I‘ve been hearing a lot of discussions lately as to whether building an email list is still a valid way to create more business and increase income.
Sure everybody’s doing it these days.
Sure many people will subscribe just to get your freebie and will unsubscribe the first chance they get.
Sure some subscribers will be unhappy with you no matter how much value you send them.
BUT it’s my strong opinion that list building still works very well for building stronger relationships with your readers/subscribers, providing additional value to them, and yes, creating yet another income stream.
As a matter of fact, I consider my list my biggest business asset I currently have.
How to Build an Email List 101
I build and stay in touch with my list with the help of email autoresponder system.
It’s the very glue that holds my business together, allowing me to capture email addresses of my readers and staying in touch with them through email broadcasts at any time.
It’s always a great idea to offer an incentive to your potential subscribers to join your list. In my case, I offer my free Bite-Size Traffic Hacks email series to those who join me.
However, if you provide exceptional content, chances are your readers will join your list just to receive your updates without any “bait”.
If you’d like to read more about my most valuable advice on how to build a responsive list, take a look at my how to build an email list resource section.
“Prelude” to Making Money with Email Marketing
Before you can make any money with your existing or future list, you need to understand this: your subscribers are most likely completely fed up with all the affiliate nonsense they get in their inboxes on a daily basis.
They don’t want to be sold to.
BUT they DO want to buy.
And they’ll be happy to buy from you, IF you show them that you are worthy of their attention.
If you are on my list, then you already know how I do it: I personally send out an email to every new subscriber on my list opening the door for them to introduce themselves.
Some respond, some don’t, but that’s not the point.
Every single subscriber on my list knows that I am a living and breathing person and I am accessible.
The size of your list is not nearly as important as your relationship with the people who entrusted you with their personal information.
Some bloggers do very well with a small list. Some niches might require a much bigger list before you start seeing any sizable benefits from it.
Either way, you won’t make a dime if you treat your list like a cash cow.
How to Make Money with Your List
Now that you A) started a list and B) provided them with value, it’s time to think about the ways you can make money with your newsletter.
Remember: one size doesn’t fit all.
Some or all of these strategies might work for your niche, but then again, some won’t.
The most important thing to remember when exploring ways to monetize your list is to make it RELEVANT to your audience.
You can’t sell a burger to a vegetarian!
Let’s get down to business and see what ideas we can come up with (feel free to add your input in the comment section):
1. AFFILIATE OFFERS
Personally, I rarely email straight affiliate offers. I hate getting them, so I hate sending them.
The best way to introduce relevant affiliate products is to do reviews on your blog or mention how you use the products for your own business in a blog post and then send the link to the post to your list.
2. SELL YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
This is something I am yet to do, but if you are ahead of me and already have a great product to offer to your subscribers, then the best way to do it is by sending them valuable free content like reports, videos, etc, then introducing them to your product/training program.
3. GET PAID TO SEND YOUR SUBSCRIBERS TO OTHER SITES
Some companies will pay you to send your subscribers to their offers.
For instance, you could make as much as $1 for every person who ends up opting in to download a free report on their site.
4. SELL SPONSOR ADS
For example, you can add a paragraph to one of your emails that advertizes a particular sponsor offer with a link to their website.
You can charge anything from $100 and up, depending on the size of your list.
5. “THANK YOU” PAGE
When a new subscriber joins your list, they are sent to a thank you page that generally would ask them to check their email and confirm the subscription.
Aweber offers some great choices for pre-made thank you pages, including a pretty neat Smart Video Thank You page, as well as an audio page.
Both of those options are a great medium between a generic “Check your email” page and a custom page.