“The money is in the list.” Have you ever heard that saying before? Well, if you’ve been properly studying the online marketing world, you probably have.
Some of the biggest names in the digital marketing space say it, and they’re right. They say that the money is in the list, which means that if you really want to build a business online, you need to start collecting e-mails from people and build an email list which you would then use to make sales and monetize your site.
In this post, we’ll go over the reasons why you should create an email list and how exactly to make money from it.
Why should you build an email list?
It’s actually pretty simple. Look, you can’t really convince people to buy your product or offer online unless they trust you, and they can’t really trust you by visiting your blog once then never coming back after that. When you’re collecting email addresses from people, it enables you to follow up with them by giving them valuable content they will like. Once you establish yourself as a credible source of content, readers will become buyers.
Basically, an e-mail list enables you to build trust with your target audience to convert them into paying customers.
How can you make money from an email list?
You can do that by promoting a product or service. Here’s how this happens in 5 steps:
- Someone visits your blog, and they like your content
- They decide to subscribe to your mailing list and give you their email address
- Once they do, you follow up with e-mails that offer valuable content to that person
- After a while, they start to trust you because you established yourself as someone who’s knowledgeable in your niche or topic (the customer feels like you know what you’re talking about).
- Once they trust you, you promote a product or service to your mailing list and make money from that
That’s how you can monetize your e-mail list in a nutshell. Now, we’re going to go more in-depth, and show you exactly how you can make money from your list.
What are the ways you can monetize your email list?
There are two ways to do that:
- Selling your own product or service: This could be a membership site, an e-book, an online course, etc.
- Selling other people’s offers: This means you’re doing affiliate marketing to sell someone else’s offer to get a small cut (or commission).
Either way, they both involve selling something. That’s where the money’s coming from. But to get there, there’s a whole process involved to get your customers to trust you and see you as someone who knows their way around the topic. Only then will you be able to sell something to your email list.
Let’s look at how exactly you can make money from your e-mail list step-by-step so that you can really see how all of this works.
How you can make money from email list from start to finish
We’ll lay out the necessary steps for you to generate sells using your e-mail list.
Step 1: You get traffic to your blog
This couldn’t be more obvious. To make money, you have to get some traffic to your blog first.
Step 2: A percentage of your visitors subscribe to your list
That’s what we call a “conversion rate.” This is the percentage of people who subscribe to your email list from the overall number of people who see your opt-in form. For example, if from 100 people who see your opt-in form, 2 of them subscribe, you have a conversion rate of 2%.
Step 3: You automatically send an autoresponder sequence to your new subscribers
Most email service providers enable you to create an email autoresponder sequence. If you didn’t know already, an autoresponder sequence is a series of e-mails that are automatically sent to people who are on your e-mail list after a trigger is activated.
For example, you could create an auto sequence that is automatically sent to people who subscribe to your e-mail list.
A lot of bloggers do this because it’s effective. It’s a great way to give your best content in the first e-mails you send to get your readers hooked to your blog.
Step 4: You send great content regularly
Here you have to give great content to your subscribers on a regular basis to keep them engaged and excited to read your blog. For example, you could send weekly e-mails to your subscribers to tell them about new blog posts that you wrote, or some interesting content you wanted to share with them.
Step 5: You promote a product or service
There are various strategies you can apply to promote your product to your audience. The ones that are the most effective are using webinars and doing product launches. Here’s how each one of them works:
- Hosting a webinar
A webinar is a conference that’s held on the web. This is an effective way to give your audience a chance to interact with you and ask questions while you’re talking to them on a live stream. When you’re hosting a webinar, you want to give value first. This means giving good quality information for free and then at the end promote your product.
For example, let’s say you have a blog that teaches people how to become graphic designers and that you have just released a course to help people that are just starting out. You could host a webinar for graphic designers who are just starting out, give them valuable information and at the end of the webinar, you could talk about your new course and how it’s going to help them kick-start their career so that they buy from you.
That’s how webinars work.
Doing a product launch
This means heavily promoting your product after it’s released. This is not another different tactic from the webinar; they go hand in hand. After (or even before) you release your product, you’ll set up a series of e-mails that you will send to your subscribers to tell them that you have a new product and convince them to buy it.
Of course, writing the e-mails requires some knowledge about e-mail marketing so you’ll need to learn a little bit about that as well.
