Cartoons can be used as a tool to give you free advertising for your website or products you sell online. It's called viral marketing and it works.
How often have you received a funny joke or cartoon in your email from a friend? And when you do, how often do you forward that same email on to friends of your own? If each of those friends sends it on to their friends, and their friends do the same with their friends, you can see how a funny cartoon can wind up being viewed by thousands of people.
Using this fact, you can do some free advertising for your website or for products you sell online. Just add a small line of copy at the bottom of the cartoon email, one with a link to your website or product. You don't want to make it too hard-sell, just a brief note to entice some interest. Your note will then get forwarded along with the cartoon and you could reach potentially thousands of prospects.
It's important to keep in mind, though, that cartoons are copyrighted. You can't use them without permission, or you could subject yourself to serious legal problems. A good way around this problem is to simply contact the cartoonist for the cartoon you want to use. Ask him if you can put a link to his cartoon page in your email. In most cases they will be happy to do so. It's free advertising for him. I do this with the cartoons on my website because I find it increases my own website traffic. Although I don't charge a fee for this, some cartoonists might. It's up to you to decide whether their fee is reasonable for what you expect to accomplish.
Your advertising message at the bottom of these emails can simply be a link to your webpage. If you have advertising on your website or you are selling products through affiliate links, this extra traffic can bring you some additional income. Some affiliate programs will also give you links you can use in your emails, and you could add one of those links to the bottom of the email containing the cartoon link.
In most cases you will not actually attach the cartoon to your email. If you do, spam filters will often block it. People are reluctant to open an email with an attachment because of the fear of contracting computer viruses. A far better solution is to send the email with a link to the webpage where the cartoon appears. In most cases you'll be required by the cartoonist to do this anyway. That's the only way he can benefit from your efforts.
How well this works depends on the cartoons you select. You want to select cartoons which are very funny, and which touch home with how people are feeling. These are the types of cartoons which will get forwarded.
Try this technique of advertising. It is free and it works.
Ron Coleman is a freelance cartoonist whose work has appeared in hundreds of magazines and trade journals. He maintains several cartoon websites and you can see more of his work on his own website: http://www.coleman-cartoons.com