Does anyone even make money online without an email list?

by AndrewAdamSmith 73 replies
I have heard time and time again that the money is in the list. I have been an affiliate marketer for years and never felt the need to build an email list of subscribers because I promote over 1,000 different products. That would be a lot of email lists. Does most of your sales come from your list of subscribers? Please share
#main internet marketing discussion forum #email #list #make #money #online
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  • Profile picture of the author arkina
    I don't think you have to have a list. I think it depends what you do. For example if you have an online store set up, a blog that is informative and keeps people coming back for more, or a product review site that gets lots of hits, then I think you can make money without a list. That being said, a list would not hurt your profits.
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  • Profile picture of the author SterlingWebb
    Originally Posted by AndrewAdamSmith View Post

    I have heard time and time again that the money is in the list. I have been an affiliate marketer for years and never felt the need to build an email list of subscribers because I promote over 1,000 different products. That would be a lot of email lists. Does most of your sales come from your list of subscribers? Please share
    Does anyone? Well start with yourself...I hope you're not affiliate marketing 1,000 products and not making money :p

    But seriously, a list isn't needed but isn't hard to implement even if it isn't utilized properly.

    ~SW
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    • Profile picture of the author skillfull
      Banned
      A list is good to have but to make money of it you would need to target buyers
      which means focusing on a particular niche
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonBennet
    I do know of people who are making a living by providing services and by doing the direct linking method. It is possible but it make more sense to build a list as it is more stable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Meharis
    Originally Posted by AndrewAdamSmith View Post

    I promote over 1,000 different products.

    Promoting over 1000 products without list..?
    You're leaving lots of money on the table. That's for sure.

    Meharis
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
    Originally Posted by AndrewAdamSmith View Post

    I have been an affiliate marketer for years and never felt the need to build an email list of subscribers because I promote over 1,000 different products.
    Let's say you've been an affiliate marketer for 3 years and have promote 1000 products, that's still less that one product per day. Remember, you aren't promoting all of them at the same time
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinChapman
    I personally wouldn't suggest to anyone not to build a list but it obviously works for you and plenty other people I would assume.
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  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    Start and build a list it is really pretty silly not too.

    Even if you only use it to promote your newest blog posts, or product offers you will make a lot more money with an email list than without one.
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    I've made thousands online without a list and still do each week.
    I had a list at one time, but I found people hardly opened emails after a while.
    Also I got many freebie seekers at the time as I gave a lot of free stuff like pdf's and videos each week.
    I removed the list some years ago and the sales keep coming.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by AndrewAdamSmith View Post

    Does most of your sales come from your list of subscribers?
    Yes, very much so. Almost all of them. I don't just mean 99% - it's a much higher proportion than that.

    I've found this very consistently, in all of my multiple niches and over many years, now.

    Like many thousands of other Warriors (in spite of some very rare alleged exceptions) I couldn't make a living without list-building.

    I do get people clicking on some product-advertising banners on my sites, but the people who click on them and buy the product are people who have been directed to that page by a link in an email I've sent them, after they've opted in at an earlier visit to the site. There are reasons for that.

    Very few people buy anything much at their first visit to a sales page, so one needs a way of keeping them going back to it. And most of the income in affiliate marketing (which is what I do) comes from making repeated sales of different products to the same people. Without list-building, one can't do either of those things! :p

    I think the last person with whom I had a long discussion in a forum-thread about selling ClickBank products with affiliate-links directly from a site/blog (no list) had had 4,000 clicks on an affiliate link, leading to a total of 4 sales of which 2 were refunded. I thought those figures were fairly typical. Some people disagree with me. But if you ask people who are making any significant money from ClickBank, as affiliates, they'll all tell you to build a list.

    There are a few hundred threads in this forum with titles similar to "What's The One Thing You'd Do Differently If You Were Starting Again Tomorrow?". Take a look through a small sample of them, and you'll find that one of the things they all have in common is that they're full of replies from long-established, successful Warriors almost all of whom give the same answer: the thing they'd do differently, with what they know now but didn't know when they started, is "start to build a list on day 1". There are reasons for that, and they're very good and very valid reasons.

    These posts/threads may help anyone interested ...

