Email marketing is a powerful way to make money. On average, for every $1 you spend on it, you can expect to get back $36. Plus, with over 4 billion people using email every day, it’s one of the most popular ways to communicate worldwide.
Because of these impressive stats, the email marketing industry is expected to grow to $17.9 billion by 2027. This means that if you want to build a profitable email list or newsletter, now is a great time.
However, making money from your email list isn’t always easy. Email is personal, and unlike social media or blogs, it goes directly to each person’s inbox. This personal touch is great for marketing, but it also means people are sensitive to ads.
If you want to monetize your email list without upsetting your subscribers or ending up in their spam folders, here are seven methods to consider.
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How to Make Money with Email List: 7 Best Ways
Before we dive into the strategies for making money through email, it’s important to set realistic expectations.
While email marketing can deliver an impressive 3,800% return on investment (ROI), it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. Building an engaged email audience takes time and effort; it’s just one part of the equation.
So, if you ever come across someone promising you’ll pocket an extra $10k in just a month of email marketing, it’s best to be skeptical.
Now that we’ve clarified that, let’s explore the straightforward ways to make money with your email list.
1. Affiliate Marketing
When it comes to earning money online, affiliate marketing is a go-to option. But what’s it all about? It’s actually quite simple:
Imagine you’re a personal finance blogger and coach. You can team up with companies like eToro, Binance, or Robinhood, which offer affiliate programs. You promote their financial products to your email subscribers, and when someone buys through your unique affiliate link, you get a commission.
Here’s the deal: Success in affiliate marketing depends on two things:
Trustworthiness: Only promote products you trust. Your reputation matters; don’t promote anything sketchy.
Expertise: Stick to products related to your niche. Your knowledge is your selling point.
In fact, I once made $10k from a single blog post connected to a bank’s affiliate program. That was possible because of my strong personal brand and credibility.
Affiliate marketing is a proven way to make money online. When done right, it’s straightforward and profitable.
Here’s a simple breakdown:
Choose Your Partners: Pick companies that align with your business.
Sign Up: Join their affiliate program and get your special affiliate link.
Promote: Share the product with your audience, especially through email marketing.
Track Performance: You and the company can track how your campaigns are doing – clicks, sales, the whole shebang.
Get Paid: You earn a commission for specific actions, like sales or sign-ups.
Using your email list can be a great way to boost your newsletter and website’s affiliate earnings.
But here’s a heads-up: Not all affiliate programs allow you to send their links in emails. For example, Amazon doesn’t allow it.
Also, some email services don’t permit affiliate links in the emails you send.
To avoid any problems, make sure to read the rules of both your affiliate program and email service provider before including affiliate links in your emails. Alternatively, you can direct people to an affiliate landing page on your website instead of sending them directly to the product page. This way, you can follow the rules and still make money through affiliate marketing.
2. Advertising and sponsorships
Here’s another way to boost your income with email marketing: include sponsored content and ads in your email campaigns. This strategy works best if you have a substantial email list, say, at least 2,500 subscribers.
Here’s the key: The bigger and more engaged your email list, the more attractive you become to potential advertisers. This is all related to something called “CPM” (Cost per thousand impressions), which sets ad prices in your newsletters.
To attract more brand deals, your pricing should be lower than what a sponsor expects to earn.
In simple terms, if a sponsor thinks they can make $1,000 from an ad, your rate should be less than that.
You can estimate this by multiplying your average click-through rate (CTR) by your email list size and then by the expected cost per transaction.
For example, if your CTR is 1%, you have 1,000 subscribers, and your partner brands have an average order value of $10, the calculation would be:
0.01 (CTR) x 1,000 (Subscribers) x $10 (Order value) = $100.
So, your ad should cost less than $100 for it to be a good deal for the brand. Play around with these numbers to figure out your newsletter business strategy.
Don’t forget to track how well the ads perform, often using UTM campaign parameters.
As your newsletters grow in influence, brands interested in your audience will come knocking. There are three main ways to add sponsored content:
- Sell Classified Ads: These are smaller ads sprinkled throughout your newsletter.
- Dedicated Emails: These are emails exclusively for one sponsored content piece.
- Sponsored Emails: These include bigger ad placements within your newsletter.
Once you’ve picked a format, think about pricing. You can set a flat fee, like $500 for an ad spot, or use a CPM (Cost per thousand) model. Then, reach out to potential buyers with your sponsored weekly newsletter offer or check out marketplaces like Paved, Swapstack, Whosponsorsstuff, or Sponsorgap.
3. Create and Sell Your Own Info Product
Building an info product from scratch takes time and effort, but it can pay off big time in the long run.
When you create and sell your very own product, you keep 100% of the profits. No splitting it with anyone else.
But before you dive in, you need to choose the right topic. How do you know what info product to create that your audience will actually want to buy?
The best strategy is to make sure your info product answers a burning question your audience has. Engage with them and ask about the problems they’re facing.
Once you’ve settled on the type of product you want to create, give your audience a sneak peek behind the scenes and ask for their feedback. Sharing bits of an ebook or teaser videos for a course can build excitement for your product’s launch.
To make the deal even sweeter, offer early-bird discounts or bonus products in exchange for feedback.
After gathering feedback and making improvements, collect testimonials that you can use to boost the conversion rate of your landing page. Then, go all out for a full-fledged product launch.
To stand out, make sure your product is comprehensive, reasonably priced, and delivers top-notch quality. This will not only set you apart but also earn you some awesome testimonials for your landing page.
4. Tripwire Offers
A tripwire offer is a smart way to engage new email subscribers affordably. It’s a low-cost product or service designed to turn subscribers into buyers, even if it doesn’t make big profits on its own. According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, repeat buyers are nine times more likely to purchase compared to first-time buyers. So, think of a tripwire offer as an initial investment in your business.
While tripwire offers might not rake in huge profits, they pave the way for future sales by bringing your audience closer to higher-priced products.
The key is to find the right offer, like a template, guide, ebook, or a discount on a more expensive item. Once you’ve identified a winning offer, you can automate the process for all new email subscribers.
However, don’t compromise on quality just because it’s affordable. Your tripwire offer should impress and exceed your subscribers’ expectations. This positive first experience boosts the chances of future purchases.
To implement a tripwire offer, simply introduce a low-priced product or service to your new subscribers. Make it easy for them to say, “Sure, it only costs $5, why not?” or offer a great deal like a $30 online strategy session if you’re an online life coach. As long as you deliver quality, you create an opening to pitch your pricier services.
In practice, this means creating a special landing page with your enticing offer and following up with an email about additional options after they’ve made the initial purchase.
5. Launch Your Paid Newsletter
Starting a paid newsletter might seem tricky, especially if you’re still growing your email list. You might be thinking, “I’m having a hard time getting people to sign up for my free emails, so how can I get them to pay for it?”
You’re spot on; it can be challenging in the early stages. But here’s the thing: with time and by providing real value to your readers, you can eventually:
Upgrade Your Free Email Sequence: Begin by turning your existing free email content into a premium paid newsletter.
Create a Premium Version: Offer an enhanced version of your regular newsletter with exclusive content that won’t be available anywhere else.
Before diving in, it’s a good idea to dip your toes first. Gathering feedback from your audience is crucial. Email marketing gives you a natural opportunity to gather insights from your subscribers. Ask them:
- Would they be willing to pay for a premium newsletter?
- What kind of content would they be ready to pay for?
- How much would they be comfortable paying?
Paid newsletters offer several benefits. They’re highly scalable, meaning there’s no limit to how many subscribers you can have, and your revenue is predictable. Plus, you can keep your content unbiased since you don’t need to rely on ads or sponsored content for income.
When setting the price for your paid newsletter, make sure to factor in platform fees. Some popular paid newsletter platforms include:
- Substack: Charges 10% plus credit card fees.
- ConvertKit: Charges 3.5% plus 30 cents per transaction.
- Ghost: Has a monthly platform fee but charges 0% on transactions.
Because of their scalability, paid newsletters are often priced affordably, sometimes as low as the cost of a cup of coffee, with monthly subscription models. As the creator, you can afford to keep the price low because it doesn’t cost you more to have more subscribers.
However, some larger publications, like The Economist and the New York Times, charge as much as $20 per month. The price you can charge depends on your audience, especially if they consider it a valuable business expense.
6. Create an Online Course
Making money with email marketing becomes exciting when you create a paid online course. It’s a popular choice among solo entrepreneurs because it can be very profitable.
While sharing tips and insights in newsletters is great, teaching your audience new skills and knowledge is even better.
To create your paid course, here’s a simple roadmap:
- Identify Audience Pain Points: Start by understanding what challenges your audience faces.
- Plan Your Course: Develop a clear step-by-step plan to help them overcome those challenges.
