How to Grow an Email List You Can Monetize

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So, you want to make money with your email list. Who could blame you? Email marketing is hard work, but it also yields results. At its most productive, email has an ROI of $45 to the dollar, which makes it one of the top marketing channels out there.

But monetizing your email list takes time, so if you’re not there yet, it doesn’t mean that your email marketing isn’t working. You may just need to get a bit more creative and test some new tactics.

Here are a few ideas you can implement easily, with results guaranteed.

Focus on the health of your email list instead of its size

The more subscribers I have, the more sales I’ll make, right?Many business owners think this way and, to an extent, it’s true. A larger audience allows for higher conversion rates, but this principle is null if your audience isn’t genuine.

On average, 23% of an email list churns annually. While you’re making efforts to gain new subscribers, your existing contacts are degrading. Data decay is natural, but that doesn’t mean you can’t counteract it. Once a quarter, run your list through an email checker to ensure you’re weeding out obsolete addresses. Also, to avoid poor-quality and invalid sign-ups, consider checking all your contacts before adding them to your list. You can do that by using a real-time email verifier and avoid bounces.

Bounces taint your sender reputation and bring down your email deliverability. So, if you want to monetize your email list, make it a rule to check its validity periodically and remove bounces and subpar data. That allows you to get your emails into the inbox and form a real connection with your audience.

Related: Almost 25% of Your Email List Has Gone Bad in the Past Year. Here’s How to Fix It.

Help your content stand out in the inbox

Your prospects and customers are probably getting more emails than they can read. What will make them click and open yours?

To answer this question, look in your own inbox and ask yourself what stands out — and why. Chances are the emails that get your attention are tailored specifically to you. Your favorite grocery store may be sharing its weekly deals, featuring the products you purchase most often. Or perhaps you’ve just subscribed to Entrepreneur and you got an email highlighting content you care about.

Segmenting your email list and personalizing every message should be a priority when trying to engage and monetize your audience. To better understand what your subscribers want from you, consider gathering more data via your sign-up forms. An astounding 77% of consumers are willing to share personal information with brands so they can get a personalized experience.

Build familiarity so you can stay top of mind

Launching an email marketing program is exciting. You have a million ideas and can’t wait to see them come to life. But for many business owners, this initial enthusiasm starts to dwindle if results don’t happen immediately.

However, email marketing takes time and consistency to work. You must send emails regularly and nurture your subscribers with helpful content before you can expect anything in return. With every email you send, your brand awareness increases, so even if you don’t make a sale, you’re warming up your prospects.

Sending emails on a schedule also supports your ability to reach the inbox. Your consistency tells inbox providers that you have a legitimate business, so your emails are more likely to stay out of the spam folder.

Consider partnerships and cross-promotions

It’s a tactic many companies employ to expose their brands to new audiences and increase subscriptions. Initiating partnerships with other businesses doesn’t have to involve much effort. Start by making a list of companies in your industry that could promote your products, and vice versa.

For instance, as a software provider, my company, ZeroBounce, partners with more than 15 other businesses with inspiring results. These collaborations can take many forms: blog articles, newsletters, webinars and social media cross-promos. Such win-win projects have allowed both us and our partners to boost visibility and email sign-ups.

Don’t wait — send a few emails today to at least five companies you could partner with. Outline the benefits and emphasize what you’re willing to offer. My own experience has taught me this is one of the most impactful tactics you can use to boost your exposure.

Related: How to build your email list the right way

Bonus tips to boost engagement

To build an email list you can monetize, you must work on boosting engagement first. Here are a few simple ways to entice more people to interact with your emails:

  • Avoid sending out an email if you’re not confident in the quality of your content. People tend to engage with your emails more if they know that every time they click to open, they get something worthwhile.
  • Include your audience in the topics you write about. Be curious, ask questions and spark conversations. Not only do replies help your email deliverability, but you’re also building stronger relationships with your subscribers.
  • Keep a natural balance between educational and self-promotional content. Every email can’t be a sales pitch. The core of your content should strive to inform, educate and entertain.


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