    What are the best ways to promote click bank products?
    Is it a good idea to spend some time on building a mailing list ?
    Without Building a List, How Consistent is Your Income from Affiliate Marketing
    What are the essential things to know about list building?
    Website or squeeze page


    There are a few (a very, very few!!) people here who even claim to have well-converting ClickBank affiliate sites without list-building, but when you look carefully at the other, unrelated stuff that those same people are saying, in other threads, almost none of it actually stands up to examination for a moment. Draw your own conclusions. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Originally Posted by AndrewAdamSmith View Post

    I have heard time and time again that the money is in the list. I have been an affiliate marketer for years and never felt the need to build an email list of subscribers because I promote over 1,000 different products. That would be a lot of email lists. Does most of your sales come from your list of subscribers? Please share
    I've been making money online since 2005 consistently without a single email list. The reason? I hate sending emails as much as I hate receiving offers.... My clickbank and amazon authority sites doesn't have optin form but they are converting really well...
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    Signature edited.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    A list makes it easy to promote your products btw so i dont recommend not having one but of course, there are always people that find success without one out there
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  • Profile picture of the author trader909
    Banned
    got to agree...no list very hard to get sales..

    But it's not for every business.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    I build lists, but the majority of sales I make as an affiliate are without a list.

    It's not hard to get sales without a list if you know what you're doing.

    Many super affiliates we don't even know exist make millions without building lists.
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  • Profile picture of the author maxjpip
    If you really want to know you need a list or not, try to do a split test since you need different plan for different niche. You might make more or less money with a list.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrkitty
      Does anyone even make money online without an email list?
      Most people making money online are doing it without an email list.That's not to say having a list is good or bad, but the idea that you must have one, or that the money is only in the list is nonsense usually peddled by folks trying to sell you a product on list building..
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  • Profile picture of the author sree94
    I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars online, and maybe five of those sales TOPS were from my email lists

    That said, I am currently working on developing a big, responsive list
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  • Profile picture of the author John_3771
    Having a list definitely isn't mandatory, but it can be a very useful asset for an affiliate marketer especially if you're promoting a bunch of different products.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    If you built a list from the traffic of every single one of your products you promote and then promoted those products and other products automatically via follow up over time then I'm sure you would be making a lot more money than you are now and you can promote any new product to your existing lists that would find it relevant

    You can even sell off clicks as a solo ad vendor, so many ways to monetize a list so ya I would say you are leavcing money on the table without a doubt
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    • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
      Originally Posted by thedanbrown View Post

      If you built a list from the traffic of every single one of your products you promote and then promoted those products and other products automatically via follow up over time then I'm sure you would be making a lot more money than you are now and you can promote any new product to your existing lists that would find it relevant

      You can even sell off clicks as a solo ad vendor, so many ways to monetize a list so ya I would say you are leavcing money on the table without a doubt
      That's not proven.

      It's all about ROI

      Yes - you can make a lot of money with a list you cultivate.

      But you can make just as much or more as an affiliate without ever adding one subscriber to a list.

      And vice versa.

      It's all a matter of preference.

      I'm having my best year as an internet marketer.

      I've made more money in the first 7 months of this year than I have in my best full year (which was over $100K)...

      ... and I've made most of my money this year without a list.

      However I am building lists and the revenue from the lists are increasing gradually.

      But I love just straight up direct linking affiliate marketing with paid traffic.

      It's not for everyone, but there are super affiliates making BANK doing it and I like their style.

      To each his (or her) own
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      • Profile picture of the author snakeyes37
        Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

        That's not proven.

        It's all about ROI

        Yes - you can make a lot of money with a list you cultivate.

        But you can make just as much or more as an affiliate without ever adding one subscriber to a list.

        And vice versa.

        It's all a matter of preference.

        I'm having my best year as an internet marketer.

        I've made more money in the first 7 months of this year than I have in my best full year (which was over $100K)...

        ... and I've made most of my money this year without a list.

        However I am building lists and the revenue from the lists are increasing gradually.

        But I love just straight up direct linking affiliate marketing with paid traffic.

        It's not for everyone, but there are super affiliates making BANK doing it and I like their style.

        To each his (or her) own
        Jason, I find it interesting that your making alot of money by as you said "direct linking affiliate marketing with paid traffic."

        Most people that goto a direct sales page don't buy on the first contact, this has been proven time and time again in the IM world. So how are you defying the odds?
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        • Profile picture of the author wojaar
          I do not have a list.
          I work with several affiliate networks and I promote their offers.

          I do simple video reviews and upload it to YT with my affiliate link (masked) in the description box.

          It is that simple!
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      • Profile picture of the author sayondas
        your confidence gave me alot of sense, as Im DAMN CONFUSED RIGHT NOW
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  • Profile picture of the author Shannonn
    Banned
    Hi,
    I am new in the domain and do not have a lot of experience with this, but aren't your offers going to be considered spam when you send them to an entire list of people? Is this method as efficient as people want it to be?
    Thx
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Shannonn View Post

      aren't your offers going to be considered spam when you send them to an entire list of people?
      They're people who have given you permission, by "opting in", to send them email.

