How we Built a Niche Email List with a $5000 CPM

Here is our story on a $5000 CPM email list from start to finish…

A little over a year ago I had the idea to build an audience around the wine industry in my local area (the Okanagan). It’s quickly becoming one of the top wine producing and destinations in the world. I made a simple Facebook page named “I Love Okanagan Wines” and started advertising…

My budget was around $5-$15 a day, testing many many ads and found a few that landed us a .05-.10 cost per like…to me that was CHEAP compared to the value of a wine lover from a certain region…I still had no plans on how to monetize, I just felt these followers were worth a lot more then that…so it would be dumb not to keep going!

Over time I reach 1000, then 5000, then 10,000 followers…I started getting messages about advertising and other opportunities. I knew the Facebook algorithm for pages had slowly been eating away at organic page reach (I have other broad market, larger pages I’ll write about later). What should I do with the trend of lowered reach per post?

Email. I had never spent much time on email as an affiliate marketer (this cost me more money then I want to think about in lost opportunities)

Again, I tested some ads with a low budget using the landing page and split testing tool wishpond.com. After some basic split testing on ad copy and adding page copy we hit around a 40-60% opt in rate. Our cost per email was anywhere from .15 – .50 per email….it took a lot of testing and tracking stats but these are great numbers based on the value I had for our audience in my mind.

Moving forward…we kept this going, creating new ads, testing, improving and growing our audience…but now what?

We had a few options for monetizing in my mind…but chose to market wine. What does every winery want? More sales? And what is their most profitable kind of sale? A direct sale to the consumer (no agent fees or wholesale prices) – with unlimited scalability. (The Okanagan sells around $300,000,000 in wine per year)

We had to do a lot of research on the legal side for this one. We talked to several lawyers, looked at others doing the same thing in other markets and decided it was safe to move forward with helping wineries sell wine.

So what about this $5000 CPM or $5000 in revenues for only 1000 emails sent?

Our last wine email to our ‘wine buyers list’ (I can’t say how many people are on it, but it’s growing fast) we hit a $5000 CPM. I never thought I would see numbers this high. It made me realize what a combination of a good product, good service, good relationship and good ad copy can do…

Our general newsletter (of people who have not yet bought) has a $500CPM with about 3-4 % of new subscribers buying each wine launch.

Summery…start building your email list NOW and treat it as your greatest asset. Because it is (I’m now a BIG BIG BIG believe in email)

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