Here is a phrase you will encounter in the online affiliate marketing space: “The money is in the list.”
This phrase rings true – building up a quality list of prospects will make you money, long-term, literally at the press of a button.
Third-party marketers sell lists that you could buy, but organic opt-ins are much more effective. So, what are some strategies you can implement to monetize an effective email list?
Provide Useful Content
An email that reeks of “buy now!” often fares poorly. Keep the 80/20 rule in mind: 80% of the email should inform, educate or entertain, and the remaining 20% can be used for solicitation.
Also keep in mind that it can be hard to tell when you’re being too salesy – you may not see people unsubscribe to your email list, as it’s often simply easier for them to relegate future emails you send to the Spam folder. This is why you need to put a lot of thought into your content before you send out emails.
If your subscribers receive information that regular site visitors do not see, consider setting up a private message board where they can discuss the content of your emails and the products or services you sell. This is another example of showing appreciation to your customers – giving them their own space to communicate with each other.
Be active on the board so they can communicate with you as well. If you have a custom Thank You page for subscribers, consider adding the Facebook Like button to it.
Send Subscriber(s) to Your Site
Your emails can double as an information source and a platform to tell others about your site(s). You can send them to product reviews, in-depth “How To” articles or lists (Top 10 Reasons to…) that solicit a product or service at the end. Your imagination is the only limit.
When subscribers make a purchase from you, be sure to follow up with them – offline if possible. Ask if they are satisfied with their purchase, what changes they would like to see, etc. This is good relationship management, which is an integral aspect of customer retention.
Mention Helpful Products or Services of Affiliates
A great way to monetize your email list is to direct your recipients to any affiliates that you have a relationship with. For example, say two of your affiliates sell Christmas decorations and Halloween costumes respectively.
Link to them in your email and mention that you are a satisfied customer of theirs. Maybe even include a picture of the decorations you received from ChristmasPlace.com, or a photo of the scary costumes at HalloweenExpress.com that your children wore last year. If your emails lead traffic to these sites, you’ll make money.
Charge a Monthly Subscription
An email full of high quality content that contains information not easily found online can be monetized easily by charging a small fee for a subscription. You can charge anything you want, and some people even poll their regular visitors with questions such as, “What would you pay for this? What do you think is a fair price?”
If the newsletter costs only $5, you can do pretty well with 1,000 monthly subscribers. Build up to five thousand monthly subscribers and you are looking at some serious money. After you start charging for the newsletter, you can continue to monetize it further by promoting brands and products from trusted affiliates.
Promote Your Own Products
Once you have several subscribers, customer acquisition is no longer the focus. The focus shifts to customer retention – so use the email to pitch your own products.
Let your visitors know in advance what you will start offering in the future, then launch and monitor the endeavor’s progress so you can make any necessary changes. Ask for feedback – don’t wait for resentment to grow among unhappy customers.
Send Links to Useful Offers
You can send emails with links to Cost-Per-Action (CPA) offers such as gift cards or zip submits for your affiliates. When you make such offers with your list, you’re giving your affiliates a lead, meaning you get paid every time one of your list subscribers commits an action on an affiliate’s website – an action such as giving out their email address to sign up for a free newsletter.
Companies like NeverblueAds run zip submit offers, where customers submit a zip code in place of an email address. While these are somewhat uncommon, they can prove profitable for certain niches. Scott Weaver ran a four-week case study on a zip submit promoting a $250 gift card for groceries. It netted $915.
Keep customer loyalty in mind. Point your subscribers to offers that provide a solution, serve a need, or fulfill a want, and you’ll be sure to make some money with your email list.
About the author:
When Sara isn’t busy writing content, split testing pages or “working” on Facebook, she enjoys BBQs and spending time on the lake with her family and friends.