How to Make Money With a Mailing List

I had a few of my readers asking me how to make money with mailing lists, because everyone is preaching to get one, but no one would provide a step-by-step on how to make bank on it.

I decided to pick up the glove and dive into this matter head first, in this no-fluff guest post that John, so gracefully, decided to host.

Intro: The Beauty of an Autoresponder

You will have a personal genie that will send out a series of emails that provide your subscribers extraordinary value. After all, they were looking for that info and now they are getting it, for free.

This can be a course sent during six weeks, or it can be an ezine that will be sent to your subscribers during the next two years. The beauty of it is that you had only spent four hours setting it all up…

With a series of emails sent to a person, you get the opportunity to establish trust and begin a relationship that would last years, if you know what you’re doing.

First Steps: Get Tech Stuff Out of The Way

First of all, you need to get yourself an autoresponder service. There are many ways, both free and paid, to set it up. The most important things to consider when choosing your method are:

  1. That it has tools that will allow you to conform to the CAN-SPAM Act.
  2. That it has a high deliverability rates.

Personally, I preferred a paid service because I don’t waste my time on maintenance and tech stuff. I pay a monthly fee and the sole thing I worry about it how to make money.

This was despite my being new to this marketing method. If I learned a single thing during my 1.5 years in Internet marketing, it was that you have to be willing to pay for tools and services if you see that they would help you make money.

As a side note, I eventually chose Aweber as my provider, and I’d recommend it to anyone starting out. Aweber is the leader in this industry and I wanted to be on their team.

So, let’s cut to the chase. Everyone familiar with my blog would know I hate fluff, so here’s the essence. Extremely simple, but don’t confuse it with easy.

The basis is this:

  1. Capture the email of a person that is interested in something.
  2. Sell him things he wants to buy.

How about that? Don’t stone me just yet! Let’s dig a little deeper with the following three methods.

Making Money With Your List 101

  1. Research and choose a niche that people spend money in. (e.g. fly fishing – OK, philately – NO; sometimes people are just there to get the info, without spending the money)
  2. Make a single landing page (aka squeeze page), offering an ebook or a course on a specific subject, a solution to a problem in that niche, in return for subscribing.
  3. During a period of X months occasionally sell those subscribers affiliate offers from that niche.

Since this page won’t rank well in the SE’s by itself, use the promotion methods you specialize in to drive traffic to that page.

Make sure you don’t bombard them with offers either. Take it easy. Talk to your subscribers. Make them to know you, trust you and see you as an authority in this niche.

Making Money With Your List 102

Same as 101 but, in this case you:

  1. Setup a blog / website that will provide value to people in that niche. Could be a 6-page static website, or a dynamic blog where you or someone on your behalf writes the content.
  2. Place an opt-in box above the fold and offer a free ebook / course in exchange to their name and email.
  3. Proceed as taught in 101.

This will obviously rank way better in the SE’s, so this is a long term money maker that could make you a nice income stream.

In this method you will be able to slap some affiliate offers on the blog itself, and monetize on that.

Making Money With Your List 103

Same as 101 or 102 but, in this case you:

  1. Write an ebook or a course (or get it written) where you embed your offers within the content. These offers should seamlessly supplement what you’re talking about, and provide real value to the readers.
  2. I think I would recommend a course over an ebook, because that way you get to send them a series of messages. That’s the best recipe of establishing trust and starting a relationship with your subscribers, which will lead to more sales.

So, that was the very basics. Once mastered, you can search for more advanced ways to make money, there are plenty.

Once you get a list, you are the king.

Experienced email marketers know the lifetime of their subscribers and know to valuate each one. That’s why they are not afraid to pay a premium to get a subscriber. Ever seen a $30 bid on Adwords 😉

This post was written by Alex from, Internet marketer and avant-garde blogger.

51 thoughts on “How to Make Money With a Mailing List”

  1. Darin Carter says:

    Great post. Goog information here people. I am yet to generate anything from my list, let alone even use it yet! I’ll be reading this post at least 2 or 3 more times!

    Darin Carter’s last blog post: Launch Contest – Darin.CC Version 6

    1. Ryan McLean says:

      Great post?
      I disagree
      You claim at the beginning to give us a no fluff step by step process and all this post is is a bunch of fluff.

      I didn’t help me one little bit

      Ryan McLean’s last blog post: Drive Traffic To Your Website via Adwords

      1. Jake Stone says:

        Hello Ryan, surely you agree on the beauty of using avant-garde blogger as the most fitting description?

        If somebody would describe herself as boundary pushing blogger and the post was a recycled commercial of Aweber… would you think that it is a fitting description.

        The beauty of using avant-garde comes along with ignorance of most blog post readers. We skim the text and go “oh, avant-garde blogger, wow” then we move on.

        I think I’m going to set up an experimental cubistic blog post. Something bit out of ordinary, away from “intro, intrigue, claim, discussion, photo, result, summary, call to action”

        Or perhaps it is time for something avant-garde…

        Jake Stone’s last blog post: Learn to sell anything or something

  2. Blue22 says:

    A good post, but very poorly written. Spell check, grammar check!

