How to Make Money From Direct Targeted Email Marketing

Email is a powerful thing and if you know what you’re doing direct targeted email marketing can make you a lot of money. But take a look at your spam folder. Notice anything different?

If it’s anything like mine, you’ll have noticed a marked drop in the number of tempting offers for those little blue ‘enhancement’ pills… fake diplomas… lottery scams and yes, even the beloved Nigerian scam.

Have the spammers decided to call it a day?

Alas, no.

Why legitimate businesses can learn from spammers and make money from direct targeted email marketing

The closure of McColo – a web hosting firm that is believed to have had spam gangs as clients – has led to a 70% reduction in junk mail. According to the BBC, “it is believed that it hosted gangs running botnets – networks of computers that have been taken over by criminals to send malicious software and spam.”

Enjoy it while it lasts… because they will be back! Analysts expect spam will return to previous levels by the end of November as the spammers find a new host.

But I really don’t know why they bother. Another report out this week revealed that spammers were getting a response rate of less than 0.00001%! In other words, they would have to send out 12.5 million emails for every sale!

Is it really worth it? Well, yes.

The recent study saw scientists act as spammers themselves by hijacking an existing spam network. While running their undercover spam campaigns the researchers sent 469 million junk e-mail messages. The vast majority of these were for a fake pharmacy which mimicked the spammer’s version. However it always returned an error message when potential buyers clicked a button to submit their credit card details.

“After 26 days, and almost 350 million e-mail messages, only 28 sales resulted,” wrote the researchers. “Taken together, these conversions would have resulted in revenues of $2,731.88-a bit over $100 a day for the measurement period,” they added.

$100 a day! Hardly worth risking jail for is it? But hold on, this was just a small test. The researchers estimate that the controllers of the entire system they had hijacked are netting about $7,000 (4,430) a day or more than $2m (1.28m) per year.

Now it’s looking a bit more attractive, but really not that much compared to people who are using email marketing ethically and legally.

So why don’t they just come clean? Perhaps there should be an amnesty for spammers? We should allow them to leave the dark side and move into legitimate business and share their experience and skills.

Spammers have a lot going for them…

They are technically advanced and smart enough to keep ahead of the authorities, ISPs and spam filters. They can think creatively – I mean some of those subject lines are irresistible!

Just think what they could bring to a legitimate information publishing business? They could easily make $2 million per year…

- They wouldn’t need to send out millions of unsolicited emails as their response rates to a opt-in list could be anywhere from 2% – 30%. In fact they could make good money from a list as small as 1,000. Remember my email last week when I told you how Jon Street had made over 30,000 in one weekend with just 670 names! I don’t normally blow my email trumpet, but earlier this year I brought in 1,510,000 in 2 weeks from a list of around 15,000.

- They wouldn’t have to grub around with dodgy scams, pills or diplomas – they could actually help people to solve their problems. And if they promoted good quality products they would inevitably have plenty of glowing testimonials from people who have benefited.

And who knows, the spammers could really redeem themselves by using their expertise to change history! Seriously, email has the power to change entire nations, economies and even stop wars…

I’m getting a bit evangelical now…but I truly believe that email cannot only provide anyone with a money-making opportunity, but it can actually change the course of history!

Consider US President elect, Barack Obama. The success of his election campaign can partly be attributed to the use of email marketing!

On the night of his election win, he sent out 70 million emails to people who had signed up on his website thanking them for making history! Far more significantly is the amount of money the Obama campaign was able to generate in contributions. In September he raised $112 million online!

According to a recent Sunday Times article; “The web spearheaded a new way of fundraising, identifying volunteers and – most of all – accumulating contact details for millions of converts to the Obama surge.”

He was able to bypass traditional media and go straight to people’s inboxes with personal messages.

Obama’s website also moves beyond just email marketing to use social networking (it’s no accident that one of Facebook’s founders joined the Obama campaign early on).

Ok, so I’m not suggesting you run for political office, but you can see how powerful the legitimate use of emails can be!