6 Ways to Monetize Your Newsletter in 2024
As a creator, newsletters serve as an excellent means of connecting with your audience. But did you know you could monetize them as well?
Statistics show that 4.73 billion people use emails. For the owner of a newsletter, this means that there are millions (and possibly billions) of potential readers out there looking to connect with your newsletter content. More than the allure of connection, these figures hold a promise that you should take into consideration as the owner of a newsletter—Monetization.
Several benefits arise from learning how to effectively monetize a newsletter. Apart from the obvious benefits a secondary source of income provides, it is passive in nature (which means minimal effort from your end), positions your brand as one valuable to partner with, and opens you and your audience up to great opportunities, like scholarships, discounts and more.
In this article, we will discuss six ways to monetize your newsletter in 2024. We’ll share tips on how to increase engagement, make your newsletter stand out, and leverage newsletter best practices to maximize your revenue potential. By implementing effective strategies, you can monetize your newsletter and transform it into a secondary source of income.
It is important, however, to note that not every approach discussed in this article will work for your newsletter. For instance, readers may not be willing to pay for a premium subscription if the content you are offering is not educational. And entertaining content might be better suited for ad placements. So, a careful analysis of your content and your newsletter audience is critical to picking the right way to monetizate your newslettter in 2024.
Let’s dive in!
How to Make Your Newsletter Engaging
Sponsors will partner with newsletters that have high engagement rates. So, working on the engagement of your newsletter is a good way to improve your chances of monetization in 2024.
Here are a few tips for improving engagement:
1. Deliver quality content
If your newsletter has very little engagement, views, and comments, it might be high time to reconsider your content strategy. People won’t interact much with content they don’t find valuable, so focus primarily on delivering the best content to your audience. You can do this by improving your storytelling skills, crafting eye-catching headers, and offering real value to your newsletter audience.
2. Incentivize subscription
Next, you can encourage subscriptions by offering gifts to new subscribers. It’ll especially help to give out something valuable to your potential audience. Suppose you are running a newsletter about cooking and are seeking to grow your subscriber list. You could offer a free recipe collection e-book as a membership bonus. It would encourage cooking enthusiasts to subscribe!
3. Avoid spamming
As much as consistent communication is encouraged, nothing turns people off faster than receiving multiple emails from the same sender. Create a clear schedule for sending out newsletters, and try to limit yourself to sending them once or twice a week. This would reduce the number of drop-offs from your mailing list.
4. Leverage social media
With the potential to reach millions of people worldwide, social media is an excellent tool for growing your subscriber list. You may add links to your newsletter on your profile page or share snippets of your content online. Doing this will lead people back to the newsletter. This way, you can attract more people to the newsletter, and those who want to see more can subscribe.
How to Monetize Your Newsletter
We’ve shared a few tips on increasing newsletter engagement that will help you grow as a creator looking to monetize your newsletter. Applying these tips will make your newsletter stand out. You’ll not only gain a larger online presence but also a good reputation if you make quality content your focus.
Now, you’re all set to learn about newsletter monetisation methods and best practices, so without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Paid subscriptions
Paid subscriptions are one of the best ways to get monthly recurring revenue, or MRR for short. Here, members pay for access to exclusive content. This could be anything from live updates, ebooks, interviews with industry experts, or online forums. Members can pay monthly or annually at a standard rate of $5 – 10, though in some cases, could be more.
According to the online publishing platform Substack, paid subscribers represent only 5 – 10% of your total readership. As such, you’ll need a pretty sizable readership to make this work. You also have to factor in unsubscriptions, ensuring that you get new paid members to replace the ones who cancelled.
Furthermore, frequent publishing could very well lead to creator burnout if you don’t have a strict writing schedule. But despite all these hurdles, paid subscriptions are one of the most lucrative newsletter monetization methods out there. Take The Dispatch, for example, which charges $10 per month while having tens of thousands of subscribers. You can only imagine how much they earn on a monthly basis!
2. Ad placements
Selling ad space is one of the most common newsletter monetization strategies. It involves charging brands for the ads they place in your daily newsletters. Unlike web and other mediums of advertising, newsletters can have open rates as high as 22%. It’s no wonder brands target newsletters!