    1. Melody says:

      Surely, no one is innocent from spelling/grammar errors..

      Melody’s last blog post: Photo Restoration and Gif ad for Trudy Thomas

      1. Jake Stone says:

        I’m innocent because I don’t know what I’m doing.

    2. I agree that grammar is important but when I’m searching for information as long as I understand the step by step instruction and it works, grammar doesn’t become an issue.

      ladymystery38’s last blog post: Twitter Tools Plugin

  3. TriNi says:

    This is an awesome post!

    I do have a subscribe button on my site where people can join a mailing list, but I haven’t taken the time to look into it much. I guess whosoever on the list just get updated with my latest posts..

    1. Thanks!

      Are you referring to that FeedBurner opt-in? It’s a little different story with this one.

      It would deliver your posts to those email subscribers, but it is illegal to use those addressed for anything else.

      Alex at’s last blog post: Chillin at John Chow’s: How to Pitch a Guest Post

  4. Yes, this is internet marketing 101 “how to attract a herd of people into your corral and sell”.
    Thanks for a great post.

    Christine Groth’s last blog post: I Dare You For 30 Days

  5. Pheak Tol says:

    Alex will always give you a straight forward answer and solution to any problem that he can help you with, in this case- he gave us all the breakdown and content of being able to produce and opt-in list, establish a relationship, and generate a basis of potential income.

    I have an opt-in generator for my blog but havent been able to implement it just yet. im not that worried yet in regards to my blog cuz of other means, but this is an awesome blog post – guest post.

    way to go Alex!

    1. Thanks a lot Pheak!

      Seize opportunities wherever you can… So what if you’re making loads of money elsewhere. Wouldn’t you love to add to that by monetizing your blog in another way?

      Alex at’s last blog post: Chillin at John Chow’s: How to Pitch a Guest Post

      1. Pheak Tol says:

        touche, alex, touche

        one of these days i’ll say something rethorical lol

        Pheak Tol’s last blog post: twtAd | Earn Money While You Tweet!

        1. I like your sense of humour Pheak, because of it I’m heading over to your blog to learn more about earning money while tweeting. Interesting!

          ladymystery38’s last blog post: Twitter Tools Plugin

    2. Jake Stone says:

      Hi Pheak, I was totally surprised to see the post quality at net-entrepreneur. Really much better stuff than this.

      Jake Stone’s last blog post: Learn to sell anything or something

  6. Gokkasten says:

    This was exactly the info I needed, so thanks! But one thing: what would be decent priciing on the automatic software? Having some trouble getting a good overview of different suppliers.

    Thanks in advance!

  7. I’ve been using a mailing list for some time now, but instead of sending out my most current posts, I reserve the emails for something especially important, so my subscribers don’t get overwhelmed with reading things they’ve already read.

    Steven-Sanders’s last blog post: 7 Ways To Make Money Online

    1. You know, I was doing that once. I found that there was a flaw in this strategy:

      If you don’t start sending those mails, people will not remember when and what did they subscribe to. This will lead to above average unsubscribe rates and you losing money.

      Alex at’s last blog post: Chillin at John Chow’s: How to Pitch a Guest Post

      1. Jake Stone says:

        Yep, just keep a steady schedule and if you are not able to put special content down the tube, just cram what ever comes in your mind as a filler. This also works as a contrast, because after a lousy mailing the good one seems especially good.

        Jake Stone’s last blog post: Learn to sell anything or something

  8. Greg Ellison says:

    When should you start creating a email list? Like I only have less then 20 RSS readers on my blog.

    Greg Ellison’s last blog post: Where to Find Mig Welders

    1. Hey Greg,

      Once our blog starts to rank in SE’s and you see traffic coming in, slap that opt-in in the sidebar.

      Has nothing to do with how new your blog is. In this model the blog is part of the bait. That’s how people find you. The other part of the bait is what you offer them in return for subscribing.

      Again, as long as you’re getting traffic, start with your list. You will see immediate results and in the long-term you will have a head start.


      Alex at’s last blog post: Chillin at John Chow’s: How to Pitch a Guest Post

      1. when you talk about rankings in a SE, what are you specifically looking for in terms of the ranking??

        [email protected]’s last blog post: Freebie Monday #20 – Free Fax Servies in USA and Canada

        1. Hey Aman,

          As soon as you see organic traffic coming in from the SE’s.

          Of course, you can pay for it, but I’d only recommend it once you’ve tested your sequence and know how ti sells.

          Alex at’s last blog post: Chillin at John Chow’s: How to Pitch a Guest Post

      2. Thanks for the explanation. I kinda see the light, lol.

        Exposing SEO Techniques’s last blog post: Listen to Howard Stern Exposing a Screeching Beyonce

  9. i want to know how to post the guest post in john chow? send to john chow in mail?

    make money online’s last blog post: 网赚必读:CPS广告页面优化实例

  10. Mitch says:

    Man, I’d written a long post, then hit the wrong button; sheesh!

    Anyway, I gotcha, Alex. I understand now how it might work well for me to have an autoresponder. However, as one of the other folks wrote above, I’d hate the prospect of spending $175 a year on an autoresponder and not make any money.

