One of the most important things you can do to maximally monetize your list is to create a sales funnel.
So what is a sales funnel? Imagine a regular funnel, like the one you might use at home to help you pour something. At the one end, the funnel is really wide, and at the other end the funnel is really narrow. Now imagine that your email campaign, or subscriber base is the big end of the funnel – everyone on your list enters the funnel at the big end. For example, they all entered when you ‘sold’ them a ‘free’ ebook – they really bought it from you by paying you with their name and email address. At the small end of the funnel is the few people who go all the way through your sales funnel and buy your most expensive product – for example, a $5000 training course. And in between the big end get clickfunnels discount of the funnel and the narrow end of the funnel are people who are sequentially buying increasingly more expensive (and more advanced, more valuable) products in your line of products.
In theory, your opt in list acquisition cost (the cost of acquiring your new subscribers, for example advertising costs, the cost of your time in writing and submitting articles, etc.) should be recouped very soon in the campaign by the subscribers who purchase your entry level product (the next product after the free item). This, by the way, can often be accomplished by the redirect sales page the new subscriber sees after opting in to your list).
So the sales funnel is where you make your money. You make money each time someone on your list buys something from you over and above your entry level – big end of the funnel – product. The more effectively you build your sales funnel and add products to your sales funnel, the more money, the more profit you make.
In some way, you can almost think of the idea that the purpose of your free item and your entry level product are simply to get subscribers and buyers into your sales funnel, so that they can purchase the other items in your sales funnel.
If you can think about it this way, that the sole purpose of building your subscriber list is for the purpose of filling up your sales funnel and selling the items in your sales funnel.
I think that many people think that the purpose of their email list is so that they can sell their first product, but that product should really only break even. The purpose of the free item and the entry level product is simply to get subscribers into your sales funnel so you can sell them items from your sales funnel.