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Strategies and Tips

The Advantages of Pay-per-Email Programs

Most of us have heard about pay-per-sale and pay-per-click, two different types of affiliate programs. Most of us also know about pay-per-lead, and the advantages it offers (if not see a previous Free Help Desk article). So, what exactly is pay-per-email? Pay-per-email is a spin on the standard pay-per-lead program, where you receive a commission for each person's email address you refer to a mailing list or newsletter.

Like pay-per-lead programs, there are no costs involved for your visitors before you can earn a commission. They don't need to buy anything, and you don't need to try to sell them anything. Even better, sometimes they don't even have to leave your web site for you to be able to earn a commission. Best of all, every visitor that comes to your web site has an email address, and represents potential income.

There are a variety of pay-per-email programs available, each offering different advantages and benefits. Most pay-per-email programs average between $0.10 and $0.25, with an exceptional few paying up to double of these rates (we will take a look at those below). All of these programs can be promoted directly from your web site, usually using text links (leaving banner inventory available for other uses), but there are a few other strategies that will make them more profitable for your site.

First of all, we should note that nearly ANY type of web site, no matter the topic or category, could probably add a pay-per-email program to their web site, and earn incremental income. However, like all affiliate programs, it will be important to try to match the offerings of the pay-per-email program with the interests of your visitors. A perfect example would be a humor web site. Perhaps you create online cartoons or animated stories. You could easily refer many of your visitors to subscribe to a 'joke of the day' email newsletter, earning a respectable commission for each. Luckily, many of the larger pay-per-email address programs offer a huge variety of potential topics that you can try to match to your visitors.

A second strategy would be to promote pay-per-email programs to your existing mail list. If you already run your own email newsletter or send out email notices when your site is updated, you have an excellent resource to begin with. Every person on your mail list has already proven that they are willing to subscribe to email newsletters when they subscribed to yours. There is a good possibility that many of your subscribers will be interested in other email newsletters or lists, especially if they are related to a topic they are interested.

A third strategy, and one that I have seen employed to considerable success on many web sites, including my own, is to add a pay-per-email program to the confirmation page on your web site when someone subscribes to your newsletter or list. Most form handling scripts allow you to set a confirmation page, which generally says something along the lines of "Thank you for subscribing, you will receive your first issue shortly". Adding a pay-per-email program to this page would be quite simple, suggesting that your visitor also subscribe to the pay-per-email program offering. You might just be able to catch your visitors in that 'subscribing mood' and earn a tidy commission in the meantime.

So, now that we know some ways to promote these types of programs, what programs are available? I will look at four of the top programs today, although there surely are others available. However, I feel that the programs listed below are of the highest quality, and all have received excellent feedback from ClickQuick visitors that they offer the highest income potential.

Mailbits.com: Mailbits.com has been rated a Top Rated Program at ClickQuick for the longest period of time of the four programs we are looking at today. Their program has been continuously improved, and now offers the highest commissions per email (now up to $0.50 per email address referred) and is run in an incredibly professional manner. You may have heard of Mailbits.com from this newsletter earlier when I ran an update on them. At the time, Mailbits.com experienced two technical outages, neither really their fault (one was the result of a hurricane knocking out their ISP, the other was the result of slow service from their telecom company). Yet, Mailbits.com set an example for the affiliate program industry by not only apologizing for the outages of their web site, but by actually compensating all affiliates in the form of pro-rated commissions and monthly commission bonuses. In the end, all Mailbits.com affiliates actually made more as of a result of the outages than they would have had the problems not occurred. Read the full review for Mailbits.com.

Z Media: Z Media is a recent addition to the Top Rated Program section at ClickQuick. You may be familiar with them through their old ClickTrade program, one of the first to offer pay-per-email commissions. They recently updated their program, bringing it in-house to offer more features and benefits to affiliates. Some of these improvements include higher commission rates of $0.40 per email, a wider selection of email topics (now over 35) and perhaps the first infinitely-tiered affiliate program (see the full review for details). Z Media also has an outstanding reputation for working with and helping affiliates to achieve the most that they can from their web sites.

NetEzines: NetEzines is an Advertising.com program, from the same reliable people that bring us their pay-per-click network. The NetEzines program has also recently undergone improvements, and has also been added to the Top Opportunities section at ClickQuick. Like ZMedia, they pay $0.40 per referred subscriber to one of their 13 newsletters. Like Mailbits.com and Z Media, they also offer a multi-tier program, giving you an incentive to recruit other webmasters into the program, and share in their success. One of NetEzines unique features is that your visitors do not even need to leave your web site to subscribe to one of their newsletters (and earn you a commission). Instead, you can add the NetEzines subscription form right to your web site, encouraging people to not only subscribe, but then stay at your site to continue browsing. Check out the full review for NetEzines.

Focalex: Focalex offers a per-per-email program that differs slightly from the others listed here. Instead of referring your visitors to email newsletters operated by that program, Focalex develops targeted mailing lists that other companies can then 'purchase' to send out commercial mailings. Since Focalex is completely opt-in, this is not spam email, but rather email sent to people that have requested to be kept up to date on new products or service (for example, the latest computer technology or telecom offerings). Focalex pays $0.35 per unique subscriber that your refer, and offers not only simple affiliate sign-up, but also easy integration into your existing web site. View the full review for Focalex.

All four of these programs have several benefits in common. First, they give you the opportunity to add additional, incremental income to nearly any type of web site. All can be promoted in a wide variety of ways, and don't require banner ad inventory, allowing you to focus you inventory on other uses.

Second, they don't require your visitors to make a purchase or fill out a lengthy survey for you to be able to earn a commission. It will only take your visitors about 5-10 seconds to type in their email addresses and hit submit. Some don't even require your visitors to leave your web site, or provide a way for your visitors to easily return once they have subscribed.

Lastly, all four of these programs pay above-average commissions compared to other pay-per-email programs, and all four represent reliable, tested income sources for your web site. ClickQuick visitors have provided a lot of excellent feedback about all four of these programs.

 

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