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August 27, 2007

7 Ways Your Opt-In List Can Generate Extra Cash

An opt-in list is a critical and important component for any kind of Internet-based business. Big, medium, small and even the very niche players can benefit from an opt-in list, as it has the capability to stuff some extra cash into their pockets. Look around the Internet yourself and scour for the big e-commerce boys – you will see that all of them, without exception, feature an opt-in list on their website.

An opt-in list is a marketing tool. You’ll have seen many fields on websites that scream “Subscribe to our newsletter/product promos, etc.” – these are opt-in fields where the surfer fills in his email, thereby consenting to receiving communication from that website. The website that collects the email then keeps communicating with the subscriber and keeps him updated on the topic to which he has subscribed.

As the subscriber voluntarily submits his email ID, it is understood that there is mutual consent between the website and the subscriber. This is why opt-in emails are not considered as spam mails. Opt-in lists can be effectively used to dispatch a whole number of useful and informative materials such as catalogs, newsletters and other promotional offers.

The percentage of Internet surfers who subscribe to opt-in lists is small, so therefore it is imperative that your mails to this small community must be meaningful, informative and entertaining. If your communication with your small community is run-of-the-mill, then your list will shrink. Teasers, promos, entertaining snippets and short bursts of informative news will keep them coming back to your website for more.

The prime objective of maintaining a list is to sell your products and services, and these sales will generate normal profits. You have to make some extra cash out of your list, which is highly possible, if you have a sizeable database of subscribers. Here are seven great tips on how to make extra money using your opt-in lists:

1) Sell advertisement space: Many companies want to advertise on lists that have a genuine and a sizeable database. If you have one, you can easily sell ad space on your mailings. Just one thing: Do not forget to place these ads at spots where they won’t irritate your subscribers. You can place several ads in a single mailing and this can be quite a money-spinner.

2) You must tie-up with websites who dabble in products or services that are related to your industry. Then you must evolve a CPC (Cost Per Click) marketing strategy and announce it to them. If they are interested, they may place CPC links on your list and pay you only on a per-click-basis. This is also called P4P or pay for performance.

3) You can strike deals with companies who are willing to sell their products to your list on a commission basis. Even if you’re only able to get a few sales, it’s money for jam.

4) You can also sell other companies’ products to your list on a consignment basis. Consignment sales pay more than commission-based sales and you will be expected to give these products more prominence in your newsletter, highlighting them, placing descriptions, articles and photos of the products. Again, if you are able to make a sale, it’s just more jam on the bread.

5) You can also try your hand at selling digital products such as e-books. Manuals, DIY and how-to articles are in great demand and their publishers pay a hefty commission – sometimes as high as 75%! Just take care to ensure that the e-book you’re going to hawk on your newsletter is related to the content.

6) Network your list. Ask people to refer their friends and relations. The larger your opt-in list, the higher your revenue will go, as sales and advertisement rates will soar.

7) Turn some of your subscribers into your partners by offering them an incentive if they are able to resell your products or services. Remember, this is Internet marketing, so the more resellers you recruit, the higher exposure you will get.

In the end, remember that an opt-in list is no ordinary means of communication – if planned and executed correctly, it can boost your business to unimaginable levels.

Author:  Read how one online marketer is planning to build an email list of one million subscribers at and how he boosted his ezine sign-up rate by 5200 MORE subscribers per month – virtually overnight – and how YOU can do the same. Check it out at