    Still, I know more now than I did; thanks.

    Mitch’s last blog post: Article Packages

    1. 😀 I hate when it happens.

      I see what you’re saying. But, it could help you generate so much more income…

      anyway, talk to me soon.

      Alex at’s last blog post: Chillin at John Chow’s: How to Pitch a Guest Post

      1. Jake Stone says:

        If you invest into it, you will take better care of it. Even that “lost” 175 could result into certain spirited attitude and following year the outcome could be different.

        Jake Stone’s last blog post: Learn to sell anything or something

  11. Tran Harry says:

    This is a good post, the kind of information and knowledge that I come to expect when I visit this site. As well as those nice pictures of scenary, I like those too.

    Tran Harry’s last blog post: Daily News Feed April 21, 2009

  12. SEO Tips says:

    Great tips John. I have never seen a $30 bid on adwords, thats crazy!?

    I can understand paying $1 per subscriber but $30 or $60 if 50% subscribe thats amazing.

    SEO Tips’s last blog post: Top 30 Internet Marketing Articles of March

  13. Jackie Chia says:

    Learned a lot from your blog.
    Best regards.

    Jackie Chia

    Jackie Chia’s last blog post: ALL CLEAR: FeedMedic Alert for

  14. Once you get a list, you are the king. – 100 % true
    Very good post

    1. Jake Stone says:

      …or at least some small time member of any royal family.

      Jake Stone’s last blog post: Learn to sell anything or something

  15. Bati says:

    Very good post.Mailing list is a good way to catch readers and make more traffic.That is mean more money will step into your bank account.Great!

    Bati’s last blog post: 20 Great Short URL Comments part “1″

  16. seems u r in this blog market for long and quiet experienced. u r using ad. so i hav 1 Q. how much u earn per month ? if u dont wanna post here plz mail me back. i’m also using adsense but its not yet of much help. though i get arnd 100 hit a day …but CTR is not increasing. may check my site :

  17. seems u r in this blog market for long and quiet experienced. u r using ad. so i hav 1 Q. how much u earn per month ? if u dont wanna post here plz mail me back. i’m also using adsense but its not yet of much help. though i get arnd 100 hit a day …but CTR is not increasing. may check my site : Random Surfer

  18. I like the 101 102 103 stuff 🙂 Good Chow Course

  19. fas says:

    John has often stressed on getting a email list, and he has proved why too. No doubt one should start making one.

    fas’s last blog post: Samsung SSD Awesomeness

  20. Nice post. I use autoresponders all the time. They work like a charm.

    TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  21. Ilona says:

    John, great post! And interesting discussion – Web 2.0 at its best! Both the author and the commentators provide something useful and interesting. That’s why I love reading your blog every day. Best regards.

  22. That’s nice someone took the time to explain it a little more.

    [email protected]’s last blog post: I Want People To Read My Blog – Reader Question

  23. Mrs. Right says:

    That was some great info, since I am not familiar with autoresponders, I have a couple questions:
    1) do you get to set up the messges that gets sent out to your prospects AND
    2) are the messages sent on your timetable?
    (i.e. do you set it up so that Joe Smith receives X message on Friday and then Y message on the following Wednesday or is it so automated that you the subscriber just give them the list and the info and never think about it again.
    thanks. 🙂

    Mrs. Right’s last blog post: Where can I find Private Label Right or Resales right on ebooks, topics on early childhood cultivation?

    1. Yes, you set up all the messages in advance. You get to set the interval at which the messages will be sent to each new subscriber.

      That way whenever someone subscribes he gets all the messages according to the intervals. Full automation.

      Then, you can send messages out of the schedule, if you have something important or time sensitive to offer.

      Alex at’s last blog post: Chillin at John Chow’s: How to Pitch a Guest Post

  24. I just started to really build my list. I think we need to email them enough not to forget about us and not too much that can make them unsubscribe, we need to find a balance.

    Marketing Business Review’s last blog post: DoFollow Blogs List of Lists

  25. I am running a free web directory and have lots of email address. Can I use them to send news letters either weekly or monthly.

    1. You can use those if the subscribers agreed to receive your stuff.

      Otherwise, you can use those addresses to send a one-time email asking them to approve you sending them a newsletter…

      Alex at’s last blog post: Make Money With Affiliate Programs – Why 90% Fail Miserably When Doing Affiliate Marketing?

  26. I’m not an Internet Marketeer but an Internet Reader and have been reading up stuff, visiting forums and so on.
    The crux in a mailing list is to get prospects. You have dealt with how to set up a website, that is not the main issue. How do we capture e-mails of prospects? You have not dealt with the topic of your post.

  27. Joko Susilo says:

    Nice article. Salam ACTION!

  28. Great Article man !

  29. Michael Zhao says:

    I difinetly have a lot to learn.

    Michael Zhao’s last blog post: End of Second Week.

  30. Caden Grant says:

    Great post John! I plan on signing up for Aweber to build my mailing list soon.

    Caden Grant’s last blog post: Add A Link To Digg, Delicious And More To Your Blog Posts

Comments are closed.