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Email Marketing

The Most Satisfying Way to Make Money Online

In a very short space of time, email has completely changed the face of direct marketing. Over the last 100 years or so many millionaires have been created by direct marketing – sending ads out to thousands of people by mail. But a lot of people have lost their shirts because although the potential rewards are great, the potential losses can be huge too. Mail shots cost a lot of money and if they don’t pull in the orders, you can be looking at a huge expense. Email marketing has changed the ground rules. Now, almost anyone can get involved and the cost of entry is virtually nil.

With email there are no printing costs, no envelopes to buy, no staff to employ to stuff the envelopes and no postage costs.

Of course, there is a thin line between legitimate email marketing and spam. The very first known case of spam (unsolicited commercial email) was sent to 393 recipients by Gary Theurk, then an employee of DEC computers. It was sent out over the old ArpaNet system – the precursor to today’s Internet – in May 1978.

Nobody liked it then, and nobody likes it now. It is estimated that over 85% of all email sent is spam of one kind or another.

Legitimate email marketing can be very profitable, but the most successful, and ethical email marketers go to great lengths to ensure that they are only sending emails to willing recipients and that their emails comply with local regulations such as the American Can-Spam act.

To be successful in legitimate email marketing it is important to build a relationship with the people to whom you are sending your messages. That usually means establishing your own reputation and making sure you provide people with interesting, readable content. Of course you will want to include promotional messages to sell things, but if that’s all you send out, your readers will soon get tired and unsubscribe from your list.

As an email marketer your mailing list  is the most valuable commodity you own. In general, most email list marketers say that the average return should be $1 per subscriber per month. So a list of 5000 people should, on average, make its owner $5000 per month.

Averages deceive though. A marketer who sends out ad after ad, sales pitch after sales pitch, with no attempt to communicate, entertain or inform will usually see a much lower rate of return. On the other hand, someone who sends out a well written newsletter filled with interesting and useful information – that also happens to include a personally written sales message – can enjoy a rate of return many times the industry average.

It takes more work to write an interesting newsletter or ezine, but the long term rewards can make the effort very worthwhile.

There is an old adage that ‘The money’s in the list’, and it is true provided you have the right list and have established a trusting relationship with the people on it.

Too many email marketers think of their ‘list’ as a commodity and forget that it is made up of individuals. The most successful ones never forget that they are writing to people, not lists.

There are many ways to become an Internet marketer and email marketing is just one of them. It may not be the easiest to succeed at – you will need to develop your writing and communication skills and learn how to build your list in the first place – but for those of us who make our living writing email newsletters it is by far one of the most satisfying.

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