Believe it or not, we are surrounded by newsletters in the digital space.
But don’t worry, they won’t attack you!
They have not trained assassins that robots sent after you….at least not yet!
Instead, they are one of the hottest marketing trends that everyone is going after, be it marketers, publishers, or individual writers.
You might have stumbled across a newsletter sign-up form in a site. It has become so common among present-day marketing and advertising because people are craving information…reliable information.
While the web is saturated with a ton of advertisements, click-baits, and irrelevant news or information, newsletters give you a chance to be your authentic self. You can reach out to people with correct and to-the-point information at the right time. And this is how you can build your audience base. But doing so would require you to run a newsletter, and then money and fame will follow if done right.
So, has the idea of starting a newsletter crossed your mind?
I’m assuming a YES!
And that’s the probable reason why you are reading this article.
So, without further ado, let’s understand how you can start your newsletter and make money out of it.
What’s a newsletter, by the way?
A newsletter is an email an organization or business sends you periodically, containing information, activities, or topics related to their business.
Running a newsletter is one of the fantastic marketing tools available to showcase the product and/or services of a company or an individual while maintaining a sound personal brand.
Typically, newsletters form a long-piece of content covering issues relevant to your audience, including highlights and news during a specific period, in-depth industry information, updates on product/services, promotions, discounts, or anything you want to communicate to your audience.
Content of this type is advertised via emails, sent once in a week, month, or quarter, and is directed to many recipients. Simply put, newsletters are simple yet effective and can be hugely profitable for your business.
What’s the purpose of it?
Newsletters are sent to people who have shown their interest in certain topics presented by the publisher. They are one of the excellent instruments of creating loyalty, thought leadership, and create your brand awareness out, thereby informing and educating your audience.
The benefits of running a newsletter
When it comes to digital marketing, lots of avenues are there to pursue. In your quest for maximum reach and the best possible results, you tend to explore many methods, including a newsletter.
But here’s the question – is it really worth investing your time, money, and energy?
Would it be a good choice when you have SEO, social media, automation, Google Ads, and other awesome marketing strategies?
The answer is YES.
A newsletter might not be the best tool out there, but as important as other marketing campaigns, if you got this right.
Look at these benefits to decide yourself:
Builds relationships 🤝
If you want to build a strong audience base, you need to make your customers feel they are an important part of your digital family. Through newsletters, you can send relevant information and keep them in the loop, making them feel respected.
Consumers want emails with valuable information, and that’s why they opt for newsletters. So, if you distribute quality and engaging content, it helps strengthen the consumer relationship with your brand and increase loyalty for the long-term.
Time and cost-effective
Newsletters, being a part of email marketing, are cost-effective. By investing a few dollars, you can buy a plan. Besides, it is also a time-saving strategy because by selecting specific goals and staying on a defined schedule, you can distribute them to your audience periodically.
Besides, you also can schedule them in advance, so they can go live automatically when the time comes.
Boosts other marketing efforts
If you are running a marketing strategy involving social media channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook plus putting out content on your website’s blog section, you can showcase them in your newsletters.
It will help in growing all these streams while giving you more opportunities to generate more activity. You can attract more audience while serving existing ones and maintaining the circle of interconnected marketing.
Escalates brand awareness
By actively communicating and engaging to your audience through newsletters, you welcome new prospects and buyers who might be interested in your product/services.
In addition to this, your happy customers will also influence others. As a result, it significantly increases brand awareness and your subscribers’ list.
Helps increase leads and sales 📈
By introducing effective call-to-action in your newsletters, you can encourage your audience to visit your website. And when they do, they can view your offerings and purchase if they like any.
You can also run promotions and show discounts right in your newsletter tailored with anchor texts or links guiding them to your products/services. I mean, who does not like discounts!
How to start your first newsletter?
If you really are keen on starting a newsletter, you can, even with a small list of emails and modest messages. Slowly, you can work out a way to scale up.
So, here are some basic steps to start it:
- Choose a newsletter platform.
- Build your list
- Start creating your newsletters.
That said, there are lots of newsletter platforms available to choose from on the web.
Check out some of the best ones!
Revue is one of the leading editorial newsletters that both writers and publishers can leverage. Monetize your email list through digital subscriptions, ads, sponsoring, and other business strategies.
Their all-in-one membership service helps you start your standalone newsletter, or you can also add more newsletters into your existing subscription package. You can benefit from commissions on referrals like Amazon affiliates, selling books, etc.
Avail Revue for FREE or go for a paid plan starting from $5/month.
Start your newsletter with Substack, build your audience, and earn good money from your subscribers. Here, they pose no limits, and you can publish for FREE.
With Substack, you are in charge of your audience and email list. It provides you with a website where you can write your posts, utilize community features, add images, audio, GIFs, video, and more.
You can easily control offerings for your paid and free subscribers. Getting started with Substack takes a few minutes or even less than that. Just choose a plan and start making thousands of dollars per year.
Its premium plan costs just $5/month.
The easiest road to writing, launching, growing, and sharing your newsletter can be Buttondown. It is an elegant and simple tool to produce a newsletter. Due to its minimalistic interface, it becomes easy for publishers to distribute great emails.
Buttondown’s automation works like an editorial assistant that you would adore. It can efficiently check for typos, malformed images, broken links, etc. Its subscription widget is portable, making it easy to build and grow your readers no matter where your site is hosted.
