How to Monetize Your Email List

Jin Choi

Jin Choi

Published on

December 15, 2020

Email marketing is here to stay as the global email users are expected to reach 4.3 billion by 2023.

Although effective, email monetization can be a tricky subject for many online marketers because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to it.

In this article, we will explore some of the most effective ways to monetize your email list that are currently working in 2020.

Let’s get started!

1. Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing flow
Source: Neilpatel.com

According to mediakix, nearly 81% of brands rely on affiliate marketing programs to promote their business.

In other words, you should have little problem finding an affiliate product that matches the interests of your audience regardless of your niche.

Affiliate marketing sometimes gets a bad reputation because of online marketers abusing affiliate marketing by senselessly promoting low-quality products to their audience.

It can, however, be a win-win relationship if done right. You help your audience discover products that can improve the quality of their lives and receive commissions due to your work.

Before you start promoting affiliate products to your email list, you want to answer a couple of basic questions.

Why did your audience sign up to your email list, and what are the common interests they share?

For instance, if your email list consists of mothers with young children hoping to lose weight, you may consider introducing an effective workout program for mothers who are short on time.

Your products need to be relevant to your audience’s interests because they will lose trust if you promote products that don’t match their interests.

You certainly do not want to make the mistake of recommending a dog product to an email list of cat owners.

It is unlikely the first affiliate product you introduce to your email list will be a mega-success.

You will likely need to do at least a few split-tests before finding the one that resonates with your audience.

But if you stay persistent and follow the right principles of affiliate marketing, it should be a matter of time before you find success.

The following are some of the more well-known websites that you can sign up to become an affiliate:

  1. Physical products: Amazon, Walmart, Chewy (pet niche)
  2. Info products: ClickBank, CJ affiliate, JVZoo

2. Consulting

Consulting is another effective way to monetize your email list.

With consulting, you are selling your expert knowledge and offering one-on-one help to your customer.

Since you are providing the most personalized service, you can also charge the most amount of money.

It does have its drawback, however.

You are essentially selling your time in exchange for money, which means there is a limit to how much you can scale your business.

Nonetheless, consulting is a great way to monetize your list when you are just starting. You will gain a deeper understanding of your target audience and build testimonials in the process.

If you are looking for an in-depth guide on using email marketing to sell your consultancy service, check out this article from Drip.

3. Membership Program

Membership programs are a sweet middle-ground between consulting and online courses.

Membership programs allow you to help people on a grander scale than consulting.

But you can also provide more personalized help compared to online courses.

Below is an example of an email promoting a membership program:

email promoting a membership program by stating its features and benefits

You can either charge your subscribers monthly or offer a lifetime membership program for a one-time payment.

As always, it’s essential to split-test between different options to determine what interests your audience the most.

4. Solo Ads

With solo ads, people are paying you for sending promotional emails for them.

There are different ways you can get paid as a solo ads seller.

You can either get paid for:

  1. The number of clicks your email gets.
  2. The number of subscribers that receive your promotional emails.

Websites such as Udimi, and The Traffic Source make it easy for you to find potential buyers.

You need to keep one thing in mind if you plan on monetizing your email list via solo ads.

People that you promote will directly affect your reputation.

You will tarnish your reputation if you promote unethical people who are only looking out for their interests.

As Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it.”

5. Display ads

People are renting a spot in your email with display ads.

screenshot of display ads on a website
Source: Emaildesign.beefree.io

Display ads have mostly fallen out of popularity in recent years due to people becoming numb to them.

Nonetheless, it is another way to diversity your email monetization if you have a big enough list.

6. Paid newsletter

Agora Financial is one of the most notable companies in the online marketing space for making millions of dollars with their paid newsletter subscription.

A paid newsletter subscription is a great way to monetize your email list if you are in a niche where your audience craves new, fresh information.

For example, this nutrition expert provides monthly reviews of nutrition-related research papers to his subscribers interested in nutrition and fitness.

research review post along with price and level of subscribing to the plan

His subscription appeals to his audience since he provides useful information by breaking down complicated knowledge into an easily digestible form.

