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How To Effectively Monetize A Small Email List

Email is an essential part of our lives.

It’s where a lot of our personal and work communication takes place.

The number of email users in the world continues to grow and since everyone is increasingly using this form of communication, it’s essential that you learn how to make money with email marketing.

A lot of marketers believe that it’s not possible to make money with your email list until it reaches about .

That is just not true. You don’t have to wait until you gain any specific number of subscribers before you can start selling products to your list.

In this post, we’re going to look at how you can make big money even when you have a small list. The good news is that the strategies listed below will work whether you have 100, 1,000, or 100,000 email subscribers.

The Money’s Definitely in the List!

According to a lot of stats, email has an ROI ranging between 38 and 43 times what you invest. But it’s important to have effective strategies in place if you hope to reach these impressive numbers.

Listed below are 14 tactics you can use to increase the revenue from your email list.

1. Segment your List

It’s been proven that segmented campaigns bring in more revenue.

They increase your open rates and click-through rates. Such campaigns also boost engagement with your email subscribers since you’ll be providing them with content that is more relevant to them.

This is something you should start doing from the very beginning, but if you’ve already started building your list, don’t worry. You can still segment it according to demographics, open rates, past purchases, interests in various products, and so on.

Segmenting your list in this way gives you a clear picture of who exactly your potential customers are (and who are the lurkers…). You can then focus on selling various products to the people who are truly interested in buying them.

If you’re not sure where to begin, there are some articles on my blog to get you started with your email segmentation.

2. Replay Promotions

This tactic involves replaying some of your previous popular campaigns. For instance, was there a time when you offered something that your readers absolutely went crazy for?

Well, do it again!

Keep track of all the wildly successful campaigns and replay those promotions every once in a while. If your audience is anything like the rest of us, they’ll perk up when presented with a discount or promotion anyway, so leverage that to bring in money instantly.

But remember, don’t overdo the promotions. That will have the opposite effect to the one you’re trying to achieve.

Keep them to a couple of times a year.

3. Use the ‘TYP’ Method

TYP stands for ‘Thank-you Page’. This method involves selling a product (whether yours or an affiliate) on the thank you page of your opt-in. That’s the first place you should start optimizing your email list.

When your readers opt in for that offer, it’s because they are already interested in your products or services, and that’s the perfect time to try to convert them into paying customers.

Just don’t make your TYP offer a high-priced one.

It should be priced in such a way that they won’t have to think hard about whether or not to get it. It should also be of such extreme value that buying it is a no-brainer.

4. Use a Tripwire

A tripwire is simply an affordable offer that you pitch to potential customers soon after they sign up to your list.

This typically ranges from $5 to $50 and it’s intended to help speed up the development of the buyer-seller relationship. This is a textbook example when it comes to making money through email.

Studies show that customers who buy tripwires are ten times more likely to shop in the future and eventually purchase your core offer.

The reasoning behind using tripwires is that people are more likely to buy from you again afterward than they are to convert to customers in the first place.

After they convert to paying customers by buying a cheap BUT extremely valuable product, they will be a lot more likely to buy your higher-priced offers.

5. Up-selling

You know how when you buy a burger, you’re asked if you’d like some fries with it?

Well, that’s up-selling. Whenever your email subscribers buy something from you, you can offer them a more expensive product from your brand or even an upgrade with that specific purchase.

For example, those in the travel industry do this particularly well, with over half of all airline passengers and hotel guests being interested in upgrades or additional services.

Up-selling is something you can find a way to do no matter what industry you’re in.

6. Down-selling

As you well know, not everyone you sell to will purchase your offer.

But it doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on all the customers who back out of buying your products. One effective way of turning some of those people into paying customers is to offer those people discounts or a lower-priced product that has similar features.

That’s called down-selling.

And by doing this, you make it easier for someone to say yes to your product, particularly if you make the down-sell a real bargain that they absolutely cannot resist.

7. Cross-selling

Whenever someone buys a product from you, you show them an amazing add-on product to complement their purchase. This is something that e-commerce giant, Amazon is particularly good at.

They report that over a third of their total revenue is generated by cross-selling products to their customers.

If you don’t have many products that you can use for this, it’s a good idea to look for affiliate products that complement your own core offer.

Since your prospects are already in the buying frame-of-mind, you can leverage that to sell them even more and increase the revenue you bring in.

