Business model: Ad-based email

I’m always interested in finding business models and filing them away so that I can use them somewhere else in the future. And, from time to time, I talk about a specific business model and how I (or one of my clients) is using it successfully. These models aren’t necessarily new (although some might be new to you) but I’m blogging about them from time to time so that collectively they will act as a library of business model ideas.


I’m developing this for one of my clients right now. In an ad-based email, you basically build a list of subscribers and you engage that list with useful information. As you develop a rapport with them, the list becomes more valuable and they come to trust you and act on the emails. Other businesses will pay you to place an advertisement to their business in your email so that you are still providing useful information to your list but there is also a link to an advertiser. You get paid based on a few different factors, such as the size of the list and what percentage typically click.

Success tips:

  • Spend time building your list. Focus on adding qualified names.
  • Offer information or a really useful tool for free as an enticement to join your list.
  • Build a relationship with that list — create a rapport so that your list will connect with you and click your emails.
  • Don’t just grab the first ad that comes along and offers you money! The more you know your list, the better you can serve them by selling ad-space to advertisers who truly match what your audience is interested in. One bad advertiser can turn your audience off.

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.

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