Buttondown emphasizes speed in addition to usability instead of confusing automation or feature sets. It integrates flawlessly with third-party services like Zapier, Ghost, Squarespace, Weebly, IFTTT, and more. Enable paid subscription painlessly and is fully compliant with GDPR and other regulatory bodies to take care of your privacy.
They never collect your data and also allow you to turn off link tracking and pixel tracking with a single click. Buttondown uses Markdown to help you write quickly with no worries about cluttered email markup. You can also embed things like photos and tweets. Track everything from subscriber retention rates to open rates using flexible and powerful analytics.
In case you want to run multiple newsletters from one account, Buttondown covers you for this. You can start your newsletter for FREE or pay $29/month for other exciting features. Its plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
Curate your newsletter with Letterfuel and garner name and fame plus money. It helps you nurture the relationship with your audience and share things you want the world to know about.
You can create fresh posts to be included in your newsletter or curate some links from publications or websites publishing quality content related to your niche. Letterfuel also provides a landing page and SEO-friendly archives for your newsletters. These are generated automatically once you click on “send”.
If you want to export all your subscribers, it is possible. They will email it in the form of a CSV file you can use to migrate to any other service. Get Letterfuel at $19/month for up to 2k subscribers and pay $5/month after every 1k subscribers.
Create superb-looking newsletters from Goodbits within minutes. You can bookmark articles from the internet and turn them into your weekly digests with a few clicks.
Fetch content from Slack, Instagram, Twitter, your website, or using their Chrome extension. Goodbits help keep all your saved content in one place, so the whole process of sending your weekly newsletter becomes an enjoyable experience.
Don’t have coding or design experience?
No issues at all because you can just drag and drop links or saved content into your newsletter. Hence, you can focus more on publishing and editing rather than getting confused with the technicality. Goodbits provides complete control of your newsletters and lets you customize them with creative templates.
It also comes with built-in analytics so you can measure whether or not your newsletters resonate with your targeted audience. Build campaigns from Goodbits or ActiveCampaign directly or send them using MailChimp. You can export your files in HTML, send with HubSpot, Gmail, and more.
Furthermore, it integrates with ConvertKit, Drip, AWeber, Marketo, Campaign Monitor, and Sendy. The basic plan of Goodbits starts at $19/month.
Don’t be terrified!
It’s not those creatures you see in movies. Instead, Ghost is a platform you can use to create your newsletter and turn your readers into a consistent source of income.
Use subscriptions plus memberships for predictable and sustainable revenue in addition to incentives aligned directly with your audience. You can add your Stripe account and start collecting payments through Apple Pay or credit cards.
Best thing – it involves ZERO transaction fees. So, whatever money you generate belongs to you completely. You own everything from your customers, content, and your business to the code and platform under an open-source MIT license. Hence, you can customize it the way you want.
Never worry about security as they provide passwordless JWT email links for logins. Ghost also provides deep analytics to find the actions and performance of your newsletters.
Tips for building an audience base for your newsletter
Once you have decided on the best newsletter platform for you, the next thing is building your audience base, which is, to be honest, a long road.
Don’t worry; here are some tips to help you create brand awareness for your newsletter and, in turn, build your audience base:
Distribute quality content your audience wants to read.
Your newsletter ought to be clean, specific, and easy to read. You can start with a few articles per issue, all high quality. Now, the challenge is to write a good newsletter. For this, try to:
- Pick an interesting subject line, which is the first impression of your newsletter on the reader.
- Set the tone and focus on personalization by writing in the first and second person, i.e., “I” and “You”. It will help you befriend your subscribers by establishing a one-to-one interaction.
- Use storytelling to highlight not only facts but human stories, achievements, and real-life examples to increase the effectiveness and appeal of your newsletters.
- Include a table of contents to present your articles in a readable format. Use links like “Read more”, so interested audiences can click through and read the full stories.
- Strong call-to-action (CTA)
- Incorporate your brand style and visuals so the audience can always associate a newsletter with your brand and distinguish from gazillions of newsletters out there.
Consistency is the key to whether you are sending newsletters, posting on your website’s blog, or social media. First, develop a mindset and commit to creating a specific publishing schedule. Next, stick to it, always.
If you want your audience to consider you seriously, follow the schedule religiously because it takes months or years to establish a brand.
You can start with one newsletter a week and be consistent about it; that’s what I would recommend.
Mix free and paid content
The ultimate income out of the newsletter comes from paid subscribers. For this, you can give some free content in the form of free newsletters. Use this to build authority and thought leadership in a subject matter. Gradually, people will start recognizing you and can become your paid subscribers as well.
Some successful & famous newsletters
Do you need further motivation to start your newsletter?
Here are some of the examples of successful newsletters whose content thousands of people consume around the world:
- Sinocism by Bill Bishop. It’s about the political, social, and business relationships between the US and China. It has 50k+ subscribers, and the paid subscriptions cost $15/month.
- Off the Chain by Anthony Pompliano. It’s about crypto market analysis for investors and costs $10/month.
- The Daily Line by Mike Fourcher. It focuses on critical reporting for professionals on politics.
- Stratechery by Ben Thompson. It’s based on technology news and costs $10/month
- Hot Pod is for people interested in the podcast industry, and it costs $7/month.
You see, running a newsletter can bring success in terms of both money and fame for publishers and individual writers willing to build their brand.
If you like the idea, then what are you waiting for?
Grab a deal from any of the newsletter platforms mentioned in this article and start growing!