8. Paid Premium Content Subscriptions

Creating a paid subscription for your premium content is something else that you can do to increase your revenue.

If you’re an expert in your particular field, you’ll have a lot of hands-on knowledge that you can use to create premium content that you can offer your subscribers for a monthly, yearly, or onetime fee membership.

If your content is truly valuable (and if it can’t easily be found anywhere else for free), then you’ll find that your audience will be happy to pay to access it.

Even charging a small fee of $7 to $15 will help you make lots of revenue over time.

You can offer your membership at a heavily discounted rate the first month, and then at the regular price for the following months.

9. Start Coaching

Yet another amazing way of monetizing your list if to offer paid consulting or coaching to your subscribers. One to one coaching is a great way of boosting your revenue even when you have a small email list.

There are case studies of some consultants who are making tens of thousands of dollars from tiny lists of less than a thousand subscribers.

That’s really amazing when you stop to think of it, and if they can do it, so can you!

10. Abandoned Cart

Abandoned carts present a huge problem for online businesses and retailers.

Your potential customer is right on the verge of purchasing your product, but they change their mind and decide not to buy it at the last possible moment.

There are a lot of reasons why they could choose not to buy from you, but we won’t go into that right now.

Instead, let’s look at what you can do about it.

The best thing to do in such a case is to retarget those customers through an email series and do your best to convince them to purchase your product.

Don’t delay your campaign for recovering abandoned shopping carts because it will cost you a lot in lost revenue.

Have an email auto responder series ready to target those users who don’t complete their purchase.

11. Do Webinars

One of the most important differences between promoting your products on your website, social media, etc. and doing so through email is that you’re certain you’ll reach your customers through email (provided they open the email, of course).

Most people check their email several times during the day, but they might not come to your blog your visit your social media whenever you publish.

This means that they may not see your offer in time, especially if it’s a time-sensitive offer like webinars which are actually a great way of monetizing your list.

So the next time you’re preparing to do a webinar, the first thing to do is email the registration page to your contact list.

This way, you’ll get more people signing up for your webinar, during which you can pitch and sell your products or services. In most cases, over 80% of the webinar attendants come from email list subscribers.

12. Affiliate Marketing

Most of the products we’ve discussed so far can help you make more money from your list from selling your own product(s).

However, not everyone has their own stuff to sell, so how do you make money with your list in such a case?

Simple: affiliate marketing.

I touched on this a bit earlier, but it’s important to understand that affiliate products aren’t just there to help you complement your own, but you can also use them for your core offer, up-sells, down-sells, and cross-sells.

You can still make a lot of money with your list using other people’s products.

Just make sure that you only recommend products that you absolutely believe in, otherwise, you’ll lose your subscribers’ trust and your list will eventually become worthless to you.

There are a lot of companies and brands who will happily pay you a commission on the sales you generate for them.

Simply find products for your audience that are a great match and you’ll be on your way to making some extra cash. Check out this post that I wrote recently for some useful tips on how to get started with affiliate marketing.

You can get started with any of these popular affiliate networks:

13. Sell Ads in Your Emails

One other way to monetize your email list is to sell ads in your newsletter.

If you already have a big list with about two thousand subscribers or more, you’ll be able to make big bucks by selling advertising space inside your newsletter.

However, this is still something you can leverage even while your list is still small – you just won’t make as much from it during the early days.

All you have to do is add a few lines reviewing the product or service from the advertising brand in your emails, and then add a link to their page, and you’ll get paid.

14. Sell or Rent your List

My list was really only made up of 13 items, but for the superstitious among us, I’m just going to add a 14th item here.

Although, to be honest, this isn’t something I recommend as it doesn’t work as effectively these days.

If you’re looking to make some quick money, you can sell or rent your list to other businesses in your niche who are interested in the same customer base.

Just remember to consider all the legal implications associated with selling or renting your email list.

The Bottom Line

When starting out, email monetization may seem like something that’s impossible to achieve, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be able to make money even with a list of a hundred email subscribers.

There’s no magic number of email subscribers that you need to achieve before you can create a product and start selling it.

When experts say, ‘The money’s in the list’, they mean any size list. So get started building and monetizing your list right now, no matter how small it is!

Feel free to post your comment below.  An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!


Updated: Originally published March 31st 2019

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