The Ultimate Guide on How To Monetize Your Email List

Editorial Staff

By creating a regular newsletter you are simply creating one more medium through which you can deliver advertising, and therefore one more medium to sell to advertisers. 

You can sell naming rights to the newsletter, or sell multiple banners per newsletter depending on your design. Services such as Aweber or Mailchimp allow you to easily start a mailing list with very little technical knowledge.

Broadly speaking there are two types of emails; eDM and Solus emails.

An eDM is also known as electronic direct mail. In the offline marketing world, a DM is known as direct mail, and is something you’d find in your homes letterbox. So in a digital world, we just chuck an e on the front and make it eDM.

A solus email is a full-page advertorial email, fully paid for by an advertiser. It has one message, and one message only. You’ll want to limit how often you send these as they can result in unsubscribes and sometimes annoyed customers.

More Subscribers = More Money

Any internet market will preach how valuable it is to grow your email database. You need to start doing it as soon as possible.

If I put on my eCommerce hat for a moment, it’s not unusual to see 20% – 30% of all sales and revenue coming from people who click on weekly emails.

From a blog’s perspective, the people who have already visited your blog, read a few articles, and signed up to your email list, are your biggest fans. It doesn’t take much of a nudge to get them to come back to the website again (and again) to read your latest articles.

There are multiple ways to grow your email list:

✅ Sidebar opt in form

✅ Post footer opt in form

✅ Footer opt in form

✅ Overlayed form

✅ Slide-in form

Don’t be afraid to use two or three of these methods. If you just use one you are limited the growth of your email list significantly.

(The next module explains how to implement these on your website)

You’ll often need to offer an incentive for the user to join your email list, unless your content is extremely valuable (which I’m sure it is 😊)

💡 Provide access to an exclusive report, guide, or calculator you have developed that your audience will find useful or interesting.

💡 Run a monthly draw exclusive to your email subscribers. This could be as simply as a $20 Amazon voucher, or make it more targeted to your niche and offer something related to that.

💡 If you sell a digital or physical product, a simple 5% – 10% discount will usually do the trick.

💡 You could keep the offer more open ended such as “Sign up to receive exclusive deals and discounts”.

Most web platforms will come with some existing widget or plugin you can use to collect email addresses, and these will work just fine in 70% of cases.

However if you have a little bit of a budget to fast-track you growth, there are premium plugins and tools available which will create beautiful sign up forms.

🏆 My recommended premium tool is Convertbox.com

It is a simple, stress-free way to add good looking opt-in boxes to your website. For over 10 years I struggled with creating opt-in forms I didn’t slightly cringe at. They are frustrating to format nicely, and even more frustrating to make function well. So in early 2020 when I discovered Convertbox it was a no-brainer.

eDM Ads

When I have managed the eDM content as a sales & marketing manager I had a number of ad placements up my sleeve.

  • Full sponsorship & naming rights
  • Lead banner
  • Advertorial

I’d also include within the email

  • Sponsored content from the website
  • Promote sponsored competitions

Let’s look at stacking an eDM email.

[example of standard email]

[ example of stacked email]

Solus Ads

A solus email is a full-page advertorial email, fully paid for by an advertiser. It has one message, and one message only, and is sent to your subscriber list (or a portion of it).

It is reasonably common-practice, and it allows the advertiser to tap into your list of readers, which they may not be able to reach otherwise.

You can price your Solus Ads in a number of ways:

👉 Per lead: You can ignore all other metrics, and agree with the advertiser to charge them per lead they receive as a result of the email. This is good when the advertiser is asking readers to sign up for something, enter a competition, request a quote, or anything else that requires them leaving their details (but not necessarily making a purchase).

👉 Per number of sends (CPM): You can charge based on how many people are on your subscriber list, as obviously sending an advertisers message to 10,000 people is more valuable than sending it to 500 people. Even if no one converts as a result of the email, you have still exposed 10,000 people to the advertisers brand!

👉 Per click: Most email software can let you track how many people click on links, buttons, or images in the email. You can agree with an advertiser to charge a few dollars per click, much like the way Google Search Ads work. In fact, to decide what to charge per click, you can look up what a click on a search ad costs in your industry. Sometimes clicks are under $1 (for example, clothing items), but other times a click is worth over $10 (such as insurance).
👉 Per number of acquisitions (CPA): If the advertisers wants sales, then you can get a CPA or commission based payment. This is going to be higher than what you would get when charging per lead or per click, and could range from 2% to 50% of the sale price (50% is rare in most cases, but can be found with digital products such as software).


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