Publishers know that email is an essential building block for any successful revenue-generating strategy. While marketing tools have come and gone through the years, email has remained consistent, and the email newsletter has become a lifeblood for the survival of many organizations and businesses. In fact, many digital marketing experts believe that we have entered a golden age of newsletter publishing.
No sustainable revenue plan can exist without email marketing. Here at rasa.io, we’d argue that newsletter publishing is a necessary element for any email marketing plan, especially when it comes to growing paid memberships.
The most straightforward way to generate revenue through newsletter publishing is through paid newsletters. At their core, paid newsletters offer access to content exclusively to paying subscribers. However, this model can prove it to be challenging for businesses that rely on newsletter publishing as a revenue generator. If you are looking for your audience to pay money for the content you offer, that content better be good!
Experts agree that to entice users into paying for your valuable content, you should offer up your finest content for free since your best content usually acts as your best marketing tool.
At the end of the day, a paid newsletter isn’t always the best newsletter publishing option. So, we’ve compiled a list of eight other ways that organizations can grow paid memberships through email newsletter publishing.
1. Offer additional content to paid subscribers.
Some organizations that use newsletter publishing as part of their overall strategy have found success by offering two versions of their newsletter.
For example, a free newsletter could include all of your publically accessible content, while the paid newsletter version can consist of exclusive members-only content. You can also increase the frequency of delivery to paid newsletter subscribers only. In other words, you can offer an “extra” weekly newsletter that only paying members can access via paid subscription.
2) Offer extra membership features to paid newsletter subscribers.
Along the same lines as offering exclusive content, a newsletter publishing’s best practice for enticing paid membership is to offer exclusive “spaces” for paid newsletter subscribers. That could include an online forum only paid subscribers can access, such as a private Facebook or Discord group.
These forums can also benefit your organization because they allow you to interact with and gather direct feedback from your paid newsletter subscribers. So, it’s a win-win.
3) Offer free newsletters that link to paywalled content.
For those with a large member base or readership, an indirect way to convert them into paying customers is by placing some premium content behind a paywall. This way, you can keep publishing your newsletter for free but generate revenue by allowing readers to pay money for certain content they wish to access.
Many newsletter publishing outlets such as Stratechery or De Correspondent have succeeded with this strategy, converting their email newsletter subscribers into paying members.
4) Offer free newsletters coupled with membership and subscription promotions
One of the most common ways that organizations use newsletter publishing to generate revenue is by promoting their organization through their free newsletter. It is, by far, for most organizations, a more realistic way to bring in recurring revenue compared to paywalled content offerings.
The theory behind this strategy is that subscribers will want to support your organization’s existence by “supporting” it through a paid membership. Basically, you ask your readers to provide financial support for the newsletter you are delivering.
Full control over all of your newsletter’s ad space
Promote your organization’s membership and provide ad space for sponsorships – with rasa.io
5) Release exclusive content ahead of schedule.
If your organization is creating exclusive content, consider releasing some of that content ahead of schedule, exclusively to paid newsletter subscribers only.
To leverage your content for paid newsletter subscribers, release it to your paid subscribers before releasing it publicly. You can also use your paid newsletter as a way for members to comment, offer input, or hear announcements regarding content first.
6) Provide EAAS newsletters
Email as a service (EAAS) means delivering full articles directly to your subscribers’ inboxes. In other words, the content is not available anywhere else. A strategy like this offers exclusivity that makes it valuable to the subscriber.
Readers will subscribe to your paid newsletter to receive the complete experience of your content. With this method, there is no need for the subscriber to click on any links or visit your website.
7) Use your newsletter publishing efforts as a way to retain members.
Sometimes the value of your newsletter platform lies in member retention. For your revenue growth to remain steady, you must maintain your existing paid newsletter members and subscribers. The best way to retain your existing member base is to provide personalized, curated content that engages and interests them.
At rasa.io, our experience has shown that engaged readers keep coming back.
8) Consider a referral program to boost paid membership.
The primary purpose of a referral program is to build your member list. You can incentivize newsletter subscribers to share your newsletter signup link with others.
With proper list segmentation, you can target referrals from paid newsletter subscribers. Give them special offers or let them know that the individual who referred them is one of your paid subscribers. Thus,t they should also consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Using Your Newsletter to Grow Paid Memberships
Whether you offer a free or paid newsletter subscription to your subscribers, there are many other ways your organization can use your editorial newslettersto grow your paid membership base. No matter what strategies you use, the most successful email newsletters are curated and personalized for the ultimate engagement.