Recently a Fat Stacks reader asked “how are you monetizing these emails? Are you getting an ROI on them?”
Most emails I send out don’t promote anything in the main content.
Which goes against the grain.
I’ll put it bluntly: I’m all in on putting out a decent email newsletter.
Which means focusing on readers and good content.
It’s a form of content marketing.
I believe that good content pays off in due course.
While I don’t track everything to the last dime, it’s fair to say this approach works well.
I’ve had many folks buy a course telling me they did so on account of my email content.
I’ve had appreciative readers go out of their way asking if I have an affiliate link for something they’re going to buy.
I’m sure many others have and didn’t tell me.
All in all, since I’ve focussed on mostly non-promotional content, Fat Stacks revenue has sky-rocketed.
That’s not to say my emails are promotion-free.
Some weeks I promote my courses. Other weeks I’ll promote another course or software.
I also include various links at the bottom of almost every email.
I haven’t told you the most important part of this entire approach.
The most important part of this email strategy is that I like it.
I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like writing these emails.
I prefer writing these emails above making podcasts, videos, writing keyword-friendly blog posts, setting up funnels (anything technical), etc.
I’ve written up to 5 of these emails in a day.
Why does this approach work?
I believe it works for a few reasons. Here they are:
People get to know me. Some folks like these emails. Others don’t. Many who like them ultimately buy something.
Word-of-mouth: Most people don’t say “you gotta join so and so’s newsletter” but it actually happens with this newsletter. People told me they were told it’s a good newsletter and to join it. For a one-week period, my email sign-up forms weren’t displaying. Several people contacted me asking how they can join the newsletter.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the very best. It costs me nothing. People join already pre-sold on my message. They stick around. They’re usually like-minded folks. Often they buy without being nudged.
Credibility: Most email messages revolve around my blogging business. It’s not theory. I’m in the trenches with niche sites. I write about what I’m doing, what works and what doesn’t… for me.
I don’t like writing promotional emails or copy. I know that sounds nuts. It’s boring; it’s like writing boring product reviews. While it has to be done to pay the bills, I’d much rather yammer on about what I’m doing.
I have to be careful
On the flip side, I don’t want to frame myself as someone who never promotes or sells. There are some email marketers who end up in this predicament. The problem with this is if/when they do promote, their readers don’t like it. They’ve framed themselves as non-promoters. That’s also a bad reputation to have.
Hence, I do promote regularly but often the promotions are entwined in content. Nobody minds. I should say rarely does someone complains (but people do unsubscribe daily which is normal).
At the end of the day, I enjoy writing this newsletter.
Expect some monetization testing going forward
While it’s true most of my emails don’t promote, I’ll be testing some new monetization options going forward including incorporating affiliate promos in the content (kind of like an ad).
I’ve also created a media kit after fielding many offers to sell advertising. I’ve never done much direct ad selling but thought it would be worth a try.
I even put together a Media Kit.
Consider this a heads up, but rest assured there will almost always be content worth reading.
Here are two examples of some promotions I’ll be plugging into emails:
My favorite affiliate promotion software… ConvertBox
Yes, it captures emails, but on my niche sites, I use ConvertBox to create exit pop-ups with affiliate links to high-converting merchants.
I also make high-converting quizzes to promote products. This software is amazing.
Do you want to advertise on Fat Stacks?
After many requests, I’ve decided to offer advertising opportunities with Fat Stacks in the email newsletter and on the blog.
See, it’s not so bad.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.