Each point of contact you make with your customers, whether it’s through email, social media, or text, should be thoughtful and intentional. At the end of the day, these are the areas where you generate interest and attract first-time and repeat buyers to your website or services – so it’s important to make it count.
Let’s walk through the (surprisingly easy) process of how to make money from your email newsletter.
The basics of an email newsletter
Think of a Sunday newspaper (we know this analogy might be a stretch for some of our younger readers) that sums up all the happenings of the week, targeting reader interests and updating the general public about current events.
A regular newsletter does basically the same thing, but it’s more directly targeted at your subscribers (people who sign up to receive promotional information from your business or create an account on your website).
You can send out daily, weekly, or monthly newsletters, though studies show that most subscribers want to see an email once per week. You can include information about your business and any updates or changes, future promotions, and links to relevant blog posts and current events.
The content included in your email newsletter is entirely up to you, but you should always be focused on fostering a connection between your business and its existing customers. Try to think about the individual newsletter subscriber when you’re writing, and not the whole group all at once.
When should you monetize?
The “when to monetize” question varies on a case-by-case basis. Many folks are afraid to monetize too early. They’re afraid of scaring future subscribers off or the responsibility of managing vendors.
In the best-case scenario, newsletter monetization would happen when you already have a large subscriber base. Of course, “large” is a relative term, but think about how intently your subscribers are reading your content.
But – a smaller number of quality subscribers can be better than a massive audience that’s less engaged.
It’s relative and determined by how you choose to monetize.
Before you bring in any type of affiliate marketing, you should work on perfecting your newsletter content and generating lots of interest from subscribers. The more subscribers you already have, the more you can learn about your readers’ interests and the more you’ll make when monetization begins.
What are the best ways to monetize an email newsletter?
Nobody likes a barrage of promotional emails flooding their inbox each and every day, so you need to get crafty when it comes to monetization.
One way to subtly monetize your newsletters is by selling ad space or ad placement. If you have a large subscriber base, advertisers might be interested in running ads in your newsletters.
We suggest partnering with businesses that share or have similarities with your corporate goals. Your intention should always be to generate interest from your subscribers, so you’ll want to make sure they aren’t seeing ads from completely unrelated businesses. Find a connection.
Deciding how much to charge for ad space will really depend on your revenue and the number of newsletter subscribers. You can charge affiliate marketers for the space itself, on a click-through rate basis or you can charge a percentage of sales made through the affiliate link on your newsletter. Affiliate marketers should have no problem tracking the sales that come from your website if you’re posting a unique link (include UTM codes or set up a specific landing page for each vendor).
Ad revenue is a great and simple way to bring in the bucks with your newsletter. Especially if you’re just starting out and don’t quite have the giant list size you’re hoping to have in the future.
Have full control over all of your newsletter’s ad space!
Choose vendors, prices, locations, and frequency of the ads that you would like to work with.
What kind of ads should I include in my email newsletter to make money?
The most important thing here is to make sure that the affiliate ads you run aren’t an eyesore. Your newsletter should have a cohesive look and feel that’s consistent every time. You can include affiliate sales pages or direct traffic to your website by creating a template with room for ad space.
Be sure that you’re also using a healthy balance of text and images. Readers are more likely to stay focused if their visual field has some variation, not just boring, black-and-white text.
If you don’t want your ads to look like ads, you can post sponsored content (like blog posts) on your website and include links to them in your newsletter.
Charging a subscription fee
If you’re producing a high-quality newsletter, there will be people out there willing to pay to read it. Most newspapers have taken this approach and now charge readers for access to their articles. A great example is the New York Times, whose subscription revenue hit $1 billion back in 2017. If your business offering is unique and market research suggests that people would pay for your content, offer a subscription-based email newsletter.
Organizations that provide financial planning tips, healthy living counseling, parenting advice, and other information that might be hard to find elsewhere (or that would be of a much lower quality elsewhere) are all paid newsletter strategy.
To determine a newsletter subscription fee amount, take a look at what your competitors are charging. If you decide to go with something higher, be sure to explain why in your marketing. If you offer a significantly better service, make that known!
How do you get started?
Before monetizing your email newsletter, have a great system in place to offer quality content every time. One way to do this is through AI email marketing software like rasa.io. Our algorithm helps you run relevant and interesting email newsletters using data. It learns about the interests of each individual subscriber and chooses the best content to keep that person interested.
With rasa.io, an AI-powered newsletter platform, can help get your monetization process running smoothly, as well as keep it running smoothly each and every day. To see how we can help your business make money from an email newsletter, sign up for a free 14-day trial.