Part of building your list is also making sure they stay subscribed and don't forget about you. It's always best to send them a pleasant mix of relevant niche info and paid offers.
When they signed up for your email list, they knew that you would make offers, provide content about your topic, and mail them information. They are expecting it. If you don't provide links to relevant products a lot of them would probably want, then you're actually doing them a disservice and missing out on potential sales.
If you feel weird or spammy about putting links to offers in emails to your list, here are a few easy rules of thumb to make it easier...
Create Quality Content
The content you send your subscribers should be just as high quality as the content you put on your blog and website and in your paid products.
The more targeted and relevant the content is to your audience, the more likely your subscribers are to open your emails, engage with you, and purchase the offers... or at least click through and consider them. If you never send any content, they'll probably just forget about you and think you're some spammer.
And you don't need to overthink "content". Content could just be a knock-knock joke and a little story line...
What is a "great" email? A great email is a "true story" with a punch line, and then segue to an offer.
You can take one little nugget of info and tell a little story around it, and it becomes great content.
"Great" doesn't necessarily mean they will learn the meaning of life, it just means it was pleasurable for them to consume and they felt like they got something out of it.
You don't need to think of content as difficult to create, or that is has to be some amazing data dump of information. It should be informative, but not encyclopedia informative... It's good to bookend it with a little storyline - and a heapin' helping of your personality!
Check Out The Products For Yourself
Before recommending any products, you should either check out the product for yourself, or have enough of a relationship with the product creator to know that the product is what he says it is. Even when you're not ultimately responsible for customer service, when you recommend products to your audience, they will stop trusting you if you send them to spammy looking offers.
Plus, if you’re excited about a product or service it will show through in your recommendation to them. It's always better to promote products that you actually use and really like. If they see that you actually use it, they will be much more like to follow your lead.
Create Your Own Products
It’s fine and well to promote other people’s products as a full-time job. But, when you create your own products, your audience will trust your recommendations for other products even more - especially if you create awesome products, because they understand what your definition of a good quality product is, so they trust you more. And it's not hard to create decent low cost training products that cover specific topics.
Only Show Them Relevant Offers
For some reason, marketers get this part messed up... It can be easy to get excited about a new product launch that's all the rage... but if it doesn't really fit with your audience, then you might want to create a new list targeted to that topic.
If it's related to your list in some way, it would be better to set up an opt-in page for the product launch you want to get in on, and then show the offer to the opt-ins. The main rule of thumb is to only recommend products that fit your niche audience.
Stay Consistent With Your Email Frequency
Before you start building your list, it's a good idea to pre-load your autoresponder with messages so that a message goes out to your audience at least once or twice a week. It's better if you email your list every single day, if you can. In the first welcome email you send new subscribers, tell them what they should expect from you, just so they know. After that, just be positive and show them important tid-bits of info and links to great offers.
Keep Them Engaged
It's always best to ask for responses back from your emails. Ask their advice. Treat your email list like your tribe, your peeps, your group, your club, your members, your "listies" (whatever you want to call them) so that they feel as if they're an insider into what you're going to do next. If you keep it real and get them engaged and excited, they're going to be more responsive to your offers.
Segment Your List
When you start building your list, it's good to have an idea of how you're going to segment your list according to topic or whatever makes the most sense. If you already have the list and its not segmented it's okay. You can start today using different methods to segment the list using tags and list member behavior to ensure that it happens.
Segmented list members can be much more responsive. It's easier to market to them since you know they are interested in a specific topic. Just show them content and the best offers you can find for that topic. Or create your own low cost info-product to create a buyer list for that topic.
The upshot is that you must stop worrying about emailing offers to your list. They signed up to get info from you, and because they are looking for the right products that will help them and they are looking to you for information and products that will help them... So they're trusting you to tell them about any products or services within your niche that they might need.
If you don’t provide that information you’re actually letting them down. They want to know about cool products too. The old saying goes: "People love to buy stuff, they just don't want to be sold to". Let them know about the offer and let them go look for themselves. Then if they buy, they feel like it was their own idea.