Another way to promote your product is to simply mention it when it’s relevant in your content. If we take the previous example, you could write a blog post titled “10 common mistakes for beginners in graphic design.” At the end of that post, you could mention that you have a new course available and put a link to the product.
Where do you get good products you can promote?
Unless you’re going to create your own product, you’ll have to find someone else’s product to promote to your mailing list. You’ll be doing affiliate marketing to get a commission for every product that you sell.
When it comes recommending a product to your readers, you have a few options to choose from. Here’s how you can get good products to recommend:
Promote something you already use
If there’s some product that you already use and like that’s relevant to your subscribers, why not share it with them? For example, if you have a blog about graphic design, you could promote the software you’re using or a great course that you took. Anything that could be beneficial to your audience is something that you can promote to your list.
That way you can make money from your email list and at the same time share something useful.
Check out the popular products for your niche
If you’ve never really used any product yourself, you could go to Google and type in “best products for (your niche).” You’ll get the results showing you what’s currently trending and the best tools and products that interest your audience.
After you have found a product that’s popular, check out the reviews about it and then buy it to try it out. Most products won’t be too expensive so that way you’ll be recommending something that you really used to give your readers n honest opinion based on your experience using that product.
What are the best sites for affiliate marketing?
Using affiliate networks
If you want to do affiliate marketing, you’ll most likely use what we call an affiliate network. This is a site the sells products and enables you to create an account on their site to become an affiliate with them. This way you could start selling products for a commission.
There is a number of popular sites out there offering this service, but it’s best one to choose Amazon. It’s a well-known site that’s trusted by millions, and it has a wide range of products to choose from. You could sell almost anything.
Selling it directly through the product’s affiliate program
Amazon is a great choice, but there is a second option that’s also interesting. If you didn’t know it already, most sites that sell some kind of product have an affiliate program. This means that you could contact the seller directly without using Amazon as the middleman.
The advantage here is that you could get a bigger commission if you’re accepted into the buyer’s affiliate program directly instead of using an affiliate network. The downside is that if you use this method, you’ll have to signup for many affiliate programs at once, making it a bit hard to manage.
To know what your best option is, you could do some digging about the affiliate commission for each product. For example, let’s say I have a tech review niche site and I wanted to review a popular anti-virus software.
I would first go to google and type in “(name of the software) affiliate program,” and a result will most likely show. Once you have it, go to their site and see if they tell you what your commission is (4% for every sale for example). Amazon has a fixed commission for their products depending on the category.
For example, you’ll always make 4% on books. Go to Amazon and see if the commission there for software is bigger than 4%. If it’s not, then you’ll make more money selling the products directly with from their companies’ websites.
You should start with Amazon first, and then explore other options.
What you need to know about making money from your email list
There are a few things you should know first before you start selling to your email list:
Don’t be spammy/pushy
People hate it when someone wants to sell them something at all cost. Don’t be that person. If you want to make money blogging, you always have to have your reader’s best interest at heart. This means that you should always give tons of free useful content before asking people to buy from you and always selling products that are good.
Don’t sell something just to make a quick buck. You have to know how to build trust and solve your audience’s problems first. That way they will trust you, and they will gladly buy from you because you have demonstrated that you can actually help them.
Don’t sell something you haven’t tried yourself
If you want to sell affiliate products, don’t just choose a product because it has a high commission. Only sell products or services that you have tried and actually believe are good.
Use a landing page to sell your own products
If you’re planning to sell your own product, use a landing page. A landing page is basically a webpage specific to one product where you can find all sorts of information concerning that specific offer. Many successful marketers like Clark Kegley, Stefan James, and Alex Nerney from Create and Go use this method.
If you’re wondering what a good landing page looks like, here’s a good example.
Don’t create a product just because you like it
You should always remember that your content is geared towards your target audience wants, not you. You might think you have a great idea for a product, but without verifying if your target audience wants it, you’ll risk spending a lot of time, effort and money in vain.
Making money from your email list is a matter of trust. If your subscribers trust you and see you as someone who knows their craft, they will buy from you. If you want more information on email marketing, you should do some research on generating a smart passive income.
Also, if you’re looking for some good email providers, we’ve reviewed Convert Kit and Active Campaign for you. You can check them out here: