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IDEA #90 – Footer Ads in Email

Why should Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and others, be the only ones earning money from footer ads? The user should make some money too — and it’d be fine if there was 1 more ad in the footer — maybe even a visual banner ad (a la RSS feeds).

The real question is how to accomplish this, and that is likely why it has never happened. You might need a browser plugin that would see when you send off an email — and you’d likely have a black-list of recipients that you don’t want to receive the ad in the footer.

This brings me back to my one idea about user-approved advertising (which Facebook has done now in a sense with Beacon). These ads in the footer of your email don’t have to be meaningless from you (the sender), they could be things (sites you use; products you’ve purchased) in your footer. They could be your commerce-related “tweets” from Twitter; or from your Facebook newsfeed.

Don’t forget about Outlook — this might be an easier plugin to use.

But plugins are a barrier for most people to use your service. So it might be that the service providers themselves (Hotmail, Gmail, etc) would have to give you this functionality…. unless you have another idea?

As always, all of these ideas are here to stimulate other ideas. Use the comments section to give more ideas for this idea — and by all means, if you feel one of these ideas is worthy of your precious time, then go on an execute on any one of them.

  • John @ AffiliateObsession

    I think footer ads are a great idea and using Outlook (express) is an easy way to implement them.

    If you have a mailing list already, it might be easier to use a newsletter format and just include ads in them that way.

  • Mark Cathcart

    Complete waste of time, money and more importantly bandwidth and storage. Who are these numbskulls who actually read these ads and act on them? Answer no one. This is another Internet get rich quick scheme, no matter how targeted the ads are and how relevant they are to the content of the email. The emporer has no clothes.

  • lukas

    there is some austrian startup called with an awful website, but they really have an interesting business model with footer ads as a CSR tool

  • Greg Battle

    check out . i am good friends with the founder.

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  • Marc

    I think this is a fantastic idea…. I could see this working easily within say a Dating Website. The users of dating websites contact each-other using private messaging so the web master could sell HTML banners at the footer of these private messages.

  • oytun

    We have tried to realize this idea last year, but there was both legal and corporatial issues. If you can skip the legal issue in a way, you should have your own e-mail server to deliver the ad. Otherwise, (imagine a plugin), e-mail providers would ban your ad somehow. And having one more e-mail provider of your own is not a good idea :)