      (Though it's still true that if you send them spammy email and too many offers, some will still consider them spam, yes ... which is why list-building doesn't work nearly as well for people who send too many offers and/or "spammy" emails, even with permission).

      Originally Posted by Shannonn View Post

      Is this method as efficient as people want it to be?
      You'll have to ask people how efficient they want it to be, to answer this one. When it's well handled by the marketer, it can be supremely effective. Of course, just as with every other marketing technique, there are also always some people who make a complete hash of it and then announce "it doesn't work". :p

      Believe it or not, there are even some people who, by their own admission, have never tried it at all, who start off threads here specifically to "explain" to other people why "it doesn't work" (you can imagine how much insight there is, in those threads!).

      Just be careful by whom you choose to be guided. There are people here who claim they've made 6-figure incomes as affiliates without list-building, but guess what you'll see in their signature files? It's very often something offering "tuition"/"services" to affiliates, but not about list-building, surprise surprise. We each have to decide for ourselves whether we think their alleged income has really come from affiliate marketing or from selling "tuition"/"services" to beginning marketers. I don't happen to find that a very difficult decision, myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fantastic
    I never had a list until recently and I've always made money.


    I haven't had a day job in years BUT...


    What I typically recommend to people is this.


    If you are new and want to make money fast, you don't need a list.


    But as soon as you get ahead, take some time to build a list even IF...


    It means your money slows down for a while.


    You can't go wrong with a list but you don't NEED it.


    You don't NEED anything. It's all about the person.
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  • Profile picture of the author Reez1
    I started make money online by offering services.In other words, without list.From there, I got a list of clientele and thats when i market more products/services to them over and over again including affiliate products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I used to.

    If you have a mechanism upon which to contact your audience efficiently, and better than everyone ese...

    You can make a killing.

    The problem? Methods like that are very difficult to come by, and typically don't last.

    Do you know what DOES last?

    ..

    ..

    An email list.

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  • Profile picture of the author avajo71
    I have no list and I made thousands.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Davis
    Yes, I do "make money online" without an Email List.
    However, I'm not an "Affiliate Marketer" (at the moment).

    Maybe you want to target your question specifically at Affiliate Marketers? Because there are lots of other ways to make money online.


    I earned $3000 in Profits last week with one of my businesses, and I never made a "Mailing List" out of my clients' contact information.

    So far, I've only used their emails for direct communication.
    Maybe some time in the future, I can promote something to them, like a Special or a New Service we are offering.

    I don't like receiving those "Random Emails" myself, so I avoid using that strategy on others.


    I actually plan to get into a bit of Affiliate Marketing later on, when I get more free time. However, that strategy will likely NOT involve using an Email list.


    In any case, I DO think that creating an Email List of potential buyers is a good idea for most affiliate marketers.

    You simply need to sit down and think through the "Visitor-to-Buyer" process very well, for your business model.

    Whether using a Mailing list would be profitable to you or not, depends on what you are doing, and what you are selling.

    -Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author bgray
    You can absolutely make money without a list...and lots of it.

    HOWEVER.....building a list is going to give you another layer of monetization, targeted traffic and will guard you from being too dependent on organic search traffic. Additionally the list becomes a unique asset that increases the value of your overall property should you decide to sell.

    If you make a lot of money without a list you will make even more with one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Japles
    Wow! If I was promoting 1,000 products, I think I would go crazy! But congratulations on your success.

    I take the conventional path and build a list.

    It doesn't hurt and you have the ability to market to paying customers multiple times.

    Just my 2 cents
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    • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
      Originally Posted by Japles View Post

      Wow! If I was promoting 1,000 products, I think I would go crazy! But congratulations on your success.

      I take the conventional path and build a list.

      It doesn't hurt and you have the ability to market to paying customers multiple times.

      Just my 2 cents
      Someone is promoting 1000 products in this thread? God Bless them lol

      I make most of my affiliate money from 5-10 products.

      You dont need to promote a thousand different products to make a killing as an affiliate.

      Focusing on a few good offers and scaling them up is a much better approach - especially if you want to keep your sanity
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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    You don't need a list but it gives you an opportunity to make more money as well as build a following. If you're making money without a list it wouldn't hurt to build one.
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  • Profile picture of the author betterwtveter
    Well that's true Andrew,. but if we built up an email list for getting relevant subscribers, we have larges scope of expanding our consumer base day by day. We do have a chance to spread our new product introduction rapidly through our subscriber's networks. I understand your concern as an affiliate marketer about building email list, I purely suggest you to go with it positively but also make sure about your other internet marketing functions which your run on daily basis.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tommy Turner
    I never focused on building a list either. It certainly can't hurt to have a list, but it really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. I would think if you're going the affiliate route then you would want to build a list.

