Email marketing has the highest conversion rates of any marketing channel. In fact, 66% of online consumers made a purchase after receiving an email marketing message — which is more than social & direct mail, according to the Data & Marketing Association. And transactions from email are 3 times more profitable than these made on social media, reports the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
How to monetize email marketing
1. Sell something!
Already have a product/service to sell? Awesome! Skip this section.
If not, this is your first step. Find a physical or digital product/service to sell. Without a product to promote, it will be extremely difficult to make money with your email marketing efforts.
Not sure what to sell? Here’re some ideas to get you started:
• Training guides
• Online courses (Click here to Learn How to Create an Online Course.)
• Private virtual coaching sessions
2. Sell other people’s products
You do not always have to sell your products or services to monetize email marketing. Instead, you could be an affiliate of other businesses’ products/services. As an affiliate, you get commissions from a business to send traffic to their site & generate sales.
Here is an example of a great affiliate connection: An online business coach offers planning & operations advice to her clients. To help them turn her advice into reality, she suggests affiliate tools — like website hosting services & landing page providers — to serve her clients’ marketing & sales needs.
Many companies have affiliate programs you could join — like AWeber! You can sign up for our affiliate program here.
3. Upsell premium/exclusive products
One of the greatest opportunities for increasing revenue with email marketing is developing your average transaction amount at the time of purchase a.k.a. upselling.
Say you are a life coach. Your main product is an online monthly membership that includes access to a community of users, webinars & a database of resources.
A potential upsell: A participant can pick the topic they want you to focus on & ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in a live webinar in a virtual room filled with other members. Many people can pay top dollar to get this individualized attention.
Every purchase a customer makes gives your insight into their likes and interests. You could use this info to entice them with other products they may enjoy.
You probably have an email in your inbox right now that reads, “Because you bought this, you may be interested in this.” That is because online shoppers who get targeted messages based on previous shopping decisions might be more likely to purchase again.
Here’s an instance of a great cross-sell: A digital marketer offers a paid online course called “Learn How to Become a Master at FB Advertising.” Once a person completes the course, they are automatically sent an email that cross-sells another course — this time about FB video marketing.
I suggest sending an automated email with additional recommendations approximately 1 to 3 weeks after a customer’s initial purchase. It is super easy to set up targeted, automated email sequences like these. Give it a try! Create your FREE account today.
5. Get repeat purchases
Along the same lines as cross-selling, you might have a product/service that calls for repeat purchases. A friendly reminder email is an effective way to keep bringing in a steady stream of sales.
The method to monetize email marketing works extremely well for businesses that rely on recurring, seasonal/perishable goods. For instance, a window cleaning service may email a client at the end of each season to remind them to schedule the next appointment.
Another tip: Throw in a coupon. Offering a person 15% off their next cleaning may give them the boost they need to book another session.
6. Have a cart abandonment plan
We are all a bit forgetful, so it’s no surprise that buyers often get distracted or step away from a purchase because they were not ready to buy at that moment. But if you are using an e-commerce platform like WooCommerce, you know what they left behind.
Now, you could automatically send highly relevant emails encouraging them to buy the product/service they were considering. Customers who received abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one followup email, according to Experian. Try sending the first message a day after, a second message 48 hours after, and possibly a third message within 3 or 4 days of abandonment.
It doesn’t hurt if you inject some humor/personality to catch the reader’s eye. Check out the example from the clothing company Chubbies.
And this instance from the Dollar Shave Club that quickly reminds the person of all the benefits they are missing out on by not joining.
7. Ask people to spread the love!
The last tactic I will write about is also one of the oldest marketing plans: word of mouth!
According to a Nielsen report, 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues & friends about goods & services.
So if you have an engaged, loyal customer base, send the emails encouraging them to recommend your products & services to their friends and acquaintances. You could also go a bit further by asking them to give you positive online reviews & to “like” & share your social feeds.