Love them or hate them, but you can’t deny that emails are still an essential part of any successful business. Your users love to subscribe to email lists. In fact, according to one DMA report, 60% of users sign up for at least one email newsletter to receive offers and sales.
If you’re reading this, you might also have one such email list or plan to develop one.
Now, most people think that if you don’t sell an offering, your email list can only be used to build your brand and keep your users engaged.
But little do they know that there are lucrative ways that you can use to monetise your email list and make money out of every email subscriber you add to that list.
Let’s find out how.
Start A Premium Membership
If you’re an infopreneur or someone who sends informative emails to your list, you can use a freemium membership strategy where the current list subscribers continue to receive the emails they usually do. But the premium subscribers get to join the special community where they may have benefits like:
- Membership to premium Facebook/WhatsApp/Telegram group
- One-to-one consultancy
- Free ebook
- Free course
- Premium weekly emails, etc.
But you can opt for this only if your emails have a reasonable open rate, you get to engage with your audience over emails, and if your content is worth paying for.
A great example of a premium mailing list is Hot Pod. The company lets its users subscribe for the premium emails at $7 per month.
Emails have started becoming a lot like websites. They’re not limited to just texts. You might already be using images or HTML in your emails.
But what if you could partner up with a third-party email ad network that provides you ads for your emails that you get paid for?
Email ads exist and are on the rise. There are a few well-known ad networks that you can start working with before you reach out to brands yourself. These are:
Email ads are similar to ads on your website. They come in different shapes and sizes like
- Display or Banner ads: Display ads are static image, animated, or video ads embedded in an email that occupy a pre-defined space and stand out from the rest of the content.
- Native ads: Native ads are camouflaged ads that mimic the email’s content but are supported with a ‘sponsored’ or ‘advertisement’ tag to make it stand out.
Earn From Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a revenue earning strategy where you promote another company’s products and charge a commission for every sale that you make. For example, if you have an email list of fashion enthusiasts, instead of just sending them just fashion tips and guides, you can also include affiliate links to Amazon or other ecommerce stores while recommending places to buy or offers.
This requires you to have a partnership with such stores that pay you commission for every lead that turns into a customer.
It isn’t as hard as it seems.
You don’t need to send cold emails to your prospective partners.
Most brands like Amazon, Etsy, etc., have their portals to help you register as their affiliates. Other not-so-big brands usually involve a middleman like Impact, Rakuten, or Share A Sale to find affiliate partners like you.
Develop Your Online Store
If you have a good set of followers that find you to be an opinion leader, it might be a great idea to set up your store and sell products or services that they usually look for in your niche.
Starting an email store is just like running a regular ecommerce store. The email will only work as the top of the funnel. Your store will be on your website or an existing ecommerce marketplace like Amazon or Ebay.
You can even work on developing a tripwire offer exclusively for your email subscribers. A tripwire offer is an irresistible, low priced offer designed specially to convert an audience into customers. This tripwire makes your subscriber stumble into the world of your ecommerce store, where you can use other strategies to upsell or cross-sell.
Host An Event
It’s the new era of virtual events – with both on-demand and live webinars, conferences, and workshop hosted online.
Usually, getting an audience to pay for such events is an uphill struggle. However, if you already have an email list with people who are already aware of who you are and what you’re good at, it’ll be easier for you to convert them into paying customers to attend your event.
You can choose from any of this virtual event:
- Conference: Conferences are large events where renowned speakers or industry experts are invited to speak on relevant topics. Sometimes, such events are so big that more than one talks may take place simultaneously.
- Webinar: A webinar is an online seminar where renowned speakers or industry experts speak on some topic of relevance. Such an event can be pre-recorded or live, followed by a Q&A session.
- Workshop: A workshop is a smaller event focused on training and information exchange between experienced players and newcomers. It has a limited audience and usually two-way communication.
Sell Your Book
If your subscribers already love the information you send them, publishing your book or an eBook would be a lucrative monetising strategy.
Once published, make your emails sound freemium. That is, you still send them informative emails but use your narratives to make them want more. Once they’re curious for more, pitch in your book.
Selling a book to your subscribers is far easier than promoting it to people who don’t even know you.
Develop And Sell Your Course
Courses are on the rise – especially the video courses. It is because of the changing trends of decreasing textual content consumption and increasing video consumption.
So, if you already have an email list that you send informative content to, starting and selling a course on the same topics might prove to be a rewarding strategy, and you might be able to monetise your email list properly.
You can host the course on your website or even use video hosting websites like Vimeo.
If you feel that your audience will hesitate in buying your course, try offering them a free trial of a few videos to woo them. If the course provides utility, this strategy can work wonders.
Sell Emails For Money [Not Recommended]
A not so recommended strategy to make quick money from an email list is to sell or rent the list to third party vendors.
Businesses look for niche email lists they can send their promotional or cold emails to. They are even willing to pay a good amount if the list is unique and hard to compile.
To sell your email subscribers data, you need to make a list of businesses that operate in your niche and who might require such a list. Send them cold or personalised emails about your offer, and you might get lucky.
However, this email list monetising method is usually unethical and might be illegal in some countries that respect privacy. So, make sure you read about the law of your country and the country your subscribers reside in before you even think of monetising your email lists by selling them.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on email list monetisation in the comments section.
A startup consultant, dreamer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 50 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.