    Find a couple PLR ebooks and set up a squeeze page that focuses on some of your most popular affiliate products. You could then offer a page with your affiliate products on the thank you page. I'm sure you must know which products are converting best.

    I tell my students to focus on fewer products, and become an expert at promoting those.

    Good Luck!

    Tommy
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    • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
      Originally Posted by Tommy Turner View Post

      I never focused on building a list either. It certainly can't hurt to have a list, but it really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. I would think if you're going the affiliate route then you would want to build a list.

      Find a couple PLR ebooks and set up a squeeze page that focuses on some of your most popular affiliate products. You could then offer a page with your affiliate products on the thank you page. I'm sure you must know which products are converting best.

      I tell my students to focus on fewer products, and become an expert at promoting those.

      Good Luck!

      Tommy
      I've seen a couple of guys recommend find a couple of PLR ebooks or whatever.

      You don't even need to go through all of that trouble.

      Just put a squeeze page before the products sales page you're promoting with copy that is reflective of what they will see on the salespage - if you insist on building a list
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      If what you're doing is working for you and you're comfortable with it, forget what other people tell you. If you want to test whether lists are for you or not, pick a few of your products and give it a go with them. Either you'll want to continue or you won't. Proceed accordingly. It's your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    I build lists in all of the niches that I'm in and the majority of sales in
    most of them come from email marketing to those lists.

    At the same time, I use PPC, Facebook Ads, etc. to drive traffic
    to webinars or membership sites where I also make sales.

    With the webinars, they are often added to niche lists in
    conjunction with attending the webinars.

    With membership sites, members are often asked to join some
    type of notification list. I also think of a membership site itself
    as "a list" although I guess "community" is a more accurate
    description.

    The reality for me is that with most promotional efforts, 98%
    of people aren't going to buy on the first contact, and if I
    don't follow up, I've essentially wasted that percentage of my
    advertising dollars, time, and other resources. So, I do list
    build

    Willie
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  • Profile picture of the author usfemail
    I started out without building a list. I can be done, but from my opinion you have to work harder if you don't have a list.

    Most people don't buy the first time they visit your site or affiliate link. So you end up losing that customer and then have to work hard at getting new customers.

    If you have a list then chances are that person will opt in. This means that you now have a customer you can promote to over and over again.

    One of the mistakes I made online was not building my list earlier.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jean Morgan
      I have one product only and no list. I have 1 website that accepts orders and payments. It is a physical product that is mailed. My sales come from people who are researching the areas that the product services, I get word of mouth recommendations from users to their friends and family. Many call or email if they want additional information or help. I do a small amount of Google Adwords advertising for my product and get a few clicks per day which convert at about 20-30%. The product is a consumable that has many, many repeat customers. The product is so good that once used they are back for more

      I make about $6000 per month net and gave up my day job almost 6 years ago. I don't think it is necessary to have a list but I do think it is dependent upon the type of customer you are targeting and the market you are in. In my case promoting other products to them would be almost saying my product is inadequate and you should get this too. Promoting products outside of the niche would not likely work and most likely upset my client base.
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      • Profile picture of the author SP ESP
        Apart from the other advantages already mentioned, if you have a list you also have a backup method of making sales if your other methods fail - sites getting delisted, banning from adwords, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author clrmarum
    I do build a list and make most of my money from my list. You can still make money without a list but i can imagine it would be a lot harder and longer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Willy
    List building is just one of the hundreds of ways for us to make money online. Right now, I am making money with my affiliate niche sites and SEO services as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewAdamSmith
    Thanks for the input everyone. This is pure gold.
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    Plenty of people make money without a list. Myself included.

    The IM community gets obsessed with list building because the top IM gurus tend to promote email marketing almost exclusively.

    They probably do that because in the world of internet marketing, email marketing is the "safest" way to build your business. No Google update can come along and destroy your email list's profitability like it can destroy a site that profits from only organic traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Van Dam
    Yes, absolutely there is plenty of money to be made without a list. I made a lot of money through other 'niche' forums by offering certain types of websites to people. You just need to know how to get the fish on the hook
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  • Profile picture of the author martinmarketing
    a list is not essential to do business ... but to have a list on which to focus is better, allows you to better promote your products, is a half more to expand your business
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  • Profile picture of the author alamest
    If you thing and imagine a big company, take as network.. what they have.. they have list of customers numbers and if they want they promote anything to their customer to just short SMS..

    but how they got that list of customers, they promoted and promoted to get the list. Same goes to our industry.. you need good list of database in different types of nich.. so I believe day 1 building list is important.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    A huge number of my business models are not reliant on a list.

    Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author zesquian
      I would definitely recommend building an email list, specially if you are paying for traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author steve-saunders
    The only thing that crosses my mind is why would you not ? It's not that hard and anyone who has the skills to 'kill it' just by promoting products direct would not doubt find it very easy to sell to their list, so it's money being left on the table.
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  • Profile picture of the author MayWJans
    Some people make very good money utilizing an email list of some sort, and others have found ways of making money with one (PPC advertising, SEO, Video Marketing etc)

    Their are numerous ways to earn with and without a list.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevereel
    There are always exceptions, but generally speaking, building a list (or lists) would only increase earnings.
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  • Profile picture of the author winnermarketing
    You could sell also without a mailing list.
    Have a mailing list increase your effect and ensure higher convertions!
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  • Profile picture of the author BradGB
    I'm just not much of an 'all eggs in one basket' kinda guy so while I do make money from my list, I also use methods to make money that don't involve my list.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewAdamSmith
    I make money without a list and I will share as I asked you to. Although most of my efforts go into building my list of email subscribers, I have spent even more time in recent years on promoting brand names through PPC advertising. It works trust me.
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  • Profile picture of the author rohit36
    Sure you can run business without building your email list, but having an email list give you huge benefit, and if you already making lots of sales and driving traffic, if doesn't really take you any effort to build you list.

    infact by not building you email list you are leaving lots of money on the table. and it works for all kind of businesses doesn't matter what niche you are in..
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewAdamSmith
    Agreed, the list is helpful to build a relationship with customers or potential customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnlagoudakis
    When I first started out online, I made money by using PPC ads to promote CPA and Clickbank offers.

    Then I moved on to email marketing as it is a more stable way to earn a long-term income.

    Today there are lots of ways to make money online without a list, including publishing ebooks on Kindle, and Youtube ad revenue sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author dawoodkhan97
    There are many marketers that earn full time income WITHOUT HAVING ANY LIST.
    But I personally think that they are leaving a lot of money on that table.
    Having a responsive list, and you can do wonders with it!

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  • Profile picture of the author Mehdib
    I do not see the dependency for making money on the list. Am I the only one?
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    • Originally Posted by Mehdib View Post

      I do not see the dependency for making money on the list. Am I the only one?
      I can see why people would have different views and perceptions but if you were a product creator and now had a list of buyers who trust you and would buy from you again you would know you had a valuable asset on your hands and should be treated as one.

      Art
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by Mehdib View Post

      I do not see the dependency for making money on the list. Am I the only one?
      Dependence upon that one asset may well be a liability.
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      • Profile picture of the author George Schwab
        Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

        Dependence upon that one asset may well be a liability.
        and it always is. Man was i blue-eyed while relying on that one best thing at the time.

        What was SEO - not listbuilding. I made more per day without any list than the guys
        that sell solos do per month.

        So yes, nobody really does NEED a list. However its good to have one anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author T S Chan
    Many years ago I used to make consistent income on ebay without email list.

    But having one does help a lot.
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  • The expression goes that the "Money is in the list". It doesn't matter what type of list it is, what matters is that you can contact that "list".

    Yes, you can make money without an email list. But you'll probably need some other kind of list.

    When Allen Says ran this forum, he often made it clear that although he didn't send a lot of emails - this forum was his "list". (He made a killing with both his emails and selling directly through the forum.)

    Facebook is just a massive list of people that you, as a marketer can contact.

    AdWords. Same thing.

    Even SEO boils down to your skill/ability to contact a "list" of people that do searches on certain search engines.

    The difference? When you own the list, you control your business. When Google or FB (or whoever) controls the "list", they control your business, what you can do with it and how much it's going to cost you to reach that "list".

    Go to one of the marketplaces where they sell "Website Businesses" and check out the difference an email list makes to the selling price of that business.

    Ugly websites with an email list can sell for 10X more than gorgeous sites without that asset.

    You may love having an email list. You may feel indifferent about email lists. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that regrets building an email list.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    I used to make money without a list, I didn't even know what list building was.

    Obviously with a list it's like shooting fish in a barrel.
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  • I never even heard of "build your list" until I saw it at this forum, and I still haven't started on that.

    What do people think of starting with MailChimp? It seems to be a good option to start off free.
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