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Newsletters Guide

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.


Other examples:

  • 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.
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