Ever hear the phrase, “The money is in the list?”

I’m sure you have if you’ve been studying email marketing for any length of time. Then if you dug a little deeper in your research you may have heard “The money is in the relationship with your list.”

Makes sense.  If you have no relationship with the people on your list then you probably won’t make much money… Now that all sounds great, but how exactly is the money in the list and how do you actually extract that money?

That’s the critical question, and the answer should highlight why you must always be list building in your business.

How To Make Money From Your Email List

Here are 4 ways any business can make money with a list of prospects, current customers, and past customers:

  1. Sales on Demand
  2. Nurture Until Ready
  3. Refer
  4. Advertise

1. Sales on Demand

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could orchestrate sales in your business exactly when you needed them? For example, what if you need extra cash to pay taxes, hire a new key employee, or expand to new office space?

Well with a list, it’s possible to run a promotion exactly when you want to spur some quick sales.  No other marketing channel gives you this much power.  You own the list so you decide when to send, who to send to, and what the promotion will be.  For more ideas on what to promote, read 3 Email Promotion Ideas to Spur Quick Sales.

2. Nurture Until Ready

A study by the Inquiry Handling Service revealed that 50% of the people who express interest in a product or service eventually make a purchase.  And of those 50%,  85% wait 3-18 months after they expressed interest.  That means 42.5% of the people visiting your store, calling you, or filling out a form on your website will eventually purchase, but not for up to 18 months!

That doesn’t mean they will purchase from you though.  They will purchase from the company who is top of mind at the exact moment they decide to pull the trigger and buy.

And the best way to make sure these future customers buy from you is to follow up and nurture them via email, phone, and/or direct mail.  This can only be done if you have a list with contact information.

3. Refer

Every prospect and customer has multiple needs that can’t possibly be met by a single company.  For example, if you own a tux rental business, then you probably do not also provide limo service even though many clients (for example, groomsmen) will most likely need a limo in addition to the tuxedos.

In this example, you could email your prospects and customers to refer them to a local limo service to earn referral commissions.  This is a great way to monetize prospects who for whatever reason didn’t decide to rent a tux from you, but took your advice about the limo service.

4. Sell Advertising

The fourth way to make money from your list is to sell advertising space to other businesses.  As the owner, you’re the gatekeeper and that puts you in the toll position to collect money from any business who wants to target your prospects and customers.

Using the same example above, the tux rental business could sell advertising space in their email newsletter or physical newsletter to a local limo service.  The limo service would then advertise to the tux rental business’s list to generate sales.

Building an Asset

List building is really about building an asset in your business.  Any competitor could steal your product or service, but they can never replicate the relationship you have with your prospects and customers. The key is to nurture your list and continually provide value so you can use the 4 strategies above to generate more revenue month after month.