Suppose you are in a niche where you can continually update your subscribers with practical information to save their time and money.

In that case, a newsletter subscription is an excellent way to monetize your email list.

7. Info Product

The recent pandemic has completely shifted people’s behavior, and people are consuming more content online than ever.

There has never been a better time to reach people online.

If you have useful knowledge to offer, then it’s the perfect time to sell your info product.

You may feel that you don’t have the professional knowledge that people are willing to pay, but I beg to differ.

Online marketers are making a substantial amount of money from selling informational products in many different niches.

No matter how unpopular your skill may seem, you can now reach thousands of people with similar interests with the power of the internet.

And it doesn’t take much to create an info product.

All you need are expert knowledge and a platform to host your course.

There are a couple of things you want to keep in mind if you plan to create and sell your info product.

  1. Do not neglect copywriting

Words on your sales page, aka copywriting, matters as much as the quality of your product.

You can have the best product in the world, but it’s going to be very difficult to sell your product if you can’t convince people why they need your product with your written words or a video.

When it comes to writing your copy, not only is it important to convince people to buy your product logically, but you also want to appeal to your audience’s emotion.

People buy on emotion and justify it with logic.

You want to identify what primarily motivates people to buy something.

In most cases, people are looking for transformations.

Your chance of success will be drastically higher If you promise those transformations and deliver on those promises with quality products.

  1. Do not skimp on product quality

Even if you manage to sell your product with great marketing, your success will be short-lived without creating a quality product that benefits your audience’s lives.

You may consider offering one-on-one help to some of your email subscribers before creating your info product.

Doing this will help you understand your target audience’s struggles and pain points on a deeper level, which will help you create a great product and craft a better marketing message.

8. Abandoned Cart Email

This section mostly applies if you have a product to sell.

Abandoned cart refers to when a potential customer adds a product to their cart from your website but doesn’t make a purchase.

A cart abandonment email is an email reminder for these customers who are on the fence.

Reminder email to complete the purchase

One study shows that nearly 50% of people open cart abandonment emails, 21% click on the link within an email, and half of those who click end up making a purchase.

In other words, you are leaving out a significant amount of money if you don’t send a cart abandonment email to your website visitors.

General Tips for Monetizing Your Email List

Use Webinars

Webinars are one of the most preferred ways to sell an online product, and for good reasons.

A study shows that 58% of marketers use webinars to promote their business and 32% view webinars as critical tools for success.

Not only is the webinar useful for conversion, but it also has a synergistic effect when it’s combined with email marketing.

Research shows that 45% of marketers consider emails as the best tool for promoting webinars.

So why are webinars so effective?

First, people’s attention is shifting more toward videos.

Video marketing is the inevitable future as videos are responsible for more than 80% of internet traffic.

More importantly, videos allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

It’s easier to build trust when people can see your face, and you are not just a faceless entity that’s presenting the information.

A good webinar strategy will give you an edge over your competitors.

Follow-up

Follow-ups are more important than your initial email.

One study shows that a follow-up email may even get a 40% higher reply rate than the initial email.

Another study showed an impressive 27% response rate on the 6th follow-up email as opposed to 18% on the first.

Follow-ups serve as an incredible tool for turning leads into customers if done right.

You will never monetize your list to its fullest potential if you neglect follow-ups, whether you are selling your info product or working as an affiliate for another company.

Conclusion

It can feel daunting to figure out how to monetize your email list with so many different options when you are just starting with email marketing.

If you feel overwhelmed, you may consider starting with affiliate marketing or consulting before exploring other options, such as info products.

Neither affiliate marketing nor consulting requires you to create your product, making them the most straightforward ways to monetize your email list.

Once you understand your niche better, you will be better prepared to create a high-quality info product.

Author Bio

Jin Choi

Jin Choi is a writer at the MoneyNam blog, where he writes about online business tips and ideas.

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