How to monetize a mailing list?

PenguinManiac

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Most websites will ask you to subscribe to their newsletter upon visiting one of their pages: this could turn out to be useful to you, but that obviously brings them a major benefit, namely one more address on their mailing list. They can be an extremely efficient promotional tool if used correctly, and you can always come up with new ways to use them.

If you were to build a mailing list and make money out of it (aside from promoting your own website, for instance), what would you do?
 

shrinkme

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I actually do have a mailing list, a small one. I think that the best thing to market is your own products, such as information, i.e. ebook or such. You can also market other people's products, which I do. Ultimately the products you choose should mesh with the reason people subscribed.
 

PenguinManiac

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PenguinManiac
Makes sense, yeah, thanks for the tip! Promoting ebooks is probably the most common solution, given how good emails are to provide a little summary of what your subscribers are going to get, but the same could be said about basically any product. Is it easy to find suitable products to promote there?
 

shrinkme

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shrinkme
I think most people can tell the difference between your products and other products you are promoting. If they like your writing, they will tend to want more.

For my emails, I usually write them first. If I write about a book I like, I will include a link on Amazon. If I write about an auto responder, I will include a link to that. I don't normally force a product in just to advertise it. I even go back and re-read emails to make sure I'm not being too awkward with links.

I'm not an expert on this by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I've only begun to promote with emails.
 

JonathanS

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JonathanS
I completely agree. Personally, when it comes to monetizing a mailing list through product promotion, I personally prefer tying a service to the niche of the website itself. That way there's a lead into the sale, sign up, click, etc. Within the letter, I try and keep my text informal but formal enough to be insightful and credible for the subscriber to read. Simply put, worth clicking on the link potentially leading to a sale. A prime example of this would be an herbal health blog. Promoting a supplement brand related to the topics discussed in the blog would be an easier niche because one leads into the other. Another example would be a health blog in general for 40+ men and women. Generic tips and thoughts on preserving our bodies as we get older. Promoting a life insurance package would seem fitting if possible. This is my approach towards earning commission off a sale of my own product, or through advertising another brands product/service.
 

PenguinManiac

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I think most people can tell the difference between your products and other products you are promoting. If they like your writing, they will tend to want more.

For my emails, I usually write them first. If I write about a book I like, I will include a link on Amazon. If I write about an auto responder, I will include a link to that. I don't normally force a product in just to advertise it. I even go back and re-read emails to make sure I'm not being too awkward with links.
Yeah, it's easy to tell the difference, especially with physical goods. Even the degree of expertise you talk about it with can give it away. It's always better to look like you know what you're writing about.
Oh, do you try to put together a list of similar products for the sake of consistency? It's hard to find products to promote at first, so being able to select them carefully and combine them is a truly useful skill.

I'm not an expert on this by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I've only begun to promote with emails.
Hey, sharing experiences is always useful, even if you have just started out, so thank you!
 

Arnesto

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Their are various CPA offers that can work well with large mailing lists. Of course you need products that will appeal to the users you collected.
 

nuzzo

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If you have a good segmented list, I would contact blog owners who offer products to their specific audience and see if they would like to pay you to market to them or drop in mail offers.
 

PenguinManiac

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I completely agree. Personally, when it comes to monetizing a mailing list through product promotion, I personally prefer tying a service to the niche of the website itself. That way there's a lead into the sale, sign up, click, etc. Within the letter, I try and keep my text informal but formal enough to be insightful and credible for the subscriber to read. Simply put, worth clicking on the link potentially leading to a sale. A prime example of this would be an herbal health blog. Promoting a supplement brand related to the topics discussed in the blog would be an easier niche because one leads into the other. Another example would be a health blog in general for 40+ men and women. Generic tips and thoughts on preserving our bodies as we get older. Promoting a life insurance package would seem fitting if possible. This is my approach towards earning commission off a sale of my own product, or through advertising another brands product/service.
I like that combination! It sounds pretty effective and click-inducing. Furthermore, it's very important to not being labelled as spam by viewers, which is the worst case scenario for a mailing list owner. Relevancy is the key. Thanks for the detailed answer!

If you have a good segmented list, I would contact blog owners who offer products to their specific audience and see if they would like to pay you to market to them or drop in mail offers.
Good advice as well. Small to medium sized blogs are more likely to hand out products to promote than bigger companies with their own well-settled lists. On the other hand, the pay would probably be drastically lower, but stacking more products together could add up to a decent profit margin.
 
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