By Graham Lee
Almost everyone who works online has heard the saying, ‘the money is in the list’. Everyone also knows that this statement is 100%true, if you don’t have a list, then you will struggle to make an income online.
First let’s clarify what ‘having a list’ actually means. It does not mean going out and simply buying a list of subscribers, this type of subscriber will most likely either not be a real person or will not be interested in your product or service and will quickly leave your list. To have responsive, interested subscribers on your list, they should be opt-in subscribers. This means they have requested to be on your list or have opted-in to receive the information you are offering.
So now we have our list of opt-in subscribers, what exactly are the benefits of having a list?
An opt-in list is crucial to any site or internet based company. Even for a small venture such as a niche profit site, an opt-in list can make a world of difference and add some extra income for your pocket. Most e-commerce sites, regardless of the size of the company, large or small, have an opt-in list.
An opt-in list allows the company to market their products or services and their website via an e-mail. With an opt-in list, a subscriber consents to receiving a newsletter or email from your company. This means you can keep your subscribers abreast of what is currently available in your market sector and more importantly what is available on your site, as well as whatever is due to be released in the future.
And because there is mutual consent between the two parties, any mail sent to the list is not considered as spam.
Probably the most important thing about an opt-in list is that because your subscribers have agreed to receive emails from you, they are more likely to read what you’ve written. There are a great number of successfully read catalogues, newsletters and such like that are sent because the subscribers themselves have signed up for them, meaning, they have an interest in the products or services and want to be sent those items.
So building a list is crucial, but only a small percentage of subscribers actually subscribe simply to be on your opt-in list. Subscribers are looking for information and many people find promotional mails annoying. If you provide a good newsletter or interesting content in your email, you will see your list build up and grow. You can do the same by having good content on your website. If people like what they see and read on your site, then they will want to know more and will sign up for your opt-in list. When you send out your emails or newsletter, you are really directing them back to your website, where you have your existing or new products for sale. The email or newsletter acts as a teaser or appetizer for your product or service.
But other than marketing your products and services, an opt-in list can also be used to generate extra profit. It would be a good idea to first build a successful list with a huge number of subscribers, by offering primarily information, until your list is large enough. The more subscribers you have, the more money you can get. If you immediately start pushing products at your list, you may find it shrinks rather than grows as your subscribers will simply see it as a means to sell to them. Provide the information they are seeking first, and then start using the following seven ways to make money using nothing more than your list.
1) Place advertisements.
There are many corporations who will be willing to pay to put their banners and ads on a list with many subscribers. Selling or renting out lists is not a good idea, you’ve probably already told your subscribers that you will not sell or give their name and email to anyone else, so don’t start. Rather than doing that, many companies would just rather place ads with lists that have a huge subscriber base. Your newsletter could be placed with many ads and each one spells money.
2) Form affiliations with other companies
Seek out companies that have at least a semblance or relation to what your site is about. These other companies can provide links and brief descriptions of their products and services. With every click made on the link that directs or leads a subscriber from your list to their site, the company will pay you. This is PPC or PPL marketing, Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-Lead, and can be very profitable.
Make deals with other companies by asking for a small percentage of sales generated through your list. With every completed sale by customers that have come from your list and have purchased the JV companies product through your newsletter, the other company will pay you a percentage of your sales. The more people who buy from them through your link, the more earnings you get.
4) Sell products or services directly
You may also get products from other sites on a consignment basis and sell them to your list via your newsletter. Place descriptions, articles and photos of the product in your newsletter. There will be those who would rather buy from you, because of the relationship you have built, than through the other company. When that happens, you can order the product from the other site and sell it to your buyer.
5) Sell e-books or a compilation of your articles on your list.
Manuals and how-to articles are in great demand. Many people will be willing to spend money to gain knowledge about a certain topic and subject. With your existing list trusting your expertise in that area, an e-book could be offered and sold or used as an incentive.
6) Create a network out of your list.
Get people to invite more people to view your site and subscribe to your list. The larger your list is, the more people will be able to click on your links and affiliate links, as well as make your advertisement rates higher. A good incentive in this instance is to offer a gift to anyone who brings in a new subscriber, very similar to an affiliate program. If it is simply to get a new subscriber and no purchase is involved, offering free reports or information is ideal.
7) Create a Partner network
Finally, you can use your list to earn money by offering to make your subscribers, partners or affiliates. Subscribers are generally more willing to pay for information if they know that it can be trusted and relied upon. They are also more likely to tell other people about the useful and informative product they have purchased from you, so give them a commission on any sales they generate.
Use your list effectively for more profits.
Your website and your list should go hand in hand in a never ending circle, to generate more subscribers and more sales.
You can use your website to get people onto your list, then use your list to direct your subscribers back to your website where your income source, or your products are listed. You can also use your list to get more people onto your list, by implementing some of the methods we’ve mentioned above. And as we’ve mentioned you can also use your list to generate more sales.
Your list will become the bloodline of your business growth and increase in sales and profits. Use it wisely.
About the Author
Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.
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