Part 4 Monetizing Your Email Newsletter
A lot of newsletters are about community building and brand outreach, creating an on-ramp to other revenue streams. This is a kind of lead-generation or indirect revenue. But there are also a number of direct ways to monetize a newsletter as part of an overall revenue strategy for your organization. I have sorted these strategies into three categories:
- Ads — Banners/Boxes, Text Ads, or Native Ads: These tend to be images like banner ads on a website but are embedded in the newsletter.
- Sponsors — “This Newsletter Brought to You by”: Often text in the body or header/footer of the email newsletter includes a short sponsor message, usually limited to 1–2 per newsletter.
- Subscribers: People pay for exclusive content or advance content delivered to them.
Digiday profiled how four publishers are monetizing their newsletter. Read the entire article here.
- TIME: TIME uses its newsletter both to run ads and push readers to subscribe to the magazine.
- Financial Times: Similarly, FastFT includes ad spots but is designed to drive subscriptions. “By building a relationship with non-paying readers, the Financial Times can make a stronger case for why those readers should pay up” wrote Ricardo Bilton in Digiday.
- Vox: Vox monetizes its newsletter with standard banner placements.
- Quartz: Quartz’s newsletters are sponsored and include native ad placements.
- POLITICO: Many emails are part of POLITICO’s “Pro” subscription service and also feature short sponsor messages.
- Hot Pod: Hot Pod Includes ads in the weekly free version, but subscribers also get another newsletter later in the week with exclusive additional content.