The Best Ways to Monetize a Newsletter in 2018

So you’ve started an email newsletter, and it seems to be going well. Your subscribers are eagerly opening every issue, you even get a few positive replies here and there. This is probably the right time to learn what it takes to monetize a newsletter. 

While there are literally hundreds of things you can do to turn an email list into more profit, we’ll cover the simplest and most straightforward methods here. Most of these are well-established classics, but stay tuned until the end.

We’re also going to reveal a brand new way to monetize your email newsletter, right at the end of this article. Hint, it’s an awesome new way of turning email newsletters into cash

That being said, let’s look at how you can get started with monetizing your newsletters.

Use a monetized blog

Your website exists to turn traffic into profit. There are many ways it can do this, including placing paid ads on your site, linking to affiliate products for a commission, and pitching your own products.

'The money is in the list' - one of the most misunderstood concepts in email marketingClick To Tweet

This one kind of trips some people up. Some of them will say: “But wait! I built the website so that it sends people to my email list, now I’m sending them back to the website!?” They were told that you’ve built a blog so that it creates traffic that you then divert to email marketing. Apparently, they were told, “the money is in the list”.

If you have a large email list, eventually some companies will ask you to do paid reviews.

But that’s an incomplete story. Here’s the trick. It’s a loop that goes both ways. Yes, your blog should have fascinating content and should constantly encourage people to sign up for your email list.

But the blog itself should be making you money directly as well. You don’t want to leave the entire weight of “creating profit” to your email lists. If you think you only use your blog to send people to the email list and then have these subscribers forget about the site, you’re doing it wrong.

There are several reasons why this isn’t the smartest strategy:

A) Your emails will become too salesy and pushy if they’re responsible for all monetization directly
B) Some of your blog visitors won’t sign up for your list, but they might click on an ad or an affiliate link

You want a synergistic relationship between your emails and your newsletter. For example, every time you post great content to your blog, this is a great excuse to email your readers about it.

When you want to sell people on a product, you can push for that sale directly in the email. That’s sometimes the better option. Other times, you want to send a value-filled email that links to a blog post which then sells them on that product.

Promote quality affiliate programs

Notice the word “quality” in the sentence above? That’s not a filler word. If you rush into promoting bad products as an affiliate, you are shooting yourself in the foot. People will lose trust in you, as well as your newsletter and recommendations.

But let’s backtrack a little. If you’re new to internet marketing, you might need some more general information about this. What is affiliate marketing in the first place? It’s basically an arrangement where you put a link to someone’s product, and if people go there and buy it, you get a commission. Pretty simple, right?

Once your best customers buy your product, you can send them loyalty rewards, coupon leads, discounts and much more in your email newsletter.

Not so fast, though. You want to take the time to find the right affiliate products to promote. Make sure that they resonate with the core philosophy of your newsletter or your brand. You don’t want to promote products that in some way clash with what you or your brand represent.

Promoting the wrong affiliate products is an efficient way of killing your email marketingClick To Tweet

Basically, you have to make sure you only promote quality stuff. But that’s just the first step! Also, realize that you will need to spend some time experimenting with different offers and how you pitch them. You might see some instant monetization, but you will need time to fully master this method. So keep learning and keep experimenting.

Paid reviews

If you have a large enough email list, eventually some companies will ask you to do paid reviews. If you want to kickstart this process, you can do so by doing unpaid reviews.

Just write as many quality reviews as it takes until you become an authority that people in your industry look up to. Obviously, this will depend on the industry in which you operate. It’s not applicable to every market. But it’s a great way to achieve two things at once.

If you partner with your affiliates, you can promote their content in your newsletter from time to time.

By becoming a renowned reviewer, you become a bigger authority in the eyes of both the consumers and sellers in that given market. Even if it doesn’t result in offers for paid reviews, you will certainly benefit from creating quality reviews.

Also, consider combining this idea with affiliate marketing. This is one way to affiliate link to many products, even those you don’t necessarily love. If you’re reviewing a product (even negatively), it makes sense to (affiliate) link to the product. You’d be surprised, but you will definitely find that you even make money from products that you’ve reviewed negatively.

Offer a paid email subscription

Once you get to the point where your subscribers like your content, you can offer a paid email subscription. Set up a monthly fee and offer premium content for your paid subscribers.

Just remember that you need to take this seriously. You need to prepare content that your subscribers really desire. It should be so good that they eagerly await each installment of those premium newsletters. You need to make them feel that they are really getting what they pay for.

Also, make sure it is content they can only find in the paid email newsletter. Do not place that content anywhere else. Don’t use your old blog posts as “premium content”. But also don’t later recycle premium content and republish it as an article somewhere. Those premium members will feel cheated and cancel the subscription.

Alternatively, consider a sponsorship model

This one will depend on your niche or industry. It’s generally something you would consider if you’re a single persona. The way that it works is that you ask for voluntary donations or “patronage” from your readers. It’s different than a “premium content” model in some ways, but in some ways it’s similar.

You might make it completely voluntary, where all your content is available to everyone. But if some readers feel like donating, they can do it. Alternatively, some people rely on a combination. They ask everyone for donations. But they also have special “bonuses” for the people who choose to sign up for a monthly thing.

The difference from a “premium subscription model” is that you can actually get both types of income this way. You get both one-time donations and people who sign-up for a recurring monthly thing. The name is different. It’s called patronage, not premium subscription, but it’s quite similar. Patreon is a popular platform used for this model.

Analyze, learn and improve

Whichever path to monetization you choose, you’re going to get it “wrong” at first. I don’t mean to say that you’ll make no money at all. What I’m saying is that your first attempts will be far from optimal. Each monetization method has its own learning curve.

Once you get to the point where your subscribers like your content, you can offer a paid email subscription, a great way to monetize a newsletter

You will have to experiment, watch what happens and then tweak your strategy. We could have an e-book on each of the methods mentioned above, there is definitely enough material for it. So just be aware of the fact that there is a learning curve with each monetization method. Accept that you will need to keep learning and improving to see “best results”.

Fortunately, AdMailr is here to make monetization easy

What if there was a service that optimized monetization for you. There isn’t much of a learning curve with AdMailr, because our technology optimizes things on the fly. It chooses the optimal placements for ads and does this on the fly. It also chooses which ads would perform the best inside of your emails.

But wait, what is AdMailr and what are these ads about? Well, AdMailr is an email advertising platform that lets you easily monetize your newsletters. Email advertising is probably the fastest way to turn your newsletters into profit, today.

But we’ve gone a step further. AdMailr now supports native ads. If you’re not familiar with native ads, let’s just say they are likely to kill traditional advertising as we know it. People respond to and engage with native ads at far higher rates than traditional advertising.

And guess what, you can have automatically placed money-generating native-ads inside of your newsletters starting today. All you have to do is sign up for an AdMailr account. We make the monetization process effortless.


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