Managing a digital course might sound daunting, but platforms like GetResponse offer conversion funnels to make it easier. Here’s how it works:
Stage 1: Attract Website Traffic: First, you need visitors to your website. You can use paid advertising campaigns, and you can manage these ads within the conversion funnel.
Stage 2: Convert Visitors into Leads: Convert your website visitors into leads. You can use a signup form for landing pages with gated content or an exit popup for blog posts to collect emails.
Stage 3: Nurturing Leads with Email Marketing: Once you have leads, use email marketing to nurture them. Start with a welcome email, then provide valuable content. This sets the stage for pitching your paid courses through an upsell email.
Stage 4: Show the Value of Your Course: Create website content that highlights your course’s outline, structure, and benefits. Craft a persuasive message to turn your subscribers into paying customers.
Stage 5: Upselling and Premium Offers: You can also use the conversion funnel to offer premium, time-limited deals to your trainees.
Stage 6: Connect to Payment System: Finally, connect your chosen payment system to see the revenue roll in as subscribers enroll in your course.
Customization is key when using conversion funnels. You can tailor the steps to fit your unique approach. For instance:
- Start with a landing page to collect sign-ups.
- Then, reach out to new subscribers with an autoresponder.
- Guide them to the sales page, connected to the payment method.
- Have a confirmation page and track your earnings.
Take inspiration from success stories like Alex Terrier, a jazz musician who used a conversion funnel to sell his music course. In just 30 days, he attracted a large audience by offering high-quality content to aspiring musicians.
Creating and selling your online course can be highly rewarding with the right strategy and tools. It’s a great way to share your expertise and generate income while providing value to your email subscribers.
7. Host Paid Webinars
Let’s discuss our final method for making money with email marketing: hosting webinars. Online events such as webinars can serve various purposes and are pretty versatile.
Free webinars are excellent for generating leads and giving extra valuable content to your email subscribers. With webinar tools like polls, surveys, chat, and Q&A, you can interact with your audience and understand their needs, which can be super helpful when you create other content, like blog posts or ebooks.
But when it comes to paid webinars, it’s a whole different game. It’s not about collecting leads; it’s about selling advanced knowledge and insights to people willing to invest in upgrading their skills or getting exclusive, valuable information not freely available.
Curious about the earning potential of paid online events? Here are some real examples from the State of Online Events 2022:
- A conference for coaching experts sold 881 tickets and earned 20,602 EUR.
- Training sessions for psychotherapists and psychologists (32 events) sold 7,103 tickets, making 686,808 EUR.
- A webinar to improve therapists’ skills sold 580 tickets and earned 12,309 EUR.
Impressive, right? Let’s dive into how to run successful paid webinars:
Create Great Content: Develop the content for your online event, including a script, slides, and extras like videos, quizzes, and surveys.
Consider Co-Hosts: Think about bringing in co-hosts if their expertise can enhance your webinar.
Set Up the Webinar: Name it well, pick a date, decide on the duration, and set the ticket price.
Record Automatically: Enable automatic recording so you can reuse your live event as an on-demand webinar, continuing to earn money long after it’s over.
Send Invitations: Invite your email subscribers to the webinar.
Social Media Promotion: Get the word out on your social media, both organically and through paid ads.
Run the Event: Host the webinar, keep your audience engaged, and deliver valuable insights.
Follow Up: After the event, follow up with attendees, offering additional content and potentially cross-selling your other digital products.
Paid webinars are a powerful way to monetize your expertise, provide value to your audience, and earn a substantial income.
Learn more: Best Ways to Make Money Online
How to Choose the Right Way to Make Money with Email
Email marketing is a powerful, cost-effective tool that lets you connect directly with your audience in a personalized way that blogs and social media can’t match.
You can make money through email marketing in various ways, such as promoting affiliate products, running a paid newsletter, or using email advertising. However, there’s no need to try everything all at once. Not every method will work for your audience, and it’s important to avoid launching something your audience doesn’t really want.
Here’s a simple approach to find the right method:
Know Your Audience: Understand your audience thoroughly. Engage with your subscribers individually to discover their needs and desires. You can achieve this by asking questions in your emails and building relationships with your subscribers.
Start Small: Focus on serving a few specific subscribers effectively before trying to reach hundreds or thousands. Once you’ve learned how to cater to a smaller group, you’ll be better prepared to expand your offering.
By taking these steps, you can effectively monetize your email marketing efforts and provide value to your audience at the same time.