The Value of Email Monetization and 5 Ways to Get Started

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Phil Grossman

27 Mar, 2020

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What do you think of when you hear the word “monetization?” 

If Google is any indication, email probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind:

And that’s a problem. Sure, YouTube monetization is all fine and dandy, but we think that email monetization should be one of the first things that pops up — not relegated somewhere to the backwoods of the 10th+ results page on Google (yes, we checked all the first 10 pages). 

Don’t believe us? Here’s some numbers to show you what we’re talking about:

So, let’s be clear: people read emails. Lots of emails. And those optics can make them a monetization gold mine.

If you run a small business, chances are you have an email list of some sort (and if you don’t you should), so why let it sit there all lonely and unmonetized when it could be raking in the dolla dolla bills?

If you want a piece of the monetization pie, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to get started with email monetization. 

Why email monetization?

Simple: email monetization makes you money. It’s in the name. 

Think of it like this: the average email open rate among all sectors is 21.33%. If you have a list with 10,000 subscribers, you can expect about 2,133 of them to open any one of your emails. So, someone who’s renting ad space in your emails can hope to get about that many eyes on their ads. Not bad.

But here’s the kicker: unlike the oh-so-popular YouTube ads, email ads are placed in email newsletters that subscribers opt into. That means they’re more likely to view them as a recommendation from a trusted source than as some annoying advertisement flashing “DRINK PEPSI” in front of their eyes while they wait for the skip button to load on their video. 

Plus, there’s often the opportunity for some tit-for-tat when it comes to email monetization. For example, you can always ask the brand that’s buying email space to place an ad for your brand in one of their emails, perhaps for a reduced fee. This can help grow brand awareness and, hey, could even be the start of a beautiful brand partnership

In short, email is not something that should be overlooked. If you have a list already, you should make sure it’s working for you. Even just sending out emails can indirectly contribute to sales by boosting engagement. 

How to get started with email monetization

If any of this sounds compelling to you, then you’re in the right place. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get started monetizing your emails and raking in the green. 

Affiliate products

Affiliate marketing is all the rage these days. But it’s by no means overrated. 81% of marketers and 84% of publishers are leveraging the power of affiliate marketing. And that’s because it gets results. 

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is already, let’s break it down. Let’s say I want to sell fuzzy socks, and I know my friend Gary has a huge email list. I might call him up and tell him that if he promotes my socks in his emails using a special link I provide, I’ll give him a kickback for every sale that comes through that link. In essence, affiliate marketing relies on commissions. 

But the beauty of modern affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to know a guy who makes fuzzy socks to bring in affiliate money. You can look around for pre-existing affiliate programs, and then start placing those links in your emails, usually without even needing to get permission. 

Take a look at how Coming Up Roses ads her affiliate links into her emails:

Advertise your products

Ok, so this one may be a bit obvious, but it bears repeating. Your emails are great places to display ads for your own products. If you have products that you’re selling, you should 100% be placing them in your emails on the reg. 

Check out how nutritionist, Derek Simnett, does it:

Upsell current customers

Considering that everyone on your email list had to opt in, there’s a decent chance that they’re already customers. If so, that means you have an opportunity to upsell.

Usually, upselling relies on list segmentation. That means breaking your list into different groups based on factors such as purchase history, age, gender, favorite color — basically anything relevant you can think of. 

For example, if you run an outerwear company, you could have a segment for people who purchased one of your parkas. Then, you could send them an email with an upsell for a pair of matching hiking boots (or maybe even some fuzzy socks). 

Alternatively, you can use email automation to automatically send upsell emails whenever a customer buys a product. 

Promote partner products

Even though we tend to think of business as a competitive space, there’s always room for cooperation and partnership. Partnering up with a brand that has some audience overlap is a great way to get the word out about both of your products.

How do you do it? Well, if you sell hand sanitizer, for example, you might want to partner up with someone who sells toilet paper. They’ll place ads for your hand sanitizer in their emails, and you’ll place ads for their toilet paper in yours. If things go well, each customer base will come running for your products, increasing sales for both of you.

Host ads

Most people don’t even know you can buy ad space in emails, so consider this an insider tip. If you want to make some extra cash from your email newsletter, consider renting out ad space in your emails (perfect for bloggers and content producers). 

There’s a few ways you can go about this. You can do it the old school way, which means contacting businesses about selling ad space, or waiting for them to come to you.

Then, there’s the new school way, which means using a platform like Ampjar to connect with other like-minded brands and place ads in their emails with a few quick clicks.

Ampjar helps you put your ads in other brands’ emails:

Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight into why you should be monetizing your emails and has provided you with a bit of inspiration to get started. If you ever have any questions about email monetization, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

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