less than $1/month/subscriber?
If your sales figure is below this simple benchmark, then you need to focus on optimizing your marketing platform. I’ll have a dedicated post coming soon, but here are some questions to consider now.
Do you have…
- A great set of products?
- Products at different value points?
- Recurring revenue?
- Great sales copy?
- Effective autoresponders?
- Persuasive marketing techniques?
Your direction is now much clearer. Focus on cleaning up your back-end. Do the research and work to uncover your weak spots.
What if you sell more than $1/month/subscriber?
If you’re beating the $1 benchmark, you may think be thinking, “Great! I’ve done it!”
But you’re leaving money on the table. You need to take advantage of the awesome machine you’ve built and scale it up.
You need traffic.
Some areas to consider:
- Buy more traffic
- Work on-page SEO
- Build off-page SEO
- Generate content
- Grow your personal brand
Eventually you’ll drive a bunch of new people into your system and find your revenue per subscriber starts dropping. That’s okay! You’re learning how to scale and you’ve just massively increased your total revenue.
Once your revenue falls below the $1 benchmark, switch gears, dig through your customer feedback, and focus on optimizing your platform.
Your marketing life-cycle will swing like a pendulum between these two areas, allowing you to continue to improve and grow.
So should online marketers focus on traffic or optimization?
The answer changes for you all the time. And now you have a simple metric to guide you.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!