Your subscribers want to hear from you because they are hoping that you can help them with their problems in that niche. But your email list is also a great source of information for you too. Your emails are a direct line to your audience to ask questions, get tips, and come up with topic ideas.
In fact, you can use your email list to get unlimited ideas from your subscribers. Just ask your list directly in your emails. It's so much easier to give them what they want, when you know exactly what it is they want...
In order to serve your list the best you can, you need to know what they really want. What they want and what we think they want, are probably two different things. For email marketing, it pays to ask your list questions to find out what they actually want.
Survey Your List
You can create a survey using software such as Survay.io (http://survay.io/fe/) or other survey software and send it to your email list. And then use the answers to your questions to help you get more product ideas, content ideas, and insight into your audience.
The problem with that is, most people don't like taking surveys. Personally, I like to weave questions in with the content of my emails by talking about a topic, and then asking them a question or their opinion about it at the end. I can get more responses that way.
Invite Them to Online Meetings
Using email, invite them to a Zoom call which allows up to 50 people to have a face to face meeting with each other. This is a great way to host a mastermind or inner circle to discuss issues relating to your niche.
Send out a request to your email list to interview members who want to be interviewed. You can spotlight them in a video series later or you can use the information to help you get to know your audience better so that you know what type of content to create. For example, if you interview someone each topic they mention could be a potential blog post, article, eBook or paid product.
Get Them to Contribute to Social Discussions
If you also have a Facebook group, use your list to invite people to join your Facebook group. You can highlight a discussion to help them get interested. For example, you might send a notice to your list that "Sally has a question about marketing, can you answer it?" This will entice people to come answer which will help you understand what’s important to your audience members.
Invite Them to Ask Questions
Send an email to your list members that invites them to ask you questions via email about a single topic within your niche. The response will let you know whether that topic is important to your list members or not. Instead, you'll probably get more ideas about the type of content your audience wants to see.
Generate Content Ideas
Any customer service issue, any question, and any behavior action your audience takes that you notice can help generate content ideas.
Closely observe and track your subscribers' behaviors... what freebies do they download most? What products do they buy? What questions do they ask? That info will help you know exactly what content and products to create.
Get More Insight into Pain Points
Knowing your subscribers preferences, interests and pain points will give you extremely valuable (profitable) insight into what your subscribers really want (which is probably different from what you think). That should give you more ideas for content, services, and products that you want to either create or find affiliate offers for your audience.
Your email list is there for you too. To serve your list in the best possible way, remember that they're people too. They can answer an email, take a survey, participate in your social media, and ask and answer questions too. Get them engaged, and before you know it they'll freely send ideas to you that you can use forever.