You can enjoy a host of benefits while employing this method. For one, you know your audience and what they are interested in, so picking the right ads will get you high conversion rates. In tandem with other methods, ad placements could increase your monthly revenue. Additionally, you could charge more as your subscriber list grows, but it’s not without its problems.
As a content creator, you must pick ad placements carefully because knowing your audience is a double-edged sword. Just as picking the right ads leads to high conversion rates, picking the wrong ones could turn people off or make them lose their trust in you.
You must also be prepared to meet the demands of the brands you partner with. They may ask you for detailed reports, metrics, and more. They may even try to negotiate the price in their favour, which may prove to be a long ordeal requiring several email exchanges.
Sponsorships are agreements between publishers and brands involving the promotion of the brand’s products and services at a price. You could give them a shoutout with several links to the sponsor’s page, or make the entire publication about the sponsor in a deep dive!
When looking for sponsorships, look for sponsors that are in line with your mission as a publisher. This will create a symbiotic relationship, benefitting both you and the brand in the long run. For example, a tech publication should partner with tech brands or startups, as it gives you more opportunities to work with them and aligns with your readers’ interests. As such, customers will be more likely to buy their products, and the brands will keep sponsoring you when they see that.
However, disclosing the sponsorship at the header or footer section is one of many newsletter best practices. This way, you can be transparent and give readers the opportunity to judge for themselves concerning the product. But you may encounter sponsors who may want to keep your relationship a secret, avoid any mention of competitors, and other such shady practices. Avoid them and choose only sponsors that play by the rules.
4. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a referral program where you earn a commission by referring customers to another’s product via an affiliate link. It has grown in popularity and is a relatively low-effort newsletter monetization strategy, but you won’t gain much from it unless you have a large subscriber list. To show authenticity, it’s important to choose products that you love and are passionate about, as readers can pick up on such things.
Furthermore, you have to think about your audience’s wants and needs. For example, a fashion audience couldn’t care less about the latest tech gadget, though it may be a topic you’re passionate about. They’re there for the fashion, so choosing a fashion affiliate link would be appropriate.
If you’re worried about where to look, Selar has a robust affiliate marketing network you can connect with. Amazon does too, offering several products at commissions between 1 – 20% for orders placed via affiliate links. You should look for affiliates offering generous compensation with access to banners and product images.
For more information on Affiliate marketing and how you can take advantage of this marketing model, check out this article.
5. Sell products or services
Using your publication to promote your products and services is a great way to monetize your newsletter. You could promote an online course or workshop, or place a link to your e-commerce store, and unlike some other methods, keep all the profit to yourself.
If you know your audience well, you can use that to your advantage. By pitching your product as the solution to their needs, you can drive potential customers to your business. Moreover, you can further encourage purchases by giving discounts or special deals.
It’s important to upsell when a customer makes a purchase. If you have other products related to what they purchased, recommend them to the customer to generate more revenue per customer. For example, if they buy a bicycle, recommend a helmet or other such safety gear.
However, you’ll need to ensure that the payment process works as it should. You can do this by checking your links, making test purchases, verifying orders, and employing other such measures.
For an in-depth guide on how to write engaging and persuasive newsletters that sell products and services, check out this article.
Donations serve as a means for subscribers who love your work to support you. By clicking a link, they can donate some money to help you run your newsletter and keep putting out the content they love. They can do this via many payment options, including PayPal, Patreon, Venmo app, or Buy Me a Coffee.
Don’t be afraid or feel ashamed about requesting donations. After all, didn’t you manage to build a community around your work? They’d be eager to support you if only you would ask! Not everyone will pay, but the ones that do will help you generate more revenue and, in turn, write an engaging newsletter.
When requesting donations, it’s important to explain to them your reasons why you may need the money. For this, you may use your email service provider (ESP) or website hosting fees as valid reasons.
To monetize a newsletter in 2024, you would need one (or several) of the key strategies highlighted above. However, it all begins with engagement. You can increase your engagement by making your newsletter stand out in the quality department. Not only would it build a good reputation for yourself, but it would also help you gain your audience’s trust as a content creator.
Once you have done that, feel free to employ whatever monetization strategy will work best for you. And remember to test and revise your strategies when you need to. If something doesn’t work, try another strategy or change your approach to your current strategy. Keep on growing and improving as you apply these strategies today.