If you run an online business or a blog, you have probably come across the advice “money is in the list” more than a thousand times. And as a result, I am sure you have already built an email list.

Building an email list is simple and there’s a ton of information out there on how to do it. But when it comes to actually making money with your email list, you won’t find as much content.

If you don’t already have an email list, we recently published a guide on 7 strategies that help you skyrocket your email list growth. And if you already are building an email list, make sure you are not making these deadly list building mistakes.

If you already have an email list and are looking to make money from it, you are in for a treat. In this guide, I will break down everything you need to know about making money from your email list.

Making Money With Your Email List

You Don’t Need a List The Size of a Country

This is something I want to get out of the way before we talk about anything else:

Most people believe you need an email list the size of an entire country before you can start making any money with it. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You Don’t Need a List The Size of a Country To Start Making Money With It. @gangradem” quote=”You Don’t Need a List The Size of a Country To Start Making Money With It.”]

When it comes to making money with email marketing, the size of your list doesn’t matter.

Even if you have less than a hundred people on your email list, you can still make money.

The amount of money you can make from your email list vary depending on a lot of factors including the number of subscribers, how engaged your subscribers are and what industry you are in.

If you take just one thing from this article, it should be this:

When it comes to making money with email marketing, the size of your email list doesn’t matter.

Offer Value First

We buy from people we trust.

If the people on your email list don’t trust you, they won’t buy whatever it is you are trying to sell.

The best way to build trust with the people on your email list is to offer value first.

There are a lot of ways to offer value to your subscribers.

The best way is to offer them content that they want for free. Yes, for free.

When you do this, you will build trust with your audience.

What can you offer your subscribers?

Your free content could be a webinar, an eBook or a white paper.

And if you can’t offer them any of that, just offer them a simple blog post.

Whatever you offer needs to answer your audience’s questions and actually help them.

The easiest way to increase the unsubscribe rate of your email list is to hard sell your subscribers.

Method #1: Promote Other People In Your Industry

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money from your email list.

No need to offer customer support, or spend time fixing your products or even building it.

A lot of bloggers think that affiliate marketing is evil and it makes you look bad as a blogger.

But here’s the deal:

If you are promoting affiliate products that you trust and know will help your audience…

… you will build even more trust with your audience.
Promoting a product that solves your audience’s problems is how you can become your audience’s trusted advisor.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Promoting a product that solves your audience’s problems is how you can become your audience’s trusted advisor. @gangradem” quote=”Promoting a product that solves your audience’s problems is how you can become your audience’s trusted advisor.”]

Every subscriber on your email list you help solve their problem will become your fan for life.

Note: If you promote low-quality products that you don’t think will add value to the lives of your subscribers, you will burn your email list which will result in hundreds of unsubscribes every day.

Here are a few ways you can find affiliate products to promote in your industry:

Make a List of All The Products You Use

Make a list of the products that are related to your industry that you use yourself.

If you are in the weight loss industry, maybe, there’s an eBook you bought a long time ago that helped you lose weight. The product can be anything that is related to your industry.

Once you have a list of all the products you use, visit the websites of each of these products and look for a link to their affiliates section. It is usually at the bottom of the website in the footer.

If you can’t find their website’s affiliate section or if you think they don’t have a program for affiliates, send them a simple email asking if they have an affiliate program. Most of the time you will find that even the sites that don’t advertise their affiliate program do have one.

Find a Product From an Affiliate Network

Make Money With Your Email List Through An Affiliate Network

There are dozens of affiliate networks out there that make it easy for both merchants and affiliates to form a relationship.

These networks act as a middleman and allow affiliates to find merchants and vice versa. Most of these platforms are free to join for affiliates.

One thing that I like about Affiliate Networks is that they add a level of security for both the Merchants and the Affiliates. If you are promoting an affiliate product from an Affiliate Network, you will almost never face the problem of late payments or no payments at all.

Here are a few of the top affiliate networks:

Method #2: Give Them The Product They Want

The best way to make money with your email list is to sell your subscribers something they want. Unlike affiliate marketing, you get to keep all the profit from every sale you make. But it is harder and much more resource intensive to build a product of your own.

You will first need to find a product that your audience wants and then build it. This can take up a lot of time.

While this method comes with a lot more benefits than Affiliate Marketing, it also comes with a risk:

You might end up building a product that no one needs.

That’s why it is important that you first do some research and find out what your audience wants. Although building your own product may sound like a daunting task that will take hundreds of years, believe me, it’s not that big of a deal.

If you do the research and have the resources, you can easily build a product with minimal efforts.

Here is a simple 2-step process you can follow to build and sell your own products:

Step #1: Find What Your Audience Wants.

The best way to do this?

Ask your subscribers.

This way you don’t have worry whether or not your audience will like your product. If a significant amount of people in your target audience say they want a problem solved, then you can be sure they will buy your product.

Now, I am not saying you should send a “What product do you want me to sell you?” email. Instead, ask your subscribers what problems they face in their daily lives. These problems need to be related to your industry.

If you own a blog about Weight Loss, you might receive answers similar to these:

  • “Not eating anything out of my diet.”
  • “Getting myself to exercise every day.”
  • “Getting rid of all the post-workout cravings.”

Can you see the opportunity here?

You can turn all of these into an eBook and then sell it to your email list.

If you ask your subscribers what problems they face every day, you will get a more than a dozen answers. Compile a list of all of these answers and create a product around the most burning problems your audience is facing every day. These will be the problems your audience will pay anything to solve.

Step #2: Creating Your Product

You have to spend either your time or your money to build a product. In most cases, you will have to spend both of these. But you still have to decide which one you want to spend more of.

If you don’t have the money, you will have to spend a lot of time and build a product yourself. It will take you at least a few months to create a product yourself as you will need to learn new skills and do a lot of research all by yourself.

If you want to spend your time on other parts of your business, you can pay someone to create the product for you. You can hire someone to do all the work from research to creation of the product for you. This way, in most cases, you will be able to get the first version of your product out in the market in less than a month.

Here a few places where you can find freelancers:

When creating a product, keep in mind that the quality of your product will determine how much you can charge for it. Create a low-quality product and people will hesitate to pay even a dollar and the refund rates will be through the roof. Instead, spend some time and money to create one of the best (if not the best) product in the industry and people will pay you whatever you want.

Instead of spending just a few weeks, why not spend a few months to create the best product?

It will add massive value to your audience and will help you get away with charging almost anything you want.

Method #3: Re-Target Abandoned Carts

If you are not doing this, you are losing thousands of dollars on the table.

A lot of people will add products to their carts and abandon your online store. Maybe their kids just came home from school or they got an important call from their boss.

Whatever the reason, when someone abandons a cart on your site, you will lose the money they would have spent with you were they to buy the products in their cart. Not only that, you will also lose all the money they would have spent with you in the future.

So, if a visitor abandons a cart worth $200, it’s not all the money you leave on the table. This visitor, if she were to turn to into a customer, would have spent thousands of dollars with your brand.

I think this is scary enough. So, if you are not doing this already, start re-targeting people who abandon their carts after registering for an account.

Most of the moderns email marketing tools allow you to target people on your list based on events or actions they take. If you are not re-targeting abandoned carts already, create an automated rule in your email marketing tool today. It is worth the few minutes or even hours it might take to set up.


If you are new to email marketing, making money from your email list might be confusing at first. There are a lot of moving parts. But once you understand how you can make money with your email list, you can turn your email list into a sales machine that helps you make money with just a few emails.

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, let me know in the comments below.